This is a guest post by J of Hot, Holy & Humorous. This one’s just for us grown-up, married types. Happy Valentine’s Day.
There’s a reason why today gets abbreviated as V-Day. I think it’s reminiscent of the word D-Day – that fateful storm-the-beaches day during World War II. A whole slew of husbands face this holiday like it’s the ultimate challenge – figuring out how to communicate romance to your wife when you’re really thinking this day of love should include some seriously awesome sex.
Because what says intimacy in a marriage quite like sex? Right, guys?
Even the romantics among you are looking for a win-win: romance and sex. And I’m pulling for you. I really, really am.
But here’s what you need to know: When you say intimacy, she thinks romance, relationship, connection. When you hear intimacy, you think, “Rev the engines! It’s go time!”
Don’t worry, though. You’re really not that far apart. Because you both want intimacy. You both want to feel that this exclusive person loves you in a way that no one else loves you – whether that’s shown in a heartfelt message on a greeting card and a bundle of hand-picked roses or stripping down to enjoy private physical pleasure with one another. Romance and sex are both aspects of intimacy – or at least ways to achieve and express it.
It’s worth making sure both are attended to in your marriage. Even if you feel closest to your wife when making love, remember that most women respond more readily to invitations for sex when they feel secure in the emotional relationship, when they’ve been wooed and made to feel valuable. Women make love when they feel loved.
And even if she’s eager to make love, she’ll likely be more engaged when you attend to the atmosphere, to the words you use, to the way you hold her, to the look in your eyes when you look in her eyes. Because we wives want to feel like more than the sum of our body parts, like it’s our heart and soul you adore as well. So what says that to her?
Ah, the $64,000 question.
And I can’t answer it for your wife.
Which is why ultimately you must have the conversation. Yeah, don’t you men love it when we wives ask to have a conversation? (Oh no, not talking about our feelings – anything but that!) It doesn’t have to be so scary. It just has to involve an authentic desire to understand your beloved wife, a willingness to listen, and a few open-ended questions. You can even have such a “conversation” while putting golf balls or walking the neighborhood or fixing your car.
Ask your wife a few questions like these:
What makes you feel intimacy when we’re together?
What kind of romance do you like?
How could I make sex more meaningful for you?
How can I best show you how deeply I love you and only you?
It doesn’t have to be these questions. But step up and start the conversation. Don’t assume she’s like you. Don’t assume you know her. (Goodness, even if you had her all figured out five years ago, she’s likely changed in some ways.) Don’t assume she doesn’t desire intimacy too. It just probably looks different in her head. Make the extra effort to find out if you’re communicating love and fostering intimacy in your marriage.
And then yeah, romance her.
Not just because you want the other goodies. That’s selfish, and she’ll see right through it. But because it demonstrates how you value her. It shows how much she means. It speaks her language of love.
You see, the beauty of God’s joining of husband and wife is that we complement each other. When she gets the romance she wants, and you get the sex you want, you grow as spouses and strengthen your covenant. You become more intimate by making intimacy a priority.
And that can happen on V-Day (Valentine’s) or any other day of the year. The intimacy ball is in your love court.
J. Parker is the author of Sex Savvy: A Lovemaking Guide for Christian Wives and writes the Hot, Holy & Humorous blog, where she uses a biblical perspective and a blunt sense of humor to foster Christian sexuality in marriage.