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Gwyneth Paltrow and her husband, Brad Falchuk, are getting real about what it’s like living under the same roof with her two kids as they remain in quarantine.
In a YouTube video titled “How Do You Find Intimacy in Uncertain Times?” the married couple chatted with intimacy and sexuality expert Michaela Boehm to learn some tips on how to make the most of your relationship while keeping children at home entertained during isolation.
The Goop founder admitted there’s “definitely tension” in her household as she and Falchuk live under the same roof with her daughter, Apple, 15, and son, Moses, 13.
“We’re really lucky we have a really solid relationship, but we’re also in the house with the kids and it’s pretty close quarters,” she says. “And you know, I think we all feel, especially my teenagers right now, are feeling very pent in — especially Apple, who is a really social creature.”
“We’re really following the strict guidelines so she’s not able to see people that she wants to see, so it gets fractious in moments,” Paltrow continues. “And there’s definitely tension within the household and we have the added dynamic of step-parent, and I think there is quite a lot of stress that just comes from trying to recalibrate to this new normal and this level of proximity. Then as a couple, I think a lot of our friends are going through things like this. Where do you go as a couple when you’re all in the house and you’ve got dogs and you’re trying to work…what are you supposed to do?”
Boehm advised the blended family and all households to begin compartmentalizing daily habits as a means to create some structure in the household.
“One of the things that’s very useful in a situation like this is compartments, so to speak. You have to have areas of engagement that have time frames attached to them. I would suggest that certain dimensions of one’s life are not being mixed together all the time because that kills everything. It’s really, really important you have meetings, so to speak, and topics that are kept separate from other topics,” said Boehm.
The expert suggested that families host a morning meeting where everyone discusses the “mainstays of that day” such as important phone calls, projects, etc. that need to be done. Then, family members should create a list of “creative” activities they’d like to take a stab at.
“Anything out of the ordinary that you might have always wanted to try or that you don’t even have enough time to try,” Boehm explained. “You pick from that list of activities for yourself, for your children, for the household. You become somewhat creative and somewhat active in engaging in areas that you usually wouldn’t. Then you have something fun to pick from.”
Boehm warned that sometimes couples get “muddled” with balancing time with the kids, pets and other priorities. But she stressed the importance of couples finding alone time in between the day.
“It’s fine to take an hour or two that doesn’t involve anyone else in the household,” the expert told the couple. “It’s fine to have a meeting that only talks about the logistics and then you drop it and do actually something that’s fun and engaging or a learning or physical activity.”
Paltrow also touched on intimacy between couples and specifically, struggles women are facing. “What do you recommend for women in your practice to get back in touch with their sexuality?” she asked Boehm.
Boehm admitted it’s “really, really true” that women she’s talked to in recent weeks are not in touch with their sexuality due to the amount of stress that comes with going into “survival mode.”
The expert said she believes this could change naturally over the course of a couple of weeks when “boredom kicks in and the stress level goes down.” But in a case where women are still struggling to find pleasure, Boehm shared tips on how to get back to feeling good physically.
“Engagement with the senses brings sexuality up,” Boehm said. “It is also very important for suvival. We survive by smelling the food is good, tasting that the food is good, seeing that there are no predators coming. Things like self-care, beauty, which is not frivolous during a time like this, dressing in ways that feel particularly good. It’s tempting to just stay in your pajamas all day. It’s not good to do that. On the contrary, making the extra effort is actually the way to go.”
Back in January, Paltrow opened up about her and Falchuk finally moving in together after living in separate homes amid their engagement and the start of their marriage.
“So our sex life is over,” Paltrow, 47, joked in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar. “I thought it was really interesting how resonant that was for people. One of my best friends was like, ‘That is my dream. Don’t ever move in.’”
In a previous interview with InStyle, Paltrow gushed about her marriage to Falchuk, which followed her divorce from ex Chris Martin.
“I adore my husband. He’s brilliant and deeply kind. I feel like he’s a real equal, too. And he pushes me in the best ways. I really like being married. It’s fun,” she said.