By Moses Okuraja
A provision in the draft, Marriage and Divorce Bill, which grants divorce to the woman whose husband is impotent has rubbed some men the wrong way.
Suffice it to say, women can also be impotent.
Their impotence manifests in a condition referred to as vaginismus where a womanâ€™s ability to engage in any form of vaginal penetration, including sexual intercourse is affected. In Buganda, such women are loosely referred to as â€œrocky womenâ€.
Marriage can only be deemed successful when both the husband and wife enjoy a healthy sex life; not mere companionship and rhetoric like some people would like us to believe.
Marriage cannot simply be defined by the amount of peripheral companionship a person invests in a relationship otherwise many married couples today would have opted to lead celibate lives.
After all, many of us had (and probably still have) a very healthy companionship with our siblings and parents.
Essentially, from the Christian viewpoint, marriage as defined and sanctioned by God, was not instituted for mere companionship.
The aspect of companionship was only meant to draw both the man and woman closer in order to initiate an enjoyable sex life geared towards procreation. The holy book says a man shall leave his mother and father to cleave to his wife and the two shall become one flesh.
So, in the event that one of the partners is impotent, it makes more sense to dissolve the relationship and move on.
Any pretence to cling to a sexless marriage in the name of companionship can only add sorrow to the couple which ultimately increases chances of battling the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Companionship in every marriage cannot be treated in isolation. It is actually a precursor to a healthy sexual relationship.
That is why when Kabega (not real name) became sexually inadequate before his wife as a result of a diabetic condition, Mrs. Kabega did not simply sit back to watch and gloss over her husbandâ€™s problem.
Although the Kabegas had five children, the need to restore his sexual adequacy still stood highest on Mrs. Kabegaâ€™s priority list. She worked tooth and nail to ensure that her husbandâ€™s potency was restored.
The so-called companionship and allegiance toward an impotent spouse only keeps him or her in denial, which ultimately breeds pain and anger.
But if the affected marrieds come to terms with reality that marriage without sex cannot stand the test of time, that pain and anger can easily be averted when the two unanimously choose to file for divorce.
Divorce between the impotent party and the other sexually active partner is a win-win situation because it saves the affected person the psychological torture which often times leads to stigmatisation.
It also saves the â€˜normalâ€™ partner the accusations and suspicions of unfaithfulness by the impotent partner.
On the other hand, the sexually able-bodied partner also gets the opportunity to look for someone else with whom to share those conjugal rights.
So, if you discover that your partner cannot do the sexual act at the time you get married, and it is a permanent condition, the marriage should be declared null and void.
But that is, if you discover at the onset of marriage that he/she deceived you. If impotence sets in after marriage, then stay married because you vowed to stay together for better or worse.