His monitoring behaviour is becoming unbearable

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Dear Bro. Fuston,
Please, permit me space in your column to narrate my ordeal in the hands of my husband. This is a marriage of 10 years that has never been what good marriage should be. I would have rather remained single if I had known that this is what I will face in my marriage. I have been told by many people including our revered parish priest to be patient with an encouragement that the entire thing will improve for the better, yet the more tolerant and patient I become the more the trouble escalates.

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It is becoming very unbearable since June this year and I thought I can make one more and probably the final move to put the trouble to rest and this time if it fails, I will go ahead with what my mind urges me to do without minding whose ox is gored.
Being the last and only girl among six brothers I became more like boys, because I play with my brothers and was at many times wearing their clothes. I grew up as a tomboy, I kept male companies and friends and to be very frank with you I had nothing sexual going on between me and my boy friends. There is no need hiding anything from you, before getting married I had sex only once, then I did it to have the experience and know what it feels like and after that I felt it wasn’t worth it. I was about 21 years as at that time, because the experience to me was not so thrilling I grew up not liking sex, neither do I hate it. When I finally got married to my husband after much pressure from my mum I have been having sex with him leisurely and I think that is the bane of the trouble in our home. He likes sex and would want to have it at every opportunity and I was not cut out for such, so sometimes I tell him I am not interested. I work with the Federal Civil Service and also operate an eatery that is being managed by a brother in our church. When I return from work around 4:30-5.00pm every work day I go to the shop to supervise activities there. Because I enjoy the conversation of men more than that of women even in my work place. I often sit in an open place with some of my male customers gisting. My husband is not usually happy with this. The shop in question is near our house and I can swear with my life that I have never had anything with any man beside my husband since I got married to him.
It is not as if some stupid men don’t make advances at me, they do but I know what I want for myself so I don’t listen to such men.
I have tried to explain to my husband this situation but he tends not to understand. He thinks that my less interest in sex which he likes much is because I am sleeping around with the men out there.
Sometimes he accuses me directly especially when I tell him I don’t want sex.
He brought her niece back from the north to monitor my movements when he is not around, but the girl is the one messing up with men.
He passed on an instruction to me that I should not go out, say to the market without his niece or any grown up in the house accompanying me. There are many other things he has done to monitor my movements and I have been absorbing this insult and petty jealousy.
He over-stepped his boundary this June when he took my phone to MTN office and coded my numbers with his in such a manner that when my phone rings his own will also ring and whatever conservation I had with the caller he will hear all. There is no day that I don’t answer questions on who is Francis? Who is Paschal? Who is the person asking you to see him?
This has been going on and there is no peace in the house. My patience has been over-stretched and I don’t think I can continue living as a prisoner in the name of marriage. There is total love lost and as for me what is keeping me in that house is my son who is only five years old.
He insists that I should keep company with women instead of men whom he thinks can take advantage of my womanhood. The fact remains that I get bored in midst of women. I discuss sports, football in particular with a passion. How many women can give proper analysis of a soccer event. I am in my mid-thirties and would always cherish him if he allows me my freedom. Can you please help me?
Stella in PH.

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Dear Stella,
Let me start by telling you that in a home, partners should endeavour to seek real peace and not one partner seeking for his/her own interest or pleasure. Marriage as a large institution requires sacrifices; one is often compelled by marriage to drop some childhood habits that runs counter to his/her marriage.
Yes, you grew up as a tomboy. You were always in the company of men and you enjoyed this. By virture of being married, you are now different from that spinster usually seen in the midst of men. You can give up that habit as a sacrifice for the sake of peace in your home.
Marriage has its huge demands from couples, to some married men and even women healthy sex is a big demand and each partner is obligated to this, except for some reasons that must be considered mutually.
The Apostle Paul warned in 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 that couple should render due affection one to another, that neither the man nor the woman has authority over his/her body and so should not deprive sex one to another, unless there is an understanding between the two.
I know you wouldn’t smile at your husband if he goes out to sleep with women of easy virture for reasons of your denial of sex to him. You may not have much interest in sex because of the environment where you grew up but you must know that it is a demand of marriage. I quite agree with you that your husband went to extremes by appointing his niece to monitor you and recently his act of coding your numbers for the sake of listening to your conversations.
It smacks of distrust and this is not good for marriage. He should trust you by what you tell him and not by spying at you. Indeed that singular act is condemnable. But I know that you can help him restore this trust and also peace that have taken a flight in your home.
Clear conscience, they say, fears no accusation. If indeed there is nothing going on between the men that sit with you in your eatery and those that call you on phone, then you should be patient enough to calmly explain to your husband who they are and their mission. Learn not to give out your telephone numbers to every Dick, Tom and Harry that comes in the name of customer. If I were you I will sacrifice to my marriage those areas of discussion like football that will always make me sit with men.
Ask yourself what you stand to gain by sacrificing that passion to your marriage and what you will also gain by sacrificing your marriage to a mere desire. Ask yourself also the loss that follows sacrifices to any of the two.
My dear, the home should always come first in all that we do. Anything that will jeopardize the peace and happiness of your home should be regarded as an enemy to the home and must be jettisoned as quickly as possible. You can start today to make your husband your friend and companion. Put off those habits you exhibited as a spinster, importantly those ones that cause trouble in your marriage.
Take care and happy weekend.

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