Time magazine recently published two articles discussing new studies regarding sexual satisfaction, marriage and infidelity. While Time played up the “groundbreaking” nature of the results, I was not surprised. Shortly after my wedding, I came to the conclusion that sex is probably the most important aspect of marriage.
That revelation wasn’t the result of any sexual dysfunction in my relationship, but simply the result of adjusting to being married and to the expectations we all subconsciously harbor about marital bliss and the reality of being committed to someone ’til death do us part.
When I woke up one day to find the new marriage smell worn off, I emerged from the newlywed cocoon so many of us get wrapped up in during the early days of forever. I found my way back to hobbies my husband doesn’t have an interest in and to the uncoupled friends I unintentionally overlooked, because inviting them out always seemed like making them the third wheel. I watched chick flicks by myself and ran errands without him. I started shopping with my mom again.
I wasn’t sad or mad or glad. I just rediscovered the fact that there is a world outside our coupledom that is fun and fulfilling. My emotional and intellectual needs could be met without him being the source of all my contentment.
But after all my girls’ nights out and mother-daughter adventures, I still had one need that could only be met at home, within my marriage: S-E-X.
Hitting me rather abruptly, I realized that out of all the relationship needs, sex is the only one that cannot be met by anyone else other than your spouse. At least not in a socially acceptable context, unless you are polyamorous (which is arguably not socially acceptable, but that’s beside the point).