Megan and Chandler met in college. Now, nearly 15 years later, they’re married and have an almost two-year-old While their relationship has certainly had some ups and downs — about six months after they had their baby, they realized they needed to spend way more time on each other and on themselves — they’ve always been committed to their marriage and strive to be open and honest about their expectations, wants, and needs with one another. Here, they talk to Fatherly about their sex life as parents (it has definitely changed) and about their marriage (it’s better than it’s ever been) and their communication (they’ve never felt more intimately connected.)
The Couple: Megan (33) and Chandler (32)
Years Married: 10 years
Years Together: 14.5
Number of Kids: One: a 21-month-old son
Occupations: Engineer (him), marketing executive and freelance writer (her)
So how has your sex life changed after having kids?
Megan: There’s a lot less time, for one. I think that we didn’t realize [how much would change.] We were together for so long before we had kids that I think we took for granted the luxury of time, and not having to schedule sex. That was definitely a change. So, not only was there less time, but there was also less energy. We’re chasing a toddler!
So do you two schedule sex?
M: Yeah —
Chandler: Yeah. It may be a little bit more scheduled now. Our relationship has changed since having a kid. From a sex perspective, it was very good before we had kids. It’s also very good now. It’s really become more intimate, because it happens a little less frequently, but we’re still trying to get up to a —
M: An acceptable quantity.
M: For the first several months after our son was born, [sex] was pretty much off the table, and then we had to try to reconnect in that way. All of the sudden your life becomes about tasks, and taking care of this small human, and then you have to come out of the fog and realize that, Oh yeah, I still have a partner here. We still have needs.
When do you feel like things turned a corner for you both?
M: I breastfed for six months. When I went back to work I added in pumping, so I was having to go sit in this little like pump room — which is basically a closet — and pump my boobs multiple times a day in the midst of like, meetings, and just get undressed multiple times a day at work and walk out like nothing happened. It’s such a bizarre thing. And then going home and having the baby with me again, wanting to be on my boob or whatever. That was definitely hard, during that time. After I quit breastfeeding, honestly, I was really excited. For the first time since I found out I was pregnant, my body was mine again.
M: That was a really nice feeling. I thought I might have some guilt, but I really didn’t. That’s really when I think we started working on our sex life again, because in those early days, you’re so tired and so sleep deprived. Your body is being used for just all these other things that it’s hard to have anything left to give to your sex life.
How often are you guys having sex now?
C: We’re probably averaging around once a week. We’re trying to get up to two or so. That’s our goal.
M: We just had a conversation three weeks ago where we said, ‘This is not enough! We need to try for two times a week!’ And then I think we’ve done that, like, once since.
But at least we’re talking about it openly. Thats half of the struggle: communicating about your wants and needs. But yeah. It’s definitely not where it needs to be. But I do think what Chandler was saying last night, when we were talking about this, was that we’re way more emotionally connected — what were you —
C: Yeah. Even though the quantity of our sex may not be there as much as we’re wanting it to be, the intimacy aspect makes it the quality of it better.
So that intimacy came through after you had your baby?
C: Yeah. We had a great relationship before we had our kid. But after we had our son, he pushed a lot of our boundaries. He pushed our individual identities and our relationship to the back burner and once we started figuring that out, we were able to talk through it and increase our intimacy to the point that it surpassed what it had been prior to having our kid.
M: I remember waking up one day and being like, this sucks. We had prided ourselves in having our individual lives, and our lives as a couple, and then all of that went away, and all of our focus was on our son. So we had to crawl out of that hole and remember that if we don’t put ourselves first then there’s not going to be any relationship left by the time he graduates high school or whatever.
When was the last time you had great sex?
C: Last weekend?
What about it was so good?
M: Was that the pillow time?
M: We’ve gotten a little bit more creative with like, pillows and things. What was so good for you?
C: I don’t know! It just was. I don’t know if it was whether it was… I don’t know.
M: It does seem like there’s more buildup. We talk about wanting to have sex for several days before it actually happens. So, when it does happen, it’s not like one of us is like: “I don’t really want to, so I’ll just lay here.” We both really want it. So in that way, I think that when we do have sex, even though it’s less often than before, I think it’s really good every time. For the most part. There are always going to be some times that are [less good.]
What is your favorite part about your sex life?
C: It is, actually.
M: I think I have mine, but I want you to go first.
C: Oh, of course. (laughs) Part of it is just how, even though we’ve been together for so long, and have been intimate for many, many years, that here’s just always something exciting about every time.
M: We try different things, too. Let’s be honest, lingerie usually only comes out on vacation. But we’re good about trying different positions doing things we might think please the other one more. And because of everything that we have been through, it’s like, our relationship, honestly, I feel like it’s the best it’s ever been right now. Of course it won’t stay like this. We’ll have ebbs and flows like any relationship. But right now, every time that we are able to have sex, it just feels really good. He’s my person. We’ve conquered life together. It’s much more intimate than it was when we were 20 years old and having sex in my dorm room, you know?