When people are struggling with uncontrollable behaviors, it’s puzzling why they do it because they’re adults and should be able to do what they want to do. Since the behavior is puzzling to the person, it gets kicked to the side, until it builds and blows to becomes a bigger problem.
How does a sexless marriage and addictive behaviors go hand in hand? Let’s discuss how to fix a marriage when dealing with no intimacy and uncontrollable behaviors.
Keep in mind, in this article, addictive behaviors are behaviors we have told ourselves we are going to stop doing, or behaviors we tell ourselves we are going to start doing but we’re unable to do it.
A sexless marriage is a very common reason for addictive behaviors or uncontrollable behaviors. In a sexless marriage, people use it as an excuse to justify their behavior. Below we discuss a case example of uncontrollable behaviors and how to fix a marriage.
A woman seeks therapy due to her hopelessness. She was hopeless because her husband was working excessively and their sex life was on the back burner and barely existent. The woman felt completely tossed aside by her husband. This left her feeling hopeless because she had talked to him repeatedly, but nothing would change.
She felt hopeless about what to do and turned to food. She felt as though eating was the only way she could keep afloat and take care of her responsibilities, she had no choice.
This hopelessness had started as a child when her mother had the same issue with her father. Her father would come home late, her mother would get all worked up, and leave dinner for her and her brother to eat alone. Once her father made it home, a huge argument would happen. During this time, the woman would take the leftover food, eat the remains, and hide dishes in her room. She would wake up early in the morning to clean up the dishes, in order to hide the fact that she had eaten the food. The mother would find out and scold her, and this became an issue between them.
The mother would still interfere with the woman’s eating and weight as an adult.
The woman felt like food was her only source of comfort. When asked why she doesn’t speak with her husband for comfort, the client felt like there was nothing left to be said, because she had already said it all.
The lie was that there was no other choice to survive infidelity. What this lie was covering up was shame over her overeating and a tremendous fear about using constructive aggression.
The Step to Healing:
While she had talked to her husband a lot, she never raised the stakes or used a bit more aggression to get him to see how important it was to her.
It was important for the client to understand that it was her responsibility to advocate for herself. People make the mistake of thinking since they have said something once, the other person should then advocate for them. Or in other words, since they have expressed something once, the other person should make the next move.
It doesn’t work this way, the client had the problem; therefore, it was her responsibility to advocate for herself. This doesn’t mean she was going to destroy her marriage, it just means she had to use stronger language.
Such as, “This is serious, when you make a promise and you do not fulfill it, you’re hurting the trust between us and it’s destroying our relationship.”
By using stronger words, her husband paid attention, and in this case, she actually did end up going to a divorce attorney to understand her options. This was the final constructive aggression move that got her husband to wake up and start following through on some compromises with her.
Dealing with her rage at her parents from her childhood and marriage, helped her with those hopeless feelings, and improved her life and marriage.
Hopelessness is not an option, often, this is just a lie we tell ourselves as an excuse to continue the behavior.