A few years ago, my husband and I were in a different season. Well, actually we’ve been through several seasons since the one I’m referring to but the one I’m thinking of is back when we had 3 toddler girls running around the house. As a parent, the infant/toddler season is probably one of the most exhausting stages of your kids’ lives but at the same time, one of the most rewarding. It’s when you have a handful of toddlers running around that you realize if your marriage is going to get any attention, you’re going to have to be intentional about making it happen. Because babies are time-consuming. And if you aren’t careful, you can end up neglecting THE most important relationship in life – the one of you and your spouse.
It was in this season that I developed the 2+2 theory. We all have needs and men’s and women’s needs are vastly different. I love that the Creator did such a seemingly odd thing by creating us so different. It definitely takes the dull out of life and can actually make it incredibly pressurized. We don’t often understand each other at first try and unless we chose to learn this life dance, we can end up hurt, broken and empty. But if we chose to take the journey of growing and discovering ‘who this person is’, we can live complete, fulfilled and abounding. When life seems to be pulling farther than you can be stretched, we have to protect the most important relationship – our marriage.
‘They’ say (we all know who ‘they’ are without really knowing who they are) that a healthy man needs sex about every 3 days. Being a woman AND a mother, I know that, though I really enjoy sex, what I need is to feel like a fully alive, beautiful, confident woman – not just a mommy – or I can start feeling like sex is just another task to add to my to-do list and there’s no enjoyment in an act that God designed for pleasure and beautiful intimacy.
For both of these needs to be met in our marriage, God gave me this 2 + 2 thought. And though, I’m the last person to want to establish a rule or be ‘religious’ about something, this practical wisdom really helped my husband and I stay connected through a wonderful but wearying season. And it continues to be at the heart of my vision for a healthy marriage.
The first 2 is sex twice a week. Plain and simple. This meets the God-given need in man for physical intimacy. The second 2 is 2 hours a week of ‘vacation’ time for mama. It’s important that she can remember the fact that before ‘mommy’, she is ‘woman’. That 2 hours is used in whatever rejuvenates her in a healthy way. Alone time, friend time, workout time, coffee time, shopping time, pampering time… It’s about her finding the sexy woman her husband sees and being comfortable being her and not just mom.
If you feel drained from parenthood or even just an extra full season in life, if your marriage seems to be stale or even suffering, I’d challenge you to try this little theory. Be intentional about growing and thriving in the most important relationship you have on earth!