Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

I’ll be completely honest: 2020 was not great for my wife’s and my sex life. I remember almost a year ago when this all started and there were so many jokes and memes going around about lockdowns and how there was sure to be a massive baby boom nine months later.

Well, that was definitely not the case for us.

Ironically, the more time my wife and I have spent stuck in the house together, the less interested we are in being intimate. Scratch that—the less interested she is in being intimate (I honestly can’t think of a time I haven’t been interested in sex with her).

It doesn’t help that we haven’t had a date night since last March, there’s no family nearby to help out or give us a break, and we have young children who are incredibly demanding of our time and attention. Add to that a lot of general uncertainty and angst about the fate of the world and needless to say, by the time we finally get the kids down for bed every night the last thing she wants is to be romantic with me.

I get it. I really do.

I know when she’s tired and stressed and anxious—which she was frequently during 2020 and has been into 2021—sex is the last thing on her mind.

I know she really does enjoy having sex with me, but there are so many factors that go into her receptiveness to it: timing, energy levels, mood, how much the kids have driven her insane that day, etc.

It’s a lot harder for her to push all those things to the back burner and get into the mood than it is for me.

At the same time, sex is really important for me to feel connected to her. To me, emotional intimacy and sexual intimacy go hand-in-hand. It’s not just about the physical pleasure, either—other aspects of our marriage benefit when we choose to prioritize regular sex. I find myself feeling happier, calmer, and more patient with the kids. Plus, I just find her irresistibly sexy and attractive.

So, after a pretty long lull in our sex life last year, I decided to do something about it. Here are the three things that worked for getting our sex life back on track, even in the middle of a global pandemic:

Please note that I am neither an expert nor a licensed professional, so I can only speak from my own personal experience.

Let her know what you need. I would highly recommend starting with this. Have you actually tried talking to your wife about sex? Like, recently? Like, since the pandemic started a year ago? Because I hate to break it to you, but she’s not a mind reader, and just willing her to be interested isn’t going to magically manifest itself into being.

I feel like society in general has the totally wrong perception of how this is supposed to go. Initiating sex isn’t like a scene out of a Hollywood movie, although there are definitely times for that. A pandemic has not been one of them for us.

As forced and uncomfortable as it felt to give voice to my thoughts about sex, I brought them up with my wife one evening when she was reading quietly on the couch. Notice, I did not bring them up in the middle of making dinner, or when we were trying to get the kids into bed, or while we were fighting. I have learned that the hard way.

I simply told her I miss having sex with her, I wanted to make it more of a priority going forward, and could we please come up with a plan for what we could do individually and as a couple to make it happen.

She was surprisingly receptive and agreed to have a conversation where she shared some of her own feelings, concerns, and suggestions for improving our sex life.

Find a time that works best for you both. Our kids are basically our alarm clocks every morning, so the chance of my wife and I enjoying morning sex is approximately 0%. Some mornings I’m up at 4:15 a.m. to go to the gym, and I’m pretty sure if I tried to snuggle in and pull a move on her then, she’d smother me with a pillow. By the same token, we are both usually so exhausted at night from making it through another day in pandemic America that we just want to roll into bed and go to sleep.

So, we’ve had to get creative. I’ve found that my wife is most likely to be receptive and into sex during the afternoon. I’m not talking about naptime necessarily, because that’s sacred time for her and she has made it clear that it’s her “me time,” which means a break from anyone and anything touching her, asking her for anything, etc.

Which definitely rules out sex.

So our compromise is usually sex right before dinner. We typically let the kids watch some TV to keep them out of the way while we meal prep, and while they’re zoned out in front of Blippi or Cocomelon, we’ll sneak off and get in a quickie. Same goes for the lull between dinner and bedtime. If it’s a lowkey evening and the kids are busy playing or watching something, we’ll take advantage of the free moments. It might not be as romantic or leisurely as we’d like, but we’re both happy and reinvigorated—me, because I got to have sex with my wife, and her, because she got to have sex with her husband and didn’t sacrifice any of her limited and precious alone time or sleep.

Ultimately, it’s about figuring out what works best for you as a couple.

If you both strive to get up before the kids in the morning, give sex a go then. If you’re night owls, that might work great. If you’re both currently working from home, maybe you can schedule a “meeting” or a “long lunch,” and take advantage of an opportunity you wouldn’t have pre-pandemic.

All I can say is that it’s worth it to be flexible, even if it’s not your ideal experience of romantic bliss. Don’t let perfection be the enemy of good, and I’m pretty sure some smart guy said at some point that some sex is always better than no sex, so I’ll take it when and where I can get it, thank you very much.

Give her a break. I’m not talking about taking the kids outside for a 20-minute walk while she does the dishes or cleans up in peace and quiet (although I’ve found this is always very much appreciated).

Offer to take the kids for the morning—or the entire day if you really want to score big—on the weekend. Encourage her to sleep in, take a Zoom workout class, then go get a coffee and sit in the car by herself and talk to friends on Marco Polo (at least, this is what my wife does). Somehow, shockingly, she is always in such a better mood when comes back.

And somehow—again, shockingly—she is so much more inclined to want to have sex with me when she has had some time to recharge by herself.

A final note on this: if you can wing it, I would highly recommend giving her a night or weekend away as a Valentine’s Day gift, because I bet she’ll jump your bones right there and then.

Still stumped? Check out our guide of 20 thoughtful Valentine’s Day gift ideas to make your wife feel loved.

 

If you enjoyed this article, you may also like:
Sorry Men, Sex is Not a Reward
3 Reasons Your Wife is Unhappy
I Wish My Wife Knew How Much I Love Having Sex With Her

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

His View From Home

Real stories for real men. We're His View From Home.

