A Sexually Incompatible Marriage
CNN has an interesting article about sex and marriage. It caught my eye for any number of reasons.
Just judging from the responses to my old post Does Having Children Prevent an Active Sex Life this is something that many couples wrestle with. (The comments on this post were made using Haloscan. Since I disabled and removed it from the blog you obviously won’t see them there. But trust me, there were plenty.)
Let’s take a look at the article.
(LifeWire) — He’s a 38-year-old executive. She’s a 34-year-old homemaker. He says they never fight, and in many ways they’re compatible — but not when it comes to sex.
“It’s almost like a checklist,” says Jon (who asked that his real name not be used) of their once-a-month lovemaking. The problem, he believes, is a lack of desire.
Sexually unfulfilling marriages aren’t limited to new parents or aging baby boomers with hormone imbalances. They can ensnare even the relatively young and the recently married. When they are unable to blame kids, stress or physical issues, many couples struggle unhappily to identify — and resolve — the problems behind their lackluster sex life.
Couples end up in sexually unfulfilling marriages for a variety of reasons, says Marty Klein, a licensed marriage counselor and certified sex therapist in Palo Alto, California. One reason, he says, is America’s obsession with marriage.
Laura Berman, a Chicago sex therapist and relationship expert, agrees. “We put the blinders on when we’re dating,” she says. “We focus so much on the wedding, we don’t notice the warning signs.”
Those who believe passion inevitably fades may downplay the sex factor, picking someone they think would be a good father or a good wife even if they’re not an ideal lover, Berman adds.
“I chose her because I thought it would enhance me in some way,” Jon says of his wife.
Berman has seen it before: “People choose partners who have the right resume but maybe not the entire package.”
Other couples enter into relationships with so-so chemistry because they think they’re in love and overlook key differences, says Klein.
Bobbie Jonas, a holistic health practitioner in Calistoga, California, acknowledges she ignored obvious warning signs during her courtship. “I was more interested in a way out from home,” she says of her first marriage. Poor communication compounded the effects of weak chemistry. After 10 years, they divorced.
“Couples wondering where the sex went should be asking if it was ever really there,” says Berman.
That explanation makes sense to Jon. Although he said he and his wife, who live on the West Coast, started off with great chemistry, the cracks in the relationship began to show before they traded rings. After a four-month dry spell during their engagement, his wife brought up the idea of canceling the wedding. “I just really wanted to get married,” Jon says. “I felt that it was what I was supposed to do.”
Now Jon is having an affair with a woman — also in a sexually unsatisfying marriage — for whom he feels intense passion. “I didn’t realize the importance of sex,” he says.
I know from conversations with the boys that several of them are less than happy with the state of affairs in their bedroom. It is kind of a funny change. During our single years the guys didn’t spent much time bragging. You might hear about who they were dating, but in general there wasn’t any talk of conquests.
And now I look at what we talk about and I have to shake my head and smile. There is the guy who complains that before marriage his wife loved oral sex and now hates it. There is the guy who complains that his wife is never in the mood and then there is the guy who says that he can’t keep up with his wife’s sex drive. And let me tell you, he receives an enormous amount of crap about his complaints.
I can also say that I know of two couples who intentionally did not have children because they were convinced that it would kill their relationship. Kind of reminds me of a guest post that ran here last year called Pressured into Parenthood- A Guest Post.
So dear reader, what do you think?