I first came across this blog post via The Huffington Post earlier this week. I’ve always considered myself to be an objective person; however, I’ve struggled with reading things literally rather than figuratively / objectively for a long time (though I’m improving).
When I first came across this headline, my initial reaction was to not read it at all, simply based on the wording of the title. I was of the opinion that having sex every night with your spouse is a bit overbearing / demanding / selfish. If you’re able to do so and want to do so, then great!
I began thinking about the future, down the road when Al and I say “I do” and start our married lives together – Sex is an integral part of a marriage and appears to be a key ingredient in the recipe for success / happiness within that union. Plus, early on in most marriages, daily sex (or more than once a day!) is traditional / expected / certainly desired – It’s not called “the honeymoon phase” for nothing!
However, despite all those thoughts in my head, my curiosity was peaked. So I clicked.
What I found was a compelling, personal take on sex and a very open stance on her marriage. That takes guts! Heck, this woman started the story in her archives, so to speak – She opened the post with a flashback to her 16-year-old-self. If she’s anything like me, that had to be slightly painful. Who really wants to reach back and talk about themselves as teenagers?
I wasn’t getting manicures at age 16, but her words echoed with me. The first serious relationship with a boy had come and gone for me by that age, but, being a Christian, sex was the farthest from my mind, as I was vowing to save my virginity for marriage.
Of course, I always try to see the different sides to each story that I come across – There’s at least two sides.
On the one hand, I can see how frustrated those women in the nail salon would / could be with their husbands. Let’s face it, when it comes to sex, typically, men want sex more than women want it, and more often. I think this is because sex is one of the most basic ways that men can express themselves and be fulfilled. Women tend to have a variety of ways to satisfy their needs in addition to the basic physical kind; there’s emotional satisfaction (i.e., girlfriends who we can talk to for hours about anything, including sex!), spiritual satisfaction, and so on. I’m certainly not saying that men don’t have emotional and spiritual needs, because they all do, in their own way; but the physical need in terms of sex is one of the most dominant in the male gender. I hope that makes sense!
As humans, especially in today’s world, we all have ridiculously busy lives – School, job(s), family, friends; the list that demands time from us day in and day out never seems to stop. On top of that, life stages such as marriage and the addition of children, among others, certainly change the outlook and perspective on sex.
Another point Meg made is the subject of body image. This is critical. If you don’t love yourself, how can you expect to let someone else love you, much less marry you, for who you are? I get that those women in the nail salon had kids constantly in their hair, stresses, and struggling with losing baby weight, yada-yada-yada.
I’ve been there with the body image issue – At this point in my life, I have finally learned to love myself. I have made peace with my body, my image, my identity – I am Laura Beth and I love Laura Beth for who she is. This comes after enduring an abusive relationship that lasted three of the four years that we were together, from 2006 through 2010; and then everything doing a complete 180 when I had the pleasure of first meeting Al, who has always loved me for me, from day one. That’s so huge, and I appreciate him so much for that – Thanks, baby!
With that said, I recently came to terms that I wanted to improve my lifestyle. I have gained roughly 20 or so pounds since graduating from Longwood in 2011 due to the initial months of unemployment and job searching at home, plus all the jobs I’ve had since graduation (except for a month-long stint of banquet serving at a local hotel) have been at a computer behind a desk. Instead of hating my image in the mirror every morning (although I will raise my hand in guilt that it’s happened a couple times), I decided that I would re-join the local gym, start tracking everything I put in my mouth, and add some kind of movement every day if at all possible. Al has also contributed to this effort by gifting me a FitBit; I love it!
On the other hand, I can see (from personal experience) how both people, whether they may be dating, engaged, or married; deserve to have their needs filled, whatever those needs are – That’s basic respect. No one should be denied fulfillment, whether it’s physical, sexual, spiritual, emotional, etc. It’s not right, and not fair if one person isn’t willing to do that for the person that they claim to love and cherish, and all the other cheesy romantic lines – I’ll spare you.
Case in point – Somewhere between 2009 and 2010, I started to realize my relationship with “The Jerk” was not fulfilling. A significant part of it was I wasn’t willing to have unprotected sex with him, and I stood by that even though he attempted to do just that one night — Absolutely terrifying.
I gave him everything I felt he needed – and I gave too much of myself. For THREE YEARS.
I realize now my needs were increasingly ignored and I was slowly, painfully manipulated into a robot, a puppet. He controlled me. Finally, I got so desperate for someone of the male gender to give me what I wanted — Love; appreciation; respect, not constant criticism; just a tiny bit of physical affection (Read: a kiss on the forehead, interlacing fingers – No sex!!) — that I found myself sneaking away from The Jerk to spend as much time as possible with two guys – One at school and one at home – who were more than willing to pay attention to me.
Side note: Nothing happened beyond flirting / strong crushes with the two guys. Over time, I felt increasingly guilty because I was still committed to The Jerk. I broke off the friendship with the one at school entirely, and toned down relations with the one at home. The Jerk eventually found out about both friendships via blatant privacy invasion, jumped to conclusions, and scared me out of my wits through intimidation, panic, and assaulting me in the early months of 2010. I broke up with him that summer.
Holy cow. Sorry. That was a massive tangent!
My point in all of this is — In a relationship, especially when/if you marry the person of your dreams, the one that you want by your side to spend the rest of your days with you on this earth, you have to pay attention to each other’s needs, and be respectful of them. Constantly. That’s one piece of the puzzle that makes these things work!
If one person says they want to wait to have sex, whether if it’s “until they’re ready” or until you’re officially married, showing that you love this person is respecting and honoring that opinion / desire / choice.
The same principle applies when the relationship / marriage becomes sexual, As Meg says in the post, “Leave the dishes in the sink and the floors unswept. They will wait.” Respect and honor your significant other’s / partner’s / spouse’s desire-need to have sex with you. It doesn’t matter if it’s daily, weekly, monthly — Whatever works for YOU and YOUR RELATIONSHIP, period! (Don’t let anyone tell you differently – This is strictly what’s best for you and your S.O./partner/spouse). The bottom line is to make sure that if you’re having sex that you’re willing to have sex. You can have some excuse days along the line, but above all, don’t leave your relationship and the one you claim to love hanging. Denial / rejection is the worst! And, what the heck, maybe initiate it once in a while too!
This goes without saying (and may come up in a future post!) — Whatever you do: Don’t chart it! … and then be dumb / ignorant / selfish enough to send said chart via email to your spouse. You know, the one that you vowed to have and to hold, to love and to cherish? Yeah, that one.
I see a divorce, or serious marriage counseling at the least, on the horizon!
I’ll leave you (very) early this Saturday morning with some words from the great Marvin Gaye:
Until the next headline, Laura Beth