I do are two words that seal a marriage deal. When a woman utters these words, she dedicates her life to her husband and so does the man. Marriage sounds perfect when written on paper and it is only when a couple starts living it that reality checks in. In the face of intimate familiarity things are bound to change. Resolutions change, life itself changes and promises are broken…aren’t they?
Why do things change? What happens before a spouse takes an unfamiliar tangent? Five women who have been in marriage for more than three years tell us why they feel they are no longer the women they used to be when it all began.
Why our sex life changed
I still remember the chills I felt the first time we went out on a date. I was so happy and eager for our love because unlike my ex-boyfriend you espoused the kind of man I wanted for marriage: Godly, generous, humble and intelligent.
Being our first date I needed to keep to my best behavior. What you don’t know is that 30 minutes into that meeting I was already thinking of us getting intimate. You were irresistible.
Because of my Christian beliefs I kept the distance. I was afraid of even hugging you because it would be a struggle to let go.
By the time we were getting married I couldn’t wait a minute longer for our first night together. You and I know how explosive that first night was.
Over the years though, you and I know, our bedroom time has lost its sheen. Nowadays I come home from work too exhausted. We have two children now and attending to them also takes away some energy.
By the time I come to bed I am only interested in deep sleep. I have noticed the nights you wait with anticipation but come straight into my slumber. The next morning you often wake up grumpy and in no mood to talk to me.
I have always known the reason why but I have shied away from telling you because you would be hurt more if you knew that I am aware of your needs while I am too tired to do anything about them.
Once you asked me why I dress in oversized t-shirts to bed. You have wanted to know why I am not as proactive in bed. You have asked why I don’t fancy lingerie as much as I did back then.
I have realized over time that since the babies arrived my priority has been them, the household and then you. I have struggled to explain all of these to you for some time now.
Your lovely wife Joyce
Why I am not as soft as the time we met
I don’t know why people who showed so much love when they met end up being so hard on each other over time. That is where we are now. You have accused me of being mean-spirited. You have said I no longer care about your feelings. And you have also said that I stopped respecting you.
But honey, on the contrary, I love you like I did back then when we met. It is only that I am not as comfortable as I was with you making silly mistakes.
When you do something that costs us money without asking me (like when you took over the responsibility of providing for your promiscuous sister and her many babies) I couldn’t stay mum about it.
I know I tend to raise my voice when I am angry with you but it is because I need you to understand that some mistakes are intolerable.
My intention has never been to belittle you. When we met, you say, I was always nice to you. I remember those days. But honey, we had just met. We have been together for seven years now. There has been a lot of familiarity between us.
I think it is a natural thing that when you get to know someone in the intricate manner we have known each other you learn to push them through their weaknesses.
And you my husband are weak when it comes to telling people ‘No’. You are generous to fault. But haven’t you realized that all that money you help people with is supposed to secure a brighter future for our children?
I just want you to be a lot more disciplined.
Anabel, your wife
Why I don’t seem to put you ahead of everything
Sweetheart, when we met our worlds merged and in it we existed just the two of us. I wanted to be with you and you with me.
I wish we could go back to those days. We could cuddle and watch movies the whole day. We walked to the market to buy vegetables together. We did house chores together. Everything was together.
One year later we got a baby. And when she came she took over my world. She was tiny and so beautiful. She took my breath away – just like you did when we began dating.
Our second born followed in another two years. Honey, our children became my priority. They are young and from the look of things they need my love and guidance.
Often, you come second – or last – after the kids and other household things that need to be taken care of.
But I can’t take the blame alone. You too have made it easy for me to prioritize our children before you.
How? Nowadays you don’t take me out. When was the last time you dressed up and surprised me with a date at, say, Serena?
I would have cherished such dates; when just you and I would be alone. I think you have been too busy making money. Which I understand, but your business has pushed us into our own worlds – me with the kids and you with your work.
Magdalene, your wife
Where did the romance go?
You asked me this question the last time we had a fight. Well, I also want to ask you the same thing: what happened to the romance?
You used to surprise me with birthday parties and take me out for a night or two on our wedding anniversary but nowadays you are just there.
On my birthday last year you waited home to just say happy birthday and nothing else. There was nothing beyond that.
I know I take a share of the blame. But I don’t think I changed… you are the one who changed. You changing forced me to change as well because love is give and take. I think the more you have neglected me the more I have moved felt the distance between us grow.
How do you expect me to dazzle you with lingerie when all you do for my birthday is to mouth the words happy birthday?
You no longer tell me you love me. I have told you over and over again that you saying you love at every opportune time is important to me. But you rubbished this saying I am being too needy. For your information that hurt me.
Over time I have learnt to make do with what I have. But what this has done is that it has hardened me and I no longer feel like I need to do the little things that made you feel cherished.
I wish we could go back to the days when we used to flatter each other with words and gifts and just being close together.
From where I am we need to mend this quick or we won’t be having marriage anymore in another few years.
Your wife, Bernadette
I could have looked sexier
First, the only reason why I am even talking about this is because I respect your point of view. I wish you respected mine.
When we met I was petite and small and ‘sexy’, like you used to say. You couldn’t keep your hands off me. You loved every inch of my body – your words, not mine.
I don’t remember being very deliberate on what my body looked like. I was just living my life: moving to and from work every day.
After we got married you convinced me to drop my job. You said it wasn’t paying well. You made enough money to run our household. I listened to you and became a stay at home wife.
You wanted me to be a home maker. We have three children now; children I have dedicated all my time to raise.
Through three pregnancies my body has changed. I am no longer the petite sexy girl that you met. I know so because you are not as excited to wrap your arms around me as you would back then.
I look at myself in the mirror and believe me I can see I have changed a lot. But I did not change because I wanted to. You have a lot to do with how my body has changed.
I don’t know if you are aware but pregnancy is no joke. A woman eats not because she wants to. If it were up to me I would have stayed the same way you met me. I know you – more than anyone – want that too.
I however think it is a mind-set. You have to understand what has transpired over the 11 years we have been together to know that I couldn’t stay the same way.
Your loving wife