Wednesday, September 19, 2012

About Last Night*

I have been thinking (read: fretting) a lot about my last post, mostly because it was a little private and I’m not in the business of embarrassing and/or estranging my readers.

Are you kidding? I am nothing if not an affirmation hound. “Love me!” I say, jumping into your lap. “Love me love me love me love!”

Thus the visit on Monday to a Catholic therapist.

More on that in a later post.

For now, I wanted to give you some background on why I’ve been candid in blogging about sex. (Well, “candid” without being too candid, you know? That’s the goal; that’s the fine line I’m walking.)

One of the books in my personal library is an oldie from the 70’s—an oldie but a goodie entitled The Total Woman. Have you heard of it? I was given this book early on in my marriage—though I forget, it may have been before that—when a dignified older friend of my mother was cleaning out her personal library.

(She was a prominent local Catholic and very wealthy.)

(I scored big with that one.)

The author of the book, Marabel Morgan, promised a marriage that would “come alive” if you followed its principles on a daily basis. She gave week-long “Total Woman” seminars and her book, which sold more than ten million copies, was the best-selling nonfiction book of 1974.

Well, I tell you. I read that book from cover to cover, and still carry its Bible-based principles within my heart. This is not to say that I’m always true to them, but rather, that I can attest to their efficacy some 16-plus years of marriage later.

I’ll be frank. About a year ago, my husband and I were on the verge of separating. It was so bad, in fact, that we spoke to our priest, who after carefully listening to both sides of the story, told me, “I don’t think he’s going to change. You need to change.”

And because I, too, am far from perfect, I was willing to try.

I recalled one of the chapters from The Total Woman  entitled, “Rocks in the Mattress.” Morgan claimed that many marital problems begin in the bedroom, and in her mind, more frequent sex was the remedy. Now here’s the gist of this blog post’s conversation: Because she was so frank about it—knowing, as she did, that it had saved her marriage—I am going to be frank with you.

Frequent sex saved my marriage too. It softened our hearts and opened the door to communication. I changed; he changed; we are much, much happier.

Now, all that said, this is a fairly private matter and I firmly believe that it should be. My goal in speaking about marital intimacy is not to be immodest or unladylike. Rather, my friend, it’s to tell you it matters.

And I’ll leave the rest of the research up to you.

* * * * * * *

Ed. Note: I’m beginning ironic with the title of this post. Do you remember the movie “About Last Night”? Starring Rob Lowe and Demi Moore (two of the “Brat Packers” from my generation), it was originally titled “Sexual Perversity in Chicago” and highlights a relationship that began after a one-night stand.

Consider that movie—and the millions being made in its image—and then read this very recent article. It will be 100% worth your time, I promise. You will want to share it with your kids when they’re ready.


  1. Anonymous8:30 AM

    I think it's good that you are discussing it because it falls by the wayside so much of the time. This takes courage.

  2. Dear Maggie,

    Thank you so much for the link to that article! That was perhaps the most wonderful thing I've read on the internet in a long time, or maybe even ever. I printed off some copies for my teenaged girls to read, so that they know that they are worth waiting for, and I printed some extras for my favorite teenaged friends (boys and girls). I'll give it to them through their mothers, of course, but it's a wonderful message.

    Love to you!

  3. I had my epiphany over seven years ago when I heard Kimberley Hanhn speak on the topic. She equated the marital act to that of receiving our Lord in the Eucharist. She explained how we must receive Our Lord in the Eucharist to grow closer to Him, just the sames, we grow closer to Him when we give ourselves to one another in the marital act. It is a "sacramental sign of the covenant" that is not to be denied to one another. The truth pierced me. Yet, I'm still a work in progress. Thank you for sharing your testimony and inspiring us to live holier lives of self giving.

    Ad Jesum per Mariam, Lena

    p.s. I paraphrased Kimberly's message. My words do not give her justice.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this. I just purchased Style, Sex, and Substance and can't wait to read it on my KINDLE. I also read that article and just had to share it on Facebook ... just what this world needs to hear!

