Leana Greene: Hi. This is Leana, live from Kids in the House. Today we're talking about a very, very interesting topic, sex and relationship after having kids.
First of all, we have Tammy Nelson. She is a PhD, a sex and relationship expert. She has some incredible videos on Kids in the House. She has two books that are super famous. The one is Getting the Sex You Want. The other one is The New Monogamy: Redefining Your Relationship After Infidelity. We are going to dive right it and let you help some parents out there. Here we go. We're going to hear from a parent, I hope.
Speaker 2: Hi. Thank you for having me. Six months ago, my wife and I gave birth to our beautiful little boy, Owen. It's been great, but the sexual part of our relationship was struggling before the baby, and now six months after, it's still been struggling. She's having slight depression, and it's just weighing on me. A couple days ago, I drunkenly went out and I hooked up with a young lady, and I told her. Now the question is, I love my wife, I love my child, I don't want to lose either one of them, so what do I do to save this relationship?
Tammy Nelson: Well, thank you so much for asking. It's really interesting because you said several things, one, that your relationship was a little shaky before the baby came along and, two, that the baby has sort of interfered with your sex life. This is totally common. Then the third part is some infidelity that's affecting your relationship.
My guess is that you have some neglect and some trauma to your erotic life. That's totally different than your companionship, where you get to be like roommates, and take care of your kids, and pay the mortgage, and decide what movie you're watching on Netflix. The idea here is that you have some issues around your erotic life. The erotic piece is what makes you feel alive, and passionate, and in love. Right now, your focus is on your family life, which is supposed to be about safety for your kids. Eroticism, by its nature, is antithetical to safety. It's dangerous. It's elicit. It's forbidden. It makes sense that you're looking for that passion and aliveness at the same time that you want safety for your family.
You can repair it if you want to. The one thing I can say is [inaudible 00:03:18] going to change so drastically in the next year, in the next six months even, you're going to have a [inaudible 00:03:25] relationship. I can give you some tips. One, you have to have a sex date once a week even if you don't have intercourse, because we need to remember that sacred contract that you have between you, to create a sacred space and a commitment to each other separate from your parenting life. If you don't have that time set aside, there's no place or space to talk about what's [inaudible 00:03:56], and you guys have a lot to talk about.
Speaker 3: My husband and I just had our first child, Hannah. She's three months old. He just started his business, and I'm finishing up grad school. We live in a one-bedroom apartment, and it's really challenging for us to find the time to be intimate with one another. It's usually late at night when the baby's sleeping. My question is how old is too old to be having sex in the same room as my child? I think maybe if she's going to wake up and remember what we're ... I don't want to psychologically traumatize my infant.
Leana Greene: Tammy, what do you say about that?
Tammy Nelson: Well, it is interesting because in other cultures, everyone sleeps in the same room. People know their parents are having sex, and they don't have post-traumatic stress from it. In our culture, we like to separate out sexuality and parenting. We're really afraid that somehow there's going to be trauma if our kids know that we're more than just roommates.
I think the better answer to that question is how long do you feel comfortable with your child in the same room while you have sex? Also, if you're not wanting to have sex, letting your partner know, "It's not that I don't want you. It's just I feel uncomfortable having sex right now. How can we get creative and figure out something that's gonna make us feel safe?"
Leana Greene: How many people actually work through an infidelity?
Tammy Nelson: It really depends on the infidelity, and it depends on whether the affair was disclosed or discovered or whether there was a lot of dishonesty and sort of gas lighting, like denial. Your best bet is to create a new vision of what it means to have secrecy versus privacy and what those conversations are going to be. How honest do you want to be with each other, and can you recognize that you're two separate people and you might want different things, and how do you reconcile that going forward?
Leana Greene: I would like to say so you can say where people can get a hold of you, your website.
Tammy Nelson: You can buy my book on Amazon. Actually, if you go to my website, drtammynelson.com, D-Rtammynelson.com, there's a lot of free advice there and things that you can download.
Leana Greene: Well, thank you for your time and your incredible wisdom, and all for now from Kids in the House.