Casey and I wait 82 pages. This takes us almost a month (or was it more?) It wasn’t necessarily planned this way, but it came–organically–out of desire. For intimacy.
It’s strange to say that our lovemaking lacks intimacy after 23 years of making it, and I’m not even sure that’s true. But once the claim for greater intimacy was made, sex no longer felt the same.
And so at first, I, and then Casey, surrendered to weeks without it– in a desire to match our insides with our outsides. But the “Awakening Your INNER Lover” exercises in Margot Anand’s, The Art of Sexual Ectasy, were painful–not physically–but in every other way, and we avoided them most nights.
I was surprised and saddened to find how hard it was for me to sit in front of my husband and gaze into his eyes. And how challenging it was to offer him words of honoring described in the “Heart Salutation” no matter how many times I tried.
Casey felt the same discomfort during the “Melting Hugs,” and neither of us fully embraced the “Create Your Sacred Space” rituals although they did gradually knead our resistance.
I’m certain that our lack of ease with these acts has good company with most marriages–but do we really want each others’ company in such a place of dis-ease?
Each time we faced another intimacy builder, Casey and I ended it painfully aware of the disease that had grown rampant within our relationship.
This cancer had been masked by the unfolding of an ever-pleasuring sexual relationship–supposedly the sign of a “healthy marriage.”
We did not turn toward this text on sexuality because ours needed to be better, we turned to it because even though our lovemaking was ripe, it wasn’t bearing the fruit we now knew we desired.
Each time carnal urges emerged, we sought the familiar expression of our sexuality, but the result grew bitter. Because once the desire for true intimacy was claimed, there was no turning back. What we once knew had vanished in the blink of an eye.
This absence of the familiar follows a harsher period of disconnect than we have ever endured as a couple, and so it was with great risk that we added this new demand on our years.
But there was nothing else we could do. Casey and I are such lovers of life that we could not breathe without our own alignment despite what that shift might bring between us.
And so it was, that after page 82, we sat before each other and chose to make love out of the seed of renewed intimacy.
There are hundreds of more pages to go–and most of them make me cringe. But we’re committed to watering this new plant of connection and watching it grow– with the vision that within this greater union, we’ll come to know an even deeper love.