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How are things?

Our life coach and agony aunt Dr Pam Spurr answers your questions every fortnight. The author of many self-help guides her latest is The Emotional Eater’s Diet for anyone who heads for comfort food in times of stress or unhappiness. More about Dr Pam below.

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Dear Dr Pam,

My husband and I have been wary about leaving our children for a long weekend with either of our parents. Our parents are obviously trustworthy but it’s just our own thing, probably guilt, about leaving them for longer than an evening

Now our boys are seven and five and we’re planning our first long weekend away together. But inside I’m so nervous, I feel like it’ll be like our first time together all over again

To be honest our sex life hasn’t been great since we had the boys, I’d say it’s simply been okay. How can I get over these nerves because I don’t think he feels this way?Plus please give me some suggestions how to spice things up as I don’t feel sexy anymore. Thank you!

Dear “Spice it up,

I bet if I could look inside your husband’s mind he’d be feeling exactly the same way. We aren’t so very different and although we assume if sex is on the agenda a man’s going to be chomping at the bit, they have the same anxieties women do.

Here’s a way forward – when you two are planning where and when you have your weekend mentioned mention that you feel a bit nervous. Tell him you feel this but in an excited way because it feels like the first time.

Try making it a bit flirty too – giggle, and laugh, just let him know you are up for it – but feel nervous and that approach will help keep your chat positive.

I bet he either reassures you or confides he feels the same way. Opening up a genuine, but nonthreatening, conversation like this will strengthen you both. 

Once you’vboth talked about your feelings, turn up the heat a little. Why not suggest either going to a high-street adult shop, or going online to shop for a couple of sexy things to pack on your weekend away?

Doing this now rather than leaving it to the last minute, just before you go away, will get you both in a sexier mindset.

You could suggest you each get to choose one toy or a piece of sexy gear to pack. You could even play a game of surprise – where you surprise each other with your choices once you arrive at the hotel.

Definitely choose one or two pieces (I realise budgets may be tight) of sexy knickers/lingerie that you feel good in. The more confident you feel, the easier it is to get into the mood.

Finally, don’t make too big a deal out of this. You two love each other, you’re going to have “couple time” together, plan some romantic walks, meals in pubs, all the things that will reconnect you and you normally don’t have time for.

Having some good sex will come a lot easier once you’re relaxed. One last tip, don’t forget how relaxing (and sensual) a lovely warm bubble bath can be after a romantic walk. Have a glass of fizz and get it in it together.

Enjoy, Pam x