Laura Brotherson is a marriage and family life educator and also the author of a groundbreaking book on intimacy entitled, “And They Were Not Ashamed – Strengthening Marriage through Sexual Fulfillment.” She shares the characteristics of a healthy, intimate relationship in marriage.
How would you define a healthy sexual relationship in marriage? While there may be a number of ways, the following represents my definition of a healthy sexual relationship:
1. Mutually Fulfilling. Lovemaking is mutually enjoyable and satisfying for both husband and wife. (This would include regular orgasms for both husband and wife.)
2. Open Communication. Husband and wife communicate openly and honestly about sex-including their needs and preferences. This ability allows them to reconcile the many differences that will inevitably arise in the sexual relationship.
3. Satisfactory Frequency. Both husband and wife feel satisfied with the frequency of lovemaking.
4. Emotional Connection Beyond the Bedroom. In order for the intimate relationship to come full circle there must be good emotional connection outside the bedroom as well.
How Many Fit?
What percentage of couples would you think fit this description of a healthy sexual relationship?
Given the fact that 40-50% of couples divorce over matters such as sex, and considering that a majority of those who stay married unfortunately subsist in a parallel/mediocre marriage, I would have to say that maybe 20% of couples have what could be considered a healthy sexual relationship. And that’s probably a pretty generous number given this proposed definition.
Think about how many people you know that might fit into this category.
Healthy Sexual Relationships are Learned
It’s important to remember that a good sexual relationship is a learned behavior. It doesn’t just come naturally for most couples. Couples must work on all four areas identified above in order to have a really good intimate relationship.
How is Your Marriage?
This description of a healthy sexual relationship may provide a helpful vision for couples to strive to create within their own marriages. How do you fare with these four characteristics? What could you do to improve things in even one of these areas?
I encourage couples to strive for mutual fulfillment, open communication, satisfactory frequency of intimate relations, and greater emotional connection beyond the bedroom.
Intimacy expert, Laura M.