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 some porn site or some site that will tell you to watch porn! So I think it’s best to be open and honest, since God created it, after all.
Here is an interesting study I came across recently: 25% of people reported being too tired to have sex. That doesn’t surprise me. In fact, I’m surprised it’s not higher. I remember when the children were little, and didn’t sleep, and I was so desperate to get at least 6 hours 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 my need for sex.
So let’s talk about that today: 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 husband, 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. I talked about this in my book, Honey, I Don’t Have a Headache Tonight.
Steps to follow to ensure enough energy
We all have internal batteries that need to be replenished. And too often we drain them, but we do nothing to recharge. So if you want to feel alert with your hubby:
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 everyday to talk with a friend, or go out for coffee after dinner with her. If you’re an introvert, and you need time alone, tell your husband this, and ask if he can do the bedtime routine so that you can have a bubble bath. 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 dad for a while, and he’ll be happier if you’re available to him later.
2. Find Someone to Watch the Kids. Hopefully your husband will cooperate, especially when he realizes that he’s getting something out of the deal! But if he won’t, take the initiative to get some help. Find a teenager in your neighborhood to watch the children for two hours after school 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 your mother or your sister to watch the children for a while. Find someone to be your ally!
3. Snatch 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, doing a craft, having a bubble bath, or just praying. When you do have free time, use it for you, don’t only 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, 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 husband? He needs YOU, not just clean laundry. And when you feel connected to your husband, you also feel more energetic and more excited to get that housework 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 husband needs to stop. We all need downtime. Make sure you have some.
6. Practice the art of compartmentalization. Men are wonderful at keeping things in their place. They’re not as distracted nearly as much as we are because they’re not naturally trying to multi-task. We do. We multitask naturally, all the time. And believe me, sex is not a good time for multitasking! You should not be writing grocery lists in your head while you’re being intimate. You should not be planning vacations while he’s kissing you. When you are with your husband; make sure you are REALLY there. Concentrate on what he’s saying. Concentrate on how he feels. And 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 thus too much constantly going through our brains. Turn off the constant noise in your brain 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 about your marriage. You should be enjoying your husband. Are you? If not, learn to! Make it a priority. And turn everything else off!