A few nights ago my husband I were lying in bed falling asleep when he suddenly said, “You know, sex in marriage, for me, is like tomatoes on sandwiches.”
My mouth literally fell open there in the dark.
See, here is the thing. I consider myself a sort of amateur foodie. I like to eat it, I like to make it, I like to read about it, I like to savor it. I will almost always go the extra step in making my food go from just okay to amazing. My husband enjoys good food too, but not enough to go out of his way to make something amazing. Like tomatoes, for instance. He really, really enjoys them on his sandwich. But not enough to do the work of getting them out of the fridge and slicing them to put on his sandwich. If they are sitting there sliced he will always get them. Or if I am making a sandwich and ask him if he wants tomatoes, he will always say yes. But if there are no tomatoes on his sandwich, he is okay. He can still enjoy it.
As I lay in bed I felt like a huge lightbulb had gone off. I finally understood exactly how he approaches our marriage bed. I began to laugh. “Babe”, I said, “Sex for me like the bread. Without the bread, it’s not a sandwich.”
I am pretty sure his mouth fell open then.
Because here is the deal. I think he thought that sex was like tomatoes to me, too. I like them enough to always want them on my sandwich, and I will always do the work to get them and slice them. I don’t understand how he can eat a sandwich without them if they are available. But the truth is that sex to me is NOT like a tomato. Because a sandwich without a tomato is still a sandwich. But marriage without sex? Not marriage.
It was such a helpful conversation. I realized that he does enjoy sex when it is offered and available, but feels like our marriage can still be acceptable without it (not completely without it, but just not as often as me). He realized that sex for me is crucial to our marriage – as in, if we aren’t having it often, I struggle to feel married.
Being a “spicy wife” in a culture that screams out I am abnormal is so challenging. And it’s challenging for my husband too. But, thank God, we are learning after almost seven years of marriage how to finally start communicating about it. So what about you? How do you see sex?
Praying today that God gives you and yours the perfect way to communicate so you can see through each other’s eyes.