Home' Nova West : February 2011 Contents she and her husband wanted to go out on
a date, she scoffed at the idea, demanding
to know what the special occasion was.
But having heard my talk, she understood
that this was something the couple needed
and she intended to be much more
sympathetic in future. Go out together for
fun, relaxation, good food, to talk about
your relationship, whatever shape it's in
-- if it's struggling, come up with positive
ways to improve it; if it's in good shape, talk
about how to maintain this; talk about
the future, plans you have, your children,
your dreams, all in a loving, sharing spirit.
Remember you are a team. Remember
you are two people who love each other
and chose to share your lives.
Let me share two examples where busy
couples came up with workable plans to
create quality time for themselves.
The first couple hardly saw each other
due to the husband's long hours and four
young children. I asked the wife about their
daily schedule and it was pretty horrific.
What night was the freest? Sunday, she said.
So I suggested they put the kids to bed,
then make it their special night with dinner
by candlelight, quiet time just to talk, maybe
a nice glass of wine. If sex follows, great, but
the intimacy created just by the time out
will strengthen the bonds anyway.
The second couple had the same
problem but this time, the wife came up
with a very unusual solution. Her guy ran
a seminar business so would work in his
office during the day and then go off to
evening functions several nights a week. So
she decided she would put the children to
bed after an early meal, eat with them and
then go to sleep as well. When her husband
came home around 10, she would get
up and spend quality time with him. This
© NOVA FEBRUARY 2011 11
arrangement wouldn't suit everyone, but
she believed it was worth the sacrifice to
keep their marriage fresh and alive.
Sex and Romance
After giving birth, a woman often
experiences a loss of libido due to a
number of factors -- hormone changes,
fatigue, absorption of the baby, stress -- so
sex can move down her list of priorities till
it becomes non-existent. Husbands then
can feel neglected, unloved, resentful, even
straying into infidelity.
All this can be avoided by commun-
ication. As a new mother, ask for help,
tell your husband how you're feeling,
explain that you're not rejecting him, but
just don't feel like having sex right now. If
you stay close, the temporary lack of sex
won't matter so much. There are other
ways to still "make love". Romance is
one way and that really just means again
spending time, enjoying each other 's
company, talking over grievances, laughing
(hugely important!), crying together, co-
parenting, sharing chores.
That's what makes family -- unity in
all kinds of situations, ups and downs,
even crises. An unexpected kiss, a gift of a
simple flower, an offer to help, giving
each other a foot rub, listening to music
together, walking hand in hand, cuddling
up in front of TV - these simple gestures
will make all the difference.
With the right attitude, the early years
of parenting will seem like extremely
challenging, but also wonderfully rewarding,
times that didn't break your relationship,
your courage or your spirit. Instead, they
strengthened your joy as a couple.
Charmaine is willing to answer your relationship questions
to appear in NOVA Magazine, both in print and online.
Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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