Mother. The ultimate nurturer. A caretaker. A containment unit - holding it all together, coping, managing and getting through all the daily logistics to make sure that the emotional, mental, spiritual and physical needs of her family are met. Mother. A complex being who, in a single day, goes through the dance of greeting, asking, listening, talking, dressing, feeding, organising, pushing, packing, driving, delivering, working, shopping, collecting, motivating, guiding, playing, helping, pleading, begging, negotiating, dragging, disciplining, fighting, soothing, cleaning, comforting, rocking, singing, reading, tucking, sighing, breathing, planning, preparing and, finally, collapsing. Every one of those things. Every single day. It’s exhausting.
And when it’s all over, her craving for space and silence and disconnect is overwhelming. There’s nothing left to give. That glass of wine or piece of chocolate or mindless TV show becomes a brief moment of rare self-indulgence to savour and cherish. That disconnect is a momentary reboot in order to recharge, refuel and restock. Her only desire in that moment is the bliss of no-one needing anything from her. Not one thing. Nothing.
And there he stands…
Father. The provider. The protector. The foundation stone - taking whatever is thrown at him emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically and regardless, holding the space for his family. Often the observer who goes through his own dance of greeting, asking, talking, dressing, feeding, driving, delivering, negotiating, dealing, stressing, selling, discerning, returning, guiding, playing, remarking, disciplining, fighting, removing, watching, bracing, listening, agreeing, sighing, surrendering and, finally, introspecting. Every one of those things. Every single day. It’s exhausting.
And when it’s all over, his craving for recognition and appreciation and connection is overwhelming. His need is to feel more important to her than the kids and to be seen and heard and loved. His only desire in that moment is the wish that she’ll come to him, that she’ll open herself to him. That she’ll want no-one but him. Only him.
And there’s nothing but space between them…
What happens to marriage and intimacy in that end-of-day state? How do they find their way to each other? How do they shed the roles of mother and father and step into something deeper?
For her, how does she transform into the feminine lover? The seducer and the goddess, where there is a disintegration of identity and a shattering of control and order. A space of gentle release and the surrender of emotional and mental limitations. A reckless abandon to exploration and the excitement of the unknown. The slow burn of intense passion. An inhale. A sacred space of exposing utter vulnerability and trusting that she’ll be held and safe. It’s euphoric.
For him, how does he transition into the masculine lover? The hunter and conqueror, where there is an explosion and release of all the holding. A primal surge and insatiable need for adventure and hunting and capturing and dominating and devouring. A roar of fire and eruption of energy. An exhale. Knowing in that moment that he is chosen and he is her Alpha and he is enough. It’s intoxicating.
Sex. Where you both give yourselves permission to indulge all the parts within, those parts that you have kept restricted all day. A place to explore and experience your desires and fantasies and to touch the forbidden. Where silent communication shows your needs and wants to each other. A space of letting go and becoming that which you hide from everyone else except your lover.
But these two sides cannot exist in the same space at the same time.
She cannot be the seducing lover when she’s busy being the mother. And she can’t be the mother when she’s in the act of being the lover. They are different parts of her, with different voices and bodies and tones and dialogue and energy. They are both too all encompassing to share the same space. It’s one or the other. For a woman, when her partner’s needs require her to engage the mother, there will be no desire, no intimacy, no sex. The moment a woman has to think about mothering or caretaking or fulfilling the needs of someone else, she cannot think about herself and so cannot access her sexual desire.
And he cannot be the primal lover when he’s being the father and the provider. He can’t be the responsible father when he’s being the lover. He, too, needs to engage different parts of himself. He also has different voices and behaviours and words. Each identity requires 100% focus and cannot function at the same time. The moment he has to be the provider he’s in the stress of an analytical mind and cannot operate from a sexual space. And in the sexual space he cannot think of practicality and logistics.
As partners, understand that it takes time to shift between these roles. Learn to be patient. Find your compassion for your lover, give them the space they need to find themselves. Be gentle and ask. Never assume or demand. Seek ways to support each other with the ‘day’ stuff so that the transition to the ‘night’ stuff becomes easier and desirable for you both.
Sexuality exists in the realm of Man and Woman, not Father and Mother. Don’t engage the wrong role in the wrong space.
Be awake and you will be loved.