I wished there was an off switch. As a teenager and young(er) woman, so often I felt like I was the most erotically charged female on the planet. I know that sounds extreme but seriously. You should ask my friends. But I also wasn’t one to jump in the sack with just anyone…nope. Not anyone. Until I got married. And then I found it.
Turns out that my switch just so happens to be insecurity specifically related to our budget.
My husband could have been the most romantic guy on the planet but if whatever he did put us over budget, he could forget about sex for at least a day or two.
What a dumb switch.
And it has taken me years (almost 10) to figure out that these two things have been related all along. I mean as a teenager and young adult I didn’t feel the need to worry about money, but the minute we got married after graduating college and our mountain of debt came crashing down on us, my libido was toast.
Dave Ramsey talks about women having a ‘security gland’ and he was right. But in my case, our $1000 emergency fund (for nearly 8.5 years) has not appeased my vulnerability. Instead, I have felt so vulnerable for so long that my ability for intimacy has buried itself deep inside and I sure hope I can dig it out again.
I didn’t realize how vulnerability in one area can so easily spill over into another area. I wish I would have known sooner.
But there are definitely some things that would have helped me combat this over the years.
1. Find the same page
My husband and I had grandiose expecations for our sexual life and for our financial life. Well…I thought we did. We definitely thought sex was going to be easy and we’d be able to communicate about it and everything else in life easily. That definitely hasn’t been the case. And as for the financial life, we thought we knew, but we didn’t have sound logic for how we were handling our money and for years we weren’t on the same page. I thought Dave Ramsey was going to be our financial savior and we were going to be rich by 27 but we completely messed up his instruction and not until this past year have we made any progress to find the same page again.
I recommend finding some solid marriage workshops and continual education on how to relate and listen to your spouse. We all think we’re good communicators but studies have shown that the longer you are in relationship with someone and the more you think you know what they mean, the less and less you communicate and are more prone to hurting each other.
2. Understand your vulnerability
We have tried to be the strength for each other over the years. But when our own vulnerabilities overshadowed our ability to be strong, we then each felt like we failed our partner and ourselves. But we didn’t want to face up to our vulnerabilities in front of the other person. What we also didn’t realize is that by simply facing our failings we could give each other grace. And by being vulnerable in all aspects, it opens the way to be vulnerable in sex as well.
3. Stop comparing
This is such a problem for all of us! I thought sexy sex (based on every TV show and every movie ever) was going to be so easy and would come so naturally, but really, I’m still a freaking bunch of hormones now tossed with more worries as an ever aging adult. It’s not going to be like the movies. It’s not going to be anyone else’s story. This is our story. You live your story, but make sure you are live it together with that person you said you would live it with.
Money problems are the number one cause of divorce in America and I’m pretty sure it’s because we are not taught to talk about money in a healthy way. Each person in a relationship was taught to handle money differently, to feel about money differently, and to talk about money differently. How in the world do you even begin to find common ground? Find accountability. Sometimes you need that third perspective to help you find common ground. As you begin to align your financial goals your vulnerability in this area is lessened because two of you are holding up the foundation and it doesn’t feel like it’s crashing on just one of you.Help me Flip the Switch
While my husband and I are so close to paying off our debt and then opening up a whole new way to talk about money, we are hopefully closing a vulnerability along the way too. And with less vulnerability, maybe I can find that libido that has one less reason to hide.
So if you realize that you are feeling vulnerable in an area, begin talking to someone about how to face your fear or failure. Accountability really does play a key role in lessening the grip that fear can hold over us. You and your spouse may find a deeper, closer relationship as you really get to know one another (if you know what I mean *wink wink*).