Let’s Talk About Sex {After} Baby :: Part 2

0

Don’t miss out on Part 1 of “Let’s Talk About Sex {After} Baby” for helpful insights into why sex during the parenting years can be especially difficult to enjoy.

Let's talk about sex - open communication is so helpful in deepening intimacy.

“Let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be . . .”

I lost count long ago of how many late-night arguments constructive conversations my husband and I have had trying to figure out how to communicate with each other about sex. By no means am I writing this blog because we have figured this out and now sex always is like a magical fairytale. We are not going to be gracing the cover of a harlequin romance novel anytime soon, I assure you. However, we keep working at it, and I can honestly say our marriage is stronger because of that. Sex isn’t the only thing that brings intimacy to a relationship. Having real, honest, vulnerable conversations does that too. Come to think of it, having kids together brings its own kind of intimacy, doesn’t it? With a bit of intentionality, the parenting years in marriage can offer a true depth. The newness may have worn off. But sexual intimacy built on a foundation of mutual trust, respect, vulnerability, and really seeing one another is much more satisfying in the long term. 

In addition to sharing about their own personal struggles, our BMC writers also compiled suggestions for how they’ve made improvements in their sexual relationships. These ideas may not get you “hot in ready in no time” (you’ll have to grab a copy of Cosmo for that article), but we hope they can help you create lasting changes in sexual intimacy.

Take some guidance from Salt-N-Pepa and talk about it! Confide in a good friend or in a trusted professional. If you are struggling to enjoy sex, don’t keep those feelings to yourself. 
  • “Thank God for therapy! That, an adjustment of my Zoloft, as well as just talking to friends about this has helped me tremendously.”
  • “I’m not an open book about my sex life, but I have a couple of friends I know I can be honest with. They remind me I’m not crazy, and have had good advice for how to make things better.”
Keep the lines of communication open with your partner.
  • “Our couples’ therapist helped me understand how the years spent exposed to ‘purity culture’ as a teenager is still impacting my feelings about sex. Talking through this together was eye-opening and really helpful.”
  • “It took a long time to work through [different sexual desires], but we eventually found our rhythm. Bottom line: One spouse needs to be able to say to the other, ‘I love you, and I’m horny.’ There is no shame in wanting or needing sex; it’s a beautiful thing!”
Education is power! Invest time in reading or listening to helpful and affirming material.
  • Some books our writers suggest include Come As You Are, Shameless, Awaken Love, and Intended for Pleasure, as well as the podcast Where’s the Intimacy?.
  • “I never felt pressured by my partner, but I would sometimes guilt myself into sex before I understood what was going on. Now I know there’s nothing wrong with either of us, we’re just different. So I’m more empowered to say what I want and need.”
Practice being intentional with your time, both with yourself and your partner.
  • “At night, I almost always take 10 minutes to stretch and relax then a warm bath . . . Those few minutes to myself to just relax and ‘shake’ the day off has helped tremendously.”
  • “This is not as fun and spontaneous (what is fun and spontaneous when you’re a parent?!), but what works for us is keeping the same night each week that’s specifically for intimacy . . . When I know that it’s our ‘special night,’ I focus on ways to put myself in the mood and focus on my husband, not all the other stressors of life. Intimacy in marriage is so important and I want to make it a priority no matter what.”
Open up to finding creative ways to make sex more fun if you’re stuck or feeling uninterested. 
  • “We’ve taken games we already enjoy and added an element of ‘sexiness’ to them to get ourselves in the mood! We also keep useful ‘tools’ beside the bed to make sex more enjoyable when I need some assistance.”
  • “Sometimes intercourse isn’t the best way for us to be intimate, depending on how my body is feeling. This means we have to be open to figuring out other ways to bring each other pleasure.”
Talk to your medical provider if sex is causing pain and discomfort you can’t seem to work around. 
  • “I’m so thankful to have found a doctor persistent enough to diagnose me and give me a plan to fix the condition. I now have hope where I had none for years.”

Above all, be gentle and compassionate with yourself and your partner if you are navigating difficulties with sexual intimacy. Anything worth doing will sometimes be difficult. Reach out to your support system and remember to keep hope alive! 

If you have suggestions or resources that have been game changers in your relationship, please feel free to share them with us in the comments below!

Let's talk about sex - things change after kids enter the picture!