The “Sex Life” of New Parents: Coitus Non-Existus

Equilibrium

Same Story, Different Planets

Meet Janet and Kevin, parents of three young children. Janet stays home with the kids. Kevin’s job requires him to travel a few times a month. Here’s how they both described a recent evening at home: Kevin: “I was thinking about Janet on the flight home. I’ve been traveling a lot lately and we haven’t seen much of each other. And, of course, I’m wondering if she’ll be in the mood later on—after all, it’s been eight days, five hours, and twenty-eight minutes since we last had sex. When I got home, she gave me a big hug so I started feeling optimistic. But I hadn’t even gotten my tie off when she starts laying into me with my ‘assignments:’ ‘Can you get the kids bathed? Did you remember to call the bank? Did you pick up the dry cleaning?’ She didn’t even give me time to breathe. Who needs that crap? I should’ve flown directly on to Phoenix instead of coming home.” Janet: “I was so glad when Kevin got home. Finally, some relief! I thought that after he got the kids to bed we could sit down with a glass of wine. But what does he do? He rolls his eyes at me. I just needed some help. You’d think I’d asked him to rewire the house. And it’s not like I went and put my feet up—I was cleaning up the kitchen and doing yet another load of laundry.”

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My Wife Says “Not Tonight” Every Night

hourglass effect

Q: In your book, "Babyproofing Your Marriage", you all talk about the "Hourglass" that seems to get turned over when the husband asks for sex and is told "Not tonight." The idea is that if the request is not satisfied within the next 24 hours then the hubby's foot starts tapping as he looks at his watch. On one hand, I can see why it would be very annoying for a mom to have a request for sex come out of the blue and then be subjected to some kind of time pressure to get it done within the next X number of days in order to prevent a fight. On the other hand, speaking as a dad, it is also frustrating to have your wife say "Not tonight" and then leave it at that for days on end. I know from experience with my wife that if I ask her for sex on Monday and she says "No", if I ask again within the next couple of days she will get annoyed and tell me that I am obsessing about sex.

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