Last week I pulled back the curtain, and I’m compelled to do the same with this post, but it is a lot more personal. However, I can’t shake the importance of this topic, so here goes…
A few months ago Tom and I were at the beach, and I felt it was a good opportunity to talk with him about something that was really bothering me. First, let me say that we have a very strong relationship that covers all aspects of marriage–spiritual, emotional and physical. I’ve never struggled with PMS in our 34 years of marriage, so when I hit post-menopause and all my desire for sex went out the window, I was surprised…
But I didn’t care!
I knew I had changed. Tom knew I had changed. But we hadn’t taken the time to really talk about it.
While sitting on the sand with the waves crashing on the shore I opened my heart to Tom. I wasn’t telling him anything he didn’t already know. Our physical relationship had been a strain for a few months. Tom is patient. He tries to understand me. And he always listens. But this time, it was a bit too much for him to hear. I shared how I really had no desire for sex. I didn’t like this fact, but I didn’t know what to do.
He was extremely quiet. The kind that was reminiscent of our earlier years where we would give each other the cold shoulder.
It was not a good place to be, and we both knew it. I gave him time. He needed to think. This topic hit on a level that strikes so many areas of marriage that it’s a mine field no matter how strong the relationship is. Our conversation pretty much ruined the day.
But it was necessary. How often do we avoid these conversations because of the tension we know it will cause? To ignore it wasn’t an option because the longer we put it off, the deeper the struggle would be.
In the weeks that followed, I went to our doctor and discovered my hormone levels were way off. No wonder I had no drive. Thankfully he was able to help, and I was hopeful things would change. And change they did!
Tom and I are both grateful and much more sympathetic to those who struggle in this area on a regular basis. We ended up talking again about “that day” and how hard it was for me to share my heart with him. And how much harder it was for me when he pulled away from me. He apologized, and we resolved the issue.
Now that I feel a bit more normal I’ve been tuned in to conversations when I hear other women talking. One in particular struck me with an all too familiar ring. I heard things like…
- “I can take it or leave it.”
- “I’m glad it’s not such a driving force in our marriage anymore.”
- “He doesn’t want it like he used to, and I am so relieved.”
- “We can finally relax and enjoy a more peaceful marriage.”
I wasn’t sure how to process these comments. Is this the norm for marriage as we get older? Did God intend for sex to wane, so we can relax without all that effort?
After what we’ve been through–I hope not. Sex is God’s gift to a husband and wife. It’s a way of connecting heart to heart that doesn’t happen between anyone else but the two of us. It is intimate. It is communicating our love on a deeper level than any other way can possibly do.
Sex is celebrating the one flesh nature unique to marriage alone, and it glorifies God.
Sure, there may be a day when we can no longer make love. There may be sickness or separation that makes it impossible. There may be any number of other reasons that it will wane. But as long as we are able, I pray that God will continue to make us both willing partners.
What about you? Have you experienced low libido? If so, have you talked together about it? We encourage you to take that leap and begin the conversation. Let nothing cause a wedge in your relationship–and silence can be the biggest wedge of all! We know this first hand, and it’s the loneliest place to be in marriage. Don’t allow this to fester in your relationship. Do the hard work. Talk!
“Come grow old with me, the best is yet to be,” is a popular saying many couples quote when they’re starting out as husband and wife. May this be true no matter how many years we have behind us.