Q: I have been with my wife for 11 years. We have three beautiful kids, and I couldn’t be happier with her. The problem is that we never have sex. Whenever I try to make a move at the end of the night, she says she is too tired, and other times she says she feels disconnected. She claims she wants more romance, but I don’t know what I am doing wrong. How can I get my wife in the mood?
A: It sounds to me like you are a very considerate and thoughtful spouse, so I am sure that your wife is a very lucky woman. However, there is no denying that long-term relationships can lose a little bit of spark over the years, particularly if you are busy parents with little downtime. Consider the following tips to help get you back on track and reignite your spark:
The early bird gets the worm. You mentioned that your wife is generally too tired for sex at the end of the night, and that’s no surprise considering that she has so much on her plate. Most people are exhausted at the end of the night, especially parents, so it’s important to find time to connect on a physical and sexual level before that late-night fatigue hits. You might try setting your clock 30 minutes earlier each morning and enjoying one-on-one time before the kids wake up, or maybe you can surprise her by popping into the shower with her before work. Get creative — can you meet up for a lunchtime quickie or slip away during a boring party and meet up in the coatroom? Look for times when you both have energy, and then strike while the iron is hot.
Rethink romance. You suggested that your wife is looking for romance, but after 11 years of flowers, chocolates, and the old standbys, you might be wondering how you can up your game in a unique and meaningful way. Think outside the box by planning a date night that will blow her away, whether it’s a concert with her favorite musician or a night out on the town at a romantic hotel. Think of the things that make her special, whether it’s her love of classic cinema or her penchant for cooking, and then cater to those unique qualities.
Remind her that you see her as a sexual being. Maybe the reason your wife is sexually disconnected is because she doesn’t think you see her as a sexual being anymore. After three kids and more than a decade of marriage, it might be hard for her to feel sexy, especially if she doesn’t feel confident in her own skin. Splurge on a spa gift certificate or let her spend the afternoon at the salon before date night so that she can rediscover her feminine side and tap into her sensuality again. Surprise her with slinky lingerie or simply tell her how sexy and beautiful you find her. Let her know that while she is a mother and a wife, she is still the same sexual firecracker you fell in love with!
Most importantly, make sure to help her around the house and shoulder some of her many responsibilities. It’s hard to get in the mood when you are doing it all, so make sure she has time to take a step back and relax. You might be surprised to find that a little “choreplay” might be all it takes to get your wife in the mood!
— Dr. Laura Berman