If sex every day were easy then everyone would be doing it. This is the thought that recently ran through my head (Nathaniel) as I was on the phone with a friend.
I attempted to be encouraging to this friend who was in a pit of despair and depression internally that I am personally familiar with. I am as good as any other man at beating myself internally with my personal dialogue. “I’m not good enough, I don’t make enough money, I’m not smart enough, I am always being punished emotionally while others never are.” I have doubted my abilities, spiritually, emotionally and physically. Even on occasion I’ve become one heckuva hypochondriac regarding anything and everything that could be wrong with me.
I digress, back to the point of being encouraging. I was told and I loosely quote, “that’s easy for you to say because you get sex every day.” I stepped back kind of shocked and wondering “is he right? Do I have an inability to be empathetic to him because I’m on a streak currently? I wanted to think not, but I sat for a few seconds quietly on the phone thinking about his statement.
When I began speaking again I told him what a selfish human being he was and excommunicated his phone number from my memory bank.
Ok, that’s not true at all, but it’s human nature to go down that road first because someone told me something negative and I felt attacked so I went all mama bear on the inside.
I spoke more sternly than was probably necessary, (but heh, I’d just been attacked right?) and I said something to the effect of
“No, it’s not easy for me to say. I’m trying to be encouraging to you to let you know I’ve been where you are and I have sympathy for you. It has not been easy to get to this point in my marriage or my life by any stretch of the imagination. It’s been hard. There have been really hard nights, weeks, days and even entire months trying to get where I’m at. My wife and I have had a ton of challenges outside and inside the bedroom. They all bleed into and overlap one another. And because I previously wasn’t being healthy in cleaning up my personal act, and the things I was responsible for that were negative to my wife, I was hurting my chances of anything happening in the bedroom consistently because of how selfish I was outside the bedroom.”
I’ve realized there is a ton of work involved (most of it goes unseen) in keeping my marriage healthy in order to have sex available to both of us at any repetition. I have to try very hard to be emotionally connected to Christina for her well-being and my own. Who better to tell a friend there is a bigger picture than just focusing on not getting sex than someone who’s experiencing it?
This friend was only seeing things from his negative perspective, being that he was in a frustrating situation; he hasn’t been having sex with any consistency. The same fact I’d had in my earlier days. In previous years, if I didn’t have sex the night before with my wife I resented the lack the next day. I’ve been there; I’m as guilty as the teenager drinking directly out of the milk jug.
He wasn’t taking into account that he’d never been in my home during any of the years of my marriage and had never experienced what a fight in my home was like. The anguish and frustration of not feeling heard or understood or prioritized, and that’s just my wife’s side. I am sure I had some of those same feelings and that is why fights happened in the first place. She’s amazing and strong-willed and wants to solve things now, but also be heard and understood. This can make her appear to me to be not just strong but dominant. This made passive –aggressive-me clam up and not want to talk. Even if she was being stern but loving I’d still clam up because I didn’t want to start a fight. Eventually I would just get shaken up like a soda can and my lid popped open by some circumstance and I’d blow up in anger and resentment and I’d prolong a fight or argument that could have been corrected a long time before.
Why do I say all this? It’s not easy for anyone to have sex every day. It’s not easy for anyone to try and do this within the confines of marriage and prioritizing one person with which to do this and glorifying it in a way that will be meaningful and reach others and encourage them and build them up. No, it’s not easy for me or my wife. I’m not easy on her and some days, like a frustration we had last Saturday for instance, I feel bad for her because I’m far from perfect and far from easy to live with sometimes. And she still chooses me. I’m so blessed you have no idea. Many women her age resort to dreaming about younger men. My wife dreams about me. Well, I think so; at least that is what she told me this morning. Anyhow, I dream about her so that’s awesome.
I mean seriously, if marriage was easy everyone would do it, they’d do it well and the current divorce rates would disappear. As it stands right now it’s not easy, but nothing worth having is ever easy. Or so some good people have told me. It only took me 39 and a-half years to start believing it. I’d encourage you to try believing it too.
I’d also like to ask something of you since you’ve come this far. Instead of being shocked by what we’re doing or jealous that we have something (perhaps a healthier marriage at times) that you want, why don’t you encourage us by asking us how we got here?
I was once reminded by a good man, “If I see someone that has something that I want (emotionally or spiritually) I should find a way to learn from that someone. Learn directly from that person how they got there.”