In Summary
  • The names you call or refer to your spouse is the single most predictor of the health of your relationship. There is so much in a name.
  • When you decide to abandon the sweet names and use nasty ones in referring to someone you once loved it is time to seek intimacy counselling.

Hezron, a long-time client of the Sexology Clinic, was in the clinic late last December seeking help to make his wife talk again.

“She has gone mum on me, totally nil by mouth for one month now,” Hezron lamented. “My house is very uncomfortable to live in and I need urgent help before I break down.”

Hezron and his wife, Joan, were both in their late thirties and had been married for seven years. They had two children.

They were both engineers and met at university pursuing the course. Hezron now runs a private construction company while Joan is a civil servant.

The couple have been in the clinic a couple of times to learn how to make their sex lives more satisfying.

“I always assumed you are very good at communicating with each other; going mum for a month is rather unusual,” I remarked.

His gaze was fixed in the horizon. He was in deep thought, or possibly in deep reflection. He was a disturbed man.

“She got offended because I called her granny,” Hezron explained in a monotone. “I needed to pass a point but I did not know it would lead to non-ending conflict.”


Incidentally, the couple had been having trouble in the bedroom in the three months prior to the incident.

Joan did not have the urge for sex and pushed Hezron off many times. Hezron got annoyed. He had this misguided belief that women stop having sex when they reach a certain age.

“It is something I heard from my grandma but I am not sure how true it is,” he explained.

He told Joan about this myth at a certain point when they were in talking terms.

Joan was therefore very much aware of the message he was trying to pass when he called her granny. From that point on she wouldn’t talk to him.

But trivial as it may seem, the name your sex partner or spouse uses on you carries a lot of meaning.

Newly-married couples call each other honey, sweetheart, hubby to express their deep affection for each other; they are emotionally connected; they deeply care for each other and would like to make each other happy, and so they wrap all these feelings into a name which they use for each other.

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