First let me say this is very safe to read. I promise. I have been debating about addressing this topic for the last few weeks. Then when I recieved this same question, 8, yes 8 times in my inbox, from different readers, in One Week, I couldn't avoid it any more.
The other 7 questions were a little more , shall we say, forth coming. Tired in Bed will represent all the questions on this topic.
Dear Family Volley, This might be a taboo subject on family volley, but I am in need of some advice! My husband wishes it was "how it used to be" back when we didn't have any kids. 4 kids later, I am tired, exhausted, not anywhere near the body shape of my 27 year old self (when we got married). I am sure there are a MILLION reasons, it "isn't the same". But I try hard to keep him happy. It is not that we don't have sex, it is just that I might not be that "excited about it" as I used to be. The temperature has to be "perfect" for us both to enjoy it.
To be honest, I am sick of trying to get to the right temperature. I just want it to go back to being fun and easy and not having so much drama around the issue. CAN YOU HELP? I don't have time to find a therapist.. Although I feel I need one!
Tired in bed. ___________________-----------------_______________________
Dear Tired in Bed,
Thank you for your "honest" question. This is a topic that very few people are willing to admit they want to work on. It sounds like you are fighting a very familiar battle. Kids and life are taking over your marriage.
First, realize that to women, subconsciously everything is related to how we feel about being intimate. Dishes aren't done, intimate. Kids were hard to handle today, intimate. The house is a mess, intimate. Husband helped with the laundry, in.tim.ate. Sometimes men don't understand that. Tell them. Explain how difficult it can be to "relax", when there are so many things that need to be done, and that are on your mind. For women a bad day means they are not interested. Men do not usually view things this same way. Women need to be shown love and attention. For women, having our husbands help shoulder our resonsiblites is much more likely to get us in the "mood".
So given that everything in our day affects how we feel about the bed room, we can make some changes in different aspects of our day that will help us more easily find the temperature we have been looking for. Struggles in the bedroom are not necesarily bed room problems. All the other problems in life tend to affect the bedroom.
Here are some suggestions....
Life in general can make us tired, but sometimes we are trying to do too much and that makes us really tired. When we are really tired we dont' have the energy to "be together". Asses your families life. Are there some things that you could cut out so you have more energy to be together. Be sure your family is not overscheduled. Activities are good, for you and your kids, but too many will mean your family is not getting stronger, instead you get weaker because there is no energy to spend with one another.
Establish a bed time for your children, and stick with it. Not only will it be better for your children, but it will give you and your husband time to be together everyday. This alone time is very important when you are trying to establish "temperatures".
When you have time together at night because the kids have a bed time you stick with, spend that time talking. Turn off the television, turn off the computer and any other technological distractions and Talk. Remember when you were courting, when things were "how they used to be". Remember when you fell in love? You probably talked a lot together. Try it again, only listen and learn as if it's the first time, and don't interrupt. You have to make time to do this on a daily basis. 15 minutes of talking daily is one of the surest ways to keep the two of you from "drifting apart". 15 minutes doesn't sound like much, but most (like 80%) of couples, don't talk to one another for 15 minutes a day. Pay attention to one another the way you used to.
Along these same lines, if you have a television in your bedroom, take it out. Let your bedroom be open to connection through words and touch.
Go on dates. Weekly. Or atleast every other week. Baby sitters are much less expensive than therapists. It is okay to leave the kids and go do something together. This sends a message to your children that your marriage is important. Hold hands, walk slow and enjoy being together. Treat eachother with kindness and respect and you will feel the temperature rise as you spend time just the two of you. This can include a night away with one another. You can't expect to retain feelings of love when you neglect your companionship.
Find things you like to do together and do them. Don't give up the things that made you so happy at the earlier phase of your marriage. Be intentional and do things together.
Say hello and goodbye to one another. When your husband leaves for work, don't just holler "bye" from the kitchen. Go to him, give him a kiss, an I Love You, and say goodbye. Connect the same way when he comes home. When you were dating I bet you wrapped your arms around him and wounldn't let go. Do that again.
Go to bed at the same time. Establish a nightly routine that allows you and your husband to climb into bed at the same time. Laugh and chat while you brush your teeth. This routine should happen everynight if possible.
This one is direct. For the next three months, you and your husband each committ to being intimate twice a week. You are responsible for initiating once, and your husband the other. When it's your turn, set the mood, the place and the time, the agenda. When it's your husbands turn, be a willing participant. You will quickly see that those two days of the week you may treat eachother better than you did when you were first married. Set aside time and make it a priority.
You should start to find that as you and your husband put more effort into finding time to be together, you feel better about yourself also. Use your alone time to compliment one another, express gratitude for all your spouse does. Thank him for all the ways he supports your family. Tell your husband how you feel when he acknowledges all the hard work you do for him and for your children.
Rekindle the flame you once had and you will see that "things will be more like they used to be".
Anyone else feel like they are always hunting for the right temperature?
Homemaker, wife and mother. My husband and I have five children. On the side I am an adjunct faculty member at Brigham Young University where I received a Masters Degree in Youth and Family Recreation. Three times a week I endeavor to teach college students the importance of families doing things together. Then I come home and try to figure out how to implement what I just taught. Believe me I know, It is a lot easier said than done. I used to speak French, wish I could dance, and will almost always choose fruity over chocolate.