“I’m not attracted to my husband anymore.” These were my very words spoken on the phone to my mum many, many years ago when suddenly I had gone from a love struck honeymooner to a stay-at-home mum. My feelings for my husband had gone from passionate to uninterested. What happened to me? Is this normal? Did I marry the wrong man?
I had just had a baby and my hormones were all geared up for taking care of my baby and not getting romantic with my husband. But those ‘feelings’ of unattractiveness towards my husband were just that – feelings. They were not truth. Feelings can be swayed by pregnancy and babies, finances, health issues and so much more. Love is a choice and when I said the words ‘I do’ I promised to chose to love my husband every day of my life despite the circumstances.
I felt scared when I first went through this season. How is this going to effect our marriage and family life? Will I feel like this forever? Will I ever enjoy sex again? I know now that this emotional state was not permanent and the more effort and focus I put into loving my husband the more love I was able to receive from him also. And can I just say this, this season of loving on empty can be so difficult for husbands as well. They may have a hard time understanding why we don’t ‘feel’ the same way they do. Why we aren’t as passionate anymore, why we don’t want to receive love in the same way. We need to be able to communicate to our husbands’ the changes that we’re feeling, without bringing in any emotional blackmail – no crying allowed. I had to pray and ask God to help me have a romantic passion for my husband and show him love when I was feeling completely empty. I wanted to enjoy our sex life and not just have to get through it. I wanted a marriage and not just a companionship.
When I went to God in prayer asking him to show me the way to love my husband he gave me the strength and divine love I needed and reminded me that my body was not my own any more*. So I shared with my husband that I was going through a low in libido so that he could understand why I needed extra grace and we ended up having a big laugh about it. But that didn’t mean we stopped having sex. In fact that has never, ever happened in our marriage.
Love has the power to overcome absolutely everything in life. And I know that’s true because Jesus’ love overcame death and sin forever. That is a very powerful force. So when you’re in a place of emotional barrenness and you feel grossed out by even a cuddle from your husband, focus on Jesus and ask him to help you chose to love when you’re running on empty. Overcoming these low points in marriage only makes your love go deeper creating a stronger and healthier love to carry you through future seasons of difficulty. The longer I’ve been married the deeper our love has gone because we’ve had to find new ways to love each other through every circumstance life throws our way. And only God’s love has the power to do that.
“Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” 1 Corinthians 13:7
*I Corinthians 7:4