After birthing two babies in 18 months, my postpartum hair loss had yet to fully recover after baby number one when it started to fall out again after baby number two.
Couple that with a several months-long quarantine, and my once bouncy, wavy curls lay stringy and defeated looking in a haphazard ponytail which did not make me feel feminine or beautiful. I missed my pretty waves. I had given up styling my hair. It was time for a change.
Enter my loving husband.
Despite his initial objections and hesitation due to an unfortunate situation involving our toddler and an unplanned buzz cut (still a sore subject), my husband finally agreed to cut my hair. We put the babies to bed and put on a YouTube tutorial video and got to work.
Thankfully, my husband is artistic, and in 15 minutes, he gave me what is now my favorite haircut. I joke that it’s easy to get the haircut you want when your stylist is bound to you for life for better or for worse, but the experience brought me a deeper appreciation for marital intimacy. What started out as a lighthearted request had me looking at my husband with renewed eyes.
Intimacy Is More Than Sex
Intimacy in marriage goes beyond sex. Sure, sex is a wonderful part of marriage. It glues us together, it has given us our children, and it’s something we only share with each other. However, it’s important to seek other kinds of opportunities for intimacy in marriage. This is what keeps romance alive and gives us hearts that seek to serve each other. Intimacy renews how we’re supposed to see each other and encourages me to be grateful that my spouse allows himself to be exposed to me and me to him.
When my husband is open with me and I’m open with him, we can really see each other.
A wise woman once told me that intimacy means “into me see.” When my husband is open with me and I’m open with him, we can really see each other. When we can see each other, we can care for each other’s weaknesses and celebrate each other’s strengths. We can love each other more deeply. We can see each other clearly, and lovingly accept all we see in each other.
Marital Intimacy Can Be Experienced through Everyday Things, like a Haircut
He began to separate my hair into sections, and, for the first time in months, I didn’t instinctively fluff my hair to cover the parts of my scalp that had suffered the worst postpartum hair loss. I just let him see me. It was refreshing.
As he cut the split ends off and gave me some layers and long bangs, I let myself take him in. His muscular build was countered by the gentleness of his hands. He brushed softly, asked me what I wanted, and I fell in love with him all over again as I watched his eyebrows furrow in concentration as he examined his work. I reached up and cradled his cheek through his beard and reminded him of how much I love him.
I fell in love with him all over again as I watched his eyebrows furrow in concentration.
It has been a long few months for us: birthing a baby during a pandemic, moving out of state during quarantine, losing our beloved dog, and navigating the early years of our marriage without much guidance has been difficult for us. As I watched the dead hair fall to our bathroom floor and felt the lightness of my new haircut, my gratitude for marital intimacy grew exponentially. I felt a lightness that extended beyond the physical and into my spirit. Through whatever difficulties life may bring, I know that this covenant I have with this man will stand.
Intimacy is not always glamorous. Sometimes it looks like trimming your spouse’s hair in your bathroom. Sometimes intimacy looks like him pulling me close to him to dance slowly to our wedding song in our living room and making me feel like the prettiest girl in the world. Even though I was weak from battling COVID-19, struggling to breathe without coughing, and dancing in my pajamas, my husband made me feel as beautiful as I did in my white dress on our wedding day. My marriage has given me this blessing: to feel loved in his arms every single day.
2020 has brought the world many surprises, and many of them have not been what we would have asked for, but navigating each new day beginning with focusing on intimacy in our marriages promotes togetherness and healing in the family system. When the family experiences healing, the community heals. When the community heals, the nation heals, and then the world.