Military Special Needs Network

Proudly Supporting all Military Families with a Special Needs Dependent

I’m Still a Feminist if I Let My Husband Love Me, Right?

Relationships, marriages, families: to keep them healthy, it takes a lot of work. Even when you love someone beyond measure, there are the daily realities – toothpaste squeezed from the middle, toilet seats left up, forgotten promises to rebuild plant beds or work harder at keeping the kitchen counters cleaned off. This blog post is the first in our Relationship Reminder series that will run from Feb. 10-14. Stay tuned for reminders to take a breath, pause, and hug your partner. Afterall, you are a team in the crazy family Olympics of life. KH


Little did you know, the wedding was the easy part!

I am a feminist. At least in my own mind. For those who know me, I’m sure they will readily agree that I am very vocal in my beliefs – and I hope they will say that my actions and my words match. I don’t know whether or not Gloria Steinham would give me an “official” feminist card, but I’ve got to come pretty doggone close. So when my friend, and fellow MSNN staffer, Jessica, posted a blog to her FB wall titled “Let Your Husband Love You” I was curious – and my reaction surprised myself.

Let Your Husband Love You was written by Kristen over at When at Home. I’d never heard of Kristen before, but I’m a fan now. Kristen talked about something that married couples face day in and day out: accepting our spouse’s love. With two special needs children, two “neurotypical” children, a couple of years of not seeing but fleeting glimpses of my husband, it’s hard to stop myself from brushing off his compliments – hell, his very presence. So much of what she wrote could have been written from my own hand – only she said it much more eloquently than I could.

I know you don’t want to be touched and for some reason, an innocent compliment can offend you. When he says, “You’re so pretty”, you think he’s mocking you because you’re in the yoga pants you’ve been wearing 4 days in a row and your hair is either falling out of your scalp or tied so tightly on top of your head that your eyebrows are permanently surprised. You think when he hugs you he’s just trying to do the thing that made all this chaos start in the first place and that ticks you off.

How many times hasn’t that been the case? God! How many times haven’t I been angry that here’s just one more person needing something from me? Can I get two freaking minutes by myself, without anyone talking to me, asking me anything, touching me – leave. me. alone! Natural need for time and space, coupled with all of our military-induced separations, plus the “I’ve got this; back off” mentality I tend to take on (especially in the first few days after a homecoming) must make me about as cuddly and accepting of love as a pissed off porcupine.

And that can’t be very fun for the mister.

I want to be very clear. This isn’t a call to “put out” regardless of your own feelings. This is a very needed reminder to, as she says, “Stop. Take a breath. Recharge. Try again.” Again – not talking about sex, but about closeness, togetherness, rekindling your partnership and relationship. With all of the stress in our lives, whether special needs-related, or deployment-related, heck regular marriage and grown-up life related, we need the occasional reminder to take a breath and recharge. To enjoy being in the presence of the person we married once again.

So, thank you Kirsten for your very timely post. And, Gloria, please don’t pull my feminist card for admitting that sometimes a woman needs to allow herself to be loved, to give love, and be lovable.

Go check out Kristen at When at Home and read her post!


14 comments on “I’m Still a Feminist if I Let My Husband Love Me, Right?

  1. Libby Murphy
    February 10, 2014

    Keep on being the passionate person I’ve always known you to be, Kelly…and accept those tender moments when your Sweetie says, “You look beautiful!” because UR!

    • militaryspecialneedsnetwork
      February 10, 2014

      Thanks, Libby!

      It’s so easy to brush those moments off. And it’s so bad, too. This is a reminder for myself – the original post really struck a chord with me.

      Hope you and your family are well.

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