Unlock You Intimacy: Feeling unattractive and handling infidelity

Dr Aman Rajan BhonsleUpdated: Saturday, April 02, 2022, 06:00 PM IST
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I’ve put on a lot of weight after childbirth and don’t feel attractive. Though my husband is constantly reassuring me and says he finds me as attractive as before, but I’m so self-conscious that I just can’t get into the sexual act. I also can’t get myself into a fitness routine. What do I do?

Your low self-esteem needs to be addressed both efficiently and effectively through psychotherapy. You must remember that there's a lot more to you than how your body looks. As long are you're healthy, you've won half the battle against your mortality. Physical attraction is subjective. Whether it's the body's dimensions or someone's skin colour, people are enamoured by different aspects of a person's physical and psychological being depending on personal and sometimes cultural preferences. Your husband's reassurances must be taken at face value or else you may find yourself double guessing a lot that comes your way. Weight gain after childbirth is expected and normal because the body acts as nature's preferred incubation chamber and home for a completely new organism who will enter our wonderful but mostly unpredictable world to grapple with and solve problems just like the rest of us. The sexual act feels comfortable when you're sharing your body and space with someone who respects and cares for you. If it helps, try to spend a lot more time on foreplay with your partner with the lights turned down. A fitness routine works best when it is paired with a robust nutrition plan that helps you go into caloric deficit (this means that you're consuming fewer calories than you are burning — through exercise). Find an exercise routine that suits you and consult with a nutritionist, fitness expert and gynaecologist so you can have the body you want and work towards all your goals and dreams without judging yourself or wanting overnight results.

My wife has admitted her affair with her salsa teacher and is neither willing to stop the affair nor file for a mutual consent divorce. I am suffering from seeing her dressing up and going out every night. There are no elders, we have no children, I fear loneliness and have no courage to fight a divorce case alone. Please help.

You needn't fight a divorce case alone. You need to hire the services of a competent divorce lawyer. Understandably, the burden of proof on what is happening behind your back may rest with you and you must be very careful about planning your exit from this marriage and the expiry of your association with your cheating spouse (since it would appear — that is what you'd like). Admitting that one is having an affair is not the same as expressing remorse about having the affair. In all relationships, discomforts must be discussed without prejudice and hesitation in a respectful, patient and honest manner. Her dressing up and going out goes beyond being just a fashion statement and seems to have become the choice-based pattern that is now invoking fear and humiliation in you. This discomfort must be addressed in a session with a psychotherapist so you can explore all your various options with a certain clear-headedness and access to objectivity. This will also enhance your understanding of how to make different choices in the future that don't send you down a similar path of harassment and loneliness.

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