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Woman and Witchcraft - Things Women Do To Keep Their Men

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Our reporter goes undercover to find out what exactly takes women desperate for love to traditional medicine women.

Women are collecting body fluids like urine and menstrual blood among others to keep their errant husbands in check on witchcraft advice. So, under the guise of needing an urgent solution to a cheating husband, our undercover reporter visited some shrines in Katwe, Makindye and Wakaliga to seek advice from traditional medicine women.

I found a number of shrines and herbal shops in Makindye, but the chills of entering a shrine got the better of me, so instead, I eased into a herbal shop. I was warmly welcomed by one lady, Saudah.

For fear of being seen by someone I know, I hurriedly addressed my three concerns — my husband does not provide for the family, is a cheat and has a low self-drive. I told Saudah I needed something to make him more interested in me and to stop him from cheating.

Saudah’s response was: “Banange abasajja!” ["But men!"]

She pulled out different bottles and white polythene bags, telling me how each of the substances works. A soil-like powdery herb was to be mixed in my husband’s food, tea, juice and soda while serving him. After consuming the food containing the medicine, my husband would lose interest in other women.

She tipped that the spell would be more effective if the medicine is applied directly onto the food. I would have to use the same soil-like herb to cleanse my private parts before I made love to my husband, as the medicine would make my private parts “tight and sweet”.

She pulled out another type which looked like grass and told me I was supposed to burn it inside the house every day for five weeks. I would have to burn it while calling my husband’s name and command him to think of me wherever he goes. According to Saudah, the spell works better when the individual burns the grassy herb stark naked.

I paid sh50,000 for all the concoctions, took her phone number and she told me to check with her in case of any change.

The confidence of entering a shrine that had abandoned me at first came back immediately I left the herbal shop. Inside the shrine were three naked women smoking pipes (emmindi). I learnt that the women strip so that they do not smell of smoke after leaving the shrine. I told the in-charge of the shrine, an old woman called Jjajja, that I just wanted something to seal my marriage and also get a promotion at work.

“For how long have you been married?” she asked. I told her five years.

"Mwanawange, abasajja benzi. Oyina okwefako buliomu asikaaza wuwe," Which translates to: My child, all men are cheats. You have to take care of yourself as everybody pulls to their own favour, she cautioned.

At first, she laughed off my offer of sh20,000 for the job, saying it was little money for such a big problem. But when I feigned desperation, she accepted. She immediately sent one of the women inside,who came back with a black polythene bag full of different types of grass, small tree branches and animal hides.

She sorted the herbs one by one, starting with one that looked like tea leaves. This, I was supposed to tie in a polythene bag, get a thread out of my husband’s shirt, underwear or trousers, put it inside the polythene bag together with the herbs.

Then I would tie it on the part of the bed where my husband could not see it. Every morning, as I made the bed, I was supposed to touch the herbs chanting my husband’s name and whatever else I wanted.

"Gamba nti gwe gundi nkusibide wano.Laba nze nzeka ngatogenda walala," which loosely translates to say you are mine alone. Consider me alone. Never see anyone else”.

The old woman instructed me to sew some herbs in one of the pillows he uses.

For the promotion at work, she advised me to wrap some of the herbs and put them in my bag and should ensure that I move with it everywhere I go.

She said if my husband tried to sleep with another woman, he would smell like faeces, which would turn that woman off. She said if I did not realise any change, I should bring her a rare type of chicken, one I had never heard of. That visit cost me sh25,000.

The next shrine I visited seemed like it had stood the test of time. I told the woman there my marital concerns. She was indifferent. She told me not to spend money buying herbs because there was no herb in this country that could stop men from cheating. She told me to pay sh10,000 and then gives me a solution she said would make my husband come back home early.

“After preparing food and you are ready to serve him, go outside and squat to urinate. Make sure you get the first drop of your urine and put it in a cup or tin. When you are serving him, pour it in his soup and juice. As you are doing that, say that ‘the way this urine has pained me, is the same way you should feel pain when you intend to cheat on me.’ When you do that, you will come back and tell me,” she said.

She advised that as I am bewitching my husband, I should try to show him respect, be clean and try to be willing to learn more sex skills because men want to see new things whenever they want to sleep with women.

When I was ready to leave, she told me to show her my right-hand palm. She examined it and plainly assured me that I do not have a chance with men – that most of them just want to use me and dump me. But she said that since I had come to her place, all my marital woes would be history.

The woman told me that since she has seen the problem is with me, I should blow the pipe she was smoking and say my husband’s name and things I want him to start doing. She told me the words I should say. For example, “Malcolm, I am the only woman you should love, provide for and think of all the time. Give me all the money I ask for. You should even marry me as your official wife, involve me in your plans and obey my suggestions.”

When she had finished telling me what to say, she handed me the pipe – I had never held one before! She taught me how to smoke it. Helplessly, I followed her directions on how to smoke the pipe. I cannot remember what I said.

I moved out regretting why I had entered that shrine.

