Monday came and went.
It’s a day I usually blog here at Hot, Holy & Humorous. But honestly, there are some days when marriage bloggers and authors feel like we don’t have much to offer. Because things aren’t that amazing at that particular moment in our own marriage.
My husband and I had an argument. No, I’m not going to share the details. Suffice it to say that we completely misunderstood each other and did not give one another the benefit of the doubt.
I wish I could even say that it concluded with immediate apologies, romantic declarations of love, and make-up sex. Sadly, it concluded with eventual apologies, heavy feelings of regret, and make-up sex.
(Okay, fine. I’m nothing if not predictable on that count.)
What I finally had to deal with is that, even though I was 92% right*, I was totally wrong in what I assumed about my husband. I assumed motives for him that simply weren’t there. In fact, his reasons for acting the way he did were in reality very loving.
And I completely missed it.
I see this a lot here with wives who are frustrated with how much their husbands want sex. They assume that it’s because the husband is a horn-dog who can’t go for a half-hour without thinking of how to get aroused and all he wants is a physical release with his wife underneath him.
That’s almost never true.
I can’t say never because there are indeed some jerks out there, but honestly, if it was only arousal and release, your husband could grab a magazine and head into the closet. Instead, he wants you.
Sex isn’t just about the physical for most husbands — and for most wives. Rather, it’s about connection, expression, pleasure, intimacy. It’s about joining with your spouse in a unique way to show unique love that you don’t share with anyone else. It’s about finding solace and sizzle in one anothers’ arms.
But we tend to assume — based on outward signs that we interpret from the perception we’ve built up in our lives. We can’t get inside our spouses’ heads, but we also don’t ask questions. We just assume we know what the deal is.
I also see this with husbands who assume that their wife is a completely selfish and unloving block of ice when it comes to lovemaking and that her lack of interest or arousal is a statement on the relationship.
Maybe, maybe not.
It’s just not enough information. Some women do withhold because they are selfish, yet many women simply haven’t figured out yet how to make sex a sensual and spiritual experience with their husband. Maybe sex hurts. Maybe she has a bad history. Maybe she doesn’t know where her sex drive went and finding it is number 54 on her list of urgent, must-do items. Sure, you’d like it to be number one, but maybe she just doesn’t totally get it.
But we make assumptions. And we end up with crossed communication and hurt feelings and frustration and despair and unmet expectations and a mess bigger than an over-full diaper pail. Yikes!
Give the benefit of the doubt.
Approach your problem as a we issue.
Look for the win-win.
That advice would have saved me a few hours of frustration myself. But yeah, I pulled that “when you assume, you make an ___ out of u and me” cliché. What can I say? I’m still in a work in progress. God is still molding me. (Ouch. He pounded the clay pretty hard that time.)
It’s all worked out. “Spock” and J are on great terms now. We’re feeling the love and reveling in the intimacy. But I hope that my hard lesson learned can help someone else today as they think about how their spouse approaches sexuality.
*This statistic may be a vast exaggeration.
I do have a guest post running over at Sheila Gregoire’s To Love, Honor and Vacuum on What Is Real Intimacy? Check it out!