Our relationship began at the state fair. We met under the bright, colorful lights of the Ferris wheel and ended up back at his place—and yes, I spent the night. The sex was on fire and remained that way for a while, but five years later we barely touch each other. What happened?
We got together way too quickly. Yes, the fair was fun. Something about meeting in that atmosphere lit a fire under our relationship. The connection was almost immediate. We had sex everywhere, at any time—in the morning, the middle of the day, and the middle of the night. We didn’t have a lot to talk about but we knew there was always sex to connect us, so we had a lot of it.
We didn’t really get to know each other well. We considered ourselves to be together before we really knew each other. I had an idea of what I wanted him to be and in my mind, that is who he was. Slowly, I saw characteristics I wasn’t aware of. He was antisocial and he didn’t make eye contact with new people, for starters.
Life got stressful and he was there to help. We met one week after I got a DUI. It was a reckless phase of my life and I was hoping to cling to any sort of security I could find. A week after we started dating, I lost my driver’s license and he was willing to help. I didn’t know it then, but I was with him out of necessity. Still, our sex life was thriving so I didn’t complain.
My career started taking off soon after. When we first started dating, I worked as a beverage cart attendant on a golf course. I basically made money by driving a golf cart around outside and flirting all day for tips. This was fun. He helped me get a management position and all of a sudden I had responsibilities and deadlines. These things did not fuel the wild, spontaneous sex we were used to. Suddenly, I was stressed and anxious all the time.
We moved in together. I think I knew I wasn’t happy with the sex anymore, but we made the decision to move in together regardless. He was a good partner, we went on fun dates, and my friends loved him. Why wouldn’t we take the next step?
We got comfortable. Something happens when you move in with someone: you start to see all of the things they didn’t show you while you were dating. You discover habits and behaviors that you think are gross or weird. I started to feel like I was living with my brother, but I still loved him. He still did everything he could to make me happy and that seemed good enough.
We got married. Of course, the next logical step was to get married. We took a vow of celibacy as part of pre-marital counseling six months before we were due to get married. I’m not even religious, but I went along with it. We went so long without having sex that we didn’t even do it on our wedding night. It felt forced and awkward and I faked a headache.
A flood destroyed our home. Six months after tying the knot, a freak flash flood ripped through our small town. Neighbors died. We lost our home and everything in it, including our wedding gifts that still littered the floor of our dining room. It was heavy stuff, too heavy for newlyweds still trying to find their way. A dark cloud seemed to follow us everywhere. We both handled it in different ways. He needed comfort while I needed to be left alone.
We moved in with his parents. With nowhere to go, we moved in with his parents. To be fair, it’s a garage apartment beside their home, but still. The sex was suffering before, but the place didn’t feel like ours. That comfortable feeling was gone. I began to withdraw completely.
I got pregnant. We decided to have a baby. Are you sensing a trend here? He thought this would be fun because surely it would take a while before I got pregnant. Wrong—I got pregnant after the first positive ovulation test. I had morning sickness for 16 weeks, which meant the dry spells stretched longer and longer until…
We had a baby. And post-partum depression hit hard. He’s a wonderful father. He cooks, he cleans, and he makes sure we have everything we need. But even 11 months later, I’m still reeling from an emergency C-section. I don’t feel like myself and I don’t want to have sex. Meanwhile, all he wants is to have sex.
Now we don’t know how to get back on track. Like before we got married, the idea of having sex has become awkward. I have to drink to get myself in the mood. If I drink too much, all I want to do is sleep. I’m afraid for him to see me naked, not because of the pregnancy but because I don’t feel like I know him in that way anymore. We’re so close together yet so far apart. Now I don’t know how we will ever get back to where we were, sharing a funnel cake under the stars at the state fair.