Six Crucial Steps to take if your Spouse is feeling DOWN

Rose had had a lovely time with her husband Eji yesterday. They’d visited old friends, Uche and Mandy, and been out for a meal with them. They’d all laughed a lot and
the Chinese restaurant served good food that wasn’t too expensive.
At home later that night, it seemed a natural progression to have a steamy session in bed.
To Rose’s surprise, Eji was moody the following morning. He gave a curt ‘hmm’ to her good morning and didn’t look up from his computer. He said he didn’t want breakfast when she and the children were eating but she later saw him toasting bread before he left for work.

“What is wrong?” she wondered, marvelling at the change from the attentive man of last night.
“What have I done wrong?” she found herself worrying as she went over the events of the past few hours.

She hated it when Eji got into a mood like this. It affected her own mood negatively. She snapped at her sons when they asked her for lunch money

“You eat too much!” She said as she bundled the surprised children into the car for school. She was quiet as she drove, her mind racing as she wondered what had changed between last night and this morning.

“Mummy are you alright?” Asked Ike the youngest with a frown on his face. She was too preoccupied to answer him.
“‘Mum!”
“What is it? I hope you haven’t forgotten your homework. I can tell you right now that I am not driving back home if you have. I keep telling you to check your things before you leave the house,” she snapped.

She glanced sideways at him, saw the hurt on his face and realised he was about to burst into tears.
“I’m sorry, love… What were you going to say?’
“Forget it!” Ike replied.
“Well done, Mum!” Uzo chided her.

Rose drove wearily home after dropping them off. Her feet seemed so heavy and all she wanted to do was crawl into bed and cry.

Many people in intimate relationships do not realise how powerfully their behaviour can impact their partner. There are days when we don’t understand our spouses, when their behaviour seems incongruent and unreasonable. It can easily ruin the whole day, week or even months. If allowed to deteriorate, a mood can be the first step on the road to divorce.
What can we do at such times?Spouse, depressed

There are six steps we must take when we realise our spouse is behaving strangely especially when it’s not clear what the cause may be.
If there is an obvious cause, then that’s easy!

  1. Be strong. This is very important. Decide to be strong no matter what. When your spouse is behaving like a spoilt child, the last thing he needs is for you to become another spoilt child! Being strong doesn’t mean that you ignore him. It means that you protect your own heart and mood so they don’t go downhill just because he is acting oddly. Don’t let his mood affect you. The situation doesn’t need more gloom, it needs sunshine! So keep your chin up and go about your business with a cheerful heart. Don’t get into self-pity. And definitely don’t attack your spouse verbally. Responses like these will just cause him to withdraw further. Your spouse needs you to take care of yourself when he feels unable to do so. If you remain strong and take care of you, then you can take care of him.

  2. Unlimited Sex. Sex is comforting for many men. It relaxes, de-stresses and heals. A man can regress when he is going through challenges. So, just like a hurt child finds solace in his mum’s arms or reaches for her doll, so sex can act as a comforter for some men. Being able to come to you for a de-stress session is so vital! Many women get it wrong here. They think “He’s been moody and hasn’t done anything for me all day so he ain’t getting anything from me.” WRONG! This is his way of making contact and communicating – that’s just the way men are wired. Receive him and give him the best sex you can. Don’t use that time to tell him what an idiot he has been or you will just send him back into his shell. Let him know you are there for him.

3. Pray for him. Do you have any faith? Pray for your man when he is going through challenges. Prayer is calling on the highest power to intervene. It’s saying “I need help to handle this situation!” Pray with a heart full of love as though you were going through the same challenge as he is – because you are! After all you two are one now. What affects him, will affect you. Don’t pray in anger: “God please help this stupid man to realise how stupid he is being!” Or selfishly “God please help him see how miserable he is making me!”

spouse, depressedPray for strength, encouragement, ideas and hope to fill your man’s life and lift him out of his depressed state.

4. Keep the communication channels open. This is very important. If you get upset with his behaviour and close all communication, how will he find his way back? His return is very much dependent on you continuing to shine light upon the path so he can see his way back to you. When he is not behaving right, the best way to keep communications open is to do what I call ‘loving from a distance’. Say he’s buried himself in the computer or his papers and is not communicating as usual. Don’t pushing yourself in front of him demanding “Look at me!” or “Hug me!” or “What’s wrong with you?” – all of which may escalate your frustration, or make you feel humiliated or angry if he does not co-operate… Instead of that, approach him like a queen, plant a kiss on his forehead and say something affectionate like “I love you”, making sure that you smell of nice perfume. Then walk away. You can send him a simple text with words of encouragement. With these activities, you are saying “I can see you are not in the mood. That’s ok! I am giving you space to sort yourself out. When you are ready, know that I will be here ready to have you back, my love.”

