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Wifey Wednesday: Married with Teens

It's Wednesday, the day when we talk marriage! I introduce a topic, and then you follow up either by commenting or by writing your own post and then linking up!

Today I want to talk about how to maintain an *ahem* intimate marriage when you have teenagers under your roof.

I know many of you have children who are younger, but one day they will grow, so it's best to start planning now!

As I mentioned yesterday, we just got back from the Grand Canyon. While there, we rented an RV and drove around to all kinds of neat sites. It was a ton of fun, and something we always intended to do. And incidentally, it did save money. The rental on the RV was more than it would have been for motels and a rental car, but because we cooked all our food, it ended up cheaper.

Anyway, we had a large RV. But large as it may be, that did not mean it was private. If you rolled over in bed, or walked anywhere, the RV rocked. So you can imagine what it was rather impossible to do, if we wanted the kids to remain oblivious.

At home we have a rule that they have to be in their rooms at 9:30, even if they're not asleep right away, just so Keith and I can have some time to talk alone. I find that I just can't get romantic unless I've had time to unwind with him, and that means telling him all the things that have been on my mind throughout the day. He's okay with that, largely because he knows it's in his best interests :). But we've set things up in the family so that we have that alone time. Sometimes we go for walks earlier in the evening, and we often tell the girls they have to leave us alone. They're okay with that.

When you do have teens, it is important to carve out that privacy, even if it means that your teens don't like it because they're banished to their rooms. But there's no other way to do it.

At the same time, there will be occasions, like our RV romp, when privacy is impossible. So here's my question: what do you do? I don't have any great answers on this one, so I'd love some feedback (although perhaps it would have done me more good before my vacation). How open are you with your kids about your need for alone time? Let me know!

Now, what advice do you have for us today? How do you handle children underfoot? Or do you have something else to tell us? Write your own Wifey Wednesday post that links back to here, and then leave the link of THAT POST in the Mcklinky below. Thanks!

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At 9:56 AM , Blogger Katy-Anne said…

The thing with teenagers is they aren't stupid and they know some things. What I think I would do is just tell them that you want some alone time, and to take a hike, or go swimming, or somewhere, but you require them to go do something, somewhere else, and give them a time limit, like, an hour, or two hours, that they have to be gone. They'll know why you want to be alone and most teens don't want to be around at those times anyway. :)


At 10:57 AM , Blogger Proverbs30one said…

We also have our kids in their rooms by 9:00 and they are not to come out for any reason. They are 11 & 15. This leaves us free to have our alone time.

We also carve out Saturday nights as our date time. Everyone knows that this is time just for mom and dad and not to interrupt. We often go out for a few hours and come home and escape to our bedroom for the rest of the night.

Our family rule is also not to enter mom and dad's bedroom without knocking and hearing "come in". I heard it said (by Dobson maybe?) years ago that you don't walk into mom and dad's bedroom without knocking or you might get the sex education of your life!


At 11:38 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said…

At home, our teenager's bedroom is right below ours. We have one of those houses where sound seems to carry, too. The other children might be asleep but the teen is a night owl. Since even a normal conversational tone of voice could probably be heard in the room below, I try to be very quiet at all times.

On vacation, it is a different problem. If I was on a trip to the Grand Canyon and I had children sleeping in close quarters, I would see that as a good excuse to forgo relations for a week or two. There would be lots of other things to do and see and people to talk to so I don't think I should be expected to have sex during that time. I would like to think that I could have a brief vacation from my motherly and wifely duties sometimes. My expectations about having a break are probably selfish but I have not yet been able to readjust them to be more loving and giving.


At 4:04 PM , Anonymous Barb said…

I would like to reply to Anonymous. I'm very sad that (a) you obviously don't enjoy yourself, and (b) that you look at this as enjoying a "break" or "vacation" from sex. It isn't your DUTY to perform. You should enjoy it and if you don't feel like it, it shouldn't matter WHEN or WHERE you are, just say no. Sex is not a duty. Sex is fun.


At 6:57 PM , Blogger Amy said…

Barb: My MIL would disagree. She sees it as a duty and feels that if a woman denies her husband his right then that husband has the right to get it elsewhere. And it wouldn't count as adultery. She also says that the Bible backs her up. I haven't yet found that passage. Anyone know?

Anon: I'm sorry. I know how you feel. I adore my kids and as much as they stress me out I do love being with them. But it's all on my shoulders and I get worn down. There isn't much 'me' time. I need days of 'me' time at this point. I had one day away from them not long ago and that refreshed me for literally months! Maybe if you got some time to decompress? Or what about speaking with your husband about it feeling like a duty more than a pleasurable experience? Maybe counseling?

I don't have any suggestions, really. I was going to say just forego and then make up for it later. lol

Sorry I the only one who thought "If this RV's a-rockin', don't come a-knockin'?"


At 7:03 PM , Blogger Sheila said…


You made me laugh! Yes, don't come a-knockin'. But what happens if the kids are ALREADY IN THERE? I guess you just abstain!

Anonymous, I really do understand what you're saying. I think that's a post for next Wednesday. Yes, it's supposed to be fun. Yes, it's supposed to be for both of us. But what if you do start to feel like it's a duty? It's hard to just turn that "off" and turn yourself "on". I know. All I can say is that even if it feels like a duty now, believe that it can be something different--even if you don't see how. But I'll post more later.

And Amy, that is DEFINITELY NOT BIBLICAL, what you're MIL says. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that if we're not getting our legitimate needs met, we're thus allowed to sin. Yes, we have needs. But in Christian relationships, it's not about getting your needs met as much as it is mutual servanthood. If your spouse doesn't fulfill your needs, you run to God, not to someone else. So your MIL has a very distorted view of that!


At 9:46 PM , Blogger Amy said…

I didn't think that was right! I have my suspicions about why she believes that, but oh well.

Hmm..maybe send the kids off for a bike ride around the camp? We've been to the Grand Canyon several times ( I LOVE it!), and stayed in the Mather Campground twice. My brother and I spent a lot of spare time riding bikes around the place, exploring. It was so nice. :)

On a side note: I'm glad you all enjoyed your trip there! I've hiked down into the Canyon once (my 2nd time there), staying at Phantom Ranch in the bottom. Though I was sore as all get out for a day or three afterward, it was an amazing experience! I definitely want to do it again!


At 2:40 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said…

Perhaps the Grand Canyon is not quite the place for this, but there are still very secluded areas in nature. You and your spouse could always "take a long walk" and leave the kids in the RV. Just make sure that you don't get lost and that it really is off the beaten path! :)


At 2:41 PM , Blogger Jess said…

I don't have teens (yet), but no one has mentioned music as one way of covering the noise factor... I know it wouldn't cover the rocking/movement factor, LOL... but for those with teens who hear, walls with less insulation, etc., it could be a good option, maybe? I suppose it *could* potentially wake someone up, but then, if the kids get used to it as a fairly normal occurance, it wouldn't seem so out of place.

One mom I know (whose bedroom shared a wall with her daughter's room) said that when her daughter got to teenage years and started staying up was when she bought her a music player (back then it was a tape or CD player, LOL) with earphones so she could just tune out anything she didn't want to hear. It was a pretty straightforward way of dealing with it, but at least she knew she had a good option and didn't have to just lay there and try not to hear what she was hearing.

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Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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