In the course of a day, it is not easy for a couple, particularly when there are children around, to find time for intimate communication. If the two people have difficulty communicating verbally in an intimate way and at the same time, are inhibited in communicating through physical affection, the “lover” aspect of their relationship will quickly lose its intensity. Unless you nurture it daily, this fragile part of your relationship will be in jeopardy.
Somehow people expect that even though they don’t communicate intimately throughout the day, they can still have great sex when they go into the bedroom after the eleven o’clock newscast. But when people don’t communicate intimately throughout the day, they put a heavy burden on their sexual relationship in the bedroom. Indeed, far too many couples end up with sexual intercourse being their main way of expressing love. Those moments of love stolen between the late-night news and sleep, however, just aren’t enough to keep a relationship alive.
Not that there is anything wrong with intercourse as a way of expressing love, but if it becomes
the only way that two people express their love for one another, it may collapse under the pressure. And for many couples, it does. The pressure to “make” love can turn the sexual experience from a pleasureful, sensual, relaxed, enjoyable experience–into a work-task-job, a goal- or product-oriented experience. It is as though a little voice within us is saying, “Marriages must have love, and not it’s time to make some.” No wonder the frequency of sex in most marriages declines with time. Who wants to work when you are ready to sleep at night, particularly if you have to be rested for the next day’s work?
The reason many married people give for not initiating sex with their spouses is that they are tired. But try remembering your past: When you were still dating your spouses, how often did being tired or “having a headache” stand in the way of your engaging in sexual activity? Neither age nor familiarity could have caused diminished sexual interest between you and your partner during that stage, could they? The problem lies in the fact that many couples have come to view sex as a performance or a job, which drains both partners of mental and physical energy.
If married people could free themselves of goal-oriented sex and have a sexual relationship whose only purpose was mutual pleasure, they would quickly discover that familiarity leads to sex that is exciting, leisurely, and deeply satisfying. One does not grow bored with one’s partner–one grows bored with the rigid structures imposed on a relationship. But that is something we can change. As pleasure increases, so will frequency. Instead of being a draining experience, sex will become a source of energy and relaxation, and something you’ll excitedly be looking forward to instead of avoiding.