I cried the other night as my husband and I made love.
Tears I couldn’t stop, wet against his neck.
I cried because I felt safe.
I cried because making love to him was much-needed refuge from our life outside our bedroom, which, right now, is steeped in unknowns and curve balls; details that seem bent on driving us apart rather than together.
It’s a raw vulnerable place to be.
My husband and I find ourselves in that sandwich generation — caring for children (one of whom has unique challenges), while we are simultaneously caring for an elderly parent.
It’s not impossible, but I’d be lying if I said it has not taken its toll. It does have its blessings — but bewilderment too.
Our story possibly is not unlike your story.
Though the circumstances may look different, certainly the story of life feeling… well… beyond full… is reflected in the faces and calendars of so many married people, right?
(Single people too, but this is a blog about sex in marriage, so my lens is leaning that way).
Do you remember that 1989 movie Parenthood?
It is a film speckled with comedic moments — and brutal realities.
Regardless of whether you have seen it, let me describe a scene that will resonate with many of you, I’m sure.
It is a brief but powerful scene in which Gil Buckman (Steve Martin) is talking to his wife Karen (Mary Steenburgen) in their bedroom.
She has told him she is pregnant with their fourth child.
He is overwhelmed with the responsibility of life in general, and at the moment, is rushing to get to his oldest son’s baseball game, of which he is the coach.
She hungers to talk to him, as a wife often hungers to be heard and understood.
She is sensing their life is crashing in on them a bit. She says something to him along the lines of, “Do you have to go?”
With such genuine transparency and revelation of his own discouragement and gut feeling that he is failing in every area of his life, he responds…
“My whole life is ‘have to.'”
Even if you have not seen the movie, do you recognize the emotion behind that scene? Her emotion? His?
My husband and I get it. Do you and your husband?
The details of life don’t always pan out how you envision.
Even as we grow in wisdom in knowing that the Lord does not give more than one can handle, our humanness wants to scream, “Enough already!”
Struggling children. Debilitating illnesses. Responsibilities that blind side. Financial stresses. Miscommunication. Job losses. Grief. Disappointment.
In our 8 years of marriage, we have journeyed through all of those.
“No one comes through this life unscathed” is how the saying goes.
But none of us really needs a quaint quote or rhetorical brush to paint lines around the messiness we slosh through daily.
So what does this have to do with sex?
What does it have to do with me crying in my husband’s arms after experiencing such profound physical intimacy?
We all need refuge.
Isaac needed refuge when he faced grief when his mother died, and he found that comfort with his wife. (Gen. 24:67).
A more recent example that I found profound is in a post on Brad and Kate’s blog One Flesh Marriage, where their friends share how their intimacy helped them begin to heal after horrendous loss of a child.
Husbands and wives need to find such refuge with each other. I mean, I love my girlfriends and I love my Lord — all of whom fill voids and make the confusion less palpable.
I’d be foolish, though, if I didn’t intentionally embrace and find strength with the man who is my husband.
I wonder where you find refuge.
I wonder if your sexual intimacy with the person you married is safe haven for you, quintessential to helping you get your bearings.
Does sex help you get your bearings and gain perspective on the “to-do” list and uncertainties that are hell bent on doing you in?
I’ve spoken of this before, when I talked about how healing it was to make love to my husband after we discovered someone had tried to break into our house.
Crazy right? On a night that so rattled us, I hungered for nothing more than to make love?
It was good. Beyond good.
So was the other night.
Why I cried when we made love is because sexual intimacy in marriage affords us a one flesh depth that is indeed healing.
I could just wait for my life to calm down.
I could just wait for the storm to pass; the responsibilities to seem less taxing.
I could just wait.
I could believe the lie of the Enemy that I “toughen up” and “go at it alone.”
Or I could lean into my husband’s arms and stop pretending that I’m invincible against life’s tragic edge.
Why I cried when we made love?
Certainly, after all you’ve read to this point, it’s gotta be blatantly clear.
Copyright 2012, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.
