My wife and I have been married for three years but she’s been denying me my conjugal rights. When she got pregnant in 2016 while we were dating, she suggested that we move in together as she was afraid of her father’s wrath if he discovered what had happened.
I agreed as I did not want my child to grow up without me.
We started cohabiting but she refused to let me touch her. I tried to make love to her several times during her pregnancy to no avail. When she told me it was because of the pregnancy, I was very understanding.
But I got concerned because even three months after she delivered and started taking contraceptives, she refused to give in to my demands for sex..
She claimed I was boring. She has also become disrespectful, controlling and abusive. Additionally, she is always on phone while in the house.
I got so desperate to the extent of suggesting that she changes her family planning method but she refused, blaming her body for her lack of interest in sex.
I started doubting if the baby was biologically mine since in her culture, a woman can’t sleep with anyone except the child’s father especially when breastfeeding but the child looks exactly like me.
I want to walk out of this sham marriage but I can’t leave my son behind. I don't want to see him suffer. I have slept with other women but this leaves me feeling empty and useless.
I’m sick of her but I can’t even talk to her father or relatives because I’m ashamed. I don’t love her and I have suffered enough.
Should I abandon my family since I’m always stressed?
Thank you for being honest. However, it is only fair to start by saying that I sense bitterness and self-righteousness in your approach to the dilemma you are facing as a couple.
You both had consensual sex before marriage and got a child.
I can identify with the fear your wife felt when she realised she was pregnant. This fear could actually have affected her response to future sexual advances.
It appears that this pregnancy brought unexpected responsibility you were not ready for at that time. She wanted cover from her parents’ wrath but this did not translate to a continuous harmonious stay together. Here were two people getting married for reasons that cannot sustain a marriage.
Of course, marriage equals responsibility. But this union must move beyond this to a place you see your part in contributing to a future of harmony together. For you, it was about her not becoming forthcoming in your advances to have intimacy.
Both of you have a lot of unprocessed issues. These will then form a foundation of rebuilding your love life. First, there is need to relook at the circumstances that brought you together. What attracted you to each other? The two of you must go back and find the one, two or three things that were core enough to draw you to each other. Second, consider the circumstances that led to the conception of the baby. Was it accidental or planned? Did she feel cheated through the process? What were your feelings after you discovered that she was pregnant?
Could the feelings at that time been so unpleasant as to cause the crack that still exists in your relationship today?
A great relationship where a couple feels mutually affirmed and supported is healthy for intimacy. In addition, where the partners in a relationship show responsible behaviour that is carried through their actions and beliefs, emotional intimacy is possible.
The apprehension and distance you currently feel in the relationship is both unhealthy and a killer of true intimacy. It should also be noted that, unless the underlying issues are discovered and dealt with, the cracks will widen.
The shame and disappointment you have are manifesting themselves through your actions. Don’t think she is naive on the fact that you could be fooling around.
Do not kill yourself with your own medicine. If you truly believe that she is the right one for you, let her know about your feelings towards her.
Assure her of your unconditional love. Second, get a redefinition of the word love. Indeed, you love her. However, love demands that you protect her, be kind to her and suffer with her.
It appears like your definition of love is encapsulated in the action of being in bed with her. Maybe the two of you need to look at love differently. Third, seek help from a spiritual or professional counsellor.
To assume that her current cries and your frustrations are not part of what happened in your past is a lie. It does not take a rocket scientist to see that one thing has led to another until you now have what looks like a dysfunctional relationship.
As I mentioned earlier, if not resolved, fear also has a way of affecting how a person perceives and approaches sexual intimacy.
Try and avoid any advances towards sex, and instead seek the following: First, return the marriage to a path of frank and open disclosures about past pain.
Second, if you are a prayerful person seek the help of God and a good spiritual mentor to help confront any negative past. Third, give your relationship time to heal.
Of importance is for you to build confidence in each other. If given time, sex becomes more meaningful in marriage.
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