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It seems to be a toss up in many marriages as to what leads to little or no sex. For many wives, though, a common thread I hear unravels down to this: Not enough time and too tired. Can you relate?!
Trust me -- I get it. As I write this, I'm peering around at miscellaneous paperwork spilling off my kitchen counter, unfolded laundry in a basket on the dining room table, and a "to-do" list that acts as if its one goal in life is being a "not-ever-gonna-get-done" list.
Lack of time and lack of energy for sexual intimacy seem to be common bedfellows (no pun intended). They pal around together, as if they are conspiring to sabotage any hint of sexual intimacy. Hard to know which is the biggest hurdle, but I thought a post on 5 ways to find more time for sex might strike a chord with many of you. I could come up with a lot more than 5, but hey, this is a good start.
Here they go in David Letterman style. (I admit that number 1 is kind of my favorite).
5. Stop volunteering every time you either feel the urge or someone asks you. An intersting dynamic happens, particularly in churches, in that the same people tend to be relied upon to do most of the volunteer work. Sometimes it's to the point that the person being asked assumes that because "they have always done it" then it is now their thing (i.e., stick in any example you'd like here -- Christmas charity drive, VBS coordinator, funeral luncheon organizer, etc.)
I'm not saying that it is wrong to serve. I'm just saying there is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- noble or godly about sacrificing your marriage and your family on the altar of service. Get comfortable with saying "no" so that your "yes" has value the few select times you say it. Same holds true for volunteering at your kids' school and in your community. What needs to get done will get done. It just doesn't all have to be done by you.
4. Ask God to help you have more time for sex. Sound crazy? If you think so, you're not alone. Many Christians are embarrassed or think it is wrong to ask God to help them with sexual intimacy. But look at it this way -- sex was God's idea. He wants you to enjoy the gift, not leave it unwrapped or gathering dust in the corners of your relationship.
Sure, God isn't going to come fold your laundry. But He may help broaden your perspective to see that pushing the unfolded laundry on to the floor and making love to your husband is often the better choice. I don't think you will hear any complaints from your wrinkly-dressed husband.
3. Put your kids to work. If you as the wife and mother are shouldering every single detail, it's time for a new sheriff to roll into town. Families are not democracies. As someone said to me once, a family is a benevolent dictatorship. What this means is that mom and dad are in charge, but it's for the good of the peasants (uhh, I mean children.)
Even if you have never told your 12-year-old to unload the dishwasher, now is as good a time as any to start. Say it with love, of course, but don't ask. If you ask a 12-year-old to unload a dishwasher, you will be lucky if they even take their eyes off their iPod to acknowledge you exist. Not that I would know anything about that.
2. Create a master shopping list. Yeah, this seems like no big deal right? Truth is, we as women waste a lot of time running around chasing after things we forgot. As soon as you use a can of cream of mushroom soup, mark it on your shopping list so you will re-stock your pantry next time you go.
And without further ado, here is my number 1 way to find more time for sexual intimacy:
1. Get used to the messiness of your life. This is a toughie for a lot of people. We want things nice and in order -- toys neatly organized in plastic tubs, photo albums that are always up-to-date, laundry always done on time, kitchen counters that are free of clutter.
But you know what, the more we chase after that idea of perfect organization, the more it alludes us.
Sure, you don't want to live in squalor and you don't want to find yourself profiled on "Hoarding: Buried Alive," but for most of us regular everyday folk -- the messiness of our life simply reveals that we...uh... have a life.
I don't know about your world, but mine is scattered with Lego dudes, occasional birthday gifts wrapped in baby shower paper, and quite a few loner socks. But you know what? No one cares. My kids still show up to school dressed and fed (relatively speaking, that is). The dog's dish is rarely empty (at least not for days on end). And everyone in the house still is functioning. They even seem to appreciate the relaxation that comes with living in a home that doesn't look like a museum.
As for clean floors, no one is eating off them so I decided long ago to let go of the "floors so clean you can eat off them" fantasy. Very few of my fantasies involve floors, at least not cold kitchen floors.
Make peace with a certain level of mess. Your house is never going to be featured in Real Simple or Good Housekeeping. It's like my friend always says... "If you are coming to see me, stop by any time. If you are coming to see my house, you might want to call ahead."
Five years from now -- even five months from now -- are you going to lament about the Lego dudes scattered on the floor or about the toll on your marriage because you cared more about Lego dudes than the guy you married?
These are just some ideas, but I encourage you to do whatever it takes to move sexual intimacy up your priority list. Your heart, your husband's heart and the home and life you share will be better for it.
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Copyright 2010, Julie Sibert, Intimacy in Marriage Blog.