Many wives feel like they have zero margin for physical intimacy with their husbands!
The last two weeks, we have been looking at physical intimacy in marriage.
In post # 1 we looked at 5 Verses to Encourage a Couple’s Sex Life and in post #2 I shared 6 Tips to help the wife who desires more physical intimacy than her husband.
Today I want to look at how to plan our days, so we have the margin for physical intimacy.
Because we can talk about sex all day long but without some thought and intentionality, intimacy will not happen.
In the spirit of openness, I want you to know that my husband and I are a work in progress in the areas I’ll address below.
I wish I could tell you that we have nailed it. But we are like most couple’s; in the trenches of learning to prioritize intimacy through the different seasons of life.
So how can we better plan, so we have energy for our husbands at night?
Here are 5 tips
1. Take a few minutes to wind down at the end of the day
Someone wrote in the comments last week and said: “I have defiled my marriage bed so many times by having so much to do at the end of the day (that) I’m exhausted, and all I want to do is sleep.”
Can you identify?
I do. I work for myself and the line between work, and home can get blurry. Like the wife above, my commitments can flow well into the night.
And I think it’s no different if you work outside the home. We leave the physical office but take it back home with us. And it’s no wonder grocery lists have been drawn, and office meetings planned in the middle of intimacy.
Hard as it may seem, impossible as it may sound, the small gap between your work day and evening is vital for your sex life. You cannot jump from office mode (or mom mode, or school mode) to wife mode.
Winding down is a process of the mind and heart which affects your body. It involves making a conscious decision to let go of the cares of the day and to embrace the moment.
The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 5:19
“Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil–this is a gift of God”
Rest is a gift from God, but like every gift, we have to accept it. As wives, we have to “accept our lot and be happy with our toil” at the end of the day, instead of obsessing about the undone and dragging the day into our beds.
A few tips for winding down in the evening.
– Pray. Ask God to help you let go of the day. Release yourself into His care. Remember that He not only gives you the ability to work a job (or be a mommy or run a business or go to school), He also gives you the capacity to enjoy them.
And enjoying them includes being able to draw boundaries, so they don’t bleed into each other.
– Pamper yourself. You’ve been up to your eyeballs the whole day, maybe even well into the evening when hubby gives you that look and you want to weep because you are so tired.
Enter “the great escape” – a savior for the busy wife. Escape doesn’t have to last an hour, even 5 minutes (or less) will do. A few moments to yourself is all you need.
Lock the bathroom door, sit in silence, breathe deeply (seriously, try it – inhale deeply using your abdomen, pushing out your stomach while you breath in and pulling it back on exhale), dash some perfume behind your ears, listen to a song, pray, comb your hair.
Do something, to soothe your mind, calm your body and awaken your senses.
The goal for winding down is to create a gap, a transition point between a busy day and your couple time.
2. Minimize distractions
A few months I ago I started to get irritated a few minutes after my husband got home from work. It didn’t take long to connect the dots; husband relaxing on the couch, me fixing dinner and cleaning the previous night’s dishes in the kitchen.
You probably don’t understand why that would bother me, so let me explain; I don’t like chores, and my primary love language is acts of service.
So this was the situation – I worked hard through the day, but unfortunately fell out of my trusty cook-before-hubby-gets-home routine.
So when Tommy came home at night and put up his feet in front of the TV, it did not go down well. I felt I deserved to put up my feet too. Or at least get some help.
One evening I felt the Lord say “You should probably think about completing your kitchen chores earlier to avoid feeling rushed and angsty once your husband gets home.”
SO. To have the margin (and attitude) for intimacy at night, we just have to plan better. Sort out our least favorite task when our energy levels are high instead of putting it off until the last minute (night time).
Also, remember you don’t have to do everything right-now-this-minute. If it can wait, it can wait.
Here are few suggestions to help you cut out distractions so you can transition from work mode to wife mode.
– Switch off the internet on your phone to minimize gadget distractions.
– If that doesn’t work, leave your phone in another room. Out of sight, out of mind
– Be near your husband. You probably have things to do in the evening, but make your default spot next to your spouse.
Do your thing, but come back to your spot next to him. I’ve discovered that just hanging out next to my husband is its own relaxation and wind down. It encourages us to talk, to connect.
– As you hang out, be generous with physical touches. Back rubs, holding hands.
The goal is to cut out or at least minimize distractions so you can relax and wind down from your day so you can focus on one another and increase the chances of intimacy later.
3. Go to bed at the same time
If it were up to my husband, he would go to sleep at 2 am every day; he’s the night owl, especially during basketball season.
In most marriages, one spouse is a night owl while the other is a morning bird. One of the easiest ways to make sure you have any intimacy is to observe similar bedtimes.
Because it doesn’t matter how much you want to make love; unless you are together, it will not happen.
If this seems like an impossibility due to various things going on in your life, try to observe similar bedtimes most days of the week.
If one of you likes to sleep late, you can still go to bed at the same time, talk, pray, snuggle, even go further *wink* and if the late-sleeper still wants to stay up, they can sneak out after.
The goal of this post is to help you structure your days and evenings better. If different sleeping patterns are the problem, figure out how to harmonize them, even a few days a week.
For those who work in shifts, you might have to get more creative, and I hope the other points help.
4. Schedule sex
You probably just broke down and cried. Plan for sex? Why, who does that!? We are early-weds, remember!?
A great sex life, the kind that remains excellent after the early months and years, does not happen by accident. It takes planning.
We are busy people, and when we max out our strength on everything else, intimacy is the first thing to suffer.
So, it is not enough to want to make love; you need to plan for it; put it on the calendar if you are a calendar type of couple. Talk about it with your husband. Look at your week and set a sex date.
The great thing about scheduling sex is that it takes the guess work out of the week. You can make love any day of the week, but if all else fails, you have at least one (or two) days scheduled.
And if something comes up on your “love day” (find a name for it, in code!), you can excuse yourself with a sweet straight face “I am sorry I have a meeting this Wednesday evening.”
The other advantage is that you can plan for it – like day-dream about it during the day and make plans like we mentioned the other week.
There’s a place for spontaneity in marriage. But a great marriage and love life are intentional.
5. Take advantage of other times
Intimacy does not have to happen at night, in your bed, under the bed-sheets, the same time, everything the same all year round.
Most couples (yours truly included) have a tried and tested routine for intimacy, and they find it difficult to deviate from it. But no sailor discovered new islands without first having the guts to leave familiar shores.
Heard of quickies? Yup, they are marriage savers when you are short of time. You will not find better use for 5 minutes of your day (just remember to bring some lubrication)
Have some free time over the weekend? Indulge yourselves, go buffet style instead of fast food
Able to save some money for a small staycation at a local hotel? Revivals have taken place in hotel rooms.
Want to bless your early-bird hubs with some morning glory? Go to bed early and surprise him in the morning
With just a little planning, creativity, sacrifice (e.g. a hotel stay) and thought, you can revive and increase the likelihood of intimacy in your marriage.
It’s true that marriage has seasons, and some of you may be in very busy periods of life. Nonetheless, our goal should be to make some effort to prioritize the relationship, regardless of the season.
If you struggle with the idea of prioritizing your marriage please read this post.
Your turn! Let’s chat, what other routines have helped you most in your marriage? What can you add to what I have shared? Let’s talk in Comments!
*Want to learn how to prioritize your marriage and grow as a wife? My book Blues to Bliss: Creating Your Happily Ever After In The Early Years can help! Learn how to pursue God and your man and intentionally create the marriage of your dreams, so you can enjoy marriage as God intended ! Click here to learn more and find purchase links.
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Linking with Wedded Wednesday