By: James T. Horning © 2014
A marriage without sex is, well, not a marriage? Sexless marriage is an oxymoron. It’s like a mexican restaurant without mexican food and margaritas. I just told my wife the topic of this article and how whitty I thought I was with the mexican restaurant analogy. She replied by saying that she thought that a marriage without sex was more like going to a symphony and losing your hearing. Such is the difference in the way men and women think. I love it! Moving on…
I recently read, if you include first, second and third marriages, that 67% of marriages end in divorce. Let’s just assume for conversations sake that 67% is the real number and that 2 out of 3 marriages are history. Assuming the number is correct, here’s my question: Is there a direct correlation between the current divorce rate and the percentage of people experiencing problems with sex in their marriage? Check this out!
In 2006, NBC’s Dateline surveyed 27,500 people over four days: Out of all who participated, 22% said that “sex was alive and well” in their marriage and 10% said it was “robust, erotic, and passionate”. However, 33% said their sex life was “asleep and needing a wake-up call”, 22% said it is “comatose and in danger of of dying”, and 13% said “sex life is dead”. Notice the coincidence? 68% of the couples expressed problems with sex or sexual desire and the divorce rate is around 67%. You think there might be a direct correlation between the two. In fact, I know there is. The question now is, are people getting divorced because they’re not having sex or are they not having sex because their marriage is not healthy or “on the rocks”? The answer is both. Sex is an interplay that results from intimacy in a relationship and it promotes and nurtures intimacy in a relationship. Meaning, you can’t have sex without a great marriage and you can’t have a great marriage without sex. That’s why sex should never be used as leverage to get what one wants in a relationship. If sex is withdrawn, intimacy and connection is lost. Then you’re back to chicken or the egg. What are you supposed to have first? Intimacy or sex? Well again, the answer is both. And that’s why it’s imperative that couples work together to meet each others’ needs; her need for intimacy leading to sex and his need for sex to provide intimacy. The perfect conundrum? Maybe. Is sex optional? Not in a healthy, loving relationship. Without it, all you have is a partnership, not a marriage. Sex is the primary thing that distinguishes your relationship with your spouse from all other relationships.
If you’re not having sex, your relationship may be reduced to one of base friendship, convenience, or worse- unhealthy interdependence.
Did you know that having sex with your mate is a requirement of biblical marriage?
1 Corinthians 7:3-5 says:
Let the husband render to his wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife to the husband.
The wife has not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband has not power of his own body, but the wife.
Defraud not one another, except it is with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempts you not for your incontinency.
Sexual intimacy is a “conjugal duty” in a marriage. It is not optional. To deprive or deny your spouse of sexual fulfillment is to defraud them(biblically speaking). In other words, it’s a breech of contract. When you got married, you promised each other that you would meet each others’ needs and that your mate would not have to go anywhere else to have them met. It was not a conditional promise. Any questions?
If you’re not having sex in your marriage, please don’t think that it’s OK. It’s not any more OK than being 50 pounds overweight is OK. No sex in a marriage is a “death knell” of a marriage. Many people remain in sexless marriages for life but they are not married anymore in spirit. Nor are they usually without sex. The sex just happens outside the marriage.
When a man works to meet his wife’s needs for intimacy and a wife works to meet her husbands need for sex (or vice versa), a new language is formed between you that makes sex happen more effortlessly and spontaneously. The language is the language of love.
Take whatever steps you can to begin mastery in this area of your life. Sex is a fruit of a healthy relationship. Learning the formula for a fruitful marriage and how to quickly and collaboratively incorporate it into your relationship is crucial to your emotional, physical and even financial wellbeing. Wouldn’t you agree? It is in your moments of decision that you shape your future.