My husband and I are celebrating our fourteenth wedding anniversary. And by “celebrating” I mean he’s in bed with the man-flu, and I ate Chinese food with the kids. It’s a good metaphor for this last year of our marriage. We haven’t been on the same page for a while, and it’s starting to take its toll.
Marriage is not easy for me. I’m an independent woman who also needs to be needed and appreciated. (I’m complex like that.) I thrive on social interactions. I enjoy talking about nothing and thinking about everything. I like intimacy, romance, and flirting. And I love sex.
My husband is an introvert who avoids social situations. He talks about specific things (when he wants to) and most of the time I have no idea what he’s thinking. He chooses sarcasm over being sentimental, and he’s not a not one for long hugs or snuggles. And sex is something he has not initiated in over a year-and-a-half. Sometimes I think we exist in different worlds, and I question what brought us together. I know they say opposites attract, but why? Once the novelty of difference wears off, what’s left?
In the beginning, we balanced each other. His steadiness offsets my passion. His attention to detail paired with my creativity. His ability to make a plan and stick to it kept my spontaneity in check. When our son was born with complex needs, this balance was important. It definitely helped during those first few rough years of parenting a child with a disability.
Over the years though I have come to realize I don’t always want balance and steadiness. I miss passion. I miss romance. And goddammit, I miss sex! I’d love to have a hot steamy night, but at this point, I’d settle for a quickie while the kids watch Netflix.
We tried marriage counseling, but he was an unwilling participant because he doesn’t think there’s a problem. He’s content with our marriage. I’m not.
I remember arguing a few years ago with a single friend who was serial dating in an effort to find “the one” about how chemistry wasn’t what keeps a marriage together. “You have to work together and be a team. You need to balance each other so you can get through the rough times.” I told her. Now I realize I wasn’t trying to convince her… I was trying to convince myself that having a marriage without chemistry was okay.
But it’s not… at least not for me.
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