I keep putting this one off. Alas, it is time.
We’ve been chatting a bit about marriage on Tuesdays for the past few weeks. Not talking about sex when we’re speaking candidly about marriage is like ignoring the gigantic white elephant sitting in the middle of the living room during a cocktail party.
We all know he’s there but who wants to be the first one to ask him to leave?
Sex is such an integral part of a marriage we can’t gloss over this one, sisters. We just can’t. And trust me, I want to. I really, really want to.
I don’t know about you, but Jason and I can get on this cycle I like to refer to as the “Crazy Cycle.” (I know – incredibly creative of me.)
He’s not getting enough attention in the bedroom so he gets a bit cranky. He may or may not be as nice to me as he usually is.
When he’s not very nice to me because he’s feeling neglected and deprived, I start to get frustrated with him so I may or may not get a bit snippy and anger a little easier than normal.
Before we know it, we end up having a knock-down drag-out argument over something incredibly stupid like where he can put his giant protein-shake can (true story).
But we both know, it’s not really about the protein shake can.
I once heard a speaker on marriage state it like this:
“How would you feel if your husband didn’t talk to you for a week? This is how he feels when you don’t make sex a priority in your marriage.”
The record-scratch of conviction could be heard throughout the entire room of women.
Here’s the thing we women (myself included) have a hard time understanding: sex is a biological need for men. It’s a release and they can’t do it with anyone else but us.
Well, technically, they could but we don’t want them to, right?
I know this all too well because I never really prioritized intimacy in our marriage until recently.
Jason and I had three young children within a three year period – when our youngest child was born in 2008, my oldest child was three and our middleman was 15 months.
The days were long and I had three little people who depended on me for literally everything.
They touched me all day. They threw-up on me. They pooped on me. They threw food at me.
And when I finally got them to bed, the last thing I wanted to do was fulfill someone else’s needs because I had been doing just that all. Freaking. Day.
I couldn’t stand for one more person, even my husband, to touch me.
Anyone else with me on this?
So we slipped into some unhealthy patterns for a while. He was deprived and lonely and I was on autopilot and just trying to make it through each day.
But as the children began to get older, we found ourselves scratching our heads and wondering why we weren’t liking each other all that much.
Remember that we had both been married before? I was petrified I would experience yet another divorce. I hate to even say the word, but it’s the truth.
Having since moved past this horrid season, I can speak about it candidly now but it was incredibly painful.
As within any marriage, neither of us acted alone in the damage done to our relationship. But my part was with my own lack of understanding of the need to prioritize intimacy.
Through the help of good talks with a usually very patient husband and a good marriage counselor, I was able to recognize my own role in this . . .
He wanted to feel wanted. Of course he did because I do as well. Who doesn’t?
Men feel wanted when we initiate sex. Or at least don’t groan or roll our eyes when they initiate it with us.
I’m not saying we need to drop everything and be with them as soon as they say they want it (though there is a school of thought that believes this). There are times when you just can’t – like after having a baby and you’re a hormonal mess and your body is as well. Or if you have the worst case of the stomach flu ever.
But when we do prioritize sex?
Something happens to the crazy cycle.
Jason became more loving, kind, and affectionate. He laughed more. He teased me.
It was like how it used to be and we started having fun again.
And because my emotional needs were being met, I actually found that prioritizing sex wasn’t so tough after all.
Someone has to be the one to stick their toe in the water first and get off the crazy cycle.
So tonight, how about we get the kids to bed and . . . well, let’s just say we’ll all likely have very happy husbands tomorrow morning.
We’re not done yet, sisters. We’ll talk about this again next Tuesday. (Cue the Salt-N-Pepa song)
Is there something specifically you want to discuss here? (No names of course!) If so, email me at ncsnapp at gmail.com.
Also, do you know of Sheila Wray Gregoire? She’s a writer, blogger, and speaker and sex and marriage is her specialty. You’ll want to check her out.
Sidenote: Can you imagine the spam I’m going to get because of this post? Oh my heavens . . .