Kids

Romance killers come in many forms.

  • One or both of you gets out of shape.
  • Husband becomes a more agreeable pushover (more feminine).
  • Wife becomes a more disagreeable tyrant (more masculine).
  • Illness
  • Stress

One that everyone seems to overlook is, from my experience, one of the biggest stressors of all:

KIDS.

There’s no doubt about it: Having kids is one of the most potent and virile romance killers on the planet. Unlike getting fat, losing your job, getting sick and becoming a giant pushover… everyone EXPECTS and PROMOTES the idea of having kids. After all, we have to keep the species going. That’s what all that awesome sex is for. It feels great and is really fun and exciting, but there’s a bigger reason our brains give us the urge to do it often: TO MAKE MORE GOD DAMN KIDS.

Your instinctual urge to procreate and look after the well-being of a little human is in direct contradiction to your urge to keep a sexual relationship going. The two don’t work in tandem, they work against each other.

Being a parent is the antithesis of being a sexual being. Being a parent is being a super Provider, not a Lover.

A romantic partnership is about playing a role. Early on in the relationship, while childless, much of your role revolves around the pleasure of your partner (doing things they find attractive). Each person performs tasks out of the “be the sexiest man/woman possible” playbook (at least those of us in healthy relationships). Men keep in shape, drive a nice car, act aggressive, confident and outgoing.  Women are more agreeable, feminine, pretty and sensual.  Much sex is had in this phase.

Then comfort and familiarity hit. This can take some of the oomph out of your sex life.  Many people let the sex slip at this point, but with a just little effort it can be as strong as ever.

Then… the new little kid arrives. Everything changes. A powerful switch is flipped.

HERE IS A TYPICAL “MARRIED COUPLE WITH A NEW BABY” SCENARIO:

Husband says, “I could go to the gym.. but I’m fucking exhausted. I had to get up at 3:00am to feed the little shit and then get up at 6:00 and drive to work to give a presentation at 8:00. Then I had to drive an hour to a meeting… then back to the office and then home. Now I have to check 30 work emails and make dinner while my wife feeds the baby . I actually fell asleep while standing up and doing dishes the other day. Fuck it. We’re having McDonalds.” Husband makes these excuses 365 days in a row… and next thing he knows he is 30 lbs heavier. One year of zero exercise and shitty sleeping habits will do that to you.

Wife says, “I could do that Hot Yoga class I always used to go to… but I’m dead tired, I feel fat, my boobs are killing me and I’m still sore from the delivery 3 weeks ago.” Wife makes excuses for the next 12 weeks, then she goes back to work and baby goes to daycare. Her stress and guilt are off the charts. She’s depressed. The bad health habits have set in. Yoga is a distant memory. She hasn’t lost the 40 lbs she gained during pregnancy. She hates herself. Everyone lets her know that it’s perfectly ok to feel this way. It doesn’t help.

The wife’s sense of self is crumbling. Is she a sexual being anymore? Is she even a WOMAN? Is she just a producer and sustainer of life now? A caregiver? She once used to turn heads on the street with her slim body and sexy little summer dresses. Now she feels like a fat, milk-producing cow with cankles, stringy hair and cracked nipples. She’d rather not get out of the house if she can help it, let alone wear a sundress again. Lack of exercise, poor diet, and mind-altering hormonal changes pushes her anxiety through the roof.

She doesn’t hesitate to send husband out to the store to get the things they need. One less thing for her to stress over. He dutifully obeys.

Husband would like to tell his wife to get off her fat ass and got get the tampons and nipple cream herself, but she is now “Mother to his child”, and is therefore on the highest of pedestals. Her value in the home is beyond measure. Popular culture tells him to swallow his pride and help out the family unit wherever he can.  Mom wants nipple cream… you say, “Yes Ma’am” and jump to attention. Your role is now that as a provider of life to a little human. Get used to it, DAD.

