Sometimes as a Real Mother, I find myself touched out. Sex. Babies. Little Kids. Husband. No Sleep. Five thousand needy hands on me throughout the day, every day, and sometimes all night. Even my dog Ella needs me. Sometimes the thought of being touched one more time makes me want to puke a little. Sometimes there are moments in motherhood where I would like to insert myself into a body-bubble that I don’t know if even exists so that nobody can touch me. Does this sound familiar?
I remember a few years ago my husband was gone for ten days for work and I was at home with my three kids. My youngest was only a few month old, and nursing one hundred times a day/night and my two older daughters were extra snuggly because they missed their daddy. All three of my kids ended up in bed with me every night, and I became a human body pillow which is cute in theory. But I was touched out.
The truth is, I am 100% sure there wasn’t a spot on my body besides my chochooloa (yes, this is a made-up word for vag) that hadn’t been touched by a tiny human during that ten-day work trip he had.
So anyway, my husband comes home from his ten-day trip. Ten day’s lonely…ten days untouched and missing me bad.
Me…touched-out and sex far from my mind. Actually in another stratosphere.
Him….zero-touch. Sex directly on his mind. I don’t blame him.
This combination of needs doesn’t make for a romantic first meeting after ten days. Let me tell you; it wasn’t like the movies.
I adore my husband; he is my biggest supporter. But man, we couldn’t have had more different expectations for when he returned from his trip. Neither of our expectations came from a terrible or selfish place; they were just expectations that hadn’t been discussed or thoroughly thought through by either of us. And, neither of us had put ourselves in each other’s shoes. Which to us in our marriage is important.
My husband is a romantic, so when he walked in the door, he was expecting passion and fireworks. Unfortunately, he was met with me. A tired, severely touched out human mom who probably smelled like diapers and baby spit-up who also had a negative 100% desire for any action beyond a hot bath and sleeping. I cried when I saw him because I felt like I could finally breathe again.
My husband didn’t understand my touched out-ness. That while I am his superfan and couldn’t wait for him to get home, my body had been a human jungle gym for ten days, and I didn’t want to have one more participant on the playground.
And, I didn’t get his passion for me. I looked disgusting. I didn’t get that he missed me and wanted to be close to me. It wasn’t that he needed to have sex for the sake of sex…he wanted intimacy with the girl he vowed his life too. He missed me.
Sex is a hot topic, and it’s a place where love and fights begin in relationships. I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that we got into an epic fight based on our misunderstandings of each other’s needs. We were both really annoyed with each-other. In fact, that night we didn’t even sleep in the same bed. I wanted to pack my bags up and give him a taste of ten days with kids solo for revenge and honestly…he probably would have preferred me gone. It was ugly, and I cried myself to sleep.
Here’s where I got it wrong and here’s where he got it wrong.
I didn’t explain being “touched-out” to my husband. I just assumed he would get it and when he didn’t, I shut him out. On the flip side, he didn’t consider how physically tapped out I was and that my tank was depleted.
One thing I love about my husband is that he always considers our fights and pursues me to make it right (I am still working on this). First thing in the morning he came in the bedroom to apologize and I apologized too. We love each-other, and the last thing either of us wants is to hurt one another.
So, for the first time, I explained being “touched out” and how sometimes the thought of sex makes me physically ill after having been with the kids all day long. I need touch, but not sexual touch. Rub my back, rub my feet, snuggle me without needing something from me.
Being “touched out” doesn’t mean “I don’t love you.” It doesn’t mean “I don’t want you.” It doesn’t mean “I don’t think you are the sexiest thing around.” It doesn’t mean “I want to look elsewhere.” It doesn’t mean you are annoying”. It doesn’t mean that “I don’t want you to want me.” It just means that I need a minute to collect myself and have some physical and mental space.
Give me that…and trust me…I’ll come back and rally