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Under The Cover Of Darkness

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By Anzee Malik

When night falls all kinds of demons are let loose on the world, lurking behind the curtain, hiding behind doors, under the bed – one by one, they all start showing themselves. And trapped and bewildered by their presence man behaves in strange ways. Men, who during the light of the day are in complete denial of their own demons, feel comforted and protected by the all-engulfing darkness around them and transform into bold and brave beings who are not afraid to show their demons to their intimate bed fellows.

Girls, on the other hand, almost always remain in denial. Some manage to even kill their demons by merely denying their very existence. And this difference between the way men and women deal with their demons become a cause for some major psychosexual problems.

I will share a case of a woman who suffered from freezing -up syndrome after eight years of a very successful married life. Her major symptoms included paranoia, sleeplessness, sensitivity to touch, shyness especially at any move towards intimacy.

After months of therapy the doctors were able to extract some information about her relations with her husband. The husband was a jealous type and easily got suspicious of any man who got in contact with his wife especially in his absence. However, at night in the seclusion of their bedroom the husband enjoyed creating various imaginary scenarios in which he would create scenes where his wife was in the company of other men, who wanted her and who admired her and then he wanted to get intimate with her and she could not return his passion.

With time the mental situation of the female partner got so bad that she would not even bear the thought of herself being in an intimate relationship with her husband.

The husband’s fantasy is not uncommon; a large number of men find it exciting to imagine that their wives are desired by other men. It becomes a problem when the fantasy becomes a demon of the dark and during the daylight hours, a cause for insecurity. It is this insecurity which was the reason for the wife’s paranoia. She knew that his fantastical stories which gave him pleasure at night became his worst nightmares during the day time. He would become so tinted by the suggestive power of his own imagination that he made his wife’s life miserable.

The first eight years of their marriage during which they produced three beautiful children went by without any complications because there was no need for fantasies. They were both young and interested in each other. Time changed that too. All couples, no matter how loving, at some point in their relationship lose the passion which keeps them glued to each other in the initial years of their marriage. This is the time when fantasy starts to play an important role. The fantasy is usually something which these men acquire at a very early age- usually during their adolescent age. To feel young they fall back on their adolescent period tactics.

The fantasy which reappears when the marriage is losing its excitement is something that these men pick up from porn movies or the literature they are exposed to, at their young age. They store this information which intrigues them in some hidden compartment of their brains. When they acquire a certain level of security and familiarity with their partners they let these demons loose.

Women also have such fantasies but their up-bringing never allows them to feed it beyond a certain limit. Once a woman gets married, her primary concern is not intimacy with her partner but a million other concerns related to her image in her husband’s family, her children, her home and home economics. The husband is also concerned about these things but since she is the primary care taker of these concerns he finds the luxury to indulge in reliving fantasies of youth.

The nature of these fantasies depending on the exposure of the husband during his growing-up years can be very varied – starting from trying different positions and ending up in orgies.  Most women cope with these fantasies well, because they realize that with a passage of time they are nothing more than talk, bordering on absurd to distasteful; but that’s what it is; just talk. Couples can usually very easily separate their fantasy world from their real life. These fantasies become another thing that binds them closer together. It is their little dark secret which either both or at least one of them enjoy.

However, when the real life or the daytime life gets affected by it then it becomes a serious problem. We already discussed one case in which the husband had let his own fantasy influence his judgment and made his wife uncomfortable. The other most common factor is the shame which makes it hard for both partners face each other in the day time. They carry the guilt of wrong doing in their hearts and if they are not sorted at early stages, they can ruin their marriage entirely.

If the couple is open about their problem and cooperate with the psychologist in evaluating it, they are sorted out in a matter of just a few visits. Those who think they are probably the only odd couples in the world who have fallen to such depths to seek cheap thrills prefer not to talk about their issues. They fight over unrelated things which results in pulling them  apart. If they decide to come to a psychologist at this stage they will probably not know  what had triggered tension between them.

There is a simple formula for couples to avoid psychosexual problems caused by the above mentioned reasons – they must talk to each other. If that is not acceptable they must talk to a professional and put their minds at ease so these changing shapes and dynamics of their relationship will only result in strengthening their bond and not pulling them apart.

All couples who feel they cannot deal with something like this and it is affecting their matrimonial bliss should seek professional help.

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