Most couples find intimacy drops after baby arrives. The hormones that flood our brains immediately after baby’s arrival, actually lower our sex drive for a period of time. This gives us the energy to deal with the stresses of a new baby and healing after delivery and while nursing is established. But all too often, couples do not resume a satisfying sex life.
There are proven ways to reignite your sexual desire for your spouse and find a new or even better intimacy than before baby.
As we talked about in the first few lessons in this Child-Ready series, enriching your friendship is vital. It is easy to slip into the habit of just talking about work, chores, and stress. We become exhausted by all that needs to be done in a day and add to that interrupted nights’ sleep and it is a recipe for friction and isolation.
Intimacy is rooted in a good friendship. So make your friendship a priority. Continue learning about your spouse every day. Be sensitive to your spouse’s appeals for connection and respond in loving ways. Affirm your spouse and appreciate all they are doing.
Do little and thoughtful things for each other. These are not hard tasks that take a long time. They are finding ways to let your spouse know you love and appreciate them. It is showing you are aware of what they are facing and what they need. Of course we still need to do the big things, but it is the little extras that you do because you want to do them that makes your spouse feel they are worth your time, attention, and love.
Look for opportunities for non-sexual affection. Enjoy touching each other for the joy it brings. Relax in one another’s arms. Rediscover the pleasure of kissing. There is something powerful in creating the “just us” element in your relationship. Holding hands, hugs, and tender touch are great ways to affirm your love for your partner. Physical affection sets the stage for sexual touch that is focused on pleasure.
Make sex a priority. Schedule it sometimes so you can look forward to it. Anticipation is a great aphrodisiac. Other times grabbing a moment for a “quickie” lets our spouse know we still enjoy their lovemaking.
Discuss your needs, desires, and frustrations
The Masters talk about their needs, desires, and frustrations in love-making. It is awkward to talk about. But here are a few guidelines that will make these discussions helpful and not harmful.
- Be kind and positive in the way you talk about love-making. Do not criticize! Mention successes, not failures.
- Be patient. Give your spouse time to put their feelings into words. Let your spouse know that what they say is safe with you.
- Be flexible. Be willing to try something new. Sometimes a small adjustment makes all the difference in our partner’s pleasure.
- Find acceptable ways to let your spouse know you are interested in sex or that you are not. You may need a non-verbal signal to avoid misunderstanding cues. The fact is, every couple will miss the signals sometimes. Don’t make a federal case out of it. A cuddle instead of sex may be the best alternative this time or may even warm up the one who lacked interest in the beginning.
What you go through in the weeks and months after baby’s arrival is common to all parents. What you do to and for each other can make all the difference in coping with the changes. If you practice building your friendship, turning towards instead of away from your spouse, and dealing better with your conflicts; you can navigate the intimacy changes like a Master. Don’t just hope things will get better. Take action and get help if you need it.