Today we’re diverting from our series to introduce a once-a-month publication on the sex issues and struggles we face in marriage with a guest post from a dear blogging friend, Andrew Budek-Schmeisser. Andrew shares vulnerably with us today about the relentless challenges that his PTSD has brought upon his marriage and marriage bed.
I don’t have a lot of use for sex and sexuality. I have something far more interesting in my heart.
I’m well and lovingly trained in the art of wreaking destruction on folks that the “Powers That Be” find unattractive, and somewhere along the way I lost a part of the basic connection with humanity. The challenge of overcoming enemies became more compelling than the delights of the flesh, and I ended up making a choice.
I didn’t want the soft intimacies of marriage, not really. I didn’t care about the sensations, smells, and sounds of the marital bed, because I had something better.
I had a higher calling—the physical and mental discipline that put the constant situational awareness of my spouse and the readiness that made pillow talk and a “horizontal exercise” seem like weakness.
I thought I could be different . . .
I thought that the role was something I could switch on and off, or at least dim to have a happy marriage.
But it doesn’t work that way. You are what God made you, I guess, and this is what I was and always will be—you don’t retire from this job. You’re just inactive for a time.
God did a miracle—He matched me with a woman who understands that I am far happier awake in the night standing post than I would ever be in her arms.
I’m better putting myself between her and anything that may threaten than in whispering sweet nothings—”everythings”—into her ear.
It would be nice to think this was just a kind of braggadocio posturing that could be laid to rest by a series of romantic evenings, but that’s not the case.
Several years of therapy went toward finding the soft center of my soul, and it just wasn’t there. There is the paradigm that says that the warrior is also the “sexual conqueror.” Maybe in some places, but in my part of the sharp end, no.
We dropped away the human frailties to bind ourselves irrevocably to the art of the sword. There wasn’t room for division.
I don’t think this is “fixable,” any more than you can turn a tiger into a draft horse. God makes us differently, for different purposes, and to craft a specific instrument, He had to sacrifice some versatility . . . I guess.
I don’t lack the capacity for love, but can only really exercise it in the form of a sort of impersonal compassion.
The first is easy, the latter is far beyond me.
Don’t know if I was born to the focus, but I was sure molded to it. And, God help me, I would not change a thing.
Andrew blogs at Blessed Are the Pure of Heart about PTSD, but mostly about the challenges for a care-taking spouse in dealing with a terminally ill spouse. His insight and courageous openness and humility are inspiring and eye-opening. I hope you’ll check out his blog and support him today by commenting below!
What are some ways that you’ve enriched your relationship when sex must go by the wayside?
What has helped or encouraged you today from what Andrew has shared?
I (Beth) am endeavoring to answer any marriage or relationship questions you might have in video form on the weekend posts with one coming up this weekend! If you have a question, you can access a brief, two question survey that provides an anonymous way to pose it. And thanks so much to those who’ve taken the time to do the survey on sexual hang-ups in marriage. Click on the link if you’d like to take that brief survey. I’ll be continuing to post about these troubling situations one at a time in the months to come.
Joining with my friends at Giving Up on Perfect, Christian Blogger Community, Mondays @ Soul Survival, Testimony Tuesday, Coffee and Conversation, Coffee for Your Heart, Sitting Among Friends, Nanahood, Moments of Hope, Family, Friendship and Faith, Fresh Market Friday, DanceWithJesusFriday and LifeGivingLinkup.
Join our From Messes to Messages Linkup!
Add any links that are uplifting, helpful and encouraging to our spiritual lives, marriages and families! Be sure to add a link on your blog back to “From Messes to Messages” or Messy Marriage as well. For linkup guidelines/button, click here.