Monday, January 9, 2012

Don't Be Great Parents but Lousy Lovers

A young mother posted a picture on her Facebook page in which she captioned, “Our night life”. The picture depicted a couple sleeping one on each side of their bed and with their newborn lying horizontally between them. Their position represented the letter H. (The artist expresses that the position of the family formed a letter “H” which stands for Hell.)

First, I thought it was funny and cheeky. But when I gave it more thought, it struck me that this could lead to a serious marital problem.

I have heard from a number of couples that their relationship and intimacy with each other went downhill after having their first child. Mainly, the wives began to focus much of their energy and attention on their children, so much to the extent that some even chide their husbands for not understanding their behaviour at times.

Bringing up children robs many couples of their intimacy and relationship with one another. Understandably, both parents get very excited over the miracle that have been created through their sexual union. For most women, their maternal instinct kicks in, suddenly taking control of their life – sometimes so strongly that she forgets that she is still a wife.

For some, the tremendous changes to a woman’s body brought about by child-bearing make them feel less attractive or desirable about themselves. And for others, just coping with a newborn simply zaps up all energy so much so that intimacy with her husband does not appear on the “To Do” list.

Some husbands find the change in the behavior of their wives rather difficult to accept. Having less time and attention for each other make matters worse. Parenting for the first time can take a heavy toil on the spousal relationship.

However, it need not be that way.

When Natalie was born, Michelle and I aspired to be good parents. Yet, we knew that life was not going to be the same as before. Gone were the intimate days where we were able to do lots of things together as a couple as we now had to consider one more person. As much as we were still deeply in love with one another, gone – albeit for a while – was our intimacy.

Much of our time was spent with Natalie in her early years. Before she turned five, Nathaniel came along and Natalina followed 18 months later. Within the span of just eight years, we had expanded our family to a party of five.

Like most parents, we spent a great amount of time nurturing and growing with our children. Michelle and I truly enjoyed our time with them – from playing, teaching, disciplining, to guiding and establishing them.

Michelle is a great mother with a strong maternal instinct. Being a naturally very protective mother, she channeled lots of her attention and energy toward our children. And even though the way Michelle exudes her motherly love to our children had gotten me feeling naively jealous at times, I learned to be understanding as a husband, and helped out with the baby caring whenever I can.

Though her body had changed, I assured Michelle of her attractiveness. Literally, I courted her back to intimacy.

Our focus on our children went on for many more years. Michelle and I were married for more than 20 years before our children required less of our attention.

But I thank God that through those years, Michelle and I never forgot one another. While much attention was given to our three adorable children, we deliberately found time for ourselves. We realized that we could only become great parents if our relationship was top notched.

We had to deliberately find ways to recharge and refresh our relationship. And we had to deliberately take care to be intimate with each other in order to continue to be in love with one another. We worked on being the great lover to one another.

The word is “deliberate”. If we had not been deliberate, we would not have the energy, desire and time for one another.

A husband who does not love his wife cannot be a great father. And similarly, a wife who does not submit to her husband cannot be a great mother.

Spouses who have no time for each other cannot be good parents.

Spouses who have no more desire for each other – physically or emotionally – cannot be great lovers.

Michelle’s and my message to you is simply this – do not let your children rob you of your intimacy with one another. Deliberately build your relationship with one another and for another.

Only great lovers make great parents! 


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1 comment:

Rosie said...

"Love in marriage should be the accomplishment of a beautiful dream,and not, as it is too often is, the end ." -Karr