I’m going to be seriously honest right now. I’ve had a crazy last week, in which I shifted the family schedule to fall school hours, worked grueling hours to meet a project deadline, and posted nothing here. In September, I have an online course I’m teaching (not about marriage), a local conference I’m chairing, and plans for a terrific giveaway for Hot, Holy, and Humorous (which I will tell you about next time) that requires some additional planning and coordination.
On top of that, my husband is stressed, for all of his own reasons. So yesterday, despite our marriage being a happy one overall, we had a bad night. Now believe me when I say that we are so far down the road from where we once were, it’s like we traveled to a different planet. We had an argument, but I’m not the least bit worried about us. We’re in love, committed, and will be fine.
But I’ve been feeling sullen all day, and a little guilty about coming on my blog and saying anything that makes me sound like I know exactly what I’m doing in marriage.
After being absent for too long, though, I wanted to write something.
So I started to think about my husband. Not the negative stuff I was feeling last night or the aftermath hurt stuck in my gut. Rather, I’ve learned enough about marriage to know that was a blip and there are some really great reasons to love the guy I chose.
Memories can be a wonderful thing in this regard. Because I mulled all the way back to the things my husband first did to attract me to him. What flipped that switch to awaken my love for him? What made me eager to hold his hand, to feel his kiss, to say I do and get the other fabulous stuff? Why did I find him so appealing, so engaging, so — I’ll just say it — sexy?Practicing optimism about and appreciation for our spouses fuels a better attitude, a hopeful outlook, and a bit of swooning, if we do it right. So I’m going to share my reasons, and I’m hoping you’ll share yours in the comments.
He bought me an ice cube tray.
I bet you never imagined that would be the first thing I’d say. But it’s true! Spock (hubby’s nickname) and I lived in the same apartment complex, and we discussed how the apartments did not provide a sufficient number of ice cube trays. A day or two later, my guy knocked on my door holding two ice cube trays he’d picked up for me at Walmart. And yeah, that little gesture warmed my heart. Because it said: I thought about you when I was nowhere near you. You were on my mind.
To this day, I love finding out that my husband thought about me when he was in other places or with other people. It makes my heart flutter to hear from co-workers that “he talks about you all the time” or to discover he bought my favorite chocolate at the store. The truth is, most married people don’t spend the majority of their day together. And we don’t really know what’s happening in our spouse’s heads, so those little reminders that say, You were on my mind, can keep us feeling connected even when we’re apart.
He listened to me.
I have a history degree, and my primary focus was church history. I recall sitting on his apartment couch when we were first dating and him listening to me talk about the Reformation and Restoration Movements. He leaned in as I spoke, he asked questions that showed he was interested, and he indicated that he was impressed with my knowledge. Want to know what that moment did to my pulse?
Never mind that the subject was John Calvin or Alexander Campbell, the point is he made me feel like he wanted to be with me that moment, and the next moment, and the next. I wasn’t just a pair of lips or a pair of good legs hanging out with him. I could converse with this guy about deep things, and he respected my opinion — he liked me.
These days we often have some of our best lovemaking after a profound discussion on something completely unrelated. We might talk about current events or spiritual issues or personal challenges we each face, and the next thing I know we’re smooching and heading to the bedroom. Guess those thoughtful exchanges are a turn-on.
He touched me, often and easily.
In case you’re familiar with the Five Love Languages theory from Gary Chapman, one of the top two ways I feel loved is physical touch. It’s strange because I’m not touchy-feely with most people. Maybe it’s my introversion that keeps that circle fairly small. However, when Spock and I started dating, he seamlessly found ways to touch me.
He reached for my hand when we walked somewhere or when we rode in the car. He stood shoulder-to-shoulder with me in church and held a single hymnal for both of us. He put his arm around me when we sat on the couch to watch the World Series (1992, every single game). Something about that constant proximity made me feel protected, cherished, desired. And I desired him back.
I still adore holding his hand, although we also get to do things now like cuddling in bed, sharing a shower, and naked body massages. All that physical touch heightens my senses and arouses my libido. It also reminds me that we share something special, from the little goodbye pecks to the big sexual climaxes.
He made me laugh.
My husband’s humor can be dry. Like drought-in-summer dry. One time we were sitting together at a church group event, and he murmured something in response to what the speaker said. I don’t even remember what it was, but it cracked me up. And others around us didn’t get it. I was the one who understood and appreciated his humor.
Turned out, he was also willing to be silly, which I’m all for in life. Life is serious enough that we don’t need to killjoy our way through it, but find reasons to smile. Spock and I engaged in word play, dorky dance moves, and watching comedy films. I laughed at his jokes, and we laughed with each other.
I still think that makes him sexy. And it makes our marriage bed more enjoyable that we can laugh together. Surveys consistently show that women are drawn to a man with a great sense of humor. We enjoy being around someone who makes us smile — is it really surprising that it’s a turn-on too?
Yep, what first turned me on about my husband is what still turns me on about my husband. And after sharing all that, I’m feeling incredibly blessed to have such a terrific, sexy man for my husband.
Your turn: What first turned you on about your spouse? What still turns you on?