A big question for many couples – either legally or spiritually married or not – is the issue on how to achieve a continued intimacy – especially after the advent of children. Couples marry out of a deep desire to love and to be loved and that they believe that together they are able to experience life more deeply than if they were apart; not to find a convenient partner who will provide funding for a lifestyle, cook meals, mow the lawn, wash dishes, do laundry, and rear children.
Especially with first babies, women can have a tendency to make their baby the centre of their universe. This often leaves little time to focus on, or be with their partner. This drought in every day intimacy and attention flows on to a coital hiatus. Nature, it seems, planned on this to ensure that babies are well looked after and future pregnancies are spaced out.
The ‘drought’ can come from either partner and the disinterest in sex and intimacy, stems from a number of issues and conditions, which sadly is not discussed by even the closest of friends, much less the medical fraternity or the media. It may be through the rollercoaster of hormones pulsing through the woman’s body after birthing, and landing unsettled and unbalanced – causing low libido. It’s possible the physical and emotional strain of caring for a young child is taking the toll on both your good natures, leaving little time for intimacy and closeness you shared before your baby came along. The financial strain, the unsettled feelings stemming from unexplored roles as a parent and the sheer exhaustion from being a new parent all contribute to the lack of intimacy and sex within a relationship.
Everyone’s experiences make them an expert in their own right – so what is right for one couple may not be appropriate for another. Most couples wait for the magical 6 week mark and are dreadfully disappointed when that incredible pre birth sex doesn’t happen. The return to sexual intimacy needs to be in your own good time and not to rush it. It’s important to make space and time to care and nurture yourself – something that as a new parent seems as easy as to fly to the moon. The importance of including and communicating with your partner is paramount. Reclaiming your sexuality as an individual and as a couple can be a wonderful adventure – so don’t treat it as a chore or something that you just ‘have to do’ – enjoy the journey!
Five Essential Components Of An Intimate Relationship
Most couples do not plan to live separate lives, but once set adrift, often existing in separate time zones due to feeds and work schedules, it is easy to allow that drift to take you to a state of complacently. It takes courage to recognize that you do not want to be part of the statistics and to reconnect with your partner. This will not happen over night and you may encounter great resistance – both from yourself and from your partner. Endure and be tenacious…
There are five basic components to an intimate relationship and these must be practiced and explored on a constant basis to make them meaningful and long lasting. Building intimacy after birthing especially, is like dating and being a virgin again. (what an exciting thought!)
Intimacy entails thinking of one another above the basic needs of finances, daily chores and food. Too often if a couple finds the time to talk, their chat focuses on the children or of events, rather than how they felt or reacted about these things. Start by finding common ground again; build intellectual intimacy through linking of ideas and of your minds.
Building emotional intimacy comes through sharing feelings and being willing to vocalize your fears and joys without self editing. You are choosing to be intimate with your partner when you reveal what’s going on in your emotional world. It can be a challenge for many who have lost touch with both themselves and with each other – so again – this needs to be a constant dialogue in order to build those emotional muscles.
Spending time with one another builds social intimacy as well as gives you things to talk about in the other intimacy levels. Couples and families who sit and eat a meal together and are involved in a shared activity – be it gardening or planning a camping trip brings a level of intimacy and understanding hard to emulate elsewhere. A picnic in the park or even on the floor of your apartment can add excitement to an otherwise drab day (and is very child friendly and inexpensive too!)These crazy, spur of the moment events form some of your most vivid memories; whilst building social intimacy.
Spiritual intimacy is often the least developed of all the intimacies of a partnership, yet it has a profound impact upon all other areas. It is built by verbalizing beliefs and experiences without fear of ridicule or judgment. Spiritual intimacy does not demand that both partners share the exact beliefs or convictions, but that there is an understanding and support to the others chosen path.
There are three parts to master with this; that being to celebrate the differences, to be able to mutually satisfy one another and to rediscover your personal sensuality. Sex is about having maximum pleasure of sharing both physically and the as well as the beautiful feeling of loving and caring for the inner spirit of each other. This can be done without emotional dependence as long as both partners trust each other and care for the others’ emotions as well as pleasure.
Sensuality is perhaps the most underdeveloped and ignored senses and gifts someone can have for themselves. We were born for touch and feelings of sensuality. Somewhere between babyhood and adulthood we develop touch barriers which can be harmful to our well-being. Rediscovering your sensuality is to regain your basic needs of what feels good and having no guilt or judgment attached to these feelings. Dressing, dancing and singing for one’s pleasure, acknowledging who you are when there are no social masks, getting in touch with your spirits purpose and learning to love and nurture oneself are part of the rediscovery path.
Celebrate the Differences
Touch is the most powerful way to communicate empathy, friendship, approval, affirmation and love to another. Sexual intimacy is usually the top of commonly desired intimacies within a partnership and usually one of the first to degrade into a meaningless function. As men and women approach sexual intimacy in different ways, it is important for both to understand and be mindful of the importance of these when approaching your partner. Men’s emphasis usually focuses on the physical aspects; seeing, touching, and feeling – so it is important to present in a visually sensual way for them. This will mean different things to different people – so frank conversations on what each partner likes and dislikes is necessary. Women tend to focus on the emotional aspects – to feel loved, wanted, cared for, and treated tenderly. Every couple’s experiences make them an expert in their own right – so what is right for one couple may not be appropriate for another.
By understanding the difference between men and women, one couple and another – will pave the way to mutual understanding of what satisfies the other. Men generally need to learn to focus on their partner’s emotional need for love. Women usually need to understand the physical aspect of their partner’s sexual desires. This mutual understanding requires leaning, conversations which are open and honest and safe from judgment. By focusing on making the sexual experience an act and expression of love, they will find the path to sexual intimacy.
Each one of these intimacies deserve a weekend workshop or a chapter of a book alone and there are many aspects not explored within this article . Obviously you cannot separate sexual intimacy from emotional, intellectual, social, and spiritual intimacy. Love can be learned; through understanding the different love languages and needs of your partner – close and meaningful sexual intimacy is one of the results. Keep an open and honest communication link with your partner and take things slowly – with little pressure – and connect again with yourself as a sensual being, before attempting to touch another.
For more indepth information on reigniting the flame of passion, hormones, libido and the affect birthing has on them – Visit www.reclaimsexafterbirth.com.
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