To Sex or Not to Sex
My husband complains all the time that we don’t have enough sex. Like, I think once a weekish is fair right now. We have two under two, and I’m exhausted all the time. By the end of the night, I just want a shower and my bed. The idea of being touched by one more human being who needs me makes me cringe. How do other moms make time for sex, when we are just so maxed out? I know it’s important for our marriage, but I just have nothing left. -Depleted Wife and Mother
Dear Depleted Wife and Mother,
I think every couple experiences this in some variation, especially after children. It can be very difficult to make time for sex, but you’re really making time for your marriage. Even if I think I’m too tired, I always feel closer to my husband after a little intimacy, and the connection strengthens our marriage. Sex can actually be a great way to reconnect because it adds an element of physical vulnerability that a conversation may lack. So in our house, sex is a top priority, and we tend to give up sleep for it; however, each couple has to decide where sex ranks and what to barter for the intimate moments because let’s face it, we never have enough time. What could your husband help you with, so that you feel you have more emotional space and energy to have sex? Could you also give him some more insight into your perspective and vice versa? I’ve found that a better understanding of a situation engenders compassion and patience, which are essential to finding a resolution and agreeing to a compromise with a happy heart.
I Hate my Brother’s Girlfriend
My brother’s been on and off with this girl for years, and I just can’t stand her. Although they’re consistently inconsistent, I’m scared they’ll actually get married one day. My brother knows how I feel about her, and his feelings for her run hot and cold. Should I be making more of an effort to be her friend, in case she eventually becomes my sister-in-law? But I think that might literally kill me. -One Sad Sister
Dear One Sad Sister,
I think you have to weigh what causes you more discomfort: the possibility of having a sister-in-law with a strained relationship or the idea of spending time with her unnecessarily. Since we can’t determine other people’s decisions, we have to do what is best for us in this moment. Our time is precious on this earth. How do you want to spend it, and what actions will bring you peace? That might look like being kind to her when you see her but not making any effort to spend time together one-on-one, after all, not all sister-in-laws are best friends. This might look like building a relationship with her in an attempt to see what your brother sees, and this may also look like a full and busy life without her in it. Do one of those scenarios make you feel more comfortable than the others? Pursue the life you want and relinquish the worry that often accompanies uncertainty.
My Boyfriend Won’t Marry Me
I’ve been with my boyfriend for five years. We’ve both been married twice before. The subject of our marriage never comes up, unless I force it. Although, he’ll occasionally say, “We’re together for life, and you’re the last woman I’m ever going to love,” I don’t understand what that means. We live 20 miles apart from each other, and I’m getting tired of living out of a suitcase or being home alone. I’m ready to get married, but he can’t even talk about it. What do I do? -Part-Time Wife
Dear Part-Time Wife,
It’s important to establish where you are at emotionally in regards to marriage. Are you ready to give up the relationship if you pursue the marriage question, and you do not receive the answer you want? Or are you willing to be with him as long as it takes him for him to become more comfortable talking about it? I would also encourage you to consider how happy the relationship makes you. Is he the right person? Is it possible you are happier with him, despite remaining unmarried, or does his refusal to discuss marriage stem from a larger, more concerning lack of commitment? I think you need to decide whether or not this is an imminent deal breaker for you and find a way to share with your boyfriend your personal timeline and goals for the next few years of your life. If you 100% want to remarry, and he most definitely does not, that could be difficult to rectify; however, if you’re simply asking him to explore his feelings about marriage and let you know where he stands, I think there is compromise available on both sides, and compromise is essential to continuing an effective relationship. If you decide to broach the marriage question, be inquisitive, considerate, and loving. It will probably be an uncomfortable conversation for him, and the discussion will most likely go better, if you are both relaxed but connected.