Marriage Mondays: I Like Sex; Is nice.

So, let's talk about sex. Without revealing too much and having A.P. absolutely mortified, we have some problems with sex. It's not the quality, it's more the quantity. We both work a lot, and we don't sleep a lot...until the weekends. Then, all we do is sleep. This routine has totally bitten into our sex lives. It started right before the wedding (which was also when I started my new career), and has suffered since. Some months, it's more than others, but for the most part, it's not nearly as much as we'd both like to be having. A.P. says I am the problem. That I always turn it down. I argue that we both do that equally (and btw, I'm totally right about this. Because there are PLENTY of times when my foot creeps his direction under the sheets, and he's out like a light or too tired. He just has the worst memory ever and, like my father, believes that if he doesn't remember it, it didn't happen.).

There are, I'm sure, other issues compounded into this one issue (e.g. my weight gain, stress, each other's needs being met, etc.), but for the most part, for me anyway, it's mostly about being so damn tired all the time. I feel like all I do is work, work, work. Yesterday morning, I went out to brunch with a friend, and I had to wake up at 10am. It felt like pure torture. I even thought, as I was putting on my shoes, "Boy, I can't imagine throwing a kid into this life."

The truth is, I can't imagine throwing much on my plate on top of work: chores, errands, sex, babies, and the list goes on. Working as much as I do, and it knocking me out as much as it does has wreaked havoc in so many parts of my life. I've gained weight, I don't eat healthily anymore, I don't cook as much, I don't do things I love as much, and I am nowhere to be found with friends and family. It's terrible. Yesterday, at brunch, my friend pointed out that A.P. must be a really good partner to put up with all of this, and, guys, he really, really is! He does more around this house than I do. It's true. I do a lot of things I think he doesn't really take into account (e.g. shopping, cooking, paying bills, etc.), but lately he does almost all of the cleaning, maybe not as frequently or as well as I would, but it's still such a big help. If it weren't for him, I'd be a total mess. It's true.

But as the other half of this partnership, it sometimes sucks to have to turn down sex. And it's not just sex. When I'm exhausted, I don't want to cuddle. I just want to fall asleep. So there's a lot of, "Don't touch me please. I'm exhausted" happening. I've never been a big cuddler, but it's still sometimes really heartbreaking to A.P. I know it is. He doesn't always say it, either, but I know it bothers him.

I've posted before about how it is frustrating that as you get older, you don't always talk about sex with your friends. That is definitely something that seems to come with the sacredness of marriage, but it's also frustrating as hell! About a month ago, I was talking to a girl I've been friends with for years. We used to work together and have kept in touch. We don't talk often, even less now that she's moved to the west coast. But for some reason, we started getting really intimate in our conversation and started talking about sex. I had no idea how much I needed a sounding board! Turns out, we both have about the same amount of sex! See? I'm not a total weirdo! (But secretly we are weirdos, because it's still not a lot.)

The point is, it felt good to hear someone else say, "I'm tired, too." Because sometimes, and it's not pretty or nice to say it, but sex can feel like a chore. Like another thing we have to do. It's great when you're doing it, and you're loving every minute of it, but the thought of doing it before you get to the awesomeness is sometimes the most exhausting thing ever.

It's funny because when you're single, you think, "Sex for life. No more hunting. Awesome." But then when you're married, sometimes it feels, well, tiring. It's nice to connect with someone, but it's also part of the "work" that a relationship requires. And sometimes, in this modern world, I feel like I do a lot of damn work. I have work work that I get paid for, work for this blog, work on my marriage, work to keep family happy, work on friendships, work on finances, and so many other types of work! It seems like it's a never ending problem, too, and I'm baffled by how some people have sex every day! BAFFLED. And there are couples like this! I've met them! I wouldn't even know where to begin with a schedule like that.

The nice thing is that A.P. is the most awesome guy ever. And he gets it. And he may not like it, but he knows I try and that I think about it and am aware of it. We're working on it, and it's gotten better, but it's still an issue. Not to ask you all to air your dirty laundry, but what's the secret? Do you have sex all the time? Or are you more of a when you feel like it kind of person? How has your sex life changed with marriage, work, and even kids? I'd love to have a conversation about this!


  1. Girl, some days I can't even bring myself to go buy food when I'm done with a day of work!!!
    I read, though, that the less you have sex, the less you feel the need/want to so you need to force yourself a little to get out of the vicious circle. But putting sleep on top of your "want to" list, I totally get it!!!

  2. Hah. I agree with both of you. We definitely fell into the same cycle when we got married: we were so busy and stressed, we started having sex less, and started fighting about it more. It's a bad place to be, but like you, we're working on it. :) Right now, we aim to have sex 2-3 times a week, and on the weeks that we actually do that (not every week!), it is a good balance for us.


  3. @ Musing: I hear you! Cooking, which is something I love, is also becoming a chore/bore. I can also totally relate to the idea of the less you have/the less you want to. I feel that way. You sort of realize you can live without it, you know. Which is sad, because you don't necessarily want to!

    @Helen: That's a good goal, but I don't know if I could keep up with that. Is that bad? I'm still impressed that you can! My friend B-Mac is about the same. I was blown away by her, too!

  4. I think it is SO true that the less sex you have, the less you want it (and vice versa). It's sort of 'use it or lose it' in that regard.

  5. Marty, all I have to say is OLIVIA...the END ...well not really the end, but then I'll give you TMI ;-)

  6. this is much appreciated... i was just having this conversation with a good friend yesterday. She, who has 2 kids, was complaining about not having much sex. For her, this was (I think, reading between the lines) more of a every month or couple of months type thing.

    we, who have no kids (yet) are lucky if we manage once a week (2-3 times a week Helen and Lindi, I'm so impressed!). Sometimes I start feeling all weird and insecure about that, like what does that mean?! and then sometimes I feel like 'once a week, not bad!' My grandmother, who is 90 and a working therapist who specialises in a lot of sex and gender related stuff says that sex is only an issue if you make it one. some couples have sex every 5 years and that's what works for them, some have sex every day and that's what helps them get through. Good advice, although sometimes hard to follow!

  7. @lettuce: I'm totally in agreement, but it is sometimes impossible to avoid this trap.

    @Hiaro: I can only imagine how kids would impact our sex life.

    @alicia: I think the issue with all of this is that A. we compare ourselves to others, and B. we're always wondering what "normal" is. Your grandmother's advice is right on. I've decided that normal is what works for you, and like you said, if that's every five years, then that's fine. For us though, we've seen a decline. It's frustrating, too, because it is always on our minds, but we are so. tired. all. the. time!

  8. grandmother is correct. it's what you both agree to. and everyone lies. i am sure of it. well, maybe not people who say they do it once a month. but the once a day-ers i don't believe them.


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