Conflict in Relationships: Intimacy, Sex, Cheating, and Infidelity
A week ago, we had a counseling psychologist speak to our Villagers about conflicts in relationships. The psychologist, Sharon Wakaba answered some of the questions, offered expert advice on various topics and got to shed light on some of the issues that were raised in the WhatsApp chat. We are going to share the pieces of advice in a series of articles. In this article, we share answers to the questions on intimacy asked during the chat.
How do I deal with a spouse who used to cheat to the extent of sleeping with your blood sister and getting her pregnant, should I leave him or stay?
That is very sad. I’m sorry for the pain you have experienced. What has your nuclear family said about the infidelity issues? What have your sister and husband said? The cheating was already heartbreaking, but now pregnancy is something you cannot ignore. How do you feel about the issue? Have you healed? Please take time to heal, get your emotions together, and know the way forward. If it needs you to take time away from your marital home, it is alright. Get to a place of peace, from within. Then, you will know what works for you, despite what others say. So for now, focus on you, not them. You are not responsible for what they decided to do.
Do you think past relationship secrets should be kept hidden?
You should probably be honest. If they resurface they won’t magically go away. My take. You’d rather face the storm now before he/she knows in another way. Sometimes speaking about things makes the load easier than hiding it.
How does one heal from a toxic situation in marriage?
Has the toxic situation changed? Is it a situation that would require you to stay away from him for some time for the sake of your safety? Healing has to start from the inside. So what that means for you, do. Do you have a support system that can help you get back on your feet? Do not do it alone, having others around you helps. Do not sacrifice your peace for the sake of society, heal.
How can one deal with a husband who after confronting him on cheating, changes the password and shares a lot of things with her sisters without the wife knowing it?
Marriage means the two of you come first before others. Cheating means he did something against your marital institution, and you. Was he remorseful about the cheating? Set boundaries with your husband. Let him know you honor your marriage, but it is important for there to be mutual respect. Understand why he feels more free with his sisters than you. Help him gain mutual trust with each other. That should not be the norm, so don’t feel that it should. Your marriage, it both of you work on it, can be redeemed.
What can one do if a partner is never supportive and only wants intimacy in addition to having other affairs?
Intimacy might be meeting him, but is he meeting you? Talk to him on that. If he is having other affairs, you need to set boundaries and make it clear that you will not stand for that. If you are not married, do not feel obligated to remain. If you are married, let him work on rebuilding your trust, and meeting you where you need him most, which is supporting you and making you feel that you have someone by your side. Let him see you are worthy of love and respect.
How does one gain trust and forgive a spouse whom you found flirty text messages in his phone? He immediately changed his password and has never apologized.
You are hurt, and he needs to understand that. Emotional affairs are as painful as real affairs. Express how you don’t appreciate that because he would not appreciate it if you did the same thing. Let him know you care about him and need him to care about your feelings too. Generally talk about what he could be feeling he is missing, that he feels the need to keep it from you. Hopefully, it will turn into a fruitful discussion.
I have a friend who the husband really cheated so many times when they were fresh in their marriage. At first, she used to be really stressed about it. But with time she moved on and doesn’t even sleep in the same bed with the hubby. The hubby asked me to talk to her about it but she says she doesn’t think she can ever sleep with him again and can’t walk out coz of the kids. Do you think this marriage will fail totally with time?
She is hurt because her trust was broken. She entered the marriage with expectations that have not been fulfilled. How the marriage ends up depends on the two of them. For him to win her trust back, he needs to not only stop the cheating completely and turn a completely new leaf but also work on the marriage every day. How effective his effort will depend on how she receives it. It’s about helping her heal now. Forgiveness does not mean the consequences of the action disappear. If he is dedicated to making it work, and she believes, in the long run, it will be possible, then it can work. But a lot of healing is needed.
What do you do if your husband is not the”intimate type” I mean he hardly asks for intercourse. And if you seduce him, he says he’s tired or he says we will do it in the morning (which never happens)
People have different love languages. When one’s love language is met, they tend to be more open to meeting the love language of their spouse? What is his love language? Does he prefer you helping him with things, touching him, speaking encouraging words to him, buying him things or spending time together? Let him know you crave intimacy with him, and even as you do that, meet his love language. It will help him see what you are missing.
When do you say enough is enough? When you try all these avenues and they fail? Or when do you decide that you’re heading nowhere?
If the relationship is still repairable in your eyes, you will still keep trying. If it is a marriage, and it is a matter that can be fixed, though may take time, it’s good to stay and make it work. A lot of times, even depending on how long one has been married, there can be huge challenges in marriage, but with help and choosing to stay and intentionally work it out (both of you), it does get better. Having a support system goes a long way too.
How do I tell my boyfriend of five years(we have a baby together) that I can’t be with him anymore because I cannot forgive his cheating behavior anymore? I thought I could get past it but clearly, I cannot. Then how do I move past these thoughts crossing my mind: did I just waste 5yrs of my life like that? What about our baby? Will I meet another man, date, get married?? At what age now that am 25? I have too many questions
Just let him know. Forgiveness does not always lead to reconciliation. You can still co-parent. You have come to that awareness and it is alright, you do not have to feel guilty about it. You got a beautiful baby from that experience. What you went through was a learning experience. Right now things are still fresh, but you will get through these feelings. Yes you can still meet a good man and get married, your life is just beginning. Also, when it comes to thoughts, don’t think about him, it will keep hurting you. Focus on your baby and building you.
Is it okay to stay in a marriage for the sake of the kids?
It is not right. It will only frustrate you. Get back to a place where the two of you can do things that you loved and enjoyed, and let the feelings of love eventually come back.
What do you do when you read your hubby’s emails and bump into emails, of him requesting for a call girl online every time he travels outside the country?
Confront him. Let him know you know. Discuss what has been happening, and let him do all he can to assure you of what you need. If he doesn’t break it off, then make it clear you will not continue being part of the relationship.
Marriage and relationships require commitment, communication, and consistency. If you are having problems that can be solved, it’s advisable to seek the services of a great family psychologist or marriage therapist. If you are going through abuse or you know a person going through abuse, the Gender-Based Violence-free hotline is 1195. Furthermore, if you would like to join a community of women healing from abuse, WhatsApp +254736275978.
You may also like: Healthy Relationships: Rebuilding a Marriage After Infidelity
Conflict in Relationships: Funds, Finances, and Spending
Register for our weekly newsletter and follow us for more information and resources on Gender-Based Violence on MumsVillage Facebook page!