5. Channel negative energy into something positive. Avoid a pity-party! “Oh poor me! I feel depressed, I am unhappy…”

spouse, depressedNone of that does you any good! It saps your strength and clouds your judgement. Foolish women in moments of despair have gone on rampage, destroying their home or spouse’s car in a bid to get his attention. I counsel you instead to channel all that negative energy into doing something worthwhile. Write a poem or even a chapter in that book you’ve been planning to publish. How about a thorough house cleaning? A visit to someone less fortunate than yourself? Taking the children out for some fun and so on. Doing something positive motivates you to stay strong and all that positive energy radiating from you can spill over to your spouse and lift his mood.

6. Don’t grovel! Grovel means ‘to act in a servile way, showing exaggerated and false respect in order to please somebody or out of fear.’ Don’t start crying in front of your spouse and asking “what have I done? Whatever it is, please forgive me…” with crocodile tears all over the place. This is very irritating as many times the issue has nothing to do with you and you moaning and wailing like a fool does not help the matter. Maintain your dignity and self-respect. If you have caused offence, by all means, apologise sincerely and immediately. But if you haven’t, don’t grovel. This is simply channelling energy in a negative direction. It is self-pity in disguise. And when your grovelling is ignored by your spouse, it leaves you feeling weak, defeated and hopeless. spouse, depressedMany women stop pleading at that stage and resort to shouting, name-calling and verbal abuse because they haven’t learned to rule their own emotions. Why should they demand that their husbands must be able to do what they cannot!?!
We all have a responsibility in a relationship to put in our best efforts. So go for it and watch your relationship blossom with sweetness.

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Sexual Wellbeing Network.

HIV? Me? No, I am married! (14)

”No you can’t get HIV from hugging someone. There has to be blood or body fluid contact.”
Nma had backed away from her daughter’s hug.

”I don’t want Aka to catch it,” she muttered.

”HIV is a blood-borne virus. It’s passed on through blood transfusions, sex, using contaminated needles and things like that.”

”We have some really good leaflets on HIV and I’ll give you some to have a read through at home.”

”No, I wouldn’t want my husband to find such material at home.”

”Mum, Daddy has to get tested as well. You have to find a way of getting him to take a test.”

Nma shook her head in wordless resignation.HIV, Black women, Adaeze Ifezulike

”We all need to get tested as well,” Aka said with a maturity I hadn’t realised she possessed.

I smiled at her and nodded.

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HIV? Me? No, I am married! (12)

HIV, Black women.”You knew all this while,” I had exclaimed.

”I bought an HIV testing kit off the internet and the result came back positive.”

”When was this?”

”About a month ago.”

”I see.” But I didn’t see at all.

”So why were you reluctant for me to do the test?” I asked, remembering how he had flared up when I mentioned testing for HIV.

”I don’t know,” he shrugged. He put his head in his hands and sighed heavily. We were both silent for a moment.

”We need to do another test to confirm and check your viral load. The viral load tells us how many of the HIV viruses are circulating in your system and helps us decide if you need to start treatment now or wait a bit.”

”Okay.” He rubbed his fingers across his eyes. I noticed for the first time some gray strands of hair at his temples.

”And your wife…”

He looked up. ”What about her?”

”She needs to be tested as well.”

He sighed again heavily.

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HIV? Me? No, I am married! (10)

Nma came with her daughter Aka to see me a few days later. I was surprised as I thought she might be coming with Dike as mentioned at the last meeting.
I had no idea if she had told her daughter about her diagnosis.
As usual she looked immaculate and so did her daughter.

”Hello, come and have a seat” I smiled at them.
”How can I help you today?” I asked once the pleasantries were done.
”I would like you to tell my daughter about my sickness,” Nma said.
I gave her a questioning look.

”Yes, go ahead” she read my unspoken question.
”What’s wrong with my mother?” Aka asked with a frown on her face.
I hesitated uncertainly.
”I..Nma could I have a word in private with you?” I asked gently with an apologetic glance at Aka.
”There’s no need,” Nma replied with a hint of irritation ”Just tell her, please.”

Aka spoke up ”Tell me what? Tell me what?” she repeated with a slightly raised voice as I hesitated.
”Your mother has been unwell,” I started carefully.
”Yes I know..”
”We have run a number of tests and we found out that she has a viral infection..”
”Viral infection? What’s that?”
”I have got HIV,” Nma declared, impatient at my delay.

”What?” Aka screamed and instantly backed away from her mother.

