Hey look, I’m just not in the mood, OK?!

13 Mar

Sorry I got a little side-stepped in finishing up these follow-up posts on my sex series. I believe this is the last one, for now. If you missed a week of blogs, or are new here…. you can catch the whole series by starting HERE.  I’ll warn you, it’s challenging.  However, I’ll also say, emails, FB messages and blog comments say it’s been worth the invested time to consider.

In all this talk about why sex is important and ideas for where we can improve as wives…. I purposely didn’t hit on this one point yet.  And that’s because it’s a tough one to deal with. Do we really have to follow through with sex when we’re “not in the mood?”

Before I answer that, let’s be honest about why we’re not in the mood.  You know I never paint rainbows here, so I promise not to start now. Here are a few scenarios to consider….maybe you can find yourself in one at some time or another.

– You’re a stay at home mom. It’s 2:00 AM and the baby is crying.  Your husband doesn’t even flinch, he just snores right through it.  You get up, spend 20 minutes consoling the baby and getting him back to sleep.  You lay back down. It takes a little while for your mind to relax again.  What do you know, 3:30 AM your toddler is in your room crying because she’s scared.  She must have had a bad dream.  You have a choice, let her crawl into bed with you because you feel so exhausted you might vomit if you stand up and risk your husband being angry that “the kids don’t belong in bed with us – you’re starting a habit and they’ll never stop” or get yourself up anyway and carry her to her bed and lay with her until she falls asleep.  6:00 AM comes all too soon and you wake up in a twin size bed with a toddlers feet in the middle of your back.  The rest of the day proves to be nothing short of hell on earth.  Constant tattling, whining, spilling three glasses of milk on the floor, with the word “MOMMY!” being said no less than 273 times throughout the 9 hours your husband is at work. And just when you feel like relief might be on its way…. he comes in, exhausted from his job, takes a seat on the couch and flips on the television while you stand there looking at the mess, supper laid out on the counter but not started yet and a baby on your hip thinking “REALLY?!”  10:00 PM – everyone is in bed, and your husband gets fresh…. “Hey look, I’m just not in the mood, OK?!”

– You’re up at 6:00 AM packing lunches in between showering, putting on your make-up and fixing your hair while you pour cereal and scream up the stairs – the bus will be here is 10 minutes, hurry up!! You put in a 9 hour day, but not just any 9 hour day… one in which your boss throws his “grunt work” on top of your already busy schedule.  You feel quite a lot like his maid at work. You rush from work eating a granola bar in the car to sit in the bleachers for 2 hours watching basketball.  The family piles into the house at 7:30 PM FAMISHED and you scramble to get everyone fed, ready for bed… and oh wait “hey mom — where’s that shirt I need for tomorrow, you know, the one with the blue stripes?”  You got it, it’s in the dirty clothes.  11:00 PM and your husband looks at you with pleading eyes …”Hey look, I’m just not in the mood, OK?!”

– You start your day feeling a little lonely.  Things just seem off between you and your husband.  You’re not fighting, but you don’t feel connected either.  You’re not “not” talking, but at the same time, it seems like the only things you say to each other are things out of necessity because you live together or you parent the same children. After spending the evening together what feels like just existing as roommates, you just don’t feel emotionally charged to desire sexual intimacy.  This is when the temptation arises to make-up an excuse or worse, grow bitter.  How can he possibly expect me to have sex when he hasn’t hardly spoke to me all day?  “Hey look, I’m just not in the mood, OK?!”

– You happen to have an hour of free time in your afternoon so you bounce around on Facebook and Pinterest.  Coincidental timing, or act of Satan… you be the judge.  Every post and pin is about some romantic husband sending flowers to his wife at work, calling to check on her through out the day, cooking supper while she sips a glass of wine, ironing his work shirts to help carry his weight around the house when suddenly…. you feel so ignored, unloved, empty, broken, like you married a dud of a husband who doesn’t have a romantic bone in his body.  And without romance, how can you possibly get undressed and roll around in the sheets? He actually hasn’t done anything wrong… but at the same time, he suddenly does everything wrong because of what he “doesn’t” do…. and honestly, “Hey look, I’m just not in the mood, OK?!”

For the sake of this post becoming 3000 words, and I simply won’t do that to you… I’m not going to dive into all four of these scenarios individually and cut out the lies and replace them all with truth.  I’ll give you the starting points, and you can find yourself in here if you’re a woman who is generally “not in the mood” and sort this out yourself.

I’ll point out a few key points that changed everything for me.

Marriage is not about making us happy.  It’s about making us holy. 

Marriage is the direct reflection of Christ and the church.  And we the bride, represent the bride of Christ.  When I really changed how I see my role in marriage…. my ideals about my own selfishness started to melt away.

We really are selfish beings.  Our emotions and feelings tend to be immediate and urgent.  And our lack of empathy for our husbands tends to be secondary and justified.

What if…. he isn’t romantic, doesn’t help around the house, isn’t really chatty because “Hey look, he’s not in the mood, OK?!”

Is that fair?  Should you feel understanding or slighted?  Would you be patient with that answer or deeply hurt?

Every opportunity to love and fulfill your husband, even when you don’t “feel” like it or he doesn’t “deserve” it is a chance to refine your character and be more like Christ.

Do you love Christ?  Is worshipping Him with your life the goal?  If it’s not… you’ll never truly love your husband.  It takes the love and power of Christ to love selflessly. THAT IS NOT NATURAL AND IT IS NOT EASY, and we will never be flawless at it. We have to refine our minds and bodies to behave in worship so we can reflect the love of Christ for us, through us.

Jesus words for us were “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

What if we treated our husband with that kind of love and worked on us?  What if we invested all our energy into dying to our own selfishness and learning to love sacrificially?

