My Bedroom is Not a Luggage Storage Closet

When Captain Laser Pants returned from his first business trip since our little duderino was born, he left his luggage in front of my closet for over a month. He tripped over it on his way to his bathroom at night, it partially blocked the mini- hallway from my closet to his, it collected dust, the dogs wrestled on it. It was totally and completely in the way. Finally, sometime in May (it had been sitting there since March), I cleaned it out and put it away in the closet where it belongs. Granted, it was only a carry on sized bag, but that one inconveniently placed piece of baggage interfered with our routine every day until I removed it. My bedroom is not for luggage storage!

Ok, this just kind of blew my mind- I in no way had any intention of starting this post about intimacy and baggage like this. Hello, epiphany, it’s nice to see you again.

Unless we lived under rocks until the day we were married, all of us are carrying around some kind of baggage from our past. Some of you have modest, backpack sized histories with neatly tied emotional packages that stow away perfectly in a shoe box in your hall closet. Others, like myself, have a cargo plane full of the baggage/ damage inflicted upon us and by us. Between the idiot ways I treated myself and the ways allowed myself to be treated by others, I am the epitome of the crazy bag lady.

Ahh, snap. That’s all my baggage. Talk about the checked baggage fees.

This stuff is about to get real, ya’ll. I have to confess some things.

Today I went to the doctor (whee) for my annual lady visit (TMI, yeah, yeah). We talked about the prospect of Team Gwinn adding another member, and I am seriously struggling with the idea of it. Pregnancy and postpartum ravaged my body. I am so, so fearful that round two will be worse than the first, and leave everything in even crappier shape than it is now.

Rewinding even further back- I’ve had someone tell me I was fat, then too skinny, crazy, hard to look at (especially without makeup, he said), and pretty much every other horrible thing you can think of to say or do to another human being. I tolerated it for four years and crawled out of the rubble that was my self esteem with little more than threads of sanity to claim for myself. Captain Laser Pants is literally a saint, it isn’t even fair to compare the two. My husband is gentle with his words, sincere, generously loving, witty and intelligent, thoughtful and discerning, immeasurably giving AND he’s freaking hot. This man would jump in front of a train to protect his family, and I can call him my own.

How unfair is it to him that I bring my baggage into our relationship?

My “for real” luggage is quite beautiful. And in no way can contain all my crazy.

I would consider myself an absolute authority on insecurity. Some people have swagger for days, I’ve got insecurity for months. What started out as a routine exam this morning turned into a cryfest on my way home. I felt betrayed by my body. When I stopped by to visit my husband at his office and pick up our son (he took our baby to work this morning so I could go to the doctor in peace- so thoughtful, right?!), I saw that his office has a new intern. She’s like 18, crazy thin, blah blah blah. After picking apart my own body at the doctor’s office, I see this girl (who literally has nothing to do with anything) and it makes me feel worse. In the parking lot my husband made out with me (sweet), got frisky and we said we’d see each other later, but I felt shame and insecurity hanging over me. With my perfect baby in the backseat, I boo- hooed on the way home. How ironic is it that I’m writing a blog on insecurity, baggage and intimacy when I suffer from these issues all the time?

Bringing all this baggage into my bedroom has made it very crowded. It is impossible to feel sexy and confident when my 75 year old boobs and my 14 year old face are mocking me. It’s hard to hear my husband’s sweet voice tell me he loves me and thinks I’m beautiful when words from years past still haunt my ears.

Let me tell you, reader, intimacy is a great (and I mean GREAT) remedy for insecurity, if you just put down your barriers to let it happen. There is nothing so soothing as the comfort of your spouse’s arms. There is nothing so peaceful as your partner telling/ showing you that they love you, warts (and baggage) and all. Your husband (and mine for that matter) doesn’t see the tiny imperfections you magnify. Your wife is significantly more forgiving with you than you think- you just have to let your spouse step up to the plate and prove this to you.

