But along the way, I found a few things impossible to change about him. I’ve accepted that this is The Way It Is. My marriage has never been better because of it.
I have a whole list, but today I’m going just going to tackle one, because, well, because I seriously underestimated its importance to my man and oh, how I wish someone had told me as a young married woman.
Yep, you guessed it: Sex
It took me about fifteen years of trying to make his drive
go away correspond to mine, to finally come to terms with the fact that this is a genuine need, not a selfish frivolity, to my husband (This time - perhaps not coincidentally - encompassed our first four kids and seven years of parenthood).
As it has been said (was it Tommy Nelson?), Sex is to men what affection is to women.
Let’s pause for a moment and consider that statement. An affectionless marriage would make me wither up and die, because affection is a genuine need for me. I need the hand-holding, the hugs, and the common courtesies. It boggles my brain, but a mans’s sex need must be met. If not within the healthy confines of marriage, it will be met elsewhere, starting through fantasy of some sort, which generally leads down the path of greater sin.
We had a conversation once that scared the pants off me: Dennis said, “When our sex life is good, it helps me stay faithful to you.” I’ve never once worried about him being faithful, but that moment made me realize even good, Christian husbands and fathers have to work to keep their minds pure. It was a wakeup call.
Notice he did not say, “When you keep the house clean,” or “When you have dinner waiting for me.” He didn’t even say, “When the kids are well-behaved.” No, the number one reason men’s minds go south is because their number one need is not being met at home.
This is a tender subject for me but I’m going to plow through it anyway. We’ve had times, especially, but not limited to when the kids were all small, that things reached crisis proportions in this department. I already wrote about our disastrous tenth anniversary night, and I’m sad to say, there were others.
Thankfully, I have a husband who talks to me. When I’ve gotten self-focused, and when I’ve completely neglected this important part of who he is, he comes to me. We get back on track.
You might not be so lucky, however. But I will tell you, even if your husband is not talking to you about this, please be assured that this topic is never far from the surface of his mind. As the research says, something like every seven seconds, it’s on his mind!
After that conversation with Dennis, I suddenly pictured him - the father of my children, the quintessential family man - at work, surrounded by smartly dressed women who think my husband is funny and attractive. How easy it would be to be tempted. Tempted to fantasize. Tempted to work later, or tempted not to come home at all. Not because his wife isn't a good housekeeper or mother, but because his wife may or may not be interested in him physically.
Ladies, we have to overcome our reticence to talk about subjects that make us uncomfortable. Our marriages depend on it.
I guarantee, if you talked to your husband and told him you wanted to make changes in the way your home operates so you can make this a priority, you would have his undivided attention and his unfailing support. Dennis is oh-so-helpful getting kids to bed when he knows there is something waiting for him later!
It’s rather cute, and if it keeps him wanting to come home to me for the next twenty years, I’m going to invest all I can into making it happen!
I’d like to challenge you: Ask God what specific changes you can make so that a great love life can be a priority in your marriage.
Here are some More thoughts on the subject.
Intimate Issues: 21 Questions Christian Women Ask About Sex, by Linda Dillow