Years ago, when Honey and I were first dating he lived in Hartford and I lived in Boston. We were forced to build our relationship on a foundation of late night phone calls and weekend visits. We would talk for at least an hour every night often until one of us would be ready to fall asleep, or on at least one occasion actually did. We talked about everything, nothing was off limits. We discovered so much about each other in those conversations. I feel strongly that we have a great relationship now because we fostered it over the phone, just talking and really taking the time to know the ins and outs.
Friday afternoons and Sunday nights were spent driving back and forth on the Mass Pike to see each other. I can’t say I have fond memories of all that driving. In between drives we’d cram in as much time together as we could. Hiking, movies, hanging with friends, and bands in bars. And sex. There was lots of sex. In those early lustful days it was all we could do not to rip each other’s clothes off the minute we walked through the door on a Friday. After a few months the overwhelming I-need-you-naked-right-now desire waned, but the passion was still burning. Even as a newly married couple we still enjoyed the pleasures of an afternoon delight.
At the beginning of our relationship, I had a colleague at work who shared that she’d read about a study that found that married couples only talk on average 26 minutes a day*. She agreed with the study and shared she felt like she talked to her husband about ½ as much. She was a full time working mom with two young kids and a teenage stepson. Honey and I found the study hilarious. We talked an hour a day and didn’t even live in the same house. How could you speak that little to someone who lived with you? It seemed bizarre to us. For years we’d joke about it. If one of us had a busy day or got home late we’d say “I guess we didn’t exceed our 26 minutes today.”
Then we had kids. Our little joke wasn’t quite so funny anymore. Now there are times I slide into bed next to Honey and think did I even look him in the eye today? We all know how much our sex lives change after kids too. Our sex is less I-need-you-now and a lot more how-‘bout-tomorrow. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still very much attracted to Honey and if anything, I think we’ve both improved with age. With all the day to day of working, managing a house, and taking care of and enjoying time with our family, sex often ends up on the bottom of the list, or off the list completely. I admit there are days (all right, there are many days) when I’d rather sleep than have sex.
When Jen and Sarah shared their posts last week I was reminded of 26 minutes a day. I’m willing to bet if Honey and I worked harder to rekindle our communication it would go a long way to rekindling our sex life. As much as I love Honey, if the only thing we’ve talked about all day is oil changes and dentists appointments that really doesn’t light my fire. I’m sure I’m not the only wife that feels that way. The days we do talk and really enjoy our conversations are the nights when we have great sex. Not a coincidence.
I know how important sex and communication are to my relationship and yet I often put both at the bottom of my priorities. I know I’m not alone in this. My theory is that if we as couples focus on spending more time talking to our spouses like we did in the early days we would naturally improve our sex lives without too much effort. My goal is to spend more time talking with Honey about the things that are important to us that have nothing to do with our jobs, the house, or the kids. I challenge you all to do the same. Hopefully then talking won’t be the only thing we can do for 26 minutes.
* Note: I’ve looked everywhere for proof of this study and have turned up nothing. If anyone has knowledge of its existence please let me know.