I had a powerful conversation with a friend yesterday.
Her and her husband are very young. Been married about 2 years and have a little boy who will be one soon. The conversation left me thinking - even still today.
Though I realize that Rambo has a penis and therefore, cannot think much beyond that….I thought I’d get his take on the conversation to see if he had any thoughts.
I will sum up the conversation that she and I had for you in the same way that I did for Rambo.
We were sitting in the bathtub filled to the brim with bubbles and I turned to Rambo and just blurted this out.
“X & X haven’t had sex since January. She says that she can count the times they have sex in a full year on one hand.”
Rambo’s thoughtful, helpful, intensely wise answer to my pronouncement?
“What? Ain’t no way that’s ever happening in this house.”
Thank you douchekabob.
Really Einstein? That’s what you got for me? I’m genuinely concerned for them.
When she confided in me – for once – I was kind of speechless. I don’t know the answer for them. I don’t even know where to start. My answer to her face was that I think she should schedule it on the calendar and follow through until it becomes natural. It sounded as lame in person as it did to just write it. Eeesh.
In deep conversations like this, you always want to be able to say, “That’s totally normal. We go through that too. You’ll be fine.” so that the person feels relieved and not alone.
However, yours truly had literally sent my kids away for a few hours, took a bath and shaved and prettied up and put on a black string that some would call lingerie and I met Rambo at the top of the stairs when he walked in the door from work.
She was hurting and I didn’t want to sound preachy and say, “Marriage and romance and passion take effort. He’s all you have and you need to nurture that relationship. Blah blah blah.”
He loves her. She loves him. How does this happen?
Rambo commented that there are many couples we know that have sexless marriages – by choice. They don’t really even like each other but stay married and they don’t have sex. There are others who like each other just fine but have sex with other people in swinger situations or open marriages. It works for some people. Maybe I should have told her that it’s okay – that maybe for them – that’s their pattern and way and it is neither good nor bad.
The thing is – it’s not okay because she’s hurt about it. She looked at me and said, “It’s not normal. We are the only young couple I know that doesn’t have sex.”
Her eyes were pleading with me for answers. Just something.
She didn't just need me to listen - she wanted help.
Then she went on to say – as we insecure women do – that she questions him. Is he cheating? Getting it somewhere else? Does he find me unattractive? Does he still love me?
And I told her that chances are that he could be thinking the same thing about her.
I want to put them in a room and tell them to just love each other – openly and fully….and to try every day with everything they have. But who the hell am I to give that kind of advice? I don’t have a perfect marriage. I may think it’s perfect but I’m using my own rules to define what perfect is for me.
What Rambo and I do or have done isn’t necessarily what they should do or shouldn’t do.
I told her that I would take her little boy any time and that offer stands but that I simply cannot help her if she doesn’t let me. I told her I knew that she had taken care of everyone her whole life and she was used to never trusting or taking help or reaching out but she had to try. That I gave the offer meaning it. That they need a break from parenting and life and just time alone. I told her that Rambo and I would help – if only she would let us. That made her cry…
I had no other answer. Nothing of substance to tell her things would be okay or how to fix the stuff weighing so heavy on her heart.
I just felt sad for her. There’s just so much sad and hard stuff in regular life that I can’t imagine home not being a refuge. Like when I’m home with Rambo and just laying there in that moment – it’s easy to forget that outside our doors there is evil and bombings and explosions and death and hurt. Everything else outside my front doors might hurt but it doesn’t matter because inside is serenity and laughter and peace and love. I want that for her. I want her home-life and marriage to feel like Care Bear Land the minute she shuts the door behind her. I want Skittle baths with her husband for her.
I want to erase her self doubt about not being good enough or wanted or loved by her husband.
I want to tell her that while everything else in life is hard – love can be easy – if you let it be.
That’s a lie too though because sometimes love and staying are the hardest things we’ll ever do in life.
What would you have said to a woman barely over 22, married less than 2 years, with a one year old – standing in your house begging you to give her some answers on how to fix the only thing that matters to her?
I feel like I failed her. I just didn’t give her anything of substance or make it better.
Could you have?
What would your answer to her have been?