Sex In A Busy Life – The Common Story of Dave and Patricia
Healthy and vibrant sexuality is composed of many moving parts. Learning how to bring sensuality into the bedroom, for example is one element. Learning how to be close and bonded outside the bedroom is another. Both of these are critical dimensions that make sex work. Great sex, that is
Remember, that we have an amazing God who created sex to be a passionate and deeply connected experience between two married lovers that results in a kind of communion He calls “two becoming one.”
One aspect or moving part of intimacy that goes into passionate sex, centers on setting up the right atmosphere. This includes lighting, sound, making sure we’re clean, proper time without kids, etc. In other words, you step into the bedroom with thoughtfulness about the environment, hoping to create a surrounding that let’s relaxation, excitement and even playfulness flourish.
Here’s an example of a couple in our practice that struggled in their sex life. We helped them analyze what went wrong and some steps for repair. Let’s take a look at Dave and Patricia.
Dave and Patricia
It all started with children. Bless their hearts. Barge in when you’re naked, demand more attention than a five alarm fire and wear you out morning, noon and night.
They have an uncanny ability to extract all the energy you have and flush it down the drain of potential sexual arousal and leave you in bed snoring, praying for relief and downright ragged.
Then they smile, you melt and the next morning starts all over again. Meanwhile, another sexless day hoping tomorrow will be different.
Dave and Patricia, married 8 years, madly in love and passionate about their sexual contact and frequency. What happened?
The busyness of life, the endless energy raising kids, supplanted their deep connection and replaced it with fatigue, deadlines, and a need to build a life with careers and other usual suspects that fill up our time and calendar.
Dave, of course, was the first to complain. He loved Patricia and enjoyed their sex life immensely early in the marriage. With some differences in sex drive, they managed to work out those bumps and developed a frequent and spirited bedroom pattern that left both satisfied.
Dave’s growing dissatisfaction with their physical life mirrored Patricia’s growing angst around their lack of meaningful time together. She would complain that their connection had grown more distant. Dave agreed but usually focused on renewing their bedroom time as an antidote.
Patricia insisted on the need for more time out together without the kids and made efforts to find babysitting. Yet this was somewhat infrequent and so “going out” together, without children, became intermittent at best.
Although they began to argue more in the relationship, many of their disagreements centered on the issue of the frequency of sex. Even the quality of their physical contact diminished. Sex became something rushed and often more to console Dave than the mutual pleasure they used to enjoy.
Sex meant finding brief time frames where you lock the door, jump under the covers and finish before interruptions. Mood, lighting, candles, bubble baths before sex, all good ideas but shoved under the rug of expediency. Let’s hurry became the motto. After all, lions were prowling around, the freeway noise was considerable and the goal, well, orgasm had to happen fast if possible and get through the event quickly.
Patricia wanted more quality time and began feeling used during sex – like she wasn’t the object of love and care but simply needed for sexual release. Dave insisted this wasn’t the case but didn’t know how to jump start a new day and resolve the walls they had created with one another.
In our initial time with Dave and Patricia, we discovered that the fractures in their marriage had resulted more from the fast pace of life and having children than more serious wounds and challenges.
They desperately needed to talk about how their relationship had grown apart, without arguing and blaming one another. This proved to be somewhat easy, since their love for each other was still fresh, even though beneath the surface.
The sensitive issue centered on their battles over sexual contact, especially frequency. They simply didn’t know how to put the pieces back together again and resurrect their passion for one another.
It didn’t take much for repair to happen. We discovered their physical connection for one another had indeed been strong. What it needed was the proper focus and attention to reignite what they once shared so effectively.
Although we discussed intimacy and the many dimensions of sex that make it special, our primary focus centered on getting them to set time aside and create a sexual atmosphere than honored their love for the other and their capacity for mutual passion.
As an assignment, we had both structure a “love evening” over the course of two weeks. For Dave, we instructed him to design the following scenario:
He was to pick a night mutually agreed on to engage in intercourse. He needed to make it special, to treat his wife in ways she would feel emotionally, as well as physically valued. He told us she loved candles, especially vanilla scented ones and so we assigned him the task of finding new ones to lace the bedroom with. We also instructed him to find babysitting, knowing he could drop the kids off at his parents for the night.
At least two days before the special evening, Dave was told to begin “courting” his wife with flowers, cooking her dinner or any other “touchy-feely” behaviors he used to do to woo his wife. We asked him to focus on all the ways he would “give” to her that night, such as rubbing her back and preparing a bubble bath to start the bedroom experience with. We instructed him to access his softer, loving self and treat her like a princess several days before engaging in sex that evening.
And finally, we gave him instructions to think of all the ways he treasured his life partner and tell her verbally or in a note, why she is so special the day of their rendezvous. Our assumption was that Patricia, like most women, needed to feel loved in a tangible way, feel safe and free to be vulnerable.
For Patricia, we instructed her to open her heart to Dave’s advances in any way she could, knowing she too wanted physical intimacy. We asked her to come up with special music and even sexy clothes she knew Dave liked and that made her feel personally attractive. We asked her to rest that day, to take a nap if necessary to prepare for their evening together. Then we instructed her to find her passionate, feminine self and to imagine how she would bring her charm and sexual electricity into the bedroom experience.
As you might guess, the evening went well. But our advice didn’t center on creating one spectacular night. Rather, we were hoping to drive home the message that love and sex get created out of the right ingredients – from thought-through stuff that sends chills up a lover’s back.
Because your partner invested in sight and sound, aligning all the components of a sexy room, an invitation from the heart and a nakedness that began days before the fireworks even started. Atmosphere. The right emotional temperature from two lovers who become mindful of what turns their lover on. And the stage that gets set where lovers convene and bring pleasure – just the right walls, ceiling and ambience to say I want you, love you and no other.
This is an example of the kind of problems and challenges couples face in creating an amazing sex life. Over the years, we have been privileged to help many marriages navigate the intricacies of being naked together – in spirit, fully dressed, and literally in their love life when the bedroom doors close.
By Doug & Leslie Gustafson Copyright 2012
Doug and Leslie Gustafson are Marriage and Family Therapists for their ministry Authentic and True Psychotherapy and Recovery Services. Doug specializes in individual, marriage and sex addiction therapy and Leslie specializes in individual, marriage and sex therapy. They can be reached online at www.authenticandtrue.com and by phone at 720-398-0720. They desire to be a resource for any couple seeking greater intimacy, hoping to call it amazing!