Having trouble finding time for intimacy?
You’re not alone. This actually a pretty common problem, especially:
After having a baby! It’s just hard to find alone time when you are parents.
But, making time for sex and intimacy is critical to maintaining a healthy marriage. In this article, you’ll learn some practical ways to improve the quality time in your relationship!
In This Article
About the Author
Josh Spurlock, MA, LPC, CST is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Sex Therapists with over 10,000 hours of clinical experience. Josh specializes in Marriage Counseling and Sex Therapy. You can schedule an appointment with Josh for online counseling.
Are you too busy for sex?
Work, kids, church, groceries, dinner, laundry, Bible study, small group, friends, family, Facebook….sleep. Who has time or energy for sex? Even on vacation, we’re running from one activity to the next. Finding time or mental focus for romance is harder than it sounds.
Previously we discussed how fatigue kills your sex drive and what to do about it. Is it possible though to be simply too busy for sex? Of course it is!
There are only 24 hours in the Day
There are only so many hours in a day. Never enough to get done all the things there are to get done. There are, however, enough to accomplish all the things that are important to God that you get done. Where do you think your marriage fits on God’s priority list?
True or False
A strong relationship with your husband is more important than:
Catching up on what your girlfriend made for dinner on Facebook?
Folding the towels?
The latest episode of The Voice?
Saying “yes” to volunteering at that church event so you won’t disappoint anyone?
The kids getting to do all the activities they want?
Good vs Best
For some people time wasters like TV, Netflix, and social media consume a huge chunk of their time that could be better spent elsewhere. For most of us, though it’s not the “time wasters” that keep us from God’s best for us, it’s all the “good” things. There are far more “good things” than there is time: Kids activities, volunteer opportunities, friends/family with needs, Bible studies, etc. All these things are “good” – but they can still cause your life to be out of balance such that the most important things get neglected. You can have too much of a good thing.
There’s enough time in each week to allow you to fulfill every priority God has truly given you. If you’re giving too much time to any one area, it is robbing from another. Every “YES” is a “NO” to something else.
Is sex really all that important?
YES! By God’s design, sex is one of the primary ways a man emotionally bonds with his wife. It’s normal, because of the way your hormone cycle effects sex drive, for you to only feel like initiating sex a couple days a month. Your husband likely needs more than that to feel close and connected with you. It’s a huge part of his identity. Imagine if he only spoke to you a couple days a month. How close would you feel to him?
Check out this article for more details: Why Sex Is So Important to Men
Do It for the Kids.
More than activities or even a home cooked meal, your kids need their mom and dad to have a solid relationship. Where else will they learn what a healthy marriage looks like? How else will they know how to relate to their spouse someday?
There is No Substitute for Quality Time
Your relationship is like a tomato plant. All the conditions for growing plump, delicious tomatoes can be perfect: great sun, fence to keep the animals out, soil with just the right mix of nutrients, spray to keep the bugs away – but if you don’t water it, it won’t grow.
You can’t dump 100 gallons on your tomato plant once a year and expect it to not need water the rest of the time (think vacation). The ground can only soak up so much at a time and the rest rolls off. There’s also no such thing as “super wet water” that only requires minimal application because it’s so super quality (we don’t spend very much time together, but we make sure it’s “quality” when we do). No, you’re tomato plant is going to need regular, daily watering if it’s going to bear fruit. Without water the flowers will die, the leaves will wither, and before long there will only be scorched earth.
So it is with your relationship and quality time, there’s no substitute.
Minimum Quality Time for a Healthy Relationship
As a rule of thumb, I recommend the following quality time schedule for all couples as a minimum for keeping their relationship healthy:
15-20 min a Day
At some point in the day, every day, make some time to give your spouse your undivided attention and meaningful conversation. This could be morning coffee together, pillow talk before bed, or any number of other forms. It’s best to have a bit of a ritual though to make it a habit. Having it be a habit will increase the likelihood of it happening consistently. Try to keep it up even when apart by Facetime or phone call.
2-4+ hours a week
Date night is what most couples call this, though it could be breakfast, lunch, dinner, late night dancing. When our kids were young going to the grocery store without children felt like a date! The important thing is that it’s a time of relaxed “hanging out” without kids. Have fun together and enjoy some adult conversation without interruptions every 2 seconds.
An Overnight once a Quarter
An overnight or weekend getaway where you spend a full day or two with your honey enjoying life as lovers and friends is so very important to staying in love. Whether it’s a romantic getaway to somewhere tropical, or a staycation at a local hotel – having a relaxed time to enjoy each other’s presence without children is key.
Sex 1-2x a Week
Every couple is different and this isn’t intended to be a hard and fast rule, but most couples find an average of 1-2 times a week for sex is a good minimum for staying connected. This could be in the morning before work, afternoon lunch quickie, in the evening after we get the kids in bed, or on the weekend.
Put it on the Calendar!
Planning ahead and scheduling time together highly increases the chances that it will actually happen. If you don’t put it on the calendar, there’s a really good chance it won’t happen consistently enough.
Some object to the idea of scheduling a time to connect sexually, feeling it removes the spontaneity or fearing they won’t be able to perform. The truth is that blocking out the time allows for great variety and creativity as you plan ahead, looking forward to the time. Your body is designed to respond to sexual stimuli, so you don’t need to worry about whether or not it will become aroused. It also lends itself to some fun, playful flirting throughout the day.
Plus, just because you’ve planned a time to connect, doesn’t mean you can’t connect spontaneously at other times as well. Planning just ensures that at least we’ll connect at this frequency.
Quality time and sexually connecting are important to the health of your marriage – make them a priority.
- Basson, R. (2000). The female sexual response: A different model. Journal of Sex &Marital Therapy, 26(1), 51-65.
- Laumann, E. O., Paik, A., & Rosen, R. C. (1999). Sexual dysfunction in the United States: prevalence and predictors. Jama, 281(6), 537-544.
- Hartmann, U., Philippsohn, S., Heiser, K., & Rüffer-Hesse, C. (2004). Low sexual desire in midlife and older women: personality factors, psychosocial development, present sexuality. Menopause, 11(6 Part 2 of 2), 726-740.
- So You’re Too Busy -- Relevant Magazine
Join our weekly newsletter to have a better marriage
Take the first step towards a better tomorrow, today.
Start Your Journey
Learn about how our counseling services work and how to get started.