Today was a long day. It is a stressful time of the year for those of us who work with students in higher education, and I’m starting to see nerves fray—in students and in my colleagues. No one is at their best, and sometimes it just takes a bit more energy to get through the day. Today was one of those days.
I came home from work tonight and found my husband and daughter in the kitchen together, unloading the dishwasher and cooking dinner. They do well together and are creating solid father-daughter memories with each other. I wonder if he realizes how much he will miss her when she leaves for college.
After we ate, my husband was standing in the doorway to the living room. I walked to him and put my arms around his neck and laid my head on his shoulder. We held each other. We breathed together. I felt his heart beating against mine. I thought how nice it was, to just hold and be held, to be in that moment together. I was vaguely aware that my daughter was watching us. My husband and I stood together and just soaked in each other’s presence, our arms wrapped around each other, inhabiting one space, together.
I found comfort in being held. The pressures of my work day fell away from me as my husband held me and I remembered who I really am in my heart—not a college administrator, but a child of God who is joined to this man. I could feel my stress level drop.
For so many years, I denied myself this comfort. I rarely approached my husband for a hug because I worried that he might get, you know, “ideas” about sex. I was so busy avoiding the appearance of sexual contact and creating expectations in him that I did not know what a sanctuary my husband could be for me. Denying my husband sex also denied me something I deeply needed.
How many women are denying themselves their own needs as they deny their husbands, I wonder? And how many women are denying their children the opportunity to see a truly loving marriage that is giving, thoughtful, and comforting?
My husband just called. He is out with our daughter, giving her a driving lesson and getting me frozen yogurt. My daughter is learning—better late than never.
How do you begin to make changes?