My book, Great Love for Life: How to Find & Keep Love that Truly Satisfies, could be titled The Book that Almost Wasn’t. If nobody’s told you before, let me be the first. Grief can suck the life right outa your libido.
A couple years ago, our family lost my mom & dad after a devastating 6 months of sickness and decline. I won’t go into the full list of life storms that hit us at that time, but soon after, one of our daughters became very sick. As you mamas know, seeing one of your kids in pain on a daily basis is not acceptable. But despite my best care, best prayers, best searching for answers, after a year and a half, she still suffered.
Basically, my libido was on life support. Though my hubby & I still talked intimately, still snuggled, and he, miraculously, could still make me laugh, when it came time to go farther, my pilot light was out. Since when does a cadaver feel like gettin’ busy?
Therefore, to bring out a book about finding & keeping love that truly satisfies when I felt like a failure? What. A. Fraud.
We’d always had a fun marriage. Light-hearted jests and child-like joy kept our love fresh. But suddenly, with our 30-year anniversary looming, I was weighed down by guilt that I was not the fun life-partner my best friend deserved. Did ya know guilt, too, is a very effective libido-killer?
I sought therapy, chatted with a couple trusted friends, even ingested Lucille Williams excellent book, The Intimacy You Crave, but intimacy remained a real struggle and it hurt so much to see the
pain of rejection in my hubby’s eyes.
Can I get real-real with ya? I’d always had it pretty darn easy in the marriage category. I guess, kinda like taking parenting advice from someone with one compliant child, I don’t know that I would have wanted relationship advice from me, married to an amazing unicorn man. Sure, we’ve had lots of struggles and painful circumstances, but we’d been able to stand back-to-back, supporting each other through anything. But how could I defend our marriage when it felt like I was the one bringing poison?
Then light slowly dawned. Just like “choosing to worship” when my heart was grieving and I felt anything but grateful, in the same way, loving my hubby when I felt emotionally bankrupt was a choice. I guess, as a woman, my natural tendency is to express contentment with life by wanting to make love, while the truth is, Love is always a Choice.
But don’t think I became an expert at “fake it ‘til ya make it.” I’ve had to learn to communicate better, lay emotions that make me reject me on the line, and allow my hubby to “woo” me. He’s kind of an expert at this so here’s a few woo-through-difficulties” tips.
- Take the time to listen, really listen, without jumping to fix things. We females can get emotionally clogged therefore a compassionate ear is the best foreplay.
- Non-sexual touch. The sexiest thing for a heartsore wife and mom may be a shoulder massage with no demand for more. When I’m feeling bankrupt, that kind of gentleness refills the vault and, trust me, won’t be forgotten.
- Don’t be afraid of tears. Unexpressed grief, again, is an emotional clog. Holding back the dam is exhausting. Be her safe place.
- Pray for and with her. You cannot be everything she needs. Period. Therefore take her to the only One who can heal from the inside-out.
- Make intentional time together. A date night. A long walk. A drive in the country. Whatever helps you remember why you fell in love with each other, do that.
- Force her to take a break. Women tend to pour out ‘til the cup is bone dry. Arrange for a sitter. Encourage a coffee date with a friend. Kick her out of the house for a couple hours and wrangle the kids for a housecleaning spree.
- Be persistent with kind words. Gals can be their own worst critics therefore “I love you” and “thank you” and “you’re so pretty” are raindrops on desert sand.
Above all, my hubby’s learned to be patient and not take my pain personally since grief and devastating circumstances are part of life. We’re pulling together, with God, to weather the storm since that’s what lasting love is all about. Slowly but surely, I’m gettin’ my sexy back.
Chana is a wife of 30 years, mom to four amazing kids and bestselling author of six inspirational books. Her brand-spankin’-new literary baby, Great Love For Life: How to Find & Keep Love That Truly Satisfies, is perfect for folks who long for lasting love while surrounded by relational train wrecks.
“This book is for every young heart to find hope & every broken heart to find healing.” -Rusty George, Bestselling Author & Lead Pastor, Real Life Church
“I truly believe if the biblical foundations presented in Great Love For Life were followed, there would be fewer divorces, happier marriages, and more fulfilling sex lives.” -Lucille Williams, Bestselling Author of From Me to We