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My husband has no interest in me what should I do?

Q: I have been married for a year now. My husband had a 2-year-long love affair before marriage. He still has a weakness for girls and is interested in flirting. Recently, he commented on my sister's breasts. He has also tried to fondle one of his colleagues, when she came home. He also uses bad language while talking to a friend on phone. He always says that he was never interested in marriage and married me under a compulsion. He doesn't speak well with me and gives me no right as his wife. I always thought this was due to his broken relationship and he'll change with time. But he's getting worse. He comes from office, drinks, smokes and browses the computer. Many times he would lock the door and browse the computer. I am fed up with all this. Last week, I went out of the house and took my mobile, thinking that he would search for me and call me. But he never called. He called after 4-5 hours, and said that he is not answerable to my parents. Somehow, I came home and was shocked to see that he didn't worry for me at all. He was drinking and smoking happily. Meanwhile he called his old neighbourhood friend and told her that he should have married her, as she would have kept him happier. He wanted a set up with her and she was asking whether he didn't like me, for which he did not have an answer. I was really upset. I called that girl for some reason, and she told me all this. I am going to complete 3 months of my pregnancy. But he does not care about it. I am thinking of aborting the child. Even if I give birth to the baby, he will not care for it. Please advise.

A:It is indeed a difficult situation for you. I think we all realise that in the traditional Indian setting, that love, understanding, affection develop after marriage and the starting point of the relationship is marriage rather than understanding and trust because of the “arranged” nature of the marital bond. Marriage is like an institution. While on one hand we have our rights in the marital relationship, we also need to have duties towards each other viz: acts/ verbalisations which would help in first establishing understanding, trust and eventually the bond such that sharing each other’s point of view and sharing the same frequency become the done thing not as a compulsion but as a consequence of the bond. In your specific case, where it is a recent marriage, where one of the partners has gone through a previous relationship, the task is all the more uphill. Then comes the role of caring for a pregnant partner, accepting the pregnancy, planning the pregnancy, sharing the dreams and getting into a role of a would be father – the male may also go through these periods of stress and adjustment into the phases of life. It is possible that he might have not made the transition from a single man to a married man to now, a would-be father. Before going through any knee jerk reactions, it is time to introspect, it is time to sit and have a chat with your husband, it is time to share your apprehensions, it is time to be honest but without the need to get critical, it is time to spend understanding your husband’s view of the pregnancy - fatherhood, his apprehensions etc. The right to the child is never one person’s but two people are involved and those two people have to spend time with each other to decide what they want rather than one deciding to abort as what is there to say that the relationship may not get worse after it or what is there to say that the situation may not stay the same in the next pregnancy. I would suggest spend time building the threads of attachment rather than looking for very simplistic solutions. If after your best efforts the situation does not change, it might be advisable to involve a close family member from his side first and / or visit a marriage counsellor. Eventually, it might still be that you would have to think of taking hard decisions yourself, but after talking to an elder.

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