The Star Chart: A Guide to Adult Intimacy



It is no secret that marriage is hard. Add children into the equation, and it is easy to lose sight of your partner. Somewhere between the dirty diapers and sleepless nights, the passion can fizzle. Intimacy can all but disappear.

My husband and I have been married for five years. We had children rather quickly, so most of our married life has been spent either in pregnancy or parenthood. We lived together for two years before marriage.  During that time, there was no lack of physical and emotional intimacy. Maybe it’s TMI, but we couldn’t get enough of each other.

I not only love my husband, but I like him as well. I find him attractive. But somewhere along the way, our passion was lost. We got comfortable. It was just easier to go to bed than to try and get my mojo working.

It is no secret that I am in therapy. During one session, I casually mentioned our dwindling intimacy to my therapist.  She had two recommendations: first, mandatory dates and second, mandatory sex. Now there are some important things to note. At first, I was entirely put off. I should not HAVE to have sex with my partner if I do not want to. But as we talked, I discovered this was not the point of this challenge. I DO want to connect with my husband but sometimes it is EASIER not to. My therapist proposed the Star Chart, a schedule for sex.

Here are the basics of the Star Chart. Sit down with your partner and look at your calendar. Decide on a goal for intimacy. (We started with one day a week, because, lets not get crazy here). Next, put a physical star on your calendar. Mark the day. This way there are no surprises. I found that this allowed me to plan my night. My husband likes it because he does not feel constantly rejected. We both know what to expect. If you’re feeling particularly frisky on any given week, you can add another star to the calendar. There just needs to be a twenty–four hour warning so both partners are aware of what lies ahead.

Now I know not everyone will like this idea. I was not keen on the idea at first, either. Yes, it is sad that we need to schedule physical intimacy, but our lives are busy and we are tired. I think of it no differently than our mandatory dates. This time is for us to reconnect as a couple and remember why we are together in the first place. I love my husband and I love my time with him. Sometimes I just need an extra push to remember that.

So do yourself a favor, next time you are at Target, throw some star stickers in your cart.

A Guide to Adult Intimacy


  1. Vulnerable post. Thank you for sharing boldly and sensitively. Surely something different works in every relationship, but just as surely, in maintaining a strong relationship with our partner in these wild, child rearing, adult years, we all need some encouragement, creative thinking, and solidarity to keep on keeping on!


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