Photo Credit: Arianne Cohen/The Sex Diaries
The Obedient Fundamentalist Military Wife Who Would Like More Sex, Please?
30, Anchorage, Alaska
8:38 a.m.: Women in Alaska have a saying about men: “The odds are good, but the goods are odd.” This is a man’s paradise, with all of the fishing, hunting, boating, snow-machining, and four-wheeling. I’m glad Alaska is only our temporary home while my husband is in the military. But I’m also glad he’s having his fun.
8:41 a.m.: My husband just left for work. I am so sore—I had oral surgery a couple days ago. I can’t believe I’m stumbling around the kitchen, making coffee. I’m happy I can do this for him—it’s our morning routine—but I can’t wait to sit.
8:53 a.m.: My husband cc’s me in an email. One of his relatives is stumbling out of the faith, getting addicted to drugs and alcohol, without a job, divorced with two kids, and continually making mistakes, like DUI. We pray for them every day. I’m so grateful my husband makes good decisions and is faithful to a Christian God.
9:00 a.m.: Just thinking that my husband was so sweet before he left, calling me beautiful even though I’m all swollen, gently kissing me, and making sure I was set for the day. He randomly told me he loved me before we fell asleep last night—I love those surprise “I love yous.” We’ve been married over a year, and I am a lucky girl. I do worry that things won’t always be this way, though.
9:05 a.m.: Shower and think about my husband’s booty, which I snuck a peak of as he was getting ready for work. Well, not so snuck. When he came out of the shower, I’m pretty sure I grabbed it and gave it a smack. Ha, ha! I once left a note in his underwear drawer: “I love your cute, tight butt!”
12:11 p.m.: My husband calls to check in. He offers to come home early to make me something easy to eat. I am high on Percocet groggy.
8:00 p.m.: My husband came home from work, and took me out to eat with friends. He made sure I had food I could eat, put his arm around me during dinner, and drove back and forth so I wouldn’t have to worry about it. 10:00 p.m.: We snuggled up on the couch to watch TV; he helped me upstairs when I was falling asleep. I love him so much.
10:30 p.m.: A secret: My husband and I don’t have sex very often. A normal week is once, maybe twice. Since we are newlyweds, I’d just expected more. This is a big secret. Actually, I did tell my very best friend, and now am at peace. She suggested it was a personality thing. Her husband has a job filled with others’ problems, and they have sex every night! She thinks it’s because he likes that comfort. My husband likes a strict schedule. Often we plan a day or two ahead of time to have sex; I think it mentally prepares him. He likes to eat and relax with TV. Sometimes this angers me—shouldn’t he prioritize his wife over TV? But when I’ve expressed my concerns, he’s always quick to make me a priority. We are still learning how to make sex a more prominent part of our schedule, if we want that. Like most things, I’ve learned to not sweat it, and to take opportunities as they arise.
7:52 a.m.: My husband tells me about a nightmare he had: We were on a boat, and somehow I fell into the water and a shark grabbed me. He had a pistol and he jumped in after me. He shot the shark in the head, twice, but every time he shot him it just grabbed me tighter. My husband has nightmares where he is unable to protect me. I’m flattered that this is a nightmare for him. Sometimes I am resentful of the things he asks me not to do, like running when the streets are icy, but I am grateful when I realize that it’s for my protection and he doesn’t want to see me hurt.
7:54 a.m.: I say, “But you woke up, and I’m right here, Babe!” He jokingly tells me that when I pull back the covers, my legs are gonna be gone. Ack! Haha—we’re so funny.
10:49 a.m.: We had our shower routine again this morning: he steps out naked, I grab his butt. He hisses like a cat. I laugh and grab his butt again. Then he gives me a gentle slap on my rear. It’s these comfortable-with-each-other married scenes that I was longing for before I got married. I never knew how good they’d feel.
11:38 a.m.: I’m on the couch again today, so I’ll tell you a bit about me: I was raised Roman Catholic, but as I grew, I identified increasingly more as a Protestant Christian. Mostly I switched because I wanted to live like the faithful Christians in the Protestant church I attended. Eventually, through friends there, I met my husband.
11:48 a.m.: For many Christians, marriage is a no-brainer—Christians marry Christians, or else part of one’s faith is compromised. I dated a Jewish guy in high school, and our relationship would never work, because I needed to date a Christian guy who would be motivated by his faith to avoid the temptations that others embrace, like porn, infidelity, or fornication. I couldn’t change his mind; only his loyalty to God could keep him faithful. My husband’s fundamental values are the same as mine, and that’s what makes our marriage work.
