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Marriage Minute – Need advice on a sensitive topic….

“Hi – I saw your column on Marriage Minute and wondered if you could help with this issue. I’ll try to keep this topic as kid-friendly as I can since you might be posting this. My husband and I are in a slump “recreationally”, so to speak. I’m worn out after being with the kids all day and I dread the conversation we seem to have every night. He wants to. I don’t. I’m staying up late just to avoid falling asleep at the same time. Are other moms going through the same thing? I don’t want to drive him away, but I just am not in the mood. Do you have any ideas or advice for me? – Sincerely, G.B., The Woodlands”


Dear G.B. –

“Recreation” is a level 10 on the intimacy scale.  Most relationships hover around a 1 or a 2 with their daily interactions… i.e. kiss goodbye at the door, basic conversation about daily life. etc.  Part of your problem can be making the leap between a 2 and a 10.  If the kids are pawing at you all day, your appetite to be touched will be less than zero.  Understand, first and foremost, that intimacy with your husband is a very different kind of touch.  Energy is shared not drained

Here is the plan I’d like to see you try.  Pick one night of the week.  That is the night you both agree to it.  The other 6 nights, no asking.  On that 7th night, both of you clean yourselves up.  Shave your legs and put on something slinky.  Make sure the kids are sound asleep and lock the bedroom door.  If there’s a relative they can sleep over with, all the better for uninhibited vocalizing.

Put on some music that you both like.  Then set a timer for 5 minutes.  For those 5 minutes, nothing is allowed by kissing.  After those minutes are up, your interest should be peaking too.  Have at it.

To conclude the evening, take a bubble bath or shower together.  Let him wash your hair and wash his.  Continue the intimacy level as high as you can keep it.  Pile up in bed and watch a movie together, something fun like Couple’s Retreat.

The next morning, your level 1 kiss goodbye at the door will feel like a 5 or 6 still.  By the time your “night” rolls around again, you’ll be excited to see it return.  The other 6 nights you can snuggle up and sleep at the same time, worry-free of that tug-of-war.

And to get the ball rolling, copy and paste these directions in an email.  Tell him you discovered this question online that someone else was going through and you thought it sounded fun.  Ask him to try this with you.  Pick the night when you ask him, aka “Let’s try this on Wednesday…” One confirmed night of yes each week is better than a month of begging.  He’ll agree.

When you’re ready for more than once a week, ask him to add an additional scheduled night.  If you think he can handle a surprise night without falling off the schedule wagon (and begging for it every night again), then go ahead and surprise him.  While it’s a general rule that men don’t like surprises, this is one exception to that standard.


-Date Night