I’m sitting in bed cuddling the love of my life, my laptop. My iPhone is next to me, chirping every time I get a new tweet or text. The TV is on. It’s the “Real Housewives Reunion Show.” It’s terrible TV I know, but I find it oddly relaxing and I always tune in. Meanwhile I’m multitasking, watching the show while working on my computer. The house is quiet. The kids are asleep. And I’ve never been happier.
The hubs sits next to me, cozied into his side of the bed. He looks up at the TV, “Didn’t we watch that one already?” he asks in all seriousness. “No,” I tell him. “That was last week’s, but the same thing happens every week.” He laughs at me for watching, puts on his headphones, and plugs in to watch some new edgy crime show on his iPad.
We sit comfortably like this for an hour before I get sleepy and turn everything off. But as I’m going to sleep, I realize that all these devices have become somewhat of a turn off. The hubs and I are both here in bed, basically wasting time watching crappy TV. So why aren’t we having sex with one another instead? I do a mental calculation trying to remember when we’d last had sex. I gasp as I realize it’s been a while.
Prior to having kids, my husband and I vowed not to fall into that married people no sex rut. Honestly we’d always enjoyed a very reliable, healthy sex life, but it had been a (gasp!) long time. Worse yet, I realized the time in between each time seemed to be getting longer and longer. And despite the time constraints of having children and jobs and all the scheduling and exhaustion that comes with both, we still always managed to have a healthy sex life.
Were we just not interested in one another, or were we so distracted by all the information coming our way that we’d distracted ourselves away from a sex life? Either way, I was concerned. A bad sex life had always felt to me like the beginning of the end of an otherwise healthy marriage. I didn’t want my marriage to be a casualty worthy of a TV movie I’d seen on one of the screens that was distracting me.
So the next night, I decided not to have any screens or tech devices near my bed. But then I had a deadline I didn’t meet during the day, and I had to do some work on my computer. Then from across the room, I heard my phone letting me know I had gotten a text. “What if it’s important?” I thought to myself as I walked over to get it. It wasn’t important, but by the time I’d worked and texted then distracted myself with a little scroll through Facebook, I wasn’t really thinking about having sex. I was thinking about the zillion things my screens were telling me I have to do.
My husband was no different. Between the latest show on the iPad, the thing he saved on the DVR, and the work he had to catch up on in the evening, he was in a better relationship with his screens than he was with me.
And so I made a rule: No more screens in the bedroom. Suddenly, we seemed to have a lot more time for a lot more sex. I wasn’t answering e-mails as quickly and I sometimes completely missed a text. My husband got totally behind on that new crime drama, but we caught up on one another. I had no idea what was happening on “The Real Housewives,” but I knew what was happening at home.
So if you’re like me and you often catch up on e-mails or work once your kids go to bed, or you use the Internet as a primary resource for your kids, set some boundaries for yourself and your husband like no screens after 9 p.m. Or better yet, make sex the priority and do all that stuff on your computer or iPad later. There’s always more you’ll need to get done so you might as well move sex with your husband to the top of the list. You can even e-mail yourself a reminder.