In my first marriage I was ignorant; as many women are. No one talked about a man’s needs nor was there information on this subject within Christian circles. I mean really, how hard could it be? Men want sex and we, as submissive wives, give it to them, but I didn’t really understand WHY they seemed to want it all the time because nobody talked about it. We unfortunately can’t sign up for a weekly Bible study that explains to young married woman the importance of sex in a marriage. In Bible studies we’ll hear about submitting to our husbands, or serving in the church, or on this committee, or in the nursery, but nobody talks about one of the holiest ways you can serve your husband in a marriage, and that is, quite frankly, in the bedroom. As it is with most marriages, pregnancies came and with those, babies and then nursing, toddlers, and finally grown children, and sex took a back seat as it so often does. I’m not exactly sure what the trigger is in most marriages where sex turns into more of a chore than a way to connect intimately, but I think it generally begins with conception and pregnancy. There’s the sick feelings that many of us have in the first trimester or the awkwardness of a big belly, or breasts feeling like hot, painfully clogged balloons, or ultimately the baby’s arrival and then of course the 6-8 week doctor prescribed sexual break and then one day you wake up with all of these breaks under your belt and you realize it’s been 2 or 3 or 4 months since you’ve made love to your husband and then it just becomes a really bad habit in the marriage that neither partner knows how to crawl out of or communicate about! We’ve all heard it suggested that most men “take matters into their own hand” but we don’t really understand what that’s all about, just the fact that “most men do it” and we certainly aren’t going to ask how or when because we really don’t want to know; it’s part of the pandora’s box aspect of manhood, just not something that Godly Christian women talk about. There are other factors as well as to why we become sexually inactive in our marriages: the tired factor, or the “my emotional needs are being met by the newborn” factor that is ALWAYS mother related, the busy factor, and the “this baby is attached to my boob all day” factor to name a few. This sadly resembled some of the aspects of my life up until 2007 and then my late husband was diagnosed with cancer. A baseball size brain tumor was found to be sitting right on his pituitary gland, the hormone center of our brains, and he no longer had the sexual desires of a normal 30 year old man; in fact he no longer had a whole lot of sexual desires at all as he endured multiple rounds of chemotherapy, radiation, and other highly potent cocktails of drugs all with the intended use of extending his life. Most of his energy was used for just trying to survive another day, and he no longer pursued me as a normal, healthy 30 something year old would. I shut down sexually; I had to save myself from the heartache of what I felt was rejection, and I’m sure he had his own feelings of inadequacy and anger that we just didn’t talk about. I knew that he loved me but it often didn’t feel like love because of his lack of needing intimacy in our marriage. I, in a sense, discovered what it felt like to be a man in being rejected this way and it didn’t feel very good. It wasn’t even about the physical act, as I don’t think it is with men entirely either, but more so the lack of feeling wanted or desired. In this second chance of mine with this marriage I’ve consciously decided that it will be different this time around. I don’t take a sex life with my healthy husband for granted anymore, and I don’t plan to ever again. I never want my husband to feel like I don’t want him or that he’s a burden for wanting me. His wanting me intimately is a privilege and a blessing as I have learned the hard way. I also don’t want him to feel like I’m rejecting him because I can’t take 20 or 30 minutes out of my valuable time to meet the needs of the person who is only supposed to be second to the Lord in my life. It should be an honor to be able to take care of our husband’s needs because this is something that they can only get from their wives, but we need to be open and willing to fulfilling this God ordained role in our marriages or our husbands will, most likely, find some other outlet for this need or they will shut down emotionally to save themselves from the hurt of our rejection over and over again.
By the way, if you could keep me in your prayers this week and especially Thursday I would appreciate it. I have been asked to speak, for the first time, and this is not in my comfort zone; however, I feel like God is asking me to do it regardless. Prayers for clarity and wisdom as I share my story and prayers that it can touch lives for His glory. Thank you!
Just keep livin!!