Let’s talk about the ‘S’ WORD- Sex in Marriage!
It was the early hours of the day. Shannon Rivers couldn’t help but wonder the mystery going on behind her seat. She’d had to restrain herself from turning her back to look at the old couple giggling and making little love conversation behind her in the car. Margaret and David Meyers are the almost sixty years of old foster parents of her husband Matt.
Matthew Rivers was only ten years of age when he was given into their care, after moving from different foster home to the next, he finally found his ground. He lived with them until he was eighteen, and even after that, he became more like a son to them and would always be welcome to their home. Matt told his wife that those two couples meant the world to him, and he would do anything just to make them happy. He said they never gave up on him, and took care of him like a son they never heard; although they did never had a child of their own, but the couple took care of all their foster children like theirs. Apart from just looking after them; Matt would never forget how they led to the Lord; they gave him a precious gift of knowing Jesus Christ as his lover and Saviour, which he would forever be grateful for; they taught him the principles of living a godly life which guided him through every challenges he ever faced.
The couple would be celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary this weekend and had decided to travel to the Caribbean in Saint Lucia, North America to spend their glorious years together. Before this, Matt had asked his parent what they wanted for their anniversary, and he even suggested a party for them, but in turn they insisted they would like to spend that time away on a resort for a week, and wanted him and his wife to be part of it. Shannon and Matt had found this rather strange, as they expected the two to want to spend time alone together, but they had insisted it would be a perfect anniversary gift.
Shannon could still hear quiet giggles from the behind and noticed the smirk look on her husband’s face as he pretended to have his full attention on the road. Their flight from London Gatwick to St Lucia would take about nine hours which Shannon had dreaded all week; she hated the long hours stuck in the sky. However, Matt had begged her to support him in this decision so she decided to pack her things, at least, it would mean a bit of holiday for herself. They took their eight years old son to stay with her mother until they returned.
“Here we are,” Margaret announced from the back seat, all excited.
Matt pulled the car to the nearest car space, while they all came down.
“Are you sure the car would be alright here for a week?” David asked again for the third time since they started the journey.
Matt gently patted his back. “Yes it would; I already paid for the whole reservation, don’t you worry about it, dad.” He assured him.
“Here we go, here we go.” Margaret took Shannon by her shoulders and led her into the airport and left the men with their bags.
Matt couldn’t help but notice the forced smile on his wife’s face. He only wished she would at least appreciate their gesture and relax just for this weakened. He carried on with the bags and waited to give instruction to the attendant who had come for his car.
About an hour later, they had checked in and ready to board the plane. Just before they walked the long walk to the plane; David took them by the corner and said a short prayer. After that, he took his wife by the hand, with a board smile on their faces; they walked along with other passengers to board their plane. Shannon held her hand bag tightly and even used her other hand to support it, not that it was that heavy, but just an excuse not to be cosy with her husband.
It’s been almost five hours into their journey; both Margaret and David had fallen asleep; Matt also falling in and out of sleep. Shannon sat there holding the third magazine she’d purchased from the Airport. She couldn’t believe how much she’d read through the all the pages even though she wasn’t a fan of reading. She inhaled deeply as the baby behind them started crying again; she could feel the frustration in the mother’s voice who had been trying to make the baby comfortable since their journey began but seems like her, the baby wasn’t too comfortable at being in the sky.
Shannon took a long look at her husband and felt her heart jarred. What would we do together for the whole of this weekend? She thought. She couldn’t remember the last time she spent time alone with him, not to talk of a romantic gateway; there was definitely nothing romantic between them for several years now and couldn’t think of what these few days of just being alone together would do to them. Her heart started to pound; she was scared this time alone might make them come to term of the failures in their marriage. For years now; anger, bitterness, and resentment have clouded their lives and both did nothing to change it, rather they both lived in a vale of ignorant and moved with the flow.
After the first two years of her marriage, Shannon became tired of the long talk and rituals; she felt Matt was beginning to ask for things and attention she couldn’t give to him. She felt like he had made her the source of his happiness, and each time things went wrong in his life, she was expected to play something like a ‘god’ or pacifier in their marriage. She did try to play that role for a while but when she wasn’t up to, he felt neglected and made it a point of duty to remind her of the failure. This has led to a lot of resentment and anger in their marriage; then he would complain about their sex life which happened to be the major problem in their marriage. The bitterness and resentment clouded her heart from feeling any attraction to him, so sex or any intimacy was something she wasn’t up to.
