Good Sex, Good Marriage? If you're trying to gauge your marital satisfaction, take a look at your sex life. BY GABRIEL LEFRANCOIS
Researchers have studied marital satisfaction for more than 50 years. And while they have tried to pinpoint the contributing factors as to what constitutes marital satisfaction, not one single area of study has been more intriguing and shown more promise than that of a couple’s sexual activity.
The studies cover nearly every aspect a married couple could face or, in any case, come between one another in a relationship, including: physical attractiveness, affection, negativity, age at marriage, children, socioeconomic backgrounds, similar goals and interests, and of course sexual activity.
Although the study of sex and marital satisfaction has become the primary focus among many researchers to prove that a couple’s well-being is dependent on this alone, the subject is not something that is scientifically easy to pinpoint.
According to a study conducted by Denise Donnelly in The Journal of Sex Research, marital happiness and shared activity are inversely correlated with a probability of separation and sexual inactivity. This translates to the lower the marital happiness and shared activity, the greater the chance of sexual inactivity and separation. She found these variables to be associated with old age, the presence of small children, poor health, and in males, duration of marriage.
But according to Donnelly there is hope for couples facing a sexless dilemma within their relationship and fortunately there are ways to get satisfaction back into the relationship that might just rekindle their sex drive toward one another.
"There are all sorts of ways to be satisfied with your marriage that have nothing to do with sexual intercourse," said Donnelly. "Couples that spend more time together tend to be happier couples; taking up a hobby with your spouse, working on projects around the house together or taking a weekend getaway can increase satisfaction."
She goes on to say that in order to be satisfied with one’s marriage, one needs to be satisfied with his or her self. She recommends that couples do not spend all of their time together. "Having one’s own interests and activities makes you more interesting, and more satisfied, and thus you bring more to your marriage. The key is finding a balance between shared activities and experiences, and nurturing individual needs."