Part 5: A Survivor of Sexual Abuse – Nina Ndubuisi.

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Not all survivors of sexual abuse show their emotions outwardly. On the one hand, some may appear calm and unaffected by the assault; on the other hand, some survivors become hyper-sexual or promiscuous following sexual attacks—sometimes as a way to reassert a measure of control over their sexual relations (I think this is more me).
To all including men,(yes men are victims as well) who have been victims, know that your silence only cripples you but your voice will make you victorious. Despite all these years, I am still trying to overcome and be victorious, some days are good some are bad, but I believe I am a survivor.

Fast forward to the year 2002 – I was lying in bed nursing my newborn baby, I had a phone call, my husband passed me the phone someone called Chidi wanted to speak to me, as I picked up the phone and said hello, how could I not recognise that voice? It was the voice of “aunty” (our nanny), I asked how she got my number and she told me “daddy” had given it to her, she had heard I had had a baby and wanted to come and visit me, without thinking or rather more out of curiosity I gave her the address, two days later she turned up with her husband and a mountain of gifts, I welcomed her into my house and she carried my baby, I asked her about her own kids and she looked up and told me God had not blessed her with any, despite being married for over 20 years (which means she had not had any kids).

Have you ever heard the word SCHADENFREUDE? It means – Pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others. I rest my case.
Ciao xxx


The Sexual Wellbeing Community are immensely grateful to Nina Ndubuisi for sharing her story and opening our eyes to how easily sexual abuse can occur right under our noses and the long term effects on the victims.

We wish you well, Nina, and pray that your healing will be complete so you can live a wholesome, glorious life free from the shackles of the past.
If you would like to share your story about a sexual health matter such as rape, sexual abuse, unplanned pregnancy, abortion, domestic abuse and so on please get in touch here http://wp.me/P3VAOw-5r

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A survivor of Sexual Abuse – Nina Ndubuisi -Part 1

As we celebrate the International Women’s Day, we want to remember the real heroes, women all over the world who have gone through tough times and yet hold their head high. Women who refused to bow under incredible pressure and instead determined to make something of their lives despite the odds.

PicMonkey Collage.jpg12

On this day, we celebrate Nina Ndubuisi. Nina is a qualified nurse and midwife, who works full time supporting people with learning disabilities and Mental health issues to enable them access and engage socially with their community, ensuring they live a full and active life. She is currently living in Belvedere, Kent United Kingdom, with her husband and three daughters. You can follow her “wacky thoughts” at www.ninas-thoughts.com

This is her story in her own words:

“rape victims NEVER GET OVER IT!!!! No matter how long ago, how much counselling etc etc … That feeling of “dirt”, the feeling of “self blame” the feeling of “guilt” the memories of the experience …. NEVER EVER GO AWAY!!!”

I am not looking for sympathy and neither am I looking for counsellors, I have decided to share my experience in the hope that it might give someone some inspiration, someone who might have gone through the same thing, but has never had a voice to speak up, or was never believed, I want to give hope to someone who thinks that their life since the awful incident is over and they do not deserve the right to live, as they feel; dirty, they wake up every night in a cold sweat as they keep having nightmares reliving the awful event, the feeling of guilt as “we” (victims of rape) always think we are to blame; maybe we should not have dressed so provocatively, maybe we should not have gone down the dark alley alone, maybe we should have fought back, maybe we should have screamed louder, all the maybe’s, if only…. But one thing I have finally come to accept over the last couple of years; it was never my fault and there was nothing I could have done. And there is life after RAPE/SEXUAL ABUSE.

I was 6 years old when my biological mother died, now those of you who know me well, will know I was fostered, but after my mother’s death my step father decided to uproot me from the only stability I seemed to have and bring me to live with him in London before he decided to “ship me” off to Nigeria (washing his hands off me, after all I was not his flesh and blood). It was the 2-3 years I lived in London under his roof, that the sexual abuse started – no, it was not from him, it was from his friends who used to visit in the pretense of coming to see if “we” (my siblings and I) were all okay following the death of our mother, these “uncles” used to visit when my “step dad” was not around, we had a nanny who was brought to look after us from Nigeria at the time, she used to leave me to my faith in the hands of these “uncles”, while she went upstairs with them to do whatever it was adults do behind closed doors.

My step father was the scariest person I have ever come across and I lived in utter fear of him as he never hesitated in pulling off his belt and lashing me with it at the slightest provocation, I remember once I had a nasty cough and my persistent cough seemed to be irritating him, he insisted I stopped coughing and I almost choked while trying to hold the cough in, when I could not hold it any longer I let it out, he asked me if I had coughed and I quickly shook my head saying it was a sneeze, my uttering those words sent me into a coughing frenzy and before I knew it, my feet were dangling in the air as he had grabbed me by my two ears and pulled me into the air, before letting me down and giving me a resounding slap for lying. This is just once incident.

