A brief history: my husband and I have not always been intimately connected due to some of my past history. I come to find out this is also true with other couples, thus the blog:
My husband and I have never really had a "real" conversation about what I am about to write, until last night. I guess the opportunity never really presented itself - maybe I was just afraid to tell him how I had to go about things for me to change.
Yes, I had to change, I had to heal. Thus, I had to pray. I brought prayer to our bedroom, silently, until last night. A few years ago I began to relate my husband to my relationship with God. This was a key to my healing with intimacy. No, I do not consider my husband, God, but if I treat him that way, he is happy! I have a quote on my kitchen cupboard that says, "The way we treat one another is the way we treat God." If I am withholding from my husband, then I am withholding from God. If I am withholding from anyone, then I am withholding from God. (I have a lot to work on here.)
In our journey of life, we have Love (our will) and romantic love (our feelings). Imagine drawing a straight line across a sheet of paper, this is Love. Then draw another curvy line, going above and below the straight line, like a roller coaster. This curvy line represents our feelings of love. Sometimes we have them and they are great, above the straight Love line. Sometimes they are below it, because we don't feel anything. Feelings are just that, a roller coaster. We don't really have control over them. We do, however, have control over our will- and the straight Love line is an act of our will. Faith is an act of our will - there are many times I may not feel like getting up to go to church or adoration, or praying if I am not feeling the love back. But, this is when I can show God how much I really love Him; by continuing to go/pray even when I don't feel anything. This is when I have the great chance to obtain no pleasure in my intimacy with God. I can give Him a perfect gift of self, with nothing in it for me. This is what I had to do with my intimacy with my husband, before I was able to heal from my issues. I also had to remember that the marriage union is an example of Christ's union with the church (sacrificial and bringing forth life through the outpouring of blood and water -Divine Mercy), and a foreshadowing of our union with God.
It is also like being mom. I know there are times when I don't want to wipe another butt (or wall ;) -my kids have some poop issues), or put food on the table. (Sorry that came after the butt wiping) The list can go on here! I will spare you the rest. But if I continue to do these things, they become real acts of Love. If I don't feel like being a mom for a day, does that mean I don't love my kids? Of course NOT! I love them dearly, on that straight line! Despite my feelings, I still continue to care for them. Love is sacrificial - giving up of self. Look at the cross, and know that you are not alone in your sacrifices!
For me, once I changed my attitude, my husband and I were able to be together and eventually my romantic love went above the line. As we were talking last night, I know we still have some things to work on, and there will always be times when either he or I don't feel like intimacy, but that doesn't mean we don't love each other. It is however, the perfect time to give of oneself, making that sacrificial love even when there is nothing in it for me.
Jesus I trust in You!