Q&A: Resolving issue over frequency of sex in marriage

Q: How can a couple resolve issues over the frequency of sex? My wife would be content making love once a month, which doesn’t come close to satisfying me. Which one of us is “abnormal”?

A: The first thing to understand is that there’s no such thing as “normal.” Research shows that there’s a wide range among couples as to the frequency of sex, and individuals can differ radically in terms of their sexual desires and interests. That’s why many couples clash over the question of how often they “should” have sex. 

Here are four things our counsellors encourage you to remember in this area.

  1. Every couple is different. Gender, individual expectations, developmental maturity as a couple, and cultural differences all have an impact. 
  2. Quality precedes quantity. This doesn’t mean that either spouse has an excuse to avoid the bedroom. Instead, it’s a call to excellence. Once intimate communication begins to grow and needs are satisfied, increased frequency usually isn’t far behind.
  3. There’s a time to serve. Sadly, the realities of our broken world can leave one or both spouses needing special consideration. Sexual trauma, abuse, addiction, abortion, and disease can affect our sexuality in profound ways. Recovery is often slow, requiring patience and understanding from both spouses. It’s also important for a husband to understand and show sensitivity to his wife’s reproductive cycle and other unique physiological needs. 
  4. Be intentional. Impulsive, spontaneous sex can be great, but it tends to fall by the wayside as jobs, loans, and children enter the picture. If you give your spouse only the leftovers of your time and energy, neither of you will be sexually satisfied. Planning a time and place for intimacy seems anything but intimate, but the lack of negotiation can lead to a lack of fulfilment.

© 2018 Focus on the Family.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.

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