When You’re Too Tired for Sex With Your Husband

By Brie Gowen
I thought surely as the baby got older and started sleeping through the night more regularly my energy level would build. I’m 39 years old, and honestly this third child knocked me for a loop. I just didn’t feel as prepared for the long nights, interrupted sleep, and added responsibility. I had two other children, five years old and under, vying for my time, my care, and more importantly my affections. After a full day of people tugging on me, sitting in my lap, and not a second to myself, by the end of it I just wanted nothingness. Perfect, beautiful nothingness. No one pulling on me, hugging on me, or asking me to do anything. I was exhausted.

In reality all I wanted after the children were asleep was to sit motionless on the couch and do something that required zero brain activity and even less physical stamina. Facebook, Candy Crush. Whatever. You get the point. I would look across the room at my husband performing his own unwinding after a twelve hour work day, and I’d watch the back of his head longingly as he played a computer game. All my heart wanted to do at those moments was take him in my arms, cover his broad shoulders with sweet kisses, and sink into the warmth and comfort of intimacy with him. But my physical body was a different story. Even my mental one sighed at the thought of any expenditure beyond growing moss as I lounged on the sofa cushion.

I was too tired to have sex with my husband. 

After seven years of marriage I had discovered the comfort of relaxing in a solid, stable relationship with my spouse. It was kinda like that old flannel shirt in my closet that I couldn’t part with. It fit just right, it took little effort, and it went with every pair of pants I had. It was wonderful that I could sit stationary on the couch playing with my phone and my relationship didn’t suffer because of it. It was awesome that my husband knew I loved him, and I knew in turn that he loved me. Many, many nights we sat together and shared our hearts, our hopes and dreams, and our biggest fears. But conversely some nights we existed for hours in a comfortable silence as we relaxed after our collective, long day. I could tell my husband anything, and he offered me wonderful counsel when I needed it most, but we didn’t have to stroke the others ego or perform a certain way. It wasn’t dating, we weren’t trying each other out or seeking to impress, and for that I was grateful. It was fine that I was tired, and I knew he was too. But still…

Still I knew the importance of balance. I knew that although he didn’t expect sexy lingerie and unsolicited propositions in the midnight hours, that when I did it really cranked his engine. Tired eyes took on a sparkle, and something happened within me too. An exhausted woman suddenly felt energetic, sexy, and most importantly desired. I didn’t just have sex with my husband to keep him happy. Turns out I did it for me too.

Sex isn’t everything, and it certainly isn’t the center of our marriage, but it is a very special part. God made sexual intimacy for a husband and wife, and for us it was a time to share with one another. It was a time to shed the worries of the day, clear our minds of work and childcare responsibilities, and focus solely on pleasing the person we had vowed to cherish and love. But it was also an exercise in making time with the most important person in our little world.

Many days started for me with kissing my husband goodbye as he left for work, and as I would gaze into his deep brown eyes I would feel a deep sense of attraction. I still found my husband sexy, desirable, and in those hurried, morning moments I just wanted a block of alone time with him. But off he would head to work. For me a long day of serving my children would begin. Meals, snacks, homeschool, housework, errands, kissed booboos, baths, and bedtime stories. After all of that I was like a shell of the woman who had stared seductively at her man, and though my heart wanted sex, my body just didn’t. It didn’t. I had to make the decision to pursue him beyond my tired body, and it seemed like that was when the magic happened.

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The fact is I can’t change the phase of life I find myself in right now. A teething baby, a whiny three year old, and a never ending pile of to-do’s. Most days I feel as if I’m drowning, like I’m barely getting by in life, but I also know it won’t always be this way. One day I’ll look up and my nest will be empty, my time will be more manageable, and my husband will still be there. In that time I know I’ll appreciate the fact that I chose to invest my energies wisely with my partner in all the chaos of life. I’ll be glad that despite the fact I was too tired for sex, I made the decision to enjoy that part of our relationship anyway. Intimacy between marital partners is a blessing, and it seems to rejuvenate and feed a portion of our relationship that longs for physical contact of one another. Days with young children are long, but life together as a married couple is even longer. I find that placing much-needed attention on our marital bed is just as important as saying thank you when he takes out the trash, or making his favorite meal for dinner. I speak my love to my husband in many ways. Sometimes it’s a note left on the counter, or perhaps it’s picking up his favorite sweet treat from the bakery. Other times it’s making the decision to not be too tired for intimate time together at the end of a very long day.

About the Author: Brie Gowen is a 30-something (sliding ever closer to 40-something) wife and mother. When she’s not loving on her hubby, chasing after the toddler or playing princess with her four-year-old, she enjoys cooking, reading and writing down her thoughts to share with others. Brie is also a huge lover of Jesus. She finds immense joy in the peace a relationship with her Savior provides, and she might just tell you about it sometime. She’d love for you to check out her blog at