Besides, the husband is no catch himself. Look at him. What does he have to bitch about? He’s lucky to be in the position he is in. You have a home, wife and a healthy baby. Shut the fuck up.

SEX? Forget it. To be sexual again requires that his wife enter a headspace that she can’t even conceive of. The delicate souffle of the woman’s libido requires that everything be juuuuuust right to function. The ingredients for the sexy recipe went right in the trash can when baby came in the world. Forget the souffle. All that’s left are week-old cheese doodles and a bottle half full of spoiled breast milk.

Husband eventually realizes he needs sex. His porn habit is getting out of hand. He has needs beyond that of the visual stimuli the internet provides. Actual human touch and emotion would be nice. He approaches the wife and asks for intimacy. Wife literally laughs in his face. Does he not realize what she’s had to do over the past X months? How the hell does he think talking about sex RIGHT NOW is a good idea?!?! Just shut up and go get the diapers out of the car.

The husband is shamed for his sexuality. He feels like an ass. Pornography eventually becomes a full-fledged addiction. Having sex with his wife may not even be possible at this point.

After a while, the couple may have a “Date night”. This is probably initiated by a grandparent or somebody close to them who has been watching their misery. “You guys should go out together sometime. Just the two of you. I can watch the baby. You need some time off.”

Date night consists of going to the nearest restaurant and eating entirely too much food. The wife complains about her body and is embarrassed about her leaking breasts that she tries covering up with her sweater. Meanwhile, husband checks his fantasy football stats on his phone and repeatedly says “Uh huh” without hearing a word his wife is saying. He learned to tune her complaining out months ago.

The food is good. They each get a giant dessert. Sweets used to be forbidden back in their attractive young gym and yoga days, but now that huge piece of lava chocolate super duper heart attack cake is seen as a welcome and necessary vice. It’s quick and easy way to escape their otherwise blah existence.

Then the wife’s phone rings and they both panic. Is it the baby?!! Is something wrong!!? OMG… It’s the sitter! Shew… she just wants to know where we put the extra diapers. Good. Ok. Nothing to freak out about. Crisis averted. Back to the date.

Husband suggests a movie. Wife says no. What if they have to leave early because of the baby? Then they would waste money and leave in the middle of a movie, and that always sucks. “How about a drink next door?” husband says. “Well, we could… but then I’d have to pump and dump my milk tonight, and I really don’t feel like it. I’d rather just go home and get right to bed.”

They really have nothing left on their date night itinerary, so they decide to head home. Date night over.

First they stop at the grocery store for more baby stuff. Husband happily points out that they have strawberry-flavored sex lube on sale in the pharmacy area. Wife says he’s a pervert and should get his head out of the gutter and go find baby butt cream. Husband pouts. They don’t talk the rest of the drive home.

Sound familiar? Does it HAVE to be this way? Of course not. There were many possible course corrections along the way during their journey to becoming terribly boring parents, and our typical couple didn’t take advantage of any of them.

Most people don’t. Most people succumb to the exhaustion, stress and life-questioning changes the baby brings and just… let go. They let the tidal wave of parentdom wash them away. The next 20 years go by in the blink of an eye. Both secretly hold on to the hope that the other doesn’t “wake up” and they can continue the parade of mutual awfulness.

Married people don’t fuck as often as non-married couples.  Comfort cripples libido.

Parents REALLY don’t fuck as often as non-married couples. Comfort and then exhaustion and dramatic life role changes… all kill the libido.

Kids can easily become the biggest obstacle to marital happiness.

If you don’t actively try to make course corrections along the way, you’ll soon be in the majority of married couples. Miserable. Sexless.

My advice to everyone thinking of having kids is to PLAN. Plan and decide on exactly HOW you will stay intertwined as a couple. Plan for extensive childcare and household help. Plan weekends (or more) away for just the two of you. Plan ahead for how to deal with the emotions that want to keep you bonded with the child and drive you away from each other and towards dead bedroom behavior. Act as a team and prepare for the inevitable and how exactly you will deal with it.