This wasn’t how it all started; she used to be so much in love with him that she looked forward to spending time together every day, but something went wrong in their lives and both have neglected it for so long, that it has eaten away almost every good thing between of them.
Five hours later, they have driven to their resort; St Lucia’s mountainous majesty; a small island. Built around a central mountain, where you can hike, bike and horseback ride across endlessly, winding country side, an incredible lush landscape that introduces you to multi-coloured flora and rich tropical Vista that permeate your sense with sights, sounds and scents. Shannon felt the fresh breeze all around her, and for the first time since their journey began, she felt this vacation might actually be good for her.
The first two days were spent in between sleeping and enjoying the tour of the island. On the third day, Matt and David had gone to play Golf leaving the ladies on their own.
Margaret and Shannon settled under the canopy by the sea side with their glasses of mango juice enjoying the view. Shannon occasionally stole a glance at Margaret; she thought on how to satisfy her curiosity with the question probing her mind. She had been longing to know the secret to the couple’s relationship even after all these years; she was in between their old age, probably that’s why they are so much in love. But again, she felt they have been this way for a very long time since she’s known them. The closeness and affection between them is something to admire.
“Alright let it out.” Margaret’s Voice’s trailed through her.
Shannon straightened, as she was caught unaware staring at her.
Margaret smiled softly at her. “You have been staring at me for some time now, I know you have something to say, spell it out.” Her voice was more like a mother trying to get a child to speak, with her eyes driving straight through her.
“Are you sure?” Shannon said with a jeering smile on her face.
“Sure about what?”
“That you want me to ask?
“I think I am.” She winked at her.
“Alright, here it goes,” She inhaled deeply. “Are you and David still having sex?”
Margaret was taken aback at her question. She flashed an unpleasant look at her. “What!” She snapped.
Shannon immediately knew her question had been inappropriate.
“I am so sorry.” She apologised, covering her mouth in shame. “I am sorry, that was really inappropriate of me.”
Suddenly, Margaret busted into a spur of laughter.
Shannon was stunned. She looked around her to see if there was something that might have caused this reaction, but they were the only people by the sea side.
Margaret continued to laugh. “You need to see your face.” She pointed to Shannon.
Shannon still didn’t understand what was making her laugh.
“I mean when I snapped at you, and then your face changed to this look like, ‘this old woman is going to have a fist at me’ kind of face.” She wiped the tears away from her face.
Shannon felt relieved, knowing she wasn’t angry at her question. “I’m sorry about my question; really, it was very rude of me to have asked.” She apologised again. She straightened and sat forward. “I mean, the way you both have been so cosy together, your hands are always on each other, every time!” She emphasised, her eyes lilted up. “At your age, I became curious, and couldn’t help but wanted to know, really?” She looked straight at her in astonishment.
Margaret smiled at her; she stared at her for a while and couldn’t help but wonder the thought in her heart. “Now, since we are talking the ‘sex’ issue here; it’s my turn to ask a question.” She smiled.
“Are you and our Matt still making love together?” She looked straight at her.
Shannon was gob-smacked. She had not been expecting that kind of question, even though she had been too forward to ask her first. She looked away from her intense gaze.
“Alright, maybe I should answer your question first.” Margaret smiled solemnly. “Yes, we are still very much in love and having so much sex even at our age.” She giggled; her face turned red from blushing.
Shannon couldn’t help but show the stunned look on her face.
“Seeing the shock on your face tells me things are not all that ‘loving’ between you and Matt.”
“That’s not true.” She tried to deny it.
Margaret sighed; brushed away the strings of hair the wind blew across her face. “I have seen the way you both look at each other; it sure doesn’t look like two lovers.” She stood up and carefully pulled her chair to face her.
“You see Shannon when couples fall out of love with each other; you know the longing to stay in each other’s arm forever, the affection,” She clapped her hands together. “Then, they could merely be having sex just to fill their urges, but the love making is long gone.” She looked straight into her eyes.
“I have seen it on you dear, and trust me, I have been there.”
Shannon braced herself; although she felt Margaret was serious with her talk, part of her was not ready to discuss her sexual issues with anyone, especially not with her ‘foster mother-in-law’.
