It’s funny (peculiar, not ha-ha) how often being available or being present makes a positive difference to someone.
After you race through a store and select items, someone must be available at the check-out counter to ring up your purchases, and stores that do well in being there at the right time and in the right way keep you coming back.
When you phone a company for assistance, do you enjoy spending twenty minutes talking to a robotic voice and pushing buttons to get to the right department? Or does it make a difference when a friendly person answers the phone?
From your young child saying, “Mom, look!” right before demonstrating a pirouette to a teenager needing you to hold her as she cries after her first break-up, being there makes a difference.
We expect teachers at school to be available to our children when they have questions. We expect the postal service to be there at our mailboxes to deliver letters and packages. We expect the television show we anticipate throughout the week to be there when we turn it on.
Day in and day out, it makes a difference to be there. Woody Allen famously said that “eighty percent of success is showing up.” Allen’s not my go-to guy for advice, but this quote is pretty good.
When people are not there and we need them — why is our favorite show always the one preempted? — we are understandably disappointed.
I’ve been talking about reasons why spouses sometimes are not available for sexual intimacy with their spouse. In fact, there are times when the very thought of your beloved touching you makes you cringe. You do not want to engage in sex, foreplay, affection, and possibly even eye contact with this person.
Perhaps you are so tired that you can’t prop your eyes open or move your limbs: Don’t Touch Me: I’m Exhausted!
Or you’re particularly frustrated with your spouse: Don’t Touch Me: I’m Angry!
Maybe you have way too much to do to add physical intimacy to the list: Don’t Touch Me: I’m Busy!
And some of you don’t want to show up sexually because you have to get naked and you don’t feel good about your appearance: Don’t Touch Me: I’m Ugly!
But if it’s important for the barista at the Starbucks Drive-Through to be there when you need a venti cup of coffee to make it through your day, how much more important is it to be there when our spouse needs a small cup ‘o lovin’?
(Okay, c’mon. One of you out there is thinking it! I know, I know: “I’ll take my cup o’ lovin’ with whipped cream, please.” Whew. Got that out of the way.)
My prior posts addressed tackling some ongoing, nagging obstacles to being present sexually in our marriage. Of course, there are bigger issues for plenty of couples out there (e.g., sexual history, pornography), but a lot of marriages could improve their sexual health by clearing out the excuse bin and putting sexual intimacy near the top of the to-do pile.
Deal with anger, exhaustion, busyness, and body image issues so that you can turn to your sweetheart tonight or tomorrow night or sometime very soon and say, “Touch me, I’m here.”
I’m asking readers to share their own advice below. What daily distractions or issues have you overcome to make sexual intimacy a priority in your marriage? How important has it been to you to have your spouse emotionally and physically available to you? How do you think we can foster that sense of true presence with our spouses and still work our jobs, feed the kids, and do the laundry? What thoughts do you want to add to the Don’t Touch Me ideas I’ve shared?
8 thoughts on “Touch Me: I’m Here”
I guess sometimes it’s like the Nike slogan; “Just Do It!” I mean it doesnt sound romantic but loving, touching and being available to our spouse is romantic and sometimes that means the kids are in the back yard, you have 10 minutes and so you “Just Do it!” Then later on over the dinner table you can make silly eyes at each other knowing you got away with it and made contact. :)At least thats my life.
I think a very important thing to remember is that sex doesn’t have to take forever. As long as your husband is up for it (hee hee), 5 minutes in the bedroom while the kids are watching TV is something anyone can fit into their schedule. It is fun and even feels a little naughty ;).
For the majority of our marriage my husband has worked some sort of crazy schedule and often daytime sex was all we could do. I know a lot of my friends can’t fathom shutting the door and focusing on hubby rather than the kids- but let me tell you- it pays off. Hubby feels so important when you are able to set aside the kids needs for his needs, that even if it is only a few minutes- it does the job.
A child as small as 3 can sit and watch a movie for a few minutes. Under that age, the crib is a great place to sit and play with a few favorite toys. Put on some music in your room if you need to drown out the noise of older children.
I find that afternoon sex is more pleasant because I am not exhausted after a full day. Try it- you just might like it!
I used to have the issue of not being interested at all… After 5 kids, I guess I was just exhausted .. With my husband’s love language being Physical touch and Closeness, he soon became very frustrated. Thankfully, he was open and patient and would talk to me about it and why it’s important to him and for us.I finally got it though and I’d say the thing that has helped, is just being available The more you use it, the more enjoyable it’ll be. The less you use it, the less you want it .
I haven’t even been married two years, and we don’t have kids yet, so I haven’t really gotten in any of these excuse ruts. But I do place a high value on our intimacy, and I think holding onto that will help us overcome these obstacles as they come up. I sum up my attitude with this saying (that I think I made up): Sex is good, therefore if we can, we should. It’s pretty simple, if we have time and no physical barriers, like sickness, exhaustion (which is rare), or “low fuel”, we make sure to get it in. We feel so close and in sync, and the sex just keeps getting better!
i would like to add a “like” to each of the above posts! (but since this isn’t facebook…) 🙂
Daytime, kids watching movie! Best time of day. It’s a good way to recharge! For those women for whom this is a chore at any time of day. I say plan it. Dress sexy, make yourself feel good, have a bath, prepare yourself to make love to your husband the same way you would prepare yourself to go out with your girlfriends! which normally entails getting a little dressed up, putting on make up and having something with chocolate in it!
I agree with all of you. My husband and I have been married for 20 years and we have 4 kids. My 7 year old son has autism and my husband and I are often up late with him. But I am grateful to God that we still manage to find time to be together sexually. Sometimes my husband comes home early from work and we use that time before the kids get home from school. Since stealing away during the day is almost impossible because of my son condition I awaken myself with a nice bath and prepare myself for him at night so we can make love after our son goes to sleep. Its not easy but its always worth the wait.
Netta – Your comment was beautiful. I love hearing about spouses who work through the challenges and make intimacy a priority. May God bless you as you care for your children, particularly your special-needs son.
Excellent article and very helpful, informative comments! Bravo! I have a request for prayer, as my husband who is 58 (I am 44) is no longer interested in sex, doesn’t get erections (believe me, I check when he’s asleep, especially in the AM), and says his “brain doesn’t go there.” It’s been incredibly difficult for us as it’s been about two years now… This happened after he stopped drinking (TG), and we both thought it would come back. So far, it hasn’t. He won’t go to a therapist or talk to someone at church about this, he has seen his doctor, but doesn’t like the way he feels when he takes Cialis, so he has only taken it once. He is healthy, active, and not at all depressed. His few current meds are not causing the problem. I continue to pray for our marriage to be blessed, and I continue to believe we will get back to one flesh, again. I know my God is bigger than any problem! Thank you for reading, and for your prayers. Blessing to all!
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