I don’t understand my husband

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With Auntie Agatha

Dear Agatha,

 I do not know what to do anymore or how I am going to handle the situation in my home. To be candid, if I say I can pinpoint what the problem is exactly between my husband and I, then I am lying.

The worst thing is that I don’t even know what I feel for him anymore. I just know that things are not the way they were between us. What makes it so bothersome is that this marriage is less than three years old and is both our second attempts.

It is not as if we fight or something but we are growing apart at this alarming rate I really cannot explain.

To make matters worse, he doesn’t appear to think there is anything the matter. Yet between January last year and now, I can count the number of times we have kissed not to talk of lovemaking.

He practically does his thing while I do mine. To the outside world our marriage is solid but it is a different story in the bedroom.

Ironically, whenever I bring the matter of the quality of our relationship up, he insists there is nothing the matter; that everything exists only in my imagination even when we don’t do things as a couple and lack the intimacy of a couple.

Another thing is, he complains practically about everything. There is nothing you do for him that he would appreciate. It is either he doesn’t appreciate it or finds ways of making it irrelevant.

Also, he doesn’t care about my family as much as I do his. If I ask to go and see my family, he finds way of discouraging me from going.

Being my second attempt, I am so scared of failure all over again; the reason I want this to work. Please help me make sense of this seemingly hopeless situation I have found myself in.

I’m willing to do anything to make this marriage work but I don’t know where to start from at all. You can only fight what you know but in this situation, how can I confront an issue my husband is refusing to acknowledge its existence? He has changed from the man I used to know to a complete stranger. The man I married could talk to me late into the night and make love on demand. This man is so different from him. But at least I know he isn’t having an affair because it is simply not in his nature.

Tolu

 

Dear Tolu,

The institution of marriage is multidimensional in its presentation. No matter one’s experiences, there is no knowing all there are to know about the institution because as each day passes by, new challenges come up between couples. Just like some diseases are manifesting new variations so are marital problems evolving from new angles. Besides, our eccentricity as individuals patent our problems in such a way that it makes them new to us.

This is what you are yet to appreciate about your husband and marriage. Who is your husband? How well do you know him? What do you know about him beyond what he tells you?

There is no way you can make this marriage work without moving your relationship with this man away from the pre marriage relationship mode. In a pre-marriage relationship both parties are blinded to a certain extent by idealism. You see only what you want to see and ignore what you do not want to see. Unfortunately, there is no hiding place in a marriage. Living and doing things together make it imperative for couples to take into cognizance and battle those areas they hitherto didn’t want to focus on. Unlike when you two were dating and could escape to your own house, you do not have any choice now but to face his nature full scale.

The truth is, People seldom change. What does, is our perception as well as the full recognition of the nature of the person. Your husband has always been like this. His nature has not changed. What you are experiencing is just a deeper insight into his nature. Rather than dwell too much on the changes and risk losing your marriage entirely, concentrate on getting to know who your husband really is, by observing everything about him. You must devote time to knowing his likes, dislikes, hobbies, friends, ideas, strength, weakness and every minute detail that will make your journey with him smooth.

This knowledge will help you know how to fit yourself into him so as to make your marriage work.

Honestly, this is not going to be easy because you should have done this before saying I do. This is the essence of courtship, to give the two parties the opportunity of getting to know each other with a view to appreciating how far both of you can go.

Unfortunately, for most couples, this is lost on them. All they want is to have a wedding without any thoughts of how to manage all the many tomorrows that come after the wedding ceremony.

Sex will always be an issue in a relationship but it should not take the place of all the other important aspects of the relationship. Being your second time, you ought to have known better and taken precautions against failure in your second journey. Your lack of preparedness is the reason you are having this huge hiccups in your new marriage.

However, the first seven years are usually the most turbulent in any marriage because that is the period so many changes happen in a marriage. These years can make or mar a marriage. Many of the marriages that eventually break up develop their challenges during these crucial years.

In fairness to you also, every marriage has different set of players. Based on this fact, you have to be extremely patient with this man to make him appreciate where you are coming from. Too much pressure on him could make him recoil into his shell forever.

Being a divorcee yourself, you know the effects of a bad marriage on the general attitude of a person. Be careful you do not remind him of the things that took place in his previous marriage. This is why you have to be his friend first. It is only with the heart of a friend that you can breed sufficient understanding in your person to tolerate the things you complain about in this marriage.

Frankly if you pursue this situation as a wife, you would fail because you will dwell more on the pains you think he is causing you as well as the things he is denying your body. There are points we get to in marriage when we must make the ultimate sacrifice to safeguard our territory. I do feel your worries but trust me, bury all those negative emotions now as they would only complicate an already tensed situation.

Since you know he is not cheating on you, then you have nothing to worry about; it means what you are seeing is the real person he is. To help yourself cope better, accept the real him, and forget what he tried to be for you during those days of courtship and early marriage.

The issue now, is how to help yourself fit into his new person. Truthfully, you just have to move away from quantity to quality.  Make good use of whatever time you have together. In fact, make a festival of it so that the memories will linger till next time. Use everything that makes you a woman to charm him into total submission. This way you would be giving him an experience to remember and one he would want to come back for as many times as he can.

There are times anger and war of words does not triumph in the matters of the heart, especially when it comes to sex. Most times, it is the amount of time, imagination and attention to details the woman put into the overall performance that wins the battle. Use stomach infrastructure and feminine infrastructure to win your husband over. Remember God did not make a mistake in creating us with our abilities.

When next he is going out, indicate your interest to be with him. There is no way he would deny you the opportunity of accompanying him to all the functions he attends.

Also there is no place it is written that the man must make the first move. Initiate a kiss when he is going out, when he comes in and before he sleeps.

The fact that you have written to me does not mean you are without faults. We all do. There are things too about you he also does not like. Complaints are part of human endeavors. When he appears to be irritated by something, just walk away and try to avoid those you can. It is part of the compromises that come with the marriage package.

Importantly, do not forget to pray because there are people in your lives that do not want this marriage to work. Only prayers can help you cement the foundation of this marriage. But you have to learn how to be patient and tolerant too.

Good luck.

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