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My wife and I are incompatible, I should leave her, but what happens to our son?

Monday September 23 2019

relationships

Personality differences make it hard for a couple to walk towards common goals, aspirations and dreams. PHOTO | FILE 

PHILIP KITOTO
By PHILIP KITOTO
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Hello Pastor Kitoto,

Thank you for your great advice. I’m 29, and have a son with a 27-year-old woman I met through a mutual friend. She conceived in 2016 after we agreed to have a child.

We never dated, rather, we began to live together. Over time, I have come to realise that we are not compatible: she does not grow, nor does she challenge me at all. She agrees to everything I say and has no ideas of her own, leaving me to do all the thinking and hustling. Frustrated, I started doing things without consulting her, yet she does not complain.

This is not all, we are not from the same tribe. Furthermore, since 2016, I have been asking her to set a date so that we can visit her parents, but she seems disinterested.

We have gone to visit my parents thrice, but all those times I’ve coerced her to. All these has led me to lose interest in her sexually: her slightest touch disgusts me. I want us to part ways and co-parent. Kindly advise me.

Hello,

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The first issue you raise is the fact that the two of you did not date, rather, got a baby as soon as you started to live together. The second issue is the frustration you face as you seek to know your wife more. I also sense a lack of effective communication. Finally is the sexual disinterest you feel towards her.

It’s clear that the piling of unresolved issues has made things worse by the day in your relationship. I believe that the genesis of your problems has to do with the fact that you did not get time to know each other before moving in together and getting a baby. Your problems aside, your son is looking to both of you for his well-being.

It would be sad, after consenting to have him, for him to grow up without the constant care of both of you. Your decision should therefore consider this fact.

While at it, you may need to revisit the reasons that led you to get in too deep too soon and have a baby. What did you see in each other that made you think you could do life together? By identifying these key issues, followed by a visit to a marriage counsellor, you might just find the solution to your challenges.

RELATIONSHIP

I also note that your perspective is that your relationship is facing challenges due to personality clashes. What you need to note, however, is the fact that no two people are similar. In addition, no marriage is without problems. Worth noting is that there are couples that dated for a while before getting married yet still encounter challenges in their relationship, hence there are no guarantees in relationships. People change, so do relationships, so your challenges are not insurmountable.

Note that your wife might disagree with your complaint that she has not grown in your relationship and does not challenge you. You are also frustrated when she agrees to everything you suggest; what if she was prone to challenging your ideas often? Interestingly, there are those who would wish their spouses were as agreeing as your wife.

Of course, every relationship needs to aim at growth that arises from contributions from both partners. However, you have to appreciate that there is a place for personal differences and how they play into the health and growth of a relationship.

Some argue that an individual’s personality is structured and, therefore, remains unchanging over time and in the face of various situations. Since personality influences behaviour and how we react to situations, an investigation into what triggers such response from her is essential. Personality differences make it hard for a couple to walk towards common goals, aspirations and dreams.

As a result, you may need to make individual sacrifices and compromises to please each other. It appears that both of you react differently when confronted by different situations. Knowing this will make you more accepting of your wife’s behaviour.

PERSONALITY

Can you change her? I’m of the opinion that we are the product of many influences. People often debate the place of God, nurturing and influence of nature on an individual’s personality.

Instead of forcing change on your partner, it may be wise to accept and compliment them. Of course where the differences are enormous, breaking the engagement or courtship is advisable. However, we must guard against self-preservation methods where we only see our partner as the one deserving to change.

You have brought up another issue of tribe – does the tribe she comes from bother you or is it the fact that she has not introduced you to her parents?

Separating the two is key to seeing where your highest tension is. If she is evasive and totally refuses to make this connection, yet she is received well by your parents when you visit, then there is an issue here that needs resolving. If you forced her to make the three visits, then she must be going through some fear that she needs to talk about.

As for sex, you need to realise that sexual desire is influenced by how well, or how poorly you relate to one another. You have to get to the place where she is special and means a lot to you before sex can work well for you.

I also need to ask whether getting a baby so soon into your relationship could have affected your relationship in one way or another. Was she okay with it? Were her parents okay with it? If she harbours fear towards them or you in relation to this baby, then this could be to blame for many of the challenges you’re experiencing.

My wife no longer wants to have sex with me

Hello Pastor Kitoto,
I have been in a good relationship with my wife for two years now. However, she has changed the last three months, in that she is no longer interested in having sex with me. I have tried to talk to her to find out where the problem lies but she won’t tell me. I need help.
Hi there,
It is also important to note that marriage has its seasons. Author Mark Gungor in his book, Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage writes, “A successful marriage is not the result of two empty souls finding each other in an attempt to “complete” each other. In fact, two empty and unfulfilled people in a marriage will make a marriage of two empty, unfulfilled souls.”

Gungor argues that a successful marriage is only possible when two committed and happy spouses get together for the purpose of building a life together. We are not called to complete each other. We each have a part to contribute to the marriage.

SEXUAL SATISFACTION

Your sexual satisfaction can, therefore, only be guaranteed by both of you. Since your problem concerns sex, knowing that the bedrock of great sex is nestled in communication and how you relate is important. It’s therefore necessary to revisit the perception you have of each other and what effects that perception has on your marriage.

First, how you view each other affects how you receive your input in any given issue. Second, how you speak to each other will reveal whether what you say makes your wife feel validated or not. Bob Stritof, an author, agrees. “Sex with your partner can become more satisfying because you know each other's likes, dislikes, habits, and preferences,” he says.

You need to consider what satisfies and stimulates both of you without being offensive or demeaning each other.

How bring the spark back?

First, you have to make communication a key part of your engagement. If you’re going to have a healthy and active sex life, you need to communicate your needs. Good communication should seek to address past and present issues that could hinder the growth of your relationship, any anxieties and frustrations. Using language that is affirming and appreciative of your spouse is also key.

Second, both of you should learn to resolve petty issues that arise in the relationship fast. Unresolved anger or fears in particular can be a cause of sexual tension and disharmony. Anger is inevitable in marriage. There’s no way you can live together and not get upset at each other at all. In marriage, the issue is not whether a couple will ever experience anger, but whether they have the power and will to deal with it. Misunderstandings and anger that goes unresolved for a long period can trigger frustration and change how a couple feel about each other.

MARRIAGES

In most marriages, sex acts as a thermometer and a thermostat. When a couple enjoys good sex, feelings of intimacy are generated, but when there’s little or no sex, the relationship tends to go south. My prayer is that you talk openly and share your sexual desires while addressing each other’s concerns, feelings, and fears that could hinder intimacy.

Third, as much as sex is spontaneous, it’s the outcome or the culmination of a great plan. A well-oiled plan for a meaningful sexual encounter should be preceded with affirmation, flirting, phone calls and gifts where possible. Schedule sex.

Fourth, sex must never be taken as a duty. Just like a marriage goes through seasons, there are moments when you will have to put in extra work to make sex great.

As a couple grows their love life together, they get to learn their love language and rhythm that leads to great sexual encounters. To this effect, emotional intelligence helps.

This is the ability to study and understand your spouse’s emotions and knowing how to best navigate around them. I wish you the best.

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