Today, the phrase “are we sexually compatible” pops up periodically. But I wonder what that has to do with anything?
Learning to love one another is about more than sexual compatibility.
Sex is an expression of the committed love, not the cheap imitation propagated today. If sexual compatibility is the litmus test for love, what happens when one person becomes physically incapacitated? Even if he used to be Superman.
If you say, “Superman,” I think of Christopher Reeves. He was the tall, dark, strong, and handsome Superman of the late 1970s and into the 1980s. However, in 1995 Reeves became paralyzed from the neck down after a horse-riding accident. Dana Reeves, loved her husband Christopher, until his death in 2004. “Her husband could not move, but that didn’t change her love for him. ‘We’re as physical with each other as we can be. And we’re as close as we can be. As you notice, I don’t know many couples who have been together for 15 years who do sit hand in hand . . . I mean, we kiss all the time,’ said Dana in 2002.” After his death, Dana reportedly said she promised to love, honor, and cherish him until death. But she amended that part to say she’d love, honor, and cherish him forever.
In the popular musical and movie, Fiddler on the Roof, Tevye’s question, “Do you love me?” stopped Golde in her tracks. They’d been married for 25 years. It was an arranged marriage, but they were told they’d learn to love each other. For all these years, they’d made the adjustments every married couple must make. They fought (watch the movie), they argued, were intimate (four daughters), struggled to survive, prayed together, supported each other even when they might not agree. The end of the scene draws tears to my eyes. “Do you love me?” “I suppose I do.” “And I suppose I love you, too.”
We need to hear words of love from our spouse; they need to hear them from us.
But, more importantly, back up those words of love with actions. Daily proof that you care for them. You willingly serve them because you want them to know how much you appreciate them. When two people learn to live this way, love grows deeper and proves stronger.
Loving someone has little to do with sexual compatibility.
When you get married, you don’t know what pleases the other person. Perhaps you’ve had a few conversations about what you’d like when it comes to sex. But, as you learn to live with each other, you also learn to serve the other in the bedroom, which creates a safe, loving environment to grow together sexually.
And as you grow older, the needs change. What makes your love exciting is deepening your friendship, your spiritual relationship, discovering new places together, trying new experiences, and learning how to bring that sparkle to your husband’s eye once again.
Just like you, I love that butterfly feeling in my stomach. But, while that signals an attraction, it is not love.
Love is so much more than butterflies. Those butterflies, while fun, are an emotional response to someone or something. But love is much more than a feeling. Love is a choice.
In the traditional vows, which often sadly gets removed these days, is the line for better, for worse. I didn’t realize when I said that line almost 38 years ago what it entailed. I thought I knew what love meant, but the years since have taught me beautiful lessons.
Look at marriages that have survived 50 years or more.
What do you see in these couples? They aren’t physically young any longer. Sometimes they even begin to resemble each other physically.
What is it about couples with this longevity that makes us want to watch them?
There’s an unspoken communication between them.
A steadfastness—old word, I know.
Steadfastness: immovable, not subject to change, firm in belief, determination, or adherence.
I love that.
Two people who’ve remained committed to each other for over 50 years embody this quality. They know the other person has their back. They’ve weathered the good, the bad, and the ugly together and still hold hands. I want that!
They are comfortable with each other.
At this point in a marriage, the physical isn’t what you’d expect would draw two people together. After all, do you love your wrinkles, crepey skin, and graying hair? I’m not thrilled about it. Yet, I often hear my husband tell me how beautiful I am. Guess that means beauty isn’t just, like the song says, in the way you look tonight. This husband sees the sparkling character in his wife. She sees his protectiveness and provision throughout the years. She knows how he likes his coffee. He knows she needs an extra layer in the evening to stay comfortable. He loves the way she is strong where he is not; she treasures his strengths that make her feel safe.
They exhibit a oneness that draws you in.
I remember watching my grandparents interact. Often I felt this oneness, this interplay that I could not be part of. I longed for that closeness with another person. I desired to be known so well that nothing would dim the light in the other’s eyes for me. It’s a breathtakingly beautiful honesty developed through years of struggle, laughter, pain, joy, and the ups and downs, forged through doing life together.
Observing a bond like this, that is broken only by death, reveals the spiritual nature of this love, this knowing, this oneness. And, I, for one, seek that relationship more than sexual compatibility.
Today, I encourage you to speak lovingly to your husband. Find ways to show him how special he is to you. Back up your words with actions. Practice this love that transforms your life.
What I’ve discovered in the years since God remade our marriage is this steadfast love, not sexual compatibility, takes my breath away.
The evils of pornography ensnared my husband when he was young and tried to steal our marriage, but truth won out. That was over a decade ago, and our marriage is better than ever now. The butterflies are lovely, but give me this incredible knowing and being known and loved for who I am, warts, bad habits, failures, inconsistencies, and all. And he the same. I prefer this acceptance, authenticity, and action over those butterflies—complete body, mind, and soul compatibility.
My goal? To out-love my husband. That’s a tough call because he’s so stinkin’ good at demonstrating his love for me. But it’s sure fun figuring it out.
What about you? If your marriage feels more like two roommates, it’s time to choose each other again. Don’t ignore this warning sign. What one action can you take today to demonstrate your love for your husband? Remember that special something you loved to do together and figure out how to make time for the two of you in the next week or two.
If you need help, please reach out.