My amazing partner and I have a pretty solid relationship. We have two gorgeous children together and have endured some insanely tough times (like right now, when we currently live in separate states). Together nearly 13 years, there's little we can't say to one another because, you know, communication is key to a long-lasting romantic relationship. However, no matter how "open" we are, I have a confession to make: there are some things I really meant to tell my partner when I said "I'm too tired," that he absolutely deserves to hear.
As I said above, my partner and I are temporarily apart due to a job offer he accepted out-of-state. At the moment, my kids and I are "stuck" here until school is out. He's been gone a full week now and, needless to say, I'm missing him more than I thought I could. All this time without him has made me reflect on our lives together. I honestly can't help but think back on all the dumb squabbles that meant nothing, the troubling times where communication was non-existent and I didn't think we'd make it through, and all those times sex was put on the back burner in the name of parenthood and because of our careers. Now I'm sitting on 13 years of regret, wishing he could just be here with me now so I could right some of the wrongs.
I used the "I'm too tired" excuse too often when my husband was here and asked something of me. It was the easy way out of talking things through and that's not how I want this relationship thing to go. So, with that in mind, here's what I really meant when I used those three little words that I'll try not to say so much when we're reunited (I'm counting down the days).
"I Don't Feel Like It"
The sad truth is, sometimes my body just isn't "in the mood" to have sex. I work from home, care for two kids, and am the primary person in charge of every errand, meal, and chore. By the time bedtime rolls around, I don't always want to get into the sexy mindset. Instead, I want to just be. It's not personal and I know in following through with a little "maintenance sex" it usually ends in more frustration (as in, I can't force myself to feel ready and therefor it causes more of a distance between us).
I also know if we were to give it 10 minutes, I'd warm up to the act and we might be fine. Might.
"I'm Too Bloated"
I don't always feel confident or sexy. Sometimes things like constipation or bloat creep in and steal away any plans we'd made. Even though my partner and I have been together a long time, I still don't want to talk about all this. I mean, I have the right to a little mystery, right? Besides, knowing my partner, a bloat wouldn't be a turn-off for him. It would just be highly uncomfortable for me.
"I Just Want To Snuggle"
Most days, all I really want from my partner is closeness. That doesn't always mean sex, either. With the hours he works, and the added time of kids constantly in between us, we don't have a lot of time to connect. Like, at all. I'm the kind of woman who needs communication and closeness in order to open myself up to sex. Sometimes saying "I'm too tired" is easier than handing over this explanation over and over again.
"I've Been Looking Forward To A Show"
Because my partner works second shift, I've grown used to having nights to myself. As a result, on the days he's home it's hard to shift my priorities. Again, it's not personal, and a lot of the time I'll record my show and give my partner my full attention.
However, every now and then, and definitely after a particularly hard day, all I want to do is shut my brain off and sit in front of the television for a while.
"I'm Still Upset About [Insert Upsetting Thing Here]"
My partner may have forgotten about the argument we had a couple hours ago, but I didn't. If we're going to get past it we will need to talk about it because, no, sex won't fix a thing. In fact, sometimes sex makes it worse because we're just avoiding the real issues.
When I use "I'm too tired" I'm still processing how I feel about whatever happened earlier in the day, and essentially saying I need more time before we can talk about it (or be intimate).
"I Wish You Could Read My Mind"
Yes, I'll admit that sometimes I wish my partner could cut through the noise and read all my thoughts without me having to say a word. I don't want to tell him I'm tired or any other excuse. I just want to feel understood without explanation. Is that too much to ask?
(The answer, of course, is yes. People can't read minds.)
"My Period Is Coming"
Unfortunately, I can't always control when Mother Nature strikes. Sometimes there's a week's worth of warning signs, but other times it just happens. This isn't necessarily a deal-breaker for my partner, but I'm not one who's comfortable with having period sex. Usually, I'll just tell him, "Sorry but I got my period" and that's the end of it.
"I'm Actually Tired"
The ironic thing about using "I'm too tired" too much is that when I am actually tired, my partner spends his time trying to read the subtext that doesn't exist. That's my fault.
Now that he's gone, and we haven't been together in over a week, I'm sorry for all of this passive aggression. Once we're together, I promise to always tell the truth and nothing but the truth when it comes to getting frisky.