Updated: May 11
Sex is an important part of a satisfying relationship. But what happens to your sex life after kids – and how can you get that spark back? Here’s how to reconnect sexually with your spouse after kids.
Having kids changes a relationship’s dynamics and can be associated with a decline in relationship satisfaction.
Making plans to safeguard your relationship and making this transition to parenthood can increase your relationship (and sexual) satisfaction.
Mismatched libidos are normal and happen to lots of couples, especially when kids are involved…but the decline in sexual frequency doesn’t have to be permanent.
There are lots of things you can do to revive your sex life, including being patient, starting up date night again, and reconnecting with yourself sexually.
If you and your partner are struggling to get on the same page sexually, couples therapy may help.
“Have kids,” they said. “It will be fun,” they said…and generally, it is! Kids are great…but there’s no denying that having them can be stressful. Becoming a parent changes your relationship dynamics. Research shows that having a baby can highlight marital discontent – and that two-thirds of couples report a decline in relationship satisfaction post-baby.
That’s likely because, amidst all the planning for a baby, the planning to safeguard your relationship goes by the wayside. This planning includes talking about how your sex life will make the transition to parenthood with you.
It’s totally normal for sex to get put on the back burner because of parenting responsibilities. But it’s also possible to parent and still have a sizzling, satisfying sex life. Here’s how.
Make a plan to share responsibilities
Let’s be real – who is going to have time to think about sex when they’re exhausted? Look at the division of parenting and household labor because it’s important. Is one parent the only one staying up all night with a baby or teething toddler?
Can the other more well-rested parent pick up some extra tasks to help the sleep-deprived parent out? Finding ways to balance your relationship duties is important and frees up time and energy for sexy time when you’re not sleep-deprived or bickering about household tasks.
Reinstate date night ASAP
Getting back into a habit of dating each other again as soon as possible is also a great habit. It can be easy to forget why you got together and wanted to procreate in the first place when your spawn is running you ragged.
Your relationship needs this time to itself to thrive – and you and your partner need this adult time, away from parenting responsibilities for a bit for your sanity. Your kids will benefit when you and your partner are enjoying your lives and your relationship, too. But let’s forget about focusing on the kids, for once, and keep talking about you…
Remember that intimacy is more than sex
When people think about intimacy, they typically think about intercourse. But intimacy is more than sex. It can be sharing laughter and jokes, cuddling, holding hands, making out, or anything that brings you closer to your partner.
When is the last time you flirted with your partner? Can’t remember? Make it your business to do it today…and get back in the habit of doing these intimate things. These little things can go a long way in reigniting the fire and desire in your relationship.
Know that mismatched libidos are bound to happen in a relationship. Marital intimacy typically ebbs and flows but the declines don’t have to be permanent. There are many ways to help rewire a sexless marriage, including through open communication and couples therapy.
It’s important to identify why the drop in sexual frequency has happened in order to address it. Beyond recently giving birth, body image issues, low self-esteem, postpartum anxiety and depression, and other factors can cause low libido.
Reconnect sexually with yourself first
Having children changes you both mentally and physically. Before you start getting it on with your partner again, it’s important to reconnect to yourself sexually. Masturbation is healthy and can improve your orgasms and sex life. There’s a lot of stigma around masturbation, especially for women, but it’s totally normal, healthy, and nothing to be ashamed of.
Mindfulness is another tool that can help you connect with your body again, including sexually. It’s okay to take some “you” time; taking that “you” time can translate into better sex with your partner when you’re ready for sex again.
Should we think about couples therapy?
Couples therapy may seem like the obvious move if your relationship is at risk or in crisis…but you don’t have to wait until the breaking point to seek out therapy. If recovering intimacy post-baby is becoming too difficult for you and your partner, it’s okay – and encouraged – to reach out for help. Couples therapy isn’t only for couples on the brink of divorce; it’s for anyone who wants a strong, healthy, relationship. Experts often recommend couples therapy during major life transitions such as a move, getting a new job, or having a baby.
Going to couples therapy is not an indicator of how well your relationship works; in fact, going to couples therapy can help improve your relationship. So if intimacy has become a challenge for you and your partner and you’re not sure how to get it back, you should definitely consider enlisting the help of a professional.
Besides issues with your sex life, there may be other signs that your relationship is out of sync. Here are more signs your relationship needs some help:
Having the same issues repeatedly
Fighting a lot
A lot of resentment or contempt in the relationship.
Difficulty communicating or expressing feelings
Wanting a stronger relationship
When both parties are committed to the relationship and willing to do the work, couples therapy can help you rediscover the magic of your relationship. That spark can help you enjoy your adult time together again.
Get support from a qualified, caring therapist in the South Florida area
Finding a routine – and the time, energy, and desire for sex – after having kids can be stressful. Deciding to work that out in couples therapy can be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made for your relationship. Couples therapy is a great way to strengthen your relationship, improve communication skills, and break unhealthy patterns and roles in the relationship. Getting support from a highly-trained therapist who can hold space for you and your partner is a gamechanger.
The team at Love Discovery is ready to welcome you with open arms. If you’re ready to get started in therapy to help facilitate healing within yourself and your interpersonal relationships, make an appointment with any of our therapists today. Call 305.605.LOVE (5683).
We are here to help you improve your mental health, your relationship, and support you during a challenging time in your life.