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23 thoughts on “Why I Cried When We Made Love”
What a poignant and timely post. Thank you so much for all you do and for sharing this with us. I posted previously about disconnect emotionally and how that is manifesting itself sexually in my relationship. You hit the nail on the head. I want to feel safe emotionally with this man who is incredible and so loving toward me. But, I hold onto resentments and perceived sleights to protect myself when I do nothing my hurt myself and create further distance in our journey together.
Much to ponder. Much to work on with the help of the Lord and you. Thank yo!
Thank you so much Sasha… I do remember your other comment.
Be encouraged… don’t give up…
You are right that it is much work, but I trust that the benefits are so worth it. I know it’s not easy, though.
I cried the other night too, and I did not know why. Exactly. He said “I love you” during our lovemaking – and we are not people that talk during sex. Not exactly healthy, I guess. But we don’t. And when he said that, I broke. Now I know why. It did make me feel safe. We are in the midst of turmoil – a failing business, overwhelmed with debt and have taken in my sister’s teenager. That was a relief to me, to know that no matter what, he was there.
Thank you for articulating that. It helps to know why that emotion rolled through.
I’m so moved by your comment Nickie.
Thank you for sharing. I’m sorry for the pain you are navigating, but I’m grateful you and your husband are navigating together.
I would love to hear I Love you while love making. Is that common to hear that? Am I missing out on something? I love the post, it made me cry just reading it. I am struggling right now and do not know how to handle it. I am very thankful that somone showed me this website.
Thank you for this site.
Thank you for your comment Sandy, and for the kind words about the post.
I know hearing “I love you” while making love is a desire that not just many wives have, but husbands too.
I can’t say whether couples speaking during lovemaking is common or not. Some do. Some don’t. And if they don’t, it doesn’t necessarily mean their lovemaking is less meaningful than that of a couple who does talk during sex. (I think I’m going to write a post on this).
I am sorry for your struggles. There is so much about life that is difficult, so my heart does go out to you.
I always encourage couples to get more comfortable expressing their needs and desires, so that they better understand each other during lovemaking. And by “expressing” — this could be during lovemaking or could be in conversations and dialogue when the clothes are on.
Be encouraged… keep coming back and reading… I hope the posts are helpful…
Julie, thanks for your honesty and candor!
Intimacy as a form of relief and release from physical and emotional stress (when it would seem even less desirable) is an aspect that you rarely hear about; but a wonderful part of God’s design and intent for marriage. What a beautiful way for a husband and wife to mutually affirm and deepen their love and commitment to each other in the midst of so much challenge, when the world would simply call it quits.
Thank you Julie.
I read your posts because they offer encouragement. They show me two things; 1) It is possible and 2) I’m not delusional
Keep shining the light.
I can make an idea about all these hurdles of life, at least because we also had our share of them, and I think that one would lie if telling that life is all milk and honey.
Experience strengthens us as we go upstream on a river, up to the Tree of Life (others may want to go downstream to Nirvana, it’s a matter of choice after all). And we often catch a glimpse at the banks of this wide river, to the left or to the right. When we’re boldly engaged, as we “have to,” then we paddle ahead, looking forward. But when tiring, which happens more than once a day, then we look out for refuge on the banks, maybe to park for a breath (or a nap), maybe just to catch an encouraging thumbs up from someone dear, and near.
The right bank is where I can see the Lord, if I look and pray that way.
The left bank is where I find my hubby, and where I land to recharge my batteries for another day.
See?, prayer and marital sex may sit on distant and opposite banks, but they both mean the same thing: communicating with your Lord or with your groom. Regardless of the rapids to come upstream, there will always be two pairs of hands to hold you.
Thank you for this great, touching post!
All blessings and prayers for you!
I too cried during love making. We’d just found out that our 3rd pregnancy was ending in a miscarriage. The baby we’d been so happy about had stopped developing. We were both heart broken and making love just overwhelmed me with emotions, but was very healing at the same time.
This idea of coming together during times like you describe is foreign to me. It would seem to me that’s the LAST thing on the menu when things are hitting the fan. It’s definitely something I plan to ask my wife about…hopefully I haven’t been failing her in this area.
