Seeking Emotional Attachments Over Physical Intimacy? Expert Gives Solutions

Seeking Emotional Attachments Over Physical Intimacy? Expert Gives Solutions

Dr Aman Rajan BhonsleUpdated: Thursday, February 08, 2024, 08:58 PM IST
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I discovered my husband's six-month affair with a colleague. Despite investing a decade in our relationship since college, I now feel robbed of my dreams, especially after facing family planning challenges due to his erectile issues. Our sex and relationship are both gone. How do I cope with this mess?

His choice to seek the company and embrace of another woman may understandably feel like a betrayal of the dreams you harboured as a young girl, longing for romance and lasting companionship. However, despite the bitterness of the situation, it’s crucial to confront the truth with clarity and honesty. While it might be challenging to gauge his emotional attachment, his behaviour reveals a profound lack of boundaries and respect for your desire for a monogamous relationship as his legally wedded wife. The erectile issues he’s experiencing could be indicative of underlying nervousness or a sense of inadequacy as a man. The woman he engaged with may have provided an opportunity to escape these insecurities and rekindle a romantic connection. Discovering that a husband no longer finds his wife attractive and desires someone else is undoubtedly disheartening. I‘ve encountered such situations in my therapy practice, and it is a difficult reality for many women. In these moments, I advise my clients to acknowledge that life consists of choices and rejections. Despite the disappointment in romantic aspirations, it’s crucial to maintain self-respect and dignity. Sometimes a long wait ensues and yet, is it wise to wait for change in an incompatible relationship, or is reclaiming your peace the key to moving forward? Explore these questions in therapy, as the complexity of the issue requires a multifaceted approach.

I know that men just want to play with my body and I let them too. What about companionship? How do I lay the foundations of that? I’ve slept with three of my male friends and now they won’t talk to me properly. I’m confused.

Men are often driven by lust. However, the issue at hand may be rooted in a potential confusion between seeking meaningful companionship and pursuing the fleeting excitement of purely physical relationships with frequently changing partners. While societal standards regarding morality may vary, it’s crucial to lead a life in alignment with your priorities and to respect the laws of the country you reside in, if applicable. Reflecting on your statement about having sexual relations with three male friends, consider how this experience made you feel. Could their subsequent lack of communication suggest that they might have only posed as friends to achieve a physical connection? Is it possible that your role in their lives was limited to being a sexual conquest? In such a scenario, many individuals would likely feel hurt and used. Social entanglements come with implicit rules, and typically, sex involves consenting adults who are either romantic partners or spouses. When sexual encounters extend to random acquaintances or friends without any expectation of romance, a strange power dynamic may occur. The expectation of exclusive access to intimacy with a specific person could emerge, as humans often seek a sense of ownership in their relationships to feel safe and valid. If you expect companionship, you need to be clear about that with the people you are getting physically intimate with. There is no shame in proclaiming your desires. At least, everyone's on the same page – that way.

(Dr Aman Rajan Bhonsle, Ph.D, is a consulting relationship counsellor and youth mentor)

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