When I think about it, it’s amazing how little I knew about my failure at being a wife before I started reading blogs. Most notably, it’s staggering to think that I didn’t realize how horribly sexually inadequate I was until I started poring over articles written by “godly women” who embraced their roles of “helpmeet” whole-heartedly and who, clearly, understood what biblical submission looks like.
I had never realized, for example, that I was actually acting out a grave sin against God any time I wasn’t in the mood to have sex with my husband. I didn’t know that my saying, “Oh, Sweetie, I am truly just beaten down after a day of schlepping three little ones to the pediatrician and I think I need to sleep” was akin to me taking a stance against our Lord and what He wants from me. Is it strange that that had never occurred to me?
I also hadn’t realized that all men have much higher sex drives than women. Did you know? It would seem that a good mom, a godly mom, would be found teaching this hard fact to her daughters so that they will be prepared as they enter into marriage. No one ever told me that when I was growing up. Was I starting out my life lacking important knowledge?
Perhaps most shockingly, I wasn’t one bit aware that, should I not make myself pretty (but modestly so! femininely so!) and sexually available at all times to my husband, well, then, I was (at least in large part) responsible for him turning to infidelity or porn. It is a NEED, after all, and if I am not ever at-the-ready, what is my poor man to do? I certainly couldn’t expect him to take it in stride, suck it up, and try again tomorrow night (or next week or next month, for heaven’s sake), right?
It scares me, to be honest. I am raising two little girls (and a son, for that matter.) I desperately want them to find good, solid, loving relationships with spouses who will support and grow with them in their faith. I want them to be loyal, monogamous, and satisfied in their marriages. Of course I do.
But do I want my daughters to think that having fluctuations in desire makes them flawed? Or that they must forever and always ignore their own feelings in the interest of making their men happy? I don’t think so. Do I want my son to think that, once he’s married, he should be entitled to “get it” whenever he wants it? No. I do not. I’d like to think I’ll have more respect for my future daughter-in-law than that…
Do I want either of my daughters to think that, should she happen to have a higher sex drive than some, there’s something wrong with her? Or, if one of them should marry a man who DOESN’T want sex all the time, do I want her to think there’s something lacking in her (or him)? No, I don’t. I shudder to think what such a generalization implies. We are all so beautifully and individually made. We are also so very prone to self-doubt. Why would I set her up for that?
And, finally, while I believe whole-heartedly that it’s important for both my husband and me to work hard to please one another, I refuse to believe that a “lack” there somehow makes someone less accountable for his or her actions when it comes to infidelity. I know for a fact that there have been periods of discontent during our near ten years of marriage and the result was never turning outside the marriage. It has always, always, required a turning toward each other and talking it out.
But if I don’t feel like I have some kind of say when it come to sexuality… if I don’t feel like my needs have some significance… if I’m so desperate to “fulfill a role” that I never fully immerse myself in my true feelings… how will I even know how to express myself when things go awry? If I don’t have the confidence to know that what I am thinking and feeling about sex also matters, deeply, when it comes to the success of our relationship, how are we going to ever grow deeper and closer in both our emotional and sexual union?
I’m so glad no one ever told me those things in my formidable years or my years of early marriage. I’m glad I didn’t have one of “those talks” with my mom and I’m glad they never told us these things in our pre-marriage counseling. Mostly, I’m so glad I married a man who, when I carefully and quietly suggested these ideas to him, laughed out loud and talked me off the ledge when I started worrying I had failed him somehow.
Can I raise my daughters up to be good, proper Christian wives without those lessons? I guess we’ll see. Because I’m bound and determined to give it my best shot.