5 Love Lessons I Learned from My Marriage to a Gay Man.
It is ironic that the one relationship where sex was the ultimate destroyer was the relationship that taught me the most profound lessons about sex and love.
As a mother of three girls, I want them to learn from my journey.
As a woman, I wish someone had whispered the following words to me as girl.
1. Sex matters.
Period. Big time. You can say it doesn’t really matter. Your partner can say it doesn’t matter. For a while, it may even feel like sex doesn’t matter. But eventually, you can’t ignore that sex does matter a great deal to your relationship and your life.
At first, I thought that the lack of intimacy I was experiencing was common in marriage. As many of us think, it was just sex. Eventually I realized that sex mattered much more than I ever believed.
2. Sex is power.
You are powerful. Find your power and keep it.
As women, we are mostly unaware of our sexual power. Too often we give it away, allowing others to keep us small.
There is a lot of shame mixed up in society’s idea of female sexuality. We are raised to avoid it or ignore it.
Because we are not taught to know ourselves as sexual beings, women may miss out on tapping into the endless supply of creative and personal power that is fueled by our sexual power.
Connecting with our sexual power affects how we show up in relationships and in the world.
3. Education is essential.
I am not talking about sex education, the facts of life, or even the kind of education that involves toys, tricks and techniques. Trust me, there is plenty of that information around.
I am talking about female sexuality and what that means to us, not to our partners. We need to be having conversations that allow women to express themselves as sexual beings and to celebrate it.
The patriarchal view that women are to be desired but are not to desire or want themselves creates a culture of suppression and shame.
No more shame.
4. True love does exist.
Very recently, my 18-year-old daughter, in a casual conversation in our kitchen, said, “I don’t believe in true love. True love does not exist.”
I just about fell off my chair. Panic and guilt began to set in as my complete failure as a mother became evident. Eventually, I rallied to the defense of true love.
My marriage to her father, despite its inevitable ending, was nothing but a tribute to true love. We truly loved each other, built a family and a life together that, in hindsight, was clearly not based on sex or passion, but was most definitely founded on love.
My current and happy marriage to an amazing man is also living proof of true love. There is not one easy day raising a family. There are no rose petals strewn across my bedroom floor. But there is plenty of passion, laugher and tears. You can see and feel true love in our home every day.
True love, not the kind in movies and romance novels, but the most real and truest of loves, is messy, complicated, and ever changing. It does not come with a guarantee. Relationships end, but the love that lived in that relationship never truly disappears.
5. Bliss is your birthright.
For a long time in my marriage, I tried to ignore my needs. Who was I to want to be happy and fulfilled? I didn’t want to fail. Leaving would be so hard. But staying would have been harder.
Living in a marriage, alone and untouched, would have killed me.
Sex saved my life. It saved my ex-husband’s life as well. He is living his truth now, and so am I. I want my girls to know that their happiness is their own responsibility, and that bliss is their birthright.
Sending my daughters, all of our daughters, out into the world as women empowered by their sexuality is the treasure I have found beneath the ruins of my marriage.
Every woman should know her truth and live her joy.
Christine Lumley is the founder of Goddess In the Closet. As a writer, facilitator, and ‘goddess liberator’, Christine is called to help women connect to their light and power.