I like sex. I’ve been fortunate to have instantly “clicked” with my husband once we got married, and as a result a vibrant sex life has been one of the core elements of our marriage. But as a mom of three kids with a busy day-to-day life, it’s not always been easy to maintain this connection in our marriage. There have been times – after our first baby was born, as well as other seasons of struggle or grief – when it has been a challenge. Having spent time counseling other wives who struggle to have a strong connection with their husbands, I know that it’s not easy for many of us. Yet it’s so important – a healthy intimate relationship is one of the cornerstones for a healthy marriage.
Over the years I have collected a series of tips that have helped me figure out how to engage my sexual energy. They might seem simple to some, but they’ve been my lifeline to the sexual connection I want to have with my husband.
1. Dress for it in morning.
This might sound odd since we aren’t usually thinking about sex but it’s important to realize how you choose to dress in the morning will dictate how your body responds. Does a particular outfit make you feel good? Is there an outfit he loves? What are you wearing underneath all those clothes? Fun and flirty, dark and sexy, or plain jane. Start the process of warming up when you get dressed so that you’re ready in the evening. I will sometimes change into something more intimate in the evening but at least the engine has been humming, I feel confident, and there’s less work to do when we finally are together.
2. Learn the art of sexting.
So much flirting can happen over a text conversation. Especially, when both a husband and wife are at work or when we find ourselves apart. Finding out what your husband loves is a great place to start. Is there a favorite body part, fantasy, or position? Finding this out will help you to find a subject to start texting with. For instance, my favorite fantasy is the poster of the movie From Here to Eternity. I want to be Deborah Kerr. So I might describe myself lying on the beach in a bikini. He responds by embellishing the story further and then back and forth we go by text. Maybe even a simple, “You looked hot today when you left for work”, is a simple and thoughtful way to share how you feel.
3. Have a calendar.
I know this sounds mundane and boring but it works for us. Sit down together and find a routine that works based on your schedule and your rhythm. Monday and Wednesday nights are off the table for us because of various work and volunteer commitments, and that helps us to know how to schedule other days of the week. As a result, I try to keep Tuesdays and Thursday nights clear of appointments and commitments. (I’m an introvert and I need my space to recharge – for him and for me!) We also take into consideration my monthly cycle and when the highs and lows will affect us. We take joy in using my hormonal highs to be fun and adventurous and use the lows to be romantic.
4. Hit the “Caffeine” button.
If you’re like me, I find it a challenge to make it to the end of the day without my tank on E. This tip is one that is easy, unless you’re like my friend who is allergic to caffeine. When I know that sex is on the calendar, a lovely trip to Starbucks or a homemade French press is in order. It gives me the energy I need to last until my children are asleep and the day’s work is behind me. Maybe a simple shower will bring some refreshment. Whatever it might be, if you’re finding yourself lagging at the end of the evening, consider a pick-me-up.
5. Don’t choose the “Headache” excuse.
This is hard and one that I’m still mastering. When I am on E, I would much rather just not talk about it at all and hope he doesn’t ask if we’re going to the bedroom. It’s harder on days when we’ve decided to have sex, and (for whatever reason) I’m not up to it. However, I’ve learned a better way to shift the plan, and it doesn’t involve headaches. It’s about vulnerability. The only reason I don’t want to have sex is because I’m exhausted, spent and have nothing left to give. I can’t imagine finding the kitchen, let alone turning the oven on. In these moments it is so hard for me to be open and vulnerable because it shows my weakness. I don’t have it all together. I’m not the person I want to be. But I don’t want him to feel rejected either. Over the past 13 years, we have developed a script for such occasions. It goes like this: “I’m really sorry ______(insert husband’s name). I want to be with you tonight. What if we did a rain check in the next 24-48 hours?” “Thank you for telling me and being considerate. Yes, of course.” It works like magic for us. No more fighting or going to bed feeling upset, ignored, put-upon or rejected. Plus, we both feel cared for.
I realize that for some wives sex is a physically painful experience, and if this is you, I want to encourage you to find some help or talk to a safe friend. This is such a hard struggle to deal with alone. Endometriosis and vaginismus are extremely painful conditions but there are doctors, physical therapists and acupuncturists that have seen results from these conditions. Please don’t give up.
In whatever situation you find yourself in, remember that you were created for desire and pleasure.