The Observer (Kampala)

Uganda: Sex Talk - Cultivate the Intimacy

It is reported, after meeting married women in a special meeting, a minister of God once asked how many of them regularly told their husbands, "I love you".

Many of them raised their hands. The minister then challenged them to pull out their cell phones and text their respective husbands that one simple line - I love you - and the women obliged.

The replies were almost immediate, so the minister asked them to switch phones, lest they lie about the replies, and each wife read out another wife's husband's response.

The responses were as hilarious as they were sad. Some husbands were so scandalised, they wanted to know if their wives were alright: "Are you Ok?"

Another asked, "Haa, what do you want? You can just ask, you know!" And another thought the message was intended for a 'side dish' and ended up on his screen by mistake, so his message was menacing, promising her a beating of a lifetime because he had caught her cheating!

None said: "I love you too."

It reminded me of a friend who had a habit of calling her husband only when he had some answering to do; her tone on phone was always accusatory, angry, or in that line of emotions.

So, we challenged her to send him a text message during working hours, simply saying, "I miss you, honey". Even now, remembering his responses makes me smile. He called to interrogate her over "What have I done now?"

And when she assured him it was nothing, she just missed him, he hung up, only to call thirty minutes later, perplexed: "Seriously. What was that about? Are you okay?" And it continued like that for the rest of the day.

She got so irritated by his incessant calls inquiring what was wrong that she vowed to never go down that road again.

So, do you still wonder why intimacy is such a problem in many marriages? Why the sex simply sucks? Many married couples 'avail' themselves for sex like sacrificial lambs, when more children or physical relief are needed, but the beauty and bond of intimacy that was supposed to come with it are long gone.

This, because unlike the courtship days when pink elephants hovered at the door and butterflies fluttered in stomachs with just a cosy date - even without the sex - after marriage many switch to business mode.

As in, this deal has been landed, now on to more important things. Yet even when you seal a business deal, if you don't pay attention to your investment and put in time and commitment, that business will be brought to its knees.

You can't simply keep checking for dividends when you left things to run on autopilot.

Similarly in a marriage, if you stop minding the daily intimacy, don't expect your spouse to switch it on like magic during sex with you. Business as usual, they say.

Teach yourself - no, force yourself - to give hugs, not only when you are offering your spouse comfort at a funeral, but just because they are your spouse.

It's legal, you know? Say I love you. Say I miss you. Okay, what about 'good morning'?

Do you know there are married people who march out of bed in the morning without a word to each other? The bed where you expect pink elephants to be regular visitors?

Foreplay can be a full day affair; not that you don't have jobs or other things to do, but try to make your spouse look forward to seeing you again later in the day.

Some people are so intimidating and a shadow of the romantic and thoughtful people they were during courtship, that thoughts about them only bring incomparable trepidation.

You really have a problem on your hands then.

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