FamilyLife Blog

Are You Too Tired to Have Sex?

by | Mar 9, 2020 | Marriage, Sex

I think it’s important to have a safe place where we can talk about sex in a Christian environment. If you are having issues, I really don’t want you googling it and ending up at a porn site or another site that will tell you to watch porn! So I think it’s best to be open and honest, since God created sex, after all.

Here is an interesting study I came across recently: 25 per cent of people reported being too tired to have sex. This doesn’t surprise me. In fact, I’m surprised the number isn’t higher. When my children were little, I was so desperate to get at least six hours of sleep a night (even if it was broken up), that sex was far down on my priority list. It didn’t mean we weren’t intimate; it’s just that I was far more attuned to my need for sleep than I was for my need for sex.

So what do you do when you’re exhausted and you have no time for sex?

I don’t actually think the sex part is the key to solving this dilemma. I think it’s the tired part. How do you get to the point where you are actually available to yourself and to your spouse, both with time and energy? So many things demand our attention and our energy during the day that it’s just difficult to be available at night. 

How to Become More Energized

We all have internal batteries that need to be replenished. And too often we drain them, but we do nothing to recharge. Here’s what you can do if you want to feel alert with your spouse.

1. Recharge Your Batteries Appropriately

You know the things that drain you: talking to certain people, housework, running around after kids, paid work, chauffeuring, scheduling, all the things that go into a normal life. These things aren’t necessarily bad, but you need to figure out what also charges you.

Much of this is based on personality. Some people are real extraverts, and they won’t be charged unless they get a lot of time to actually talk to people. If you need it, you don’t have to feel ashamed of it. Just schedule in some time every day to talk with a friend, or go out after dinner. If you’re an introvert and you need time alone, tell your spouse this, and ask if they can do the bedtime routine so that you can relax on your own. In other words, be realistic about what you need.

If you don’t need time alone to feel invigorated, but you need time outside, then take a jog. But don’t feel guilty for taking time away from the kids! They can stand to be with their other parent for a while, and your spouse will be happier if you’re emotionally and physically available later.

2. Find Someone to Watch the Kids

Hopefully your spouse will cooperate, especially when they realize they’re getting something out of the deal! But if not, take the initiative to get some help. Find a teenager in your neighbourhood to watch the children for two hours a few times a week so you can get some time to yourself. Don’t just use the time to do errands that won’t replenish you; put a priority on doing what you need to do to feel awake. Or ask a family member to watch the children for a while. Find someone to be your ally!

3. Make Time to Rejuvenate

Don’t let yourself come last in your list of priorities. Schedule time during the day for you to rejuvenate, whether it means taking a jog, working on your hobby, taking a nap, or praying. When you do have free time, use it for you; don’t fill it up with more “things” that you really should get done. Your marriage needs to be a priority in the list of important things to get done.

4. Keep the Long Term in View

It’s easier to spend time on yourself when you see the benefit in it. You know your marriage is important, but how much time do you dedicate to nurturing it? Do you only pay attention to all the “things” to do for your family, rather than just being there for your spouse? Your partner needs you, not just clean laundry or a mowed lawn. And when you feel connected to your spouse, you will also feel more energetic and more excited to get that house or yard work done later!

5. Say No to Over-Commitment

We all know this, but do we do it? What is making you too busy today? Is it your church, your children’s schedule, or your hobbies? Whatever is taking your priorities away from your spouse needs to stop. We all need downtime. Make sure you have some.

6. Practice the art of compartmentalization

Sex is not a good time for multitasking! You should not be writing grocery lists in your head while you’re being intimate. Vacations should not be planned during kisses. When you are with your spouse, make sure you are really there. Concentrate on what the other person is saying and how your spouse feels — and how you feel too! Above all, stop thinking about other things.

Here’s the truth: often we think we’re exhausted when the issue is we just have too much on our plate, and therefore too much constantly on our minds. Turn off the noise in your head telling you to do more. Turn on that part of your brain telling you to slow down, and practice being in the moment. You’ll find you’re less tired, and much more in the mood than when you’re always focusing on the things you “should” be doing.

The biggest “should” in your life is your marriage. You should be enjoying your spouse. Are you? If not, learn to! Make it a priority. And turn everything else off!