A good marriage is well rounded and has many convoluted elements that generally only make sense to those in the marriage. In my opinion, sex is a HUGE part of a marriage. It can affect both of you in positive and negative ways and can tilt in either direction with very little effort on either side of the bed. It is interesting how men and women view sex BEFORE and AFTER the wedding.
I have thought about and read about this topic a great deal recently and the things I discovered were not what I was expecting, though in hind-sight I think I was choosing to be naive. Below is what I have come out of this with. Maybe the Hubster will be willing to weigh in with a man's eye view guest post in the near future...?
I believe I have a good marriage and most topics are easy to talk about. Sex is not. However, it is something that I will bring up privately and try very hard not to be cranky about while the topic is on the table. Hubster would probably rather talk about ANYTHING other than sex, BUT he does if I bring it up! (Maybe he mostly listens, but he does not tune out... near as I can tell nor does he walk away from the discussion.
Recently, I read on-line a bunch of comments that were made on various blogs and medical sites where people have asked for help understanding sexual troubles in their marriage. One thing that concerns me is that the vast majority of men who responded in the comments were so angry, nasty, often vile and cruel, without even knowing the person they were ranting at! Women are blamed for letting their bodies go soft or no longer wearing make-up or not being as pretty as they were when they were younger.
What astounds me is how many men will chase a woman down to get her to be with him, want to fornicate in every possible position and in every place possible, (hopefully) giving immense pleasure to their woman (and vice versa...) UNTIL they are married. Afterwards, not so much. The same man who had boundless energy suddenly has decided he has used up all his performance dates and that is when things get dicey. We women have our bodies abused in many ways, those who bear children maybe a little more-so, and when our men stop asking/wanting/begging for sex we feel as though we have done something to push them away. It is sometimes a difficult topic to talk about and often it is left un-discussed OR it is not so much discussed as argued/ranted/screamed about. Then there are the men who think that their spouse should be ready willing and spread eagle whenever they want them to be, without any interest in whether their partner is interested, ready, or satisfied. Sex is not one-sided! Both parties need to participate actively and with respect for each others pleasure.
I have born 5 babies and my body shows it. I have weight gain due to pregnancy and some minor health issues. I was not much for make-up and fancy clothes when I met Hubster, given I was a single mom on an extremely limited budget. I have never thought myself to be beautiful, just average when I was younger... (Don't ask about now! HAHAHA!! ;-) Suffice it to say, I had childbearing scars already when Hubster decided to pursue me and he was still willing to give chase! When we had children together, the bump scared the crap out of him, so sex was limited during pregnancy. However, when the 4 weeks after birth were up, he was ready and rarin' to go!
The comments I read were interesting because the women who responded were also somewhat nasty, BUT they were generally nasty to the guys who were nasty. Those who responded to the issue itself conceded that they had gained weight and they weren't as glamorous or pretty as they once were. Nearly all the women who commented also said this same thing: Their men had gained weight, aged, lost their hair, lost some of their looks and showed in their bellies the amount of beer drinking they did from their youth on. Many of these women said that, despite that, they still found their men desirable and wanted their men to feel the same about them.
The reality is as we age we lose some things. We are supposed to gain some things also; in maturity, kindness etc... It is important to address the sexual problems of a marriage, WITHOUT making each other feel bad, ugly or anything negative. If you are the kind of woman who screams at your man because you feel like he not interested in you anymore or that he is looking at everyone else but you, STOP and think; then talk and ask questions, but most of all LISTEN! If you are the kind of man that thinks your woman has to be glamorous until the day she dies, you need to get in tune with reality. You too need to stop, think about how that makes your woman feel and try to remember that you may not be the same as when you were married either.
Sex or should I say LACK of sex can kill a marriage. Sex is vital, but so is self esteem, love, caring and understanding. In a world where stupid stuff is allowed to come between a couple, it is more and more important to communicate without finger pointing and negativity. To see from your side but also to try hard to see from your mate's side.
There are real health issues that can cause a multitude of problems, sexual or not. Often they are not even recognized by a couple and sometimes they are used as weapons. There are medications that can cause problems, sometimes sexual, and that needs to be addressed as well. Man or woman, if you are or your spouse is depressed, try to find a way to help each other without causing more pain. If you take medication that causes loss of libido and that is affecting your relationship in the bedroom, ask your Dr. what to do to help combat that. If either or both of you have gained weight, talking about the concerns for the health related issues without being hurtful is difficult, but necessary. I know I hate exercise, as does Hubster. Simple little things to help you get started in the right direction are often better than trying to launch into some huge plan with only short term goals. A program that is too big from day one will more likely scare you off than push you to try it. If you do something together, even if you just stand in front of the t.v. and march in place, it will help.
I don't know about others marriages, but I know mine. I love the Hubster no matter what and I still find him attractive for who he is inside and out. His heart is generally worn on his sleeve and he is a good man. We may not be perfect and we may not always be on the same page, but we generally find a way to get there, without too much drama.
If you are having problems I hope you will make every effort to work them out. One way or another things need to be taken to a level that works for both sides and hopefully open lines of communication will allow you both to flourish rather than flounder.