"I Love My Wife, But Without Intimacy, It Just Feels Like We’re Good Co-parents Who Live Together"
"I’m looking to understand if I’m being unreasonable and this is common or symptomatic of a bigger issue in our relationship," the dad shared.
Sex post delivery might be a subject most new parents push under the carpet. But it can be cause for worry if your sex life doesn’t pick up at all and you and your partner are on different levels of intimacy.
The father of a three-year-old toddler shared a similar concern.
In his rather public post asking for help, he mentioned that his wife’s sexual desires have waned after the birth of their child and they “barely have sex once a month.”
He asked for, “honest opinion from women with just one kid around three” on how to deal with the issue.
“My Wife’s Sex Drive Decreased After She Gave Birth” Shares The New Dad
The dad mentioned on Reddit that his wife never really had a great sex drive, but that also decreased post the birth of their child.
He wrote, “We’d attended prenatal classes which also focused on our relationship so I wasn’t under any disillusionment that it would take a while to return to sex and that it likely wouldn’t be as frequent as before pregnancy.”
The man further elaborated that he and his wife had enough open communication on the same. However, “she’s told me her body, since birth, hasn’t felt like her own since childbirth, breastfeeding, constant toddler carrying etc has led her to wanting to be touched sexually less often,” he shared.
Over the years, the man kept hoping that these symptoms in his wife would fade and her sexual desires would get better, but there hasn’t been any improvement.
“Our kid is now 3, has slept through the night for over two years, and I’m the one who wakes up in the night if needed. (I have no issues getting back to sleep after being woken up so I’ve volunteered. Mentioning this as sleep deprivation isn’t a dominating factor).” he added.
The husband mentioned, “I love my wife but without intimacy (sex or otherwise) it just feels like we’re good co-parents who live together. I also don’t know how much longer I can do this. I’m looking to understand if I’m being unreasonable and this is common or symptomatic of a bigger issue in our relationship.”
Fellow New Parents Shared Their Two Cents On Sex Post Delivery
1. Seek help from counsellor
One parent suggested, “Maybe your wife could use some help from a counsellor or doctor. My friend had the same. No guarantee though that it will change anything. Pregnancy, birth and child-rearing is very tough, both physically and mentally. Woman tend to put every ounce of energy towards their child and put themselves last.”
2. Share the load
I know it seems stereotypical and sexist to even ask these questions but there have been so many posts on this subreddit from moms who are on the other side of this argument. Many moms feel that not only is their body not theirs, but their mind too. So, I would just rule out the Mental Load aspect.
I had a pretty high sex drive before during and (6 weeks) after my pregnancy. My husband and I certainly do it less frequently but it went from Daily to 3x a week.”
3. Resort to healthy lifestyle
Yet another user named Flowchart83 suggested that once they resorted to a healthy lifestyle, their sex drives will improve.
He wrote, “For my wife and I, our sex life only ramped up after our 3rd child by drastically changing our diet and sleep patterns, leading to generally much higher sex drives. We both went on a strict keto diet and lost a lot of weight, with more than adequate nutrition, and reduced caffeine to only a couple cups in the morning (was way higher and all through the day before) to get better sleep whenever we can get it.”
4. Spend quality time, create moments for each other
Another parent user named Spinfire mentioned, “You mention COVID in your edit, is part of the issue that you’re struggling to go out? Can you have some inside dates, dressing up if you’re feeling up for it can help you get out of “parent mode” like going out would have, make some cocktails or a dessert together, play a game, watch a movie together, prerecorded/live-streamed concerts if that’s your thing, do a puzzle together, whatever you like?”
“The important part is it’s time you spend with each other, without being buried in social media or individual hobbies, and depending on what you’re up for you’ll reconnect or just relax and watch some TV together. If the kid wakes up, oh well. COVID means you don’t even have to pay a babysitter. You can decide to do this on a regular schedule if you want, which means neither partner has to make it happen,” he added.
This dads issue resonated with many fellow netizens who empathised and shared some wise ideas. But sometimes all you need to give is time. For some, it may be easy, for others, it may take time.
The only way to overcome any difficult phase is to be patient and work together to find a solution. In most relationships, things do get back on track. However, if you’re concerned that your sex life is affecting your relationship, you need to address it.
Sex Post Delivery: 5 Ways To Bring ‘Sexy’ Back
1. Accept physical changes
Post-delivery, your body will go through immense changes. Your c-section scar may be visible, your boobs may leak, and all of this may give rise to the feeling that “I am not sexy anymore.” But you have to learn to not be negative, and instead accept the scars with pride.
Tell the world that these are not ugly marks, but proof that you brought a new life into this world. Once you start positive thinking, you will notice that automatically your confidence level shoots up. You will no longer feel low about yourself. Sometimes you may wonder that “I have put on weight, my husband no longer finds me attractive.” No, it doesn’t happen that way. Remember he loves you, and he will always be there by your side.
Similarly, if you are a new dad, you will need to be more accepting of your wife’s changed body. In fact, it is time to celebrate her and compliment her for the miracle in your lap.
2. Take it slow and easy
Take a slow and easy approach. You can’t expect to go from a non-existent sex life immediately to a full-blown wild sex life overnight. You need to start small and slowly build up.
Maybe go for a romantic dinner tonight, then move on to cuddles, then work on some rubbing and massaging, then foreplay, and maybe then introduce the fireworks. Tell your partner, if you want to take some more time. You may start to feel more sensitive around areas that usually aren’t, or you may even find yourself having a higher or lower sex drive than usual. Make your partner understand what is bothering you.
Sexual desire should be from within so spend quality time with each other and shower compliments on each other for that to happen.
3. Don’t overthink
Most women have the tendency to overthink sex post delivery. Mulling over the fact that your sex life isn’t the same, isn’t going to do any good for you and your partner. This can simply lead up to frustrations and you both may start to drift.
You may often feel that “my husband no longer feels me attractive” and this can often give rise to jealousy and frustration, which are detrimental to any matrimonial relationship. If you are not in the mood for sex, be truthful to your partner.
There are plenty of other ways to show your love for each other that don’t require sex – like cuddling, going on dates, and even watching a movie.
4. Make time for each other
Seems like a no-brainer, right? Well, as simple as it sounds, it’s way harder to make time solely for each other. Amid the growing demands of your child, increasing work chores, office and family commitments, you will often find that you have no time for each other. And so sex post delivery may seem like a dream for now!
So instead, look for a time when you both can spend quality time, probably after your child sleeps. Don’t hesitate to take help from your friends or your family members. You can request them to come over to babysit your child for few hours, while you manage to go on a quick date.
5. Be real
Having the best sex of your life is not the end goal after you have a baby. Just being together, appreciating each other physically, and connecting on many levels is what you need for a healthy relationship. Therefore, you need to be real with your expectation and stop fretting over little things.
Yes, you may want to get back to shape immediately because you feel that this is a major hindrance between you and your husband. Yes, start exercising today, hit the gym, adopt good eating habits. However, don’t expect things to change immediately. Everything takes time, so be real.
At the end of the day what matters is that you are not too harsh on yourself. If there is something that is bothering you, consult a doctor and seek medical help. Sex post delivery is not easy and getting back the lost spark, requires time and a lot of effort together.