The Five of Us, Spring 2014

The Five of Us, Spring 2014

Crazy

So, for those of you curious about the Essence of Romance party, click here (but then come back; I'm not done blathering yet.)

It's the weirdest thing. You'd think I'd be a nutjob right now, but I really feel at peace. I mean, I just said goodbye to lots of friends at church this morning. Tomorrow evening I'll be leaving my only child with friends for 10 days. My house isn't packed. My Africa luggage isn't packed. Well, actually both are in stages of packed-ness. Shortly I'll be embarking on the longest plane rides of my life. Then I'll be barraged by more tasks than can fit in 6 days and more humidity than I've faced in years. But, I'm remarkably at peace.

It could be denial. But, I really don't think it is. It could be that it's so overwhelming I don't know what to feel. But, I don't think that's it either. I think it really is just peace. Of course, I'm excited, too, but the predominant feeling is peace. It's certainly beyond my understanding, but I like it! :)

On to other things. Aaron and I have been reading through the books in the Every Man Series by Fred Stoeker and Steven Arterburn. Maybe you've heard of Every Man's Battle (about the weaknesses of men's sexuality and overcoming the pitfalls)? Well, that's where the series started, but the authors have expanded their scope by writing for wives (Every Heart Restored, written with Brenda Stoeker) and Every Man's Marriage (about the headship-submission question in Christian marriage).

So, I've been reading EHR and I got smacked in the head the other day! Ya know how our culture says it's okay to fake our pleasure with our husbands and that they're sexuality is mostly just physical? I was buying into the idea that they just want sex so often because they want (need??? I wasn't sure on that point) that physical release. Well, after reading a certain section of the book, I was a puddle of remorseful tears. I was so deceived! I was so underestimating my incredible husband in this area! How could I hold him in such esteem in so many areas (when I have opportunity to introduce Aaron, I commonly tell people that he has more character than I hope to attain in this lifetime--and I have always fully believed that statement) and yet believe him so base in this! My friends (and stalkers), I really had such a dichotomous view of my husband that I saw him as a self-sacrificing saint who very closely resembles Christ--except in the marriage bed. There I saw him as selfish, carnal, detached, pretty much void of character. It isn't really that I despised that in him or anything. I just sort of accepted it as the way men are--for women, sex is relational, for men, it's physical. Right?!

Uuuugh. I'm still chagrined at how wrong that "acceptance" was. It was a lie! It was a huge blind spot in my admiration and respect for the man that wins my heart every day! I wept and wept as I confessed to Aaron my unbelief in his character in this area. I wept as I apologized for underestimating him so. I grieved that for most of the 6 years of our marriage, I treated our sex life so flippantly, as an adjunct, as something fun on the occasion, but not as anything important, critical to his well-being, and central to the health of our marriage. I spluttered through tears that I thought I was doing him a service by passionlessly "giving" him my body to use when he asked for a "quickie." It's sickening to me how selfish and deceived my thinking and behavior were. And to think that I was being good to him! It's just so maddening that I could have believed that that was kindness or generosity!

I suppose I may need to explain. I say I was deceived because I now understand that while there is a physical drive (of course) to male sexuality, it is primarily a drive for intimacy. Yes, Aaron had told me that before. He had tried to explain how he felt closer to me through the intimacy of sex. I really just didn't believe him because it didn't make sense to me. It certainly didn't feel like intimacy to me. It was just a fun, primarily physical aspect to our relationship that was special because we only shared it with one another, but it didn't really feel like it was bonding me to him or enhancing our relationship. That's what conversation is for.

I don't know how to explain what made the difference in my thinking and attitude this time. But, the book quotes a man's letter to his wife and his words shook me: "My drives and hormones...simply cause me to realize I have a need for intimacy. When I seek you out to make love, I am not just looking for a release of some pent-up sexual frustrations. I have a deep desire to connect with you." I never believed it when Aaron said that. I guess I just thought he was saying what he thought would make me "in the mood" (even though he doesn't manipulate my emotions intentionally for other goals). To hear those words in the mouth (so to speak) of another man, I guess, just confirmed their validity.

So, if that's true, if Aaron really is about more than "scratching an itch," if he really is feeling a longing to connect with me and I tell him no, or tell him I'm not in the mood, but he can do what he wants as long as I don't have to participate much, or I make him "work" for it, how must that make him feel?! Uuugh. I hate to think of it. Here he is approaching me with the thing I want and need most from him (intimacy), and I treat him exactly the opposite, closing myself off emotionally and offering him a lifeless body. It's so sick and twisted! I fell hook, line, and sinker for a structure of lies straight from the pit of hell.