So, what is marriage supposed to look like, even though baggage is present? I heard a really awesome idea, and though it’s not my own, I’m going to share it with you. The act of marriage – what it looks like – is sex. Where you are vulnerable, naked, raw, honest and SAFE – that is marriage. I can remember being in high school and hearing the youth pastor condemn sex before marriage, but not really taking the time to explain why. As an adult (and you may not agree with my religious beliefs, and that’s ok) I understand that every time you give a piece of yourself away to someone that isn’t your husband or wife, you receive more baggage in return. The rejection and the abandonment that one experiences after a sexual relationship is over is deteriorating to the heart. You can’t reconcile that loss. You just end up moving on, bringing along another piece of luggage to the next relationship. In marriage we should be able to shed the past and be made new as one person in our union, but more often than not, we drag along the past rather than cutting the cords we use to tow it.

Don’t bring your baggage to your bedroom. Your spouse already knows it exists and will help you combat what needs to be defeated and will help you put away what belongs in a closet. It is easy to create a chasm between us and our partners when insecurities and baggage are standing between us. You vows included “better” and “worse”.  A friend of mine said that “emotional baggage is like wearing sunglasses” in that your perspective is impaired and colors are viewed in the wrong light. I am going to remember that when I start to skew my perception of my marriage and myself. Your partner doesn’t want to hurt you, and you owe it to your spouse to give them your trust.

Speaking of trust, once that light is on in your head, it’s easy to be intimate with someone you trust. It’s easy to be honest with your best friend when she’s never spilled the beans, right? Your spouse has earned your trust- reward that. Physical intimacy is a beautiful response to the hurt insecurity can leave. Even when I felt deflated after mini- Gwinn was born, and exhausted from the complete lack of sleep, the comfort of my husband was vital to my survival. We reconnected when I felt alone, I felt beautiful even when I could fold a Christmas present with my extra stomach skin (eww!), and I felt safe with him. It can be really difficult to find time and energy to reconnect physically after the birth of a baby (heck, it can be difficult period), especially when the mummy isn’t feeling yummy. I suggest (from personal experience) investing in some nice “in between sizes” lingerie that flows away from the body. A flowing sheer teddy is flattering and forgiving. Bring home chocolate and flowers for your wife- it’s cheesy, it’s easy, and it works. Be nice, give genuine compliments. Hug. Kiss. Kiss again. Intimacy isn’t just about taking things to the bedroom. It’s about displaying the act of marriage- where you are vulnerable, honest, open and safe- to one another regularly.

I’m going to close today by apologizing to my husband for imposing my insecurities on him and thanking him for being the rock in my life. You weather my storms, my ups and downs, you wrap your (big, manly) arms around me, you tell me you love me, and you give me unending grace that I don’t deserve. Thank you for seeing our marriage through the good and the bad and the crazy. I love you endlessly.

Coming soon: the chemical romance, and whatever else you guys tell me you want to see! Let’s see some comments on suggestions for this series. Thank you for reading!!

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About mombieconfessions

I am a sarcastic mom, tried and true INTJ, my DISC profile has a high D and C with low I and S, and I'm a quirky geek (love me some Star Wars, BSG, Firefly, Dr, Who and comic books!). When I grow up I want to be an Amazon warrior with super powers and an awesome costume. Music and literature are passions, cooking and baking are hobbies, and writing a blog (such as this one) is both a cathartic release and documentation of the growth of my family and myself. View all posts by mombieconfessions

23 responses to “My Bedroom is Not a Luggage Storage Closet

  • Cassie Jo

    I think the fact that you recognize these things about yourself, and acknowledge that you feel insecure and undeserving at times, is a giant step towards overcoming it all. But in reality, you don’t need to really overcome some things. They make you gracious and appreciative of your husband and relationship, and you could always have turned out like one of those girls who takes moments and people for granted because everyone fawned all over you your entire life.

    Every wonderful and strong woman I have ever been close to, has been someone who appreciates ‘the struggle to be human’. While I most definitely bring baggage from past relationships into my current one, I can also recognize what is happening and why, and that is the biggest step in moving out of those insecure moments I find myself in. So many women hold on to the past so tightly, but I re-read this quote today that made me feel pretty good: “what’s past is prologue”. I mean, your past and some of the crappy people in it, are making you a more thoughtful and engaging person…so it can’t be all that bad right? You definitely have an awesome life ahead of you with someone who adores you, and what’s better? YOU adore HIM. That is just amazing and beautiful.

    ugh. I just rambled for awhile.

