Friday, July 17, 2015

lets talk about sex, baby!

I am about to get real REAL.  This is my story about sex.  I don't care if you can only identify with one sentence in it...if God can use this story to encourage you, I will call that a victory.

I got married at the age of 20. Both Bill and I chose to wait until we were married to have sex...So I was SUPER excited for our wedding night and honeymoon. My excitement was dashed immediately as I realized that my body didn't seem to understand that it was suppose to RESPOND to this beautiful gift that I believe God created and meant to be enjoyed.

This quickly turned into frustration for both my sweet husband and myself. I cried all the time b.c I didn't understand why this was so hard. He was sad b.c he felt it must be him....maybe I wasn't attracted to him (which wasn't the case at all).  In my young, immature mind, this became all about me. Which means we basically stopped having sex. In our first year of marriage it would easily be a month or more at a time in between.

A few years into our marriage we attended a sex seminar at my aunts church that taught us a few things. The biggest thing we took away from it was implementing an every 3 day system. This was brilliant and we used it for at least 10 years. The way it works is like this: one of us initiates today and then the other person has 3 days to it can be the next day, or 3 days later...but it has to be within 3 days. It was a great system b.c it helps both to be initiating. Bill was gone driving truck 3-4 nights a week so we had very limited time together. Our time apart didn't help my desire to have sex, it just made me more tired. So the every day rule was very necessary in helping us have sex regularly.

Clearly I still didn't realize the REAL importance of sex. It became more of a "duty" to "make my husband happy" kind of thing not a way to connect and love my husband.

Then after we had our second child, we read the 5 Love Languages together (if you haven't read it, read it TODAY!!) This was HUGE for me...Bill's primary love language is physical touch. Through this book I learned that sex wasn't just an act for him...its how he FELT MY LOVE! Just like when I rubbed his back, played with his ear or held his hand. I was overwhelmed with the fact that I had not been loving him the WAY he needed to be loved. It was at this time that I stopped focusing solely on myself in regards to sex. I started asking God to really help me view it as a way to love my husband.

We continued the every three day thing....And although my attitude got better, I wasn't necessarily EXCITED to have sex. Of course Bill could sense all of this so we would fight about sex every few months. Nothing ever was just the same old fight. Mostly he would end up apologizing for wanting sex so much and I would allow him to apologize. Because if I am honest, I felt like he should "back off".

Bill ALWAYS wanted sex and I never did. The three day thing helped with this a lot....but it didn't eliminate all the fights. I felt like he never left me alone. He felt like I never wanted him. The more he pursued me, the more I pushed him away. I started to get mad at him for trying to kiss me or even hug me when I was in the middle of something b.c I felt like he was disrespecting the fact that I was in the middle of something and couldn't just stop life to have sex. Of course this hurt him tremendously and caused him to pursue me even more because he would start to feel desperate for my attention and love.....which caused me to push him away even more...and the vicious cycle continued.

Bill LOVES how I look...I mean, its ridiculous actually. He thinks I look better now after 17 years of marriage than he did when we got married. And I will be 100% honest, that bugged me. I didn't see it as a gift...I saw it as an annoyance. When other wives told me that their husbands didn't want sex every day I was jealous of them. So, I thought a lot about how much I wish his sex drive would decrease....rarely did I entertain the idea that maybe I could pray that mine would increase.

A few weeks before our 17th anniversary, we were going through a hard time. We have found it to be very normal to struggle on some level at least one time  a year. We have learned not to be panicky  b.c we always learn from it, heal from it and more forward. I don't love when we struggle, but I also know that it makes our marriage stronger.

Well, during this specific time I really started to be angry about sex. You see, my love language is completely different. Physical touch is the the BOTTOM of my list. And as much time as I have spent over the years trying to love Bill in the way he needs to be loved (whether I did it well or not didn't really matter to me)  he has not done as good of a job of loving me in mine.... He would admit to this completely. To be honest, I understood. He use to work 80-100 hours a week. He had nothing left to give when he came home....and although it hurt sometimes, for the most part God granted me grace towards him.

