We are picking back up with COVID Reflections on this week’s episode. Dave and I jumped back in the saddle to hash through 16 years of marriage – specifically talking about the impacts quarantine/social distancing, working from home, and being together 24/7 has had on our relationship. We talk about connection, communication, carving out quality time, and sex. Yep…we even went there! It’s an honest and real conversation about the mistakes we’ve made, the lessons we’ve learned, and the things we are currently working on to strengthen our relationship in the face of a pandemic! Hopefully, it is a conversation that serves to remind you that no relationship is perfect and encourages you to find intentional ways of connecting and communicating with your partner! Amidst the changes COVID has brought into our lives and the adjustment of basically spending 24/7 of our time together, we kinda just assumed that connection would happen naturally. A rookie mistake, I know!! It was an assumption that cost us dearly and led to the development of resentment and unmet expectations for us both as we tried to process our needs and feelings in the margin between wrangling the kids, zoom calls and sharing office space in our bedroom. Over the past few months we’ve learned that creating space for intentional quality time, even if it’s just 5 minutes in the morning over a cup of coffee, can dramatically impact the lens through which we view each other and our relationship. This realization has helped us implement a new practice of seizing the moment at hand every chance we get.  We talk a lot about the damage and pain that this same sense of resentment can cause when it comes to building sexual intimacy within a marriage. Especially,  how it can become a barrier that leads to further unmet expectations if we don’t push through it and actually talk with our partner about our specific needs and wants. Dave shares how shifting his view of sex as being the “icing on the cake” to seeing it as “the eggs that hold the cake together” has provided room for a more realistic view and experience of sexual intimacy in our relationship. He talks about the benefits of having something like a salt lamp (aka a “sex lamp”)  to help open lines of communication. Although I never really expected I’d be sharing this with y’all, it has been our experience that engaging those preconceived ideas and uncommunicated needs as a couple is the most powerful way to avoid sexual disconnect and enjoy more intimacy as a couple.  To be completely honest, there have been a few times when I have wondered if our wedding vows should have included “when COVID tries to do you part..” just to give better context to the “worse” part they prepared us for all those years ago when we said “I DO”! No, but for real… sometimes marriage takes work and this season has been one where intention, communication, and connection have been the secret sauce in holding us together. So we hope sharing some of the lessons we’ve learned will be an encouragement that you are not alone, especially when it comes to figuring out a new normal in the context of marriage in the midst of navigating a pandemic. Although we all know it’s a lot easier to focus on what isn’t working in our relationship, then it is to actually put that energy towards doing the work of connecting, we hope this will be a reminder that the energy of stepping towards one another is always worthwhile when we are seeking deeper and more meaningful connections 
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