(This is a post from the 30 Days of Intimacy Challenge;

When I was single, my mom told me something profound.  She said, “Whatever he is while you’re dating, he’ll be more of after you’re married.  And it will be amplified.”  So what she was saying was: if you’re dating a serial killing axe murdering psychopath, thinking he just needs a good woman’s love and that you can change him after you get married, think again.  And again.

Alpha Hubby was half-baked when we met.  Sorry babe!  He knew a lot of amazing and romantic things but to be fully baked, he had to learn how to apply them to ME (whether I acted like I wanted to receive them or not).  He was a very giving person while we were dating (those whole 7 weeks). Because of my past, it wasn’t as easy for me to receive those loving gestures.

Let me ‘splain: A few months after we were married, I was outside on the riding lawnmower. He decided to bring me a glass of iced tea. I saw him coming and remember thinking suspiciously, “Wonder what he wants.”  Yah, ve vas a wee bit messed up in der dumme kopf!  I did not react well when he tried to hand the glass to me and, confused, he went back to the house.

I was sitting there thinking, “You dummy. He was just trying to be nice.” It was such a foreign concept to me. I knew I needed to fix it, and as hard as it was for me to explain myself or ***choke*** apologize, I had to.  So I did explain and he was so gracious and understanding (which was strange in itself.  Where was the recrimination? Where was the “well, you should be sorry!”??).  There wasn’t any; just acceptance.  But he did say something very important. “Good thing you told me because I was never going to do that again.”

I learned a good lesson that day – I needed to quit being a serial killing-axe murdering psychopath so touchy, and to learn to trust that he really was as good as he came across.  He was what he was.  Good. HE was a gift, to me.

We sometimes do that – bring preconceived ideas into our relationships, no matter what is right there in front of us.  If we’ve been hurt once (or 200 times), then all men are scum of the earth not to be trusted.  Worse, we develop preconceptions over time during marriage, begin to assume we know our mates inside and out, and quit really listening to or seeing them.  We quit “working” on or protecting our relationship.

Alpha Hubby was a giver when we met.  And truly, after the iced tea incident, he began looking “to find 100 ways” to bless me, give to me, help me, love me.  And he hasn’t stopped giving to me yet, 16.7 years later.  Am I blessed?  Most certainly.  And I know it.

All I’m going to do today is chat a bit about our last two weeks – 12 days actually – and what I’ve heard and experienced.  First off, someone asked me if anyone had reported that it gets tougher as the days go by or if anyone was having trouble maintaining the intimacy.  Well of course!  Life always tries to get in the way of intimacy!

Some people have been sick (Road to Joy).  Some people have had college tours and sick sons, and a soon-to-be 2 weeks hunting trip (Momma’s Soapbox).  Some people hit brick walls of exhaustion from working too many hours  and days in a row (Alpha Hubby and LBDDiaries, moi).  Others quit after the first couple of days.  And still others never started although they expressed an interest.

When you hear the saying, “It takes work to have an amazing and passionate marriage, and to keep it that way” – hello?  Life tries to get in the way – in between the two of you – all the time.  It always will.  Kids come and wives diappear into their children’s lives for 18 years, then when the kids leave home, they come up for air and wonder who that guy is living in their house.  Work loads increase and we have to make ourselves rest and remember to focus on our loved one.  We feel we need to forgive ourselves if the only intimacy we can work up is playing footsie while eating dinner.  There truly is nothing to forgive – intimacy is intimacy – and footsie is pretty neat!

And how are Alpha Hubby and I doing?  We are truly having to think (find 100 ways) about ways to up the intimacy – to figure out new ways and remember old ways.  We were cocky and thought, “This will be a breeze; we already do great.”  Yep, sure, unh huh.  So we thought.  Once we truly began focusing on intimacy and one another, we found out we could afford to up that intimacy level.  It changed our attitude within a couple of days!  It was amazing how that focus became fine-tuned and sharpened.  It is wonderful.

It is important to play together as a couple (something Alpha Hubby has no problem initiating).  So we’ve been doing more of that, too.  Playing can be anything from chasing each other around the kitchen island, getting into ice fights, sending silly notes and e-cards (even if they don’t come thru, it still counts, unless you’re lying to me about sending them??  I mean anyone can SAY “I sent an e-card, did you get it?” working to get brownie points), slow dancing in the living room, swimming in the pool – whatever is fun for us.

For previous LBD postings on this, see this link:

Oh, and p.s., Alpha Hubby? Just for reference to this old James Ingram song? There is no “old lover” in my memory – no one loved me before. You are the first and only. And I do not ever believe I’m am now or in the future wasting my time. But you can still find 100 ways, any old time!!

This is copyrighted material Copyright © 2009 Nan C Loyd, and may not be copied or used without author’s express written permission.

Song: Find 100 Ways, James Ingram