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Is my husband having an affair?

Q: I am 42 years old, married for the last 17 years. My problem is that till now we have not had actual intercourse due to which we don't have any children. In the early days of marriage, my husband was very much interested in physical intimacy but after some years he lost interest. We have been to several doctors but nobody found any problem with me. My husband didn't get himself checked. Earlier he had shift duties and from one year he has been having normal duty. He is avoiding me for physical intercourse. Because of this I feel he may be having an affair with someone and is hence avoiding me. I found some hair on his underwear and some semen stains too. This hurt me. I asked him how this happened and he said that it simply happened. He does not feel attracted towards me. I am very thin and he likes a little fat and big breasts. He does not speak to me openly. I am a very open minded person so I ask him if I have any doubts, which makes him angry. Because of all this I am going through a lot of stress. Please help me from this. My husband is 49 years old and a little fat. He drinks normally and smokes cigarettes within limits. Do I need to consult a marriage counsellor?

A:If your need is for a child, then I must explain to you that at your age it is an extreme health risk to conceive. This is not only dangerous for you but also for the child it may be a better idea to think of alternative ways such as adoption. As for your suspecting your husband I am not sure if this is evidence enough. Also, you have not specified if the statement that your husband is not attracted to you is an assumption or if it has been told to you directly by him, in which case it is important to know if this is said out of anger or is it repeatedly told to you. You also need to assess if he does not share things with you because he is like that as a person or because there has been something that has upset him lately. It may be normal for his sex drive to decrease with age and may reappear at a later stage, however, if smoking and drinking have increased lately these may also have an effect. Instead of accusing or doubting him, I suggest that you share your concern with him but approach and discuss this carefully. You may have to build a comfortable relationship with him first, where he is open to discussing problems with you, this may start with you spending more time with him and discussing things such as his work, office or common interests, etc . You cannot approach a counsellor without the need for it being felt by both of you, so in this regard it may be better to discuss it with him first and you could find a local counsellor or visit one in most hospital settings near you, for this you could also look up your local directory.

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