Understanding Sexual Compatibility In Marriage Although sexual incompatibility may be inherent in marriage, taking these steps will increase sexual connection and enjoyment. BY LAURA M. BROTHERSON
Just because a couple gets married doesn't mean they will magically be on the same page sexually.
Sexual incompatibility in desired frequency, variety, and the priority given the intimate relationship are some of the common challenges couples face in marriage. It's not uncommon for there to be some degree of sexual incompatibility to be worked through in marriage. In fact, it's part of the adventure.
Sexual incompatibility is a normal and natural part of marriage given the different sexual wiring of men and women, and the unique differences and desires of every individual. Sexual incompatibility is the inability of one or both spouses to understand each other sexually, to make some necessary changes, and then work with or adapt to each other’s differences.
This incompatibility often manifests itself in a husband and wife’s desires regarding frequency, variety, and the degree of emotional engagement they invest in the sexual relationship. It also affects the level of interest and the importance placed on the sexual dimension of marriage. The cool thing is that sexual incompatibility can be diminished as couples work through their differences, and together build their intimate relationship. It’s not the couples’ differences, but what they do with them that really matters.
Sexual compatibility is a learned behavior; it’s something that comes with time, effort and lots of practice within the unique relationship of marriage. It’s not something you can "test" for by taking someone for a trial run. Furthermore, a sexual relationship outside of marriage is not an accurate indicator of what the sexual relationship will be within the context of marriage anyway.
Marriage is uniquely designed as a relationship of commitment—heart, mind, body and soul. It presupposes total allegiance to each other with all aspirations and dimensions of life interwoven together. Marriage is a surprise grab bag. You never really know what you’re going to get. Even with its surprises, marriage provides the opportunity and responsibility for husbands and wives to learn and grow together sexually, as they invest themselves in developing this important dimension of marriage.
Developing patience, charity and understanding for each other may be what the sexual incompatibility in marriage is all about anyway. It’s hard to imagine a greater motivator for couples to develop such characteristics than struggling through sexual incompatibilities. Even though couples may need to expect a learning curve in marriage there is hope that couples can create a mutually fulfilling, passionate and intimately connected relationship.
Our job within marriage is to get educated, be willing and able to discuss sexual issues and preferences, and to make some potentially challenging personal adjustments to diminish the sexual incompatibilities often found between a husband and wife. By accepting the fact that some sexual incompatibility may be inevitable in marriage, we can shift our energies from wallowing in it to proactively improving the situation.
It’s amazing how even one person can shift the dynamics of the relationship when they decide to strengthen this dimension of marriage and engage in more effective interactions with their spouse. Although some sexual incompatibility may be inherent in marriage, I hope couples will be encouraged to take the necessary steps to increase their sexual connection and enjoyment of this vital dimension of marriage.