When my husband and I had been married about nine years, we owned a small, brick home out in the country. This house didn’t have an over abundance of windows, and our bedroom window was covered in blinds and drapes. On top of that, on this particular night it was cloudy, so the moonlight was nonexistent. All that is to say, when I crawled into bed beside my husband, the room was extremely dark.
I lay there in the darkness for awhile and finally decided to snuggle up to my husband. I leaned over, puckered up, and prepared to kiss his cheek. But my lips encountered something I’d never encountered before. It was moist and hairy and just plain weird feeling.
I backed away and said, “My goodness, what was that?”
“It was my armpit!” Daniel growled.
At that point, I realized my husband was lying with his hands clasped above his head, and I had missed my aim. My nostrils were full of the essence of Sure solid deodorant. And the stuff was all over my lips.
“Yuck!” I shrieked. I sat up in bed and started scrubbing my lips with the bed sheets.
If you’ve ever tasted a green persimmon, you know what solid deodorant does to your lips. Essentially, a green persimmon makes your mouth feel like you’ve just been the victim of a dentist’s local anesthetic. My lips began to take on that swollen feel.
I bounded out of the bed and into the darkness, scurried toward the bathroom, flipped on the light, and grabbed a cup. While I was drinking water, gargling, and trying to purify my mouth of Sure deodorant I also was attempting to get a grip on my grossed-out emotions.
Meanwhile my husband was lying in bed thinking, What in the world was she doing? Is this something new?
Soon he realized none of that escapade was planned. He also found out the about-to-be romantic moment was over! After going through that shock, I was officially out of the mood.
This botched romance scene occurred before we had children. Things were different then. We actually went to bed at the same time every night. After having a baby, there were many nights one of us would take the night shift while the other one slept. As the kids got older, I would sometimes use the after-bedtime hours as my office hours. Romance can be challenging when you have children.
During one of my regular checkups with my physician, the nurse made a reference to married sexuality. I looked at her and said, “How long has it been since you had a two-year-old? At eleven o’clock at night nobody cares. And I mean nobody!”
I recently read an article in which a woman of young children said that sex no longer existed for her and her husband. The truth of the matter is, if a husband and wife don’t try to keep the fires burning in their marriage, the stress and demands of having children can sap every scrap of energy until there’s nothing left for romance.
My husband and I have made many creative adjustments in our attempts to keep our marriage vibrant. We have arranged for trusted family members and friends to tend our children while we enjoyed our marriage. We’ve even stolen away for a few solitary weekends.
As the kids have aged past the baby stage, we put locks on our bedroom doors so they can’t invade our privacy unannounced. Right now, the locks work beautifully. Once the kids become teenagers, they will probably be too much in the know for us to claim we’re just lying down for awhile. But those years will lend themselves to a whole new level of creativity.
The key is that we make time for romance. It’s very easy for the cares of parenting and earning a living to absorb a husband and wife. Before long, two people who were madly in love a few years before hardly know each other any more. Many times these marriages result in one or both of the partners feeling lonely, trapped, and unfulfilled. From this predicament, the chances of an affair increase.
If you haven’t romanced your husband lately, think of something creative and sexy you can do especially for him. Maybe you could kidnap him from work for an evening of excitement. Or arrange for a sitter away from home and meet your man at the door in your most alluring lingerie. Perhaps you could leave a piece of your lingerie in his glove box with a handwritten invitation from you. Make sure to put a sticky note on his steering wheel to tell him to look in the glove box. Use your imagination!
While being a mother is one of the most important things you’ll ever do, having a solid and thrilling marriage is just as important. Kids who see their parents madly in love are more likely to grow up and have strong marriages themselves.
Excerpted from It’s a Jungle at Home: Survival Strategies for the Overwhelmed Mom by Debra White Smith. Published by Harvest House Publishers. Used with permission.