May 18, 2016
Sex in Marriage : Are You having Enough ?
I'm not clear how many people are worried that they are not having enough sex but I do know from clinical experience that many tend become discouraged in their relationships and give up on sex .
-- Research shows that folks who have sex at least once a week are happier than folks who don't. That is a correlative statistic, not a causal connection however. It is not clear if having sex makes you happier or if happier people have more sex.
-- My concern is not with how much sex couples have but that sex is respected as an essential part of their relationship. Like noted sex educator and Syracuse University professor Sol Gordon used to say, “Sex isn’t the most important thing in marriage but it’s in the top ten!”
-- If couple has gone months without physical intimacy for no obvious reason (e.g. health problems or physical separation), this absence is a clinically important
symptom and could signal significant problems of either medical, psychological or relational nature.
-- It is unfortunate that because immature attitudes, many partners are embarrassed to talk about medical issues which involve sex. Ironically, there are effective treatments for most sexual dysfunction issues for both men and women. Although publicity concerning Viagra like medications has helped many to get over the aversion to seeking medical help there are those who still avoid getting help and suffer unnecessarily.
-- In addition to physical disorders, anxiety and depression can also rob a person of passion and sexual interest. Likewise , normal emotions like anger and resentment can create obstacles in a relationship which can suppress libido and kill desire. Rather than simply accepting the passionless situation, it is important for couples to know that professional help can provide dramatic results and restore lost intimacy and joy.
-- How often folks have sex varies a lot depending on many variables such as health, busy schedules, stress, etc. And … the amount of sex does not necessarily indicate the overall level of satisfaction in a marriage or in the sex itself.
-- That said, I think it is important for couples to acknowledge the importance of sex and make sure that sex does not get pushed aside because of overloaded schedules, stress or fatigue.
-- Although spontaneous encounters are great, the demands of work and family can make opportunities few and far between. Thus, couples need to become intentional about sex by blocking out time on their calendar and protecting those commitments. Planning romantic rendezvous is a good way to make sure that that the fire in your marriage will not dim or go out.
-- Some couples react to the idea of scheduling sex with skepticism, i.e. that isn't romantic. However those who are willing to try it report that not only is it very romantic but that the "dates" are something to look forward to with excitement and eager anticipation.
Rev. Michael Heath LMHC, Fellow A.A.P.C.