Have a lot of money saved up for extensive leave from work. “Waaaaah! People in Europe have it so much better! They get to take a year off of work for maternity leave and still get paid! Waaaaah!” Yep, that does sound like a very good, sensible and positive thing to do for families and society in general. I agree it sounds better than the situation most of us have here in the States. But, we don’t have that luxury. That will not change tomorrow. As far as your employer is concerned, having a kid was your decision. They have a business to run. Take care of your shit and they will take care of theirs.

You should save your money and adjust your expenses so that you can pay for an extended time away from work. It’s the best thing for the child. It’s the best thing for your marriage. Period. Can’t afford it? Don’t have kids.

Having a kid is a giant financial and logistical undertaking. Treat it that way. DO NOT treat having a child as just some natural beautiful process that you should just let happen and let God take care of the details. That is a guaranteed recipe for disaster.

I think it’s fair to say that people typically put more thought into buying a car than they do having a child.

Do it right, or don’t do it at all. You’re bringing a human being into the world. You’re potentially throwing a grenade into the marriage and hoping that it doesn’t go off. Limit the damage early on. PLAN PLAN PLAN.

And for YOU, mister man looking to improve himself… DON’T YOU DARE TAKE YOUR FOOT OFF THE FUCKING GAS.

Your entire FAMILY now depends on you to keep your head in the game and remain the strong oak of a leader. If you fold, the whole machine breaks down. You will naturally want to err on the side of amplifying your Provider qualities while downplaying your Lover qualities. Don’t. Amplify Provider… and amplify Lover even more.

Being a dad is being a man on hard mode. You naturally want to do your own thing. You want to get away. You want to improve yourself and work on your mission. DO IT. ALL OF IT. “But… I have a kid now… I have no time.”  MAKE TIME. “But, my wife says I don’t help out enough and I need to stay home more.” SHUT UP. HELP OUT, BUT, TAKE CARE OF YOU, TOO. She’ll be fine.

“But, the kids…” is the most potent and debilitating excuse a man can make. It’s weakness wrapped in a warm blanket of providership and societal expectation. It’s wanting “do the right thing” combined with “I guess I should make more sacrifices now”.

The new parental role can kill your masculinity faster than you can say “Soy latte”.

Or it can strengthen you.

Want to see what kind of man you really are? What to see what your relationship is made of? Have a kid… or two… or three. It’s the absolute ultimate test.

The end result of the ultimate test is either a happy wife by your side as you watch your kids grow older and turn into wonderful and unique human beings, or you living in one bedroom apartment crossing the days off the calendar as you eagerly wait to see the kids for “your weekend”.

Don’t fuck it up.

The Bedroom REBOOT

Ok… you’re in a familiar predicament. You want your wife, sexually. Sure, she doesn’t look like she used to. Sure, she nags you. Sure, she seems to be upset with life more often than not. But, dammit… she’s your wife. You love her. You gave your word to her and the people at the wedding ceremony that you would make this work no matter what. Plus, you’re a man and you have needs.

Problem: She doesn’t really seem to care much for you and has stopped wanting to have anything resembling a normal sex life with you. Attempts at opening up and communicating with her have actually made things worse. As I stated in Dissecting Dead Bedrooms, she’s just not that into you anymore. She’s given you lots of signals and tests over the years, and you have failed miserably. You’re now paying the price.

So, what to do? Well, it’s a problem and a solution as old as time. It’s simpler and cheaper than countless marriage counselor sessions. Easier than non-stop talking and communicating (you’ve undoubtedly tried this in the form of one or two real adult conversation attempts and a lot of begging, pouting and whining). Cheaper than flowers and chocolates. The solution: You just don’t give a fuck and go do something else. That something else is BETTERING YOURSELF.

That’s it. If you were just dating, you would say “NEXT!” to her and move on. But, you’re married. You gave your vows. You’re a man and you stick to your word. You don’t cheat. You don’t berate her. No whining. No pouting. No begging. You just… go away. Mentally and physically.