“There was a time in our lives,” Margaret slowly began. “We used to be so in love, full of passion and romance; suddenly, I began to notice he doesn’t care, he just changed in matters of weeks, going to months. It seemed like ages since we made love and all we did was fight about little things that we could easily have overlooked. Sometimes, we fight for days and couldn’t even remember what caused the fight.” She rested her back against the chair.
Shannon’s face was devoid of any expression as she was already tying herself up in knots trying to work out where this was going.
“I felt like the whole romance and infatuation was over and I started to want something new, in fact, someone else to fill the void in me. I mean, I started to get bored of David.” She took her face away from Shannon for a minute.
Shannon swallowed the hard lump in her throat. She couldn’t imagine the two ever getting bored of each other.
“My mind started to wander towards something new, different and exciting. The whole passion was down and no emotion towards him; I was struggling with my commitment to him, struggling with lustful thought and things a married woman should never think about.” She stopped to take a sip of her drink.
“Then, I joined a book club not too far from my house; I actually found out about it in the library and started to attend. I wanted something to keep my mind off these betraying emotions towards my husband. I mean, I am a Christian wife, and shouldn’t be found thinking of such. I tried so hard to keep myself busy with my writing and research on the new book I was writing, but nothing worked.
David, on the other hand, made it worst; he ignored me completely, and when I complained about his lack of affection and love towards me, he tells me I should grow up and stop complaining. He couldn’t understand how the issue of sex could be affecting our marriage. He said I wanted more sex and that was demonic. He felt I was almost possessed by some Jezebel spirit.” She chuckled.
Shannon felt this sounded a bit like her; she was the one shutting her husband out of her life and the more Margaret spoke, the more she felt some piercing in her heart.
“During those times, it was difficult for me to tell anyone, not even the women fellowship where we pray about our homes. I mean, how do I tell other women that I wanted more affection and sex from my husband but he shuts me out?” She inhaled deeply. “I didn’t want to sound like a whore or an unbeliever so I kept it to myself.” She took her hat from the table and placed it over her head to keep the sun away from her eyes.
“So this supposed book club became my solace.” She wiped her hands over her face. “There I meant a fellow writer like myself; Andrew. He was so passionate about writing and I found him interesting. We would sit and talk after every book club about so many things. Gradually, I started to find comfort in him; I looked forward to seeing him every time, and our book club couldn’t meet up to the demands in our hearts. “
Shannon was staring at her. Her face blank of any expression, and her heart filled with fear and anxiety. Even though things have not been going well in her marriage, she could never imagine herself cheating on her husband. It’s not something you keep in mind just in case one’s marriage doesn’t work.
“Then, I started an affair with Andrew.” She cupped her hands over her tiny body.
Shannon was stunned. She swallowed hard.
Margaret noticed her reaction which was well expected. “Yes I did dear, and that became the worst story of my life.” Her face filled with sadness. “At first, I felt regret at betraying David and defiling our marriage bed, but I allowed lust take the better part of me and continued in it.” She let out a soft sigh. “You know, there is a passage in Proverbs chapter five that says, ‘Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well. Should your springs overflow in the streets, your streams of water in the public squares?” her voice began to tremble. “Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers. May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer— may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love.” She stopped for a few seconds to pull herself together as the tears bunched in her eyes started to flow down her cheeks. She bowed her head in shame.
Shannon couldn’t stand to watch her in this distraught state. She felt she didn’t have to do this, so she gently placed her hands on her shoulder.
“You don’t have to tell me.” She spoke softly to her.
Margaret raised her head to look into her eyes. “I do my dear, I do.” She wiped the tears away. She stiffened and continued. “Well, my husband later found out about my affair. It broke his heart and broke our marriage.”
Shannon felt pain in her heart; she never heard of this from Matt before. She saw the sadness on her face even after all these years.
“I turned away from my husband and also from God. I couldn’t face looking at any of them. After my husband confronted me about the affair and I couldn’t deny it; I left home…, we were separated for almost two years.”
Shannon looked widely at her.
“Two years of our lives were destroyed.” She looked away from Shannon and wiped the tears in her eyes.
“I felt so unworthy of my husband, and couldn’t believe I had been the cause of our failed marriage. Even though we didn’t have children, I mean, that did not break us, but I destroyed our marriage just because I wanted more sex. I was so foolish!