11:55 a.m.: Before my husband, I had one consistent hook up in college. In the big city when I lived alone, I was scared to date men, for fear I would be obligated to have sex. I’d been skating along, hoping to meet the right person. For about ten years before I was married, I struggled with not being married, and wondering if I ever would. I continued praying to God to give me a husband. After two years of searching, we were introduced long distance, and after the first weekend, we decided to get married. Contemporary society says that people need to live together and have sex before committing their lives to each other. I’ll be blunt: That is crap. That method is selfish and offensive to God. I didn’t need to be in a relationship before I learned how to be in this one; I know how to be in one now because I love my husband. God puts us in the right place at the right time for a reason, and this reason was to marry my husband.
11:58 a.m.: The only person I have had sex with is my husband. I am thrilled about that, for both our sakes. He never had to worry about someone in my past. I never had to worry about pregnancy or STDs. We have learned to be comfortable with each other, and are learning to please each other. There is truly freedom within the boundaries of marriage.
1:48 p.m.: Percocet again, woozy. My husband texts to tell me he is bored, and he wishes he was with me.
4:35 p.m.: I text Husband to say our friend is picking me up. He likes me to check in. Before we met, I didn’t care about answering my cell. But my husband expected me to always be able to hear it, answer it, or text back. I had to learn to respect his wishes; he’s learned there are times when I can’t (in the shower, in an interview) and to be patient. I promised him I would always make his calls a priority.
5:30 p.m.: We go out to a steakhouse. I can’t help looking around for my husband so I can make a decision about what to eat. He wouldn’t want me to eat something chewy because my mouth is still healing. I keep my phone out.
6:03 p.m.: Husband calls; he’s on his way. He asks for a Crown & Coke and a glass of water. The waitress doesn’t show up for 10 minutes, and I get anxious. I really want it on the table when he gets there. I like to please him.
6:30 p.m.: Husband shows up, drinks are on the table. I feel pleased with myself for making that happen.
6:31 p.m.: Lobster bisque is delicious; the best thing I’ve had all week. Husband admonishes me for chewing on a piece of bread. Whoops, I guess I shouldn’t have eaten that, considering my situation.
8:30 p.m.: Home. I’m out of my head from the Percocet, margatini, and vodka soda. Cuddle for husband’s nightly TV wind-down.
9:40 p.m.: Feel dizzy, like I’m about to pass out. I tell Husband. He immediately shuts off the TV, gathers up our things, and helps me upstairs.
9:00 a.m.: My daily take-your-birth-control cell alarm goes off. We’re training for a half marathon, and Saturdays are our long run days. Last night Husband suggested we run early. I am doubtful; he’s snuggled in pretty peacefully next to me. I call it “morning squeeze.” Cute.
10:20 a.m.: Wandering around the house, lazily preparing for this run.
11:00 a.m.: Finally, driving to a scenic trail I like to run. I’m nervous because last time we ran 9 miles I struggled, and because I had to convince Husband of this trail—if he doesn’t like it, I’ll be hearing about it. I tell Husband I am nervous and he encourages me. He puts his hand on my thigh while we drive. I feel better, but I won’t feel totally better unless the run goes well.
11:15 a.m.: Running. I can feel my jaw, but it doesn’t hurt. Now I just have to run 9 miles.
11:30 a.m.: I announce that I want to run up the huge hill at the end. He discourages this idea, says it’s not necessary, but I think he might be lazy. I tell him I’m going to do it; he doesn’t stop me. It’s a strategy I’ve learned with him: tell him beforehand so he can make plans about it, then he’s usually agreeable. I’m glad I spoke my mind.
12:40 p.m.: In the last 3 miles, Husband hurts my feelings. My knee is hurting, and he tells me we shouldn’t run up that hill at the end. Ugh, why does he tell me this now? I thought we already agreed! I argue with him, tell him I still intend to do it. He says, “You can’t even keep up the pace that we had in the beginning,” then he speeds up and leaves me. This often happens—he gets stressed and says something mean, and I spend the last two miles running alone.
1:00 p.m.: He makes up for hurting my feelings by meeting me at the hill and running it with me. I tell him he hurt my feelings. He doesn’t immediately apologize, but he defends himself. That is so annoying. Just say you are sorry! We make up.
