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Sex talk: Respect the winds of change

I bumped into a wife we know lately more for her perennially stressed life.

With five children all under 13 years, a home-based business, an active church ministry, a healthy sex life and no maid, we were worried she would one day drop dead. Her husband has always been adamant: no maids. He wanted her to be the ultimate super-mum many of our parents were in their days.

When I saw her recently, she was glowing and looking relaxed and we were all eager to know what the stress buster that worked so well was.

“I got a maid!” she said, sending us all into laughter, because we know her husband’s stubborn stance on that.

“I was so overwhelmed with the work at home, I thought I would go crazy! Many times I forget to eat, I fall asleep on my feet and I had started dreading the smallest suggestive touch from my husband,” she later shared. “We both agreed, it was time for a maid, or else I would have to shut down the home business, which we needed too.”

I was so happy they had seen the gap as a couple and not simply decided all maids were devious. The difference between a harmonious marriage and a disastrous one could be in a single word: Fatigue.

Many husbands believe because their wives are stay-at-home mothers, they have the easy life, don’t work and just spend the hours gossiping. Guess what; that woman could be packing into one day more work than your weekly workload combined. And naturally, she will not be feeling too sexy at the end of the day – pardon her.

In these parts of the world, I find two things quite strange: husbands are not huge on helping with domestic work, and the same husbands can sound so bitter when talking about their wives employing domestic help to make life easier on everyone, especially, the sex life.

So many wives are succeeding in being superwoman everywhere in their homes, but in their marital beds. By the time husband comes home from work and she helps settle him in well like a king, the fatigue and hard work from the earlier hours is catching up with her and all she wants to do is sleep. Forgive that.

You better start chipping in, or grudgingly accepting that your wife is a human being with just so many capabilities. Wives should not feel less feminine for needing help; the problem arises when they hand over everything – lock, stock and barrel – to the maid. But where maids are properly supervised and only play a support role, it makes the marriage richer.

The other options I have seen work near-seamlessly are where the couple has invested heavily in home appliances to make the chores faster and lighter on a wife that is also expected to hold down a day job.

Some couples, right from the wedding day, have been steadily building appliance-reliant homes. That makes it easy for even the husbands to get involved, contrary to their patriarchal upbringing.

In other unions, couples have agreed that since the breadwinning role is shared, the domestic role should also be shared; so, it is never eyebrow-raising to find the husband in that home mopping the house or minding the children as his wife does the laundry.

The real problems arise when a husband wants a wife who supplements his income, is fully domesticated, and is physically and emotionally available for lovemaking so many times a week. One who allows him to eat his cake and have it too, in other words.

Good luck; that wife is increasingly extinct.

carol@observer.ug

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