Sex in marriage and long-term relationships can easily become routine if it happens at all, especially after kids come along. Let’s look at why routine sex in marriage is so common, and what you can do to keep the spark in your connection.
Sex In Marriage: How Life Becomes Routine
We all know that children thrive on routine, structure, and consistency.
They need parents who are steady, dependable, and responsible.
So we make our homes safe, buy sensible cars, google life insurance and ISAs.
We stop partying, stop smoking, eat more healthily.
We do this for our children, but also for ourselves.
Becoming a parent is scary, and being sensible makes us feel safer.
We make lists, buy stuff, and get prepared in order to feel better.
And then the kids come along and we spend our days holding everything together for them.
Our whole worlds change, and some days keeping control of all this can be the only thing that makes us feel like we’re on top of things.
Keeping the passion alive in this environment can be difficult, to say the least.
As Honoré de Balzac says,
“Marriage must fight constantly against a monster which devours everything: routine.”
To have satisfying, connecting sex we then have to do a complete 180: relinquish control, lean into our vulnerability, and open up to our partners.
It can be difficult to be spontaneous and take risks with each other when we’ve been working so hard to be so predictable and sensible all day.
And yet, maybe this means we need it all the more?
If we’re not careful we can lose touch with our silly, irresponsible, or unproductive sides.
Or only direct them towards our children.
Sex is where we reconnect with those parts of ourselves or rediscover them with our partners.
Good sex is about play, surrender, being in your body, feeling alive, pleasure for pleasure’s sake.
It’s about sharing something with your partner that you don’t share with anyone else.
Can you let yourself have that?
Can you enjoy sharing it again?
Routine Sex In Marriage: The Rituals That Help
Your relationship might not like routine, but it LOVES ritual.
And the rituals that keep couples connected might surprise you…
Greet and leave your partner with a hug and a kiss
Text them just to say I love you
Say please and thank you
Have a screen-free chat about your day every evening
Make regular quality time together a priority
You might be wondering what exactly all of this has to do with your sex life!
Well, research has found that couples who maintain these kinds of rituals feel closer and have more and better sex.
This is because emotional intimacy leads to physical intimacy.
If you feel like your partner is pleased to see you, interested in you, respects you, and wants to spend time with you, you’re much more likely to want to have sex with them.
If you want to improve your sex life, start by turning your attention AWAY from what happens in the bedroom.
Look for the other moments throughout the day when you can show your partner how special they are to you.
The things we do determine the way we feel.
So if you want to feel like you did in the early days, act more like you did in the early days.
Touch each other more.
Send cute texts.
Give each other your undivided attention.
These small things add up to a big difference.
The Ultimate Ritual For Avoiding Boring Routine Sex In Marriage
Intimacy happens when we’re present together without distractions. (This is why it’s so much easier to feel close on dates or holidays than when we’re in our normal routines.)
I don’t recommend scheduling sex, because it can create pressure (which can be a huge turnoff).
And for most people (once you’ve been together for a while) the sex you have when you get straight to it is rarely as good as the sex you have when you’ve spent some time opening up to each other first.
So what I do recommend is that you make a commitment to spend regular time together without distractions.
A couple of times a week (more if you can, less if you can’t), spend some time in bed together.
Get naked if you feel like it.
Have a chat if you feel like it (but not a “we need to talk” kind of discussion).
Just be together, in mindful awareness.
Pay attention to your breath going in and out for a little while. Notice what you can hear, see, smell, and feel.
If you feel like kissing, touching, holding, or more, go for it.
But don’t make sex your definition of success. This ritual is about being present, in your bodies, together.
As Stephen Snyder says,
“If you’re not feeling desire, you can’t just make a date to have sex and expect it to help. But you can make a date to just lie naked in bed together, with each of you having no agenda other than to pay close attention, without judgement, to what you’re actually feeling.”
Getting Back In The Sack
If you want to get the spark back, check out my sex after kids workbook, Back In The Sack.
It’s helped hundreds of people just like you to understand what’s really getting in the way of their physical and emotional connection.