Lack of Intimacy with Husband is a leading cause of emotional health & low mood in couples
16 Dec 2015
“Before marriage we use to get cosy in movie theatres, cars and anywhere where we could get a chance. But now, he doesn’t even look at me. We hardly have sex…..I have gained some weight after marriage…may be that’s the reason. He hates how I look and is not attracted to me!!”--- Pooja Mehra married for 6months.
A lot of married women experience and express feelings of depression and low self-esteem. On the face of it, everything seems to be going fine. People around them including their husbands wonder what is wrong with their partner. She seems more quarrelsome, irritated, cribbing about the smallest of the things and generally in a bad mood.
What most husbands fail to realise is that, this behaviour has to do with their responses to their wives.
Let’s look at Pooja Mehra’s case in a little more depth.
Pooja is a 27yr old women married for about 6months. She comes from a Punjabi family. She works in a customer service department of a private bank. While her husband Mahesh works as a Sales Manager with an Equity firm. They had an arranged marriage. They had a beautiful courtship period of 9months, where Mahesh would make every moment of togetherness special for her. He would flirt with her, hold her, never let go of an opportunity to kiss her. His every action and word showed a strong physical attraction towards Pooja.
However, one month after returning from their romantic honeymoon things started changing. Mahesh got busy with his work. His work involved long hours and mental pressure which is common in a sales job. His workplace was 1hr from home. So commuting for minimum 2hrs took a toll on his physical energy. At the end of the week, he would be so drained both physically and mentally, that all that he would want to do was sleep, laze around and watch TV.
Pooja could not understand, a sudden change in Mahesh. She perceived his actions as, being aloof, distance and someone who didn’t care about her. He hardly responded to her messages and WhatsApp’s, he would often forget to return her calls or not answer her calls. When he would be at home he would rarely hug her, kiss her or even hold her hand. He would be more interested on weekends to meet his friends and drink. Small physical gestures and need for sex were very less. Pooja had assumed that he was no more attracted to her. He needed a wife only to take care of his family. She thought that he was aggressive at work and prioritized his work over her. She felt that he wanted to pretend that he was hardworking and hence liked to stay longer at work.
All in all, she felt neglected. This affected her self-esteem. She had feelings of loneliness and lacked affection. She would cry easily and fight even more easily, Mahesh could not understand where Pooja’s frustration was coming from. He could not relate to it and was unintentionally avoiding her. This was having an adverse effect on their marriage.
Impact of lack of intimacy on Married women
Low self-esteem: Lack of displayed attention is associated with low self-esteem. Many women feel that their man has lost interest in them, or they are no longer good looking, or that “he didn’t like what he saw.” This in-turn leads to poor body image, negative procrastination.
Feelings of depression: prolonged lack of intimacy has been shown to be directly associated with feelings of depression.
Anxiety and stress: low feelings about one self and neglected environment can affect other areas of life leading to anxiety and stress.
Pick on fights: women can find other reasons not related to lack of intimacy, to express their dislike. This may cause fights in the couple, further distancing them from each other.
Tips for men:
Acknowledge and reciprocate her feelings: acknowledge that everyone has a need to be expressed that he/she is loved. If your wife has sent you a message while you were in a meeting and you couldn’t reply. The least you can do later is tell her that he liked the message and he is sorry that could not reply then.
Share your stressors: Share with your wife your work conditions not only while you have a fight. Make it part of your conversation. If she can’t understand how stressed you are, one reason could be that you don’t let her know it.
Understand your partner’s emotional needs and empathize: Men and women are different and have different emotional needs and different ways of expressing it too. So your wife is not childish or immature when she says that you don’t express that you still love her.
Express more often: Express how much you love your wife with small intimate gestures like holding hands, cuddling in bed, kissing good byes etc.
Take a break from work: try maintaining a balance between work and family. Take a break from work to do small things with your wife. E.g. go for a walk together every morning, or have a cup of coffee together, indulge in activities together.
Physical intimacy doesn’t always mean sex: this is for both men and women to know. That physical intimacy doesn’t not always mean you need to have an intercourse. At the same time it’s important to express your love and attraction for each other and this can be done as mentioned above with small gestures like holding hands, cuddling while watching television, hugging, hugging and sleeping, kissing a good bye etc.
Tips for women:
Don’t make the man the centre of your world: Your world doesn’t start or end with your husband. He is an integral part of your life but not the only thing.
Find different ways of enjoying yourself: Develop hobbies and interests that you indulge in on your own. Like reading, exercising, going for a walk, art, gardening etc.
Have your social circle: Most women have reported to not be in touch with their friends once they are married off. This often leaves them feeling more lonely and isolated. It’s important to meet your friends regularly and step out on your own to spend a day with them.
Know what is bothering you and state only that: Most women often leave out actual issue that is bothering them and instead express dislike to every other thing. Sit with your spouse and express why you feel low and state the actual reason. Don’t wait for it to become a big issue.
If you are experiencing low mood you are facing relationship troubles or there is something that is not right in your marriage, get complete help online here at ePsyClinic.com. Marriage is one of the most crucial things in one's life. A problem there can rock the entire life of a person so do not ignore.
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Tags: #intimacy #depression