Strangers in the Night
Many of the couples idealized by others are actually living a very calculated lie. On the outside, they are the perfect couple, always polite, never argue, always showing up at events and get-togethers together. Their home is always in perfect shape inside and out, and their kids are always well behaved, never in trouble, and have impeccable manners. On the inside, they are emotional strangers with no idea what happiness feels like. Their marriage is void of intimacy, sex, and a real emotional connection. According to Newsweek, an astounding 15-20 percent of marriages are sexless, which by definition means a couple has sex less than ten times per year.
Wow. However, I believe this surprising number to be largely low, as most couples underreport problems, like lack of sex, in their marriage. According to Psychology Today, 25 percent of Americans suffer from hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSD), which includes a third of women and a fifth of men. This is not purely a physical problem, and often encompasses lack of interest or thoughts of a sexual nature—not normal human behavior. People are meant to have sex, and in the event a clinically diagnosed and treatable medical problem is not involved, the issue presents as a breakdown of relating between those involved. Sex for women has an emotional and intellectual component involved for the desire or drive to be there, though for men, due to differences in brain structure and biology, the physical drive to have sex supersedes the mental or emotional components involved.
Women report a lack of sexual desire with their partners as being largely due to feeling overall unsatisfied in the relationship mentally and emotionally. Men, however, use sex as a diversion, a stress relief, and a way to make things better in their relationships. I’ll give credit where credit is due: The men are half-right in this situation. Having sex really does strengthen a bond between two people, and it can serve as a platform in moving a couple through rocky roads when all other attempts to commune fail.
The first level of relationship breakdown occurs through communication failure, leading to the denigrating of the physical aspects involved, which is equally as important as the mental ones are for women. Most men still haven’t come around to the idea that if they treat their lady as she wants to be treated, she’ll treat him like a king, and likely give him just about whatever he wants, whenever he wants it. So, for the women out there feeling frustrated by their mates, my advice is to think of sex as a way to put aside differences for a moment and concentrate (at least for a minute or two) on sharing and connecting in a way that doesn’t involve accusations, nagging, or resisting the desire to poke his eyes out with sharp sticks. For men, my advice is to consider the brain that’s inside your lady’s beautiful head, and realize that her feelings about you and what you do, or don’t do, is the bridge to the boudoir.
When a couple is unable to come to a compromise with clothes on, the other avenue to explore on the road to redemption is one with clothes off. Sex is not only an instinctive, biological drive for purposes of procreation, it helps balance chemical messengers and hormones in the brain and body, all the while strengthening the bond between two people. So, even if your relationship is rocky, and you feel like there’s just no way to meet in the middle, consider the physical aspect of being together. The old adage about make-up sex is very much true. If you can get to a place to bond and be together for just a few minutes, a compromise following is much more likely than not.
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