“Two years later, David sought me out and asked me to come back home. He said he had forgiven me and wanted to spend the rest of his life with me.” She cupped her cheeks into her hands. “I was mystified. Why would he still want me after all these?” She stopped for a second.
“Well, to cut the story short, we came back together with a lot of forgiveness and talk to work on our marriage. We both rededicated our lives and marriage back to God.
Shannon rested her back against her seat as she listened to her.
“I know I caused the breakdown in our marriage, but it all started with the lack of sex and wanting more affection which my husband wasn’t giving. You see, in as much as God provided sex for us in marriage, the enemy also uses this against us. He would use your emotions, feelings, passion against you once he sees that it’s not properly guarded and the desire to give it out to someone else is there.” She looked straight at her.
“When either couple is depriving the other of sex in their marriage; it opens an avenue for the enemy to come in. when they fail to spend intimate time together, it causes damage in their marriage.”
Shannon swallowed the lump in her throat; her guilt cut through her.
Now, I’m not blaming my husband for what I did. No, far from it. I made a choice to defy my marriage; I made a choice to sleep with another man. That is all on me. But what if I had done things differently, maybe prayed about the situation in my marriage to God; talk about our sex issues with God.”
Shannon raised an eyebrow. She couldn’t imagine praying about Sex to God. She felt that must be an unholy prayer in the highest order.
Margaret noticed her retrain. “Now my dear, who better should we talk to when we have questions or issues in our marriage? Should God be an exception to that? The one who made sex and every other thing; shouldn’t He be the best to deal with troubles on the marriage bed?” she looked widely at her.
“Some people have the mistaken notion that God is anti-sex. In fact, passionate sex was God’s idea. He isn’t embarrassed by it. The entire book of Songs of Solomon is dedicated to celebrating pure sex in marriage. Part of the challenges Christians faces in a lust-filled world is remembering that neither sex nor sexuality is our enemy. Sex is not the problem —lust is the problem.”
Shannon had never thought of it like that. She had felt every sex issue should be in fact only to be discussed within oneself; not even openly between the couples involved. She had always felt some resistance on her part to talk about these private matters even with Matt, and each time he brought it up, she was the one who ended shutting him out. She inhaled deeply as she saw a clear light to these issues.
Margaret smiled softly. “Then, we began to pray about our lives together, talk about our sex life; understands what we both wanted and finding ways to meet and fulfil each other needs.” Her intense gaze was widely on Shannon.
Shannon inhaled deeply.
“Listen my dear; we must make a choice regarding sexual expression. We can either utilize it as a deviant, destructive power or we can harness its potential to keep love alive and vibrant in our marriages. In a marriage, sex is the spice that rescues our relationships from becoming mundane pursuits of chores. Adult life is filled with responsibilities. We have mortgages to pay, home to maintain, laundry to clean, cars to service, and so on. But none of us got married so we could load up on chores.” Margaret looked to see the reaction on her face.
“We got married out of hope. We got married because we believed there was some kind of magic between us. We got married because we believed we could have great sex together. A satisfying sex life can add dignity to all other pursuits of life. It is the thing to look forward to after a dull or miserable day at work.” She blushed. “Sex is the moment of connection that creates a deep bond, even when sprinkled weeks or months apart. Sexual union adds an underlying deposit of strength that can help hold couples together when life threatens to pull them apart.” She stopped for a moment to look at her; she knew her words were piercing hard through her heart and silently prayed God would complete the work he had started.
“Maybe it’s time to go to God and tell him those issues in your heart; a time to surrender everything to him and let him take over. A time to stop fighting and trying to find your way; rather, let God lead you into all truth, including your sex life.” She rested with a smile.
Shannon had a great reflection on the discussion with Margaret. In fact, for the rest of the day, she had been so occupied with these thoughts. She realized she was guilty about a lot of things in the marriage and had been the major cause of every strife in their lives. She had been so bored of any form of sex in their marriage. In fact, there had been days when she punished her husband by withholding her body from him when he upset her.
Sleep was far from her eyes as she laid down pondering. She wondered was Matt thought of her; was he satisfied at the way things were in their lives? Has he given up on their marriage? Does he even love her? She could hear his slow breathing by the other side of the bed and knew he was still awake. Her heart was telling her to say something, at least, find out how he felt about these issues but her head was telling her it was a bad idea.
