Growing up I knew that understanding the love languages was something that could play into a happy or not-as-happy marriage. I knew going into my own marriage that it was important to own how I felt and what made me feel loved. However, I never knew that some of the very aspects of marriage that could make me feel like the most important person in the world to my husband could make my skin crawl after I had kids. Pregnancy and children are definitely a series of trials a tribulations, making it a very difficult season for many. This definitely is the cross roads that I stand in the middle of on a daily basis. The one where I am completely touched out, but have a husband that wants me. One that wants to connect with me, love me, and dare I say it? Have sex with me.
So I admitted it… on the internet. My husband craves me and some days I just really want to curl up into a ball on an isolated island and have nothing to do with anyone or anything. How can the love that we fostered and the love that (ahem…) created our children now be so difficult and sometimes even so off-putting?
24 hours a day I am at the mercy of my child. I am service to her whether I feel good or not and I have to be there for her because her very existence depends on me. And then in walks in my husband after a long day’s work. He walks in the door with his stresses, his needs, and his expectations. Too many days it’s hard to not feel like the whole world is going to crumble and fall because I have just spent my entire day investing in my child and now I not only need to cook dinner, clean the house, and get the laundry done to fulfill him, but I also need to be his companion.
If we are meant to pro-create, then why is pregnancy and motherhood so difficult and why can I not seem to be the woman my husband truly needs on a daily basis? I wish there was an easy answer, but there are no easy answers in motherhood or in marriage. There is no “catch-all” plan to solve the problems that arise. Two years of this and we still have arguments and surely with more kids, it will just be an on-going problem to resolve. So what have we done in the meantime to ease the woes of the physical touch cross-roads?
Plan Regular Date Nights
We decided that even if it was expensive, it was worth the investment into our marriage to go on a date night without kids 2-4 times a month. It would be a time to rejuvenate and a time to reconnect. The anticipation of time alone together in itself was something that helped me ease up and open up with my husband.
Never Blame the Child(ren)
Missing out on an opportunity for intimacy is never a child’s fault. While there is definitely a time and space that marriage and parenting occupy at the same time, feeling guilt and then assigning blame to the child is never going to solve the problem. Talking it out will solve the problem. By having agreements in place to know that when a child is occupied with a toy or TV for 5-10 minutes, then “XYZ is our course of action” is a game plan to have in place that can save a lot of heart ache with all parties involved.
First realize that this is a heated topic, but one that ultimately will lead to contentment in your marriage. You have to realize that you both want each other even if on different levels at different times. It’s about communicating the new needs you have that make you feel loved. And even though it’s hard, it’s about communicating what makes you feel unloved. Whereas physical touch used to be one of my love languages, now I have found that words of affirmation and quality time mean most to me. (For more on finding out your love languages to better discuss, read about the 5 love languages here.
In the end, no marriage is perfect and we are all learning how to better love and serve our spouses all while daily venturing into uncharted territory as parents. So I encourage you to not discouraged. There is nothing wrong with you as a mother or as a spouse because you are all touched out.