Ok, shameless false advertising in the title. It was actually a CHAPTER on sex in Tim and Kathy Keller’s The Meaning of Marriage. But I digress.
This has been a bit of a tough week for me from the hours of 7am- 4:30pm. I’m visiting Sung, which is supposed to be perfect since we are in love and in Europe, but those are the hours he goes to work. I planned to get my practice in at being a housewife, which is what I will be, at least when we first start out in Nebraska. I planned to have a very organized meal plan and check list and accomplish so much stuff that I would never fear boredom and get months ahead at wedding planning.
The problem is, I forgot that I get so ridiculously lonely when I don’t even have my cat to talk to for a whole day. And, I was tired. I spent the week becoming gradually less hard on myself, taking more naps, and finally making the connection that all of the crazy thoughts of worry and doubt were only a result of being left alone with my own thoughts for too long and not the indicators of any actual problems.
All of this is well and good, and excellent practice at some coping strategies for the first few weeks in Nebraska, but it was not enough. There was a sense of failure and distress in the fact that, finally having a “normal” life with Sung, getting to cook his dinner every day and kissing rather than skpying him good night, was NOT making me happy. And I found this thought to be staggering and very scary.
Then, I was reading the sex chapter in the Kellers’ marriage book. They talked about having problems with sex in their marriage when one would leave the experience feeling unsatisfied. This put pressure on each of them to “perform” and made it very difficult to enjoy. A crucial shift came when they came to view sex as a way to serve one another. Suddenly, sex was not “what am I getting?” but “what am I giving?”
Isn’t all of love, and all types of love, like this? When we enter into any part of love with the question “what am I getting?” we are bound to come up short. The answer will always be- not enough. As humans, we never do feel completely satisfied for long, especially when self-satisfaction is what we seek. Did I come here so that I could feel content with the amount I accomplished, check off enough boxes from my to-do list, and make Sung’s co-workers jealous because he had the best lunches? I came here to love this man. That experience will never satisfy me if I’m expecting the primary benefactor to be me.
But I’ll tell you what…. living with the needs of others ahead of your own is a sure way to get some real satisfaction and fast.