Yesterday, my husband and I, along with our five kids, celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. Thirty years of marriage. Thirty years of blog post fodder for rumination. I think I’ll write about sex.
You may be thinking:
- You’ve been married for 30 years. Do you remember what sex is?
- You have five kids. Why should I listen to anything you have to say about sex?
- You must be really old.
I’ve been asked occasionally (by other women, of course) if sex after so many years with the same guy gets boring. In my younger days, I wondered/worried myself about that happening. Let’s be honest, no matter how long you’ve been with someone, sometimes it’s boring. For my husband and me, it’s much better (seriously) than it was when we got married for a few reasons: maturity, intimacy, imagination, and Natural Family Planning.
Before I continue, let’s get passed the roadblocks that may have appeared:
- This post is about my sex life, not my religious beliefs, lifestyle, or the way I fold my socks.
- NFP is not your mother’s fallible rhythm method. This is the new scientifically improved sympto-thermo method. We’ve been practicing it for twelve years and have never experienced an unexpected pregnancy. Believe it or not, we planned those five kids.
- This isn’t going to be a graphic blog post. I write only fictional sex scenes.
Back to Natural Family Planning and the Familiarity That Devours Everything. I’m going to add Cheez-Its to the mix. Trust me. This will work.
Give me a box of Cheez-Its and chances are I’ll eat the entire thing. At first, I savor every gloriously cheesy square. Soon, I’m enjoying handfuls but not paying much attention to them. I can’t stop eating them until it hits me that I’m ready to vomit. Here’s the sad thing—the box must be stashed far away from me, or I’ll keep eating them. I put them away, but a few hours later I’m thinking about them again. I get the box, nestle it on my lap, and dig in. But I’m not really paying attention to the crunchy goodness anymore. I’m just eating them because I crave them. When Cheez-Its are in the cupboard, it’s easy to take them for granted.
Sex can be like that.
An endless supply of instant gratification isn’t always gratifying. Or enjoyable. But think of the anticipation and excitement you feel at the approach of pumpkin spice latte season, or the Superbowl, or the new season of Downton Abbey, or baseball’s opening day. YOU CAN’T WAIT. But you have to.
When you practice Natural Family Planning, there is an eight to twelve day period when pregnancy may occur. If you want to get pregnant that’s the time to go for it, but if you don’t want to get pregnant then sex is off-limits.
Taking a break from sex is difficult, but it has some positive effects:
- You learn to be creative during the abstinence.
- It gives you time to recharge. You’d be amazed the effect this has.
- You anticipate spending intimate time with your partner. It doesn’t have to be scheduled, penciled in, blocked off. It becomes a priority.
- It’s less likely that sex will become stale and mundane.
- You see beyond sex. As a couple, you’re able to focus on each other and not what you want to happen later.
My husband and I were skeptical when we heard that practicing NFP would improve our marriage, especially our sex life. It’s not the only reason familiarity hasn’t devoured us, but it’s a great weapon to have in our arsenal.