Here’s the thing.
The minute you get married, you become different. Even while you’re reveling in the new “I Do” you’re already morphing into the woman who now schedules laundry, manages who needs a haircut when, and whether your Friday night plans will allow you to fit in Saturday morning errands and, hopefully, date night.
So with all these new responsibilities, and let’s be honest and call them what they often feel like, Demands…with a capital D, it’s no wonder why physical intimacy can suddenly feel like one more item to cross off the ongoing “To Do List.”
I love my husband. Yes, he irritates me daily. I mean really honey, do I always need to stumble across your retainers when I get up for my morning pee? And I really wouldn’t mind if your idea of “helping out” around the house didn’t ALWAYS create more work for me. But. And this is an important but. He makes me laugh until I cry; he’s supportive of all my dreams, to the point where his bonus check which could go to buy that big screen he’s been craving for over a year actually pays my grad school tuition; he’s wonderful at leading our in-home family bible study and as, ahem, virile as he is, I trust him with my heart, my life, and my hopes.
So no, love, or the lack thereof, isn’t the issue. And because he’s my best friend there are no problems with any other levels of intimacy.
What we have here is a case of “I just don’t feel like it.”
Quiet as it’s kept (although writing and publishing this online probably stopped counting for quiet the moment I typed this) I’ve always enjoyed the company of a man. The hand on my back, feeling petite and feminine, confident in my sexuality and always up for exploring new means of pleasure, a low libido has never been a problem. In fact, besides when we intentionally became abstinent to better honor our spiritual commitment, my husband (then boyfriend…then fiance) and I have always been able to make each other tick.
But it’s almost as if that period of self-denial reprogrammed my body. Because it was our honeymoon, sure, we were intimate. But I think I had more favorite moments outside of that very nice, semi-expensive hotel room. And don’t get me wrong: we’ve had some lovely, heart-pounding, I’m sooooo gonna rip your clothes off moments since the honeymoon. The week we vacationed on a cruise to Mexico was loving filled. Makes you think without the stress of work, school, etc that’s all you need right? But then, one day a few weeks ago when I’m wrist-deep in ricotta cheese, noodles, and turkey marinara (in other words I was assembling this lasagna from scratch) and whipping together a cheesecake (ok, that was box) all he did was kiss me and I almost had my way with him in the kitchen. We made it to the bedroom…barely. And after two or so weeks of pulling the “why are you touching me??” game (only in my head; I’m not that insensitive) I almost jumped him…except that heifer Flo was in town.
So, what gives? This problem rears its quite ugly head at such random times. And my gynecologist whom we met with today promises this is normal and that it will get better. She was really understanding and even gave me a hug before she left the exam room; she also gave us a pamphlet for a therapist if we decide to go that route.
But if this is my new normal….where does that leave my marriage? Because without this coming together, this release, this moment of unity, I really do believe the old adage will apply: sex can either make or break the relationship.