Relationships

The Secret to Sex After 40

M"y wife and I recently celebrated the 40th anniversary of our first date. We have a solid marriage, but like everyone, we've struggled with the changes that aging brings -- including those that affect our love life. The good news: With simple adjustments, sex after 40, 50, 60 and beyond can be as satisfying as ever, strengthening your relationship rather than becoming a source of conflict and stress.

The trouble is that many people believe that intercourse is sex -- and when intercourse becomes problematic, they think sex must be over. That's a shame. Retiring from being lovers makes a relationship less intimate and ignores the deep human need to experience gentle touch.

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Sex After Baby

If you just had a baby, you might both be thinking, "Sex? Never doing THAT again!" Your partner may be a little weirded out by everything that just came out of your body, you're physically recuperating from pushing all that stuff out of your body, and you're both probably exhausted caring for the new little one.

Yeah, you feel like that right now, but trust me, in time you're gonna want to get busy again. That's how it's always worked; if not, we'd all be only children.

Even so, don't worry if you're not interested right off the bat. You probably don't feel so hot, and childbirth hormones are powerful stuff; you might find yourself far more involved in your newborn than your partner. This is common. Within a few weeks, you'll probably start thinking about sex again. The break is a good idea, anyway; your doctor will likely tell you to wait six weeks before intercourse to give yourself a chance to fully heal in there.

Here's the problem: while you may be "closed for repairs," your partner likely isn't.

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Spouse Smarts

So, you think you know your spouse. Could you correctly answer 20 questions about his or her favorite things? Most people are surprised that after many years of marriage their answers are off target.

Test your knowledge about your spouse's favorite things by spending an evening together creating flash cards. Create two sets of index-sized cards on which to write questions and answers. One set should have your answers and on the other set, write what you think will be your spouse's answer. The cards are a gold mine of gift ideas for future thoughtful surprises.

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Kent Dual Drive Tandem Bike

John and I got one of these this week, and it's the most fun I've had in AGES. There is an in-depth review at Amazon; pay attention to it, because we found his experience echoed ours almost exactly. But with those (easily remedied) problems out of the way, this is a great bike, especially for the price, and riding tandem is a wonderful way for me to get out with John and not feel like I'm either going to get stranded somewhere or hold John back so much he'll get impatient. This way we can go fast and I don't hae to worry about keeping pace with John. Highly recommended.

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Indulge in an Overnight Delight

So you really need a getaway but you can't afford a vacation? Terrible week at work, but the kids have a birthday party on Sunday, and you can't take the whole weekend off? Consider a local escape -- one night at a nice hotel in town can be a great way to rejuvenate without excessive time or expense.

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Creative Childcare on a Budget

Parents need timeout from parental duties to keep the spark between husband and wife ablaze. Whether it's a table for two, a concert, movie, or even a sleep over (empty nest or at an inn), quality time as a couple is important to a marriage and family.

If you don't think you can afford these dates without worrying about your kids' happiness and safety, and childcare costs, you're not alone. For this reason, consider a child-swapping network with other couples. It's a convenient, inexpensive, reliable and rewarding alternative to a babysitter.

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Romance on a Shoestring Budget

Don't despair if you're on a budget--"away" can be a state of mind. Remember when you first dated? It seemed like all kinds of places could be romantic just because you were together. Looking back now, you might agree that the setting or the cost didn't reflect the world's ideal of a romantic experience, but the memories were made and the romance was obvious.

When my husband and I were dating in college, one June night, we spent a wonderfully fun romantic evening at the semi-lit playground of a local elementary school. I remember how hard we laughed as we pushed each other on the swings and challenged each other to small-scale athletic feats. Believe it or not, we weren't the only adults there! When a couple from Omaha decided to try it, they left the oldest of their three children in charge and headed to a nearby playground that they enjoy as a family. They loved the peaceful rhythm of conversation that usually can't be theirs when the children are along.

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Five Ways to Share Your Passion with Your Partner

Remember the days when you and your spouse were dating and everything he or she did seemed like magic? The funny fruit drinks mixed in the blender were like love potions; the Rambo films you were suddenly introduced to seemed like works of cinematic art. You were smitten. Everything your Other Half found interesting was exciting because it was shared with love and passion. Through "passion sharing" (a concept not nearly as risqué as it sounds), you can relive some of the excitement of the early days of courtship.

Instead of using the kids' Saturday nap as a time to slip off alone to your favorite book/televised sports game/hobby, invite your spouse along and share with them the thing that gives you pleasure in your "free time." Of course, you'll have to return the favor: Trade those two hours between your children's bedtime and your own when you usually check e-mail and surf the 'Net, for a visit to your Other Half's favorite pasttime. Learning something new has never been so romantic.

Here's how to make Passion Sharing work for you

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Throw a Grown-Up Birthday Bash

Considering how much fuss parents make over their kids birthdays (theme parties, special dinners, cupcakes at school, etc.), and how little fuss they make over their own ("oh, I don't want anything special this year, honey"), you'd think birthdays were something you outgrow. While turning 33 may not seem quite as momentous as turning 3, or 13, you never outgrow an excuse to celebrate.