Apparently, a man just finds himself spending more time at home and buying his woman expensive gifts and posting her pictures on Facebook all the time. He may blame it on growing up and settling yet the woman quietly knows the reasons. She also has to pay routine visits to the witchdoctor.

Expert opinion

Joseph Musalo, a counsellor at Uganda Christian University, Mukono, says witchcraft has never been a solution to couples who have issues in their marriage. Witchdoctors just play on people’s minds. If he realizes you have not been preparing good food for your husband, that day, he will tell you to prepare something extra special then he gives you herbs.

Psychologically, you will take extra care in how that meal will turn out, your husband will like it and when he comes home two days in a row after that, you think the witchcraft is working.

Musaalo adds that once a person engages in witchcraft, it is very hard for them to drop it. They attribute anything small to witchcraft. If a couple has problems, they should seek help from a professional counsellor. Most people do not take counselling seriously. There are burning issues couples cannot tell each other because of their egos, but when they contact a counsellor, they can air them out and get help.

He advised that in case you suspect that there is something wrong in your relationship, communicate to your spouse during your free time and discuss.

“Breakdown in communication can break marriages. Couples should trust and respect each other to avoid visiting witchdoctors for help,” he said.

Would you resort to witchcraft?
Woman and Witchcraft - Things Women Do To Keep Their Men
Annet Katusime: I have never seen a person who visits witchdoctors and gets a stable marriage. If witchdoctors had herbs for stopping men from cheating, why do married people still die of HIV/AIDS or divorce day and night? Those are liars.  

There is a lady I know who visited a witchdoctor to stop her husband from cheating and beating her. After making the man eat the herbs, instead she was beaten till she divorced him. I cannot even step there.

Hellen Chandiru: I do not believe in witchcraft. I cannot even waste my time visiting them. It is against my faith. If my husband is a cheat, I would take it before the Lord. And trust me, my prayers would change him.

Sarah Annet: There is a time my husband would not leave money for upkeep at home and was instead spending it on alcohol for his friends at the pub. I went to Mukono and got herbs.

Slowly, my husband gave up on heavy drinking and became responsible. Even my friends who have visited witchdoctors can testify that those things work. Most people do, but they do not want to admit it, even those who go to church.

Madina Tikakya: Those herbs from witchdoctors just worsen the situation. For the 30 years I have lived, I have never heard any success story about witchcraft. Even people who say they give others blessings are also struggling.

James Ssewanyana: 
I would only visit a witchdoctor if he had herbs to make me get a lot of money and get a promotion at work. But for bewitching my wife, I would never do that. If a woman cheats on me then it is fine because I will get another one. www.newvision.co.ug

When He Has the Headache - How to navigate diverse sex drives in marriage

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I did not relish the possibility that I was the only Christian woman who had a stronger sex drive than my husband, but for the first decade of our marriage, that’s exactly how I felt. 

When I shared my dilemma with close friends, I typically got blank stares. One friend facetiously asked, “You mean you actually like sex?” Indeed, I do.

Our culture complicates and contributes to this predicament by idolizing sex and trying to convince men that they won’t make it through the week unless they are sexually active. According to my husband, “As an American male, if you aren’t thinking about, talking about, or having sex on a daily basis, it’s easy to get the message that there’s something wrong with you.” (My husband is not the only man who refuses this worldly mindset, but he does seem to be in the minority.) Sadly, this skewed message often infiltrates the church.

As Christian women, what we most often hear from the pulpit or at conferences is essentially, “Women, we all understand that you aren’t as interested in sex as your husband, but try to be a good wife and give him what he wants.” This perspective does not resonate with my experience and feels both reductionist and demeaning. I would often come away from these events thinking,If God made me a sexual being, why am I getting the message that there’s something wrong with me if I enjoy sex?
When He Has the Headache - How to navigate diverse sex drives in marriage
A Shameful Secret
The reality that I am interested in sex more frequently than my husband has caused some tension in our 23-year marriage. Though we do a fair amount of public speaking on taboo subjects, this one has not gotten much air time because, to be completely honest, we have both felt some degree of shame.
Before we could make progress on this issue, we had to acknowledge these feelings of inadequacy and shame.

Overcoming shame connected to our sexuality is a big deal. For some mysterious reason, shame is attached to our gender. (Remember how Adam and Eve covered their genitalia in the Garden?) My husband felt the shame of not living up to the culture’s—as well as his wife’s—expectations. I often experienced his “no” as a personal rejection, as if I was undesirable.
Before we could make progress on this issue, we had to acknowledge these feelings of inadequacy and shame. Additionally, he needed assurance of my committed love and respect, and he needed to know that I was not judging him. I needed to know that he found me attractive and desirable, particularly when he was not interested in being intimate.

During our years of pastoring, we’ve counseled enough couples to know that we actually aren’t alone in battling shame. People feel ashamed for a multitude of reasons, including lack of bonding with parents, abandonment, abuse, sustained teasing, or bullying. For some individuals, a diminished libido might be connected to any of these issues (as is the case for my husband who was molested as a teenager).

Pursuing Honest, Courageous Communication
Discussing core issues such as those connected to our sexuality requires an added level of gentleness, compassion, and intentionality. Honest communication and a commitment to working through these issues help us to avoid turning our bedrooms into a battleground.

