2009-06-17

Hump Day Help: Keeping the Intimacy after children

Having three young kids, I know how incredibly difficult it can be to find some spontaneous times to be intimate. A few years ago, I read that it’s very important to the marriage, mental health of both husband and wife, and therefore, the mental health of the children (by having happy mom and dads!) to find time for intimacy. And if you can’t find the time, you should create the time. Schedule a night or two or three every week for intimacy with your spouse.

And when we worked opposite shifts, we made sure that Saturday nights or early Sunday mornings we had that quiet time to ourselves to….well…you know…do the deed. We worked that into our schedules because it was important to us and the health of our relationship.

I had really thought that by being on the same shift, we wouldn’t have to schedule as more and there would be more time for that intimacy considering that we increased our availability to each other by 5 days just because we were finally both at home at the same time.

Somehow, though, that’s just not the case. It seems that no matter what, something happens.

Elizabeth doesn’t go to bed until 11 pm (& considering Chuck has to be up at 5 am, that’s his bedtime too!)

The boys are fighting and carrying on and don’t go to sleep right away.

I have a Pure Romance party and am gone until 11 pm.

I fall asleep putting the boys to bed (might as well hang up the idea that I can be woken up once I’m sleeping!)

Just plain too tired after long days at work and wrangling kids.

There is a kid sleeping in our bed.

Do you see my point? It’s hard (no pun intended!) to find the time to be intimate and yet it’s so important to a healthy marriage!

Hara Estroff Merano, at Psychology Today, wrote a piece about “Relationship Rules” and one of them that I think is a very important rule to remember is : Work hard at maintaining closeness. Closeness doesn’t happen by itself. A good relationship isn’t an end goal, it’s a lifelong process maintained through regular attention.

Exactly what I am trying to say. So how exactly do you maintain that closeness when you live in a chaotic house like mine?

Schedule one day a week when you are going to make it a point to have sex. It may seem like it’s less spontaneous, because it is, but by planning it you can look forward to it and…

Leave little hints throughout the week about your sex night. Whether it’s a whispered dirty in his ear, a little love note in his briefcase or a naughty shot sent to him on his cell phone, you can get his blood pumping (and yours too!) in anticipation of the schedule night.

Don’t forget that intimacy doesn’t have to equal sex. A nuzzle of the neck always does wonders for my mood! A kiss at the base of the neck, a caress on the butt, a quick back or foot massage…all can be done with the kids around. In fact, it’s good for children to see their parents loving each other and modeling good relationship behaviors.

Have the knowledge that on average, married couples have sex 61 times a year. That’s just slightly over 1 time a week. So if you’re not having sex every night of the week, don’t get discouraged! But if you want it more than once a week, try to work it in.

If you’re children are of an older age (not like my 2 year old who gets into everything if not watched every second), use your lock on your bedroom door! Lots of sexual therapists suggest this as an alternative to late night sex when you’re both exhausted. An early morning romp when the kids are watching cartoons could just be the ticket.

Treat each other like you’re still dating. Be thoughtful of each other and put on the pretties (you know, cologne, makeup, do the hair) for each other…you will feel more attractive and your partner will more than likely notice it and be more in the mood.

But if you’re just too tired some night and don’t feel like it, don’t discount a cuddle in the bed, in the dark, talking about something other than work or kids. Discuss your fantasies and desires. Who knows what may pop up.

4 comments:

Hannah said...

Definitely great advice, Lisa. I think most couples with young kids would agree that sometimes scheduling and forward planning is a necessity! And I agree, knowing when it will happen doesnt make it less romantic ... like you say, there is something to look forward to and I think it actually makes things more exciting.
I can see that as our kids get older and stay up later, we will have to start using the lock on our bedroom door (at the moment we don't even SHUT the door, LOL).

Anonymous said...

Great little article you have here! :)

Totally done the lock the bedroom door thing. ;)

-Sarah

Tiffany said...

Great post Lisa! Everyone needs a reminder sometimes not to let the intimacy go by the wayside. It is definitely about making that time a priority.

Jade Graham said...

though, that’s just not the case. It seems that no matter what, something happens. sexual intimacy problems in marriage

 

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