So my “realistic” post was received well, and I figured that there was one gigantic elephant in the room that I didn’t address there. Sex. I don’t know about you guys, but my husband and I (normally) have a pretty healthy sex life. Even to the point of overkill sometimes. I mean, being realistic…all of our kids are birth control babies, if that tells you anything. So what happens when your sex life goes from healthy to nonexistent? I will admit, this has been the cause of SEVERAL of my breakdowns. Like…a lot of them. A. Lot. A lot lot lot.
As a wife, I feel like I am failing. I feel like sex is a very important part of a healthy relationship and marriage. It’s not the most important part, but it is most definitely not an aspect of your relationship to ignore. Not to mention, if I am being completely and totally open (which I am really trying to do without being vulgar) I enjoy sex with my husband. A lot. Which is good. Since, you know, we are married and all. We normally have sex like…every other day. On a good stretch it’s once a day. Sometimes we go a week or so in between. But our sex life is usually pretty active. Almost three weeks ago we went from almost always every other day to…nothing. At all.
This has led to my husband feeling helpless. I am very used to a healthy sexual relationship with my husband, and going from a respectable 55-60 MPH to 0 in the blink of an eye? It has left me feeling very frustrated. I’ve broken down into tears on multiple occasions due to those feelings of frustration. My husband is dealing with his own feelings of frustration due to all of this.
Let me pause and say this: we understand the necessity and importance of the abstinence. We are not under any illusion as to how important it is. The mental understanding and emotional willingness to abstain doesn’t negate the physical urges that our bodies have become accustomed to satisfying over the last few years. That being said…
We have become intimate on a much deeper level since all of this has happened. Oftentimes, since this has happened, we lay together naked and just observe each other. Sometimes he gives me back massages, and sometimes I just gently scratch his back for him.
On more than one occasion, I have “taken care” of him. (I am so mortified right now, I am literally blushing. My FRIENDS read this! Gah…) He has protested because I can’t be “taken care of.” There is a metaphorical “closed for season” sign on my lady parts. Even ignoring the risks of infection, any nipple or clitoral stimulation can bring on labor. But here is my viewpoint. I know how horrible I feel, being frustrated like I am. And being that I am so frustrated, I have been a little on edge lately. I’m sure that the stress of the situation is also a big part of it, but the sexual frustration aspect is nothing to be sneezed at either. So, knowing how I am affected by the lack of sex in our lives, I know that he has to be frustrated as well. And, as sucky as it is, I feel like it is better for our marriage for only one of us to be frustrated in that way than for both of us to be frustrated like that. DON’T get me wrong. I am not the bow-down-to-my-husband kind of wife. I am generally very obsessed with the principle of the situation. If my husband was wrong in an argument, I refuse to apologize first. That sort of thing. But objectively speaking, knowing how (for lack of a more apt description) bitchy I have been without sex, I would rather not combine my bitchiness with his. And to be very honest, it helps that he doesn’t expect it and even tries to refuse it because he feels bad. It shows that he really appreciates the gesture. If I felt that he expected it or didn’t appreciate it, I would be cut him off. I’m just being honest. But he hasn’t. He has never been very affectionate or demonstrative. But since this has happened, he has changed a lot. In the last three weeks, he has bought me more flowers than he has bought me in our entire relationship. He went all out for Valentine’s Day. All of our other Valentine’s Days were ignored (by him). He never really “believed” in it. Before this, I knew that he loved me, but he never really came right out and told me that. He always assumed that I knew he loved me. In the last three weeks, during our times of intimacy, he will touch my face or…whatever…and tell me how beautiful I am. I find him staring at me at odd times and telling me randomly how much he loves me. He tells me in front of people how sexy I am. This from the man that has never been very good at Public Displays of Affection. He reaches in for kisses at odd times. I’ll be in the middle of a blog post, or taking my temperature, or finding the baby’s heartbeat, and he will reach in and give me a gentle kiss. As horrible as this situation is (and it is) it has brought us closer together as a couple, which is important to me. He has been there for me both metaphorically and literally. He has been my rock through all of this.
Now, just because I am who I am, I can’t end this post like that. Don’t take this to mean that our marriage is perfect. It isn’t. We argue over stupid stuff all the time. He irritates the crap out of me on a regular basis. And I am sure I irritate him equally. BUT…in the last few weeks, he has shown a whole lot more of those “redeeming qualities” that make the hard times worth it all to me, and remind me of the man I fell in love with.