When Sex Fell Off My Priority List, My Husband Stood By Me

by Harmony Hobbs
Originally Published: 
sex and marriage
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I had a plan.

I was going to tell you how frequent sex can improve your marriage. I was going to list all of the reasons why I am more than happy to spread my legs because the more sex my husband and I have, the happier we are, the more helpful he is around the house, the more we view each other in the light of 2001 when life was easier and less paunchy.

“He’s so much more helpful when he’s well-sexed,” I was going to say. “It’s science.”

It’s foolproof, our sex pattern. It happens every other day. We pretend it’s unplanned, because planned sex is too boring for us. It’s like, “Oh, hey! We just happened to fall into bed naked at the same time, 48 hours after the last time we fell into bed naked at the same time. How coincidental!

It works. We work.

But then, life happened. Not the usual kind of life, involving pregnancy or multiple diaper blowouts. I mean serious life: cancer, job changes, emotionally heavy, earthquake-type stuff.

When I experience that kind of stress, I shut down. My skin erupts, I get canker sores on my tonsils, and have irregular menstrual periods, even though I’m not supposed to have periods at all anymore because I had a uterine ablation and the interior of my uterus was charred with a laser.

My uterus is a total bitch.

And even though I know sex needs to be high on my list of priorities because my marriage is important—along with my children, self-care and all of the “right” things—it quickly falls to the bottom when life pulls out all the stops. And by “quickly falls,” I mean it drops like a motherfucking rock.

Which kind of makes sense in a science-y way, because really, should I be procreating when I can’t even remember to put on underwear? Probably not. In crisis mode, sex is not on my list of must-dos. Also not on the list? Showering.

I waited for my marriage to unravel, but it didn’t.

I waited for my husband to get snappy with me. I waited for the bickering to start.

I waited for the resentment to set in, for small cracks to form in our otherwise happy union, but none of that happened.

He rubbed my shoulders. He brought me coffee, wrapping me in a hug even when I couldn’t find the energy to hug him back. He let me cry and listened to me talk without trying to fix it. He helped me in countless, quiet ways when I was too overwhelmed to ask for what I needed.

He steered the kids away from me when I needed space. He returned phone calls, made phone calls, and intercepted people.

He ordered takeout.

He just stepped in, and he did things, expecting nothing in return.

I have always credited frequent sex as the key to our successful marriage, but I was wrong. The key is an attitude of service. I don’t think I realized how much my husband loves me until he had to take care of me.

I guess all of those blowjobs have really paid off.

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