Does sex have to die when life gets busy?
We’re in the middle of a series this month talking about the different stages of sex in marriage, and we launched it last week with the “Figuring Things Out” stage. This week we’re moving on to the next stage: what happens to sex when kids come and life gets busy.
But first, here’s the podcast.
This month I’m trying to work through a huge backlog of reader questions, and I decided that the podcasts this month would be a great chance to look at the different questions related to each stage of sex. So for this podcast we focused on three:
Reader Question: He’s a Night Person, I’m a Morning Person
Keith jumped on the podcast to answer this one with me (since this matches us pretty well, except I’m the night one and he’s the morning one. Either way, though, he needs way less sleep than me and always has!) Here’s the question:
I keep hearing the importance of going to bed at the same time as a couple but my husband is a night owl and I’m a morning lark. There’s no way I could stay up as late as he does and still get up with our toddler in the morning (he only gets up 15 minutes after me but I guess he just needs less sleep?). Plus he says that he needs his “me time” after the rest of us are in bed (gaming or watching shows) and that he’d just lie there awake for hours if he did come to bed at
the same time anyways (around 11 pm). The most helpful advice I’ve heard is for the night owl to lie down with that morning lark until they fall asleep and then sneak away, but I can’t really see him agreeing to that. He’s already heard the stat that couples who go to bed at the same time have more sex but that’s not enough motivation even though he wishes we had sex more often.
Keith and I went around on this one for a bit, but my big suggestion would be to have him go to bed at the same time as you, but then get up early and have his “me” time in the morning (gaming and watching TV is the worst thing to do right before bed anyway; better to do it in the morning). But listen in!
And then check out this post on why adults need bedtimes, too!
Reader Question: My Husband is Fine. Is It Okay to Want More Than Fine?
A reader writes in that she wants marriage to be exciting and passionate, but her husband is pretty satisfied with just hum-drum.
My husband is fine. I guess that’s the big issue. My husband is fine with things the way they are. He is a fine husband. He does things well enough. I don’t have a ton of room for complaints, I know, but I’m still sad. We recently did the 5 Love Languages together, and although he’s got an idea of what his love language is, he seems fine not really figuring out how I can love him better. It’s very obvious what mine is (physical touch and quality time), but he also is fine not going out of his way to do either.
He’s a good husband in a lot of ways. We share parenting responsibilities, household chores, financial issues, etc without as much conflict, but he’s fine with that being as good as it gets. Our sexual relationship is good- he makes sure it feels good for me, but again, he is satisfied with how things are. I’ve asked him to take a bath or shower with me, play “would you rather” sexy games, go to bed naked, etc., but he says he doesn’t want to.
I find myself in this weird place where I know I have a really good marriage compared to a lot of other people, so I should be thankful; but I don’t want things to just be fine, you know? I want to have a hot sex life, and be crazy about each other. Am I asking for too much?
I get it. She wants to feel swept off her feet, but he’s not there. Keith jumped in on this one, too. Certainly it could be personality differences–often we’re attracted to our spouse’s steady nature, but then that becomes boring once we’re married. But I’d also say that finding things to be chronically upset about isn’t healthy in the long run.
If you do just want some passion occasionally, though, it’s okay to ask for that. Like I said, you can do the “His Nights, Her Nights” game. I’d definitely suggest my Sexy Dares, because you can do one or two a month, and then normally you just do the “regular”. So it’s not asking him too much. And even if he doesn’t want to do these things, you can frame it like, “I love you, I love our life, I love our marriage, and this isn’t a criticism of you. This is just something that’s important to me. Can you do this for me?”
Listen in, see what you think, too, and then let us know in the comments!
Does your marriage need some spicing up–and some fun?
Reader Question: My husband wants to buy a new gaming unit two days after our third baby is due
Here’s a note from a very tired mom who is worried her husband won’t support her once the new baby comes:
My husband and I have been married for almost 10 years and have 2 young kids and I’m expecting our third. My husband and I are doing well right now after a few years of bumpy roads, but an issue we’ve dealt with throughout our marriage is the fact that he doesn’t really cope with stress well. Mainly he uses phone app games to de stress and unwind. We’ve talked about his lack of other coping strategies when things get stressful–and stressful is pretty much how our lives are going to be for a while.
Now, he’s decided he wants to buy an X Box for his birthday next year. But his birthday is right after my due date with the next kid. This is sending up a million red flags for me, since he’ll be buying a gaming system when I desperately need his help more than ever (and don’t want to have to drag him up from the basement to beg him for it). He already has a tendency to spend too much time on his phone, and talks all the time about wanting to go to bed earlier but he just stays up too late on technology instead.
I don’t want to assume the worst, but I really can’t see how any benefits outweigh the potential for disaster here (especially for someone with a tendency toward addictive behaviours already). To put it bluntly, I’m terrified of what this could do to all our progress we have made. Am I borrowing trouble, or am I right to be concerned?
I totally understand her fear. And I think that she is perfectly right to say, “your responsibility is to the family; you have a history of getting caught up in technology, and I can’t handle that right after a new baby comes. It’s too risky. We need to re-evaluate this.”
If he still wants to get it, then you can set up a contract with him. Say something like:
You know that you don’t handle stress well, and that you have a habit of getting carried away by technology. You’ve said that’s not who you want to be. You’ve said that you want to go to bed earlier. So let’s set up some guidelines so that we’ll know when things are getting out of hand and we can do something about it. And then let’s appoint a friend/mentor that I can call if things get out of hand, that can come and take the XBox for a time until you can handle it again.
This is serious stuff. You need your husband to be engaged with the baby. So talking about it beforehand–what will be the signs that he thinks means that he’s on it too much–and have him agree to that can help make that conversation easier.
Rebecca tackled this one with me, since she and Connor have dealt with video game issues. Connor now plays, but limits it quite well, so it can be done. But he has to realize that his family responsibilities come first.
Some other posts that can help:
Other Video Game Posts:
Get Your Marriage On! The Marriage Counseling App that is Fast, Fun and NEVER BORING! Frankly, we could all use a tune up time to time. But it’s more than just counseling. It’s for any couple that’s looking to connect with their spouse better.
It’s a fun app to go through, with teaching videos and quick exercises, but also lots of games and conversation starters. For all of you who don’t want to sit down and read a whole book, this has bite-sized videos and immediate action steps so that you can learn small bits, put them into practice, and move on. Check it out!
Finally, don’t forget to sign up for the emails.
I gave away some prizes on the podcast this week to some new subscribers–sign up so that you can win, too! And we’ll probably send the first baby pictures around via the emails rather than the blog, too, once the baby finally comes!
How would you answer some of those questions? Let me know in the comments, and let’s talk!
Let me know in the comments how you would answer these questions, let’s talk!