But now, he has been off the road for 1.5 years, he works maybe 50 hours a week (which is nothing compared to what it use to be) and yet he still wasn't taking care of my love language any better. So I got angry. I was hurt. And I was sick of "catering" to his needs.

One morning about a month ago, I was sitting on my front porch talking to God like I do every day, crying and mad. Suddenly, it was just like he was sitting next to me and spoke loving conviction into my soul.

He said "Melissa, I have gifted you with a husband who has loved you at your biggest and smallest, at your ugliest and most unhealthy, at your kindest and your messiest....he could care less if you are 9  months pregnant and 50 lbs over weight or a size you he sees you all the same. He doesn't want other woman {please know that we have struggled with the ugliness of pornography in our marriage as I know SO many of you do and his eyes haven't just been on me...and yet I KNOW that he only WANTED me. I hope that makes sense}...he wants YOU. He craves you and desires you just like I speak in the bible (basically all of Song of Solomon). And yet you treat it like its a hindrance. Like its an annoyance"

If something doesn't induce tears like the father being REAL straight with you....nothing will.

As I sat there and cried and asked God to forgive me...He also gave me a vision. It was like I was watching a movie....but this movie allowed me to FEEL what the main character was feeling.

Bill was the main one scene I felt what he must feel like when I "push him away" all the time. When I make him feel like sex is a chore, a task to be checked off a list. He was sad, regularly frustrated....really, he was just always hurting to some degree.

The next scene  I saw and felt what he would feel like if I walked towards him when he wanted me. If I prayed for god to increase my desire for him vs. praying God would decrease his desire for me. If I made him feel desired and wanted! He was alive! Ontop of the world! He was filled to the brim, becoming an even more amazing man of God than he already was b.c he NEVER had to wonder how his wife felt about him!

I will NEVER forget that morning on the porch. God reached into depths of my heart and pulled out all the ugliness that was preventing me from loving my husband truly....and it fueled my intense desire to meet him where he was at. Right then and there I committed to never being annoyed at how he wanted me again. I decided I would never allow him to fell like he was doing anything wrong again...because he wasn't doing a THING wrong! I thought about how awful I would feel if he made me feel like "come on, lets get this over with" when he took me on a date. Or made me feel like I need to apologize for the fact that I need really good talk time with him!

Woah. I will never be that woman again. And I started by apologizing to him. That in itself was so healing in our marriage.

But what about him loving me the way I need to be loved...I KNOW this is a question a lot of you are asking. I know b.c I asked God the same question. What God showed me was that we were created to live this life FOR GOD. Not for US. He has a plan and a purpose for us and we get confused and think our agenda and plan trumps his. We spend more of our time thinking about ourselves than we do others.

My desire is to love GOD above all else. To let HIM flood my mind over thoughts of myself....and part of loving God is loving people. And so if I REALLY want to love God with everything, I have to love those around me MORE than I love myself.  Which means when I love my husband well, I am loving God well. And if  I want to really love God well, then I wont care about ME or if I am being taken care of the way "I" want...I will trust that God will take care of me even if my husband doesn't.

So, maybe Bill will love me in my love languages and maybe he wont...but that's not the point. I LOVE seeing my husband FEEL wanted. I love saying yes when he starts nuzzling my neck or smiling his "you are hot and I want you smile".... the funny thing is, most the time it doesn't even lead to sex...bc he knows all the kids are awake or we are about to leave the house or I am in the middle of something. But pausing to kiss him or flirt with him has created MORE joy than I ever imagined.

Of course I am not perfect at it...I am still human and get tired and crabby...but I believe every week, every month, every year I will be less and less of the woman I have been  and will instead be this new creation. I have had a heart change. I pray daily that God will show me how I can make my husband feel wanted. Sometimes it as simple as tickling his arm while he drives.

For the record, the more I am loving him well the more he is loving me well....just like vicious circles happen, so do beautiful cirlces. And beautiful circles change lives.