Kristin Berry shares her simple, surprising secret for creating a lasting marriage bond.
Editor’s Note: This is a guest post in Mike Berry’s column from his wife, Kristin.
Let’s get one thing straight—I’m not the kind of girl to kiss and tell 😉
Not that long ago, my husband wrote a blog post called “Sex Starts in the Morning” and it went viral. I have to admit … when I saw the word “sex” in the title I was embarrassed. For crying out loud, my kids and parents read our content! What was my husband thinking? Then I read the post and laughed a little. He is so sweet. I appreciate his kindness and honestly.
Many asked me to write from the perspective of a wife and, to be truthful, I’ve struggled a little. My husband did such a nice job of describing servanthood in the original that I didn’t see the need to repeat what he said. Servanthood is placing another above yourself. For me that means folding endless amounts of socks and pausing our favorite tv show so he can take a phone call. It means making a favorite meal for the ones I love and leaving the good parking spot open when I know he’s going to get home late.
Servanthood is a gift but it is not something specific to marriage. You can serve your children, a neighbor or even a complete stranger. You may stop to hold the door for an unknown person, but you will probably not sleep with her. On the contrary you may have a one night stand with someone whom you care nothing for. My husband wasn’t talking about serving the neighbor and he wasn’t talking about sleeping with a stranger. He was talking about marriage. The thing that makes marriage different from both of these scenarios is intimacy.
I love to look up words in the dictionary! I’m pretty sure it’s one of the things my husband loves about me too 🙂 Here are a few of the definitions I found on intimacy as they pertain to marriage.
Intimacy—A loving personal relationship with another person.
The truth is I would never want to be with anyone else. There is no one I would rather wake up to than my husband. Every morning he brews a pot of coffee and I smell it before my feet even hit the floor. I quickly make our bed and meet him at the bottom of the stairs in his cozy little office. Before I do anything else, I say good morning. Each day is worth looking forward to because I share each day with him.
We have eight children (NO, I’m not making that up). Sometimes as the day ends we are so exhausted we stare at each other cross eyed. My favorite nights are the ones when we’ve finally tucked those sweet kiddos into bed and we meet by the fire pit off our back patio. We choose the bench seat so we can sit close to one another. We talk late into the night linking fingers, sipping warm coffee, and laughing.
Intimacy—The quality of being familiar; Friendship.
My husband and I are the funniest people on the planet. Ok, maybe not but we sure think we are. If you pass us on the highway or get stuck behind us in the school pick-up line, you may find us belting out EVERY word to an Aerosmith power-ballad. (You know which one I’m talking about.) Possibly we will be carrying on a conversation using only movie lines. Sometimes our kids get in on the jokes too.
Our seven-year-old loves to ask in his singsong, 2nd grade voice, “Mommy, do you have a boyfriend?” I answer “Yes, it’s Daddy, he’s sooooooooooo cute!” and revel in the gagging sounds my 7th graders make from the other room. This entertainment often frustrates and embarrasses our children, thus making it the absolute perk to being in a loving friendship for over 16 years.
Intimacy—A deep knowledge or understanding.
If I hear a funny joke, he’s the one I want to tell.
If I’m puking my guts up, he’s the one I want to bring me a bucket.
If I have good news, he’s the one I want to share it with.
My husband and I met almost 17 years ago. We were filled with youth, and passion for life. We are a little older now. A little less idealistic but not less passionate. We have embraced this life together. We have weathered storms that our 19 and 20-year-old selves could not have imagined. I’ll never forget the quiet of the car ride home after we buried our newborn daughter.
Glancing over to see the pain on his face, a reflection of the same pain I felt ripping my heart in two. I knew that he was the only one that deeply shared my pain. On the flip-side we have also shared joy that we never could have anticipated. I love nothing more than seeing his grin widen into a full smile.
And that, my friends, is none of your business.
Photo—Pedro Ribeiro Simões/Flickr