Parenting Killing Intimacy
Q: It's true what they say about married couples—the fact that they just sit home and take care of their kids. It's sad because my wife and I used to be so social, and we loved to go to wine bars and whisky bars and fancy restaurants. The other night my wife suggested that we plan a "date night." On this night we must force ourselves to not just be complacent and sit home but instead go out. I told her I didn't mind the idea, but I felt that it was forced. I miss spontaneity. Do you think having to force a "date night" is a road to a life of other things feeling forced and fake? That doesn't sound very appealing to me. -Thom,30
Dr. Anna: You two really need to talk, and the fact that she is coming forward with some ideas is a very good sign. The key question to focus on is this: What do you each need? It sounds like you need a sense of excitement and novelty. She may need a sense of romance and intimacy. They you each need to figure out how to give that to each other. You need to meet her needs. Does she like small gifts? More physical touching? And she needs to meet yours in return. Do you want her to be spontaneous and give you a sexy surprise? Ask for it!
You two need to sit down and talk honestly about what would feel intimate and romantic for each of you. Then start doing that more intentionally. It should be the opposite of boring—it should be fun. Like falling in love again. But this time on purpose.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.