RELATIONSHIPS

You may need to schedule your sex life

Mo and Phindi gives tips for how get more physical intimacy in a marriage

PREMIUM

In the course of marriage, we can get so busy with life and become preoccupied with many things that divert our attention away from what matters at home.
We further our studies, run businesses, climb the corporate ladder and take on more social responsibilities at church, our children’s schools, the community, sports clubs and so on.
Add children to the mix, and with them added fatigue, body image issues and more physiological chemical changes not conducive to sexy time, and most of us feel like a total desire dud.
The truth is that at some point in the course of life, many couples experience phases of pressure, both at and outside of home.
The length, as well as the severity of that season can cause a strain in a relationship, sometimes causing it to buckle.
Physical intimacy usually becomes one of the first casualties under these circumstances.
A loss of interest in sex is often not even about whether you love your spouse or not. It’s usually about the different sets of priorities you have.
It’s also about having starkly opposing libidos, which often drive couples against the wall.
A marital sex problem is like a canary in a coal mine, a warning that danger lies ahead. Absence of physical intimacy in a marriage can be a devastating source of anxiety and frustration, and trigger couple’s insecurities.
It may even trigger a the spouse’s insecurities, and in the long run, have damaging effects on your self-confidence.
If life is getting in the way of cultivating physical intimacy with your spouse, then scheduling time for it might just be the key.
You may have a rough start – and not in a Fifty Shades of Grey sort of way.
You may have to re-learn how to turn towards each other afresh, since you may already be used to living like brother and sister.
Not making time to cultivate physical intimacy even during stressful seasons of your relationship has untold consequences, even more so if this becomes a way of life.
Many couples – and often one partner – ultimately lose interest in one another and may even pursue that interest outside of marriage.
Often the idea of scheduling sex, whenever we suggest it as a solution to couples, is met with resistance.
Scheduled sex isn’t romantic
There is this idea that scheduled sex isn’t sex – basically, it’s missing something. But whether you know about it or not, you schedule sex implicitly throughout the year.
Birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day and date nights generally come with an expectation of sex.
If you are unromantic anyway, don’t blame it on scheduled sex.
You don’t just show up to bed and say “okay, I’m here ... let’s check this ‘to do’ off.”
Find ways to connect first. The anticipation and delay might enhance sex once you get to it.
Scheduled sex isn’t spontaneous
There’s nothing as close to a myth as spontaneous sex.
We don’t know about you, but with four kids, that doesn’t always work.
Actually, spontaneous sex happens extremely rarely in a long-term relationship like marriage. It’s unsustainable.
If you waited for spontaneous sex, you’d be back in the sexless marriage club.
It’s very rare that you’d both want to engage in sex simultaneously.
Often, sex happens because at least one partner has “scheduled” it, without talking about it with the other in advance.
Scheduled sex feels like duty sex
There are two things to remember about scheduling sex.
Firstly, the schedule should represent a minimum, not a maximum.
If your spouse starts initiating on an unscheduled day, it’s wrong to reject them purely on the basis that it is not a scheduled day. This is not a quota.
This is a declaration of a priority in your marriage.
Secondly, the schedule should not be thought of as cast in stone.
Things are going to happen. You’ll get sick, throw your back out, a child won’t sleep, you’ll have to work late, there will be a function that ends later than expected, life is going to happen.
Don’t get bent out of shape about it. Tomorrow is still another day.
People add all kinds of unnecessary and senseless stigma to scheduled sex.
Scheduled sex doesn’t mean your sex life is dead necessarily, it simply means you value that part of your relationship enough to prioritise it.
In life generally, you schedule anything you deem important.
It’s also meant to communicate commitment to your marriage and how important your spouse is in your life.
Being deliberate is an important part of being committed.
You don’t arrange a date night out of “feeling like it”. You do so with a sense of intent and deliberateness to cultivate your marriage.
Furthermore, scheduled sex makes it easier to get ready.
Knowing sex is on the schedule for tonight gives you a chance to get your spouse’s mind prepared throughout the day.
That way your spouse doesn’t have to be like, “Oh ... you want sex ... let me see if I can get out of house chore mode”. That in fact is what’s unromantic.
You could physically prepare with girl-boy parts pruned, lingerie on, and you could set the stage with candle-lit bubble bath, romantic dinner, music and aromatherapy.
Sex isn’t about an added perk of pairing up, it’s one of the things that keep us paired up.
Love, trust, marriage and commitment are all hallmarks of a good marriage, but without sex, that’s just friendship...

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