I’m lying in bed, writing this post on my phone while my husband is in dreamland next to me.
I’ve been sick and sad this week. I’m still dealing with my cold, and I find myself more sad about our dog’s passing than I’d imagined I would be. Going to bed at 9 feels like a late night. My husband is in the same boat. Plus, his CPAP mask seems to not be fitting right, so he isn’t feeling as rested in the morning as he should.
In other words, we’re both pooped out. And guess what that means we haven’t had much time for? I’ve been sulking (but trying not to) because of a sexual dry spell–which is a funny way to think of it because we’ve had more encounters in the past month than we did in all of 2009. Perspectives certainly can change.
Last night I shared with my husband some of my frustrations about feeling emotionally and physically disconnected from him. I cried much of the time. (Interesting side note: I used to cry a lot. During the years when I had the thickest walls and fought against being vulnerable with him, ever, I rarely ever cried. Over the past eight months, when our marriage has been at its most intimate, I’ve begun crying again. Tears mean I feel safe and close to him.) I reassured him that my tears didn’t mean I’m unhappy, just that I needed him.
He listened, and he heard. Today after work, at what seems to be our best time of day during this season of life, we reconnected. Afterwards, he held me and asked me how I felt. “Loved,” I said. “I feel very loved.”
How is it that feeling loved can infuse my soul with such contentment and at-one-ness? In all those years I restricted our sexual activity, I rejected this wonderful feeling.
Bedtime was awful for a long time. I would go to bed early, hoping to be asleep before my husband got to bed. Or I would stay up way later than he would, hoping desperately that he would be asleep before I got to bed. Or we’d go to bed at the same time and argue about sex. And sometimes I’d cave in and then afterwards would lie in bed frustrated and sad and wondering why we couldn’t get along. Almost every single night, I would lie in bed feeling tense and full of conflict.
Yet here I am now, lying in bed next to my slumbering man, full of wonder that I feel so much peace. It was hard work to get to this point, and I have more work ahead of me. It was hard the first time I chose not to say “no” to my husband. It was hard the first time I deliberately undressed in front of him after years of shrouding myself. It was hard the first time I agreed to an activity outside my comfort zone. It was hard the first time I told my husband how much I desired him. It was hard to admit that I had been wrong all those years. It was hard to ask my husband for his forgiveness for all the years I made him feel unloved and denied him his only legitimate sexual outlet. Every change I’ve made has been hard.
I spent a good amount of time today praying for wives who need courage and conviction to take a first step in healing the sexual relationship in their marriages. It is hard to change years of habits. It is hard to stop trying to protect a hurting heart. If you are one of the wives I prayed for today, I want you to know this: the second step is easier than the first.
Here I am, lying in bed writing a blog post with my thumbs (thumb cramps tomorrow?). Sound asleep, my husband wraps his arm around me. Even in his sleep, he loves me. Every change I’ve made has been hard–and I would do it again in a heartbeat just to feel the way I do right at this moment.
Image courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net