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Your mother-in-law won’t stop calling.
The plumber can’t fix the sink for two weeks.
The ironing is beckoning.
And every time you try to decide where to go on vacation, you end up wishing you had someone else to go on vacation with.
Sound familiar? No matter how wonderful a marriage or relationship you have, there are bound to be problems. It’s just the nature of, well, human nature. And the more complicated life becomes, the less sexy and the more frequent the problems get.
Unfortunately, these problems, no matter how mundane, can drive a couple to ruin. All those little disagreements can really add up. But even though the problems aren’t sexy that doesn’t mean that the solutions can’t be. Here are seven sexy ways to handle even the unsexiest problems.
1. Do it together. Whatever the task or chore, doing it together will get it done faster and will allow you to spend time together. Sure, folding laundry might seem like little more than a predictable bore, but it can actually be a blessing in disguise. It has to be done, so it might as well be a chance to talk or even just be quiet together. Believe me; the kids won’t bother you if they think they might have to help, too!
2. Kiss first. I know, it sounds simplistic. But think of it like counting to 10 when you get angry – a long, sweet kiss will have the same effect of calming you down, but it’s a heck of a lot sexier. And, with any luck, you’ll be so inspired by the kiss, that all you’ll want to do is get the problem solved so you can get on to the fun stuff. Fighting is not only stressful; it’s also a waste of time.
3. Do it naked. Yes, there is a difference between good naked and bad naked. The trick is finding the right balance. If you have to deal with doing something you’d prefer not to wrangle with, why not do it in your favorite lingerie or boxers, or even in the buff. It’s awfully hard to be mad at the object of your affections, when he or she is making your blood pressure rise in a good way.
4. Set a sexual reward. Call it a bribe if you like. Reward yourselves or reward one another. However you decide to do it, using sex as a reward can be, well, very rewarding. I’m not talking about using it to control your partner as in, “If you don’t do what I say, you won’t be getting any.” I’m talking about, “Let’s clean the garage together, and then we’ll have time to play.” It’s easy to do almost anything with the right thing to look forward to.
5. Hold hands. If you’re working through something, work through it as a unit. Not just figuratively, but literally. It’s easy to begin to feel very alone when you’re at odds with your partner. But the simple gesture of holding hands can make you feel loved and supported enough to get through whatever unsexy problem falls in your path.
6. Whisper sweet nothings. Just because you’re dealing with something unsexy doesn’t mean the conversation is unsexy, too. While wrangling with the task at hand, tell your partner what you wish you were doing with him or her instead. The suggestive talk may seem out of place at first. But it’s likely to make you smile and maybe even inspire a little play once the storm clouds pass.
7. Bargain for time off. If being together won’t fix the issue at hand, ask for a free pass this time around. Offer an extra back rub or promise to let your partner choose what position to try your next time at bat. Sometimes, the way to get through an unsexy problem, is to give one another a little space to handle things and move on. Take turns taking timeouts and never renege on your promise no matter how big or small.
OK, so it’s not rocket science. And, sure, it would be nice if life was free from unsexy problems. But that’s just not reality. In real life, there’s not enough time or energy for sex because too much of both has to be used to deal with the very unsexy aspects of life.
That leaves you with two choices – give up or get creative. The former is too sad. And awfully defeatist, if you ask me. So, as silly as it might seem, the latter is the only way to go.
The bottom line it that you have to work together as a team and remember what’s important – being together. It’s easy to do when things are hot. The trick is to keep the heat going even when the going gets tough. So, keep it light. Remain a team. And keep it sexy no matter what life sends your way.
Jenny Block is a freelance writer based in Dallas. She is the author of "Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage." Her work appears in "One Big Happy Family," edited by Rebecca Walker and "It's a Girl: Women Writers on Raising Daughters," edited by Andrea Buchanan. Visit her website at www.jennyonthepage.com or check out her blog at www.jennyonthepage.blogspot.com.