Where do you go?

  • To the gym. You work your ASS off. You hit the weights. REALLY hit the weights.  You go play sports with the kids. You go for a vigorous jog. You become a physical being like you hopefully were when you were younger.
  • To the doctor. Get a full blood panel. Lipids. Hormones. Total and free testosterone. Sensitive Estradiol test. You can actually skip the doc for this and pay out of pocket by paying for the test ahead of time on sites like privatemdlabs.com, and then taking your paperwork to any qualifying lab to get the blood drawn. You get the results later via email. Very quick and easy process. If you see that testosterone is in the low range, and/or estrogen is high… go online and search for a testosterone clinic in your area. Regular family MD’s tend to not know anything about hormone therapy. Endocrinologists tend to only prescribe if it’s a matter of life or death. Get your levels to a high-normal and healthy level and enjoy the numerous benefits. I personally go to Body Shapes Medical.
  • To the library. Read up on self-improvement.
  • To the internet. Read blogs like this!
  • To the clothing store! Read up on male fashion. New body means new clothes. Look better. Look like you give a shit… unlike 90% of American males today.
  • Hang out with guys more. Less time with ladies and more time with dudes is a good thing.
  • Hang out with your kids more. More one-on-one time. They’ll love to see the new you doing awesome things. You’ll get closer than ever to them.
  • Hobbies. Get to know them again. I like to play a little guitar and maintain this website. I also like photography and videography a great deal.

Notice what’s missing above? Your wife.

You’re not giving her flowers. You’re not sending her love notes. You’re not doing more chores around the house. You don’t reward her for being so obvious with her dislike of you. You’ve tried all of that. You’re also not being an asshole. You just have a mission and that mission is YOU. It’s been neglected for too long. She SHOULD understand that… she’s been about HER for a while now, right?

But, don’t think it will be easy.

Oh boy will she be pissed. People get pissed when they don’t have their whipping boy around any more. You had your place in the household hierarchy. She had hers. You have just flip-flopped things in a BIG way and she does not like it.

At first she may laugh at the change… “Oh, look at him. Acting all manly and going to the gym. Cute.” She may even call you out at this point. “What is this, a mid-life crisis? What’s next… a red Corvette?” You just laugh and go about your business. Maybe you give her a pat on the butt every now and then. You are NOT bothered by her manipulative ways. You don’t CARE that she finds it funny.

Then, you’re hit the slightly angry stage. “Seriously, what’s going on here? Is this going to go on forever? You’re being silly.” If she keeps pressing, you just say “Just working on myself. Long overdue, baby.”

The next stage will come quick. “Are you having a fucking affair?!” NOW you’re making progress. What this means: “You’re now looking and acting good enough for other women to find you attractive and I am worried.” This is awesome. This is where a lot of guys might fold and start explaining away everything until they look meek and stupid in their wife’s eyes. You can just smile and say “Why? Worried?” and give her a fat kiss and hard ass squeeze. Leave her wondering what the hell that was all about. Or, exaggerate: “Yep. Fucking about 5 new women a day. All young. 18 year olds. Porn stars. I fly them in on my downtime… between the kids, the gym, work, my hobbies and home time.” 

Just remember: You’re doing NOTHING wrong. You’re NOT having an affair. You are just simply working on yourself. A healthy relationship would mean that your spouse would appreciate and support such changes. Maybe they get a little worried… but not angry and accusing you of wrongdoing. Her reaction is a good barometer of where your marriage is right now.

Next stage: S-E-X. Yep. This is your eureka moment. One day, you may come home to a VERY horny wife. You’ll go upstairs and you are SHOCKED by what you see waiting in the bedroom. “This is my wife?!” You have created the perfect storm of a more physically attractive man (the gym and clothes), a more interesting man (the reading and hobbies), a more social man (the friends), and a great dad (more time with kids).

