It’s been a long year when it comes to surveying the casualties of COVID-19. All the people who lost their lives not withstanding, this is a story about getting back your sex life, if only for a day. If you’re a parent with kids in high school or younger, then one of your major hurdles, besides avoiding contracting the virus, has been figuring out how to get your kids through school without watching them fall so far behind that they might never get back. Another significant hurdle is finding the time and place for you and your spouse to have a meaningful lock-down sex life with the kids always around!
It’s difficult enough for couples to maintain a healthy sexual relationship in normal times with kids of any age around the house. Now with COVID-19 and quarantine, there is virtually no alone time! Our “intimacy routine” pre-Covid-19 went from every other night (and if we missed a day my wife really didn’t care) to only in the evenings once a week after both kids were asleep, and then only if my wife wasn’t completely exhausted from work and parenting!
My wife and I had to find as many creative ways as possible just to have moments where we could relax, enjoy each other, and make our relationship continue to flourish. A couple of weeks ago, I got some good advice from a friend who said, “Just take her away, surprise her, find a safe place were you can social distance from other people and make an adventure out of it.” At first I thought, “that’s impossible,” but then I decided to GET CREATIVE.
I found a place within driving distance of my home that I knew could be pretty secluded and as safe as possible from the virus. I also made sure that it was adults-only so that it limited the chance of being around people that were coming for vacation from other states. I found a bed-and-breakfast in Key West, which is about a 2-hour drive from my home.
I arranged for grandma to take care of the kids and the dogs. Our room was booked with a friend’s credit card so my wife would have no idea. Planning something behind my wife’s back after 20 years of marriage is virtually impossible, but I will pat myself on the back for getting creative and pulling it off. Maybe all the craziness of 2020 just had her so stressed out that I was able to sneak something past her, but I’d like to think that it was my incredible creativity and planning. We had a youth league basketball game on that Saturday morning and I was coaching my daughter’s team, so all I did was tell my wife that she shouldn’t make any dinner plans or any other kind of plans for Saturday night.
Once we got home from the basketball game, I told her to pack a bag for one night. She looked at me in shock and said, “What do you mean, we’re spending the night out?” I proudly replied, “Yes we are, but I’m not telling you where we’re going!” I told her that it would be within a two hour driving distance so she would know what kind of clothes to pack. I have a convertible, so I put the top down, packed up the car, and we headed out. I purposely went in the wrong direction for a mile or two to get her mind spinning! We live in a one road town and there’s only one way in and out, so it wasn’t easy to continue to deceive her, but then I turned around and headed south.
She thought she had figured out that we were going to Key West. I pretended that I forgot something in the house to distract her, but once I got back in the car and headed south, she knew she had been right. At that point I told her that we would do whatever she wanted to when we arrived. It was her day and night, and that most importantly I would LISTEN.
We got down to Key West and stayed at the Southernmost Hotel Resort, which it truly is! It is the southern most hotel in the United States. This was a place we had always seen and always talked about visiting, but we could never stay there because it’s adults-only and we have children under the age of 15. When we arrived, we found the hotel to be quiet and very safe, with only 25% occupancy. It was located far enough away from any potential crowds on Duval Street, but close enough that we could venture out a bit and sightsee.
My wife was completely surprised and continuously complemented my decision-making, something that hasn’t happened since we started dating over 20 years ago. We were in the hot tub by 4pm and having amazing college-dating sex before dinner. I totally planned for a second round but two bottles of wine and the Florida gators losing to LSU put us both to sleep by 11 PM! We made up for it in the morning, and then slowly drove home Sunday afternoon.
All in all it was one of the most relaxing 24 hours of our relationship and there was no stress, no worries, no kids, no dogs, no mother-in-law, no work, no travel day hassles, and most of all, no 2020 COVID-19 news on our minds. It has made such a difference in our lives. Obviously, not everybody lives within two hours of Key West, but most people can GET CREATIVE and figure out a way to take a 24 hour day trip with their spouse, clear their heads, and rekindle their relationship.
As a friend of mine in California told me, “You can find a way,“ after he told me a story about taking his wife to a small bed-and-breakfast in the wine country in order to celebrate her birthday and get away from the stress and depression of 2020. Trust me, we all need it!