From last week’s column, I got a few responses from you; thank you!
Only one reader disagreed that we could possibly be a generation(s) entering marriages when already overdosed on sex – some of it great, some of it traumatising, hence the brevity in marital bliss.
The rest nodded their agreement: sex in a marriage is so much more hard work today because couples come together already burnt out and with heavy hangovers from relationships – past that did not end well or on our terms. As a result, the one union where performance should really matter, suffers.
Thank you all, who put in your two cents. The only problem that remains is, how can it be fixed? Someone suggested by giving up on the older generations and focusing on realigning our children and teaching them to wait for marriage. That should work, if only we could get them away from Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, etc, long enough for our opinions to even matter over what they see as trending!
But what I see as more feasible, is for you to go back into your ‘sex archives’ and get what worked like a charm in your dating days and apply it to your marriage. Ask anybody around you if they spoil their wife/husband the same way they used to spoil a girlfriend/boyfriend, and see.
One woman left no stone unturned when it came to a boyfriend’s birthday – surprising him with expensive watches, thoughtful lunches and tigress antics in bed later. That relationship did not end up at an altar; the man she eventually married actually has no clue that she has a giving bone in her body – she spends neither cash nor sex on him.
Sift through your archives and find that person you once were that ‘insignificant’ others once found irresistible, and inject that persona into your marriage.
If you loved aimless weekend road trips that allowed you to stop at cosy hotels and cafes along the way with your loved one, why can’t you replicate that and breathe some life into your sputtering marriage?
One man, now married to another woman altogether, used to take his live-in girlfriend flowers every evening, before proceeding to carry her into the shower to wash and pamper her.
Long story short: that did not end in marriage. And he does not do this krinkum-krankum to/for his wife. Maybe if he revisited the man he was back then and infused some of that in his current situation, the pink elephants would be brighter and bouncier in that marriage.
Now, on the other hand, imagine the possibly clueless and mechanical husband the other ‘flowered and showered’ girl ended up marrying! That’s the dilemma.
There are people you wasted romantic poems on; people you wasted ‘gymnastics’, money and thoughtful gestures on; you can tap into that folder and dig up what is relevant to your marriage and let that side of you work for you where it should have, in the first place!
Saddest of all probably, are the people that dated/courted and eventually married each other, alright, even after years of experimenting with great sex, but now get to the marriage and feel like what happened before the wedding was just some freak show.
They no longer can be even minimally affectionate to each other, have since dropped all endearments for Maama Naka and Taata Seki, and any intimacy is a mechanical, emotionally-painful procedure.
Madam, if you were putting on a show, it is high time you revisited your props, if need be, but give that husband of yours what he thought he was marrying! Sir, if all the cash, stamina and fun you splashed around were only a trap to lure her into ‘I do’, welcome to the real world where marital discord affects work, health and general wellbeing.
So, keep doing whatever it is you pretended was natural to you during courtship, to save your marriage (palms-up emoji). The drastic change in character and emotional unavailability (from courtship to marriage) can be heartbreakingly irreparable.
So, yes, as we hope the younger generation can get the marriage train back on track, older couples trapped in what feels like the wreckage can still deal with past hurts and even employ past skills to fix present unions. ￼