The beginning of a relationship is magical. You bump along together, tripping the light fantastic, reflecting on rainbows and treading on stardust. Then you get married and move into the same house. Inevitably, this other person who before was completely awe-inspiring, becomes human in the harsh light of reality pummeled with mortgages and middle-of-the-night diaper changes. The day-to-day stuff of marriage is challenging and at times it can feel like there’s not enough of anything to go around. That’s when harnessing a sense of abundance becomes critical to the happiness of a marriage.
I think we can all agree that living out of a sense of abundance feels way better than living out of a sense of lack. It feels good when you’ve got a little cushion in your bank account and also when you know there’s an endless supply of hugs available from the people you love. Well, it often happens that over time, a marriage begins to operate out of a sense of lack when it comes to sex. That’s right, not just your marriage. After that psychotic in love, can’t-breath-without-you, want-to-crawl-up-inside-your-body-so-that-I-am-never-separated-from-you-ever-again wears off (because it does—once you start taking out the trash and paying bills together), the drive to constantly connect sexually wanes. It just does. And really, for good reason—because at some point, you have to leave the bed, go out into the world and make something happen.
So it’s just the natural order of things that the sex slows as a marriage progresses. There are some specific reasons, too, like the crazy demands placed on our time on any given day. Work and kids—babies especially—wring us mothers out physically and emotionally until we don’t have anything left to give. After a day spent putting out fires at the office and/or wrestling toddlers at home, maybe we’re a little choosy when it comes to how we’d like to use what little energy we have left. It’s nothing personal against our spouse, but come 9pm on a Wednesday night, we’d often pick a Klondike bar and an Everybody Loves Raymond rerun over a roll in the hay. That’s just how the day shakes out, a fair amount of the time.
But there is something to be done about this waning sexual frequency, which over time, takes a toll on the connection in marriage. You can consciously, intentionally choose love. That’s right, choose it. Choose love, again and again until it becomes a habit. Because that’s all are days are, you know, a string of habits held together haphazardly or with intention. Your choice. Choose well, in the shadow of the year ahead.