My wife and I finally pulled the trigger on a 3 month trip to Europe with our kids. In the past,
when we travelled to Europe, it generally meant we were going to see the sights, taste the food
and have a very sexy time with one another.
With this expectation, we took off for Europe. What I didn’t account for was all the other factors
that were at play. Kids in tow, cold weather, digs that weren’t as comfortable or sexy as we had
thought. The further we got into the trip, the more dammed up my expectations felt. The more
sex seemed farther away, the more I thought I needed it.
After 5 weeks and one botched attempt at sex in a motorhome, we rented a farmhouse in
southern Spain. I was like a horse headed towards the barn. The closer I thought I was, the
more I ran.
I thought the house would equal a turned on wife. I had forgotten about how all the elements
needed to be right.
She, of course, could feel my desire turn into something that spilled into an obligation. Into that grimy place between a husband and wife where a husband can feel like he’s too much and the wife feels like she’s not enough.
I lay next to her in the dark and for the umpteenth time, I tried turning a back rub into something more. Her gentle no finally hit a tipping point and in the dark, lashed out at me. She broke and yelled something that, in that moment, was completely true.
I HATE SEX!!!
What I had forgotten in my pursuit, was the sexual trauma she had carried from her previous life before me. I had forgotten about all the gentle ways she needed to be put at ease and I was allowing my own desire and my own tendency to seek sex while I’m stressed to bowl us both over.
She was fuming and I felt like such a hypocritical idiot.
How many times had I promised her to not pressure her like that for sex? How many times had I told myself that I wouldn’t do it again and again and again?
I whispered an anaemic apology.
Fuming, she took a small gentle step toward forgiveness.
That small apology and forgiveness germinating in the dark, growing from only a mustard seed.
We fell asleep with lingering resentment. There was no real solution that night, just a tiny step from a broken “I’m sorry.”
It was the moment that I saw us both for who really were, shipwrecks. A man with expectations that unconsciously turned into obligations. A woman who had been used by men, objectified and for a long time in her life thought that was the role she had to play.
Neither of us wanted to live that way anymore, but time and time again, we’d edge toward that old center of gravity.
The next morning, as if it had grown in our sleep, real forgiveness was at work, bigger than ourselves, beyond our own ability.
If you keep hitting the same roadblocks in your relationship, especially in sex, here are three simple things you can do to hit the reset button in your relationship.
1) Look inside to see where you are at fault.
I know that I was seeking sex because my expectations had gone out of control. I was also
stressed from the travel and was looking for comfort that borders on codependency.
It’s fine line between codependency and a healthy sexual life because at it’s best, sex does
bring comfort, love, and validation. But, my own pursuit had essentially tainted the right outcome
for both of us.
2) Ask for forgiveness from your spouse and from yourself.
It was only a small apology because I felt small. It barely felt right or enough, but it’s almost as if
the direction was more important than the progress.
3) Ask God for help.
How many times have I whispered this to him and how many times had he answered in
It’s in the mix of these simple ingredients that something in me (and us) turned into hope and
acceptance. We woke, holding one another. Feeling like maybe the night before had been a
nightmare. Hope does come in the morning.
The morning turned into a beautiful day. I didn’t walk around all day wondering about when or if
I was going to have sex again. I remembered about how I had pushed and pushed until in a
moment of frustration, my wife declared something that she didn’t mean.
That night, we lay in bed. I held her close. My message to her was, “you are enough, just as you
are. Despite the way I’ve been acting, you are enough.”
Her message to me, “you aren’t too much, despite the way you think you need me, I still love
you and accept you.”
Then, in the silence and the starlight, she told me without words how much she loved me. With
all of her. In a way that I could have never demanded and in a way that words can’t ever
describe, It was what I thought I wanted the night before, but so much more. Free of obligation,
expectation, fear, guilt or shame.
Ron Cecil and his wife Morgan Day Cecil run the website
http://www.romanceandadventure.com/. Together they also teach the online course, the R&A
Sutras, a 6 week program to that teaches an easy and holistic approach to sexual well being
that releases you from fear, guilt and shame in bedroom hell.
Ron is also a men’s mentor and coach, leading men into deeper connection and intimacy in the
relationships and areas that matter most to them.
When not working online or working one on one with clients, Ron and Morgan can be found
leading retreats or traveling with their two kids. Ron also loves motorcycles, rock climbing and
burritos. They live in downtown Portland, OR.