A healthy, loving and positive sexual relationship is necessary for a strong marriage. In order for the bonds of love to deepen and intensify over time, your intimate relationship needs to be strong and sure.
Trouble occurs when couples fail to recognize certain truths about each others basic emotional needs. True intimacy involves much more than sexual intercourse. It has nothing to do with how many times per day or week a couple makes love. It has everything to do with having mutual respect and concern for each others deepest feelings and needs.
I have heard some husbands complain in outraged tones, that their wives are frigid and cold. That they are being denied their marital “rights” Well, if a husbands idea of intimacy is to grab and take, without regard for his wife’s wants or needs, how can he expect anything else? Or, if one spouse is upset, ill or angry, and the other partner insists on lovemaking, how can anyone realistically expect a positive response?
If a male’s idea of being a good husband includes “performing” in bed every night, where does intimacy factor in? Too often in marriage, sex becomes a “have to” instead of want to for couples. When this happens, making love is reduced to a silent power struggle between the sheets.
What about when one or both of you are ill or stressed? These are the times that can make or break a marriage. A truly intimate relationship is one that has large amounts of affection built into it. Touching, hugging and stroking help foster a healthy sexual relationship. The human touch is a powerful means of sending non verbal cues about how much we care.
During times of stress, these simple gestures can help affirm that love is still present without lengthy verbal communication. During our marriage there have been many times when our intimate relationship fell by the wayside. But, we always maintained the daily physical gestures of love and affection to see us through.
Here are some simple guidelines to having a healthy and fulfilling sexual relationship:
1: Cleanliness. Sex is a very intimate act. Nothing is more off putting than body odor. Bathe or shower, use deodorant and make your self physically appealing. Your bedroom should be an appealing place. Clean sheets, scented candles and potpourri help set a loving mood.
2: Make certain your partners needs are satisfied. Lovemaking involves two people. Don’t force your partner to do something they really don’t want to do. Remember how it felt when you two were first in love? Lead up to intercourse with affection and extended foreplay. Use body oils and give each other massages. Don’t be afraid to laugh or have fun in bed. Too many of us approach sex as a deadly serious duty, instead of seeing it as the most wonderful expression of love we humans have.
3: Hold each other for a bit after lovemaking. This quiet time is an excellent way to reinforce the love and affection you have for each other.
4: Don’t use sex as a weapon to punish or intimidate.
5: Don’t discuss your intimate life with family or friends. This is a real breach of trust and causes great damage to a relationship. I had a friend who routinely used to discuss her husbands sexual performance with her group of friends. They divorced, when she discovered one of them in bed with her husband.
6: Don’t demand sex. It isn’t a command performance or a duty. Women aren’t objects to be used at will. It is not a “right”, but an act of mutual love and desire. Respect each others right to say no.
7: If there are real issues involving sexuality or there have been severe problems in your relationship, get help. There are excellent books available, as well as skilled counselors who can help you develop a healthy intimacy.
Insight: What kind of intimate relationship do you have? Is it satisfying? If not, how can you improve it?