Sunday, March 4th, 2012
Today I lend my “dadvice” to a 30-something year-old dad with a preschooler and a toddler who admits his wife just isn’t interested in having sex with him:
“My wife has absolutely NO desire for sex, even if we have the time. She’d rather do something else she can’t while the kids are awake. How do I not take this personally? Our sex life prior to kids was always fine, although she did have same issue after our first born and then she was soon pregnant again!
I want her to enjoy it but I can tell she has yet to get there. When we do have sex, I can tell she just wants it to be hurried up and done with, if you know what I mean! I know this is super personal… but guessing we’re not the only couple dealing with this issue.”
After all, no sex for a man is the female equivalent of a husband not listening to his wife tell him about her day and not helping at all with the housework or the kids. It’s devastating and demoralizing for the guy. So let me help you.
I say that “no desire for sex” is a symptom of a bigger problem: She feels overwhelmed and needs to “break free from reality,” as Kenny Chesney puts it in his newest song. Until that can begin happening on a normal basis, she will never really have the psychological capacity for meaningful sex.
So it’s your job as the man to take charge of the situation; because it won’t be her that’s going to address this issue.
There’s somewhat of a downward vicious cycle in the case of “we’re not having sex anymore not that we have kids.” Dad is frustrated because he is so stressed from being a parent that he needs sex as a release. Mom is frustrated because she is so stressed from being a parent that she needs a release that doesn’t involve sex to even want to have to sex.
Bummer for both parties.
My first recommendation is to read another “Dadvice” article I did recently called Dadvice: Why Doesn’t My Husband Help More With Baby and Chores? I want to be sure that she doesn’t feel like she’s doing all the work as a parent and I want to make sure you have communicated with her that it’s important to help meet her expectations of you as a spouse and dad.
After you have applied that dadvice, it’s time for you and her to have a talk. Here’s the formula:
1. Acknowledge to her that even with all your help with the chores and the kids, she still needs exclusive time to herself. Then present your plan to make that happen for her on a weekly basis. It may mean sending her out on a Saturday afternoon to go shopping while you stay home with the kids. Or it could be the opposite: You take the kids out for the afternoon while she chills out at the house. Either way, give her designated time to herself which she can look forward to at least once a week where she can just relax.
2. Refer to the song “Remind Me” by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, letting her know that you are going to be reminding her of those more romantic days, starting now. Let her know that it’s not okay with you that you two become like Raymond and Debra Barone from Everybody Loves Raymond. Assure her that you want the two of you to end up being that sweet old couple still holding hands in public.
3. Explain to her the importance of having quality time with her throughout the week in ways that don’t involve sex; but instead, meaningful conversations beyond those that occur during the commercials between American Idol. Help distract her from “real life.” Try reading a book together before you go to bed; maybe even a book on communication in marriage. I have to believe she will appreciate your sincere efforts to strengthen your relationship like that.
It’s not a matter of her not being physically attracted to you or a need for Spanish fly. You just have to be able to take control of this situation by confronting the real issue, which is not sex; but instead everything preventing her from even thinking about sex.
Would you like to ask me for “dadvice” to be featured here on The Dadabase?
Just shoot me an email to nickshell1983@hotmail with the word “dadvice” in the subject line so I’ll know it’s not spam. Even if I decide not to use your question as part of my Dadvice franchise, I’ll still at least privately answer you; whether you’re a mom or dad.