I received this question a couple of weeks ago through our anonymous Have A Question page:
I understand that this page is about sex in marriage and making it good. However, I have a question. Why does it seem that men see good sex as the measure of a good marriage, and women are made to feel that they should see that exactly the same way? What I mean is, yes men seem to feel loved through sex, which is fine, but then they often seem to focus so much on that that the rest of the marriage isn’t worked on to the same degree. This causes problems for many women, as good sex is generally the result of feeling loved and cherished. Where do you address this? I have been reading quite a few of the posts here, and though this is alluded to at times, the sex itself and making sure that is humming along seems to have a much larger focus. That makes me, as a woman, feel, again, that my needs are secondary and that I should just focus on making him happy. I have done that for years. And I will continue, but I do not have the same consideration coming back at me. I feel like blogs like this one perpetuate the problem by focusing so much more on the man’s physical needs than the woman’s emotional ones.
This is a site about sex within marriage
As you say, the focus of this site is sex within marriage. So, that’s why I focus on it. That doesn’t mean the rest isn’t important. Whether you want to say the rest makes sex better, or that sex makes the rest better, that’s up to you. I think there’s a symbiotic relationship there. Yes, men tend to feel loved through sex, and in a healthy man, having sex will make him want to be more loving to his wife in ways she feels loved. The problem is that a lot of men aren’t healthy in this regard. It’s not just men. A lot of women aren’t either. It’s a human problem, not a male problem.
Where do you address other forms of intimacy?
Actually, I have a few posts over the years talking about other forms. Here’s a list of some of them for easy access:
- What do you need from me?
- Your marriage is your primary relationship
- The most common answer to marriage problems
- Do you need to have regular date nights?
- It’s all about the relationship
- Active Listening
- The 5 Levels of Communication
- Does your spouse get the best “you”?
- If you can’t change your spouse, how do you change your heart?
- Is resentment ruining your marriage?
- Is your marriage an oasis?
- Book Review: Keep Your Love On
- How do I build trust in him again?
- Learning to Talk R.I.T.E.
- It’s not just about sex
There are more, but that’s a start. There were also a lot of our year long marriage challenges devoted to other kinds of intimacy. Those posts are gone now as they move along the challenge, but you can sign up to be notified when we release the entire year as a resource. Now, as one would expect with a site called “Sex Within Marriage”, the majority of my posts are on the topic of sex. But, to assume that sex is some kind of idol is a mistake. If I had a website about writing, no one would complain that I didn’t have enough posts on reading. Because that’s not the focus of this site. That doesn’t mean that reading isn’t important to the writing process, or important in life itself. It just means that that’s not what we’re here to discuss.
And yet, I do seem to discuss other forms of intimacy an awful lot, despite it not being the main focus.
Addressing both sides of the marriage
I don’t agree that this site perpetuates that men’s need are more important. That said, I do think there is a lot more to be said on the subject of intimacy. Because I think men have a need for intimacy beyond sex as well. In fact, I’d argue some of them need it more, because they don’t even know what they’re missing.
And I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and I have some plans in the future (I’m not quite sure how far off, but likely by the end of the year), to start moving to address a broader scope of intimacy in the marriage. To, stay tuned for that.Have a Question? Ask it here!