Dr. Jane Guyn
You’d be surprised how often I get asked the question: Is it okay that our kids (or animals) sleep with us? Unless you're perfectly fine with the fact that you and your partner will most definitely turn into nothing more than "roommates" (if you haven't already), then the answer is, "No". Choosing to not have a sacred space for you and your spouse/partner will eventually become detrimental to the relationship.
The bottom line is that there are many places around your home where you could love on either your children, or your pets, however I believe that your bed should not be one of these places.
Some couples have gone so long without having sex that its become awkward, and therefore they use the kids and the pets as the perpetual excuse to never cross this threshold again. I’ve met with countless couples that have shared with me their struggles of overcoming this reality in their relationship, and what I have discovered is that they, more often than not, use the kids and the pets as a barrier, so they don’t have to deal directly with the fact that they’re no longer having sex.
Even if you’re not feeling compelled to have sex with your partner, there is a great danger in not sharing any intimacy at all in your bed (ore relationship, in general) together.
However, still, there is usually an underlying issues related to this reality for many couples.
Many couples start out thinking they were being sweet by allowing the kids and pets to cuddle with them. But the unfortunate reality of this is, if your kids and pets are cuddling in the bed with you, you're obviously not being intimate. And the longer time goes by, the greater the awkwardness grows, and the more impossible intimacy feels, and the less sex becomes an option.
And this reality confuses many couples. They have become amazing partners together, they've raised children together, they've spent years building a life together, and they allowed the sex to fall off the list of priorities to a level of being nonexistent. They're best friends. They're loving roommates. They've witnessed each other's lives. They've watched each other grow. They've been there through so much together. But even through all of that, at some point, one of the them (if not both of them) eventually want to feel desirable (again). They want to feel "wanted" by another human being again. There comes a point, in most people's lives, where they simply just want to feel sexy and alive again.
And if this issue isn't addressed, unfortunately for many, this is usually the beginning of infidelity.
I will have men and women call me all of the time in "shock" to learn that their spouses, after years and years of a beautiful marriage together, has cheated on them.
And, they all eventually come to the realization that, "Yes, they allowed the distance between them to begin with something small, like kids, or pets, in the bedroom".
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Jane Guyn, PhD
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