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My wife doesn’t want to have sex

Dear Dr Nekia,

My wife and I are having big problems in the bedroom. We are a very religious, conservative couple who believe that what happens in our marriage bed should be kept private, but we have been having so much of a problem that we sought counselling with our pastor. It didn't help.

My wife hardly ever wants to have sex and when she is willing she only wants to do it in certain positions. She doesn't like anything that doesn't give her free movement or requires her to rely on me to support her weight, ie standing positions. And other than with oral sex, I am really bored. When we first got married she enjoyed sex more, but she has always been somewhat timid, which has gotten worse over the years.

Our lives are a bit hectic and we have had our share of financial difficulties so it is extra upsetting to me that I cannot come home to enjoy the comforts of my wife. Can you please help because I am beginning to resent her and our relationship is falling apart.

Sincerely,

Bored & Starving

Dear Bored & Starving,

Religious women tend to struggle with sex because of the guilt and shame attached to the female body and desire.

So much emphasis is placed on her to be modest and undesiring of sex that once she is married, it is very difficult for her to then freely explore her carnal nature. This can cause big problems in marriages. Although it tends to be hush-hush, infidelity due to the sexual dissatisfaction of men within the church is just as much, if not more, of a problem than it is within the secular community.

Your wife may be experiencing some reservations that are rooted within her moral belief system taught to her by the church. If this is the case, seeking counsel from a pastor may only reinforce the problem because the pastor serves as an elder who is supposed to be the voice of God. If your pastor is male, his gender may also be off-putting; she could very well look at him as just another man trying to get her to do unspeakable things for the sake of lust, which religion typically frowns so much upon. Even within the union of marriage, it has no place in a lot of women's minds. Therefore, we must be very careful of how we programme our women.

We want them to be pure and chaste, but willing and eager — this can leave a bad taste in the mouths of women who very easily pick up on this train of thought and expectation as being a sexual ploy. Many women simply shut down sexually. Because your wife is not opposed to oral sex and has great difficulty with positions where she relies upon you, it is my guess that her resistance is far more than religious-based. I cannot stress enough to couples that if you are having problems in the bedroom, chances are the root of the problem, and thus the solution, is to be found outside of the bedroom. This is especially true if the problem seems to lie within the woman. A woman by biological nature is designed to receive during sex; this is a very intimate thing. A woman in a committed relationship who feels resentment, distrust or uncertainty regarding her man will begin to withdraw sexually from him. If I were to go by the information that you have provided here, I would say that your wife probably is struggling with distrust or uncertainty. She is unwilling to engage in sexual positions that rely on you to support her weight because, subconsciously, she finds it difficult to rely on you to support her in another area of your relationship.

She prefers to have free movement in sex because she does not like to feel confined or restricted by you. I would encourage you to seek further help to find out why. It is important to note that if a woman isn't willing to have sex, it does not necessarily mean that she is less turned on, or that her desire for sex is low. If your wife has no medical reason for being turned off from you sexually, then chances are that she is also becoming turned off by you in other ways, eg financially. It is quite possible that your wife is still a sexually vibrant woman, but that she is reserving herself from you. This can be a huge blow to the ego of men, but always keep in mind that if you wish to partake of the comforts of a woman, you must first work to make that woman comfortable and secure.

Dear Dr Nekia,

After more than 15 years of celibacy and not dating, I started seeing a man several years my junior — age is not an issue. At the initial stages of our friendship he did not tell me that he had been in a relationship for more than ten years.

After finding out, I agreed to remain a friend. As time went on, disturbing behaviour started to surface. I am a well-portioned and toned full-figured woman and a professional, with a well-paying job and a successful career. Whenever we meet, he talks frequently about my body. He hugs me and always gropes my buttocks or touches my breasts. When I speak to him about it, his reply is that it is not harming anyone.

He gives mixed signals, makes contradictory statements and is misleading. I have tried talking to him about this, but he becomes defensive and angry.

He recently revealed to me that his relationship with his long-term girlfriend is abusive. He was embarrassed to share this, but he did. He has called off this toxic relationship several times, but has always returned; I am convinced that there are deep-rooted issues that stem from his childhood. In any case, I care for this guy but I no longer wish the friendship.

He wants us to remain friends and has shared this with me many times. However, I am weary of his bitterness, hurtful comments and behaviour and I am often left drained and exhausted after being with him. I am wondering how to end our friendship in a mature and respectful way — send him a letter, do not answer his calls, pretend that I am busy when he wants to see me? Or just tell him outright? I don't want to hurt him, but I am tired of him hurting me. What it the best way to end it?

Sincerely,

Drained & Empty

Dear Drained & Empty,

One of the hardest lessons to learn is that you cannot have a wholesome experience with a broken person.

The more nurturing a woman you are, the more likely you are to attract a broken man. This is not necessarily a bad thing in the context of a committed relationship that is mutually beneficial, however when it comes to friendships women are often abandoned, left feeling used and drained.

Much like women who are physically, emotionally and sexually abused, men tend to have an unhealthy attachment to their abusers. It tends to be so strong that they think they are in love which makes it very difficult to leave. Even when one builds up the courage to do so, they often find themselves back with their abuser.

But that is his story.

I think where you went wrong is agreeing to remain friends. I am not sure why it is that women who have been wronged find the need, the desire, or the “okayness” to remain friends with men. Reality is, they are not your friend. Anyone who deliberately harms you for their sole satisfaction is not your friend.

The second thing to note here is that although you have professional and financial assets, he is focused on your physical body. I encounter this quite often as well. I could have all of the PhDs and diplomas that I want on my office wall, yet there are men who will reduce me to being a pretty face.

These types of men do not, and will not, value you as a complete woman; this is true no matter what substance you bring to their lives.

The third point to address is his anger and defensiveness when you bring his behaviour to his attention. ALL women should pay attention to this point. When a man gets angry because you point out to him how it is that he makes you feel uncomfortable, hurt, upset or frustrated, he is rejecting you. Period. He gets angry because he simply does not want to — or is incapable of — dealing with the situation. Hurt, angry and abused people often seek an outlet for their negative energy, so it would make sense that he would want to keep your “friendship” intact. You, on the other hand, have come to the point where you realise that his toxic life is causing yours to become drained. At this point you owe him nothing and owe yourself everything to clear your mind, body and space of his negativity so that you can blossom again. How you choose to do it is not important, but you should disconnect from him completely — whether by letter, phone call or face to face. It would be best to disconnect in a definite way that does not leave it open for question so simply being unavailable or ignoring him is not your best bet. If you feel that you cannot face him, then do it by phone. If you feel that he will be able to talk you out of it, then do it by letter. Try to focus as much as possible on what is best for you instead of focusing on hurting him.

I believe that whether man or woman, we all must become a little bit more discerning and guarded when it comes to deciding who will occupy a space in our lives. We must not be afraid to clear out the unhealthy clutter, and make room for deserving and more fruitful friendships.

•Want relationship advice? E-mail nakedtruth@royalgazette.com

Between the sheets: religious women tend to struggle with sex because of the guilt and shame attached to the female body and desire

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Published March 22, 2017 at 9:00 am (Updated March 22, 2017 at 8:43 am)

My wife doesn’t want to have sex

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