Your birthday is the perfect opportunity for you and your spouse to plan a date, start a tradition and take a break from the grind to remember that you can still have fun. Here are some tips from parents on how to make the most of the grown-up birthdays in your life.

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Saving Marriages With Unconditional Love

even before breakfast!In the middle of a session the other day I had a powerful realization. I was asked to think of a relationship I had with something in the last week that in my mind was the ideal relationship, and to think of what it was about that relationship that made it ideal.

A number of men in the group thought of their cars, toolsheds, families, workmates, old friends, even relationships with objects such as their television remote, recliner chair, or favorite pair of shoes. To each of these men, these things felt comfortable, and simple. The relationships they had with these people or objects was rewarding and easy to maintain.

When my turn came to identify my ideal relationship, I thought of my dog. My dog has very simple needs, and it is the ultimate ego-boost for me when I get home at night and I am greeted in such an enthusiastic fashion. I don’t know of any others that greet me so enthusiastically night after night. No matter how long I have been away from the house or no matter how my day has been. I call this unconditional love.

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Fine Art of Wining

For some people, finding a good wine is a lifetime's work. But if you're among the number of people who'd just like to find a wine they enjoy, maybe even two wines--a red and a white, have no fear. You can get to a point where you can handle some wine basics without too much trouble. And you can have fun getting there by setting up a wine-tasting evening. An Ohio couple who tried this said they'd enjoy such an evening again "whether it's just the two of us or several couples--as long as we keep it casual."

And right here I'm going to state emphatically that pregnant moms-to-be will have to wait until that baby is born--no ifs, ands, or buts.

Decide what it is you want to learn: To train your palate to distinguish between dry and sweet wine? To be able to tell expensive wines from mid-range ones? To be able to tell domestic wines from foreign ones? You might be surprised to discover that even so-called aficionados, when blindfolded, can't always distinguish a red from a white. So the first rule is not to be stuffy. We've all heard the rule of thumb, "Red wine goes with red meat and white wine with white meat," but adherence to this dictum does not a wine connoisseur make.

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Getting Through The Tough Times In Your Relationship

Every marriage will go through times of challenge. Some marriages will be strengthened while others will be destroyed. Tough times may be as common as financial problems or the aftermath of a hurtful argument. Marriages may suffer as the result of a miscarriage or the death of a loved one. Whatever challenge you face, remember this:

It is better to be prepared for tough times and not have them than to have tough times and not be prepared.

Here are five of the essential principles to strengthen your relationship and give you an edge during times of adversity.

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Should the Government Oversee Marriages?

Yes
25% (5 votes)
No
65% (13 votes)
Don't Know
10% (2 votes)
Total votes: 20
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Do you use birth control?

Yes, a "natural" method (charting, etc)
7% (4 votes)
Yes, a barrier method
17% (10 votes)
Yes, the Pill
20% (12 votes)
Yes, an IUD
7% (4 votes)
Yes, an implant or shot
2% (1 vote)
Yes, some other method
0% (0 votes)
Yes, sterilization of either me or my partner
22% (13 votes)
No, I'm past childbearing age or otherwise don't need to worry about it
8% (5 votes)
No, I let nature take its course
8% (5 votes)
No, we're actively trying to get pregnant!
8% (5 votes)
Total votes: 59

Ask the Miserly Mom: DIY Weddings

QMy daughter is getting married in December of this year. We are a homeschooling, one-income family. Any economical ideas for weddings? We are thinking of catering the reception ourselves but would also like to be able to enjoy the wedding.

--Carole

A A successful wedding does not have to be an expensive wedding. Success should be determined by whether the bride, groom and the guests enjoyed themselves. Having a wedding on a tight budget does not mean having to give up style or the fond memories. It just takes some planning and shopping around.

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Ask the Miserly Mom: Mix Recipes and Cheap Dates

QI was wondering if you had any ideas for affordable things for couples to do together on those rare times when you get a sitter (Grandma). Dinner and a movie are so expensive and that's really all my husband and I do when we go out!

A Even married couples need to go on dates. It's not necessary to spend a lot of money on these dates--indeed, many can be done for free. Before movie theaters, snow mobiles, ski lifts, or even cars, people had fun.

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How to Write a Love Letter

Putting pen to paper to say "I love you" is both a lot harder (do you have to sound poetic?) and a lot easier (no, you don't have to sound poetic) than it seems. It's also a surprisingly powerful way to express feelings that makes both the reader and the writer understand what those three little words really mean. Don't know where to begin? First, close your eyes, meditate, and listen to all the ways and reasons you love the people you love.

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Welcoming Your Honey Home


When I was in grade school, I was often so anxious for my mom or dad to come home that I would wait down at the end of the block, looking eagerly for their car to come down the street. I also remember the excitement of hearing the car pull up into the driveway and racing outside to greet them with a big hug and perhaps help them unload items from the car.

Are you ever excited to see your sweetheart come home? Do you show it? Or has it simply become some part of a monotonous routine?

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