Enriching Sex in Marriage

Sex is of significant interest to all who are married and to those who aren’t. In counseling sessions and marriage, pre-marriage, and sexuality seminars couples often asked the question “How can we improve the sexual side of our marriage?”

Following are some principles that can add new meaning to those who want to improve this aspect of their marriage.
Marriage is a socially and divinely approved union for developing closeness with another human being. Marriage can provide an optimum setting in which to develop the blend of sensual and emotional satisfactions – a relationship in which sexuality can be fully expressed. It allows for a range of expression of love, a depth of self-awareness, and closeness that results from sharing significant experiences and feelings.

In marriage, two people have the opportunity to experience love in all dimensions. They can enjoy the pleasure of companionship; share the fulfillment of a deep and abiding friendship; and experience the pleasure of passionate sex, which is more than a combination of sexual organs – it is an extension of one’s self through self-abandon. Many couples find sexual intercourse to be a rewarding, fulfilling aspect of their marriage. It is a means of sharing, of giving and receiving pleasure, of communicating needs and desires, and having fun.

Sexual satisfaction within marriage seems to depend in part on marital happiness, and marital happiness is fostered by, but not dependent on, a mutually fulfilling sex life. Nonetheless, sexual satisfaction can be affected by many factors. Several studies have shown that expression of sexuality such as hugging, kissing, and intimate touch, as well as the frequency of sexual intercourse, decline after the first year of marriage.

Several factors may contribute to this, including the birth of a child, the perception or feeling that lovemaking has become routine, lack of interest by one or both partners, or a hectic or stressful lifestyle in which one or both partners maintain a schedule that leaves them physically and/or emotionally unavailable to the other partner.

In addition, marriage sometimes abruptly, and often radically, changes the nature of a couple’s relationship. New roles and patterns of interaction, as well as relationships, must be established. Whereas the couple’s interaction prior to marriage may have revolved around romantic interludes or exciting dating experiences, the reality of daily life and the resulting stresses often replace and are significantly different from previous methods of relating. Therefore, as marriage progresses, couples need to find more creative ways to establish sexual intimacy in order to combat the tendency of the relationship to become routine and/or boring.

Marital partners can develop support systems within the relationship that can forever foster intimacy and result in a fantastic sexual life. Enhancement of sexual feelings and behaviors, however, does not begin in the bedroom. This unique emotional bond is strengthened, first all, by developing and creating new thoughts and resulting actions to implement those thoughts that see value and worth in one’s partner.

Every day, each partner should attempt to find at least one way, either by word, a touch, or a deed, to creatively express love to the other. This can be done in a variety of ways and as simply as fluffing up the pillow on your partner’s side of the bed, bringing him or her a warm towel after a bath or shower, sending him messages of love and affection, bringing him or her breakfast in bed, or putting flower by the bedside. It involves noticing the other person and planning ways to make that person feel happy, noticed, and valued. Practices such as weekly dates can also contribute to an atmosphere of marital closeness.

More important than what happens to the person who receives the act of kindness is what happens to the person who performs the thoughtful act, because every thought or deed rendered toward one’s spouse makes that person more valuable. It deepens the closeness, tightens the emotional bond, and makes the sexual union more significant and fulfilling.

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