You are also SCARCE. People want what they can’t have! She’s worried like hell now!

Women LOVE to know that you may be out there and wanted by other women! “He is wanted by all of THEM, but he picked ME.”

But, alas… there’s a rub. There’s always a rub.

You’ve worked so hard to get to this point. It was a lot of personal effort and sacrifice. You finally reach the promised land… and you’re not sure you like it anymore. Dammit. One of two things is going on:

  1. You don’t find her as attractive as you used to. Your standards just went WAY up. You really ARE attractive to a lot more women now. That young gal at the coffee shop is only 21 and she asked if you’d like to stick around during her lunch break and talk. An attractive single mom from the PTO meeting randomly squeezed your bicep and said “Nice, Hercules!” Some random young woman texted you a series of sexual messages and photos out of the blue. Your wife has never looked as good as her.
  2. You now resent your wife. You spent the last X years of your marriage getting the occasional pity sex out of her. You feel like you just had to jump through a lot of hoops to get to this point so that she can reward YOU with sex. Who the hell is she to make me do all of this to win HER? I stuck around with HER all of these years despite all of HER negatives and always loved and wanted HER. She knew how I felt about her but SHE DIDN’T CARE. I have to check off a list of her NEEDS so that she can fulfill one of mine? 

It’s tough. This is the rub. You work so hard to get to this point… and now you don’t want her… and she wants you more than ever. It’s a story as old as time and perfectly explained in this clip from the awesome buddy movie, Swingers.

My advice? You’re married. You have kids. You work it out. You let her know how things are going to be from here on out. You enjoy the spoils of war. You lead by example and watch her follow. You NEVER get comfortable and take your foot off the gas.
Welcome to being a MAN.

P.S. Yes… I realize there is another option in all of this: You do all then positive work and she still doesn’t want you. That sucks. But… here’s the good news. You have created the best, most attractive version of you available… and there are HUNDREDS of women near you that would be willing to enjoy your company and take pleasure in pleasing YOU.

Dissecting Dead Bedrooms

My own personal experience and that of thousands of other men who have been married and/or dated will tell you the same thing:

If your woman is crazy about you, you will know it. She will leave zero doubt. She will shower you with praise. She will have her hands all over you. She will buy you gifts. She will feel very jealous at times. She will submit to you, sexually. She will be very adventuresome in bed. She will open herself to you mentally and physically.  She will feel completely comfortable and safe with you.

So, for all of you guys in long-term relationships or marriages that don’t see any of the above… well, bad news my man. She just isn’t that into you. 

Why is that? Why are there communities of men online talking about their “dead bedrooms“? As with most problems in relationships, it’s your fault, dude. Yep. You.

No, this isn’t some post saying “Women good, men bad!” This is real life. YOU are the driver of both yourself AND your relationship. You say what goes for both. It’s called being a leader. You want your woman to be crazy about you again? Then do something about it. No amount of begging, pick-me dancing, whining, flowers, house-cleaning, diaper-changing or other horse shit will get her in bed with you. She needs to WANT YOU again.

But, DSO! My wife is worked to death! She’s tired! The kids wear her butt out! At the end of the day she just wants to lay down and watch some TV or read a good book. I totally get that! I feel that way too, a lot of the time! Give her a freakin’ break!

This is 100% absolutely perfectly understandable. Life is tough. It wears on you. Work. Kids. Bills. Stress stress stress. It takes a certain mindset to get a woman in the mood for intimacy… And those are some pretty big obstacles that get in the way. But, here’s the thing: The energy is in there. Trust me. It just needs to get pulled out.

