Parents Caught in the Sex Act

I was at a friend’s house for supper when their teenage boy decided to embarrass his parents. He said, “Ya’, I wish my parents would keep it down when they are having sex.” To which I replied, “Don’t you think they deserve some fun too?” Mortified, he and his red-faced parents pretended not to hear.

Apparently the heating ducts in the house connected to all four bedrooms. According to the mom, a loud whisper could be heard if the house was quiet. Later on, the mother confided that, ever since the revelation, she and her husband were too paranoid to have sex.

On the long list of things that help parents be asexual, getting caught in the sex act is certainly a concern for many. But should parents give up their sexuality just because they feel it will have negative implications on their children? Absolutely not.

Sigmund Freud is the culprit for creating this fallacy. Freud theorized that children who witnessed the “primal scene” (i.e., seeing parents making love) would become neurotic because of their unfulfilled desire to marry the opposite-sex parent. It is interesting that Freud’s theory stuck, considering the majority of the world today and in history have/had families living in one-room dwellings. Privacy for parents is a relatively new phenomenon.

Even knowing this, I recognize how uncomfortable getting caught or having sex while the kids are still awake can be. However, you and your partner need to be clear if this unspoken expectation is causing marital distress due to zero reconnection time.

Valerie Davis Raskin, M.D. and author of Great Sex for Moms: Ten Steps to Nurturing Passion While Raising Kids, wrote, “It is absurd to try to provide our children with a perfect environment. Ironically, while we zealously ‘protect’ our children from seeing their parents as sexual beings, we relinquish our only opportunity to teach them our family’s values about sexuality. We miss the opportunity to teach our children that love and physical intimacy go together, and this important message is too often exactly opposite what they see in the media.”

In her book, Dr. Raskin conveys it is not only healthy but necessary for parents to be affectionate, touchy and yes, a bit sexual, in front of their children. Does that mean you should have sex in front of your children? Of course not. Dr. Raskin believes that discretion and a regard for appropriate sexual boundaries important.

How much affection to show is up to you and your partner. For example, growing up my friend’s mom allowed her husband to openly touch her breasts in front of the children. That simply would not happen in my home. Where I was fascinated, my friend found it commonplace.

Where should you and your partner start in creating sexual intimacy in the face of getting caught? Of course, communication and planning are your best friends.

First, discuss any unspoken expectations you may have around not being sexual because of the children. Next, talk about any guilt associated with presenting yourself as a happy, healthy sexual couple to your child. Finally, discuss what your sexual privacy and sexual boundaries will be and, more importantly, how you will stick to them when wanting to cave overrides good sense.

After communicating, go immediately to the hardware store and buy a set of good locks for your bedroom door-your mantra to and from the store should be “boundaries, boundaries”. If you are worried about being too noisy, buy something to create white-noise, like a loud humidifier, fan, radio or stereo that can be moved close to the door.

Discuss what you will do in the worst-case scenario: your child walks in on you making love.

A younger child is unlikely to understand what is happening and may simply be frightened by the sounds of lovemaking. Address your child’s fear. Matter-of-factly reassure them that no one was hurt and this way of touching is something grown-ups do.

A primary school-aged child may simply be curious. Say only what is necessary to move to the next subject without shaming or inadvertently stirring up even more interest. Say, “I can see you are inquisitive. Sometimes adults do things kids don’t understand.” Then switch the topic.

An older child may know exactly what is happening and may be disgusted or embarrassed. If an older child bursts in, do not lie or get defensive about what is going on. Instead get dressed and talk about what just happened, acknowledging that this as awkward for everyone. Then, set your boundaries with the child to ensure your privacy.

However you work this out, make sure the fear of getting caught is not stopping you from keeping you connected to your partner.

Children of Abused Men – Family Violence From the Eyes and Hearts of Battered Men

There is a plethora of information on the Internet and in the media about violence against women. And for the gentleman being abused, finding relevant, accurate insight and advice is like finding a needle in a haystack.

Even harder for abused men is finding answers for the questions they have about their innocent minor children. Below are a couple of questions pertaining to the children of battered men.

1) “How can men successfully protect their children from and in abusive relationships?”

As a parent, we seek to protect our children from danger. It is a primal instinct that any parent feels from the core of their being. But when that danger lurks within your home and interfaces with your young on a routine and regular basis, protecting them gets tricky. Why? Because your doing so is by-in-large ultimately regulated through a system. (more on this in question #2 below pertaining to divorce)

However, within the confines of your home and your relationship with your child, there are many important things you will want to offer a child that witnesses and/or experiences domestic violence.

• Give your child unwavering unconditional love. While all children deserve and thrive on unconditional love, the child of domestic violence families will use this to help offset the impact of a controlling parent’s conditional love.
• Be the empathic adult attachment figure for your child. You can be the resource through which they come to discover and validate themselves.

• Help your child see the difference between what is his/hers and what belongs to others. By doing this with your child, you will increase the likelihood of his/her not blindly embracing an endless abuse dynamic.

2) “How do abused men protect their children from a controlling battering parent in their divorce?”

In some respects, I believe this is where the men have a greater advantage; not because they are men, but rather because they are more likely the breadwinner. As we know, abuse is about control. So be honest with yourself right out of the gate as you embark onto the steps of your local family courthouse.

The controlling parent will see the divorce process as just one more thing to control. And let’s face it: litigation is about control. So in this arena, the batterer will feel at home and she may thrive in her seeking control…unless you know how to offset her agenda.

If you are the primary financial agent of your family, you will have a much better chance of preventing your controlling spouse’s abuse of the legal process. You will be in a position to create alliances with people who assist in encouraging equitable closure.

If, on the other hand, your abusive partner holds the key to the family purse, you will want to be mindful of the social, financial politics of your case. And you will want to know the strategies and tactics abusers successfully use in custody and divorce proceedings.

If you are an abused man in an abusive relationship or in family court with an abuser, you will want to know all you can about the dynamics of domestic violence, legal domestic abuse and legal psychiatric abuse. The more you do, the less likely your abusive relationship will spiral out of control.