“So I read this thing the other day…”
“Yeah. It was about marriage and it sounded like ours.”
“Mm-hmm.” (eye roll)
“Don’t roll your eyes. It said there are men who avoid intimacy. Intimate conversations, intimate moments, everything to do with intimacy.”
“What? I don’t avoid intimacy, you sexy thing.”
“Sex is a surface thing, that doesn’t count.”
“Hm. Well, I think so. Yes, it’s a surface thing, I guess…” (not listening)
“Gah. Never mind.”
Do you ever feel like you’re the only one trying in your marriage? If only your husband would pick up his phone, go to Google and type in, “WHAT DOES MY WIFE NEED FROM ME?” just ONE time that maybe 99% of your arguments could be avoided?
I have sad news for you, my dear, dear friend… He’s not going to do it.
In fact, you can take him to a marriage class and put it in his face, have him taught by a doctor, marriage expert, therapist, you name it and he is not going to do it. Why? Because he doesn’t get it yet. He doesn’t see why your needs are important right now or why you need him to talk to you or compliment you without having sex. He just doesn’t get it...
because you are married to a bachelor.
It’s a known, natural phenomenon where the male meets the female species, suggests the institution of a marriage, procreates and then decides that nest wasn’t the place he wanted to be in- quite yet. So he visits his nest, disconnects emotionally and finds joy and happiness in his bachelor activities with his bachelor friends, bachelor ambitions and/or bachelor mindset.
Have you seen the movie, “He’s Just Not That Into You”? Well… your husband just isn’t that into marriage.
It’s not you- He loves you. He doesn’t want to lose you. He’s attracted to you. He feels connected to you because you’re the mother of his offspring and you’ve been through a lot together, but he is not mindfully connected to the life you want. He knows how to love you in his head but not with his actions, body language or by speaking your "love language".
This is a reoccurring problem that stems from addiction. I’m going to call it, “the aftershock” of addiction. Commonly found in recovery (male species!).
I did some research and interestingly, despite their bachelor-minded tendencies, it seems that men benefit from marriage more than women as married men live longer and make more money than their single cohorts (I can see you now- “So, honey, I read this thing online today about marriage…!). Women, well, our success is found in the state of our marriage. Men, on the other hand, benefit from both happy and unhappy marriages.
The funny part is, single men say they don’t want to get married because although a girlfriend can tell them what to do, a wife has the right to tell them what to do (but obviously, this is how they live longer and make more money!!!). [Source] It’s all about partnership. Males and females were always created for partnership with each other.
Dr. Charles A. Waehler, a psychologist at the University of Akron in Ohio, says bachelors have three defense mechanisms: Avoidance, isolation and distortion that they use to keep people away (and avoid intimacy). Does this sound like your spouse? Yep. Bachelor mentality. [Source]
A pastor who counselled my husband and I once said that my husband wanted the wife and kids but he didn’t want the marriage. If those weren't the truest words ever spoken about our marriage, I don’t know what was. It always pained me to see pictures of other families and couples joyfully loving each other. I wanted that. Date night. I know you want it too. There’s one girl, in particular, I have a love/hate relationship with her Instagram feed. She is a photographer, so already I know her life doesn’t look real but I can’t help but look at it and think, “SIGH! They look so happy”. She has the most beautiful children I’ve ever seen, the way her husband looks at her is so dreamy, still- I can hardly stand it!
For a long time, I didn’t look at social media to avoid seeing other people’s joy at all costs. But now that I’m online all the time, I cannot avoid it. I have to see it. Being forced to look at those photos I’ve learned a few things:
1. There are people who really are that happy. Not everyone’s life is a mirage of phoney photos. And we should be happy for them, not envious. It gives me hope that things can be that great.
2. Everyone has pain but their pain is not always in their marriage. It could be in their health, children, relationship with their parents, lack of personal success or mental health. Marriage is tough because as young-girls-turned-women, we spent countless hours dreaming about the fulfillment we think we will find in marriage but I guarantee if your marriage isn’t picture-perfect, there are other areas of your life someone else envies.
3. Loneliness can bring us very close to God. I would not be here if it were not for the loneliness I felt in my marriage. That pain gave me space and time to minister to you!
4. It gets better. Your marriage may never look like what you hoped but that doesn’t mean it can’t improve. You are loved by someone. That counts for something. Even if it isn’t the way you hoped to be loved.
5. God promises to give back to us what we have lost, "I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you. You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame." -Joel 2:25-26 (ESV)
In my course on getting untangled from your loved one’s addiction, UnBound Me, I talk about how we are God’s “children of the promise”. Often, we believe the promises from God are only for the Jewish people but that isn’t true at all! We’re God’s children, too.
Which means, God promised He will restore the years “the locusts” have eaten. I know that’s a bit of a manipulation of scripture but I believe that if you continue to walk in faith- do not give in, do not give up- that the Lord has promised to deal wondrously with you.
That includes dealing with your less-than-invested husband. Pray it out. Jesus makes a wonderful boyfriend in the meantime.