Saturday, 25 January 2014

When you just don't feel like it

Friday night is usually date night for my wife and I.  Usually we don't have sex at the end of the evening.  We'll cuddle and everything else, but not go so far as starting foreplay or having intercourse.  We find it better to save that for Saturday morning when we are both well rested.  I'm also pretty much at my sexual peak in the morning, and we avoid any outside commitments before noon so we have lots of time.  It is an ideal time for us to have sex and we take full advantage of it. 

Sometimes we have to modify our plans though.  Recently our ward had a temple trip for the Relief Society.  I volunteered to go as well to help with some sealings, so having sex Saturday morning was pretty much out of the question given the early hour we would have to get up to make it there in time.  Saturday's temple trip was 'date night', and Friday night was to take the place of our Saturday morning, except it didn't work out that way.

My wife is working on finishing her degree, and she had a large assignment due on the upcoming Wednesday that she had not yet started.  We could have gone for it, even if just a quickie, then she could spend the rest of her evening working on her assignment, but she felt anxious about not having started it, so she wanted to work on it first, then text me that she was ready for a sex break.  By 11:30pm I kind of figured that she wasn't going to be texting me, and so I headed to bed more than a little downcast over the lack of follow through from her.  She was still busy, and apologized for disappointing me.

Now sometimes we guys want to be intimate with our wife for the pure physical pleasure of it, and when that is how we feel and we are denied, it is annoying and frustrating.  There are other times we guys have a very, very deep, need for the kind of emotional connection with our wife that only comes from sexual intimacy.  In those cases, when we are denied it HURTS.  It hurts so bad we can quickly come to question if our wife really loves us much after all, if we are anywhere close to being as important to her as she is to us, and from there things can go even further downhill pretty fast.

That night I went to bed hurting.  My dreams that night were not pleasant, my mood that morning not the best.  Going to the temple helped a lot of course, and when we got back we soon had the 'Do Not Disturb' sign hanging on our bedroom doorknob.  All is well that ends well.

In thinking back over it though, it seems that this is something that happens now and then between us.  Sexual intimacy gets temporarily moved down the priority list for what seems like a decent reason, or an opportunity is put off to a later time with every intention of keeping that commitment, only to have it fall apart.  It dawned on me that perhaps it was not a coincidence that this seems to happen at the worst possible times emotionally.

We often hear it said that if we don't feel like praying, we should pray until that feeling goes away.  The scriptures teach that "the evil spirit teacheth not a man to pray, but teacheth him that he must not pray" (2Nephi 32:8).  What if the same principle applies to sex?  What if Satan (perhaps with some awareness of our emotional state), is quietly prompting one spouse to delay intimacy, and even helping make sure that the alternate plan fails as well?

That time you just don't feel like doing it, or want to push it down the priority list when really you don't have to, could be the critical moment that your spouse needs you more than ever to be there for them sexually.

I'll take my share of blame for what happened that weekend too.  I did not communicate to my wife how deeply I needed her.  I could have reached out to her at any time that night and let her know that I needed her to put all that homework aside for me for a short time, but I didn't.  And it was on purpose that I didn't.

Right from the start I felt a bit hurt, like I was coming in second place next to her homework, and I wanted her to soothe that by keeping her word without any reminder from me.  I wasn't so much testing her as I was giving her a chance to prove herself.  In hindsight, it wasn't fair of me to expect that from her and at the same time not tell her of my need.  Perhaps that was also inspired by the same source that moved her to delay things.

Either way, the final choice is up to us individually and we are accountable.  We can't blame Satan when things go wrong, but if we are aware of his tactics (and our own bad habits), we are better equipped to avoid the pitfalls.