Friday, January 19 , 2018, 5:25 pm | Fair 59º


Randi Rabin: Husband Afraid of Sex During Pregnancy; Son Learning Dad’s Negative Self-Talk

Dear Feelings Doctor: I am three months pregnant and my husband will not touch me. We used to have tons of sex, and now he is afraid to do anything. I am more aroused now than ever! What is going on, and how can we continue to have a fun, hot marriage?

— Gayle in Santa Barbara

Dear Gayle: Your changing hormones and sex drive are just the first part of everything in your life becoming wonderfully unpredictable! Your husband may be a bit uneasy thinking that the baby could be hurt in some way while having sex. This is a normal reaction with a first-time pregnancy.

The fetus is securely protected (the cervix and amniotic sac will protect your baby). If he needs more reassurance, have him speak directly to your ob/gyn. Parenthood is a magical journey into the unknown with all the hormones dashing through your body, from your breasts to the rest of you. This is a time when the increased blood flow heightens every part of you.

Embrace each moment of this beautiful dance. Stay connected with your husband, and share what is going on with him as you continue to change — inside and out. This time is for you and your man to sink even deeper into the love and caring that you have for each other. This commitment will be the fuel that nurtures and protects your new baby, now and always.

Dear Feelings Doctor: I am in need of some advice for my family. My husband is hardworking and kind — and has a temper! It is the strangest thing. He only has negative things to say about himself. If he doesn't do something just perfect, he begins yelling at himself and says, "You are such an idiot! How could you be so stupid?!"

It has always bugged me some, but I never really thought about it much until yesterday when my 6-year-old son was playing with his blocks and called himself stupid for attempting to put the round cube in the square hole. It made me cry. Advice for my family, please.

— Patty in Goleta

Dear Patty: Negative self-talk is one thing that you need never pass down to your son. If this has been your husband’s behavior since the two of you met, suggesting that he get some tools to manage this behavior is right on target.

Learning how to be kind to ourselves just as we would our close friends and people we care about is something we all deserve. Having failures and making mistakes is a part of living life and being human. Keeping score with perfection just leads to higher stress levels and in some cases depression.

Perhaps make an appointment with a counselor for the two of you so you both can brush up on things that need your attention — behaviors you are absolutely sure you do not want your son to emulate.

There is a difference between, “You are a bad boy!” and saying, “Your ‘behavior’ was questionable today.” It’s a subtle difference, but oh so powerful in the self-esteem category.

Got a question for The Feelings Doctor? Click here to submit a question anonymously.

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Imagine This ...

"The pain is already done. The crying is the healing ..." — John Harris

— Psychotherapist Randi Rabin, M.A., MFTI, answers reader questions in her weekly Noozhawk column, The Feelings Doctor, and can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Antioch University Santa Barbara and completed her master’s degree in psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute under the guidance of renowned psychologist Stephen Aizenstat, Pacifica’s chancellor and founding president. She has worked as a counselor with a number of local nonprofit organizations and schools. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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