After 10 years of marriage there is so much I have learned:
I learned that sometimes you don’t love each other any more. At least that’s what it feels like. There have been times where Damon felt like I did not love him (and that’s his story to tell) and there have been times where I felt like Damon did not love me and that’s what I will talk about (Damon can tell his own story). It was somewhere between when I had Destin and Day. Damon became really withdrawn. I mean I was not getting ANY love at all. I think 9 months of pregnancy, then another 3 months of healing and then another 9 months of pregnancy and another 3 months of healing, back to back and breastfeeding and calming crying babies/toddlers who could care less if you have a happy marriage, can shut down the loving feelings towards our husbands, ladies. We have to learn to consciously choose to push through how bearing and caring for kids can drain us and find that love again, deep under the dirty diapers, etc. In this time that we are consumed with balancing wifehood and motherhood we actually become withdrawn, even though it is for a good reason, but unfortunately, it can really hurt a man, even though they should be understanding of the state we are in, it still does something to them, I think. Normally, when we would crawl into bed, he would turn to my side, pull me close and I would fall asleep in his arms. Then for some reason, he just stopped. He stopped being tender, engaging with me and just withdrew overall. We were roommates. OMG! It felt so horrible! He became really impatient with me…most of the times his tone was as if any and everything I said or did got on his nerves. I felt so alone. I felt like I wasn’t attractive. The thing I was doing, however, was that I wasn’t telling him how I was feeling. I just kept waiting and waiting for him to change or to notice how he was hurting me. I didn’t know what to do! We could have kept going on like this. My pride could have just said, “Forget you, I’m outa here.” But all I had was the promise I made to God “For better or for worse.” So each day, I kept being his wife, but it was just so awful. Then one night we lay in bed, and we started this really tense conversation, about I don’t know what. And then I just burst out, “Why don’t you love me any more! I just wish you loved me!” and then I wept like crazy. In that moment, it was like whatever blinders were on, came off of his eyes. For some reason, he did not realize what was going on. His thinking was that I actually wanted space because I had birthed Dillon, was preggo or had just had Destin and he felt like any time he reached for me or wanted closeness (and not just sexually), that maybe I didn’t want that, because my body was so tired. Both of us were totally missing each other and if one of us had not told the other person clearly how we were feeling, we probably would have drifted apart. He pulled me close as I wept. Kissed me and told me how wrong I was and that he loved me still, etc. And then we made up for lost time (married folk…we grown folk….). I don’t know why men sometimes cannot see or feel when they are hurting us. Sometimes they are just in their own world and thoughts, they miss us altogether, even in the most obvious times. That’s why when our marriage counselors Pastor Robinson and Mrs. Pamela Robinson warned us that COMMUNICATION is the key to a successful marriage, we took it to heart. At the end of each of our premarital sessions, they would say, “COMMUNICATION! COMMUNICATION! COMMUNICATION!” I can still hear it ringing in my years. Sometimes we women will sit back and get more angry and judgemental when our husbands are not meeting our needs and then we punish them for not meeting those needs by withdrawing, or even worse…LEAVING, and they are still confused. I forgave Damon. I did not make him pay for the pain he caused during that time. I forgave him and then the healing and restoration began. When he came back to me emotionally, I forgave him and that is the cycle of marriage.