When we gaze at a lake on a sunny day or at a lazy slow river, it’s easy to forget the overwhelming power that exists in water.
During the Great Flood of 1993, we lived in the St. Louis area. We often went out exploring the area on weekends. We watched for weeks as the water rose, creeping higher and deeper into communities along the Mississippi River.
The flood waters slowly soaked the ground completely, to the point that it could absorb no more. People who lived in flood zones carried special belongings to upper floors in their homes to keep them dry. They filled sandbags and arranged them in an attempt to keep the water away.
The water continued to rise, flooding homes and businesses as the river banks could no longer hold the volume of water.
On a Sunday morning well into the summer, I watched with horror and fascination as a levee wall was breached. The water rushed with a magnificent force, flooding fields in a matter of minutes. The force of the water was so strong that it lifted a house off its foundation and carried it away, along with farm buildings and so much more.
It wasn’t one particular gallon of water that broke through. It was the thousands and thousands and thousands of gallons all together.
The volume of water was what gave the water such force.
Time and time again, Big Guy had spoken about the pain he experienced in our sex life—yet the words just wouldn’t sink in.
I rejected the words as soon as I heard them, shoring up my own walls of pain to keep his pain away from me.
At some point around 2009 or 2010, my heart began to soften toward my husband. Healing waters began to wash around the edges of my own hurt, and I began to hear some of his words.
Slowly, they began to seep in. I began to catch small glimpses of his hurt.
Eventually, his words and hurt could no longer just soak in and be ignored. I began to feel threatened. I tried to shore up my walls. I withdrew from him even more to keep myself safe and dry from the tears his words might trigger in me.
Slowly, I began to read about sexual intimacy in Christian marriages. I looked at blogs and forums. I began to see my husband’s words in the comments from other men. Husband after husband expressed the same pain—emotional pain, not physical frustration—that my husband had been expressing for years.
The words made me feel uncomfortable, and I dismissed them. I was confident that my own hurt was bigger and harder and more important than my husband’s. But the same words, written by so many men, would no longer be contained. I was inundated by their pain.
And on a late summer Sunday morning, I sat and read page after page after page of these comments, all in one sitting. My walls were breached.
It wasn’t one phrase or one story of hurt that broke through.
It was the volume of hurt, one voice after another after another, that gave the words such force that they crashed right through my own pain, lifted me off my foundation, and knocked me to my knees in prayer and conviction.
The flooding of my heart with the pain of so many husbands—especially my husband’s—was painful for me. Yet . . . it was at that moment that my own healing began.
Because the volume of husbandly hurt was such a powerful experience for me, knocking me off my foundation and forcing me to rebuild, I created a page on my blog where other wives can experience that same force—Your Husband’s Hurt.
Your Husband’s Hurt has recently been getting some comments from women who seem to feel as uncomfortable as I did and from men who have been flooded and overwhelmed by their own pain.
I want the men’s voices to speak for themselves on that page, without challenge. I don’t want to dilute the power of the volume of hurt on that page. Hurting wives have many places on my blog to share their pain and frustration. On that page, I want just the men’s voices so we can all experience that power.
While I don’t want that page to be a place where the pain is discussed and shared, I do think it is helpful for women to be able to express their discomfort with what they have read. I think it is helpful to those same women for men to be able to respond—so I invite you to do so on this post.
When you read the men’s words shared on Your Husband’s Hurt or in other places where men have shared their pain about the lack of sexual intimacy, what do you think?
Are you overwhelmed by what you see? Are you uncomfortable? Do their words have an impact, or are you struggling too much with your own hurt right now? Can you acknowledge your husband’s hurt, or does it feel too threatening to do that?
If you found yourself having a reaction as you read that page, you may comment on that here. (I will be moving some comments from that page onto this post.)
Image courtesy of winnond at FreeDigitalPhotos.net