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This concept presents itself in two ways generally:
- One spouse has a checklist of things that must occur before sex. See this comment.
- Life is just too busy and there doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day.
The answer to both is pretty much the same, though the push-back might vary. The solution really is quite simple, though the implementation will probably take some resolve.
Ready for it?
Here we go.
Do fewer things!
Seriously, that’s it.
If your life is too busy to be married, time to clear some space before you get divorced. Here are just some things that are less important than your marriage. If you don’t have time for sex, then you don’t have time for much else. Go to work, go to church. Cut the rest until things normalize. Because your marriage should be a fairly large priority in your life. It should be God, then marriage, then the rest.
A lot of people get bogged down with kids activities. Guess what. They are not a necessity (unlike sex in a marriage). They are a bonus, an extra, something you do if you have the time and money. Sacrificing your marriage so your kids can kick a soccer ball is a bad trade. Cut sports, gymnastics, music lessons, etc..
Kids need a loving home with affectionate parents above everything else (excluding food and shelter). It is more important than birthday parties, dances and movies. I’d even argue that it’s more important than their education, since the stats show that kids with divorced parents:
- Have less of a chance going to post-secondary school
- Will likely earn less money
So, it’s not really worth helping them with their homework if they’re never going to get a decent education or job. Focus on the marriage first.
Cut out church activities. Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely in favor of going to church. But there is often a lot of extra stuff going on that is extremely helpful, but if it’s interfering with your marriage, it is counterproductive for you. So, quit the board/committee/council. Step down as deacon/elder/lay pastor/coordinator/children’s ministry/nursery/small group leader/youth group leader/singer/pianist/etc..
If you don’t have time to have sex, you don’t have time to visit family. You don’t have time for vacations. You don’t have time for camping, or Disney, or cruises.
TV. Computer. Phone. Get rid of them. Simple. Unless you NEED it for work (and then only use it for work), it needs to go. Sorry, you can’t handle having them, so you won’t handle having them.
So, what’s left?
OK, so cut all that out. What’s taking your time? If it’s not
- Work that you need to survive (that doesn’t mean pay for the boat, or the second car you wouldn’t need without the second job)
- Scripture (and too much scripture can be a sin, don’t think it can’t)
- Prayer (too much prayer can be a sin too)
- Raising your children (which again, needs to be reasonable)
then you need to get rid of it.
Cut everything. Then, once sex is back on the table regularly, start adding them in, by ones and twos (not everything all at once). As soon as your marriage starts suffering: STOP! That’s where you hold for a while. Because you can’t handle more.
Where’s the sacrifice?
As mentioned in another comment, most advice in the Christian community revolves around being more loving and more sacrificial in order to bring sex back into a marriage. Believe me, all these changes aren’t going to work if you do it with the wrong spirit. This isn’t about punishing. This isn’t a punitive “Not enough time? Fine, we’ll see how much time you have when I take everything away!” This has to be done in love.
You have to look at your spouse, realize they are overburdened and can’t seem to stick to priorities. So, you need to help them simplify, and you can’t do that if you aren’t willing to simply your life as well, and so you need to do it because you want the marriage, as a whole, to improve, for both of you. Not because you want sex, because, the fact is, the lack of sex is a symptom, not a cause. The cause (in this case) is not enough time. Or, it’s possible that you do all this, and there still isn’t any sex happening. Then, to use medical terminology, the lack of time isn’t the cause either, but “referred pain”, and you have to start looking for the real reason.
But, this all takes a loving spirit. Of wanting to connect with your spouse in a more meaningful way. And it will take sacrifice, don’t think it won’t. It’s going to be hard to tell your kids “sorry, we have to pull you out of football, we have too much to do around the house, and we need your help.” It’s going to be hard to say “I know we go camping every year, but we can’t, we just don’t have the time.” And it’s going to be hard to tell your pastor “I know I signed up to be an elder for 2 years, but my marriage is in crisis, and I believe God’s requirements for an elder is to have his house in check first, and I don’t qualify for this position.” That is going to take sacrifice. Because someone is going to have to stand firm while the other spouse, children, church, friends, family are all mad at you and think you are insane and unreasonable.
To me, marriage is worth enduring that ridicule.
What do you think? How would you react to “we don’t have enough time for sex”? Let us know in the comments below.