When it’s obvious that something subterranean is going on in our marriage, my husband and I bookmark it and commit to talk it through during the coming week. We have learned the hard way that difficult conversations are better off happening during a walk on Saturday morning rather than when we’re about to be intimate. Such intentionality keeps us moving forward because marital issues don’t magically resolve without sustained effort, regardless of how much we wish they would.
What’s happening in the bedroom is a reflection of our entire relationship.

In terms of communication, there is a delicate balance we need to achieve as we work through this. Though my husband and I committed early on to not deceive each other, I have learned that sometimes “an intelligent person remains silent” (). After having multiple defining conversations, he does not necessarily need to hear me express my frustration when he’s not interested. This requires a tremendous amount of self-control, and I’ll admit that I often fail. We have also learned to give each other a “soft no.” (Yes, there have been times and even seasons when I’m the one declining!) When one of us wants to be intimate, if the other one is not game, we offer some form of physical connection (perhaps a hug or kiss), and suggest an alternate time.

Sex isn’t simply about the plumbing; struggles couples face in this area may have nothing to do with physiological causes. What’s happening in the bedroom is a reflection of our entire relationship. We’ve sat with many couples who are in the midst of processing sexual issues when they realize that they have deep pockets of bitterness toward one another. While it’s understandable that frustration may build up as we deal with long-term issues, bitterness, anger, and withholding forgiveness are not conducive to a vibrant intimate life. Check in with each other on a regular basis, asking simple questions such as “Are we in a good place?” or “Is there anything I’ve done that has bothered or hurt you recently?”

Though this is a tender and somewhat embarrassing topic to discuss with others, if you and your spouse aren’t able to enjoy sex on a somewhat regular basis (a minimum of once a month), consider seeking help via a marriage or sex therapist. Because we are seldom objective on this issue, working with a skilled third party can make a huge difference.

The Year That Almost Broke Us
Despite all of our communication and intentionality, year 10 of our marriage was extraordinarily difficult. The stress of young children, multiple jobs, and a health crisis I faced left us both feeling stretched and weary. In times like this, sex can actually mitigate some of the conflict and tension—unless your sex life is a point of conflict and tension, in which case things can get very complicated.

In the midst of a tearful conversation one evening, I admitted that I felt like giving up and simply resigning to the reality that this issue might never be resolved. He insisted that I not give up because my sustained desire provided an impetus for him to grow. Make no mistake, holding out hope is a vulnerable and sometimes painful option, but God can—and will—sustain you.

The processing that we did that year yielded a good harvest: empathy. I don’t have emotional barriers to sex but I do have physical ones (exhaustion and fibromyalgia pain). It’s the reverse for my husband. He’s committed to being emotionally present when we are intimate, which I deeply appreciate. The residual shame connected to his molestation as a teenager compounded by his long, demanding work days can sometimes feel like an insurmountable hurdle. By seeking to understand each other more deeply and by asking God to fill us with what we needed, we have been able to replace accusations with mercy, and despair with hope.
Learn How to Fight the Actual Enemy, Not Each Other
As you work through these sensitive issues, it helps to remember that we are in the midst of a fierce battle. Because a sacred marriage reveals the image of God, the Enemy of our souls deeply opposes it and endeavors to turn us against each other. In order for our marriages to continue growing, we must commit to staying on the same team and fighting against our actual enemy—rather than each other.

Because a sacred marriage reveals the image of God, the Enemy of our souls deeply opposes it and endeavors to turn us against each other.

Some nights when I’ve longed for sexual intimacy but we’ve not been able to connect, I can sense the accuser tempting me to think the worst about my husband, tempting me toward cynicism, or tempting me to get my needs met elsewhere. Though I feel vulnerable in these moments, I have learned to exercise the authority given to me by Christ and push back against the darkness. Practically speaking, this might mean reading Scripture, singing worship songs, confessing my ugly thoughts to a friend the next day, or purposefully demonstrating my love and commitment to my husband. It’s a choice to fight for a good marriage.
Remember the Big Picture
As with any relational conflict, this issue offers us the opportunity to become more like Christ: to learn how to love, sacrifice, and extend mercy and grace. Marriage provides a sacred context for this transformation to take place. I’m not advocating that we should try to shut down our sexuality in the hope of eliminating tension, or that we should over-spiritualize our problems. But we do need to remain mindful that culture indoctrinates us with the unhealthy and unhelpful expectations that marriage must satisfy all of our needs, particularly our sexual ones. While there is a level of truth to this (for example, our friends cannot fill our sexual needs), expecting or demanding that our spouse satisfy our every need is idolatry, not love.

As I look back over the last 23 years of marriage, I can see that we have made slow and steady progress on this issue. I have come to a place of peace about our differences and no longer try to coerce my husband to be like me. We have created many venues for connecting on deep levels. When we do have sex, we are both completely free to enjoy each other and receive the moment as a God-given gift. Even if I might still prefer to have sex more often than we do, I am choosing to be thankful for him and for what we do have.

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