5 Tips for Improving Relationships and Intimacy
By Gila Brunner, Sex Therapist, Center for Sexual Medicine at Sheba Medical Center
Open any tourist guidebook for families, and you’ll see loads of recommendations for vacation destinations packed with entertainment for adults and children to enjoy together. While the value of spending time together as a family is undisputed, vacations shouldn’t compromise your marital relationship. Remember, one of the reasons we go on vacation is to get away from the daily grind and infuse your life with new, fresh air. Take advantage of this opportunity to enhance your intimacy, so you return as a stronger couple – as loving, passionate parents.
- Dedicate some of your vacations only to yourselves. From time to time, take a holiday without the kids – and without the dog. Enlist the help of friends, grandparents or babysitters to watch them while you’re away.
- Even if you’ll only be away for a night or two, book a separate room for the kids. If that doesn’t fit the budget, try taking a vacation together with another family. Reserve rooms for yourselves and for the other couple, and put all the kids in the same room. Both couples will enjoy privacy, and the kids will be thrilled to party with friends!
- If your plan is to return from vacation with the same number of children in your family, don’t forget to bring contraceptives with you – and don’t forget to use them! A change in daily routine can make it easy to forget to take your pills, and the special ambience of vacation may catch you off-guard, engaged in intimacy without a condom. If you decide to ignore using protection “just this once,” you can avoid pregnancy by using the “morning-after pill” (Postinor), a type of emergency birth control sold in many countries without a doctor’s prescription.
- What happens if your vacation arrangements leave no privacy without the children? There are still ways to pleasure each other and add intimacy to your relationship. Massage each other’s feet while watching TV to unwind after a long day of sightseeing; give a neck and back massage after prolonged travel time; shower together before going to bed.
- Most important – come to an agreement that you will behave as partners who are working together. Don’t let the kids’ fights and complaints, such as “Where are we going now? How long until we get there? How much can we buy?” tear everyone apart. A cohesive, understanding team is difficult to break up.
For a fabulous family vacation that keeps the sparks of sexuality burning in your relationship, follow the 5 golden rules above. Surprises will await when you return home to your special corner of intimacy!