Before she could ponder on the argument between her head and her heart, she found herself speaking. “Matt.” She called out; just to be sure he was still awake.
“Yes.” He answered, more like a whisper.
Then, she inhaled deeply. “What happened to us?” She asked in a low voice.
“What!” Matt turned to face her.
She decided to sit up on the bed. “I mean, what went wrong between us; in fact, what exactly are we doing here?” She asked.
Matt chuckled. “I think you are the best person to answer that question.” His tone of voice was devoid of any emotion.
“What do you mean?” she demanded.
“Exactly what I was about to ask.” He answered. “I mean, you are the one here asking the question; the same person who has made ridiculous rules in our home, mostly regarding our sex lives. You should be in a better position to answer these questions.” He too sat up against the head board.
Shannon would feel an erupt anger rising in her. “Why do you always have to blame me each time we start a discussion; more like you despise me enough to throw things at my face?” Her jaw tightened in disgust.
“Me? Despise you?” he flashed an angry look at her and stood up from the bed. “Seriously, I’m not sure of what you are doing now or what you are even getting at?”
“Look at us.” She lashed out as all the emotion she had been struggling with since the conversation with Margaret that afternoon started to find its way out. “We have nothing; we behave like absolute strangers and none of us is willing to do something about it, you are not even concerned enough to make a change.” Dread was binding itself tighter and tighter around her heart.
“You were the one who made a change in our marriage.” He stood to face her. “You were the one who deprived me of something that I should be given freely.”
“Does everything have to be about sex!” her temper was flaring out of control. “Hey Shannon, why don’t we have enough sex; hey, you are not satisfying me enough.” She mimicked. “God! You think you own me or something; you forget that I also have need to be filled; I want to be loved, appreciated and chased after. I want you to want me, not just for sex, but for me!” she cried out.
Matt was so angry, but with a supreme effort, he managed to keep his voice to a virulent hiss. “What!” he was stunned.
“When you look at me, tell me what you see?” She stared at him and fought the surging dread inside her. “You stopped telling me how much you loved me or how much I mean to you. You stopped telling me I was beautiful. You stopped looking at my body like I mean something to you.” She moved away from him. “I feel so unattractive, so insecure. I look at my body every day and wonder if you still found something attractive to you, if you still wanted me, not just to fulfil your urges.” Her lips were pale, her hands shaking.
Matt stood there staring at her in confusion; he never for once knew she felt this way, nonetheless, he couldn’t see why that would make her shut him out. Why she would deny him sex countless time in their marriage, why she would always make out a fight between them almost every night and going home has become a thing of a burden to him.
“I am tired Matt; I am tired of the way you make me feel.” She cried out in tears.
He took a long look at her again, and this time felt the arousing anger through his veins. He was the one who should be tired; he was the one who had to live with her resentment and all for a long time. He was the one who would always beg just to touch her; he was the one who is tired and he felt she had no right to throw all these guilt at him.
“I hope you can manage for the remaining days here; at least for the sake of those who paid our ticket here.” He said and walked out of the room.
Shannon felt her heart pounding so fast in anger. After crying and pouring her heart to him, all he had to say was that and walked out on her. Then, she felt he had given up on their marriage and she meant nothing to him after all. The thought of that brought more tears to her. Her head was telling her she didn’t deserve the way he was treating her, but her heart was telling her to fight for her marriage. She had been so absorbed with her own feelings for so long that she hadn’t thought about Matt’s feelings. Was he too not happy in their marriage?
This was all she had been scared of, a situation where they would both see the true state of their marriage and here it is. Then, she remembered what Margaret had said to her earlier; ‘Talk to God about your marriage; let him teach you into all truth’. It’s been a while she did even seriously pray about anything; most had been mere rituals and religion and not any real relationship with God. But at this stage of things, she knew her only hope lies with God; He alone can teach her and help her through this.
Tears began to pour down her face, her heart pounding so fast in fear; her hands trembling. She sat on the edge of the bed and cried out.
“Help me, Lord….” She said in tears. “This wasn’t just about sex in her marriage, it was also about her surrendering her total self to God, walking in obedience to his will for her life. She knew she had gone her own way for a long time and it was time to come back to him.
