The irony does not escape me.
Some would call my changed behavior an awakening, as though I’d been asleep before. I wasn’t asleep. I was angry and hurting. My sex drive was never the problem; my emotional desire for my husband was. By behaving as though I had the emotional desire, the desire grew in actuality. Once that was in place where it belonged, my natural drive burst through gloriously.
My husband, who suffered for two decades from my sexual neglect and begged for me to change, now has the wife he always wanted. But here’s the ironic part—he has high blood pressure and low testosterone, and although he is under treatment for these conditions, ED and his occasional low drive have become part of our lives.
Now I’m the one who sometimes lies awake after he is asleep, sexually frustrated and sometimes sipping a glass of the same whiskey he used to drink the nights after I refused him for so long, confused and sad. I sometimes think that if I hadn’t gone through all the work and mess and pain, I would be lying in bed pretty content at those times instead of sitting in my dark living room listening to Adele and hurting.
Here I am, in the position I put him in for so long of not having as much physical intimacy as I want. Only now that I’m looking at it from this side of the window, I can see even more clearly how he suffered—and how much of it was due to my own selfishness. I am sad because I yearn for my husband, yet I feel I have no right to this sadness—that it is no more than I deserve for what I did to him. While my mind knows that what we’re going through right now is just for a season, my heart wonders if I have completely lost my chance for the sheer physical exhilaration we could’ve had in our marriage bed. And I grieve for having taken this chance away from my husband, who loves me so much.
Sometimes I feel like I need to keep a reminder on my phone that says, “As a consequence of your two decades of sin and neglect, for which you are very sorry and don’t deserve forgiveness, you have forfeited every right to sexual frustration forever and ever.”
The guilt weighs heavy on my heart at times. I have worked to let it go, especially since my husband told me it is over and done. He knows he holds my whole heart now. When my feelings start to overwhelm, I remember to rely not on my feelings but on the Word.
I look at the story of the prodigal son, who wandered off and sinned against his father. Coming back in humility, with regret and contrition, he was willing to accept crumbs. His father wholly embraced him and welcomed him back with a great feast. He was denied nothing.
For those of us who have undergone a sexual transformation from refusing, gatekeeper, low-drive wives to wives who desire their husbands sexually, we can struggle with our right to feel sexual desire, especially when our husbands have hit a point in life when sexual desire and arousal are not always easy. Like the prodigal son, we are prodigal wives. We have forfeited none of our right to sexual desire and the frustration that can come when it is not fulfilled.
We are children of God, all of us sinners, working toward the life God designed us to have. We are loved no less because we strayed from His design. We did not forfeit love or desire. Even when we struggle to seek the earthly comfort of the husbands who bore the brunt of our sins, we are welcomed back into the arms of our Father who embraces us and welcomes us home.