Ask Ayana Iman is a bi-monthly advice column where real women anonymously submit their questions about work, life, and love. In response, certified life coach Ayana Iman drops some much-needed gems. Check out this week's segment below.
Dear Ayana Iman: I suspect my baby daddy had an affair but he won't admit it, instead, we argue. How do I move past this?
Your intuition is letting you know something is wrong. When you're in tune with a person, especially someone you love, you notice everything from changes in their behavior to shifts in daily routines. I don't know what ticked you off about the alleged affair but it's imperative that you recount what led you to believe this.
Now is not the time to fight. Ask him those specific questions when you're levelheaded. I understand it's an emotional situation, however, you lose your ground when you don't remain calm. He will not admit to an affair whether he is or isn't having one. For those reasons, don't waste your energy arguing.
Instead, figure out what you want. Would his admission of guilt help you move on? Or would it just prove you right?
If your goal is to keep him and work through it, then the second option seems plausible. Love is complicated, but what it is not is crazy-making. Don't let him drive you crazy any longer – get clear on your true feelings about this relationship. I also suggest getting an STD checkup, if, in fact, he is cheating, you want to make sure your health is a priority.
Dear Ayana Iman: My husband and I have been married six years and we've had a sexless marriage for about five of those years. I've done everything in the book to get him to understand that not feeling wanted in that way is hurtful and I basically view our marriage as a friendship. He has yet to change and I'm wondering if I should walk away for good. I don't want to step outside of my marriage for intimacy but I believe that that is an important part of a relationship and right now, I'm fed up.
Your feelings are valid. A healthy relationship requires intimacy. Regardless of whether it's physical or emotional intimacy, your relationship will end without it. From what you've shared, it already has. You're right; your husband is your friend. Friendships are typically exclude sexual relations. The vows of marriage state "…to love and to cherish," which does not fulfill the promises he made to you. I can only imagine his reasoning for not being intimate, but I wonder if he's asexual; whatever it is you don't deserve this. This is by no means a reflection of your worth.
Marriage requires hard work and if he isn't willing to put in the effort to be intimate or have concern for your feelings, then it's clear he does not value you.
Do not step out of your marriage. I repeat, do not step out of your marriage. There is no reason to cheat to get the satisfaction you desire, which will only lead to an orgasm and a headache. Hold on and know there's a better way to get your needs met. Have you tried marriage counseling? If not, this last-minute kind of counseling also may not really be about trying to fix the relationship, but going so that you can reassure yourself that you've tried "everything."
Five years in a sexless marriage is very telling of a bigger issue, one that you cannot fix on your own. If you have truly tried everything, then there's nothing more I could say than choose you. The lack of intimacy has eroded what once was and has been replaced with distance and unfamiliarity. Your choice to walk away is valid. Not every marriage is worth saving.
I wish you more love (and being loved on) in 2019.
Featured image by Getty Images.
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