My guest Lara McElderry knows all about the struggles of being married to a surgeon: the crazy hours, the extensive amount of time spent in training, and the toll it can take on any relationship dynamic. And in this episode, she offers up her time and provides some tips and advice for those who might be in the middle of a similar situation. It doesn’t matter if a medical related position or not, all careers have the potential to be disruptive to a relationship and there are ways around sacrificing the longevity and health of your love and sex life.
Lara went to school for Family and Consumer Science and has a master’s degree in teaching from the University of Arkansas. And she lives in Missouri with her trauma surgeon husband and her children. Listen along and enjoy!
Married to Doctors
Lara begins this episode with some important details about her marriage and how despite the unique aspects of it and the stressful medical school, training, and moving that it entailed, that she still learned how to achieve the proper balance of intimacy with her husband. Now she now has a podcast called Married to Doctors and has learned some valuable things along the way about intimacy and relationships.
The Challenges That Demanding Careers Can Have on Relationships
When talking about her marriage with her trauma surgeon husband, the biggest challenge that she highlights is the difference in responsibilities that arise from different perspectives, careers, and work dynamics. Like many relationships, Lara was a stay-at-home mom and found it challenging to work with her husband coming home from work and wanting to spend intimate time with her almost immediately.
But as she said, she soon realized that it was ok to leave the dishes dirty, and X and Y and Z unattended, even though she struggled with doing so. Especially because she grew up in a household where sleep was foregone if the dishes weren’t done or other responsibilities weren’t taken care of.
In her husband’s eyes, there was only a small amount of time they got to see each other every day. Eventually, she grew comfortable with being a little more flexible, and they both met halfway. This type of flexibility to difficult to cultivate, but very, very important.
For more on the challenges, listen along to the episode!
Solutions for Prioritizing Intimacy and Sex
Lara says that when you have a hectic, crazy schedule due to a career, or a big family that takes a lot of your time and energy, scheduling your sex life can be very beneficial. She understands that not everyone subscribes to the method, but it can be a really useful tool for prioritizing such an important part of the relationship.
And this doesn’t mean formally setting up a designated time and place for sex but keeping a somewhat fixed idea of when sex is going to happen. Because your hours might vary widely, scheduling might be hard, but as Lara states, a loose schedule is useful.
She also talks about the importance of teaming up with your spouse around the house to free up more time for sex. Doing things that help create situations having sex more readily available is a great strategy.
Prioritizing the Relationship
Finding things to do with one another is so important. And you can do things as a couple with the kids still around. As Lara states about the new things that she and her husband like to do together, to see each other anew on a consistent basis, they are vital for broadening and deepening the relationship. And it also has considerable carryover to a better sex life.
And all of these activities don’t have to revolve around lavish excursions to exotic places; they can take place at home, through simple means and through simple acts of affection and connection. For much more on this beautiful idea, listen to Lara describe it.
No Such Thing as Happily Ever After!
Lara tells us that of course we won’t suddenly stop facing struggles in our relationships, but if we can learn to face each change, each move or job change with a bit of curiosity and resiliency, we will be well-equipped to have a great relationship and great sex. For much more, listen along to Lara McElderry. And make sure to check out her podcast Married To Doctors.
Key Links for Lara:
Lara’s podcast: https://marriedtodoctors.com/