All these “uncles” who used to visit knew how scared “I” was of my step dad and they used this to their advantage; I was always told to come and sit on their knees like a good little girl and given sweets to keep me quiet (I guess that’s where my weight issues stemmed from), I remember them jiggling me about on their knees and holding me tight, whilst I popped sweets into my mouth, after they had finished their business they used to tell me not to say anything to anyone or they would tell my “step dad” that I was a naughty girl and I knew what that meant.

This carried on for a while, until the day “It happened”, the day that I can never ever forget, the day that ruined my life, the day that made me develop a phobia for having anything inserted in my vagina……

To be continued……..

12 THINGS EVERY GIRL-CHILD SHOULD BE TOLD

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I recently read a touching story about a nurse who was abused as a child. We will feature her story in subsequent posts. I really admire her boldness in telling us about her past where she was shamefully hurt by those who should have protected her. After reading that post, I was inspired to write down 12 things every girl should know. Many of them are common sense but the major problem is that we never sit our girls down to actually talk about these things until it’s too late. Hopefully we can use the points below to start discussing these issues or some may choose to forward it to their girls. Feel free to share in your social circles.

  1. You are special – the average girl goes through a roller-coaster of conflicting emotions. One minute she dares to believe she is special, next minute she feels like rubbish. As she approaches puberty, the hormones are swirling around. She is growing breasts as well as spots. She experiences her periods as well as strange sensations when a boy is near her. A compliment can make her day while a spiteful word can crush her for weeks. This often leaves her vulnerable to manipulative men who know just what to say to lure her at this vulnerable time.
    So tell your girl child every day that she is special. Let her know that you love her. Find out how she likes to see love expressed – is her thing words of praise, hugs, gifts or time together? Give her heavy doses of that and she won’t be fooled by wolves in sheep’s clothing.

  2.  Your body is special – she needs to learn as soon as possible that her body is special and beautiful. It is hers to give when she is ready. No one is allowed to fiddle, poke, prod or abuse it in anyway, not even her own father, brothers or uncles!!
    If anyone abuses her and threatens her that she must not tell, she needs to know beforehand that she must TELL!! She needs to know WHO TO TELL!! Have you made her aware of WHAT TO DO in the event of any abuse? Does she realize that the abuser is threatening her only because HE IS AFRAID of being found out? The one who is in trouble is the ABUSER, not her. Many child abuse victims are often threatened by their abusers that they will be killed if they tell. The child needs to know BEFOREHAND that this is a gimmick by the abuser to protect themselves and perpetuate the abuse.

  3. You are not a punch bag. One in four women are victims of domestic abuse. The girl who grows up understanding how precious and special she is will know beforehand that physical abuse is not the ‘usual thing.’ The days of mothers telling their daughters ‘all men beat their wives so endure it’ has passed. Around the world, three women die EVERYDAY from physical abuse!! The girl child needs to know that a man who smacks her while they are still courting is very likely to continue when they are married. SHE CANNOT CHANGE HIM and she is not called on to change him. Physical abuse is a behaviour choice the abuser has chosen and continues because he knows it works. Only he (with professional help and prayers!) can make the decision to change. The girl child is too special to spend her life living in terror, bruised and battered at will.

  4. You must not let hurtful words get into your heart. ‘Guide your heart with all diligence’ – Bible. We are shaped by what we allow into our hearts, consciously or unconsciously. Only helpful criticism should be allowed into your heart. Only words that empower you to be your best are allowed. Let your heart-guard be ever diligent and watchful. You may need to end friendships/relationships that are filled with words about how useless and foolish you are. The girl child who constantly hears ‘stupid woman, hopeless woman, you are ugly’ will be mentally anguished and cannot fulfil her greatness in life. Constantly say to yourself, ‘I am wonderfully and beautifully made. I am getting better every day. I am destined to greatness.’ Say it all the time. Say it till you believe it. Say it till it drowns out every vile speech rolled out to disempower you and snatch your glorious future away.

  5. There is more to your life than waiting to get married. Let the girl child be all she can be. Build your character, read your books, go about your business, be the best you there can be. Don’t sit and wait for marriage. Marriage will come while you are busy fulfilling your great destiny. ‘Opportunity dances with those already on the dance floor’ so get up and shine forth. Let no one say you are nothing because you are not married. Prove them wrong. Be massively successful at what you do. Bless lives everywhere you go.

