married, with children
A new baby can create tension between husband and wife. Here's how to keep your love alive.
So happy together: The secret to dealing with the dual challenge of not enough time together as a couple and not enough sex? Be creative.
Marital sanity for Antje and Rob Hope, ages 31 and 30, of Vancouver, British Columbia, is found in the couple’s backyard hot tub. That’s where they go almost every night once Ben, 5, and Cleome, 3, are tucked in bed. “Eight o’clock and it’s bedtime,” Antje says. “It’s important for us to hang out, and the hot tub is the best place to talk. Outside, under the stars—we have the best conversations.” They’ve even been known to share a kiss there, too.
Sonya and Toby Atencio, both 30, of Aptos, Calif., first began bringing their son, Jacob, to their swing-dancing evenings when he was 2 months old. “There are so many hands to go around that someone will always hold Jacob while we’re dancing,” says Sonya, admitting that they go out dancing much less frequently since Jacob was born.
Sonya was swollen and feeling emotional for weeks after giving birth, and breastfeeding has been difficult. Yet their evenings out together cheer her considerably. In fact, the Atencios say they’ve grown closer after the birth of their baby. “I had no idea Toby was capable of being awake for so long during labor and being so supportive,” Sonya says. “I saw how strong he was, and I was overwhelmed by it.”
Karyn Lederman, 31, says that she feels turned on by husband-turned-father Gregg. “I’ve gained a lot of respect for him,” Karyn says. “I see him in a whole new way—I watch him being a good dad, and that’s so attractive to me.” And even though they have precious little time alone together as a couple, Karyn says that when the kids are finally asleep, anything can happen—even sex.