Without question, mutually satisfying sexual intimacy is one of the traits of a thriving marriage.
It's understandable that for many married couples, sex can become more of a "chore" or a matter of routine. With the demands of careers, child-rearing and other commitments, it can be tough for couples to find time for meaningful physical intimacy. Ideally, though, sex in marriage is about joy, pleasure, and mutual satisfaction. It's a delightful "dance" in which each spouse puts the other's needs and interests ahead of his or her own and explores ways of giving sexually to the other.
Sex is the glue that uniquely unites a husband and wife and places their relationship in a category apart from all other human relationships.
Of course, it's also important to note that there is a great deal more to marriage than just sex. Even the term "physical intimacy" can refer to more than just sexual intercourse in the narrow sense. It includes affection, tenderness, warmth, and physical touch. This point deserves to be stressed because sexual intimacy in marriage is a lifelong process.
Different forms of expression may be appropriate at different stages—in youth and old age, in times of stress and times of joy, during pregnancy, childbirth and child-rearing, during and after menopause—and so on. Where pain or physical incapacity have ruled out the possibility of certain types of sexual activity, it's worth remembering that there are other forms of physical intimacy. Physical closeness, skin-to-skin contact, even intimate conversation can be extremely fulfilling in the absence of other forms of sexual pleasure. Thriving couples approach marital sex with candor, vulnerability, flexibility and a willingness to communicate at every stage of life.
Adapted from Blowing with the Winds of Change by Dr Greg Smalley © 2012 All rights reserved. Used by permission from Focus on the Family.
Life is a journey, and we all need a little help at times. Let our professional counsellors help you and your spouse build a stronger relationship together. Find out more at www.family.org.sg/counselling