What you need to know:
- For some reason, my wife has lost interest in sex. She no longer desires it.
- She has stopped showering before bed and only does it when on her period
I am an avid reader of your column. Thank you for the wonderful work you are doing. I would appreciate your advice on a pressing matter.
My wife and I have been married for 20 years and I hope we will enjoy many more years of happiness.
However, a few things have changed in the past few months. For some reason, my wife has lost interest in sex. She no longer desires it. She has stopped showering before bed and only does it when on her period.
My feeble attempts to arouse her are thwarted as she mumbles some excuse. Interestingly, she still sleeps naked next to me. The few times I get her to give in, I end up regretting the entire experience. The bathing issue has also affected intimacy due to her repulsive body odour.
The pressing issue is that my eyes have drifted to another woman. She has featured prominently in my thoughts and I often fantasise about her.
Pastor, I am afraid I could be treading on dangerous ground. As a Christian man, I never imagined I could ever think of breaking my marriage vows. I am at a crossroads. Should I abandon my faith so as to get sexual fulfilment from this other woman? What will happen to my marriage if I go down this route? Please advise me.
Thank you for reading this column. I am glad it has been useful to you.
First, let me commend you on your honesty and willingness to be vulnerable. The issues you have raised are heavy and it takes courage to open up.
You mention that you have been married for two decades, most of which have been happy years.
Many couples who have been married for more than 15 years have dealt with the same situation you are currently going through. It is almost as if affirmation and romance fly out of the window as soon as the honeymoon is over.
A friend of mine, Dr JB Masinde has written a great book on how to enjoy the honey after the honeymoon. Romance and sex in marriage is an adventure that should flow out of the spontaneity of the relationship.
It is important to note that sex is a relationship and not necessarily just an act. It is about the state of the mind. For women especially, the cares of the day and how you treat her can be a hindrance to intimacy.
The constant denying of sex on her part can foster a feeling of rejection in you causing great damage to the relationship. In addition, failure to rightfully address the issue can distract a couple from the core causes of the lack of harmony in matters of sex. I feel this is where you are.
It is dangerous to entertain the thought of being with another woman. I am glad you are aware of this danger. Take that as a warning sign and make a U-turn.
Being a man of faith, you must defend your Christianity and your marriage. Let this motivate you not to sin against your spouse and more importantly your God.
One great lesson to learn is self-control. A person without it is like a car on a slope that has lost its brakes.
This feeling of restlessness and some level of abandonment sexually might cause you to justify having an affair instead of solving the issue in your marriage. Both of you need to have an honest talk, possibly involving your best couple or a counsellor. Your wife could be harbouring resentment, a backlog of issues or maybe the sex is physically uncomfortable.
By the way, speaking of this other woman, being attracted to someone is part of human nature. However, what matters is discipline. Proper boundaries will set an individual on a path of integrity. So, take the challenge, and view the problem as being partly yours.
This is how you start resolving this dilemma. First, admit the weakness. Don’t just focus on your wife; could she be feeling rushed and unprepared? Or maybe ignored? In addition, the fact that she finds sex unattractive, should not be a license for you to compromise. Being a Christian, draw from your faith in Christ to value your commitments to him and to your wife. Suppose it was a sickness that was making her unable to be intimate, would you still want to be unfaithful?
Second, draw from what works for you. You love your wife and can’t imagine resigning your faith. Third, seek help where you feel you need it. Both of you need to engage each other in an honest talk that will lead you to healing and restoration to rebuild trust. Determine what went wrong, agree to patiently work on it together, and look for help where possible. There are many great doctors and counsellors that could help discover what could be the underlying cause of her behaviour.