When your partner wants to abstain until marriage

Thursday June 4 2020


By Joan Salmon

Relationships have for long been said to be a fragile matter and in as much as technology is changing so fast, hence trying to pull everything with it, some things remain unchanged. With marriage in mind, many wonder if sex before marriage is okay while others think it is not fine. So, where does one draw the line?
If people with varying thought lines are in a relationship, what happens? Do we get married to satisfy our desires?

Do we split because we are not compatible?
Evelyn C Kharono Lufafa, a counselling psychologist, says courtship is a time when a man and woman get to know each other and develop their relationship before getting married. “Generally speaking, this is when the good feelings of love towards each other are at the peak hence a tricky time for the intending couple. The need to be together is so intense and seeing that our bodies are sexual by nature, if put to extreme temptation, you may fail to stay in control. This puts the couple in a compromising state of thinking that sex is the only way of showing how much you love your partner,” Kharono shares.

Putting marriage into perspective, Beatrice Balitenda Kakembo, a counsellor and sex therapist at Inspirations Counselling and Parenting Empowerment Services, says regarding when to have sex, the obvious and usual answer would be to wait and have it after the wedding! “But one needs to ask, “why after the wedding?” as there are several reasons why one may vouch for that,” she shares. Could it be that it is a moral or religious issue? Is one a virgin and wants to keep their virginity until their wedding day? Or is someone trying to hide a sexual problem which if revealed before the wedding could be disastrous to the relationship? Could it be fear of sex now?
Quality of your relationship
There is also need to evaluate the quality of relationship you have, look at how long you have known each other, why you love each other, and how you met to start the relationship.

More to that, have you thoroughly, openly and sincerely talked about your sexuality, why can’t one wait till the wedding, what is the motive to want sex now, how has the party that desires sex before marriage handled this sexual thing before, and so much more.
“There are 1001 questions to be asked when this is the scenario as they help in coming up with a conclusive answer,” the counsellor mentions.
Think of the long-term
Kharono also shares that having it at the back of your mind that you will eventually be together for many years is another way of bearing the waiting time. “There are other ways of showing each other love such as holding hands, sightseeing together and many others that will not compromise your set target,” she mentions.

Set boundaries
While sometimes that may fail, Kharono urges couples to support one another through setting up boundaries for meeting places as well as time so that you do not put yourselves in compromising situations which will make you get resentful feelings, especially for the partner who values waiting to have sex only after marriage.
Kharono also mentions that this waiting period is the most important for a couple that is intending to get married as they have to discuss the future, kind of family they would like to have and more so the marriage preparations.
“Therefore, to avoid anything that will destabilise or put an end to the future, the two people need to also engage in other energy draining activities such as swimming, and aerobics besides thinking about each other all the time. They could also find a charity activity such that this keeps them actively engaged in other activities too,” she advises.

Communication during this time is also important as it is good to keep it open and understand why you need to wait for marriage and how this impacts on your relationship as well. “The more you speak freely about the topic of having to wait for a good cause such as marriage, the stronger you become by working together to keep your promise to each other. Remember this is the most difficult thing to do even for a good professed Christian and so the need to keep looking forward to the marriage day by supporting each other through open communication,” she says.


If it gets much harder, Kharono says it is good to find a more mature couple for support or a relationship counsellor.
Kakembo augments her saying the couple should seek pre-marital counselling or sex therapy from a professional. “During the several sessions the two will go through, several issues will be ironed out, they will get to understand sex and their sexuality and eventually make an informed decision.”

She adds that under normal circumstances, marriage is meant for the long haul and sex is a major component of this delicate relationship. “It is, therefore, important to understand it and its impact on this relationship. It is advisable that this understanding is sought from a professional before total commitment to a marriage happens,” Kakembo advises.