Can parents be lovers too when teenagers are in the house?

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Dear Loveawake: My husband and I have been married for 7 1/2 years. We each have a son from previous marriages and two children together. Our children's ages are 14, 11, 6 & 5. Problem: I have become increasingly uncomfortable, as our older boys have gotten older, with going to our bedroom on Friday and/or Saturday nights, closing the door and making love. The older boys know why the door is shut and I find it very embarrassing. I also question if we're setting a good example. My husband thinks I am being totally unreasonable to ask him to change his schedule all of a sudden. He knows that this has bothered me as I've brought it up before. There really isn't a better time, as he gets up very early weekdays so he's too tired to stay awake much past 10. The worse of it all right now is that we can't even discuss it. We're literally not speaking as he's so disgusted (his words). Is it wrong to have "our time" while our kids are awake? I know I have a right to my feelings but maybe I'd feel better if I knew that this was okay and that I'm not setting a bad example. - Rita

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Dear Rita: You are not doing any damage at all by closing the door and being intimate with your husband. You are however, doing a lot of damage by having this tension in the home and not speaking! I believe that, from an early age, a child should be taught how important it is for mom and dad to have private time together. Children can understand and accept that, if you explain to them that they too like having time with their friends. In fact I am a great believer in "Do Not Disturb" signs on every family member's door. I am sure that they can busy themselves when they see the sign hanging on the door. Even if they chuckle, it's still a normal part of married life. Later on when they are husbands themselves, they will appreciate knowing that you had a loving and passionate relationship. I do think it is also important for you to have a lock on the inside of your door so you can feel safe and secure knowing your children are not going to come in and intrude. Also, if you want to drown out any noises, then adding music should do the trick. In a few more years your sons will be going out on their own dates on Friday and Saturday nights and this will no longer be an issue. I met the loveliest couple many years ago on a radio show that I did. I never forgot them because they had 8 children ranging from 4-18. They told me that every once in a while they booked a cheap, nearby motel for the kids to go to and they stayed home and made love in every part of the house! The kids all knew that it was mommy and daddy's private time at home.

You really need to lighten up about this and realize that arguing is so much more damaging than loving each other the way a husband and wife should. Loveawake

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