I needed to know my husband loves me

23 Aug

I needed to know my husband loves me. I needed to know he wants me. The key words were “pursue” and “obvious.”

This was part of the same conversation when Rob asked for mulligans. I was asking for affection. Lots of it. 

It topped my list for our “next month rules” back in April, as we looked down the barrel of our third month loaded with fertility drug intervention.

Yes, I know you love me, I told him. I know you think I’m beautiful…or at least you did when we married. Do you still? You haven’t said so recently…and you don’t kiss me “just because” anymore….

You could see his frustration mount.

Yes, I agreed with him, you do wash the dishes—and I’m so glad. Yes, you kiss me hello and goodbye.

But I need you to kiss me passionately for no reason, and tell me how pretty I am; desire me until I’m pushing you away…. I don’t want to feel like I’m doing the chasing.

Please, I desperately need to know you want me. Because this is what I need when I’m tired and sad and frustrated for weeks and months on end by circumstances outside my control.

We agreed to our rules—though “pursue until you’re rejected” didn’t sound entirely rewarding to Rob—wrote them down, and taped them up on our bathroom mirror.  (“You’ll remember to take these down when you show off the new paint job, right?” Rob asked.)

For the record: The point about affection was actually worded, “Give Kim lots of lovin’.” And the other rules are, at this point, private…other than the mulligans, of course.

It was frustrating and hurtful to have to express these needs to my husband. It felt like begging. But one of my friends has a good deal of wisdom in her own personal reminder when her husband does not see her needs: “He’s not a woman!” Gotta give them a break on that one, I guess.

I won’t bore you with details of Rob’s pursuit, but I will say I was grateful that, despite not fully understanding why I “need more,” once he committed to this, he followed through. Sometimes it was humorous in his overstatement (picture Pepe le Pew pursuing that poor cat). But whether serious or funny, I knew he did it because he wanted to convince me he not only loves me, but still finds me irresistible.

So let’s be realistic—the month was not without its bumps.

On a Friday early in the month, a high-ranking coworker was markedly, and remarkably, rude to me in a public setting. From this meeting I went to a doctor’s appointment where I laid in a humiliating position while the doctor crossly told me to “relax!” while she caused me pain.

Rob was there. He made the admirable effort to move from feeling powerless to doing all in his power to comfort me as I sobbed that this is not supposed to be part of getting pregnant.

Saturday night, I was still aching emotionally. Aching and…wiped out.

Rob settled into bed, content and oblivious. This didn’t help. Not when I needed extra cuddling and sympathetic words. So now add “frustrated” to my emotions list. I knew I had a choice: Get mad, or believe he loves me and help him enter my pain. I chose the latter.

May I tell you something?

I feel very sad. Very lonely.

Rob was stymied, and now frustrated as well. Had he not made breakfast for me? Had he not done other loving things? 

I promise I’m not criticizing you. I’m just saying that, at this moment, I feel very sad & lonely.

Rob pulled me to him, held me, and said nothing more.


Posted by on August 23, 2008 in communication in marriage, infertility


Tags: , , ,

6 responses to “I needed to know my husband loves me

  1. Denise

    August 28, 2008 at 9:57 am

    I believe the exact quote was: “He’s not a woman, dammit!”

  2. kimberlyfelton

    August 28, 2008 at 10:09 am

    I appreciate the correction! 🙂

  3. christine

    September 11, 2008 at 9:08 pm

    Reading these entries has made my heart long for you, my dear friend-sister. Long for evening walks around the neighborhood learning how to love bravely and fully. Long for that moment just before falling asleep in a big, comfy sleigh bed one night, when I realized I was in the presence of one of the most special women I will ever meet. I adore you.

  4. kimberlyfelton

    October 2, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    Christine has the inside scoop on my sleigh bed — in our single-life yesterdays, she joined me for sleepovers filled with talks and dreams of marriage. She’s now trekking her own journey through a beautiful though not picture-perfect marriage. Her site is worth visiting:

  5. Pam

    April 27, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    -I know exactly what you’re going through.My husband and I have been married for 21 yrs.And in that time he has never kissed me passionately.He’ll kiss me hello and goodbye.But not passionately.He never just holds me in his arms and kisses me.And to be honest after all these years together.It’s really really starting to get to me.He won’t even tell me why he doesn’t like to kiss.

    • kimberlyfelton

      May 17, 2009 at 10:47 pm

      I read your comment & my heart dropped. What a painful place to be. And as women, it’s so difficult to keep our hearts open to hope and love when we feel that distance from our husbands.

      Recently I’ve been reading “The Allure of Hope” by Jan Meyers. Haven’t finished it yet…but relate well to what Jan expresses about how we choose to respond to disappointment; how we either close up our hearts, or keep ’em open. It’s about much more than marriage, but absolutely applicable to the disappointments we all face in the vulnerable relationship of love.

      I prayed for you tonight as I thought of you. Hope that’s OK.


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