It’s no surprise that sex and intimacy take a back seat once kids show up and lives get busy. But it doesn’t have to be that way! We’re talking about the 4 takeaways we’ve learned after 15 years of marriage on how to best keep married intimacy healthy and thriving.
Alright guys, today we’re talking about a pretty personal and sometimes awkward subject amongst conservative housewives: intimacy (that’s a polite euphemism for sex, in case that wasn’t clear).
We all know that sex is important in a marriage and most of us don’t have any problems with intimacy during the first couple years of being together.
But throw in a little time, a couple of babies, maybe some weight gain & hormone issues, not to mention just plain old exhaustion from parenting 24/7 that it’s no wonder so many of us lose a bit of that sparkle in our eyes!
Below are a couple of takeaways we’ve learned and tried to apply after our almost 15 years of marriage. I’m hoping they can help us all approach intimacy with a more positive and healthy attitude and draw us closer to our spouses.
Men and women approach sex in VASTLY different ways
1. I’m sure this news isn’t a surprise to anyone who’s been in a relationship for more than about 5 minutes. I used to kind of resent our different approaches to intimacy but I’m starting to understand this dynamic a little better.
In general, it seems like women need to feel loved first (through service, words, non-sexual touch, etc) in order to want sex, and men seem to feel loved through sex. That’s an important distinction and one that can make all the difference in how we treat our bedroom relations!
Just by keeping this in mind, I’m a bit more sensitive to both mine and Luke’s needs and, I believe, we’re both able to be more selfless in our relationship.
Sex needs to be made a priority
2. Remember those good ol’ days when intimacy was always romantic, spontaneous and fun? Good times, right?
For most of us, once life and work and babies start getting in the way of our relationships, sex needs to be made a priority or it quickly gets shoved out of the way to make room for poopy diapers and teenage meltdowns.
Just by mentally making it a priority, we’re more likely to stay emotionally close to our partners and to plan for regular intimacy.
One way we’ve done this is to…
Consider scheduling regular sex
3. I know, I know, it sounds way too practical and totally UNromantic but I’m telling you, this basic act alone has SAVED our relationship over and over again!
One marriage therapist I talked to said that in her experience, healthy couples are having regular sex 2-3 times a week. I don’t know about you, but if we don’t schedule intimacy ahead of time, there’s no way it’s happening even half that often!
The scheduling has been helpful for both of us: It’s easier for me to be prepared for sex when I already know it’s happening ahead of time and I don’t let the mundane tasks of motherhood get in the way.
Luke’s also mentioned that it helps him because he knows that we’re both committed to intimacy at certain times, no matter how tired or distracted we are.
And, no surprise, it’s always more enjoyable when we’ve set time and energy aside for each other!
Communication is essential
4. Let’s just address the elephant in the room: communicating about sex can be super awkward! Especially if you were raised in a very conservative or religious culture where any mention of sex was discouraged and embarrassing.
But I believe that we will never be happy in this essential area of marriage without talking about it. There are several ways we can make this less cringe-worthy:
*Talk during or right after sex and in the dark. It seems to be easiest to talk about what your sexual needs are right after the fact (you’re both emotionally connected and feeling loved) and it can help lessen the awkwardness if you don’t have to look each other in the eye, at least for the first little while!
*Remember that expressing your sexual needs isn’t selfish; it helps your spouse better show you love the way you need it and that makes everyone happier. It also helps your partner feel free to do the same.
*Don’t be afraid to try something new or speak up when something isn’t comfortable. You and your spouse should always want to put each other at ease during these vulnerable, intimate moments and that only happens with open, honest communication.
*Practice makes perfect. This is something we’ll all probably be working on for years to come. Relationships take work and talking about our most vulnerable and intimate needs is a tricky thing that takes time and patience.
Hopefully both you and your spouse are committed to making married intimacy a special, amazing part of your lives and talking about it when issues arise.
I really feel that healthy sex lives will benefit not only our marriages and families, but our entire communities!
If you’re looking for more basic marriage tips (2 that have REALLY helped me find happiness!) then check out this post.