How important is sex in a relationship?

We don´t often talk about the sexual aspect of a relationship or create agreements concerning sex, before marriage, but ask anyone who got married in modern times if sex was an expectation, and they´d offer a resounding ¨yes.¨

Ask anyone if there was an expectation of emotional closeness and support, in a marriage, and they´d say, most definitely “yes.”

Neither of these expectations are spoken out loud — but no doubt, we hold them as critically important to a loving marriage.

And yet, women often pull the plug on sex, with little concern or awareness for how it will affect the whole of the relationship, or their male partners. Of course, they have their reasons. (I don´t doubt, for them, their reasons are justified).

The question is: how much does it matter? Is sex in a relationship like an appendix that you can simply remove without affecting the other organs? Or critical, more like the heart?

From my perspective, sex is clearly a vital part of the whole. When you arbitrarily remove it, things shift and often fail. The very structure of the relationship weakens. In this way, it is not like the appendix.

In essence, you´ve damaged the relationship foundation. You originally agreed to be lovers, and now you´re suddenly roommates or just parents, together. It´d be like one day waking up on another planet and having to live life as usual in another atmosphere.

Your female partner most likely continues to expect all the other perks of the marriage contract: devotion, loyalty, support, protection — though she´s pulled out one of the most essential aspects, for you, making love to her.

Imagine if you said to her: “No more emotional support. No more physical closeness.” She´d likely walk out, declaring it no longer a marriage. But women pull the sex plug all the time, and not only feel justified, but expect their male partners to deal with it, on their own.

Why do women do this? Because sometimes the woman, in the partnership, views sex as recreational, non-essential, more like that disposable part. And, mostly likely, this points to her being unhappy with the sexual aspect of your relationship.

On the other hand, men tend to feel that sex is the heart of a relationship. For a man, when sex stops beating everything else falls apart.

These opposing views can create mountains of conflict that erode the love.

Sex will always be important, unless you both agree it´s not. Some couples don’t want sex. Some couples outgrow sex, with age. But if one person is expecting sex, as an essential part of the relationship, and it is not given, your marriage frame weakens. Your ¨house¨ will likely come down, in time.

Now, many men stay — even given these circumstances. Why? Fear of being alone, not knowing what to make of the situation, or what to do. Often, they stay for their children.

I teach men how to navigate the many complexities of the situation: how to make sense of feelings, how to communicate, how to understand their partner´s position, and what do to bring about positive change and a new sexual orientation.

Sexual shame is usually at the heart of why a man can´t figure his way out of this painful place. Deep down, so many men feel bad or wrong for their sexual desires, and this makes it impossible for them to lead, intelligently, in the situation.

And btw, if you can relate to this, and definitely want to know more, email me at karenannbrody@gmail.com

2 thoughts on “How Important is Sex — in a Relationship?”

  1. Hi.

    I am almost finished with your book. It is a fascinating read.

    You stress over and over that affairs are not an option. Why not? Particularly if she is not interested.

    I understand there can be “blocks” (“we all get blocked sometimes,” I read this from you today). And I am sure that is true. But are couple supposed to be sexually interested 10+/20+ years later? And if not. Or if the block is unsolvable… why not seek pressure release in the form of getting sex elsewhere? What if the marriage is non-sexual, but it’s not over… but the sex needs to come from someplace else? Why isn’t that about “being in choice” for he/she.

    Thank… Nash

    1. Hey Nash! I´m in agreement. Your original marriage agreement has changed. And if this doesn´t work for you, why not discuss a new agreement that does — for both of you?

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