Home' Nova National : February 2011 Contents daughter and grandaughter. She went on to
tell me that when her daughter asked her
to babysit as 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
© NOVA FEBRUARY 2011 19
up and spend quality time with him. This
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 communicat-
ion. 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
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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