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Community Advocacy Organization

How to Keep your Marriage Hot with Young Children

Updated: Apr 19, 2023

Photo courtesy of Corey Hanks, Houston-based photographer

In the midst of tending and caring for young children, married couples can allow their union to be diluted down to mere coexistence. It does not mean you don’t love one another. It does not mean you cannot have a great marriage. If you have fallen into the habit of dancing around one another, it does not mean you are too far gone to revive what, at times, may feel lost in your child or children's schedules and big emotions.

This season of living your married life with littles is an invitation to explore new ways to add kindling on the old flame that, in its very essence, created them. It’s never too late to make a change or create a habit together that will strengthen your bond, arouse deeper intimacy and rediscover the healing powers of desire and sexual connection. At times, we think about attraction as a given- an immovable force that just is if it once was. While this can feel true in the "honeymoon phase", effort needs to be made to stay attracted to one another over time.

Marriage in its design is not seasonal as it is a commitment for longevity, but chapters of a marriage most certainly are. Now, let’s talk about how you can infuse your marriage with the heat of a Houston summer that feels even better than the first time you made love, together.

1.) Try something new

For starts, this could be inside or outside of the bedroom. *wink wink* You can try new activities, like a sport or a movement class. Maybe, you try one of those pottery or cooking classes you have been talking about wanting to do for years. You can try new cuisines, a new restaurant in town or prepare new, fun drinks based on recipes you find on the internet.

You could pick out a few new travel spots, either a short road trip away or catch a flight to a new country neither of you have visited. You can do a stay-cation in a new-to-you hotel.

For more tantalizing experiences, you can talk about and find a new type of foreplay you both want to try. You can try a new position or… if you don’t know of any new ones, move your bodies together to create one. Nothing is new under the sun but it can be new to the both of you. Use your imagination. If you enjoy wearing lingerie, get a new set. Sometimes, it is fun to pick a color, style or texture you would have never tried before.

The list is literally endless and the possibilities overflow. Doing something you both have never done before can add a layer of excitement that fuels passion. Most people genuinely enjoy gifting another human a pleasurable first experience. It gives you something fresh to talk about. It opens your mind, which in practice, creates space to dream into one another differently- more expansively.

2.) Get bored together

Flipping over the same token to the other side now, try all the same ol’ things you have been doing together with a new lens. Be present together in what you may usually think to be boring or mundane. Try a day of intention- one where you experience each moment with sensation, not taking one second for granted.

Instead of filling your gaps and spaces in the day-to-day with a screen, turn off your phone for a bit. Stop scrolling for a few minutes when you feel boredom hit and alternatively, start exploring- specifically exploring your partner.

Like my husband says “Let me scroll on you. Let me double tap that.” We can be so consumed. The world is at our fingertips each minute of everyday. We can take to hyper-entertaining ourselves into never leaving space for the organic arousals that are bred out of boredom.

Look at your partner’s hand. Feel the creases or callouses. Draw over the lines. Take inventory of the outline of their body, the shape, the posture, the expression, the life, there. Have you looked into their eyes lately? I mean, really looked to see if you can differentiate their pupil from their iris? When you get bored, allow it. Then, use that space to drink one another in.

Listening to an episode of the podcast MOJO, the guest child psychologist said, “Boredom is necessary in a child’s life to cultivate creativity.”

I propose we apply the same notion for ourselves and in our partnership.

3.) Make undivided time for one another without children around

It’s tempting to check off the “family time” box with the “marriage time” box. Aht aht aht, but try not to do that regularly, folks! They are not the same. Grown folks hang out differently with kids around than they do by themselves. You need that grown folk time.

Now, with young children or if you are living on a tight budget, you may have to flex your creativity; one suggestion is to have at-home date nights and set aside time for intentional practices together that take only 10-15 minutes.

Your family unit dynamics are likely shifting and changing the energy of your time together when the kids are present. Each parent has a separate relationship with each child and those carry with them an additional subset of dynamics.

