Stress is one of the biggest dampers of sex drive and desire. When we are all worked up by a hard week on the job or we’ve barely survived a week at home with the kids, sometimes sex is the last thing on our mind., even though sex can help us control our stress.

Studies show that owning, caring for, and playing with a pet can help to significantly reduce stress levels. It stands to reason, then, that if we can better manage our stress by spending a little time with our pet, that we may be more ready for a “roll in the hay” with our spouse.

If you decide to try this method of stress relief, here are some things to keep in mind:

1. Choose a pet that both you and your spouse can agree on. If she is a dog person that hates cats but he is a cat person that despises dogs, going ahead may cause more stress. That’s the wrong direction!

2. Before you bring your pet home, make sure that you and your spouse agree on the rules. Who is going to feed, bathe, and clean up after your pet? Who is responsible for taking it to the veterinarian? Where will it sleep – with you or in their own bed? Make sure that you have included needed pet items in your budget. Overspending on a pet will create more stress.

3. Remember your priorities – your spouse is (or should be) more important than a pet. Because pets don’t care what we wear or how overweight we are or how much education we have or how much money we make, it’s easy to make friends with such a non-judgmental “person.”

4. A pet won’t argue back no matter what you say. That level of acceptance is hard to find – even in the best marriages. Don’t make the mistake of talking things out with your pet that you should be discussing with your spouse.

However, you can practice on your pet if you want to. You can work through your feelings while talking to your pet so that when you talk to your spouse you can better control your emotions or explain your position. You can, through the therapeutic effect of talking with your pet, get up the courage to discuss difficult things with your spouse. But in the end – you still have to talk things out with your spouse.

5. Now, about that much needed and now (hopefully) desired roll in the hay: the pet should stay out of the picture. Close the door. Don’t let a pet interruption kill the mood while you are in the act. ?

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