How to keep intimacy alive in your marriage for the long haul
Sometimes I blush when I tell people about how my husband and I got together. The PG version is that we met online, as friends, but when I saw how cute he was, I was smitten.
Here's the actual truth: When we met, the second I saw him, my only goal for the night was to get him to my bedroom. I guess I wasn't the only one thinking that since that's pretty much where our relationship mainly existed, with the occasional outside meal and meeting with friends. We just simply could not keep our hands off each other and it was amazing. So, we began with lust, a whole lotta lust. Over the course of time, we fell in love and, ta-da, then came baby. I had heard that sex tapers off sometimes in pregnancy, but for us, that wasn't an issue. We figured that we would be that rare exception, that one couple in a billion that would still be knockin' boots as often as possible with zero effort.
Ahem. Let's fast forward to now. Our last date night? We fell asleep before 11 p.m. because sleep is more important than everything nowadays.
... and that is totally OK.
So, here's the thing. Every single article out there telling you the bazillion tips on how to keep your marriage "hot" and keep the sex as frequent is just plain dumb. It's never going to be like it was before. Ever. I recently watched Sex Tape, starring Cameron Diaz and Jason Segal, who are a married couple with two kids who try to spice up their sex life by making a sex tape. In the film, Diaz's character Annie opens with, "Do you remember the first time your husband saw you naked? Do you remember what it felt like?"
She then reminisces about how he looked at her and got instantly turned on. I remember that too (well, with my husband not Jason Segal... ), and it's true, those first glances were pretty incredible. God, the way his eyes would look at me could melt an iceberg, it was that sizzling. But you know what I also remember? My inner monologue of "Oh my God, what if my belly is too big? Does he see that cellulite? OK, that's not supposed to jiggle, what is he gonna think?" Newness can be hot but man, can it be stressful too. My body isn't what it was back then, but my husband loves me and I know that he does, so that when we do get down to the nekkid time (and trust me, we still do), my focus is on enjoying him and enjoying the moment, not on wondering what he thinks about how I look.
That's the secret that all those articles are really leaving out. It's not about making sex tapes (although, that could be fun... ), or wearing sexy lingerie for an evening or planning a special date just to get it on. The secret of keeping things hot is all in the little things. The way he always buys my favorite ice cream flavor when he does the grocery shopping, or how he lets me sleep in on Sunday mornings, the times when he makes dinner without being asked and does the dishes or the adorable way he plays with the kids and doesn't squirm when it comes to changing a diaper. That, my friends, is the biggest turn on in the world.
Sure, life is busy, but kids do sleep, doors do have locks and there are grandparents' homes to drop off to. Sharing true intimacy, and having not just a spouse but a partner that you can count on and trust, that can make all the difference in the world. In fact, my husband just texted that he was bringing home dinner tonight so I don't have to cook.
Now that? The hottest text ever. Guess we'll be using the lock on our bedroom door tonight!
Disclosure: This post is part of a collaboration with Sony and SheKnows.