Not Having Enough Sex?
One of the stereotypical images of marital sex is that men want more and women want less. In our marital seminar, we have a questionnaire on what makes for successful marriages and what leads to failure in marriage. People are asked to either agree or disagree with various statements. One statement is that successful marriages experience a good sex life, do you agree or disagree? The other statement is that marriages fail because of differences in sexual desire,do you agree or disagree?
Most people agree with each statement. It’s a little shocking when we inform them that according to the research, neither statement is true. In fact, a couple’s sex life has little to do with the success or failure of their marriage, although it is true that when the marriage is near collapse, the sexual relationship has typically disappeared. .
Not having sex often enough can be very frustrating. One man was so frustrated he kept a calendar on which he tracked the number of times they had sex. Some women have done the same thing out of their frustration with their husband’s lack of interest. There appears to be no gender differences in the desire for sex in a marriage. But a difference in desire has no impact on the success or failure of the marriage.
One of the things I tell couples is that sex is a form of communication, and if you or your spouse feels frustrated by the frequency of sex in your marriage, you need to talk about it together. And if you can’t do that on your own, then talk about it with a counselor. Unlike the common perception, most sex therapists work at getting couples to talk together about their sex life.
Michael Sytsma is a good friend and is a counselor and sex therapist. He writes about keeping the passion in your marriage, and says playing together is a key behavior to keeping the passion alive. He recommends the use of the DEC-R. The “D” in the title stands for dialoging about the issue. The purpose isn’t to find the “truth” about the problem, but to hear each other’s perceptions and meanings.
Not having enough sex? Try talking about it without blaming the other person!
Question: What to you is the normal amount of sex for a married couple?