  5. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. My husband and I almost separated last year as well. It's an up hill battles some days but praising God we're still together. Thank you for giving me something to think about.


  6. Bring on the hotandheavy if it will save one marriage out there.
    I think you are very brave and this conversation is maybe a blessing for another couple.
    Get the message out there!

  7. I think I need to call you. About all of many similarities of our life. Seriously. Seeing a therapist next Monday, my counselor husband suggested it. We have sex and all seems's a constant work in progress...

    (our computer is up and running finally--I missed all the vacation posts, but was so happy you got to see Barbara, I thought, as you started explaining where you were going, "I wonder if she's going to see Barbara?" Yay!)

    You look wonderful by the way.

  8. You are one brave and classy lady. And I thank you for it!

  9. Margaret - Thank you for ALL that you say. My husband thanks you as well. In the comment above Faith has it right - classy and brave. Good job!

  10. Anonymous9:02 AM

    Pray for me. Actually thought to myself last week, "18 more years and I can get out of here." It was just a thought in a fit of frustration but breaks my heart that I even thought it.
    I have seen a therapist, unfortunately don't have the gas money to get to see her often, am taking meds, have tried to talk, have read a couple books. Dh was stunned I was reading Marriage 911 he thinks everything is fine. That's the crux of the problem, he doesn't think about me unless it affects him. I'm to the point that I don't share anything with him anymore. He doesn't know I'm seeing a therapist or on meds although he has probably out as he has crazy twice in the last couple months, he doesn't know anything I'm involved in...I stopped telling him. If I tried to vent than I was complaining and I should quit or it was used as ammo against me when I had a bad day and snapped at him or the kids. If I am excited and want to share than I am teased about how I talk too much. If I want to talk about or start a home project I hear how my plan is wrong or told why bother I won't finish it anyway. So I've stopped sharing. And he hasn't even noticed. I listen to him talk about work, his friends, his family and respond appropriately. He hasn't noticed that I have nothing to say about me. I am little more than a housekeeper at this point, our 20th anniversary was sad. I have no one to talk to about this. It doesn't feel right talking to my friends, I certainly can't tell my mother, so here I am, anonymous in a comm box. I'm tired of trying. I've been trying so long and whatever I do I end up in the same place.

    1. Oh Anonymous, you will be in my prayers.

    2. Anonymous, if you would like to email me directly, I'd be happy to talk to you: mom4life[at]comcast[dot]net. I'm so sorry for your situation.

  11. Thank you, everyone, for your kind comments. You made (some of the) fretting go away! ;)

  12. Cydney9:56 AM

    I will be praying for you and your family, Anonymous.

    Thank you, Margaret, for your candor. I took your previous posts to heart and it has definitely made a difference. Having a teething toddler, being early in the third trimester with baby 2.0, working full-time (thank goodness for retired grandparents), and running a business... I frequently succumb to just being too tired. I am tired, but with only the second on the way, I am certain I don't KNOW tired... yet. ;)

    Anyway, one night DH and I had an argument and when he wanted to "make up," I bristled a little. I was hurt and I didn't know how or didn't feel like responding, maybe a little of both. We talked and sorted things out and, well, made up. Since then we've both been trying harder, despite everything we have going on. To go along with your afghan on the floor tip... I'm tired at 10pm but when the baby stirs at 5 am, I'm pretty well rested and the alarm doesn't go off for another 45 minutes or so. I instigated the first 'early meeting' and now it's becoming a regular thing. Even the mornings it crosses one of our sleepy minds but we fall back asleep... we joke that "it's the thought that counts" and it keeps us closer, I think.

  13. Oh, Anonymous, I will pray for you too....

    Mags, have you heard of the book, Love and Respect? I can send it to you if you'd like to read it...It's wonderful.

    anonymous, I could send it to you if Maggie doesn't want it....

  14. I do not believe that "crazy" people see a therapist and take medication. Those are sane people who know something is wrong and are taking steps to address the problem. Crazy would be to not know there's a problem or to know there's a problem and not do anything about it.


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