I read one of the most beautiful blogs I've ever read about intimacy and sex between a man and a woman today. (You can see it here.)
I wish all men (and women) could understand these things Anthony wrote, especially his awareness..."because in the end, sex is the result of ultimate connection, and intimacy...not the source."For many years I thought all my husband wanted was my vagina and my breasts. I felt like an object for him to "play" with and get his own satisfaction. I felt that "I" was not important to him, and my mind, my heart...my feelings, desires, hopes, and wants didn't matter to him. I felt he really didn't care to truly "know" me. So, sometimes...often...I was the one saying no. Or making excuses. I was tired of feeling used and abused. Now...let me just be very clear here. It wasn't that my husband was horribly mean or nasty. It wasn't really that he didn't care. It's just that I wasn't feeling loved and cared for. During these years, I was basically a single mom. We had moved from Arizona to Utah; so that my husband could get his education. I had no family close by and felt very much alone most of the time. My husband was working full time AND going to school full time, while I was home with our 4 children (ages 5 1/2 to new born) and also tending 4 other children full time. Much of the time, I was exhausted from tending children all day ...and just wanted to feel safe in his arms. I wanted to come home to HIM, and to just be held. But, I wasn't allowed to experience that safety, that connection, that peace in his arms...not for a long time. Now, to be fair to him...it wasn't all his fault. He didn't know I felt this way, because I didn't know how to express the way I was feeling. I didn't want to hurt his feelings...or to have him tell me that my feelings weren't justified. And to be honest, I don't think I was even able to identify everything I was feeling back then. And ...my husband was just expressing himself in the only way he knew how to also...physically. He wasn't much for digging deep and sharing all his mushy feelings. So...we were in a place that sadly, many young couples find themselves. It wasn't until MANY years later after our youngest child was born, and we went through a very difficult and heart breaking time in our marriage, that I chose to change....whether he did or not. I chose to think differently about things...especially intimacy. I began to choose HIM every day. And, often, I chose to take the lead in creating romantic interludes. Although he didn't change much in the beginning... it did make a difference, because my attitude changed, our sex life became more enjoyable for me. And I think for him too. During this time, something happened that was very significant for me. I will never forget a time when I was very sick....my lungs were so tight that I couldn't breathe and it was very scary. We didn't have insurance...my husband had lost his job, so there was also no money to go to the doctor. It was in the middle of the night ...and I was trying not to panic...but I was seriously scared. I had experienced asthmatic symptoms in the past, but never this bad. He held me in his arms and cuddled me soothingly rubbing my back kissing my neck, talking softly to me and just holding me...comforting me...whispering assurances to me that I was going to be alright...sitting with me wrapped in his arms all night long. It was at that moment that I realized this beautiful man really did care about me. That no amount of hardship or distraction; not anyone or anything could ever take this truth away. I still cherish the memory of this moment. It took time. Our relationship; specifically our sex life, was still lacking the deep intimate connection that I desired so much. But, this was the beginning of me feeling safe enough to deeply trust him again. It wasn't until a several years later though; during another challenging time, that we learned how to talk more. How to just "cuddle" more...and it was then that cuddling became "safe" and beautiful, something longed for, appreciated, and enjoyed. It was then that It felt safer to be real...to be me. It was then that our lovemaking really became deeply "intimate" and joyful and FUN! Connected...oh so connected and "in sync"... It was then that I truly began to love our time together to the point of not wanting it to end! I began yearning for him and excited for the moments I could enjoy his presence again...truly enjoy...whether there was sex or not. It was then that I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that WE could be even better! It was then that I began to trust this...and want this...and YEARN for this...and determined to create this between us. Sadly, we only enjoyed this beautiful time for a short while..., and then many things got in the way. Satan really began attacking our relationship, both of us...but specifically my husband. When he turned 50, he was having a lot of difficulty at his job, he was under a tremendous amount of stress. Around this time, he lost the opportunity for something he had dreamed about doing forever. This among other things changed him. He began feeling like he hadn't accomplished anything, and he really didn't know who he was anymore. He felt like everyone else had "things" that he didn't. He lost gratitude for his life, for ME, and our family. His hormones were off balance too, which played a part. (Yes! Men's hormones DO affect how they feel and act too!) He became increasingly angry with God, and eventually stopped going to church. He began drinking and smoking pot and turned into a 15 year old in a 50 year old's body. All the while, I tried to love him through this stage. This was my beloved. My eternal companion. I wanted him. I needed him. I begged God to help me help him. For a time, I thought he was going to be ok, but then the spiritual battle raged even more. He left in February 2009. My heart has not been the same since. I long for what we began to experience together. That deeply intimate time, where conversation, cuddling, and sexual moments were balanced, and beautiful and deeply passionate and good for us both. A midlife crisis took hold of the man I loved so deeply, (and still do.) I couldn't help him back then, no matter how much I tried. He chose to put everything before us...work...playing with other people beside his wife and family,...beer, pot...and even other women. I couldn't save our marriage. I tried. I really tried. I tried for a long time to recapture US...to make him see what I could see. I tried for many years...even after he left. But...he chose to give up on me...on us...and on our family. I can't change this man. I can't change his decisions. I cant make it better for me, for him, or for my children...although my heart STILL wants to , so badly. Each person in a relationship has the right to make decisions. Often people forget how much their decisions affect not only themselves..but EVERYONE around them. Nevertheless, their agency...their right to choose, is theirs...and although their decisions may affect us adversely; WE have the decision as to how we are going to react to their decision. I choose to still love. I choose to still be friends. I choose to still be honest...and to talk about the hard stuff. I choose to continue learning and growing and working at becoming better... I choose to go on with my life and make it the best life I possibly can. I choose to be HAPPY. For ME....for GOD...and for my family. Even if I have to go through life without him.
If I could give any advice to husbands and wives now, it would be to "find" that intimate connection with one another early...as soon as possible. Don't stop working at it until you feel you've reached that place, and then, hold onto it and "protect" it. Cherish it. Enjoy it!!Talk about the hard stuff. Don't hold back!! And give to your spouse what YOU would like to be given to you...and what you KNOW He/She needs and wants from YOU! Don't hold back...allow yourself to "become"...to be...to just BE with your beloved...and trust. Trust that you can be more...together...every day...every year...always working to become MORE. Learn EVERYTHING you can about them. And, NEVER give up. Be the one to HOLD STEADFAST. There are too may couples giving up...too may couples wandering. HOLD FAST! No matter what! Marriage IS worth it!! Be grateful for what you have...especially for your beloved. Protect one another. Protect your kingdom. Don't allow anything or anyone to come between you. (Especially not the adversary in his many forms!) Stand strong and FIERCELY PROTECTIVE. (Not jealous...but protective...there IS a difference.) PLAY together often. Married life is meant to be fully enjoyed. When life gets hard, don't just be in survival mode...don't forget to PLAY together, in every way...OFTEN. Keep your eyes wide open for spiritual attacks on your marriage and be ready to defend your marriage and relationship, your family, and your kingdom. Fortifying yourselves and your relationship EARLY; by learning the true meaning of "intimacy" will make all the difference! And...no matter what happens...know that God has a plan for you. For your life, and Your marriage and HE is with you...if you'll allow Him to be. He WILL give you guidance and answers to help you through ALL things. Have faith...and trust...even when things might look impossible. Love and Blessings, Renee aka MamaDezee