We will not get the same wife or husband while we are with our toddler as we may get on our own. For instance, when a woman is with her young child, she is in mom mode; in a primal, natural fashion, her body is literally consumed in their survival, so she is likely going to tend their needs first before her husband's. You got to get each other alone, sometimes.

When you think about this, think simple, everyday moments. It’s too overwhelming to think you have to run off to an all-inclusive beachside resort (although, that’s ideal and something I fully support if you can make happen) but ultimately, real life is where we live most all of our life. We have to create a marriage and a union that we can retreat to like it’s the ultimate all-inclusive vacation from this world.

4.) Practice vulnerability and honesty

This one can be tough because it has an energetic loop tying it to physical, sexual intimacy. When we are physically connected, we are more likely to share our emotions vulnerably and when we are emotionally connected, our bodies are more inviting physically to receive and give sexually.

See how that could be challenging? How do we break the cycle when its off?

I’ve found that the practice of vulnerability and honesty is more enjoyable when my spouse and I are focused on sharing about ourselves at times of neutrality and peace.

One of my greatest pitfalls in our union had been me calling myself “honest” because I was telling my husband (then, fiance) all about himself and the things that were bothering me about the dynamics of our relationship. Many others misconstrue this idea of vulnerability: they utilize it most to bring up issues they have in their marriage, their communication or with their partner making it feel more like a nagging vent session than a safe space to share openly and connect intimately.

“Well, I’m being honest with them…”

Yeah, but people don’t want to constantly hear about the things their spouse does not like about them. There will always be room for growth and change; be mindful about when and how you bring it up.

When foraging intimacy, start to take your gaze inward to discuss vulnerable, honest aspects of yourself with your partner. Invite them in on the struggles, the awkward, the wild dreams, and the quirks. Talk more about how into them you are. Let them in on the gushy and good emotions that they arouse in you, even if you find that type of love talk...embarrassing. Try it and see what happens.

Perhaps, you talk more about your childhood. You can tell them about how you viewed your parents' marriage, what you liked and what you want to do differently. You can bring up something odd no one else knows about you. You can talk elementary school experiences. Who knows? You can be serious and you can be silly. Have fun with it.

When we share, connect, laugh, cry and bring our most authentic self- people can fall in love with the real us. Authenticity is the sexist!

5.) Grounding practices (meditation, prayer, tantric eye gazing)

But, do you meditate together? Do you cross your legs and get on the ground together? Do you move together? Do you touch dirt together?

Grounding can look all different types of ways. When I lead grounding practices, I allow the 5 senses to guide: smell, taste, touch, feel, sound. Being attentive and aware of one of these aspects can most easily move you into a grounding experience with your partner.

Alone, grounding calms the nervous system. When you ground with your spouse, you not only calm both of your nervous systems in synchronicity but you both hop on a collective wave of high vibration energy, peace and solace. It is settling. It is warm. It is coming home in each of your bodies.

Now, honesty hour: as much as our culture glorifies and sexualizes drama within a relationship (make-up, angry, dramatic sex), that is simply the soothing of a disordered nervous system. Truly, sex from peace, softness, gentleness and mutual rest is the absolute greatest thing God has created. Our bodies anatomically open up when we feel calm and grounded.

While studying to be a prenatal yoga guide, I learned that during birth, the cervix and vagina will open quicker and without effort, creating more secretion, if a birther is at peace and feels safe. I imagine it does the same prior to sex. So, relax with some grounding before you try to flicker the flame. Do not rush it. Focus more on the journey through the sexual experience together than the destination of climax.

If you are more religious or are a believer, prayer may be the practice that feels best for you! You are exchanging the desires of your heart and inviting your God in on that piece of you with your partner to witness. In prayer, we quite literally bare our soul, so through that, most feel incredibly vulnerable and open to connection in those times post-prayer. On a spiritual level, some believe that after fellowship with your spouse, loving, passionate sex can seal your prayers and empower them into deeper manifestation.

If you read along and try one of these tips out, I would love to know how it enriches your marriage and partnership. Please feel free to email to share your feedback, give your opinion and write a response letter to the editor.


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