Feb 262015 14 Responses

When You Are Too Tired For Sex: A Simple Solution

“I’m just too tired.”

It’s the most common phrase I hear from couples regarding sex.

Most people understand the importance of a healthy sexual relationship within a marriage. It isn’t everything, but it is something and it’s a very important something. On occasion one spouse will exaggerate its importance, believing it is the primary aspect of marriage. More often one spouse will grossly downplay the importance of sex, believing it is a sign of a man’s weakness. But most people understand sex is important. (See: Three Types of Sex Every Married Couple Should Have)

Knowing sex is important to marriage and making it important in marriage are two separate acts.

With all the demands of life, it is very easy for sex to be pushed to the bottom of the list. There is always “later” or “tomorrow” when it comes to making time for intimacy for a couple.

Early in a marriage this rarely causes a problem. With fewer demands for newlyweds, pushing sex to the end of the day isn’t an issue. Most young couples go to bed much earlier than they did in college or while dating, so a late night appointment is acceptable and satisfying.

Yet as demands increase, late-night sex can become an issue.

One of the biggest mistakes couples make is getting into a rut of only having sex at night. A habit which can begin in young adulthood without any consequences can become taxing as a marriage matures.

If the only time a couple has sex is at night, one’s sexual health will suffer in the seasons of raising children and advancing careers. (See: The 24-Hour Sex Rule)

Nothing can prepare a couple for how exhausting raising children can be. I often laugh as I visit new parents in the delivery wing of a hospital. Oftentimes the new father will say to me, “If we can just get through these next few weeks of no sleep, we will be good.” I always want to say, “Six weeks?” No doubt the newborn stage has unique sleep challenges, but sleep is never the same after a baby is born. With each child added, the more complex life becomes, and parents spend most of their lives in desperate need of a nap.

For many people, as the children begin to grow, so does their careers. Whether in the corporate world, in small business, or for a homemaker, the expectations and demands increase. The weariness can sometimes be overwhelming.

This exhaustion kills one’s sex drive, and oftentimes their sex life, unless serious attention and intention is at play.

If the only time a couple has sex is at the end of the day, they likely will not be having much sex.

Here is an simple solution to the problem of weariness when it comes to sex:

A couple should take every opportunity to have as much sex as possible at a time other than the end of the day.

It takes effort, planning, and often a change of mindset, but if they will find times of intimacy other than at night, their relationship has a much better chance to flourish. (See: Are You Having Enough Sex?)

This doesn’t exclude sex at night. Nighttime sex might continue to be the mainstay of the sexual diet, but if a couple can add in intimacy at other times, it will greatly enhance their experience.

The problem with only having sex at night is you continually give yourself to your spouse when you have the least amount of energy. I would never accept this of a teammate, co-worker, or friend. I would want more. As a spouse, I want more. While we partner together through life, I’m fully aware there are seasons of life in which my only interaction (communication, quality time, and/or sex) with my wife will be at the end of the day when we are both exhausted. That’s part of life. But if that’s the only time we interact, something will be missing.

By creating other times in which we can be together, we are making sure our spouses also see us at our most energized. Why should your work place get you when you are most awake, but not your spouse?

Couples have a variety of options regarding the question of “when.”

  • Before kids wake up
  • At lunch
  • During naptime
  • After work
  • A mid-morning meeting

It might take some creativity. For some it will require a drastic change of mindset. And it might involve some risk—what if the kids wake up? But any energy spent in trying to find other times to have intimacy will be well worth it.

Not only will you have more energy to have sex, but it will also tell your spouse that they are not the last thing on your daily list. It will also add variety and change to the sexual experience. (See: What I Tell College Students About Married Sex)

Are you too tired for sex? Then don’t have sex tonight. Go to sleep, but plan on having lunch at home tomorrow and picking up something to eat on the way back to work.

For more, see:

One Tip to Improve Married Sex

Spicing Up Married Sex by Learning from the Adulterer

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines

14 Responses to When You Are Too Tired For Sex: A Simple Solution
  1. […] One of the best ways to reinvigorate a marriage is to add more spontaneous sex to the mix. When you ... kevinathompson.com/three-types-of-sex-every-married-couple-should-have
  2. Charlie F. Reply

    I don’t want to sound like I’m making excuses, and I don’t contest the validity of the premise (I 100% agree with it!) However I think you seriously downplay the ease at which most of the working world can implement this kind of change of pace. You’re a writer, and with that profession comes a great deal of pressure and hard work, however the upside of that is the ability to (at least at a higher degree than most professions) set your own schedule. For the grand majority of working adults it simply isn’t possible to drop everything and come home for some hanky panky when we have a 40-50 hour work week under the watchful eye of management and/or a significant commute, nor is it possible to squeeze in a quick romp under the sheets in the morning when we have to be out of bed before the sun rises. What I’ve described above can be said for about 80% of my friends, none of whom do I work with and all of which have different professions. I don’t consider it to be descriptive of an outlier nor am I projecting my own complaints to the world at large.

