By E.J. Gordon
My husband had rearranged his workday so he could go to our favorite yoga teacher on a Wednesday morning. I promised I would meet him if the appliance delivery people gave me the afternoon window instead of the morning one. As luck would have it, they were coming at one, so I ran off to meet Jay for a mid-morning yoga date. After shavasana, he raised an eyebrow at me and said, “So … you headed home to shower?” I knew what that meant. It meant, “No one’s home, we’re not tired, let’s squeeze in some Afternoon Delight.”
The first thought I had in my head was fuck. I mean the Other Kind of fuck.
As in, I have to go to the pet store for dog food, I need to get Zone bars at Target because they are the only ones that carry the cookie dough brand, I need to stop by the grocery for dog bones, apples, gluten-free bread, and food for dinner. I still have to go pay the cleaners for the cleaning my sister-in-law picked up for me when the girls had the stomach flu and had a cleaning emergency: They had my son’s jersey, which he needed for his game. And Wednesday is one of my only free days. Yeah, fuck.
“Um,” I started, “I have eight gajillion things to do, and I have to be home by one for the appliance delivery people.”
“What do you have to do?” he asked.
So I went on my list. His response, “Why do we need dog food?”
“We have NONE.”
“Listen,” he tried to reason with me, “we never get any time alone. I’m too tired at night to wait up for you. We have energy now. Let’s go have sex.”
I hesitatingly agreed, and I got into my own car to meet him at home. Then I panicked. Now it’s been well established here on the GIRLilla blog that I’m not a sex-avoiding, husband-hating woman. But here I was, counting all of the errands I had to fit in and getting more and more stressed by the second. Instead of heading home, I turned toward Target and called Jay.
“I’m freaking out. I have so much to do. We have no food. I need food to make dinner tonight. I feel so bad about not having had dinner ready last night.”
Now the night before he had walked in from work and working out to find me at my computer, and the kids already fed. He asked about dinner, and I had told him I never made it to the grocery, that I was too busy working. He asked me where the salami was. We then realized that after I had given salami to our son, I walked out of the room, which is when our dog must have jumped on the counter to inhale four pounds of salami chub. And there’s a thing about salami that haunts me because when I was growing up, my father used to tell this story of a friend who would work hard all day and come home to his wife doing her nails, saying, “The salami’s hanging by the sink.” My Dad used to use this story to illustrate that she was a bad wife, and a good wife has dinner ready for her hard-working husband. So I have that story hanging out in the depths of my guilt-ridden brain, along with a promise I had made to myself to never, ever treat my husband like that. And now there I was without even the salami.
So Jay says to me, “E.J. I would rather have sex than dinner. And how’s this. I will pick up either dinner or food to make dinner on my way home from work, and one of us, whichever one you want, will run to Target tonight to get Zone bars.”
I took a breath and thought to myself, I’m making myself crazy to make sure we have food, but he is offering to help me. It’s not dinner he wants. He’s telling you what he needs. Put the marriage first.
You know, a lot of us do this. We plan our sex lives around our busy-ness.
If we know that we won’t see each other for a few days, we make sure to fit it in. If we know we’re getting our periods, we plan ahead. I remember being very pregnant and unsexy-feeling, and I would throw Jay a bone, so to speak, and then I’d think to myself, that should cover me for three days. My friend whose husband travels will say, “I can go out for dinner, but he’s leaving tomorrow, so I have to make sure I get home in time to give him some.” I have another friend who will say, “I can’t work out tomorrow morning, because if we don’t have sex first thing tomorrow, he will be crabby all day.”
It’s not that any of us don’t want it. We just have to plan it, along with carpool, and waxes, and work-outs, and meetings, and school volunteering. Because we DO want it, we DO need it, and we DO enjoy it. It’s just that we have to schedule it. Because our whole lives are balancing everyone else’s needs, our husband’s included, along with our own. And sometimes our husband’s needs and our own come in dead last.
But what I realized in that moment on that Wednesday was that sometimes if we put our marriage first, the rest of our lives will fall into place.
It won’t matter as much if there is food for dinner or there needs to be an evening Target run or the dog ate the salami. Because when both members of a team are happy (and satisfied), they are also more likely to help and forgive each other. It’s much easier to get a wink and a “Don’t worry, babe; I got it,” when you both already have a smile on your face.
Lisa Barr, Editor of GIRLilla Warfare: Love this blog! And for those interested in a Husband’s’ Perspective on Sex & Marriage — check out Evan Field’s not-to-be-missed “Strategic Sex: A Husband’s Foolproof Plan GUARANTEED To Get His Wife Into Bed …” http://girlillawarfare.com/guyrilla-on-strategic-sex-heres-the-foolproof-plan-guaranteed-to-get-your-wife-into-bed-and-want-to-be-there/
E.J. Gordon is a freelance writer, a regular contributor to GIRLillaWarfare, and “Sexpert”. Have any questions or topics that you would like her to address? Remember: No subject is taboo, and Anonymity is accepted. Contact E.J. at: EJGordon529@gmail.com.