Before my husband and I got married, we talked a lot about intimacy.
Our view of intimacy back then was narrowed down to sex, which certainly is a big part of marriage but not the whole picture. We knew we would feel vulnerable sharing every single part of our lives with one another, but the unexpected intimacy that came with marriage was beyond anything we could’ve predicted.
When you move from dating to marriage, it can be a rough transition.
Of course there is such excitement and wonder in starting a life together with the person you love most. That’s as real as the hardship that can come along. When you’re dating, you essentially have more control over how much you want to share your life with your significant other. In marriage, you are bound (for better or for worse) to the environment you and your spouse have created together. And that can be quite an adjustment.
It can also be one of the greatest gifts.
When we first got married, I remember having moments in our home where I needed to walk away from a conversation with my husband because I knew that everything that I was contributing in that moment was out of selfish ambition.
I was constantly faced with ugly moments and the hard truth that I am incredibly human. We both have surprised one another with our respective baggage we’ve brought into our marriage, but the more unexpected reality has been the outcome when we’ve shown love and grace in the midst of it.
For me, it felt like a transition from “this is the man I married” to “this is my family.”'
With my closest family members, I don’t feel pressure to put on a facade or hide how I truly feel about a given situation. I just let my hair down and speak my peace with the understanding and safety that they will still be my family at the end of the conversation. I didn’t necessarily attribute this type of intimacy with marriage until now.
When we were dating, there was always a part of me that thought, “if I share this, will he still love the person that I am?” Now in our marriage I often ask myself, “what can I share with him that will really let him into my thought process?”
Intimacy in sharing my whole self with Christopher still feels vulnerable for me after four plus years of marriage.
I think he would agree that vulnerability doesn’t have an arrival point. It keeps us aware and drives us to levels of intimacy that we have yet to experience.