If you’re like most couples with kids under 3, you might be so worn out from making sure that they don’t fall down the stairs or eat a glue stick, that the last thing on your never ending To Do List is have sex.
The fact is that all those surveys about how frequently couples are having sex and exaggerated. Most people think that they’re somehow inadequate unless they’re having sex at least 3 times each week. Let me tell you from research and from what I’m hearing from my patients. If you have a mortgage, a job and kids under 3, sex is very low on the priority list. Not only are people tired, they’ve got lots of other things on their minds.
Let’s face it, when there are kids, there are more opportunities to disagree which mean’s more unresolved anger. Research shows that women need emotional intimacy for sexual arousal. It’s next to impossible to feel connected to a partner when you’re angry and resentful because they don’t’ help out enough or there are bills stacking up.
What Can Couples Do?
1st – don’t feel bad, you’re not alone. It’s perfectly normal not to have sex 3 times/week. In fact many couples are perfectly happy with sex 2-3 times/month. In my practice, the only people having sex 3 times/week are teenagers, but of course not your teenagers.
Exotic and crazy positions, toys and other creativity is fun, but the key to real intimacy is finding ways to show each other that you really see and appreciate one another. A sincere compliment about something your partner has done or does for you is the best way to acknowledge what it is that you love about them, which enhances intimacy. Research shows that simply gazing lovingly at your partner triggers powerful chemicals that enhance arousal. Just remember to gaze lovingly, don’t scowl or frown as if they didn’t unload the dishwasher.
Are Date Nights Necessary?
If you can’t get away for date night, then have date night at home.
Put the kids to bed and then make time for each other, without TV, internet or work
Have a glass of wine, and spend some time talking about your days.
Make a deal, not to talk about anything that could lead to a disagreement.
If all you can agree on is the weather, then start there.
If the situation is really tense, you might start by trying to remember what it was that first attracted you to each other and then tell your partner.
Put sex on the calendar. It’s not hot and steamy and it’s not spontaneous, but that’s only in the movies anyway. If you both know that you’re going to be connecting on Tuesday, the chances are you’ll get the mojo working, which helps set the mood.
Text each other, leave a note or voice mail to help set the mood.
Put the kids to bed and then focus on each other.