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How I brought the sexy back to our marriage

I silently set myself the goal of sex five times a week.

How I brought the sexy back to our marriage

I heard him pad softly into the room mere minutes after I had shut off the light. I held still. As he climbed into bed I felt myself involuntarily stiffen then relax as his chaste cheek kiss meant I didn’t need to worry about having sex tonight.


Steve and I were a fair way past the honeymoon period with two small ubiquitous boys.

I felt a vague sense of guilt about my physical withdrawal from my husband but I soothed it by talking to friends over wine and tea. They were tired too, they were nursing and snuggling and tending to kids. They were stretched literally and figuratively.

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We excused each other. Our bodies were not our own, but neither were they our husband’s.

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The next morning Steve was making us family brunch with both boys underfoot when I came downstairs after sleeping in. Usually he played records and worked at the griddle, frying pan and cutting board at once. The silence registered in the back of my mind as I slipped my arms around him for a front to back hug. It was his turn to stiffen. Moving around the island I hopped up on our custom cherry stools and started picking at the raspberries that he had begun spooning out on the plates.

‘What’s wrong?” I asked him. It wasn’t with tenderness, but closer to an accusation. I knew what was wrong. He asked for so little from me. None of it through words, but a physical appeal, and I had been rebuffing him for an unreasonably long time.

Instead of apologizing, or leading him upstairs to really apologize I picked a fight; going on the offensive was a lot easier than dealing with the reality of our shrinking sex life.

“I can’t believe you are pissed at me. You know how tired I have been, it is totally unfair to be angry because I wouldn’t have sex with you last night.”

“It’s not that…” Here he trailed off. I was just revving up, gaining ammunition. He never talks to me about what he is feeling, blah blah. Somehow I didn’t move forward with my next line of attack. I saw the slump of his shoulders as he flipped the pancakes that he made from scratch without his usual flair. I could do it, I could beat him down until he was left apologizing to me, but this time I didn’t.

I had expectations for him as a father and as a husband. I wanted him to work full time, do the majority of the cooking, tickle and toss our kids, take out the trash, and listen patiently as I ranted about how obsessed everyone was with strollers. I felt entitled to a Sherpa a chef and a cheerleader.

What did he want from me? It was a short list. To feel as though he could make me happy. Secondarily he wanted to be satisfied in bed.

That was something I could give him.

I know the catalyst to connection for my husband is sex. For me it is conversation. It doesn’t seem fair that I justified withholding sex for days or weeks at a time. I would never accept a husband who ignored my attempts at conversation for a week. That would be ridiculous. I ignored my friends’ assertion that sex on Saturdays was all we needed to offer.

I silently set myself the goal of sex five times a week.

To make it easier to get started I decided I would call these more frequent sexual interludes “quickies” requiring less intense attention to timing, mood setting and foreplay. A sort of in and out if you will. I would shut the door while the kids were watching TV and lead him into the bathroom. I set my alarm 5 minutes early and woke him naked. We decided to include a vibrator in our every day sex, ensuring that we could both be satisfied in a reasonable amount of time.

Seven years later we have sex 5 to 7 times a week. Nothing like the tangled sheets of our early days, but from what I can tell from book club far more than our peers.

He feels the kind connections that he craves. He looks at me with love, strokes my hair and asks me questions. For less than 30 minutes a day I have my chef and Sherpa. Beyond that I have a friend and supporter whose physical affection I no longer rebuke. I also have orgasms at the hand of my husband, and that makes us both happy.

Anna Rosenblum Palmer is a freelance writer based in Denver, CO. She does a fair amount of navel gazing on her own blog at annarosenblumpalmer.com. (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram.)

This article was originally published on The Good Men Project.

This year many of us have a tighter budget than usual given (looks around) everything that has happened. Coupled with the uncertainty of what Halloween might look like, many of us are reluctant to spend money on brand new costumes that our kids will outgrow by next year. I get it. But I also know that many, like me, love Halloween so much. I thought about skipping the celebration this year, but that just feels like too big of a disappointment in an already disappointing year.

That's why I started looking into alternative costumes—something my kids will be able to wear once the clock hits November, and maybe even hand down to siblings and cousins in the coming years. At the same time, I'm not a DIY person, so I wanted outfits that didn't require any sewing or hot glue. Last year I attempted using one to build my son's Care Bear costume, and of course, I burnt my hand.

So with some creativity (and the brainpower of my colleagues), we came up with these costumes that are both fun and practical, made with items that your children will be able to (and want to!) wear year around:

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I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.

Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.

As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.

Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.

When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.

My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.

So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.

When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.

When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.


And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.

Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.

I Am Enough bracelet 

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May this Oath Bracelet be your reminder that you are perfect just the way you are. That you are enough for your children, you are enough for your friends & family, you are enough for everything that you do. You are enough, mama <3

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