“I need you, Lord, now, please….” She cried out as she sunk on the floor. Her heart was heavy and her fears flooded through her. She wept that night and cried her heart to God; all she wanted now is to surrender to him, and for God to show her places she needed to work on in her life and her marriage and hope for a restoration in her marriage.
Matt tried to listen closely to the football analyses from David, but his heart was far away from any debate and football talks this morning. After yesterday’s fight with his wife, he had gone out to think, but the more he thought about everything Shannon had said, the easier it was to see his own wrong. All the while, all he did think about was about his own feelings and what he wanted in their marriage and had paid little or no attention to how she felt. When he got back to the room, he found her already asleep, and this morning, Margaret had come to take her to the Spa treatment that came with the resort package.
The buzz on his phone interrupted him from his thought. He took it and checked the content, and then he smiled.
“I thought this week was only for us, no work related calls or messages.” David frowned.
“No, it’s not work.” He dismissed.
“Oh, so what is it?” He looked straight at him.
“Just a message, sorry.” He placed the phone back on the table.
“Message?” he eyed him. “From who?”
Matt realized he had not thought carefully of the answers he gave to him, knowing full well he would want to get to the root of the caller.
“A friend.” He said, avoiding his intense gaze.
“Hmm.” David murmured. “I guess this friend of yours knows you are on holiday, thousands of miles away from the United Kingdom.”
Matt looked up at him, unsure of what he meant.
“Are you cheating on Shannon?” He finally asked the question probing his mind for days now.
“What!” he jolted at his question.
“Are you having an affair with someone else son?” He looked straight at him.
“Of course not!” He snapped.
“Well, then I suppose that caller who has been sending you messages since yesterday must be very important; that is the fourth time you looked through your phone this morning.” He raised a questioning look at him.
Matt swallowed hard and then rubbed his hands over his face as though to push the tiredness and confusion away. “Alright, she is a friend, but I’m not having an affair. I would never do that to Shannon; remember you raised me better than that.” He said.
“So what’s the problem?” he challenged.
“Problem?” he frowned. “There isn’t any.” He answered.
David stared at him for a while.
“Do you know why I asked you to come along with us?” he asked.
“Yes. To celebrate your wedding anniversary.” He answered.
“Actually, that’s incorrect.”
“What do you mean?” His face showed the strain of confusion.
“I mean, the Lord asked us to.” He answered, but the expression on Matt was still of confusion.
David inhaled deeply. “We have been praying for you, and Shannon; we sensed that things have not been all right between you two,” he searched to see an agreement on his face, but it was devoid of any expression. “The more we prayed for you, the more we felt an urgency in our spirit.”
“When we booked this vacation; I was calculating the cost for myself and Margaret, but adding up the calculation, it summed up to four passengers. I was stunned and did my calculation again; then the Lord told me I was right the first time and didn’t need to recheck it.” He smiled. “I actually told Him he had miscalculated that we were only two going on the vacation, then, he said, no; your son and daughter-in-law are also going.” He brought his head forward.
“I didn’t understand what he meant; I mean, we were the ones celebrating our wedding anniversary and didn’t understand what God meant. He later told me he wanted to do something new in your life and wanted you to go on this vacation and free.” He let out a soft laugh.
Matt was confused and was eager to hear more.
“I mean, the thought of free made me laugh; I was the one going to pay for four passengers instead of two, but God said I should trust him, that He had it covered.” He looked straight at Matt. “And you know; He did have it covered; Margaret had returned from the store later that evening; she said a sales representative in Sainsbury store approached her that her points on her card had just won a travel holiday to St Lucia for four passengers.”
Matt was stunned.
“I was stunned too when she told me, I mean, she had been out all day and I had not even told her what the Lord told me.” He smiled profoundly at him.
“So you see; I’m not sure what God intend doing with you, but I sure know that he wants to do something in your life, most importantly in your marriage. He had to take you thousands of miles away from your job, home, chores to get your attention.” He looked straight at him. “So son, if that caller isn’t your wife; you had better switched off that phone.” He looked widely at him.
Matt was gob-smacked; he felt like a little boy who had just been scolded by his father. He reluctantly took his phone and switched it off
He inhaled deeply and looked at the man whom he had called father for a long time. He knew he had to open up somehow to him.
“We are having problems,” he started to say. “Shannon has changed; she changed a lot of things in our home and nothing seems to be working.” He said sadly.
David nodded slowly.
