Guest Post by Jameson L.

Welcome to my first guest post writer, Jameson. I was inspired by his relationship so I asked him to share it with you. He and his wife have fought the good fight and are winning. Here’s his story.–Kay

To say my wife and I used to not communicate effectively is an understatement. We had the stress of raising three kids and holding down two full-time jobs. She was dealing with undiagnosed health issues which limited her ability to think clearly (pain does that to you). I was working so hard at home and at work but I was not very effective at either place. In short, we couldn’t see each other’s point of view. She’d be mad at me because I’d try to solve the problem instead of listen; I’d be mad at her because she wouldn’t listen to my solutions. (Check out “It’s not about the nail” on YouTube). This summed up years 15 to 20 of our marriage.

It really sucked for both of us. We both felt unappreciated, unheard, and unfulfilled. We were not that close and I started to choose time with kids over time with her. I was lonely for my wife and the intimacy we used to have.

Without closeness, trust, and open communication, it’s really tough to sustain a good sex life into the second decade of a marriage. Needless to say, our sex life was not very good. Like any long term relationship worth having, it wasn’t always bad or always good. There were definite peaks and valleys. The valleys were pretty low and wide, though. I even considered an affair but couldn’t go through with it.

It’s really tough to sustain a good sex life…without closeness, trust and open communication.

Marriage really needs effective communication to be successful. After some medical follow-up for her, and some better listening and communication skills by me, we found a way to find each other again. We started talking more. We both decided this marriage and our relationship is worth fighting for. I believe that many failed marriages result from both partners not doing the hard work it takes, over and over, again and again, to stay together.

We found that due to our improved communication, we had more trust, openness and closeness. Without that foundation, I don’t see how anyone can have a fulfilling sex life as you get into 20+ years of marriage. I like to think I’ve come a long way in being a better listener and partner (and I’ve still a long way to go). However, it wasn’t until after she understood her medical issues and was treated successfully, that we could talk openly about our relationship and what we both needed from it.

The last five years (years 20-25 of our marriage) have been much better. The kids are older and demand less of our immediate time. She’s now working part time and I’ve gotten better at leaving work at work. Once we decided to fight for our marriage and commit to doing to hard work to keep it, we’ve been able to be more open and honest with each other. We don’t always agree on everything but that’s okay.

We don’t always agree on everything but that’s okay.

As a result, our sex life has never been better than it is today. We tell each other what we want and need and we do our best to fulfill each other’s needs. We know we are here for each other, through the stress, pain, and grief that life sometimes brings. We’ve chosen not to care what others think of us (of course, we’re still good members of our community) and we have decided to live our lives for us, as a couple. The kids always come first, but we seek out, plan and execute on time away just for us, at least once a month.

Marriage is a blessing but it can be hard. You have to work at it your whole life. Other than your kids, there’s nothing else in life worth fighting this hard for.

Watch the short video about “It’s Not About the Nail” here on YouTube.