I have counselled quite a few couples and this subject has come up fairly often. The husband would complain about the lack of sex; the wife would complain that he doesn’t do anything with the kids. These are seemingly unrelated topics, but in a marriage, the amount of sex that takes place is correlated to pretty much everything.
Let’s take this one topic at a time. Consciously or not, most women pick a significant other that is either a good provider or good father material. Not necessarily because we, women, can’t provide for ourselves, but because we would still like to have someone who will be there for us and support us when we need it. And of course, with that, we would like someone who is there for our kids: to change a diaper, feed a bottle, take the kids to the park, wrestle with them, build a fort in the house, or teach them sports. Most of us find that terribly sexy!
I know I also speak for other women when I say involved fathers are so much more attractive. As a matter of fact, I heard someone say that “watching my husband play with the kids can serve as foreplay.” Don’t take this the wrong way; there is nothing sexual about that image, but the brain is the biggest sex organ, especially for women. We do a lot of thinking which is often correlated with how much sex we have with our spouse. The equation is very simple. Positive thoughts about the husband equal more sex; negative thoughts equal less sex.
Take this scenario: When we see our husbands play with the kids, we often think: “The kids are having a great time. He is a great father. He loves our kids. He loves me. I love him. He is so sweet. He is actually hot. I think I want to have sex with him and really show him how much I appreciate him.” And it doesn’t matter how sweaty and stinky he is. That is just manly!
Conversely, when the father is passive, avoiding the kids, and aloof when the kids want to play with him, we think: “Why is he being so mean and grumpy. How can he be so cold to a kid that misses him so much and wants to play? Why is he yelling at my kid? That hurts my kid. It hurts me. I want to hurt him. I can’t stand him. I can’t stand being around him. And he is sweaty and smelly. That is just gross.”
See the difference? And more importantly, do you see how fast we think? Our interpretation of our husbands’ involvement is definitely key to how attracted we are to them, but their behaviour can definitely lead to the way we interpret things. Moral of the story: playing with your kids not only makes you a good father, it also makes you a hot, sexy husband and that label comes with a lot of perks.
Ruxandra LeMay is a licensed psychologist with an interest in couples’ therapy, parenting, addiction, anxiety, and mood disorder issues. She is the author of My Spouse Wants More Sex Than Me: the 2-Minute Solution For a Happier Marriage available on Amazon. She shares easy and practical solutions for a balanced life. You can follow her on Twitter @drruxlemay