A Woman’s Work
This post is rated PG-13. You’ve been warned.
I would like to hear your thoughts about a wife’s relationship with her husband when she just doesn’t “feel” like a wife. What is a wife to do when she’s too tired (with the kids and housework), too worried (about money), and too stressed (with life in general) to be a good wife? There are times I just don’t *want* to be affectionate. What is there to do when I don’t feel like having sex, don’t feel like listening about his day, or feel like indulging his choices for the evening TV program? I love my husband but there are times when I just don’t feel like being a wife. I would like to hear your perspective on that sort of situation.
Why does sex sometimes feel like a chore?
The first question there actually came when I asked for suggestions for my 100th post. The second question was among those topics suggested to get to my 200th.
The truth is, I had no idea how to answer the first question when it came around. Because I hadn’t figured out how tough it was to be the total package. I’m not saying I am totally the total package, but I am aspiring to be. I’ll tell you what, it ain’t easy trying to be Super Mom, Super Wife and Super Sexy.
And it wasn’t until we moved into the house that I GOT IT. Before the house, if I didn’t feel like doing stuff around the house, I just didn’t do them. If I didn’t feel like listening to The Husband tell me about his work, his team(s), his stuff in general, I think I busied myself elsewhere. But I’m not exactly sure what I busied myself doing, because it certainly wasn’t housework most of the time. I mean, yes, I was working on that, but it was baby steps.
Then we moved here. All of a sudden, laundry was getting washed and put away without The Husband ever having to touch it. The Dyson (you have to call it that, The Dyson, because it’s more than just a vacuum) was being used at least once a week — by me, not The Husband. Dishes were done. By me. Lunches were made. By me. Dinner was cooked. BY ME!!
Not to mention, both girls were in some kind of school. I’m dropping off, I’m picking up. I’m making sure books are read and clothes are out for the next morning. I’m marking calendars and making sure that everyone knows when the next school or church performance is.
I get tired, y’all.
And sometimes when the time rolls around that I know The Husband is on his way home, I daydream about running into the bathroom and jumping in that fabulous tub. Then getting in my robe and laying on the bed and reading. Then turning off the light and going to bed. Or getting through the nightly routine of dinner, bath and bed for the girls and then just crashing.
Not talking. Not dealing. Not being Mommy. Not being Wife. Not being much more of anything.
So what happens when those moments come and I just don’t want to deal? (And remember, these are my thoughts, just mine. I am not a theological scholar, nor am I an expert on marriage, women, etc. I’m barely an expert on myself. I can only tell you what I do.)
When I get to my lowest point and I cannot fathom putting another load of laundry away when I know that in a matter of days I will be putting some of the same clothes right back in the washing machine, or preparing a meal that will be met with wrinkled noses from two girls who inherited my picky nature, or doing any of the other things that women do with or without kids that is generally unappreciated. When I get there, I have to go to the passage in the Bible that I dread the most.
Oh, the Proverbs 31 Woman, how I often loathe her. I realize, though, that those verses offer me something to work towards — being a wife of noble character. Nowhere in there does it say, “She doth see that the Dolphins are down this year and extends her arms to comfort her husband” or “She naggeth not when the garbage hath not been delivered henceforth to the far reaches of the driveway,” but I’m pretty sure each of us can read those verses and realize what we need to work on, or add our own acts of nobility for our family. For that woman, it was making linen garments, selling them, then using her earnings to plant a vineyard. For me and my house, as I’ve said before, love is never having to say, “Babe, I’m almost out of shorts.”
So I guess when I get to my low points of just not feeling up to it, I have to build a bridge and get over it. I’m also very blessed,though to have a husband who doesn’t pitch a fit or whine when I plan or take part in a girls’ night now and then. And sometimes, when I really need it, I ask for a night “off” inside the house. “Baby, I just need to take 30 minutes.” Sure, there are times I manage to get 17 minutes and 32 seconds of alone time before a little one is walking through the bedroom door — but isn’t that just life?
The Husband’s always going to be around, and sometimes we are both in the house each doing our own thing. It happens, and it’s okay. But if he needs me to listen to him vent, even if it’s about something that I don’t get, I want to be there for him. I want to be the one he feels like he can talk to about anything. So even if I could care less what impact Ronnie Brown’s injury will have on the season, I’ll probably listen.
But sometimes he doesn’t want to talk either. Sometimes you can both go through the routine of after-work activities. Dinner. Dishes. A little TV. Maybe you’re reading in the other room. Maybe you haven’t said two words to each other, just because you’ve been off in a daze.
Then it’s time for bed, and all of a sudden he’s alert as ever and he’s all up in your Kool Aid. (I actually have no idea what that means, and I’m scared to look it up. But it sounds like it works there.) Anyway, there he is.
And you’re tired. I don’t care if you have kids or not, being a woman is exhausting. Let’s say you’ve been working all day, then you get done with that and have to be Susie Homemaker, and then all you want is a little downtime, and there he is and there is nothing down about him!
But you’re still tired. And it can feel like a chore.
I. So. Get. That.
Without kids, or with kids that have been clamoring for your attention all day. You just want him to keep his hands and other body parts to himself.
So what do I do when I feel that way?
Build a bridge and get over… him.
I remember hearing friends talk once about, I think, a Beth Moore Bible study. I remember them talking about a prayer she mentioned — “Lord, let me thrill at his touch.” Whether it’s from Beth Moore or not, I have prayed that prayer. One time, The Husband was out of town for work for a few days. I was pregnant with our second, it was summer so Big Sister was out of school, and I was babysitting an infant and also watching a 7 or 8-year-old girl. By the time he got home, I was TIRED. I was so excited to see him, yes, but my body was definitely not eagerly anticipating a proper welcome home reception.
Lord, let me thrill at his touch.
For me, even if I start out a little less enthused about things than him… It doesn’t take too long for me to get enthused. It doesn’t take too long for me to remember that sex with my husband is a gift. Then it doesn’t take me too long to forget every other thing I had stressed about that had made me want to not be with The Husband.
And usually, all of that works for me.
I’m way, way far from perfect and sometimes I could be classified as The Worst Wife Ever when it comes to fulfilling all, or even just some, of my various roles, but that’s how I cope, how I deal, and how I feel I’m doing the best I can with what I’ve got!