This Could Threaten Your Lovelife

I was pregnant and sex wasn’t high on the priority list (sleep and chocolate were). But one strange day when I was about 13 weeks pregnant, I was actually looking forward to some romance on a Friday night. Earlier in the day, my highlight had been devouring pita chips and garlic hummus.

I changed my clothes and got ready for my evening of romance. My husband James walked in and as he drew close, he stopped dead in his tracks.

“What is that smell?”

It took two seconds to figure out it was my beloved garlic hummus. “I can smell you and that garlic in every room,” he moaned. I apologized and winked. He hesitated and replied, “I don’t know if I can handle your breath.”

You probably know what happened next. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. My breath was the deal killer. After he talked himself into plugging his nose and taking the plunge, I was no longer in the mood. Romance dies quickly after any kind of confrontation involving Listerine.

Whether it’s bad breath, a headache, work stress, or that time of the month, there’s often something that gets in the way of romance. Sometimes it’s your spouse, sometimes it’s you. What’s killing your love life lately? Since it’s probably not garlic, maybe you’re struggling with:

  • I am hurt by something my spouse said. While it’s true our husbands or wives can say things that require a grand apology, many times they unwittingly hit a hot button or say something small that gets blown out of proportion. For instance, when my husband James asks, “What have you been doing all day?” that makes my blood boil. I have to learn how to snap out of the defensive mode and answer the question calmly. By the way, I have instructed him not to use this question anymore.
  • I am exhausted, really. You have pressures with your work, service projects, and keeping your household running. Those nights when you can barely brush your teeth let alone make love to your spouse will come. Do your best to carve out time each week for lovemaking when you’re not so tired.
  • I am preoccupied with all I have to do. When your head hits the pillow, you’re not thinking about intimacy. You’re thinking of how you’re going to deal with that difficult person at work, and how you’re going to get everything done by Friday. A place to jot your thoughts down before bed may help silence that nagging to-do list.

Identify the things that threaten your lovelife this month. What can you do to diminish these negative influences? Maybe it’s something as simple as brushing your teeth after eating the garlic hummus!


Arlene Pellicane is a speaker and author of Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World (co-authored with Gary Chapman), 31 Days to a Happy Husband, and 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Wife. She has been featured on the Today Show, Fox & Friends, Family Life Today, Focus on the Family, K-LOVE, The Better Show, The 700 Club, Turning Point with Dr. David Jeremiah, and TLC’s Home Made Simple. Arlene earned her BA from Biola University and her Masters in Journalism from Regent University. She lives in San Diego with her husband James and three children. Visit Arlene at for free family resources including a monthly Happy Home podcast.

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