Great sex doesn’t just happen. If you believe that, you’ve been watching too much Hollywood. Great sex in an enduring marriage takes intentionality. My friend tells of a young, married medical student who, though overwhelmed by the demands of his residency, was committed to nurturing a strong relationship with his wife. Having heard stories about how families of medical students suffer, my friend asked how he had sustained his connection with his wife. He responded simply, “They aren’t going to get all of me. I’m saving some for home.” Though exhausted at times, and under overwhelming demands, he consciously set aside energy for his most important relationship.

To keep the fire of your marriage burning, it takes intention. Setting aside time to be together and protecting it from the invasions of children, technology, work responsibilities, family obligations is critical to nourishing your relationship.

Spontaneous vs. Planned Sex

Life gets hectic. If you’ve gone for a long season without physical intimacy, it may be you’re allowing your schedule to have the upper hand. Sure, some spontaneity is great, but you may benefit from having a regular time at which you can count on having a sexual connection.

Sound too predictable? Here’s a few of the advantages for busy couples:

  1. Scheduling eliminates “the ask.” Usually one partner has a higher degree of desire than the other and when he/she initiates can feel rejected if the other is less interested. Setting a time takes the guesswork out and leaves room for occasional spontaneity.
  2. Increases anticipation. Scheduling lovemaking makes it a priority and allows each to look forward and prepare, physically and emotionally.
  3. Builds trust. Planning can remind each other that you are working together for intimacy. As you honor the time and protect it from interruption, you say to the other “this time with you is important to me, and I am committed.”

You may find some combination of scheduled and spontaneous sex works best for you.

Invite Variety

Getting creative is a great way to infuse more energy into your sex life. Since sex is a stress reducer, such creativity can go a long way to reducing the weight of your responsibilities and enlivening your relationship. Most men have a longing for adventure. They hate ruts and are thrilled with something new when it comes to sex. Doing something fun and unpredictable is a sure way to a man’s heart. Planning outdoor sex, introducing fragrant massage creams, trying new positions, all breathe new life into the physical relationship.

Prioritize Your Relationship

For you to enjoy a passionate physical relationship, you both need to feel safe. Husbands, if your wife is feeling guarded sexually, she may not be feeling totally secure in your love. For a woman to be fully available to the sexual encounter and experience orgasm, she needs to feel safe enough to be fully vulnerable with you. She needs to feel you are attracted only to her if she is to surrender herself to you physically.

Wives, your husband needs to feel he is more important than the kids, parents, girlfriends, all other priorities. He needs to know that sex isn’t just one more thing on your “to-do” list. If he knows he is your priority, he feels desired which meets his core need to be enough for you. To insure that you are keeping the relationship a priority consider initiating four new behaviors:

  1. Talk alone 20-30 minutes a day
  2. Have a weekly date night
  3. Have a monthly day away
  4. Enjoy a quarterly overnight getaway

Great marriages just like great sex don’t just happen. Set an intention to keep those home fires burning and tend the embers on a regular basis!