“I can’t seem to get her to do anything, in fact, majorly, she refused sex for a while, and I would have to beg her to have sex with me. She rages; throw tantrum and shout at everything as if she’s frustrated about our lives together.” He said bluntly. “I have tried everything, but nothing is working anymore; she complains about not showing her affection or talking with her, some sort of nonsense.” He threw his hands into the air. “I honestly don’t seem to understand her anymore.”
David inhaled too and allowed the silence between them.
“I have found out,” David started to say, “that a lot of couples fall into the habit of playing manipulative, selfish games with each other.” His gaze fell on Matt. “Instead of mutually giving to one another, they play games to hurt their relationship.” He shook his head.
Matt straightened in his seat. “Exactly; this is exactly what she does; manipulative and selfish mind games.” He grimaced.
“We are all guilty of this, including you.” He pointed at him.
“What!” Matt frowned.
“This is all because we don’t understand our differences sexually; you see, women are wired as ‘no love, no sex’ while men are into ‘no sex, no love’. Your wife wants you to value her, love her and make it known to her; show affection and long for her, show that you care enough to wait even when she says she’s not up to it; but we men is all about, ‘have sex with me now, then I’ll know you love me’” he chuckled.
Matt threw his hands in the air to disagree.
David waved his hand to stop him. “We are different beings and guess what, God made us to be different sexually; He wants us to learn how to adjust to each other, understand each other sexually. He wants us to pay attention to the little things in our spouse lives’, to love them as Christ loves us and not demand love or even sex from them.” He readjusted himself in his seat.
“Sometimes, we place too much burden on our wives when it comes to sex and make them feel that is the only thing we want from them, like, their only objective in our lives, and when they are not up to it or when they don’t feel adequate to the task; it causes a lot of resentment in the marriage.”
Matt inhaled deeply; he felt every word was talking straight at him now. He realized a lot of things he had been doing wrong in his marriage. He had always placed so much emphasis on their sexual life and lost focus on making love and showing affection to his wife.
“Sex is about physical touch, to be sure, but it is about far more than physical touch. It is about what is going on inside of us. Developing a fulfilling sex life means I concern myself more with bringing generosity and service to bed than bringing washboard abdomens. It means I see my wife as a holy temple of God, not just as a tantalizing human body. It means that sex becomes a form of physical prayer.” He smiled.
Matt sat forward to listen more to the old wise man in his life; he felt God was showing him some deep truth about how his marriage should be.
“You need to sexually pursue your wife outside the bedroom. Good sex is an all-day affair. You can’t treat your wife like a servant and expect her to be eager to sleep with you at night. We think sex fixes things on its own —but it doesn’t do that for a woman. A good lover works just as hard outside the bedroom as he does inside it.” He smiled at him.
“When we don’t understand these principles, and then with the resentment, we create in our home, we create an avenue for the enemy to invade our homes; like the certain text messages you have been entangled with.” He raised an eyebrow at him.
“To be honest dad; I’m not having an affair; we met a few months ago at a work function but just messages and emails since then,” Matt argued. “But she’s just easier to talk to, would listen without nagging back at him, you know.”
David shook his head to disagree. “Son, when you find yourself connecting with another person who starts becoming even the smallest way a substitute for your marital partner, you have started travelling a dangerous path.” His eyes widen.
Matt was shocked when he heard that. David was right; ever since the months of messages and emails to Tara; he’s found himself attracted and connected to her. No day passes without checking in on her.
“Every couple should always put fences around their heart and protect the sacred ground that is reserved only for their spouse. There are some special kind of emotional connection that only you and Shannon should share; so when you began to give these things to a stranger, you are cheating!” his eyes pierced through him.
Matt was steeled.
“Now, tell me; does Shannon know about this special email lady?” he searched his eyes for an answer and realized what it was. “When you conceal or keep secrets of a certain person in your life away from your spouse, you have to be careful. Secrets can destroy a marriage son, doing things that you know your spouse will never agree to can break homes into pieces.” He spoke softly to him.
“The fear of God is very important in every home and one’s life; talk to your wife, have an open communication about sex between you two, I mean, who better should you discuss such with?” he stared at him in silence for a brief moment.
