Jennifer came to therapy because she was not having sex with her husband. She wondered if this was normal. It isn’t. Then she asked a question so many people ask, “What is normal when it comes to sex in marriage?”
The answer to this question depends on a number of factors and is difficult to address in general. But we do know a few things from surveying couples. Here are a few interesting findings from a large couple survey and other research recently reported in the Wall Street Journal:
1) When marital therapists talk about couples in a nonsexual marriage, we usually mean a married couple who has sex less than 10 times a year.
2) Regardless of what media portrays, married couples have more sex than co-habitating or dating couples
3) Almost 80% of married couples have sex a few times a month or more.
4) 32% have sex two to three times a week or more.
5) 47% say they have sex a few times per month.
6) 80% of married couples schedule time to have sex.
More important than the numbers and frequency of sex, is how satisfied couples are with their married sex lives. Dissatisfaction and disconnection can lead to problems and should be discussed. Sexual difficulties can be triggered by physical, emotional or even stress problems. Thus, getting to the root of dissatisfaction is important. Things like busyness, boredom, childhood trauma, stress reactions, aging and a host of other issues can lead to sexual problems. And couples are not good at talking about this subject with each other.
So start talking, sleeping in the same bed together, showing physical affection to each other during nonsexual times and making time for intimacy.
If you find yourself unable to make changes or even have a conversation about your sex life, consider getting professional help from a Christian therapist who specializes in sex therapy. Doing nothing only continues the dissatisfied and puts the marriage at risk.
Dr. Linda Mintle writes the relationship and advice blog Doing Life Together on Beliefnet.