Woman says couples should be intimate every day for a healthy relationship
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A couple who have found themselves stretched for time after welcoming two children have now made it a mission to be intimate with one another every single day.
It can be hard to find a spare minute to share quality time with your other half, especially on days filled with work, school runs, cleaning, cooking and all the other tasks that have a habit of piling up on life's demanding to-do list.
Sometimes the most physical attention you can offer is a shove to make them aware that their alarm's going off in the morning, and while that's enough for some, AnnaLee Ford and her husband Ethan are determined to 'keep the romance alive'.
AnnaLee, a water engineer from Denver, Colorado, said it was 'crazy' how much things changed after she and her husband, Ethan, brought kids into the world.
"It hit us harder than we expected," she admitted.
"Nobody really wants to think about sex when you haven't showered in three days and your boobs are leaking and the size of Jupiter. Being intimate is hard. So my husband and I decided to make our relationship a priority because without that, everything else will fall apart."
With more time dedicated to the kids, and tiredness and stress making it tough for them to feel romantic, the couple came up with a plan to ensure they didn't lose the intimacy in their relationship, which includes no electronics after the kids go to bed, and kissing for 10 seconds whenever they say hello or goodbye.
AnnaLee explained: "Especially if one person is holding the baby, we're so rushed to say hello or goodbye - in and out of meetings, making dinner, getting the kids to school.
"We force ourselves to take 10 seconds to be slow. It's a long time - but after the five second mark you start to notice yourself relax and get closer. Then you can go back to your crazy days."
The first thing on AnnaLee and Ethan's list is making time for intimacy every day. The mum explained this 'doesn't necessarily mean sex', but they have agreed to be 'close for one minute', no matter how tired they are, and 'give it a chance'.
"Nine out of 10 times it does lead to sex after that for us - but what it does is ensure we don't immediately say no without giving it a chance just because of tiredness or stress," AnnaLee explained.
"Sex is like, sometimes at first you don't want to go to the gym, but you go and do a workout, and then you feel great after.
"I do feel lucky that I have had two kids with my husband and I am still madly in love and so attracted to him. But when you have kids and life is crazy busy, being connected is the only thing you can control," she continued.
It might be tough to imagine sticking to the plan, but AnnaLee explained it has become more natural for the couple over time.
Ethan agreed, explaining that their everyday intimacy is 'a big part of [their] success', adding: "It’s all about the little wins after you have kids. This mindset has made such a huge difference in our happiness and quality of relationship."
As well as dedicating time to one another, the pair have recommended writing letters to one another and talking frequently about 'your future dreams and goals as a team'.