Take a look at this couple. Don’t they look as if they are puppy-love happy? Doesn’t it seem that Michael is undressing Ayelet with his eyes and that Ayelet is about to return the favor?
Well, thanks to Ayelet, we now know they are indeed probably thinking about, well, boinking. They think about it a lot. They do it a lot. They do it with passion and inventiveness. They may even do it with sex toys, using the tips and tricks on vorgasms. Yipeee!
Why do I know this? Because I read the New York Times, and Ayelet decided to write a fun article for the venerable paper about a serious topic: the place of spouses and their love, especially physical love, after children are born.
But the real reason for this lack of sex, or at least the most profound, is that the wife’s passion has been refocused. Instead of concentrating her ardor on her husband, she concentrates it on her babies. Where once her husband was the center of her passionate universe, there is now a new sun in whose orbit she revolves. Libido, as she once knew it, is gone, and in its place is all-consuming maternal desire. There is absolute unanimity on this topic, and instant reassurance.
Except, that is, from me.
I am the only woman in Mommy and Me who seems to be, well, getting any. This could fill me with smug well-being. I could sit in the room and gloat over my wonderful marriage. I could think about how our sex life – always vital, even torrid – is more exciting and imaginative now than it was when we first met. I could check my watch to see if I have time to stop at Good Vibrations to see if they have any exciting new toys. I could even gaze pityingly at the other mothers in the group, wishing that they too could experience a love as deep as my own.
But I don’t. I am far too busy worrying about what’s wrong with me. Why, of all the women in the room, am I the only one who has not made the erotic transition a good mother is supposed to make? Why am I the only one incapable of placing her children at the center of her passionate universe?
Ayelet wants the world to know that it’s okay, and perhaps even better, when the couple loves each other more than they love their kids. That the couple and their love are the sun, and the children are the planets orbiting it.
It’s not a bad topic to discuss, and Ayelet should be congratulated for being
crazy enough to go into this great detail about their personal life in a very public forum forthright and honest about her feelings, experience and passion for her husband. I don’t know whether she asked his permission before outing that he feels as she does, that the children are the moon orbiting him as Earth, but if she didn’t, I’m positive their strong love will overcome the hiccup.
In any case, the point is that author Ayelet Waldman (read an incredible blog entry of hers here) and author Michael Chabon are Jewlicious (she’s Israeli born, New Jersey raised, Harvard law school trained, author and mother; he’s suburban Maryland raised, pulitzer winning author, who belongs to a “Jewish Renewal” congregation), have sex a lot, and love each other in a way they do not love their children.
It takes some courage to make a public declaration that one loves a spouse more than one’s children, and it is an interesting topic. I’d like to relate it to my own experience but I have to do some deep thinking about it first.
Privately, if you don’t mind.