There ARE More Important Things Than Sex in Marriage

The cliched joke about marriage is that by the time a couple has been married a few years, they are never having sex. Sometimes it's true (hey, it's a cliche for a reason ...), but many other times, it isn't. But either way, the frequency of sex isn't necessarily the clincher for a good marriage.

It would be easy enough to say: If you aren't having sex X number of times per week (once? Twice?), then you have a bad marriage. But things aren't that simple. Intimacy exists without sex and sex exists without intimacy, and a couple who has oodles of sex can divorce just as likely as one who has almost none.

This isn't to say that sex doesn't matter, but it really shouldn't be the be all, end all to the relationship. Shocking as it may seem, sex will not make or break a marriage. But these things will:

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  • Laughter: If you don't think your hubby is funny anymore or he doesn't ever laugh at your jokes, then you guys have a bigger problem than sex frequency.
  • Intimacy: Intimacy is about SO much more than sex. It's about holding one another and truly feeling in deep love still. It's about sharing what happens in each other's lives and genuinely being curious about one another.
  • Surprises: You can never know a person inside and out and then stop. People grow and change and continue to surprise you for their whole lives. One hopes. When your spouse stops surprising you, trouble is a brewin'. Mark my words.
  • Interest: When you ask how his day was, you mean it and vice versa. If you stop caring, then it doesn't matter how often you have sex. The marriage is in trouble. Attention must be paid.
  • Quality time: It doesn't matter how many times you have quickies and then collapse in front of the TV; if you aren't spending real time together, sex is hardly a factor. If all you do is have quickies and fight about the kids, you aren't spending quality time. You have to turn off the television and put down the books and actually speak to one another to be happy.

Sex matters, of course. And certainly having mismatched sex drives is a huge problem for any couple. But it isn't the only path to intimacy and to a strong marriage, and so many people mistake sex for intimacy. A strong marriage needs both.

Do you think there is one amount of sex a couple needs?


Image via kumon/Flickr

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