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For starters, we all know that good sex can be fun, romantic, exciting, and something that makes most consenting adults feel warm and fuzzy all over.  Over the years we have interviewed thousands of successfully married couples, and most report a reasonable degree of satisfaction with their sex life.  But here is our most important research finding concerning this issue – no marriage was ever saved or made successful because the couple had a great sex life!  

And more importantly, when we ask successfully married couples how important sex is to the success of their marriage – to rank on a scale of 1-10 with 10 high – the average rank was only 6!   This finding has held true over the nearly 27 years of our research.  The results are hardly a resounding endorsement for the importance of sex in a successful marriage.

You see, marriage is a multi-faceted and highly complex relationship, and in the best marriages no one aspect stands out as the make or break part of it.  The truth is, and as we report in our new book [Link Removed] (Jossey-Bass/Wiley, ©2010), there are seven pervasive characteristics present in all successful marriages.  And guess what, sex is not one of them!  Sex is only part of one of the seven characteristics of a successful marriage.

As you know from our many published writings, we believe that the overemphasis on sex in books about love and marriage cause people to believe that if they don't have stupendous sex everyday there is something wrong with their marriage.  Trust us on this – marriages that fail do so for a variety of reasons and not for a single reason.  Simply put, no marriage was ever saved or made successful because the couple had a great sex life!

By Dr. Charles D. Schmitz and Dr. Elizabeth A. Schmitz

**For [Link Removed]  .


Doctors, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.

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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Samib wrote Dec 28, 2009
    • This is so true.  In my previous marriage I think it was the only thing that was good.  Otherwise, the relationship was toxic.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Drs. Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz wrote Dec 28, 2009
    • Marnapan,

      Good question.  In our interviews for this particular question we ask the couples to arrive at  a join rating.  In other words, they have to determine together the rating they will give the importance of sex in their marriage on a one to ten scale.  We have the privilege of  listening to their interactions and decision-making as they arrive at a rating. What we can tell you is they come to agreement on the average of 6 for the importance of sex to the happiness of their marriage.  Interestingly, the most successful couples come to that agreement quickly and without much discussion, with both husband and wife coming up with the 6 rating almost simultaneously.  

      Charley and Liz



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Geralyn Schulkind wrote Dec 28, 2009
    • Bottom line...you only want to have sex with someone who makes you feel good to be around....marriage without sex would be miserable...then the couple would be miserable..so if you want to have a happy marriage and good sex, be nice to one another...kind, considerate and loving and treat your honey as you want to be treated...all is well...  ;0)



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