The score is tied. Each team is lined up in the end zone awaiting the perfect ending to a nail bitter game. The ball is kicked, goalposts in sight, players keyed up and tuned in, and a husband on the edge of the couch, perched, waiting. He watches the football sail through the air and just to the left of its intended target. The husband bursts from sitting to standing, going from quiet stillness to yelling profanities at the t.v. screen.
A fraction of an inch to the right and his team would have won, but they lost, and he feels personally affected, offended, and responsible for his team’s failure. This man becomes distressed, angry, despondent, withdrawn and tearful because his team lost. His Team! The team he grew up watching with his dad and granddad. This man, once collected, strong and joyful only moments ago has become a mess of emotions. We women look on from the outside with confusion.
“It’s just a game.” We stupidly say, but that only fuels the beast our husbands are morphing into. “Honey! I mean really, they can’t win every game.” We try again unsure what to say and not mindful enough to let him feel his pain while comforting him with actual comfort that will bring peace and understanding to him while allowing him to realize, ya, she totally gets me.
Instead we either lie dormant, allowing ourselves to be emotionally abused every time we try our brand of comfort, or we take his pain too personally and step into a fight when we feel slighted. Or worse yet, we think we’ll quell his pain with sexual favors. We think, I’ll patch him up and fix his broken heart with sex, because you know sex works every time. But ladies, it is merely a diversion, a Band-Aid, a hold on the feeling your normally delightful husband needs desperately to get in touch with.
Enter in INTIMACY!
No, not sex…intimacy.
“Close, familiar and usually affectionate or loving personal relationship with another person.” (dictionary.com)
Let’s break it down:
When my husband and I are close we share our opinions, thoughts, and hearts with kindness. Because we are close we feel familiar to each other. Not just because we share a house, chores or a bed, but because we share who we are, the good…bad…and ugly! We know each other. This deep knowing of each other is the only real pathway to being affectionate with each other. This affection is filled with tenderness for each other, selflessness while not chasing our own desires yet making it possible for the other person to chase their desires. And because we are close and familiar and affectionate we do not just say we are in love but we show it, daily.
After all that is built into the relationship meaningful sex and sex streaks can now enter the picture. Prior to building up our relationship sex for us fell into four categories:
Building rooted, deep intimacy can result in more sex and possibly a streak of some length. If it does, YAY! But, we are all different couples and what works for one couple may only work in pieces for another couple. So take our journey through our streak of 868 nights and counting as something to fuel your own journey, instead of seeing our streak as Keeping Up with the Jones’, something never attainable.
I’ll leave you with this.
Have you ever used sex as a Band-Aid? Why?
The next time you are so inclined to do so (for a misplayed football game or anything else) step back and say to your spouse in a non-defensive tone,
“Hey Babe, tell me more about why you love your team (etc.) so much.”
I’d bet ya anything he would have a lot to say.