My wife and I are best friends, but neither she nor I am taking the initiative to have sex. Recently, I was attracted to a colleague and slept with her at an offsite meeting. I told my wife and she was upset. We spoke about us not having sex and yet there is an apathy to initiate sex in both. I don’t know what to do.
An apathetic approach to any challenge that a couple faces leads to a gradual parting of ways that may go beyond sexual disinterest and other estrangements. Couples often lose touch with what brought them together in the first place. Some relationships also run a limited course. A happy bond between a couple is greatly bolstered by the friendship, loyalty, care, respectful dialogue and trust that they share. The fact that you had a sexual encounter with your colleague meant that there is something that you've been craving for in your relationship that you were unable to get and thus, you chose to have those suppressed urges addressed in ways that may be frowned upon and seen as moral infractions that contradict the tents of monogamy. To be discovered as having strayed from one's partner is bound to have grave ramifications that directly affect the health of the relationship unless genuine forgiveness is sought from one's partner. A visit to a relationship counsellor will help both of you'll learn more about each other and perhaps also find a way to articulate needs while healing old wounds too.
My cousin hinted at wanting to have sex with me at a relative’s wedding. I am constantly thinking about her offer and then feel guilty about even considering it. How do I deal with these intrusive thoughts?
There is a qualitative difference between 'inadvertently having a thought', 'consciously entertaining a thought' and 'acting on a thought'. Acting upon sexual impulses is not the same as having a sexual impulse. Acting on a sexual impulse can come with certain repercussions and burdens that are hard to predict. Should you wish to have sex with your cousin sister, it would be seen as a condemn-worthy incestuous relationship in many a family. However, in certain tribal societies, refugee populations, cultures and insular communities, it is common, customary and encouraged for cousins to marry each other to continue the bloodline. A lot that is said, done and expected from individuals has a lot to do with learnt behaviour through their cultures, families and their exposure to institutionalised regimentation regimes like schools. When this is combined with a highly individualistic code of values that governs one's life, one is predisposed to the often tedious exercise of dynamic decision-making with no guarantee of how everything pans out. There is a cost attached to every decision. Will your sexual activity lead you down an embarrassing and regretful spiral or is it going to culminate in you becoming her spouse? It depends on what culture you are an ambassador of and what decisions you are emotionally prepared to be held accountable for.
(Dr Aman Rajan Bhonsle, Ph.D, is a consulting relationship counsellor and youth mentor)