By Michael West
In recent times, some of the issues I attended to are inimically cancerous to good relationships and marriages. IThe issuestreated below are some of the root causes of the problems plaguing several young marriages.
Turning Bedroom to ‘War Room’
Previously, I had published a letter by a reader of this column, Mrs Anonymous, wherein she stated her pains and frustration in her marriage as a result of near nil sexual intimacy.
According to her mail, she had been married for 10 years but all has since not been well especially in the bedroom. I did promise to attend to her issue today because I’m aware of several such cases in town. Regularly, I do receive complaints from married women expressing frustration and near depression situations as a result of sex starvation running for months and years. This unwholesome development has turned many bedrooms into ‘war rooms.’
To start with, several factors often lead to the unsavoury experience of women in sexless and loveless marriages. I’m taught by life experience that most of the issues militating against homes have always been there from the onset. Except otherwise concealed, the bad traits are noticeable during courtship but people often take them for granted.
Many people shy away from holding “moments of truth” discussions during their courtship where honest talks about basic issues affecting finances, in-laws, parents, likes and dislikes, beliefs, and more importantly, sex, ought to have been settled before going into marriage.
In the case of Mr. & Mrs Anonymous, they did talk about some issues but sex was taken for granted. “No woman will ever think that a man like my husband won’t be a horse rider in the bedroom. The few occasions we talked about sex was all fun. Sir, before we married, it used to be our mutual fantasy of spending romantic moments together. We had nice and fulfilling sex while dating.”
She said her husband declined to speak with me but at my request, she offered the contacts of her sister-in-law and his former colleague at work both of who volunteered some thoughts on the issue. The younger sister to Mr Anonymous said their mom had more than twice intervened in this issue and it’s like “My brother has undisclosed reasons for treating his wife that way. To me, the woman is awesome and we appreciate her in the family. Until my brother speaks out, we are as confused as his wife in this matter. I asked him sometimes ago that what will be his reaction if my husband is treating me the way he’s treating his wife. He kept silent.”
His colleague at his former place of work who is said to be his close friend supplied the much-needed information. Hear him: “My friend found himself in marriage unprepared. There were three women he was talking with at the same time; Mrs Anonymous was his third option. We, including him, never believed she will accept his proposal because she’s classy, and the most beautiful of the three. Her family is well-to-do with connections in high places.
“While his preferred choice was still playing a hard nut to crack and choice number two was busy attending international conferences not having his time, it was this woman that gave him attention and affirmed his request, a development that wowed all of us. Unfortunately, his heart was never fully with this angel of a woman but with his favourite. As we speak, he still laments missing the lady despite that both of them are now married.
“I have advised him to cultivate affection for his wife which he said was difficult. He said he had tried doing it but he couldn’t find the spark to ignite the passion. Sir, if it is possible, I don’t mind swapping my wife with his (laughs). We envy him for being lucky to have such a beautiful woman but just imagine the irony of life.”
When I probed further to know if his friend has ‘sidekicks’, he laughed and simply declined comments. “Sir, only him could confirm or deny that. Every man has his way of managing his life.”
Warning: please stay where you are celebrated and not where you are tolerated. This is for both sexes. I hope Mrs Anonymous and her ilk will decode this message. I will explore other ways to resolving this issue, God helping.
Friendship with Sex Benefit
There’s a growing fad among some friends (male and female) who engage in occasional sexual intimacy as a benefit of their friendship. These friends, I learnt, are not involved in proper dating or courtship; they are just good friends. They may be neighbours, colleagues at work, schoolmates, group or professional mates, club/society members, business partners etc. However, they are available to respond to the emotional needs of their friends whenever the need arises especially if/her spouse/partner is not around or the friend is not in a relationship.
I understand it’s a convenient way of staying comfortable in friendship as there’re no commitments involved. Therefore, there’s no fear of heartbreak in sight because no expectations or obligations are demanded. Also, there’s no hot or cold jealousy as both parties are not “mutually involved” in a relationship. It’s mere friendship with a ‘benefit’. They serve as confidants to each other, render shoulders to cry over and bosom to lean on in moments of despair or loneliness. It’s strange but true. Interestingly, it is fast gaining ground.
A regular reader of this column who shared her experience with me said more women are embracing the option because it “saves you from the frustration and tormenting attitudes of the so-called partners who are never serious or faithful in a relationship.” This brand of friendship involves singles, engaged and married. It’s a way designed to ease emotional tension, control mood swings and engender mental stability.
Her words: “I have been jilted several times by guys to whom I gave my all. I’m a hard nut to crack for men but for how long can one stay single when indeed one needs a man to marry? I went into relationships with guys that had endured my hard-to-get attitudes only for them to become uncommitted or playing games. I discovered later that I was wasting my precious time because the affairs were stagnated.
“The moment you demand to know what next especially at the beginning of the year, they either accuse you of mounting pressure on them for marriage or they tell you that they have some set goals for themselves in the New Year which unfortunately do not include you or the relationship. At my age, I decided to stay off commitment with any man until the coast is clearer. And if I have an urge for sex, I have a trusted male friend who is available to take care of me. He has his relationship, too.
“Sir, to maintain sanity and be focused, one has to devise a means to save her life. Most of the guys out there are not serious at all. In my office, two of my colleagues just struck such a deal among themselves. There’s no sense of belonging in this game. You owe yourselves no obligations or commitments. Sex doesn’t happen all the time, it’s just for needy moments only. It is still a normal friendship but with the occasional benefit of sex or romance.”
I can’t pretend to know about this strange affair but it’s hardly being talked about until recently. I think it is wrong! You are either in a relationship or you are not. There’s no middle road in a relationship: you are either involved or you are not. It is a veiled act of sexual incontinence. Human reasons may rationalise this compromising friendship, however, it should be discouraged. Patience, self-esteem and the use of matchmaking connections or platforms backed by prayers will ultimately turn things around positively.
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—-This article was first published in the New Telegraph, July 9, 2021.