Monday, October 04, 2004

More on Being Married (Which Includes Sex)

I was asked by someone a few months ago why mine and Jethro's marriage is so good. I'm sure I gave some simple-minded answer like, "head." But I've been pondering the question for awhile. We had so many strikes against us. We were way too young (I was 22, Jeth was 24). I was pregnant (never a good reason to get married). We were from completely different cultures. And we were completely broke.

There are several factors in keeping our marriage together.

1. Neither of us uses sex to get what we want.

It is completely off the table. Actually sometimes it's on the table, but only on special occasions.

2. We have sex frequently.

When we first got married, I was really sick from being pregnant. I threw up so much I almost detatched my retinas. I also lost an obscene amount of weight. It is a miracle that my kids were healthy. And of course after the baby comes, sex is kind of on hiatus for awhile. But it was always a goal of mine to get back into it. I figured that if we were single, we'd be getting it regularly, and I wasn't ready to give it up at 23, especially since I'd only been having it for a little over a year. So, even if I didn't quite feel up to it, I did it anyway. Eventually, it was less a chore than it was an addiction.

3. Jethro never pressured. Ever. I discussed with him how I felt about post-marital sex, in that I really wanted to resume an active sex-life but just to give me a little time for the old hormones to finish fluctuating. He was awesome. He took me completly at my word and never even asked. After I had the second, I was really frustrated and upset because I wasn't bouncing back as fast as I thought I should. Jeth just said, "Calm down, honey. It's just hormones. Give it a little more time and you'll be fine. He now has his reward.

4. The kids don't take priority over our sex-life.

I know that sounds harsh and selfish, but in the long run I think we're doing them a favor. Kids thrive the best in two-parent households, and we're keeping the two-parent household together. You aren't doing your kids any favors by placing their temporary wants or desires over your marital sex-life. Obviously we would postpone intercourse if they were on fire or something, but if all they want is pretzels or juice, it can wait until after we're done. It is a little harder when they're very small, but you have to realize that some crying never hurt them, and that their needs will not go unmet. Think of it as putting on your kid's oxygen mask after you put on yours. Please don't any of the mom's get on my case. My kids are fine and happy and we love them.

Also, it is hard to enjoy your kids if you resent them. Moms don't face this problem as much as dads do. The old maternal instinct usually kicks in for moms. But dads, without the love hormones, remember and miss a time when you could just pick up and go. Or drop everything and fuck on the living room floor. Good times. If he feels as if none of that is ever going to happen again and worse, that his wife has no interest in that ever happening again even on a smaller scale, he can get resentful. And I really don't blame him. I don't blame moms either, but I definitely don't think sex should be shelved after you have kids.

5. Jethro and I have so many things in common

In case it has escaped anyone's attention, Jeth and I share similar political views. I brought him around to my way of thinking. It was work, but it was worth it. We also like, no love, food. We will try anything at least once, and aside from sex, it is a central part of our lives.

6. We have quite a few seperate interests.

I like to read. Which is quite an understatement. Reading is as close as I get to religion these days. Jethro reads when required to.

Jethro loves paintball. I am ambivalent at best.

Jethro loves guns and shooting them. I am terrified by them.

I like home projects. Jethro doesn't like spending the money.

Zelda's Proverbs: Ladies, the same force that doth polish the knob, doth also grease the family wallet. Now before I piss off any of the gentlemen, I'm not advocating that ladies use sex to get what they want. I'm just advocating a new perspective on the golden rule.

But Jeth and I both learn things from each other and really try to make the other happy. We both genuinely like each other as friends and want the best for each of us. Sure we get on each others' nerves. Quite often. But none of that is going to make us kick over our marriage.

Only cheating, abuse, child-molestation, or a criminal act resulting in someone's death would cause us to get divorced. But since we don't have any murderous or pedophilic tendencies that I am aware of, I think we are safe.

This post is way too long, and forgot to mention what a strong role both of our families played, and I wrote it mostly just to get some thoughts straight in my own head. Don't anyone take this as preaching or anything. This is just my own perspective on my own marriage which is going quite well.


Anonymous said...

Zelda, i really like the way you think. I feel that you have a well rounded grasp on marriage.

thanks for sharing...

Gooch said...

As far not letting the kids get in the way of your sex life goes, don't you just do what the rest of us do...think of a reason to send them to their rooms for awhile?

Zelda said...

Anon - Thanks. I am flattered that you read through all of that.

Gooch - Absolutely. But we make sure to do it. I'm basing this on anecdotal evidence and Oprah only, but many of my friends can't reconcile being both a mother and a lover. At least in their minds, one must give way to the other and it surely won't be their precious babies. Well, the precious babies (and they are precious) won't be harmed by watching tv for awhile on their own. Whereas, a marriage will suffer if you lose the intimacy that sex provides. I just see this as a greater service to children than hopping to fulfill their every request immediately.

Zelda said...

It's definitely the sign of a healthy marriage. This is as gross a methaphor as you can get, but sex, to me, is like marital glue.

Anonymous said...

I think another part of your and jethro's magic is that you are both smart as hell, and you have so much spark you could start an inferno from hell without a match.

i love you guys.


Jenny said...

I think this is my first time commented. I've been reading for a little while though and love both your and your husband's blog.
I wanted to say great entry and well written. I love the way you think. I think sex is very important in a marriage. I think that is one thing too my hubby and I have on our side is we do have an active sex life also...that is when he is home...while he is deployed we are keeping the home fires burning through um phone conversations. You do what ya got to do LOL.

Zelda said...

Vader - Thanks. You Rock. Hard.

Jenny - Thanks for visiting. I can't imagine how hard it must be with your husband away from you. I hope he's well and that you give him the ride of his life upon his speedy return. :-)

Jenny said...

Defiantly! It is my patriotic duty, lol.