“You’re too focused on the kids,” our therapist announced. “You need to reconnect with one another.”
She was right. Lately our marriage had felt more like a business partnership than a romantic relationship. I tried to remember when we’d had our last date. When we’d last done the deed. It had been weeks.
Back at home, we sat on the couch. Fully clothed. Blaming the other for our mutual non-tango.
He says when I go to bed early in my flannels and my zit cream and I pull the covers up to my neck that I’m sending the message I’m not interested in sex.
I say he’s looking down at the mail when he comes in the door at the end of the day or he goes to the kids first and he doesn’t appear to be interested in me.
We were both starved for attention. And we didn’t talk like we used to.
I know that sex is not a substitute for love and healthy communication. But It was late and I didn’t want to argue anymore. Also, it had been 15 minutes and I needed to wash the algae mask off my face.
“How about this?” I blurted out. “We have sex every day for a week. That should get us out of this rut.”
Jonathan’s eyes lit up like he had just stepped into Penthouse Forum: The Movie.
And so began our 7 days of sex.
Day One: I am a Geeeeeeenius.
Seriously. How great is this idea?! Greatest. Idea. Ever. And I came up with it! We got right to work and ended up a breathless heap on a bearskin rug. OK, we don’t own a bearskin rug, but if we had we’d have ended up on it. Just 6 more sextastic days to go! What was I thinking? Should’ve made it a 30-day challenge!
Day Two: The Road to Sexy Land
What do you mean I didn’t come up with this idea? My friend had informed me that another blogger had already written about having sex every day for a year. A year! Not only that but there’s also a book called 7 Days of Sex Challenge. A book! Dammit. I really prefer to be original.
When Jonathan came home our bad moods collided.
Okaaay. Why did he bring in the car seat I had left in the driveway? “It’s cold out,” he said. But I washed it. It needed to be left out to dry. “It’s not going to dry tonight anyway.” But still. Just leave it there. I was peeved. Why bring a wet car seat into a dry house? Who brings a wet car seat into a dry house?
Someone I’ve committed to having sex with later, that’s who.
Before bed, the kids did just what I’d predicted. They played in the car seat and their pajamas got wet. Because the car seat was wet. And needed to be left outside. Like I said.
How would we get to Sexy Land from here?
Fortunately Jonathan changed their clothes and put them to bed without my help. And I was grateful to have 20 minutes alone. Just enough time for me to let go of my anger so we could have sex. When he came into the living room he smiled. “I was cranky about work,” he said. I smiled too. “Don’t mess with my controlled environment,” I said. Then, with the cloud lifted, we had sex.
We were getting past petty problems that could’ve lasted days— the 7-day plan was working!
Day Three: Phone it in.
Smalls was sick so I had to keep her home from preschool. I was behind on work. I hadn’t been to the gym all week. Due to an unknown allergy, I’d been applying cortisone cream to my face four times a day. I felt out of shape and unattractive. My throat was dry and I was probably coming down with the same thing Smalls had.
At the end of the day, sex was the furthest thing from my mind.
So I phoned it in. Not like “Hi, I’m Amber tell me how you like it.” I phoned it in as in I went about the motions even though I had my feelings. And guess what? My feelings changed. Because no matter how grumpy I get, my husband is still a hot piece of ass.
Day Four: Manual Labor
You can figure out what that means. Think about it. And yes, it counts.
Day Five: The School Fundraiser as Foreplay
No kids. Karaoke night in Venice Beach. I had mojitos. He sang Allison.
Elvis Costello? Some nights were easier than others.
Day Six: I’m Not Laughing at You, I’m Laughing with You
This is hilarious. We’re about to have sex again. Haha! We just did it last night. And the night before. And the night before and the night before and before. For some reason sex every night was very, very funny. We made jokes. Some lewd, some not. Then we had sex. Even though we were laughing. Because we were still making jokes. While we were having sex. Which was really, really funny!
Day Seven: And on the Seventh Day…
We rested. Look, even God had to rest on the seventh day, people.
The truth is, we got in a fight. It looked like a fight about how he’s always leaving things lying around or how I’m always throwing those things away… but it was really about something deeper. This time, the plan for sex wasn’t enough for either of us to let the fight go away.
We went back to the therapist and shared about our 7 days of sex. She listened and smiled. Then she took a deep breath and said, “How about ‘How was your day’ instead?” She gave us a prescription: At the end of each day, spend 10 minutes looking into each others eyes… and talking. Uninterrupted. No complaining. Just sharing the good. And this way we begin the process of reconnecting. Eventually, sex will follow.
We’re actually on day 15 and it’s going really well.