Hi, everyone. I do not post often, so I will give a quick introduction. My husband and I are 38. We have been married for four years. We have been blessed with a one-year old baby boy (after some struggle and miscarriages). We are practicing Catholics. We live in the United States.
I have a situation for which I ask your Catholic advice.
My husband is a stay-at-home-Dad. Since I earn considerably more than he, I was the one to go back to work 3 months after our baby was born. He does an excellent job with our son.
My husband does not shower everyday, having gone as many as 5 days without a shower. I love my husband, but I oftentimes cannot get near him because of the intense body odor. This is not attractive to me, and, as a female, I certainly should be physically attracted towards my husband.
I want very much to have my marriage be one in which my husband and I are physically intimate. I want to hold him and be held by him. However, his body odor is overwhelming, and I do not want to be close to him.
I have talked to him about this a few times. He says that he does not need to shower daily. He points out that years ago, people did not shower. He says that he kisses me even if I have bad breath. He has said that I am being petty on the issue.
I point out to him that I keep myself pretty and good-smelling for him, and that I would like the same in return.
Another thing about my husband is that he doesn’t approach me to be physically intimate with him. Combine that with the fact that his smelly body odor is a big turn-off for me, and we are celibate. I yearn, however, to be physically close with my husband and to be held by him, but the body odor is horrendous. When he was working (before our baby was born), he showered regularly to go to work, and I would approach him quite often to be intimate with him. Now, it’s not happening.
He says that I am wrong. He says that lots of men do not shower regularly, and I must not have dated enough men to know that.
What would a Saint do?
Do I accept him for who he is, smell and all, and proceed to live a celibate life? (And, yet, I was hoping we could be fruitful and multiply…) Do I continue to pray on it? Are there any words from a Catholic perspective that I could say to him that would motivate him to shower regularly?