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Heart To Heart

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Home sweet home
I am a female of 24 years. I have been married for last six months. We had a great honeymoon. My husband loves me a lot even till date. But my problem is that I had a different picture of marriage, with both of us living independently somewhere. Whereas we are now living together with his parents. No doubt my in-laws are very good and loving but still I am not satisfied. Please tell me the way out of my depression.

It is your dream to have your own ‘Home Sweet Home’, but it is important to know whether the same dream is shared by the partner. You have not mentioned your partner’s wishes and the circumstances ( Is he very attached to his parents? Is he the only child of aging parents ? Are both of you financially capable to afford a house of your own? ). You say that there are no problems with your in-laws ~ that is a blessing! If you continue to brood and resent your pleasant circumstances, you will have only yourself to blame for creating unhappiness in yourself and in your relationships at home. The place where you are just now ( with your in-laws ) can also be turned into a little heaven by developing a good rapport with your in-laws from your side. If and when the circumstances are conducive to have a place of your own, let it happen gracefully and let the shifting be pleasant. In the meantime, do all you can to make this your ‘Home Sweet Home’ and your room your little ‘love nest’.

Declining interest in sex
I’m a 54-year-old married man in good physical health and married happily for the last 28 years. I have a good sex drive and desire to have sex as often as I can with my wife who is 49-year-old. However since the last few years, I find that my wife is not taking adequate interest in sex. After her menopause, she complains of dryness in her vagina, which makes it difficult to enjoy sex. Apart from this physical issue, I find that she doesn’t take any initiative in sex and avoids the same on some or the other pretext. As a result, we have sex only once in a fortnight whereas I desire sex at least twice a week.

Menopause is invariably wrongly blamed for declining interest in sex in women. The cause for lack of matching interest in sex in partners could be physical, psychological (emotional), situational or even out of a so-called religious (spiritual) belief. It is necessary to find out the cause of such sudden loss of interest in sex. Only after knowing the cause, therapy can be planned. For your information a woman’s interest in sex depends on the following factors:

Satisfaction: The level and frequency of satisfaction that she has experienced in her sexual life. If sex has been a one-sided activity by the man without bothering much about the needs of the woman, then over a period of time, she may lose interest in sex.

Foreplay: If foreplay is not done correctly and adequately, female partners do not feel aroused enough to have intercourse. Many husbands are impatient and want to go for intercourse after a short and hurried foreplay. Such repeated experiences of unsatisfactory sex gradually make the woman lose interest.

Integration of Love and Sex: A woman operates through her heart. Her sex-life is not separate from the rest of her life. She sees everything in her life as inter-related. As against this, man tends to compartmentalize. He can mentally put aside stressful aspects of his life and separate it from sex. A woman needs good feelings and experiences during the day to have satisfying sex. How her husband treats her out of bed, greatly influences her response in bed. Inattentiveness, harsh language, a rude tone, hurting words, and criticism can make it difficult for a woman to get involved, to feel enthusiastic & to be passionate during sex. It is important for a couple to be loving even when they are not in the sex act. Sexuality & affection cannot be compartmentalized. Good sex is a continuum of affection & closeness during the day.

Lack of Love: This lack of love cannot be blamed on only one partner. Love happens between two sensitive human beings. Both of you need to deeply examine your relationship, either on your own or with the help of a good counsellor. Ask yourself what you can do to bring more depth into your relationship and make it more than sex  - a sharing of intimacy.

It will be better if both of you speak freely on this subject with each other and try to understand each other.

Gratification in fantasy
I was in love with a girl and even today whenever I am depressed or happy I project the current incidents with that girl. Though I have forgot her but still I feel her in my projected life...I mean whatever incidents took place in my day to day life I feel as if she is watching me and I do the things so as to impress her but I know the reality that she is not here with me… but still I feel her can I get rid of this problem?

You have developed a defense mechanism called ‘gratification in fantasy’ because the ending of your relationship with that girl was perceived by you as a threat to your self-worth and adequacy. You need to be aware of this defense mechanism and have the courage to face yourself squarely. Take active effort to mingle socially in the real world. Remember that there is a meaningful and fulfilling life without her waiting for you out there, if only you will allow yourself to be open to it. If you are still unable to move beyond your make-believe world on your own, then seek help in the form of a few sessions with a counsellor.

Where do babies come from?
What do you tell a very young child who asks ‘where babies come from’? Should one avoid taking about sex to a very young child?

Depending on the age of the child, you can say that the babies grow from an egg (ovum) in the mother’s womb (uterus), pointing to your own abdomen, and taken out of a special place, called the ‘vagina’. There is absolutely no need to explain the act of intercourse and lovemaking as very young children will not understand the concept.
However, you can say that when a man and a woman marry and love one another, they like to be close to each other. Explain them that the father’s sperm unites with the mother’s egg (ovum) and then the baby (fetus) begins to grow. Most of children below the age of six will accept this explanation. Age-appropriate picture books on the subject can also be used as teaching aid. Answer child's question in a very matter-of-fact manner, and you will find that he/she is satisfied with a little information at a time. Never avoid answering the question as it will give the wrong message that a healthy talk about sex is dirty or wrong and it will unnecessarily heighten the curiosity of the child which will lead him/her to seek out information from the wrong sources like pornography and ill-informed immature friends at a later age.

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Dr. Rajan B. Bhonsle, M.D. (Bom)
Consulting Sex Therapist & Counsellor
Dr. (Mrs.) Minnu R. Bhonsle, Ph.D.
Consulting Psychotherapist & Counsellor
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