1:25 p.m.: I need to eat something. He wants to run errands. As we wait to get the car washed, I have to put my head between my legs because I feel so sick. Finally, he feels bad about me feeling bad. We’re almost home, he says.
1:40 p.m.: We get home, I eat, and he is in a good mood. All is well in our household.
6:00 p.m.: Husband watched basketball all afternoon, and fixes me some yummy pasta for dinner.
8:00 p.m.: I find I like to be alone for 2–3 hours, and then I need to hear from him. If I’m gone from him for too long, he’ll come looking for me. I come downstairs.
10:03 p.m.: I’m sitting in bed working on the computer (I work from home), and Husband is reading. Suddenly he stops, puts the book down, and then turns to snuggle with me. This is our joke because he always does it unexpectedly. I smile inside when he grabs me. We snuggle for a while, tell each other I love you, and fall asleep.
3:00 a.m.: My mouth hurts so much. I’m awake taking medicine. It didn’t hurt during our long run. I’m worried.
7:30 a.m.: He’s got morning wood. I enjoy teasing him about that, but this morning my sore jaw makes me forget.
8:30 a.m.: Our friends call! Husband’s friends; this is the first time I am speaking to them, but I am relieved to know that they are nice. In a few months we are moving to a new base, and then my husband will be deployed, so it’s nice to make connections.
9:00 a.m.: We found out about his deployment abruptly, unexpectedly, and recently. When I first heard, I got teary eyed. But in the next few days, I got excited. It will be an opportunity to go to the big city and visit my old friends. But then I felt so guilty about wanting to go back to my old life. I think this deployment will be an opportunity for me to explore the new location where we’ll be stationed. I have to remember that my old life is part of my past, not something I want to return to.
11:19 a.m.: In writing this, I’ve been thinking about a wife’s need to please her husband. I think that’s a woman’s job—to observe her husband, know what he likes, and give him what he likes. Biblically, Eve was created to be Adam’s helper. I think contemporary women may shun this, maybe selfishly. Well, husbands are commanded to love their wives, too. I’m not in some stodgy role, saying “yes sir” to everything. No, I am adventurous and colorful and we have balance. I tell him when I am offended, and we work it out. Pleasing people has always been part of my nature. There is harmony in the household when husbands and wives assume Biblical roles, in contrast to many contemporary households, where a woman may take control, and the man is left impotent, without power, and useless.
11:38 a.m.: I look forward to the Lord’s Day because I know I’ll get extra hugs. I think it’s because he doesn’t have to stress about work today, and because he is thankful to God to have me in his life.
1:00 p.m.: Husband home from church. We listen to a sermon while he makes pancakes.
2:15 p.m.: The sermon was about raising children wisely. We discuss: How will we keep our future children out of trouble without sheltering them? He was once rebellious. We end our discussion staring out blankly from the couch.
5:15 p.m.: At a friend’s booth at a fair. A couple married for 19 years comes up. They are wasted, and this makes them incredibly fun. I wonder if my husband and I will be like this couple 19 years from now. I hope so.
9:07 p.m.: Home, bedroom. Husband reasons that we can’t have sex because the antibiotics lessen the effectiveness of my birth control, and he doesn’t want to risk my having our first child while he’s deployed. He’s more excited about kids than me. He’d be devastated not to be there!
10:00 p.m.: Husband sleeping. He keeps hinting that he wants a blow job, and sometimes I start to give him one, but I’ve never finished one (we finish with sex). I’m nervous about how the semen will taste. What if it’s gross? Yuck! I am curious to try new things, but I think I need a book or something. I don’t have the imagination to dream things up! I think that we just need more time together in bed. I am working on encouraging this.
11:53 p.m.: A note about birth control: a lot of Christians shun it, a lot use it. Preachers have told us that the Bible doesn’t say no to birth control, so that means it is up to prayer and thoughtfulness. The Bible does talk a lot about children as blessings. So having children is extremely encouraged. Husband’s view is that we need to have them responsibly. Initially, I didn’t want to be on birth control. But I am to obey my husband in his federal decisions. So far, I’m thankful we didn’t have a child immediately, because it took us a couple months to adjust to living together.
