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Who among us hasn't found ourselves multi-tasking -- during sex!
The number of details flowing through our brains can be downright distracting, especially during intimacy!
Sheila's post is part of my ongoing guest blog series on things that destroy sex in marriage.
Things are getting nice and steamy when suddenly, out of nowhere, the thought pops into your head: "I think we're out of vacuum bags."
And then you start wondering what else you need at the store.
Most of us women are by our very nature multi-taskers, probably more so by necessity than by choice.
At any given time, a woman must mentally and sometimes physically keep tabs on a barrage of specifics.
You could be making the grocery list AND preparing a proposal for work AND checking on the child’s homework. Needless to say, there’s a lot going on in your world.
Now, to be fair to the men, I think they too juggle quite a few details. It seems, though, the tasks many women must focus upon have daily urgency, especially if you are in charge of the calendar and anything associated with the children.
It’s just hard to step back from a relentless “to do” list and gain perspective, because honestly, sex feels like one more thing on the list.
It’s not that you don’t want to offer your body and your undivided heart and mind. It just feels impossible to give him the whole package on any given day.
If that describes how you feel, what can you do to stop the negative impact multi-tasking is having on sex in your marriage?
Nothing will dig you deeper into a hole than denial. We like to tell ourselves we can do it all well, but truth is that some things suffer.
You have to start counting the costs. Maybe instead of juggling so many balls, let a few fall – the ones that don’t have big consequences.
The health of your marriage is vital, so that’s one you don’t want to leave to chance.
Take an honest look at what you have expected from yourself as a mother, homemaker, volunteer and employee. If you have set the bar unreasonably high (maybe even bordering on perfection) in some of those areas, decide to give on a few things.
The energy and focus you will have for intimacy with your husband is worth it.
You may think I’m going to say get him more involved in wrangling some of those details, so they are on his plate and not yours. Well, that’s not a bad idea, but that’s not exactly where I’m going.
What I really mean by “enlist” his help is be frank with him about what you need to de-program and reset your mind for getting busy beneath the sheets.
If you know that a hot shower or a hot bath will relax you, then tell him that’s what you need – and ask him to help you make room for that.
If you need more foreplay to redirect your mind toward sex, then tell him you need more foreplay.
If you need to go for a walk after dinner so you can just vent all the things that are on your mind and get them out, then tell him! I explain it to my husband like this:
"Inside my head are all of these different pinballs, just like on a pinball machine, going back and forth, rattling around in my brain. If I'm going to be able to enjoy sex tonight, I've got to get those pinballs out first!"
So now we go for "pinball" walks, and it helps me get my head in the game immensely!
Sure, your brain's default is to multitask. But that doesn't mean it HAS to multitask. You just have to fight back!
And the way to do that is to get out of your brain and start focusing on your body. When you're making love, ask yourself, "What feels good right now?" Or "Where do I want him to touch right now?"
That may sound clinical, but here's what often happens to us women:
We start making love, and nothing feels that great because we're thinking of a thousand different things. We figure that if our husbands do just the right thing and are perfect lovers, they'll get us out of our heads and they'll make us feel good. So until we feel good, we'll just make a grocery list.
But your body can't feel good -- no matter what your husband does -- until you concentrate on it, because our sex drives are almost entirely in our brains. If our brains aren't engaged, our bodies won't follow.
So the answer is not for our husbands to be perfect lovers (though that can't hurt!); it's for us to fight against the grocery list and start thinking about our bodies.
That gets our brains thinking below our necks, and helps our bodies to engage. When you ask yourself, "What feels good right now?", you may just realize that something does!
And then you can go with that feeling.
Oh, and if you do figure out that something wants to be touched -- tell him!
One last thing: as busy as we are as wives and mothers and workers, sometimes we think that sex is “just for him.” As long as you show up, all is good, right? Wrong.
Sex is for you too. And beyond the obvious benefit of strengthening your marriage, it also has other awesome effects.
It helps relieve stress, contributes to your general sense of well-being, and releases healthy endorphins into your system.
And besides all that -- it helps you sleep! How many times did I say, "Not tonight, honey. I'm just exhausted," only to lie there and toss and turn because I know I've disappointed him, I'm ticked because he's ticked, and we're both not sleeping?!
But when we have sex, I sleep like a rock! So now when I'm tired I say, "Come put me to sleep, baby!"
Plain and simple, nurtured sexual intimacy can help you have a better outlook on your crazy busy life. Sex isn’t just good for your marriage. It’s good for you. And you’re worth that kind of investment.
Sheila Wray Gregoire is the author of The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex and 31 Days to Great Sex. She blogs everyday at ToLoveHonorandVacuum.com. Come on over and get her free ebook, 36 Ways to Bring Sexy Back to Your Marriage!
Copyright 2015, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.