I don’t want to have sex with my husband any more

A reader who married as a virgin finds sex burdensome, but doesn’t want to divorce. Mariella Frostrup says she needs to take control of her physical needs to reignite the passion

The dilemma I’m a 38-year-old lady of Muslim background, but barely practising. I married as a virgin and had an active sex life in the early years, usually initiated by him. I didn’t orgasm much, but the process was enjoyable and there was a sense of duty to fulfil his sexual desires (engraved in my head as a good Muslim wife). After 11 years of an untroubled marriage, and a now five-year-old, the sex became a duty, then a “burden”.

He associates sex with love and tells me I’m being selfish and controlling. I’m a highly qualified professional who took a career break and I’ve always been in
a strong position in this marriage. I decide where we live, how to manage our finances and where to go on holiday. He has always been kind (when not asking for sex), generous and responsible.

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Alex Vidal