I don’t know about you guys, but the previous seven blog posts on our site have been more cathartic than expected. Sex is one of those topics we don’t talk about enough so when we get the opportunity, we should take advantage of it.
Having the freedom to talk about it with co-workers, friends, etc over the last week has been freeing.
Reading the posts written by Benj was almost like re-reading a transcript of my own thoughts. Benj is more eloquent than my inner voice and he was able to put into words much of what I have felt and experienced in my own marriage. It felt so affirming to know I’m normal. I’m not alone in this. Other men are struggling with the same things.
Being able to identify temptations (building walls, turning to distractions, and devising false solutions), evaluate my four options (refusing, allowing, participating, initiating), and strive for openness in all of this has been invaluable (and not just in my marriage).
As great as the posts were from Benj, I think I might have gotten the most insight out of Erica’s complementing posts.
It never crossed my mind that my wife can go an entire day (or more) without ever thinking about sex. To me, that’s almost unfathomable. It’s on my mind regularly.
Unfortunately, I didn’t see the disconnect between us there.
God designed men and women differently. To get out of our own frame of reference and into the completely different perspective of our spouse is something we need to do on a regular basis. Not to get sex, but to help us better connect with their hearts.
There isn’t ‘good’ or ‘bad’ here or even ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. We’re just different. We have to accept that and dive head first into bridging the gaps between us.
Creating an environment of acceptance and truly listening to my wife can do more for her heart than washing a million dishes, folding a thousand loads of laundry and vacuuming the living room ten times in a row. I can mark all of those household chores off my ‘to-do’ list, but it brings me no closer to intimacy and openness with her. If anything, I’ll get a pat on the head like the family dog that peed outside instead of on the carpet. But if I want her to embrace me emotionally, physically and spiritually then I need to take off my shoes and step into hers. To actively listen and engage with her without an agenda.
And finally the biggest thing I didn’t necessarily learn from these blog posts, but rather had reinforced was just this: Stay.
When life gets hard. When your marriage is filled with fights and disconnection. When you get discouraged and have stopped trying to physically and emotionally connect with your wife. When you reach out and she rolls over. When you feel like you’re a burden. When one of you stonewalls the other. When you hurt each other.
It forgives. It is patient. It is kind. It does not dishonor others. It is not self-seeking. It is not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs.
Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. (2 Corinthians 13)
It stays. Always.
We were never promised that this would be easy. None of it. So stop expecting it to be.
Love your wives as Christ loved the church (unconditionally) and gave himself up for her. (Ephesians 5:25)
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