Also, I’ve always refrained from saying “I love you” during love makinh because I didn’t want it to seem like I was just saying it because of what we were doing. I do make it a point to tell my wife I love her other times and ways…so it’s not like that would be the only time I would say it. Another question to ask her.
Thanks Julie! You’re crankin’ out some great posts lately…keep the information flowing! You are obviously anointed for this ministry.
As usual, Julie doesn’t disappoint, take notes guys, your woman will love you for it!!!!
Such a poignant post, Julie. Thank you! Your words have spoken truth in a way that brings light where needed. So glad I read this today!
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Julie – Thank you so much for the poignant (Debi beat me to it, but it’s the perfect word) post. Men need to understand this, and women need to be free to live it.
There is a powerful side of a woman love in a man’s heart that reflects just that: …being safe!! Love making plays also major part on it. For example: My wife protects me (that feeling of being safe), could be better explained as a man would understand it as “purpose”. My wife protects my attitude from that person that cut me off while I am driving, she protects me from that co-worker which life has no purpose and works hard to upset everyone, She protects me from speeding and getting a ticket,(got a few years ago), She protects me from negativity that comes towards me daily in which naturally I would want to respond with a negative behavior but come to realize I do not belong to those circumstances. My wife is at Home, she Loves me, she makes me feel safe, she gives me purpose.
I think I am the only woman who has to beg her husband for sex. He just doesn’t like it and never wants to talk about it. I can’t even imagine enjoying sex, let alone finding refuge and safety!! I am so missing out.
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Thanks for this post. It reminded me of my wife of 25 years whom the Lord suddenly took home one day in March, 1994.
Maybe twice a year (we never kept a record), she would begin to cry sweetly as we made love. She never could explain it and we could never predict beforehand when it would happen.
But, on the other hand, about as often, she would get the giggles (usually at my “critical moment”) which would continue until we were both laughing uproariously. What fun!
She also loved rhythm and dancing so I have always wondered how Paul Simon knew about her: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDDhOa0iAIs
Listen to the first verse lyrics. And listen to the various rhythms. It always reminds me of her whenever I hear it – in addition to being one of those perfect pieces of rock and roll.
My wife has cried during the last couple of time that we have attempted to make love. I have stopped because I knew she was not comfortable. We recently separated and then got back together. She had an affair with another woman whom at the time she said she loved. I also found out that she had several horrible encounters with sex when she was very young. Before the other woman and for most of our 15 years of marriage our love making was great for both of us. It has just been in the last 3 years or so that the rigors of life have really taken there toll on us. We have three children and our older are 12 and 10 and our youngest is 2. Her parents have lost everything and she has been helping to take care of them as much as possible. The woman my wife had the affair with broke if off with her but I believe my wife truly cared for her. And she is hurt. Before when we started to get back together she would not say I love you or even kiss me for several weeks. We are not back to the way it use to be with I love you and kissing but we have only tried twice to make love in the last several months and she starts to cry and get uncomfortable so I stop and just hold her. Any advice or suggestions would be great. I don’t want to lose my wife and I want her to know that I love her and support her. But I also want to get back to being us.
@Troubled… thank you for commenting. I’m sorry for all the pain and difficulties your marriage has faced, including the fallout of your wife’s sin with adultery.
My first suggestion would be some type of Christian marriage counseling, where you and your wife can share vulnerably with a counselor in a safe setting. Often, counselors can be really effective at helping a couple dialogue and heal and move past a place of dysfunction and disconnect.
If she is not open to going to counseling, consider going on your own. Not only will this give you the insights of a professional, but also will demonstrate to your wife that you are committed to doing whatever you can to strengthen the marriage.
It sounds like at one point you did have a solid foundation. As you say, you want to get back to that. I wouldn’t say it is so much to getting back to that as much as it is building something strong by being able to heal and repair what has been broken over the past few years.
Consider writing her a letter, expressing vulnerably not only your pain but your deep desire to not just exist in marriage, but for the two of you together to build something strong and healthy. Express that you truly believe this is possible if you both walk in that direction.
I hope some of this is helpful…
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