    Like I said, I 100% agree with your assessment and I don’t want to downplay the hard work that is putting bread on the table by writing, but in this instance I think the chasm between identifying the problem and implementing the solution is much wider than you’ve described.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      Charlie, I have no doubt that my schedule is more flexible than many so this may not work for everyone. That’s a good point. In my defense, writing is what I do after work. I pastor a church with four locations. My wife runs her own company. Then beyond that we do this website, write books, and do outside speaking engagements all while raising two young children. So while I”m more flexible than some, I’m very familiar with having far more work demanded in a day than hours available. I don’t claim to be busier than others, but I do think this article can be read with the understanding that my wife and I are as busy as any other working couple.

    • Elizabeth Reply

      The writer of this page has seemed to lost the point. Almost all the comments are telling you sex during the day is very complicated. Not many people I know can stop work to go sleep with their wife/husband. You seem (the writer) to be defensive when someone brings that up to you- “I am super busy, i am perhaps the busiest person I know. Waahhhh” is what it looks like to me. This was just bad advice, and your responses to comments who didn’t fully agree with you came off childish and defensive. I actually am worried that you’re a pastor and have a congregation, I hope you don’t speak so condescendingly to them.

  3. James Reply

    I use to have a full time job a pretty good business and I took a third job doing something my wife and I both liked to do. That was four years ago…

    Today we are missionaries and Pastors and never before have I had such a demand on my time, resources and energy as I do now. Marriage does require work and sex within marriage requires even more. I hope you all the best…I have an appointment!

  4. Eli Reply

    Charlie’s point was that most people do not have a flexible enough schedule – – not that they are any busier than you are.

    You sound busy, perhaps as much as most people, but you have windows whereas others do not.

  5. Anon Reply

    What about couples where both are working every second of every day? My partner works all day then comes home and works until he is exhausted then goes to bed. I also work all day then do cooking and housework in the evening. We both work weekends and holidays. Sex is important to us, but making ends meet is far more crucial. I just don’t see how your advice applies to the typical working couple.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      To me, marriage is a non-negotiable. We will prioritize each other above other things…including work. I think this article applies to the average working couple because I think my wife and I likely work far more than the average working couple.

  6. tracy roberts Reply

    Americans have allowed employers/cost of living to sqeeze the energy from life.
    Do without some luxuries. Let your kids work to get through school, and take plenty of 20 min power naps.
    Sometimes motivation is the problem. There is none. Get playful. Send a text using the phrases, “bop your balogna”, “suck it like a vaccum”, and “whiplash”.
    And if you think it’s ridiculous for you to use any of those phrases then, you have just realized part of the problem.
    Chew on this: I’m high maintainance when it comes to being touched.I am considerate, though. I dont have to cum every time i have sex. I get great satisfaction from the kissing, rubbing, the fact that I’m pleasing him with my mouth, breasts, etc.
    Start with just kissing. Five minutes worth of hugging & kissing in the morning, late morning, after lunch, before tea, before dishes. Then, go to bed! 😉

  7. anon Reply

    amen tracy roberts you sound like an amazing wife, your husband is a lucky man!

  8. J Reply


  9. Michael Reply

    My problem is this chasm that you speak of. I’m 48 and she is 51.
    And I typically work as an electrician working Monday at 7 am until 4 Monday through Friday with a few Saturdays thrown in. She is a salesperson working 12 days in a row often. Which she takes her 2 day weekend during Tuesdays and Wednesdays every other week. So our schedules are not in sync. Her days are 9 hour days and constant standing and going up and down stairs. I do the majority of the cooking, cleaning and laundry. Yet we have our intimate time on her terms (after shes had a day or two to rest) sexually I feel famished. I often massage her after a rough day with oil and in most cases it doesnt lead to anything sexual. It’s still intimate to a degree. Then we go to sleep.

  10. Chrystal Reply

    I think the writer is spot on when it comes to the importance of intimacy and yet, intimacy does not always mean sex. Sometimes, all that is needed are a few words of encouragement and telling your spouse you love and appreciate them as well as random acts of love and affection. I enjoy sex with my spouse very much and the best part is making him happy and satisfied. He takes care of me as well but sometimes sex is just not what is needed. Sometimes you just need to be held close and have a kiss or two or a quickie before the kids wake up, or to be asked how your day went while messaging their feet or sometimes you just want to go to sleep in the arms of your partner. There are many forms of intimacy that include sex and should include sex (in my opinion) but that is not the only intimate and romantic aspect of my marriage. We are both so busy and I am 8 months pregnant and yet, we MAKE TIME for one another because we matter to each other and even if that’s not as often as your partner would prefer, you are still showing they are meaningful to your life when you make time to please your partner.

  11. Angie Reply

    Everyone feels better after sex! Just start it and enjoy and get ready for the next day!

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