So this post is going to talk about romantic intimacy while parenting. It’s going to reveal some personal and revealing details about my life with J. If reading about that isn’t your cup of tea, maybe skip this one. Because here it comes…
J and I just got back from an RV trip that lasted nearly three weeks. Obviously, this was a family vacation, so our eleven-year-old son was with us all the time. He was never more than 10 feet away from one or both of us. For three weeks.
I’m not complaining about this in any way. I love our son. J loves our son. We love spending time together as a family. We love road trips in the RV. We watch cartoons and classic movies together. We read books. J bought a traveling keyboard so the boy could practice piano on the road this year. All of our stops were super fun. J and The Boy do remote control car races and tricks together. We went swimming. We went to three different, amazing National Parks and downtown Denver, Colorado and saw all of the varied and beautiful landscapes as we drove from the northern edge of America’s Southeast all the way to the California Coast. We. Went. To. Disneyland.
I showed some photos to some friends as we traveled and when we got back and we got a lot of comments about how happy we all look. One friend even said, ‘You guys are the cutest, happiest family I’ve ever seen! 🙂 ❤ ‘
And that’s accurate. I’m in love with my family. So is J. And The Boy, on the cusp of middle school, still wants to hang out with us, which J and I are both counting as a bonus. But…there’s a downside to that long of a family vacation. And it’s that J and I don’t get any time alone to be a couple.
I love being a family. But I also love being a couple. ALONE. With J. And that lack leaves a noticeable void.
I consume a lot of mass media…online articles, books, television, movies, stand-up comedy…and of course, I have friends in real life who share with me, and so does J. We’ve come to the conclusion based on what we’ve heard that we’re abnormal for a couple who’s been together for 15+ years when it comes to physical intimacy. You know, all those jokes about sex drying up once you’re married…once you’re parents…once you’re a certain age…that are normally (but not always) told by men…that mask frustration and disappointment.
And I have several women friends in marriages who have told me their partner is disinterested in sex with them and it makes them feel unwanted and unattractive with genuine anxiety and sadness. Or THEY are disinterested in sex because their partner regularly pisses them off enough that it kills any urge to initiate or even participate. Nothing funny about worry and depression and anger.
But whether the feeling is anxious or angry or sad or frustrated or annoyed, and whether it’s glazed with humor or not…all of that ain’t us.
We both sometimes just go along with everyone else’s accounts of their committed relationships/marriages’ intimacy records though. We’re private people by nature, and we don’t like to advertise our happy marital connection in all its glory beyond what people can actually see (i.e. ‘You look so happy in all those pictures!’). I guess that’s weird of me to admit how physical intimacy is still a regular part of our relationship here on the blog for everyone to look at, but most of you guys don’t know me, and those of you who do…are you really that surprised?
I miss J in the physical sense when it’s been almost three weeks of forfeited alone time in favor of vacation…even when it’s an amazing trip like our RV vacations always are. I think he misses me too. We’re still into each other ‘that way.’ I can’t see that ever going away with us. Obviously, something medical could happen that would change that, but I don’t think something emotional could happen that would.
Sex is a way J and I connect and share intimacy and romance, and while it’s not and has never been what our relationship is based on, and we certainly express intimacy in lots of other ways, sex is important to both of us. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.
Obviously, we don’t do sexual things together within eyesight and earshot of our son. And when we travel as a family in the motorhome, our son is always in eyesight and earshot, so…it doesn’t happen. But today…is date night. The Boy is going to spend the night with my parents and J and I get a night to ourselves. I’m really looking forward to it. I love being alone with J. And I believe these times alone with J make me a better parent, not only a better partner. It’s a way we show we prioritize our marriage.
I’ll be working on writing my novel and new blog posts about or inspired by things on our trip all day today…and I’ll be humming this song to myself, waiting for tonight.