4 Ways to Make Sex Happen in the Chaos

make sex

As a mom of four and practicing mental health therapist, I am in a season of life where I hit my emotional and physical touch quota by 10:30 a.m. By the time my husband gets home from work in the evening, all I want to do is read a book, take a long bath, and eat a Twix candy bar while hiding under my bed covers so my little boogers don’t smell the chocolate! (You know what I’m talking about!) You can imagine that sex and intimacy would not be on my agenda on those days!

And intimacy is infinitely more than just sex. {Tweet This} It is the act of deepening the bond with your spouse on a physical, chemical, psychological, and spiritual level. I envision not having intimacy in a marriage is like walking through a desert with a glass of water always out of reach. But even knowing this, I feel that in the beautiful chaos that is raising kids I’ve become desensitized to my own need for intimacy!

My husband and I together see a mentor to bring wisdom, healing, and energy into our marriage and parenting. I love his 4 suggestions for how to get your marriage intimacy back on track.

1. Power of Communication

Intentionally communicate daily to talk about our days, our feelings, our disappointments, even if only for 10 minutes. We feel connected and renewed in our relationship when we feel heard and loved. This creates intimacy without sex, a necessary interaction in a healthy marriage. And if you need ideas for what to talk about, try our Marriage TALK Conversation Starters.

2. Clue Him In

If your husband never knows when you are “in the mood,” give him big clues that it’s ok to initiate.This is important for both spouses to dialogue before putting into practice, instead of just assuming the other will understand the clues. For example, I gave my husband what I thought was the obvious “wink wink” only for him to be oblivious until the kids asked if there was something wrong with my face!

3. Consider establishing frequency expectations

Another suggestion was to discuss with your spouse a frequency expectation for sex. If both spouses know that sex and intimacy will happen within a certain time period, it allows the anxiety and frustration to dissipate; as well as allowing sex to be more about the mood than fitting it into the schedule.

And as I believe each relationship is unique and needs its own creative additions, here’s what I added to our mentor’s suggestions:

4. Grace for past behaviors

Talking about past behaviors related to our intimacy or lack of. I am more patient and forgiving when I understand the root behind a behavior, and I know my husband is the same way. So explaining my feelings or giving him examples of previous mistakes we’ve both made helps him to make successful and confident choices in initiating intimacy moving forward.

My goal in practicing these suggestions is to not only create a sense of security for my husband in approaching me for intimacy but for me to be reminded that marriage can be a place of refreshment when life is chaotic!

So my new plan the next time I have a long day with the kids and work: He and I can both hide under the sheets and share my Twix candy bar!

Let’s Talk: How is chaos interrupting intimacy in your marriage? Which suggestion will you try to regain your connection? 


  • Tiphanie Loreal Lea

    My partner and I have been together for 2 years now and I can literally count on one hand how many times we’ve had sex. And to be perfectly honest most of those times she was drunk. When we first got together she only had custody of her son. Since then we’ve gotten custody of her daughter. She is 13 and he is 11 so we are dealing with the beginning of the teenage years. To top that off we had to move in to her moms house because of finances. So we are definitely in chaos. But only recently has our intimacy complete disappeared. We’ve always had communication problems but j definitely won’t to work on that.

    • Paige Clingenpeel

      Whoa, that is a lot of chaos! Have you two ever considered having a date night, or a night of solitude staying home? No expectations, just time together, without kids.

      • Tiphanie Loreal Lea

        We’ve had a couple of dates in the two years we been together and we didn’t start out dating, we just became a couple. But things have been so stressful that we don’t have time to just be. If we stop doing anything we just feel guilty. We also have no where for the kids to go since we do live with her mother and she’s out babysitter.

        • Paige Clingenpeel

          Try putting the kids in front of the TV for a movie, and take dinner in the bedroom for you and your partner. You can make it as romantic as you want, with candles and music. Turn off your own tv and just talk! There are plenty of other free dates out there where the kids can be present but are not engaged in your conversations. Like taking a walk, going to a park. Going to the mall and walking around. It’s hard to have energy and time, but we put our most time and energy into what means most. If it’s not your relationship then it might be time to reevaluate your priorities.

  • Islamic Infidel

    Not too useful if I may say so…

    • Paige Clingenpeel

      Sorry to hear that this article doesn’t offer you any help. What were you looking for that might have addressed your situation?

  • Rita

    Hi all great suggestions but what if I’ve done all above and still nothing from my spouse? He has recently (this week) says he no longer feels the same about me and that even though he loves me and he sees me as a beautiful woman and a wonderful mother he still doesn’t find me attractive? I feel like our marriage started in chaos and is still in chaos with me going back to school and finishing my BA while taking care of our son and working part time, us moving four times in 6 years and him changing his career and us being financially unstable, we have been through it all these past 5 years and now things are changing again since he’s finally admitting that it’s me that he doesn’t want in bed. I’ve tried everything from communication to massaging him in bed, to resorting to watch porn with him to get him to know that I want him and only him even through all this chaos..I look back at our relationship and 9 out of 10 times I’m the one who has to be the person to initiate the sex and I’m the one who has to do most of the work. I’ve done as much as I could to spice things up, dressing sexy, wearing sexy underwear, flirty txts, wearing makeup, surprise bj’s in the morning, wearing heels all the time, cooking his fave meals, getting him beer when he’s tired, watching movies he wants to watch, everyone always compliments us on how we’re are such an attractive couple and that we have the “Ideal” family when we are out together. so what more can I do to make him want me sexually and not just the nanny who cooks and cleans and calls his mom back? Thank you in advance.
    x- losinghope

    • Kaleigh

      Rita, thank you so much for your transparency about your marriage. It sounds like it has been so difficult for you and even though I don’t know you, I want to encourage you to not lose hope. I am praying for your marriage. And specifically praying you would know that the Lord is with you and he will never leave you or forsake you. Praying this would provide you hope in this season of hardship – you aren’t alone.