Save Your Sex Life

Renewing romance and rekindling desire

7 Simple Secrets to Keeping a Relationship Sexy

Make your vision of couples bliss a reality.

As a wife with two small children I completely understand the lack of time and attention that gets paid to my sex life. It's not that I’m not interested in having sex: I like sex, it feels good, and I would be happy to have more time for more of it.

But when?

Time is a key problem when we are working, raising kids, and trying to maintain a marriage. It's hard work and I want to try to work smarter, not harder, at having a good marriage and sex life.

The following is a list of what I've found to work well for me. It's all about making time for everything in a simple format—time for me, my work, my kids and my husband.

  1. Work on a Relationship and Sex Vision

    This is a shared vision for our marriage—our goals, our sexual relationship, and where we are trying to go. So many couples don't discuss what they are trying to accomplish personally and in the relationship. Where are you hoping to be in a year? What about in five years? What rituals do we participate in as a family or as a couple?

    Couples with strong marriages report a solid underlying friendship rooted in discussing things like this mutual vision. Talk about it as a point of discussion on a date night (see below). Take some notes about it and post it on the fridge to remind yourself what you guys are moving towards.

  2. Schedule Time With Your Friends

    This not directly about your sex life. However, the best measure of happiness is living a balanced life. Trying to schedule time to see my girlfriends, even just monthly, can be tricky but it feeds my soul. It’s through time with them that I feel normal about my own situations and struggles. It’s also good to get their opinions about work, parenting, and relationships that help me to go on with this stage of my life. Sometimes we meet for cocktails; sometimes we work out together. Having people to talk to about our difficulties can be so helpful. Having friends a little bit older can also be good—you can talk with them about how they did it, and came out alive. You will be happier as a person if you have friendships in your life, so take them time to make that happen.

  3. Put a Weekly Date Night on Your Calendar

    You've probably heard this before, but with good reason: This tip alone has contributed to saving my marriage and my sex life, and that of many others. This weekly time for my husband and I to go to dinner and talk has helped to keep us connected with each other’s lives. The point of date night is to have some uninterrupted time that is precious to hang out with the one you love. At these dinners, I have heard about his hopes, dreams, and goals. I’ve learned who he works with and about the politics in his office. I’ve heard about his struggles and gained an understanding of my ability to help him. We are very different on a date than we are in our house. At home there are interruptions, fights over toys, and crises over baby formula and spit-up. On dates, it’s time for thoughtful discussion and being served food that neither of us has to make or clean up. The cost of date night—including the money spent on babysitting—is the best investment we have made in our marriage. It's a lot cheaper than divorce.

  4. Schedule Time at the Gym

    I enter workouts as appointments in my phone—otherwise it’s not going to happen. Going to the gym is key to a good sex life because it makes me feel toned, tight, and in shape. Plus my stamina for sex is better, I have more energy, and I’m not grossed out when my husband touches me because I at least feel like I am making an effort. Twice a week is better than nothing (as I tell myself).

  5. Wear Sexy Panties Under Your Mom/Work Clothes

    Wearing nice underwear helps me to connect with being sexual and being a sexy person. Nothing screams unattractive like big beige underpants. You have to wear those right after giving birth, but strive to get back into your Hanky Pankies—you will feel better about yourself and ready for anything.

  6. Keep the Kids out of Your Bed

    Once in a while a family bedtime feels nice. Its not nice, though, when it becomes a nightly routine that leaves no room for intimacy or touching between spouses. Many couples I see in my marriage counseling practice have failed to keep this boundary in the bedroom. Sex has deteriorated when kids are free to sleep in the bed—which isn’t good for them or for their parents. My suggestion: Transition the baby out of your bedroom and get a lock for your door so older children learn to knock and respect privacy.

  7. Be the Spouse you Want Them to Be

    My philosophy of marriage is that you don’t pick the right partner—you are the right partner. Put that into practice by being cool, thoughtful, and nice. Let your partner know you appreciate their help—that they're good parents and spouses. When people feel accepted, they want to be closer. If you have complaints or criticisms, frame them positively, such as, "Will you do this instead of that?” Follow up conflicts with solutions to move forward.

Finally, if you feel things are off track, or that resentments and anger have built up to an overwhelming level, get some help. Marriage counselors can help you both navigate the course. Find a qualified Marriage & Sex Therapist at www.AASECT.org

Lisa Thomas is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and AASECT Certified Sex Therapist practicing in Greenwood Village, Colorado.

more...

Subscribe to Save Your Sex Life

Current Issue

Love & Lust

Who says marriage is where desire goes to die?