One of the problems is that women feel like "My husband is just always wanting to have sex and I'm not." And again, there are psychological studies that prove that three years after the baby's born men are having three or four sexual urges a day and women have one every three days, or something. So there's that natural disparity, but I think if a woman can find a way, whether that's through better communication with her spouse or whether that's a girl's night out, whatever it is that makes her feel more in touch with the sensual part of who she is. If a woman can find that, then in fact there are lots and lots of benefits to be had from the physical intimacy that you can maintain with your spouse.
What are some activities that mothers can do on their own, fathers can do on their own and then what can couples do together to help maintain a relationship?
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There's a lot of practical information in the book although it's mostly full of anecdotes. I think one of the important things and one of the basic messages is just to prioritize things differently. If you can find a way, as a mom, to let the dishes pile up or let the dust bunnies accumulate— if you can let go of some of that stuff in the name of some physical intimacy then I think that's a huge step in the right direction. The fact is, your husband would rather have take-out than a home-cooked meal if it means you're going to get to bed 20 minutes early and have your needs met.
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I also think that luckily we're getting a bit away from the cult of the child. Meaning that, for a long time there's been this sense that we have a lot of information and women are trying to raise the safest, happiest, healthiest, most well-adjusted children. The fact is, providing them an image of a successful marriage is really an important part of raising happy kids. If you can let them sit in front of the TV for an extra half-hour in the early evening—when you might be more in the mood—rather than at 9:30 when everyone is trying to get to bed, then that's a better strategy for everyone. So, one of the things to do as a woman is to let go of some of the household responsibilities and then give yourself a break in terms of the parenting.