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Sex Talk: One love need not kill the other

As I have grown older, I have often gone back mentally and examined some of the marriages I saw back in the day, especially the couples that lived in bedsitters (one-roomed muzigo) and raised several children there.

How did they do it? How did they even manage to get pregnant without scandalizing their children or robbing them of their childhood?

One such wife, now much older, widowed and her guns safely ‘back at the sub-county’, once joked that she and her husband used to have special spots in the garden, where their intimate moments happened most of the time.

Considering that he had a day job, even when the six children they shared the one room with were away at school, the empty house was still of no use to them. So, special stolen moments were shared in the bushes. Eh!

Another wife, still married to the husband she started with in the bedsitter but have now worked their way into the middle-class and upmarket housing, cryptically said there was a reason why couples in those settings used to bathe together, even as the bedsitters were not self-contained.

You grabbed the private moments whenever chance availed them, without exposing yourselves to your children. Many couples in Kampala still live that way. Only that now there are hardly any bushes to escape to. Hmmm.

You see the wife pregnant – again – and can’t help but wonder, how? When? Where? Tough times call for tough measures, clearly, and some of those tough measures create the sweetest memories, by the way.

But still on the subject of children. Do you know that many parents fail to strike a balance between their love for a spouse and love for the children? One of those loves tends to be all-consuming and before you know it, the other has suffered greatly.  You need to take a leaf from those couples that juggle love, sex and parenting from a single room, and get creative too.

You do not have to love your children any less, but if you have a good family support system, you can normalize the occasional staycation without the children, just to reconnect with your spouse. Succeeding  in one area (parenting) should not mean sacrificing the other (sexual intimacy).

Some couples love their children so much that there is a child in their bed on any given night. Sweet; however, allow yourselves to step away from them periodically to reconnect with your spouse.

Otherwise, these children around whom your life rotates and for whom you have willingly neglected your spouse, will grow up and leave home one day and it will be just you and this now-stranger in that empty nest. Assuming you are lucky to still be together by then!
Practice the art of balancing things now.

Get away, just the two of you, occasionally, and let the children stay with their grandparents, aunties, etc, depending on your support systems. Another time, that auntie will also count on you to plot her own ‘escape’ with her husband, and you shall have developed a working pattern.

But by all means, do not let one love kill the other love...

I discovered this actually happens several years ago when a married man crushed into a date I was on, and the entire time he was there, he was moaning about his wife neglecting him romantically and sexually now that they had the baby they had been trying for, for years!

He sounded a little spoilt and ungrateful back then from where I sat, but I totally get where he was coming from now. And by the way, that marriage fell apart. I don’t know whether it was because of that dynamic or something else, but I strongly suspect the former.

So, be intentional; it may not even be love for your children causing you to neglect your spouse, because even work does that. Just don’t create a monster you can’t feed.

caronakazibwe@gmail.com

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