Dear Husband, I Choose You Every Day for the Rest of Our Lives

In: Marriage
Couple laughing by the water

We renewed our vows yesterday. Not with a big party in front of all our family and friends. I didn’t put on a white dress, there was no tux, and we didn’t pay for a hall or buy a new wedding band. We renewed our vows in front of a sink full of dirty dishes, with the washer and dryer going,  just the two of us, under a sign that says “in this kitchen we dance.” Our kids were bickering in the background, and we looked at each other with “how did we get here?” in our eyes. But then...

Keep Reading

Some Days We’re Strangers, Some Days We’re Stronger

In: Marriage
Smiling couple embracing

Some days we’re strangers. Some days we’re stronger. It’s a feeling I’ve stumbled across in my marriage, particularly after we became parents. Some days, I look across the room and see a superhero. Other days, it feels like I’m looking at someone I barely recognize. I often look in the mirror and say the exact same things about myself. Every day tells a different story. We are faced with different versions of ourselves as parents . . . and partners. It may sound harsh, but it’s the honest truth. I also know I wouldn’t trade a moment of either day...

Keep Reading

To the Military Spouses Making it Work

In: Living, Marriage, Motherhood
Military spouses hug with child hugging legs

Last night, after I’d read the first half of the same two board books over and over to the twins and settled them in their cribs, I laced up my running shoes and ran out into the hot night. Dusk was collecting beneath the blackberry bushes and clusters of fireflies were testing their flashers in the tree line. Even the breeze, frothing up the treetops, felt like the opening of an oven on my face. I made it all the way around the lake before the path disappeared in the dark. David had just finished reading Little House on the...

Keep Reading

You Make Our Marriage Work and I Love You More than Ever

In: Faith, Marriage
Husband and wife, smiling, selfie, color photo

I used to write love letters to you. I’d sit in my dorm room for hours, penning pages of poems that you’ve apparently kept in a drawer in our bedroom closet ever since. Recently, you mentioned you miss that girl. We laughed because neither of us knew you would turn out to be the sentimental one. And I was thinking, but never said, that the older, more cynical version of me has no idea how to write a love poem anymore. I look at love differently now. I’m different now. We’ve waded through years of never-before-known territory—sometimes treacherous, often mundane,...

Keep Reading

This Middle Love

In: Marriage
Husband and wife standing in stone courtyard, black-and-white photo

I look at you, and I can’t really remember our beginning anymore. That exciting, bubbly feeling that accompanied our firsts in everything has faded to a consistent and faithful hum. Here now, in the weeds of life—the thick of parenting, the building of our life stage—all the years of struggling to make it. Here we are, often so tired, but still trying- sometimes searching for the excitement of how it used to be. This middle of our love—a little bit worn with the years, but somehow stronger than it was when it began. A little like our favourite blanket, no...

Keep Reading

The Only Fights I Regret Are the Ones We Never Had

In: Living, Marriage
Couple at the end of a hallway fighting

You packed up your things and left last night. There are details to work out and lawyers to call, but the first step in a new journey has started. I feel equal parts sad, angry, scared, and relieved. There’s nothing left to fix. There’s no reconciliation to pursue. And I’m left thinking about the fights we never had. I came down the stairs today and adjusted the thermostat to a comfortable temperature for me. It’s a fight I didn’t consider worth having before even though I was the one living in the home 24 hours a day while you were...

Keep Reading

He’s Not the Man I Married, but I Love the Man He’s Become

In: Marriage
Husband and wife, posed color photo

There is a long-standing joke in our family about my first husband. It goes something like this, “My first husband never watched football.” This is said on the rare occasion when my guy decides to sit down and watch a college football game. We both laugh because neither of us has been married more than once. Instead, this joke is aimed at all the ways we have changed over the years of being together. We married very young—I was 15 and he was just a week past his 17th birthday. Life was difficult with both of us still in high...

Keep Reading

Thank You for This Sacrificial Love

In: Marriage
Bride and groom, color photo

To lay down one’s life, according to the Bible, is the greatest expression of love. Jesus laid down His life for us by dying on the cross. God loves us so much that He sent His only son to die for humanity. As Jesus laid down his life for us, so Scripture commands husbands to lay down their lives for their wives. It’s a heavy responsibility placed on the husband to die to himself, to his desires, to his flesh, to love and serve his wife. A husband ought to love sacrificially, and that is exactly the man I married....

Keep Reading

I Hope Heaven Looks like 3128 Harper Road

In: Grief, Living, Loss, Marriage
Husband and wife, posed older color photo

Jeannine Ann Eddings Morris grew up in western Kentucky as the oldest daughter of hard-working parents, who both worked at the Merritt Clothing factory. Jeannine was the oldest of 23 grandchildren who proudly belonged to John B. and Celeste Hardeman. John B. was a well-known preacher who traveled all over the South to share the gospel. Life as a child was as humble as one might expect for the 1940s. Jeannine was the oldest of four children, spanning a 13-year age range. To hear her talk, her childhood and teenage memories consisted of mostly reading every book she could find...

Keep Reading

Overcoming Conflict Builds a Marriage that Lasts

In: Marriage
Couple sitting together on couch, color photo

I would never have admitted to being afraid of conflict back then. Not in my marriage anyway. I’d read all the books about how marriage is hard work and conflict is normal and I knew we were definitely the exception. But then at some point that first year, I realized two things: we were not the world’s most exceptional couple after all, and I was, indeed, afraid of conflict.  If we argued, even after I’d apologized a million times, I was very afraid I had failed. Like I had torn a little piece off our marriage that couldn’t ever go back. So...

Keep Reading