How often do you hear about women who deny their husbands sex? Quite often, I am sure. In fact, I am willing to bet that for some of you, this topic has come up at least once in the last two months. It is something that has been thrashed so often, it is starting to sound like a broken record and yet, there is the other side of the coin that some of us do not realise exists. There are actually men who deny their wives sex. Let me guess, your eyes are wide with shock, your mouth is hanging open, you are hissing and saying; “Na lie joor!”

You see that reaction is one of the reasons why this thing is not often talked about and addressed as a topic or in actual marriages experiencing it. As I said in my Punch article on male sexual harassment and rape, when it comes to men and sex there is a general belief that we are simply always in the mood and hungry for it. Men just want to have sex with everyone; their colleagues, bosses and subordinates, mothers, sisters, cousins, wife, girlfriend and even grandmothers! It may seem far-fetched and silly to consider some of the things I said but that is actually how a lot of people – men and women – see men. We are just sex – crazed Neanderthals.

Most people find it hard to believe any man can say no to sex and yet many wives can attest to this being a very real thing. Women are not the only ones who get “headaches” in bed…

Anyway, there are men who also deny their wives sex. The reasons vary and I cannot cover them all but I want to focus on one specific thing in this post; emotional unrest. You see, another thing that we men are sufferers of insensitivity and ignorance for is the issue of emotions. We are told to not show them, be quiet about them and we will be fine and show that we are men. This has led to many men bearing so much weight and pain it affects them.

Women are not the only ones who get headaches in bed and suddenly do not want to knock boots. People who say that for a man to refuse his wife sex it means he hates her, does not love her or is cheating, do not know what they are saying. There is an emotional side to men and once that part is suffering, the man himself starts to suffer and if he does not get relief. It starts to affect his work, his relationships with people and yes, his wife and their sex life.

Many people just find it hard to believe that a man’s emotions and the things he is facing can affect his sex life. It is a simple fact and the only reason people do not see it is because most men do not say it and when they do, people refuse to see it. Sex is not soothing to everyone every time and ladies need to understand this and learn to engage their men to help them bring out the things inside their hearts that are making things hard for them to function right and that is not limited to the bedroom.

Having said that, we men also have to learn to talk about the things giving us stress and let our women help us work through them. All this ego and stubbornness to not look weak, afraid or hurt is tiring and helps no one. It can also lead to a lot of frustration, anger and resentment on the part of the woman who has no clue what is going on and keeps wondering why her husband is not admiring her, finding her attractive and not willing to touch her or reciprocate her advances. Cheating is bad but believe it or not this is one of the reasons some women stray, just as the reverse also is something men see as a reason to cheat as well. It is not a good thing at all.

No one feels good to have their sexual needs and advances rejected, so imagine how a woman feels to not have been touched by her man in forever. Imagine the pain and confusion she has to deal with, asking herself, friends, family, God and perhaps even the babalawo down the road, what she is doing wrong, if she is not sexy enough anymore or if the man has started seeing someone else.

Until some men come to understand that a marriage is a union of souls and bodies and that there is a need to connect on all levels with their wives, things like this will continue to occur. The issues could be from work like a lost job opportunity, being sacked, costing the company money and getting sanctioned for it or being demoted. It could be having seen themselves as failures for not being able to provide something for their families. I know of a man who began to withdraw from his wife because their daughter was raped and he could not do anything.

This was at gunpoint and yet he felt like it was his fault and rather than reach out and be closer to them, he withdrew. This then made them feel like he blamed them and was disgusted by them. Their family actually did split up briefly and it took a lot to get back some semblance of a relationship amongst them. There are many other reasons why a man could be pushing his wife away but none are good. Some of these things need some serious counselling time with a professional and not just a self-professed expert whose idea of a solution is for her to clean the house more, cook sweet food and parade naked all over the place.

This man may have issues in his soul tearing him apart – big or small and they need to be addressed. Of course it would be nice if he talks to his wife but sometimes the truth is the ones next to us are not the ones we find it easiest to share some specific issues troubling us with. If he opts for someone else, do not be offended. What matters most is that he gets the support he needs to get over whatever is troubling him.

Sometimes we men need someone to talk to other than our wives. This does not mean something is wrong with the marriage. The reverse can also occur. Focus on getting solutions and not who has to be spoken to in order to get them.

If you are reading this and you are in this place as a wife whose husband is pushing you away over such things, it is hard to take but try to encourage him to talk to someone about it. Most men find it hard to do this but it is best. I do not mean some random gist with the guys now. I mean serious, heartfelt talk over what is wrong. If you are a man doing this, I encourage you to do the same.

The last thing you want is to cause damage to your own home because of what is going on inside you. It may take a while and it may not be easy but brokenness does not have to be your end forever. You can work it out and get better again, no matter what went wrong or is going wrong now. Make the right choice and do what you need to so that your marriage does not die. Your wife needs you and you need her.

Dear men please, make this work.


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