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How to get her in bed (after marriage and kids)

sex life and relationships after kids

What happens when one partner wants sex and his wife or long term lover is rarely in the mood? A healthy sex life is part of what makes up a thriving relationship and general feelings of well-being. When one or both partners are feeling unsatisfied in this area, this can trigger the beginning of a downward spiral that does not end up very well.

As I researched this subject, I had a difficult time finding a reliable source that offers current statistics on low sex or sexless marriages. If you come across the current research, email me. A 2003 Newsweek article stated that 15% to 20% of couples who are married with kids have sex less than 10 times a year, which translates to around 20 million couples not having much sex. If you talk to marriage and family therapists, or even your friends for that matter, most will share anecdotal evidence that this number is probably much higher.

Many couples report wanting a better sex life. But with children, careers, lack of sleep, endless household duties, financial pressures, and all of the other energy drainers that come with modern family life, sexual desire can begin to fade away. This is normal. But normal does not necessarily mean acceptable. Alas, problems arise when one wants it more or the other wants it less. And if you become complacent, not much is likely to change.

It is more common to hear men complaining about not getting enough sex, which is why this article is for men. But don't worry guys, I have another article on its way that offers tips for the ladies too! Since you are in a partnership, the ideal situation is that you and your love work together to spice things up. Yet, there are plenty of things you can do now to get your lady back in bed soon. Keep reading!

1. No more keeping score

Outside of role play, feeling pressured or obligated to have sex with a man because he bought dinner, because he supports her while she stays home to care for the baby, or because he is suddenly showering her with attention, is a turn-off. The moment a woman feels manipulated or coerced into sex, she will feel used and lose interest. Instead of expecting sex in return for your "good behavior" shift your focus towards wanting to strengthen the bond you have with your woman. The actions below are great ways to reconnect at an emotional and relational level, and by doing this, you are highly likely to spice up your sex life too.

2. Get real about what you really want and need

Sex feels good. Its fun. You want it. Heck, you might even need it. But it's not just about the sex. The sensations that comes from build up and orgasm are highly rewarding in the brain. Yet, you probably miss the intensity, excitement, and passion that came in leaps and bounds when you were first together. You also might miss being touched and held. There is comfort that comes from being close to your woman. Just know this: most of us want, and potentially need, excitement and pleasure as well as nurturing and touch. Sex is just one of the ways we get these needs met. Learning how to attain both solid security and fun riskiness is key to recreating a fabulous sex life. You can be naughty, squeeze in quickies, or play out fantasies, while creating a foundation of deep respect, love, and connection.

3. Be vulnerable

Nothing is sexier to a woman than seeing a strong and masculine man open up about soft feelings. Share some of your frustrations and fears with her. Allow her to be there for you. Most women are very attracted to men who are vulnerable, have an appreciation of their inner world, and put forth ongoing effort toward self-growth.

4. Hear her

She wants to be vulnerable too. Hold the space for her to talk about her feelings and really listen to what she has to say. Most of the time she does not want fixing or problem-solving. She wants to know that her feelings are important to you, that you care about what she is going through, and that you are there for her - no matter what.

5. Flirt with her

Like you did when you first met. Be playful, dance with her, slap her bum, get her to laugh, look into her eyes and smile, or naughty texts when you are at work with some potential roleplay ideas. This is the woman you decided to partner with. Give her lots and lots of love and attention.

6. Tease her

Throw in some moves here and there. Not all the time and not too much. Just enough to be playful and create excitement. When she walks past you in the hallway, on her way to put the kids to sleep, push her up against the wall, move in close, and tell her how hot she looks tonight. When you hear the kids call out "mom", which they will because they seem to have a radar on adult enjoyment, pull away with smile and a look that lets her know how much she turns you on. Or, when she is taking off her clothes to get in the shower, come up behind her for a moment, move her hair to the side, and kiss the back of her neck. Most women love to be taken by their man and get very turned on when he is assertive and masculine. A little bit of push and pull now mimics the intensity you felt when you first started dating.

6. Ravish her when you can and take the lead

These days, with schedules drummed in, kids potentially sleeping in your bed, a to-do list that never ends, spontaneity has likely been swapped with bone-numbing routine and the grind. Well, its time to bring it back.The more connected you are on an emotional level, the riskier, naughtier, and more playful you can be. Ravish her when she is not expecting it and sneak in a quick when you can. Take the lead and suggest you try out some role plays. Or, ask her to share some of her fantasies and you can decide together, as a couple, whether or not you want to play them out. The more connected you are on an emotional level, the more spontaneous, risky,  and playful you can be.

7. Massage her

Quick shoulder rubs are fantastic. To take it up a notch put the kids to sleep, light some candles, bring out the oil, and give her a full body massage. Do this with the genuine intention of wanting her to feel good and relax. She might fall asleep. What goes around comes around, but do not expect anything in return!

8. Help more with kids or housework

Lighten her load. If she is telling you she is too tired to have sex she means it. With work and babies and all the day-to-day obligations of motherhood she probably needs a break. One day, when you get home from work, send her to the tub with a glass of wine while you cook dinner. Or, figure out another way to get your family more support through babysitters, grandparents, teenager mothers helpers, etc. Do not make the mistake of expecting sex in the return for this (see number 1)! Remember all of these actions are attempts to strengthen your bond and relationship which tends to equal more sex.

9. If she continues to refuse, stop pursuing 

If the more you try to get her to have sex, the more uninterested she becomes, then stops trying. You may have to spend weeks or months re-building your bond and friendship. Give it time and see what happens if you drop the sex agenda for awhile.

10. Talk to her, and if all else fails, get support

If you have never talked about your feelings around sex, now is a good time to start. Talking may be enough to turn things around. If you try all of these tips, and nothing changes, consider receiving support from a psychotherapist. Be sure to work with someone who works with relationships and couples.

If you try this, and it is helpful, I want to hear from you! Please leave comments in the box below. You can learn more at

Cristina Trette's picture
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Cristina Trette is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist that specializes in counseling parents, couples, and families. She is the owner of Integrative Family Therapy, a counseling practice based in Encinitas, California. In addition to counseling, she writes and teaches workshops on parenting, relationships, and mental health. You can learn more about her at