  6. You can be wealthy. Gone are the days of waiting to get into a rich man’s house and be given pocket money. Girls, the world needs you to be massively wealthy! Who can hear the cry of the poor, the orphan, the infirm, better than the girl child? The strings of your heart are often pulled, but to empathise may not be enough. To say very kindly ‘Go and be warm’ is more effective if this is accompanied by some material gift. Be wealthy for you, be wealthy for your family, be wealthy for your world!

  7. You can make a difference in society. Who will be the presidents of tomorrow, the power brokers, the environmentalists, the reservoir engineers, the inventors of a cure for AIDS? We are WOMEN! We are SMART! We can work together with our men folks to make a difference in society. They need the female angle. They need our finishing touch. They need our soft bits. Girl child, society NEEDS you!!

  8. You deserve love and respect. Don’t ever sell yourself short. Hold on to your values. Be a person of integrity. Speak truthfully and stand by the truth. Don’t ‘cast your pearls before swine’. Know who you are! Even when father or mother are not there to monitor you, set your standards high and monitor yourself. A man who is not bold enough to declare to the world that he loves you and wants to spend his life with you does not deserve to sleep with you!! Not even as a ‘trial’. He can experiment with someone else but not you. You deserve love and respect!

  9. You are responsible for your greatness. No one is coming to usher you onto the dance floor. Take responsibility for your greatness! Find what you love to do and become an expert in it. Create value for yourself and greatness must necessarily follow. Endless TV watching is not for you – those people on TV are living their dreams, you need to work on yours. What side of the TV do you want to be on??
    Laziness and dirtiness are not for you because you know you are heading for greatness. A Chinese proverb says that ‘The best time to plant a tree was 10 years ago. The next best time is today!!’ So define your goals, write them down and begin taking definite steps to achieve them. No one else can do that for you!

  10. Only add people you know on social media like Facebook. Many predators masquerade as friendly faces. Some are much older men out to trap gullible
    young girls. Never ever agree to meet up alone with anyone you met on social media. Never go alone to the house of a man who you don’t know very well. Go with a friend. If need be, let the person meet you up with your friends in a safe place where you can get help if things are going wrong. Let your parents/guardian in early on in the friendship. They are there to help you and have your interest at heart, so involve them.

  11. Never accept gifts from older men (or women) which you cannot show your parents. This is called grooming. They give you small gifts and gradually escalate to bigger gifts, all the while gaining your trust. Eventually they strike and then it’s too late. Form the habit of saying ‘oh please give it to my mum so she can thank you as well’ and see how quickly they disappear with their evil bait. Don’t be gullible no matter how badly you want that iPhone; it’s better to wait patiently to get it than let your impatience lure you into the lion’s den. Be content with what your parents or guardians can give you and work hard to earn your own money to buy what you want.

  12. Flee from older men who tell you problems they are having with their wives or show you bad pictures. Let your alarm bells ring very loudly when a much older man makes you his confidante. He tells you how bad his wife is at making love, how miserable she makes him and so on. You are not his counsellor!! He should go find one or go moan to his own mates. As you listen to his gibberish, he is carefully drawing the strings of your heart till it gets to the point that you decide it is your ‘destiny’ to help this ‘poor man.’ You are then finished!! He can do whatever he wants with you. You may not live to pick up the shattered pieces of your life.

Condoms – do they fail or do you? (4)

”No, it’s okay. I will buy some,” Amina said.

”Just keep a straight face when you get to the shop counter with the condoms,” said Baako.

Amina glared at him.

”Just kidding! I will buy some as well,” he said.

”Good! Like I have said in the past, there are other more effective methods of contraception but if this is your choice, then that’s alright. Hopefully if you stick to using condoms every time you have sex and remembering our discussion on how to use them correctly, no pregnancy will result.”

”I seriously hope not!’ Amina exclaimed ”I am definitely not having a third abortion.” Her voice broke.
There was an awkward silence in the room.

”Some people who have had an abortion find it hard to move on. Some keep blaming themselves or others. It can have an emotional toll.’ I paused and watched as Amina nodded, not raising her face.

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”Talking to an experienced counsellor can help you come to terms with the past so you can move on and embrace the future. Would you like to speak to a counsellor about your experiences?”

”I think so,” Amina said quietly.

In a rare display of empathy which I didn’t realise he had in him, Baako reached out and took Amina’s hand.

If you are struggling with guilt concerning an abortion, please seek counselling today! You need to forgive yourself and move on. Our past experiences should not be allowed to destroy our future joys. But please take steps to ensure the past does not repeat itself.