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.
7 thoughts on “Keep Me in the Dark Please”
I absolutely love this and agree 100% about couples being in the dark more! My husband and I have had some the best, most intimate talks lying next to each other in the dark. I sometimes read on other marriage blogs that talking in the bedroom is not the best, but I disagree. We have shared our hearts more there in the dark than any other place. It feels like a ‘safe’ place to me to be completely open and honest.
I find my husband is more open during our “in the dark” conversations. I think it feels similar to “shoulder to shoulder” or “side by side” discussions which can feel more intimate to men than “face to face”. The direct eye contact in face-to-face encounters can feel adversarial for guys.
I agree that conversation in our own sacred space feels special and intimate, and mutes my need for the eye contact and face-to-face experience. There have been times when I have shared something openly, and even though there was no verbal response, I knew I had been heard and felt connected.
Not the “soul drenching connection” that Julie speaks of though. Just a sprinkle. Sometimes I think there is not enough time in my life remaining to achieve the drenching she speaks of.
Thank you. This is part of what many of us men really, really want (And what I finally have now!). Intimacy, real soul-baring, intimacy. My greatest dreams, my worst fears. We learn to do it by steps… but it doesn’t have to depend on reciprocal disclosures. As Dr. Schnarch commends, “Intimacy can be increased by unilateral disclosure”.
I love that we can do that now. After almost 33 years we’re like teenagers again, but with the sensibility of our age. It’s so good.
Open your heart to your wonderful, God-given, mate. Tell them your deepest secrets and know that another one of God’s amazing children really loves you for who you are NOW, not just what you will become or even what you were.
I totally agree with you that you need to treat the bedroom as a sacred place. My children have slept in their own rooms since they were very little (my son was 5 weeks and my daughter was about 3 months). We leave the door open for now because they are still very little (3 and 1) but will be utilizing a lock as they get older. It is not mean or bad parenting to lock your children out of your room. Everyone has their own room for a reason, and intimacy in marriage is important enough to protect.
Perhaps “in the dark” is one of the few places where you can have a man’s total attention 100% guaranteed (almost). In the light, our focus-on-one-thing-at-a-time minds are overloaded and scattered all over the place (because we are looking at lots of stuff)
In the dark our one-dimensional male minds are at their peak because they’re required to focus on just one thing. Our wives.
Unfortunately some women would not have responded wisely like you. Instead they would have insisted on talking. The result? An empty meaningless ‘conversation’ with a hubby whose eyes are open but whose mind is completely shut.
Thanks for your wonderful ministry!
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Found this article today. It is over two years old, but should be shared regularly. Talking in the dark not only encourages intimacy, it indeed provides a safe place for us husbands. I have enjoyed many articles on this site. This one, however, may be the very best and most important advice you can give, outside of encouraging husbands and wives to seek a relationship with Christ.