There are many awkward moments in marriage – don’t you agree? You’re living and breathing and doing life with another person who gets to see you at your best (we hope), but also at your worst.
Have you ever been so sick that you couldn’t care what you looked like, you just wanted to crawl on the floor and writhe around in pain?
I once had a tummy bug so bag that I was (to be graphic) blowing from both directions – top and bottom. I was so dizzy and weak, I couldn’t walk – and at one point didn’t make the toilet.
But, you see, hubby was there to take care of me. Do I want him to see me like that? Heavens no – I want him to see me as his beautiful bride, but life doesn’t always happen like that and I can quite assure you that if I had even felt just a fraction better than what I did, I would’ve handled that whole situation on my own. But, being intimate with someone means you literally get to bare the worst of yourself and know that it’s okay – it won’t affect your marriage or your relationship. Because, I can tell you, that there have been times in the sixteen years that hubby and I have been married that I have seen him just as sick and with me needing to care for him.
I also get to brush my teeth in front of him, and not feel embarrassed.
He gets to floss in front of me and know its okay.
Now, please don’t misunderstand what I am saying here – there are aspects to being a human that are just probably best kept completely private. But I honestly view this as a both/and situation which does so often happen in life. While we need to keep the best of ourselves for our spouses, and let them see the beauty of who we are (which may mean keeping some human activity private), they also get to see us in our weak and awkward moments – and we can feel safe in that.
That is true intimacy.
Having a tummy bug with my husband taking care of me doesn’t jeopardize my marriage or our relationship. I can feel safe in having my husband see me in such a weak moment.
Him flossing his teeth as we get ready for bed shows an acceptance between the two of us that it is okay – we get to live life and do what we need to do because we are safe with one another.
And yet, while all this is true, I also – at the same time – strive to give of my best to my husband and show him the best of who I am. Both is perfectly acceptable.
But this extends to all sphere’s of life – I have mentioned before that my husband is not quite the believer that I am. And that is fine. I can still share my faith and who I am with him, I can be honest and open about who I am, even if he doesn’t quite understand or “get it”. Because I know that I am safe.
But, what about if you’re not there – what if you’re not safe to share who you are with your husband?
For a long time, I didn’t think that I was either. I would hide myself away – I would be too shy to pray in front of him, and brushing my teeth while he was in the bathroom caused my great embarrassment, and being sick just made me want to ask him to leave the house until I got better – I’d rather deal with it on my own. But, that’s not intimacy – that’s hiding. Intimacy can say that this is who I am and I am willing to share myself with you. Of course its a risk. It’s probably a risk for him to share all of who he is with me, too. But, it is something that we should be striving for – you know your situation and what will work. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. How do you create the intimate relationship with your spouse that you desire? One step at a time.
And you don’t give up.
I’m not talking about a don’t care/blasé attitude, where you don’t care what he thinks of you so you get to do and be as you want. No, I’m talking about sharing the detail of your life with him – whether brushing your teeth, or being sick, and knowing that you are safe in sharing that with him, and yet also striving to give him the best of who you are.
It may take some time to work on feeling safe – I know that it is for me. For someone who is so used to hiding herself away, this is a big step for me.
You can’t account for your spouses’ actions. You can hope and pray for the best, but you can’t control what your spouse will say or do. However, you do need to make sure you are right with God, and then leave the rest in His hands.Breaking down the walls by saying sorry allows both God and my husband to see my vulnerability - together. Reference here.