Every day, I have one favorite moment. It is when Big Guy walks through the door at the end of the day, puts his lunchbox on the table, and wraps his arms around me.
I rest my head on his shoulder, close my eyes, and absorb his presence. No matter what has been happening throughout the day, in that moment, I feel completely safe and loved as I am held within the circle of his arms.
He is my sanctuary.
With our arms wrapped around each other, one flesh is reunited. I feel whole again.
I once had many walls up to keep my husband out. What I didn’t realize was that keeping him out of my heart meant that I could not take advantage of the great comfort I can find with him.
We often would have a hug at the end of the day. I knew I could find comfort when he held me—yet I always held something back. I was worried that he might get ideas about sex if I pressed too hard against him. If I stayed too long, he might kiss me and develop expectations. If I let myself relax too much in his arms, I might lose myself to him.
So I would hold one of my arms between us, I would cut off the hug too early. I would make sure any kiss was light. I accepted comfort to the point where I could feel my wall weakening, and then I would back off. It was the same every time. I meted out the comfort I could allow myself to have and then pushed my husband away.
This makes me shake my head now. Here Big Guy was, offering the comfort I desperately needed with no sexual strings attached, and I refused it out of fear.
I told myself that I couldn’t work on sex until we had a better emotional connection—yet I resisted this daily opportunity to build that connection.
During times in our marriage when we faced great challenges, I withheld comfort from both of us. it sounds senseless now.
A Wearying Week
The past week was one of those weeks that sucked the energy out of me.
Big Guy has been sick. He has a bad cold—bad enough that he tagged me in Facebook posts about man-cold and man-flu to make sure I understood how to take care of him. I made him his milk toast comfort food, tucked him in, told him he would be better, and generally tried to comfort him in his misery.
We had a late-afternoon meeting regarding some financial issues early in the week. Later in the week, all in one day my car didn’t start when I left the drugstore, I received disappointing news in my email, and the dryer stopped working.
At the end of the week, I spent a beautiful day with a friend walking around our state capitol and sitting by a lake. It was wonderful, although I’ve discovered that a couple hours walking on concrete and marble does a number on my arthritis. I could barely move that night and had to resort to medication to sleep. A few days later, I am still sore.
Basically, every single day we had at least one reminder of things that aren’t going the way we want them to in our lives. We faced struggles, disappointment, and hurdles—all while dealing with Big Guy’s man-cold and my efforts to ward off getting that same cold.
I did a lot of sighing and crying, and Big Guy did some growling. We were able to get the car repaired, I’ve had some beautiful sunny days for hanging laundry on the line, and I’ve worked through my disappointing news to the point where I am seeing blessings in it. We had first-world problems, and things have mostly been resolved.
I spent much time in prayer, finding joy in many things, and thanking God for our many blessings (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
Although the joy and recognition of blessings made it easier than it might have been, it was a wearing and wearying week nonetheless.
By late afternoon every day, I felt burdened and alone.
Then, my husband would walk in, and all was well again. At the end of every day, there were my husband’s arms, holding me and lifting my heart, reminding me that I am not alone on this journey of my earthly life.
With the walls between us gone, I can soak in all the comfort he has to offer and give it right back to him.
My husband’s arms are such a blessing to me, and I thank God that I can see that now.
Do you hold yourself back from your husband in any way? Are there blessings you are rejecting in order to maintain walls between you and your husband?