“Can sex really kill a marriage?”
A friend once asked me this question, and I had wanted to scream the answer in his ears, but we were in a Catholic church, and the Reverend Father was shooting occasional glances at my general direction. So I had to bend slightly over and whisper it to him, then I had given him the expression that conveyed the words “Are you kidding me?”
Oh, in case you’re wondering what I said to him, it was ‘ABSOLUTELY’. A couple’s sex life almost always reflects the exact state of their relationship!
Let us – for just one moment - drop the pretense and the lies, let us push aside the modest sentiment and the bias that the mass media, religious organizations and cultural influences have impressed in our minds, and let us be brutally honest with ourselves - the ultimate end of every marriage is great sex.
Yes, I know how that sounds. This is stuff no preachers preach, (talking about sex is not so ‘sexy’ – Get it?) but in the deepest, innermost recesses of your heart, you know that it’s true. If you feel a little guilty for nodding in agreement, you shouldn’t!
So you have found your soul mate. You are excited about getting married. Good. I am extremely glad that you’re taking the next step - it takes a lot of courage and will. But before you swear before man and God to spend the rest of your life with him/her, let us talk about sex!
Tell me: Have you ever given it some thoughts? When the wedding ceremony is over and you’re finally alone, how do you proceed? Who does what? How do you keep the spark in your relationship?
Why should you worry about any of this?
Research shows that a healthy sex life is an extremely strong predictor of marital wellbeing, a strong predictor of mental and physical health. (You probably didn’t know this, but sex greatly also boosts immunity, is extremely good for the heart, reduces stress, boosts confidence and generally increases longevity.)
On the contrary, an unhealthy sexual life - usually marked by a general loss of desire - can have a negative impact on marriage and on individual wellbeing. Unhealthy sex life is the number one problem discussed in relationship forums, and it also ranks really high among reasons why couples get a divorce!
Like every journey in life, the first (sexual) step together can set the tone for the rest of your marriage, and by implication, for the rest of your lives. You don’t want to get your wedding off to a terrible start! Things can get really awkward really fast in your marriage, (especially if you’re one of those ‘lucky’ couples who have zero experience when it comes to the subject of sex).
What should you do?
Now that you understand the importance of sex in a marriage and the fact that it might get boring, monotonous and eventually ruin your marriage, what should you do?
- Understand that a sexless marriage is a grave issue, and be ready to put in some work.
- Embrace spontaneity; abandon routine and safety. If you have a sex calendar, tear it up. Be impulsive, go on fancy dates, plan a weekend adventure, and explore new sexual experience.
- Do things, just because. Everyone loves a nice surprise – ‘little thoughtful gestures that shows you still care’.
- You and your partner must be open to options, and learn new ways to put some spark in your relationship, so that the whole thing does not get real boring real fast.
A sexless marriage is dull, frustrating, and can be an indicator of emotional disconnect. It is like a plant without water. It might be alive, but ‘it is droopy and lethargic, it’s sad, and it has lost its vibrancy.’