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Rule 23: Have Sex

Aug 21, 2008
Holly Garcia, mother of four, has been happily married for 22 years to her high school sweetheart. She works full time in high-tech.

Have Sex! Make Love! Cuddle! Do all of the above! Look... men and women are, shall we say, different. Keeping your partner happy contributes to your happiness which, in turn, contributes to the attitudes and mood you share with your children. And a happy attitude goes a long, long way when it comes to raising happy kids.

Haven't you noticed that when you and your partner are distant, or have argued over something trivial, that even that gap in closeness impacts your mood, patience and the amount of joy you find you have with your kids? Humans need sex. It is a key way for us to feel close, loved and yes, less stressed. Less stress means more happiness and a better attitude about all kinds of things.

There are all kinds of sex in a marriage. For my husband and I, it runs the gamut from sleepy "roll-over" sex to making love and connecting at a level that surprises us even after 22 years of marriage. Each of those kinds of sex has its merits. I know, sometimes you're too tired, either physically or emotionally, because of all of the demands on your day. From work, to kids, to house, to other obligations, by the time you pour yourself into bed, you really aren't in the mood to put much energy into anything else but sleep.

I understand, but let's get real. Sometime, a tiny bit of energy goes a long, long way. That when it's time for sleepy sex. With minimal effort, you can mange to take care of the physical need to connect. It won't be perfect sex. It won't be movie sex. It won't really be "love making." But, it does serve its purpose.

Acknowledging the different types of sex and the importance they play in any relationship was an important lesson for me to learn. Early on in our marriage, I thought that every time we had sex it had to be perfect, deserving of our full attention, a real love-making session. Those times are magical. But what happens if you don't always have the energy for that kind of sex? Someone ends up disappointed. That can lead to a lot of subtle and not so subtle stress. Communications become strained and negative. That negativity impacts your mood and attitude. Attitude is nearly everything when it comes to having a healthy marriage and raising happy children. It's not worth trying to have perfect sex all the time. Plain old sex does the trick most of the time.

My mother-in-law, of all people, reinforced this idea with me. I don't even recall the conversation, and today I can't image the context under which the topic of sex could have possibly come up between my mother-in-law and me. But somehow, I recall the big take-away from what must have been our subtle conversation on this topic. In general, she managed to get across to me what I'm trying to get across to you, although she was much more subtle and clever. The message is this. Sex doesn't have to be perfect to have the desired effect. Sex makes us happy, lowers stress and keeps us connected. Even if it isn't our perfect preconceived notion of what sex is supposed to be, it can still be pretty good.

Again, there are all kinds of sex. Enjoy them all, even the kind where there appears to be nothing in it for you, at least, at the time. In the end, you'll find that everyone is happier, life is good, stress is low, attitudes are positive. It's as simple as that.

As excerpted from "42 Rules (tm) for Working Moms" Super Star Press, 2008.
About the Author
Laura Lowell is the executive editor and author of "42 Rules for Working Moms." She has gathered practical advice and information from working moms all over the world to share with others. She lives and works in Silicon Valley with her husband and two girls. http://www.42rules.com/working_moms/index
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