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My husband and I were talking about something the other day, but it wasn't really a good time to talk.
He had some time-sensitive stuff he had to get done and we had kid activities creeping up on us as we spoke.
He lovingly stopped me mid-sentence and said, "We can talk about this later in the dark."
I smiled. He was right.
We could talk about it later in the dark.
There's a lot of wisdom in his comment.
Over the years, he and I have had some of our most tender and revealing conversations in the dark. In the safe haven of our bed, where we can shut the door on the world and even on the chaos of our daily life.
We can -- and do -- talk later in the dark.
Doesn't take rocket science or elaborate math to know that a married couple wanting some alone time must contend with a glut of details and clutter bent toward sabotaging them.
It's like everything is lined up (or strewn about), waiting for its turn to thwart any intimacy between a husband and wife.
Laundry. Soccer practice. Homework. An empty milk jug. A lawn that needs to be mowed. An empty dog dish. A full dishwasher. They are like whiney little children begging for attention.
And let's not even mention if there are actual whiney little children in the mix.
Oh, I know that the messiness of life is where we often find genuine joys and laughter and richness.
For a lot of married couples, though, if they can rarely discern themselves as a couple amidst all those details, it becomes increasingly hard for them to appreciate the joys and laughter and richness together.
The occasional talk in the dark is exactly what two lovers need to find their bearings. Away from the distractions. Away from the noise.
It's one of the reasons I'm not a big fan of kids sleeping in their parents' bed on a regular basis. (If you're a "family bed" fan, don't go renegade on me. We can agree to disagree).
Sure, the occasional sick kid or bad dream may justify a little tyke crawling beneath his parents' sheets, but I'm in the camp of it being the rare exception rather than the general rule.
Some things in our marriage need to be just about Randy and me. Not who we are as parents to our kids or as adult children to our own parents or as workers and friends to other people.
Our bed -- our talking in the dark -- our closing of the bedroom door… that's all just for him and me.
And while it's not just about sex, it is in part about sex. When we as a husband and wife claim something as sacred space, we begin to appreciate what all that "talking in the dark" affords us.
Sexual intimacy in marriage does not happen on its own. Two people can't merely wish for it to happen or wait for it to happen, but rather need to intentionally walk in that direction.
And they need to agree that the costs are too high to never or rarely take that walk. Or to do it as a last resort when it becomes encased in obligation and guilt and exhaustion.
With everything in me, I believe marriages would be better off if they were kept in the dark a bit more. (And if they used their bedroom lock… for a funny little story about that, check out this post.)
What can you and your spouse do to keep each other in the dark more?
Copyright 2014, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.