When One Partner’s Desire for Celibacy is Stronger


My partner and I are both kriyabans. We are married and dedicated to finding God. My question is about my partner who seems less and less interested in the physical aspects of our intimacy and more and more interested in going deeper into God. This means that his desire for celibacy is stronger than mine and sometimes I feel like he doesn't care for me as much as he used to. Please give me some advice, thank you and jai guru!

—katrina, usa


Dear Friend,

Have you attempted to discuss this with your partner? If he is indeed consciously making the effort to be self-controlled and less physical, it is very difficult to separate that from a withdrawal of feelings of caring and love. However, it is by no means impossible.

An open and honest discussion can help clear the air and help him find ways to be more loving even as he seeks to be more self-controlled.

If you can speak openly and calmly I suggest you simply say that it is difficult to separate the effort to be more self-controlled from the impression that he is less caring and loving.

If I were advising him, I would encourage him to go out of his way to be kinder and more thoughtful and to express his love in other ways, often intimate, too, but not in a physical way. Thoughtfulness and intimacy are as much expressed by doing small things – saying hello and goodbye in meaningful ways, and doing other things, fun, creative, or serviceful, together… so many ways to express love and caring that are often more meaningful in their own way than in physical intimacy.

Be sure you are meditating together; chanting is wonderful for many reasons, including uplifting the feelings towards God.

At the same time, please understand that such self-control is not easy to maintain in close quarters and desires are easily aroused in intimate moments that are otherwise innocent and casual.

So, I suggest you be calm and patient. If you express anger or resentment or hurt, it will make him feel guilty or angry and things will get worse before they get better. Be patient and understanding.

In fact, if you carefully and quietly try to be more thoughtful and attentive (but without having expectations or desires of your own) of him, that may help the most, whether you can discuss this with him or not.

Above all try to avoid reacting. He may be experimenting with his own self-control and the worst thing is if he fails he may blame it on you (not that he should, of course, but he might). Give him time to sort it out and do your best to re-direct your desires and feelings into wholesome activities, meditation, and devotion.

Nayaswami Hriman