Recently I received an email from a woman that had taken an Awaken Love class. Though she has embraced God’s design for sex, the arrival of another baby has left her struggling to connect with her husband.
I just had a baby about two months ago. During pregnancy and now with an infant and toddler our intimate life has been a struggle. I’m really having a hard time getting in the mood. I have a baby nursing all day long and still have some residual healing that needs to take place post birth. My husband is getting sexually frustrated and I’m sort of at a loss. It feels like I serve the kids all day long and then don’t have it in me to serve him by being there sexually. I feel like my body is just a milk machine. Do you have any advice? Is it okay to be less intimate during this life phase? I just mentally struggle with feeling like I’m ‘faking it’ with him because I do not feel sexual or turned on, no matter how hard I try 🙁 Any advice would be wonderful!
Seasons of life filled with exhaustion present extra challenges. But I am so glad this young mom asked for advice. Instead of letting the lack of sex drive a wedge in her marriage, working together they can embrace the opportunity to redefine intimacy. No easy answers exist for the exhaustion that babies, nursing and raising kids create. So let me just offer a few ideas for couples to ponder and maybe try….
Remove the Pressure
Take the pressure off and try to just connect physically. Tell your husband how hard the thought of sex is, but you know that connecting physically is important. Ask him if once you get the kids down, to crank up the heat, and just get in bed with you with no expectations or pressure. Wives need to relax and warm up to their husband’s touch again. Their husband needs to be touched too, regardless of whether you have sex. I would suggest that you do this at least weekly or a couple of times a week.
Give Your Body Time to Heal
If intercourse is still painful and your body needs time to heal, then take the time and do not force things. The two of you can share manual or oral stimulation together until intercourse can be a positive experience for both of you.
Take Care of Yourself
You need to take care of yourself and your husband needs to help. Even if you are nursing, he can care for the baby and toddler at least for an hour or two. Get out of the house, or take a bath and just relax. The more that your husband cares for the kids by himself, the more he will understand why you are so tired. The more he takes care of you, the more capacity you have to engage with him.
Your husband must carefully guard his eyes from lust – especially when you are unavailable. Lust can happen with his eyes, his thoughts, or even through the lyrics of songs. Avoiding lust will help him see you as a person and not just as the sexy wife that he loves to have sex with.
Ways to Release Tension
You could have a conversation about him taking things into his own hands once in a while. Be careful and discerning about whether this is a good idea. But better to talk about it then to just ignore it.
When we had 4 little girls, my husband did not even want me to feel guilty about being unavailable. Once in a while in the shower, he would think about me, and release some tension, so that he could be a gentler, kinder husband. Other men will masturbate next to their wife so that she can share in the experience if she wants to.
Better to be open with your husband, then to ignore the situation. If you decide masturbation is a helpful option, he must think only about you. Ask him to share with you every time so that nothing is hidden. Pray together and ask for discernment on whether masturbation will create intimacy in your marriage or division.
Though raising a family can create challenges in marriage, I encourage you to embrace it as an opportunity to create intimacy. Open up your definition of sex and connection. Learn how to talk to each other about hard things. Create a new realization for each other’s strengths and challenges. And learn how to love each other in a new way.