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Parenting Advice Is family co-sleeping an excuse for avoiding sex?


I've read that co-sleeping with children can be a excuse for women who don't want to share a sexual life with their husbands. I don't know if you have something written about that. I haven't read all your parent advice column yet - but was very touched by some things I read there.

Name Withheld

Jan's reply:

If there is a desire to avoid sex (whether related to "new parent fatigue" or unresolved anger and poor communication between partners), that will be expressed regardless of where the children sleep. If both partners have a healthy sexual relationship, "where there is a will there is a way", and it need not be in front of the children. Many parents simply move to another room for sexual relations, after the children are asleep. If it is not a healthy relationship, there will be avoidance - even if there are no children at all! The critical factor is the quality of the relationship, not the location of sleeping children. Co-sleeping has so many benefits for the physical and emotional well-being of the whole family that it would be sad and very unfortunate if sex avoidance is used as an argument against it.

There are comments from parents on this subject at the Family Bed FAQ, and there are good discussions of it in the books Nighttime Parenting by Dr. William Sears and The Family Bed by Tine Thevenin. Tine has an article on our site, "An Oversight of Our Culture".


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