Adjusting the focus.
Improving sexual fulfillment in marriage
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Sometimes it can be helpful to explore how we came to ‘know’ the things we believe and think. We hear, read and experience things and adopt it as truth without thinking, examining or questioning. We all do this.
Let me share a personal example. Somewhere during the course of my life I developed the idea that in a happy, healthy marriage, couples should be having sex at least three times per week.
I couldn’t tell you when I first heard, read or thought this, but somehow it became a personal truth to me. One that hasn’t served me too well in ten-years of marriage.
So I’ve been doing some reevaluating in recent months and perhaps I can share a little that might also be helpful to someone else.
It turns out that there is a positive correlation between regular sexual intercourse and relationship fulfillment. However the studies I found suggested the connection plateaued after once per week.
This doesn’t mean that making love three or more times each week would damage the relationship, unless of course it was achieved through inappropriate means such as coercion.
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But what was damaging was my setting an arbitrary expectation that when not achieved created frustration, insecurity and hurt on both sides of our marriage.
Our marriage is probably typical of many in that my desire for sex is significantly higher than my wife’s, and whenever differences exist there’s always the possibility of tension and conflict.
Historically, disagreements about intimacy in our marriage probably outpace all other topics by a ratio of at least 2:1.
I certainly would like to have more sex but I also don’t want cheap experiences where sex feels like a chore or marital obligation to my spouse. Cheap sexual experiences in the words of my brother-in-law are like eating a Twix when you’re starving. They might taste good for a moment but they provide no lasting nourishment.
I’m learning that it’s far better to have fewer sexual experiences that are rich in connection, love and pleasure than quick, un-engaged ones that ultimately never satisfy or fulfill.
Fulfilling and satisfying Sex is one of the pinnacle experiences of human existence and is the natural outflowing of genuine love, connection and security in marriage.
So I have now concluded that if I want to have more sex in my marriage, my efforts and focus should be fixed on creating greater love, connection and security in my marriage.
Of course there is no guarantee that this approach will work every time because there is no formula or silver bullet. Marriage like life is complicated, difficult and requires our ongoing and continuous effort to adapt, adjust and learn. Each marriage and life is unique and it befalls each of us to find the solutions for our specific problems.
But I will share this simple observation from my own marriage with you. Since adjusting my focus from a numerical one to that of creating stronger love, connection and security, there have not been overnight miracles, healing or success. Growth and change take time. However, our experiences have become more engaged, connected, fulfilling.
Regardless as to whether or not my adjustments and refocus lead to more sex, a relationship that is filled with love, connection and security is by far a happier and healthier one to be in.