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Are My Kids Trying to Ruin My Sex Life?

Why our children love to stir up trouble

Photo composite of child walking in on parents in bedroom
Alamy/Getty Images

My wife looked at me with those sultry bedroom eyes that absolutely screamed, “I’m almost interested in having sex with you.” We finally made our move, which lasted half a moan before my wife suddenly froze. 

“He’s coming,” she whispered.  

The “he,” in this case, was not me. The bedroom door ominously creaked open as we held our breath. The night-light in the hallway revealed two tiny eyes glowing in the darkness like a cock-blocking raccoon. And then we heard those four terrifying words. “Mama, I can’t sleep.” 

This was the moment when I realized that my 5-year-old and 8-year-old children are trying to ruin our marriage. I felt so stupid. How could I have not seen it before? The truth was standing right in front of me, wearing Ninjago pajamas. 

They give us no alone time, they constantly interrupt our conversations to tell us animal facts (most of which I already know), and they intentionally pit my wife and me against each other by crying things like, “Mom said I can stay up until she gets home.”

I know what you’re thinking. Why would my kids want to destroy my marriage? Maybe you should ask my 5-year-old, who proposes to my wife several times a week. And not just a casual proposal. He picks flowers from the garden — that I planted! — and gets down on one knee.

I’m being cuckolded by a kindergartner! 

To confirm my suspicions, I spoke with Amelia Romanowsky, a psychologist who went to Harvard and immediately agreed that, yes, my kids are trying to ruin my marriage. 

“Your kids are in an oedipal age,” she said. “They really are wanting the primary attachment to your spouse. So, you're not making that up.

“However,” she added, “They’re not intentionally trying to break you guys up. There are different parts of the self. So, part of them wants the parent all for themselves, absolutely. But on another level, they want a safe system, with limits.”

Those limits are set by the family’s “executive team,” Romanowsky explained — meaning, my wife and I — who need to proactively decide on rules and expectations for the children in order to move the needle back from a child-centered family to a parent-centered family. 

My wife and I have now instituted a 15-minute weekly executive team meeting to discuss and update our list of nos. So far, they include no interrupting us when we’re debating whether Manifest is the new Lost (it’s not), no barging in on us when we’re practicing our Mommy-Daddy hugs, and no, you cannot marry Mommy.  

Oh, and if you’re looking for a specific solution for how to keep your kids out while boning, Romanowsky recommends installing a slide lock high up on the inside of your bedroom door so that the kids can’t accidentally lock themselves in. Or you can take a tip from one of her clients, who instituted a rule: Every Saturday between 3 and 5 was nap time.

That’s why I just hung a sign on our door that says, “Go away. Mommy and Daddy are napping each other.”