Intimacy – Feelings (mine, yours, ours)
Sometimes, I know that my husband doesn’t get me. I will try explaining something to him and I can see by his expression or his response that I could very well be speaking Latin and he just doesn’t get me. And by the very same token, there are many times I battle to understand what he is about. I am learning though, and I will continue to study him and understand him, but there are days or situations that arise that I just don’t get.
And I’m realising that is okay.
I can’t ever negate his feelings – what he feels, for whatever reason, is valid; even if I don’t understand it.
And what I feel, for whatever reason, is valid; even if he can’t understand it.
Just this week Shaunti Feldhahn posted a blog post that was a bit of an eye opener for me. In some ways, these are all things we already know. But, then you read it in a certain way, or someone articulates your own thoughts better than you can (which is often the case with me) and it just opens your eyes to a new aspect, a new thought, a new idea, a deeper understanding…
Never, ever, ever think your spouse “shouldn’t” be hurt by something that wouldn’t hurt you. Shaunti Feldhahn
There are so many times when I think that my husband just doesn’t get why something hurt me. And he probably doesn’t. But, how many times do I think and consider something that may have hurt him? I have to be honest and say not many. I have this view, completely incorrectly, that men don’t feel. They have no emotion and things bypass them like water off a duck’s back. I know that my view is wrong – and even as I am typing this I am becoming painfully aware that my man has feelings, he hurts, and there have probably been many times that I have hurt him, mostly unaware of what I was doing.
We tend to forget that we are different. More specifically, that men and women are different. In some ways, in fact, our brains are wired to be the opposite of each other! Shaunti Feldhahn
So, I can’t ever assume that something shouldn’t hurt my husband. Just like he should never assume that something shouldn’t hurt me.
I had a friend at college that always used to say, “You can’t ever tell someone what they should feel in any given situation”. Wise words indeed.
One of the ways I have battled to understand my husband’s hurt is our sex life. I’m quite content to not have it – he however has been hurt by my lack of interest. I never understood – to me it was just sex. To him, it was a complete rejection of who he was as a man and as a person. Now, for a long time I’ve said that he didn’t have a right to be hurt, he was just being silly, he doesn’t really need it, etc, etc. Do you think our marriage strengthened and grew with that perspective? In fact, for many years I did say those very things and our marriage disintegrated and broke down. Now, that I have made a concerted effort to understand and acknowledge his feelings, we are making great headway – through the grace of God – in our intimacy, both emotional and physical. I think that I am finally getting to a point of understanding why this is so important to him and I think (hope) he is starting to feel understood.
The difference in our marriage is huge. It’s not about the sex – it’s about me finally understanding him and why it is so important to him. And because I have finally started to really understand him, he (without me asking) is making a concerted effort to understand me and what’s important to me.
It’s had a snowballing effect that has been so beneficial for our marriage.
Are we there yet?
Well, I don’t think you ever really arrive – not on earth anyway. I think that in marriage you always need to work on your marriage, you always need to grow in grace and understanding, and you always need to look out for your spouse’s best interest. Even when you’ve been married 50 years, you still need to work on your marriage and giving your spouse the best of who you are.
But, we are so much further along the road than we were when I didn’t consider his needs or his feelings. And things are so much better for both of us right now.
And I hope (pray) to continue working on that…
Not just about sex, but to understand him and what he feels in any and every situation of life; to truly get to know him and to give him the opportunity of truly knowing me and of understanding why I feel about certain situations the way I do…
I truly pray that God will guide me so that I can always give the best of me to my husband…
MY WORD FOR THE YEAR – 2016 / Intimacy – Time / Intimacy – Climbing a Wall / Intimacy – that one move! / Intimacy – Talking / Intimacy – Saying Sorry! / Intimacy – that one word / Intimacy – touch / Intimacy – those awkward moments / Intimacy – a sacrament… / Intimacy – Resting / Intimacy – Seven Red Flags / Intimacy – being separate / Intimacy – Never Giving Up / Intimacy – Honour / Intimacy – God / Intimacy – A new day… / Intimacy – Being True / Intimacy – Changing You / Intimacy – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly / Intimacy – Letting go of Fear / Intimacy – Rest / Intimacy – Knowing / Intimacy – A Gift / Intimacy – healing / Intimacy – Cleaving / Intimacy – Love Casts out Fear