“I want you to fall back in love with your wife; grow together in love and work harder to rekindle the love and affection between you. You know, I heard somewhere that ‘Your wife’s view of sex is much different than yours. Her sexual fulfilment is connected to everything else in her life. When she feels close to you emotionally, she is more responsive. When she is in touch with her children and is proud of how you father them, she is more attracted to you. When her career is moving forward and you are supportive of her pursuits, she finds you irresistible. The more you are a part of her life; the stronger is her desire for you.”
Matt nodded in agreement; after all, he’s heard some part of it from the Shannon.
“For women, sex is much like having a nice, rich piece of chocolate cake. It’s one of those little luxuries of life that we allow ourselves to indulge in periodically. It seems to fit best at the end of a full-course meal of conversation, affection, safe touch, and quality time together. It’s a perfect ending to a perfect meal. As a matter of fact, they like to take their time with this experience, to savour every bite and truly enjoy its rich and satisfying nature. And once they have indulged, they’re satisfied for a while. We usually don’t want another piece right away or maybe even for several days. We’re content to savour the memory of the last piece of cake and how wonderful it was. Get the picture?” he smiled at him.
Matt returned the face; he never knew hearing ‘sex talk’ from his father could be this enlightening.
“It’s not that she doesn’t enjoy sex; most women actually do. It’s simply that she doesn’t require it the way you do. For her, the cake is the foreplay with intercourse as the icing (so to speak) of the relationship. The icing isn’t much good without the cake to put it on. On the other hand, even cake without icing is often very enjoyable. So how do you get to the icing? Take time to fix the full-course meal and bake the cake, and I’m sure she will be more happy to ice it for you. David smiled.
Matt brushed his hands through his hair; he couldn’t believe why he had not opened up sooner to hear all these secrets. He felt like an opening to the secret of marriage was been laid down before him. Right there, he realised he had to do the right thing; he had to make things right by Shannon and most importantly let God into their sexual lives.
“Trust me, son, when I tell you that I understand and know what you are struggling with; don’t make the same mistake I made with my Margaret; don’t let your marriage fail.” He looked at him with a firm face. “You need to touch your wife’s heart; you need to love her irrespective of all.”
Suddenly Matt stood up quickly. “I have to go.” He announced.
David was stunned as he walked quickly away from him; then he turned back and came to him.
“Have I ever told you that you are the best father any son could ask for?” he looked kindly at him. “I love you dad, thank you.” He said and ran quickly away from him.
A few minutes later, he entered the spa centre where his wife and Margaret were and it wasn’t long until he spotted her at the salon room, a young lady was painting her toe nails. He walked quickly to her.
Shannon was stunned to see him.
He swallowed the lump in his throat and looked directly into her eyes.
“You are the love of my life,” he started as he got the attention of everyone there in the room. “I love you so much, and I am sorry for everything that I have done to you.” His face fixed at her.
“You mean the world to me, and I have done things differently because I did not understand.” He moved closer and lowered himself to her. “I know better now, I have heard some things today that I never knew and I am ready to do things differently, to love you better.”
Shannon cleared her throat as she noticed the piercing eyes on them, so she stood up, took him by his hands and walked out of the room.
“I am sorry for the way I have treated you,” Matt continued as they got outside. “I can’t begin to explain what I have learnt today; the things I should have done better in our marriage; the way I should have treated you in my life.”
Shannon could feel the tears bunching in her eyes and she made no attempt to wipe them away. She listened as he spoke about everything he should have done better in their marriage and the new revelation he discovered. He confessed about the new chat friend he’s had for several months now. They later went back to their room and spoke at length. Shannon also apologised for the way she had treated him in their marriage. They both wholeheartedly forgave each other and prayed for God’s restoration and healing into their homes.
They both realised that for better days ahead, they have to submit solely to God to teach them and led them to a fruitful marriage.
That night; they had a connection they never felt before in their marriage, then ended up making love and this time around, it was the most beautiful experience they both never had before.
Thank you, folks, for reading. I do hope you enjoyed and were blessed. I will be happy to hear your thought or even words of encourgement to couples out there. Please do comments and share. God bless.
 Bill and Pam Farrel, “Red Hot Monogamy”
 Gary Thomas, “Sacred Marriage,” pg. 226
 Bill and Pam Farrel, “Red Hot Monogamy,” p. 195
 Marriage mission
 Dr Debbie L. Cherry, Child-Proofing Your Marriage, pg. 141