What if we remembered that God created sex for BOTH of us and that it binds us together like nothing else, and saying we’re not in the mood is actually telling God that we don’t think He had us in mind or created the right activity for marriage to bond us together.

What if we remembered that exhaustion is a season and the marriage came before the kids and it’ll outlast the kids being in our home and under our care.  If we neglect the growth and nourishment of our marriage in the busy years, it’ll remain neglected in the not so busy years. Habits are really hard to break.  Especially 20 years of bad habits.

What if our changing first fulfilled our husbands needs so much so that he couldn’t resist changing himself?

What if we offered suggestions to make sex a priority instead of an end of the day activity that we’re too tired to complete?  We can set a timer for thirty minutes and tell the kids that daddy and mommy need to talk in private, rest, whatever you want to say and they can come ask you any questions or play with you when the timer goes off.  If it’s too light in your room during the day for your comfort, make the investment in dark curtains…. every investment toward your marriage and sex life is a priority. (This coming from a one income family of 6.)

And finally, what if all our excuses were just Satan’s genius plan for keeping hidden division in our marriage so we never fulfilled our husbands, allowed us both to feel vulnerable and unconnected, and then our husband never fulfilled our needs and this cycle of constantly feeling like marriage is really hard work kept going and going and going for years?!

And all along, you could have been the first one to stop the cycle.

Practical Application:

Some times, we really are emotionally or physically ill and it’s OK to need rest.

But for all those times that we could talk ourselves into being in the mood and don’t, we’re not just hurting our husbands….we’re hurting ourselves and in turn keeping a gap in our marriage for division to wedge in.

If you feel like you say “No” to your husband quite a bit….. I’d really encourage you to check out this series of posts.  It’s just, incredible. And so worth your time!! And tackles this topic with WAY more depth and insight.

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7 Responses to “Hey look, I’m just not in the mood, OK?!”

  1. trixie1466 March 13, 2014 at 10:28 am #

    Kayla,

    Outstanding! I wish I’d read something like this 25 years ago. I agree about the posts at Forgivenwife.com. You both have a viewpoint that many would do well to listen to. Nicely done!

    Trixie

    • Kayla Gulick March 13, 2014 at 10:35 am #

      Absolutely – forgiven wife tackles these with so much more clarity! She brings personal experience to the table in an incredible way!!

  2. howsyourlovelife March 13, 2014 at 11:03 am #

    Reblogged this on howsyourlovelife and commented:
    This is written by a friend of mine whom I respect as a believer and as a wife, who is working hard at having the marriage God intended.

  3. Meagan March 13, 2014 at 12:34 pm #

    This is a great post! I’ve been trying to keep in mind that I have a tendency to be selfish. I love that you turned things around on the wife, asking if it would be fair/right/acceptable if he said “I’m not in the mood” to helping around the house, being romantic, being sensitive, etc. It’s the same thing!!!! My husband and I have both suffered from emotional disorders and PTSD, and he is bipolar to boot. It has taken me a loooong time to realize that I need to be just as patient, understanding, and forgiving of him as I expect him to be of me. I can’t go off on a nagging rant, complaining about how he never does anything for me, he never does it right, blah blah blah, and then be surprised when HIS issues kick in. I need to die to self before expecting my husband to die for me (and who would want to die for me when I’m being as comforting as a dripping faucet?)! And I KNOW for a fact that everything you said in your post is true, and works. Just the other day, my husband told me that because of the changes he’s seen in me, and the way I’ve started treating him, he feels free to change, too! I couldn’t believe it!!! He said that he feels free, and does not need to continue to pursue himself, because he now knows that I am looking out for him. I am trying to be a godly wife and helpmeet, and he sees it, and it has made HIM change. Who knew that if you followed God’s Word, things would turn around? LOL Too bad I didn’t get kicked in the head with this years ago, but I suppose God had us where He had us for the reason He had us there. Whatever that reason may be, our marriage is THRIVING now. Thanks for all you’ve been posting about lately!! We’re both enjoying it. 🙂

    • Kayla Gulick March 13, 2014 at 12:39 pm #

      YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE testimonies where the wife changed first and the husband followed suit too. Victory in Jesus is sweeter than any selfish desire we ever have. THANK YOU so much for sharing that!!!!!!!!!!

      You know, my next post is actually going to be on… “if I had learned this sooner.” 🙂

  4. Dan June 13, 2014 at 1:29 am #

    I’m in the middle of a series of posts that spun off from one i wrote on duty sex. I am writing from the husbands view point to explain certain things to women about what a husband wants in bed from his wife. It was encouraging to me to see some commonality between my posts and this particular one. I always worry that I am somehow being too “male” and seeming not to be considerate of the wife’s needs. It is difficult to serve both masters in an opinion piece without it becoming verbose and possibly confusing. When I write I can ready hear one side or the other asking, “What about us/me?” I like Chris’ posts a lot too. They are so full of hard truth you can feel both her pain and joy.

    “And all along, you could have been the first one to stop the cycle.” This is the key to the whole thing. If you want change, be the CHANGE. The price in time of sitting back and waiting for the other to change is too high and is nonrefundable when change doesn’t happen.

    Luke 12:34 and Matthew 6:21, when turned on their heads, state the case very well. “The desires of your heart will be where your treasure is.” [paraphrase mine]. Is your treasure a clean home, your children, your job, your personal leisure time, etc. OR your husband/wife and your marriage? Regardless of all limiting factors, the choice is yours as a spouse.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. What is the big deal about sex anyway? | Lessons Of Mercy - March 13, 2014

    […] Hey look, I’m just not in the mood, OK?! […]

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