Now that I believe the truth--that Aaron is prompted by his bodily and emotional triggers to bring me on a golden platter that which I long for most from him--when he initiates, I feel a new freedom to joyfully, passionately, fully respond. Now that I see beyond the lie of the physical, I even feel a renewed desire to initiate with him--to meet his need, to fill him up, to be all that I can...to make up for lost time.

And, this new revelation with all it's miraculous effects comes just in time for us to spend 30 hours on planes together! I feel like I want to have another honeymoon--a true honeymoon, with eyes wide open to how much character and goodness and wonder he possesses in this area too--but we'll be stuck in a flying tube with 100 other people who have no idea of the wonderful things happening in us and between us. Talk about frustrating! Uuugh.

Hey, that's interesting--that honeymoon correlation. A and I have been marveling over the similarities between this whole adventure of starting a new life and job with how our dating and engagement went. Maybe we are honeymooning! Hmmm.

Well, I, for one, am curious about what kind of comments I'll be getting on this post! :)

4 comments:

DeniseinSC said...

I say start the honeymoon at the Guest House!!! (Don't they have big, loud fans???)

I loved the blog....would love to talk to you about this whole thing on the phone!! sometime!

Have a peaceful! awesome trip. Give those kiddoes of yours smothering kisses. Love, Denise

...give mine some too!!!!and hugs, and squeezes and tell them I love them!!!! and, and, and....

Faith said...

Rae,
Wow! I am really proud of you for being so transparent in this post. Unfortunately, your previous ideas are what SO many Christian women think and feel about sex these days! Not many churches teach these types of principles. I was lucky that my parents taught marriage and sex classes at church before I was married and had Jonah and I read a bunch of books on the subject. Another great one? "Mars and Venus in the bedroom" and "The gift of Sex". Not sure who the authors are but can find out if you would like me too. I just finished reading the Mars and Venus one and find it is something I need to read ever year or so to remind me! Praying for a safe peaceful flight and a FABULOUS time in Liberia!
Blessings, Faith

Tarah said...

Love ya Rae!!! I love hearing your heart. I agree with faith that so many more christian women need to hear this. I should read the books with Scott....
Safe trip girlie-- Can't wait to see you when you get back on that Friday.

Campbell's Hope said...

I think I need to get this book:)



Thanks again for everything you did for our family..
safe trip..

Robin

My Man and Me

My Man and Me
married 7/7/2001

Punk

Punk
ours through biology, born 7/25/2004, home 8/1/2004

Pea

Pea
ours through adoption from Liberia, West Africa, born 7/15/2005, home 10/25/2007

Pup

Pup
ours through domestic adoption, born 1/15/2011, home 2/10/2011, final 8/3/2011

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Round Two Timeline

  • 9/24/08 Home study update home visit for Ghana adoption
  • 10/15/08 Dossier sent to AOHG
  • 10/15/08 I600A application sent to USCIS
  • 10/30/08 First heard about possible domestic private adoption
  • 11/18/08 Last spoke with contact about possible domestic adoption; expected to hear back about meeting with birthmother
  • 12/3/08 Withdrew application from AOHG
  • 1/6/09 Found out another family had been chosen for possible domestic adoption
  • 1/21/09 USCIS fingerprinting appointment
  • 1/8/09 Received USCIS fingerprinting appointment notice
  • 4/11/09 Sent Pre-Application to Covenant Care Adoptions for Domestic Infant Adoption program
  • 6/8/09 Social worker visit to update home study from International to Domestic
  • 7/24/09 Received completed home study update
  • 8/25/09 Went "on the list" for birthfamilies to choose from
  • 4/28/10 Found out a birth mom had chosen us
  • 5/8/10 Met the birth mom
  • 5/11/10 Got the call that birth mom changed her mind
  • 5/19/10 Birth mom's scheduled c-section
  • 11/30/10 Visit from DSS sw about foster parenting
  • 11/30/10 Got the call that another birth mom had chosen us
  • 12/21/10 Met with the birth mom
  • 1/15/11 @1:42 PM BB was born!
  • 1/19/11 ICPC (interstate) paperwork sent to GA for approval
  • 1/31/11 ICPC Clearance Approved
  • 2/10/11 Placement Ceremony and Pup comes home!!!!
  • 8/3/11 It's Official! Pup's Adoption Decree was issued