I used to blame my husband for my years of sexual control in our lives. He wasn’t helpful around the house, he didn’t listen to me, he didn’t value me, blah blah blah. Excuses, I now know. Even when I began to make changes in how I approached sex, it was for the purpose of changing him (specifically, cheering him up so I wouldn’t have to live with such a grouchy and depressed man).
I’ve been so busy working on my own changes and observing the changes in our marriage that I haven’t really noticed what was happening in my husband. It was months before he said that he noticed we weren’t fighting about sex as much as we used to. (To be fair, he probably noticed well before that but was afraid to say something because I might get stubborn and resistant again. He knew me well.) It was a year and a half before he first requested a new-to-us activity. Two years in, we weren’t bickering any more and we were more supportive of each other–to the point that even our children commented on it.
I’ve been so wrapped up in my own spiritual journey that has grown out of this that it hadn’t occurred to me that my husband might be growing as well spiritually. Last night as we were falling asleep, my husband said he wanted to fast for me and our marriage one day a month. After my stunned, “Huh?” he mumbled “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” (Ephesians 5:25).
He immediately fell asleep; I lay wide awake. My husband wanted to sacrifice a day of eating? For me and our marriage? I was humbled to tears. Over the last couple months, I’ve recognized other ways that my husband has modeled Christ’s sacrifice for me. But this stunned me. My husband’s a big guy. He loves eating. He’s the one who goes through the buffet line and comes away with an overflowing plate. And he wants to give up eating for an entire day. Every single month. For me.
When I began changing how I approached sex, I expected him to become less grouchy and less depressed because he was getting more of, well, me. It turns out I’m getting far more of him than I had ever imagined possible.