6:30 a.m.: Back to normal work routine. Husband hops out of bed and gets naked. Ha ha, I love that. I love that we can just walk around naked, without shame. 8:00 a.m.: Christians speak about wives being submissive to their husbands. Faithful submission does not mean that Christian wives get bossed around. Instead, wives are submissive to their husband’s federal headship. That means that a wife might give her opinion, but she submits to her husband’s decision. Conversely, husbands are commanded to love their wives, which means being gentle and polite with them, always caring for them, and sacrificing for them. Because husbands are commanded to love, everything balances out. Marriage works really well by this design, God’s design.
11:36 a.m.: I like that we share our car. In the car he’s a captive audience and I sometimes save my thoughts for the car. Shower time is a good time to speak to him too.
11:40 a.m.: Husband and I got some really good advice from a book about marriage that we studied together before we wed. The pastor who wrote it said that arguments and offenses are like dropping something on the carpet. The more arguments that go unresolved and offenses that go unapologized for, the more things drop on the carpet. And so the marriage is left with a big mess. If you resolve every argument, there’s never a mess. I try to live by it. In the end I’m serving God by keeping a peaceful marriage.
12:00 p.m.: Doctor’s office, nervous. I have to get my annual pap smear, and my doctor is male. This is military health care. It’s free, but our choices are limited. I feel uncomfortable.
12:20 p.m.: Doctor walks in with a male student-doctor. Oh boy, the student is doing the breast exam and the pap. AGH!
12:22 p.m.: I just try to relax. There is a young nurse in the room, and I look at her for solidarity, but she looks terrified. It’s more awkward, longer, and uncomfortable than I remember. I know if my husband were here he would be pissed. He can’t stand the thought of other men touching me.
4:00 p.m.: After a financial adviser appointment, I race over to the base to get Husband. He tells me about his day, and I try to be encouraging. This is an important wife role, cheerleader.
7:03 p.m.: I’ve got a deadline looming, but Husband wants to watch a season finale. I want to see it, and Husband doesn’t like it when my work gets in the way. I’ve made a commitment to schedule my daytime around my husband. It’s part of my duty as a wife to support him, and I can’t do that if I’m off doing my own thing. So I just tell myself I’ll be up late.
12:22 a.m.: Still working. The finale was a letdown. I wish I was in bed with my husband! Why did I leave this until now?
2:24 a.m.: Gratefully crawl into bed, relieved to be done. Try not to wake Husband, but do anyway.
7:30 a.m.: Every morning, my husband dramatically exits the shower by pulling the curtain fast and wide to reveal his tall, handsome, dripping wet naked body. He doesn’t do this for effect; it’s just his style to be forceful, but it stunned me the first time. It’s so dramatic that I still take notice. I usually make some sort of dramatic applause, or try to grab his penis. More butt-smacking and boob-grabbing.
8:19 a.m.: Upon morning inspection, it looks like my husband used last evening to get things done—there is laundry in the wash, and the dishwasher was run. Nice. 9:17 a.m.: I run errands, getting ready for tomorrow’s camping trip. I am a machine! I feel so accomplished.
12:45 p.m.: I go to transfer funds. The bank accounts aren’t linked, and it will take a week. Crap crap crap. Husband will be disappointed if the plan we agreed on fails. Come up with a new plan, but I have to get approval from Husband first. He calls back, sounds happy with my new plan, and is very pleased I met our grocery budget. Yay!
1:00 p.m.: Lunch, clean up the dining room. I like to have some housework done every day when Husband comes home. It shows him that I care about the house.
3:00 p.m.: Done cleaning. Phew. Meet Husband. We are happy to see each other, and go get gas, propane, and beer. I finish the financial paperwork, and tell Husband where to sign.
7:00 p.m.: Done eating, and it’s time to close up the camper. Husband has had a few beers by this time and he’s muttering curses. Eeek. He’s really good about not taking it out on me, except for one little quip. Finally we get it all done, get the camper in the garage, and he’s magically affectionate with me.
10:31 p.m.: Husband comes up to go to bed. I ask him—sex? I’m not expecting it, and good thing, cause he says no. He’s just too drunk. That’s okay. We don’t have any condoms. So I give him some affection and he crashes.
1:27 a.m.: Before our marriage, Husband talked a lot about all the sex we would have—in the morning, after showering, in the evening, etc. He still mentions sex a couple times a day. But we don’t actually have a whole lot of sex. I think, when we decide to have kids, sex will have more of a purpose, and we’ll be excited about it. Writing about it makes me think we should make it a priority.
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