Many husbands/boyfriends out there are noticing or have learned two things about their completely exhausted, stressed-out female partners:

  1. These women sure are obsessed with porn. Yeah, that Fifty Shades of Grey book, the sequels and that movie that she won’t stop posting on Facebook about? The Magic Mike movie? The naked photo shoot with Adam Levine? That’s porn. Woman porn. Ever read Fifty Shades?  Synopsis: Dominate, sociopath rich man picks out shy, homely woman for crazy bondage sex. 
  2. She’s talking about other men. At work. At the gym. At the playground. At the soccer field. She’ll talk about their butts. Their pecs. Their tight stomachs. She’ll talk to her friends about them. She’ll talk about celebrities on TV. Athletes. Her favorite country singer in tight pants. Maybe even in front of you. Probably in front of you. Wow, for an exhausted mom… she sure does have her eyes constantly open and taking in all that hot sex on display, doesn’t she? Interesting. Yes, it’s mostly harmless and fun and EVERY mom does it, right?!

SIMPLE RULE: If your woman is crazy in love with you and turned on by you, she has no need openly partake in poorly-written woman porn or sharing pictures of some soccer dude’s abs and butt on Facebook. She looks at those as silly and brags about YOU instead. Oh, and she’ll want to bang you. You won’t need to Google things like “wife won’t have sex with me”. Crazy, I know.

Alright, so maybe you’re coming to terms with the fact that maybe your wife isn’t so crazy about you anymore. So what?! Maybe she never was. What’s the worst that could happen, right? You already have kids, a house, jobs, etc. Life is already set in stone. This is just how marriage IS, right!? Maybe you’ve convinced yourself that sex isn’t THAT important to your well being as a man. Stop kidding yourself. Is that why you find yourself looking at porn on a daily basis? So much so that double-anal-double-vaginal fisting bukake amputee porn is the only thing that gets you mildly erect. You can’t walk outside of the house without looking at and drooling over every female of legal age. Your fantasy world exceeds your reality in every way imaginable. But hey… every other married guy is the same, right?

Wrong. It doesn’t have to be that way. A robust and healthy sex life is NOT out of the question for married people. Not at all. Ironically it’s usually the WIFE who is the first to come to this realization. That’s right, your woman isn’t happy about the lack of sizzle in your marriage, either. She wants more. She wants better. She wants to be picked up, thrown on the bed, man-handled and turned into a fuck slave. She wants to drive out to the middle of nowhere at 2:00am, be dragged out and thrown on the hood of the car by a man who rips her panties off in a lustful rage. She wants a guy who is not afraid to say what he wants in bed in the most direct way. She LOVES dirty talk.

SHE JUST DOESN’T WANT TO DO ALL OF THOSE THINGS WITH YOU.

She’s just not that into you, dude. Sorry. She may not have ever been.

Many of us dense men don’t come to this realization until we catch our wives in an affair. Here’s a very common phrase out of the mouth of a betrayed man: “She did THAT with HIM?!?! She never would do THAT with ME?!? What the fuck!?” Yep, that super exhausted partner of yours managed to dig deep down inside and find enough energy to power all of Eastern Europe.

So, you’re like a lot of guys and you’re nodding your head right now. This all sounds way too familiar and way too depressing. What to do?! Well, a common refrain is “couples counseling!” Get in an office with a professional and freely communicate. Get things out in the open. Yeah, it makes sense on the surface. Communication is a huge thing in any personal relationship. But, ask yourself this: Will openly talking and pussy-footing around the main issue (her lack of attraction towards you) REALLY get her going?

This has never been said, ever:

Oh my gosh, honey! You know what? I just don’t have much sexual attraction towards you anymore. Like.. none. You’re a great dad and stuff, but nothing happening in my hoohah when you’re around. You feel like a brother. But… you know what? Now that we’re here talking about this problem out in the open… I wanna fuck REAL BAD!! YOU ARE SO HOT!! DAMN! Let’s go get a hotel room you hot piece of fuck meat, you!!

It’s a fantasy that has never panned out.

FACT: You can’t negotiate attraction. It’s there, or it isn’t. No amount of talking it out will pull it out of her. It’s time to REBOOT.

Coming Soon: THE BEDROOM REBOOT – A detailed step-by-step guide on getting your sex life back on track… or better than ever before.