Friends, it’s time for me to get real with you.
I admit it: I’ve been holding back. When readers have asked how my husband and I have kept our marriage strong through 17 years, divorce, remarriage, and five children, I’ve mostly talked about the emotional stuff: respect, partnership, friendship, forgiveness, support, trust; and the practical stuff, like strategies for making time for each other in the hustle of parenting.
And yes, all of that is important.
But, due to my shyness when it comes to talking publicly about certain private things, I haven’t shared a big, crucial part of the puzzle.
And I’ve done you all a disservice, because while friendship, partnership, respect, and trust are critical to a great marriage, there’s another reason my marriage is solid, close, and fun even with how chaotic our lives can be and how much we’ve been through:
We have sex.
Not only that, but – oh golly, I can’t believe I’m writing this on my blog –
We have a lot of sex.
This didn’t happen by accident, or because we are just two nympho fiends who can’t keep our clothes on.
Yes, like most young couples we went through a period where we barely left the bedroom. But then life happened, and children happened, and hormone shifts from carrying and nursing babies happened, and exhaustion happened.
And at some point, all that early-on intensity waned.
Like many couples, we went through several periods where I wasn’t interested, which made him feel needy, which made me feel annoyed, which made him feel rejected, and so on and so forth: the predictable downward no-sex spiral I know many of you understand so well.
At some point it became clear that, if we were going to continue to have a strong sex life, we were going to have to actively work to make that happen.
And we needed to do that. Because let’s be clear, here: sex matters. You may have forgotten that if you’re in the middle of a hormone-induced dry spell, but as a friend of mine often says, “sex makes everything better.”
In addition to the obvious physical benefits, it’s an opportunity to connect. To work through tensions and hit the reset button. It’s good for you.
And while your definition of “enough” and your partner’s definition of “enough” may never fully jive, it’s worth putting in the effort to find a compromise. Because satisfying, regular sex is something couples really need.