My fiancée hates being intimate with me

What you need to know:

He hates being intimate and when we do finally have that moment, he is selfish and only cares about his satisfaction. When I complain, he insults me so badly to the point of getting physical.

My fiancée and I have been together a while and have one child. Although we love each other, I am starting to question whether I can continue with the relationship. He hates being intimate and when we do finally have that moment, he is selfish and only cares about his satisfaction. When I complain, he insults me so badly to the point of getting physical. We recently had a fight and he called my parents telling them to come and take back their ‘‘bad mannered daughter’’. I have since been living with my parents but instead of asking for my forgiveness, he has demanded that I return home immediately or pick my things and leave for good. What should I do?


Dear Joan,

It is a painful reality but love is not always as easy to give and receive as we would like to think. Although relationships can feel like a tug of war with one of us struggling to pull closer while the other resists, engaging in the blame game is never the solution. Too often, we build a case against the people we are involved with. We use their flaws against them, cataloging their shortcomings in our minds until admiration slowly turns into distrust. When this transformation occurs, we become highly attuned to our partners’ less desirable traits.

We start to filter and distort our view of them, so that they fit into the case we have built against them. We fail to see our partners as they really are, and when we do not see all aspects of a person, we become bent out of shape ourselves. Staying vulnerable, open and compassionate toward our partner can make them feel safe and allow them to take a chance on being close. Being our best is the surest way to bring out the best in our partners.

If we notice our partners pulling away at certain points, it is helpful to explore ways we might be contributing to the problem or even provoking it. A good exercise is to look at what our partner does that we dislike the most, then think about what we do right before that. If a partner is unwilling to open up, do we do anything that might contribute to them shutting down? Do we nag? Get distracted? Do we talk down to them by trying to fix their problems or telling them what to do? Do we complain to them? Do we ever draw them out or just let them vent? We can take a powerful position in making our relationship closer by changing our own behaviour.

When engines are revved and chords are struck, it is not always the best time to get into a conversation about the state of our relationship. However, once you have cooled down and have your emotions in check, you should have an open dialogue with your partner about the issues you are facing.

Seeing a therapist can also be helpful in uncovering why each of you is behaving the way you are. The more you understand yourselves and what drives your behaviour, the better able you are to choose your actions and be open with your feelings. When two people in a relationship know themselves and each other, they can point out when the other is overreacting without placing blame or building a case.

Reader advice

Have a conversation

Freddie Rukundo. You cannot force him to make love to you, the more you force him the more he will hate you or feel like you are abusing him sexually. He has no physical and emotional connection with you and this is why when he tries to make love to you, he does it for the sake of peace and this is why he got agitated when you complained about him being selfish. Ask him what the problem is. He may be going through challenges. Marriage is not a bed of roses but face him and talk about it even if it hurts.

Is it worth all the trouble?

Bartholomew Diaz Nsubuga. You either apologise or pick your things and go. There is a whole world out there and many people who will love you for who you are. It is not worth staying with someone who does not appreciate you. Be a lover, not a clingy person. It is okay to be concerned about your child’s future but you will not be the first single mother. First take care of yourself.

Find out why

Joseph Kyebayiga. Try to find out why he is behaving this way. Sometimes, men get traumatised by a past experience with you. He probably needs some time alone to kind of rekindle the spark he had for you.

He has lost feelings

Patrick Maxwell. He has lost feelings for you and he is probably seeing another person. Politely ask him to tell you what the problem is and together, find a solution to this problem.

Leave his home

Ezekiel Erima. The only problem i see here is that you know what to do but you fear to take action. Leave his home. If you have to beg for love, then it does not exist.

He is violent

Hilda Kahunde Abwooli. Do not go back there alone, that man is violent and he might cause you irreversible harm. Go with someone he respects, pick your belongings and leave that man for good. There is no reason to stay with someone who beats you.

Take your belongings

Phoebe Miriam. What do you want from a selfish man? He has not married you officially which is okay. Get your belongings and move on, do not act like he is the only fish in the ocean with his bad manners.

Communication is key

Justine Woods. Dealing with a lack of intimacy in a relationship is honest, judgment-free communication. There’s no way around this one. Diving in headfirst can be daunting. Instead, start small with a little self-disclosure. Above all else, the communication process must be reciprocal and free of judgment. Try listening more than you speak. Now isn’t the time to demand more intimacy, it is time to understand where your partner is coming from.

Leave for good

Phoebe Miriam. No one should stay with a partner who is violent. Since you have already left his home, look for ways to live your life as an independent, happy woman.

Evelyn Kharono Lufafa is a counselling psychologist with Sermotherapy Counselling Foundation

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