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  • jennevadomski

Pina Coladas and Romance After Kids

Updated: Apr 3

This is one of my favorite blogs that I wrote way back in 2009, while on vacation with three of our kids in Virginia Beach, pregnant with our fourth baby. This was before Gary Chapman's Five Love Languages became a regular discussion in couples' sessions, and when I was still very new in the field. I have to say though, 15 years later, I still agree with the sentiment!

 

I conduct online and telephone counseling sessions to help people in their everyday lives.  Sometimes I refer them to in-person one-on-one or family therapy, and other times I play the role as that unbiased random ear that will listen to what's bugging someone while still being able to remain "unknown" to the outside world.   As a Marriage and Family Counselor, I was at first surprised to get so many calls from married men.  After a little while, I could pretty much guess as soon as I would hear that male voice on the other end of the line what we would be discussing.  When the person who is listening to you on the other end of the line is a professional, anonymous human being who you will unlikely ever run into at the grocery store, it is amazing how much you will share with that person.

 

"My wife and I don't have sex anymore." That is usually the topic that comes up with married men in phone counseling sessions.  Most men do not come straight out with that statement right away, some beat around the bush for a while, but in the end the discussion always turns to romance after kids.

 

Hmmm.... now is that a bit of an exaggeration?  In 99% of the conversations, it is.  What they really mean in most instances is "Our sex life is not as it used to be. Could there be a problem in our marriage?"

 

Of course there is no way to tell if there is truly a problem in the marriage without further probing and discussion, and of course it would also be helpful to speak with both spouses before answering that question.  But for most of the men who call me to chat, the only problem is that for many couples, kids, chores, careers, and just life in general get in the way of that ravenous sex life that was once more active in the relationship.

 

As I was preparing for this article, I was sitting by the pool watching my husband swim with my kids on a weekend family getaway (which replaced many of our romantic getaways from years ago), and the old "Pina Colada Song" was being played by the disc jockey.  I had to chuckle, because it was so appropriate to many of the men who I counsel...  A married man is looking through the paper and comes across a personal ad asking for someone who likes "pina coladas, and getting caught in the rain"; a smart man who isn't into yoga and health foods, but would rather drink champagne and make love at midnight in the dunes on the cape.

 

So the husband replies to the ad stating he wants the same things and asks to meet the woman at a bar so the two could run away together.  The kicker is that the woman who shows up is actually his wife.  Neither of them knew how the other was feeling.  It’s almost like they lost touch with each other due to the hustle and bustle of life and forgot to ask the other how he or she felt along the way.

 

Through my counseling sessions with my married men clients, I always make sure to ask them if they have shared how they feel about the change in their sex life with their partners, and I request that they ask their partners how they feel about the changes as well.

 

The other thing I find ironic in the song is that the man thinks he is alone in feeling as if their relationship was dragging like "a worn out recording of a favorite song". But the wife was the first one to take out the ad, so she knew it also!  This is another reason why I always tell my clients to verbalize how they feel with their partners, because they may not be alone in their thinking.

 

Although I always liked the song, I did think it was horrible that the couple were looking else ware in their marriage for some spice.  But the longer I am married and the more children we have, although I wouldn't take the lyrics literally, the message is the same message I give to all my clients and how my husband and I try to keep our relationship:  we always verbalize our feelings and be sure to take some time out regularly to take care of each other.  Whether we go out to dinner alone, get a night to each other (we are lucky to have both sets of parents who are willing to take the kids overnight on occasion), or even if we just get to go grocery shopping just the two of us, that "couple time" means the world to us.  It is also amazing how a small gesture or change of scenery such as an overnight in a hotel without the kids can renew the spice and remind both of the partners what drew them to each other in the first place.

 

I have recently been interviewing some moms/wives on the subject and many of the thoughts are the same.  For many, it isn't that they have fallen out of love or no longer want to be intimate, but at the end of the day, there is just so much going on that life gets in the way.

 

I have gotten other good suggestions to help spice things up, regardless of your budget.  Taking a nice walk together without the kids is a good one.  Rose petals and candles create a different ambiance.  Many husbands also complain that their wives never initiate intimacy.  Well it doesn't always have to be this way. It’s nice to feel wanted and it doesn't hurt to put the moves on your man every once in a while!

 

I cannot stress enough how important good communication is within a relationship.  You never know, you might learn that you aren't the only one who likes Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain...  Your spouse might, too!

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