What may seem like ‘Too Much Information’ was actually a practice in marital harmony. Last year at the start of the new year as we were contemplating our resolutions, my husband suggested why don’t we resolve to enjoy sex everyday. At first I laughed, but then when I thought about how hard marriage can be and how we all get trapped into mundane routines, it seemed like the perfect way to battle the monotony that plagues so many marriages. Plus when it comes to resolutions, I know I, like most people, typically think of what to give up, improve, or nullify from my life. So the fact that this particular challenge wasn’t about ‘giving up something’ but rather about enjoying one of life’s and marriage’s gifts that we so often take for granted, seemed like a fun challenge. Imagine making this fruit of marriage a priority just like carpool and feeling a little more lighthearted and refreshed each day. Imagine being so annoyed with your spouse that the last thing you want to do is look at them, yet putting your pettiness aside to be intimate. Imagine having to get creative due to work and parenting schedules. Imagine enjoying one the best perks of life with the one you love with freedom and excitement. During our married years my husband and I have never suffered from a mundane sex life, we had averaged about 3x a week and it was typically pretty great, but like any married couple – careers and kids take a toll and sometimes you are just exhausted. The idea of increasing our average, well, that was exciting and proved to be pretty challenging too. We did not make all 365 days, but we did achieve a little over 80% of the calendar year. Here is what we learned:
1. Don’t Get Mad, Just Get In Bed – In the past if we had been mad at each other, we would have simply rolled over and gone to sleep. With this challenge we found ourselves more committed to intimacy than being mad. Being mad just didn’t seem as important and typically we would forget what we were mad about afterwards.
2. The Nighttime May Not Always Be The Right Time – Anyone with children knows that on a typical night you are usually just flat out exhausted and the thought of having sex is not on the brain. I know plenty of couples who swear by ‘afternoon delight’. If you can take a lunch while the kids are at school to meet at home – voila what a delight.
3. Take A Vacation And You May Get To Practice Two-A-Days – A week long trip to the Yucatan Peninsula and we felt like we were newlyweds again. No schedule made for lots of playtime throughout the day.
4. Nothing Is Perfect – 2 months in and the whole family was sick which meant no hanky panky for about a week. Plus we are human, sometimes you are just tired. And of course due to work travel schedules there just wasn’t the opportunity to do it everyday. We did make up some days here and there, but even without a perfect score (which obviously is probably not possible) it was a fun resolution and lesson in intimacy – intimacy doesn’t have to be sex, it revived our pillow talk which was all but extinct and seemed just as intimate.
5. The Bedroom Should Be About Doing 2 Things: Sleeping and ‘It’ – We have no TV in our bedroom and with this challenge made a rule on ‘no laptops’. We all know how hard intimacy can be, it doesn’t need anymore distractions.
6. Make It A Priority Just Like Other Marital Responsibilities – If nothing else it is nice reminder that just like cooking family dinner, praying together, taking little ones to piano practice, and getting everyone out the door in the morning – intimacy should be an essential and enjoyable part of our daily marital routine.
7. It’s Good For Your Health – It lowers your risk of heart attack. Raising your heart rate through sex helps keep your estrogen and testosterone levels in balance. Also, intimacy (hugging, kissing, or sex) releases your body’s natural “feel-good hormone” which reduces stress. And have you ever noticed how well you sleep after sex? We did and good sleep goes a long way in feeling better each day.