    I would be interested in your thoughts on how marriage has changed your relationship. I feel like that is one of my biggest worries, because even though I love my boyfriend, I would be afraid our relationship would somehow change after saying ‘I do.’ Do you feel more secure? Or more pressure to maintain the “forever” aspect?

    • mombieconfessions

      Beautifully said! Thank you for sharing that, and what a wise quote. Your ramblings are pretty awesome, so keep them coming. I would love to explore the idea of how marriage changes a relationship. In short, the risk of having the ground fall out (aka marriage ending) is so minuscule that it usually doesn’t even register. Secure? Definitely. And the pressure to keep “forever” in perspective is nonexistent (most days)- I’m usually just freaking thrilled I get to wake up next to this guy every day. For those of us that wait to get married until we’re sure we found “THE ONE,” I really think the appreciation for the relationship is deeper and there isn’t some ominous threat looming ahead in the future. There are days that are difficult, but I wouldn’t say “harder” than when we were dating. Dealing with grown up stuff together (like debt, bills, lawn care) can be a challenge, but when you respect the one you’re in the trenches with, it’s not impossible. If you love your dude, and you want to get really old with him, the rest just melts into details. 😀

      Ok, that wasn’t short, like, at all.

  • allthingsboys

    Thank you so much for that thoughtful analogy! This 48-almost 49 year old forgets things like this from time to time. I should print this and put it up in my closet where I undress! Awesome blog! And thanks for visiting mine so I could find yours!

  • allthingsboys

    Reblogged this on AllThingsBoys Blog and commented:
    Such a good reminder!

  • dragonfly diaries

    Wow! I agree with allthingsboys it is easy at 49 almost 50 to forget those things from time to time. Life passes us by and we tend to just move from day to day and not really live day to day. Cherish what you have now for it is precious and I hope that someday you don’t realize that when its too late. (like others) Enjoy your little one and don’t be afraid to have another one for the love you have for one will double even though you think it can’t. I spent my whole second pregnancy worrying about how I could possibly love another the way I love the first. Well you can and you will and even though you love them both equally you love them differently as well. Baggage sucks and you’re right you carry it with you. Sometimes you can close it and lock it but inevitably it comes unlocked every once and a while. 😦 It’s a lot of work but its worth every second of it believe me. Some day way down the road you will be able to stand with your partner and watch as tiny little feet run at you and the biggest smile you’ve ever seen and the words gramma and you will know that every thing you endured was worth it a thousand times over. I digress sorry. I believe you are on the right path
    Beautiful blog keep up the great work! (on both the blog and your relationship) You are beautiful inside and out!

    • mombieconfessions

      What precious words! Thank you for sharing your heart. I’m smiling just thinking about being a grandma, and my baby boy is barely seven months old! Thank you again, both for reading and for sharing.

  • writerwannabe763

    Wonderful thoughts…My baggage that I brought into our relationship and then marriage were my insecurities that carried over from my upbringing..It took a lot of years to get over them but it was such a relief to do so…. Diane

  • averagechildhood

    While realizing that was just a preferace to a greater (profound and wellexamined) point, my husband never unpacks after business trips either. What’s up with that?

  • Dr. Mom

    Just found your blog. What a beautiful post. Looking forward to reading more!!

    Oh, and I suck at unpacking too. Not to mention putting away the folded laundry that can languish in the hamper for a week or four.

  • pinay e-motion

    This is a very interesting read. Thanks for sharing!

      • pinay e-motion

        I enjoyed it so much…

        I agree with your stance that marriage, as delicious it can be, can sometimes be a little bit complicated. I am a late bloomer, and when I found my husband, I was close to my 40. I thought God would never answer my prayers. But, like what people say, life is full of mystery. My husband is indeed a blessing, and like many LOVING husbands, mine also carries my baggage when I can’t take it any longer…

      • mombieconfessions

        Very well said- the best and healthiest relationships have partners that can carry one another’s burdens. Thank you!

  • Kate Veltkamp

    Wonderful blog post! I really needed to read this.

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