How often should sexual intimacy happen in a healthy marriage?
I emphasize healthy marriage because troubled marriages have to fix the areas in need of attention before they hope to see improvement in the bedroom. Of course there are exceptions. The couple who married simply based on physical attraction and a shared heightened libido may enjoy the physical act of sex together, but it won’t be intimate.
How often should we have sex as husband and wife?
1. It will change depending on life’s demands. When the schedule is full, you may both be too tired to have sex. But here’s the thing; Even though you’re both exhausted, the desire to have sex is still there.
2. Regularly is the best answer to this question. And that may vary from our marriage to yours. It should always be on your mind and should always be anticipated. Tom and I often say it’s not good to use absolutes like always or never. But when it comes to physical intimacy it should be absolute. No one else can satisfy your spouse in the way you can. And no one can satisfy you either. We talked about this in our first post in this series–it’s a privilege.
3. If you are being compelled or coerced to have sex, and everything in you doesn’t want to, please talk about it.
Communication is the key to moving from where your intimacy is right now, to where it needs to go.
Why are you hesitant?
- Is it lack of desire?
- Is it unforgiveness about something your spouse did or didn’t do?
- Is it pain experienced during intercourse?
- Is it selfishness on your part? Or demands from your spouse to do something you are not comfortable doing?
- Have you never experienced orgasm? If so, you don’t know what you’re missing. We encourage you to talk to someone to help you learn how to help your spouse experience this gift from God. We have seen the light come on in a relationship once a husband realized what it took to help his wife climax.
We have counseled couples regarding all of the above, and the path to a healthy sex life is possible. But you have to see the importance that physical intimacy plays in marriage first.
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7:3-5
“The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” – NIV
At it’s basic interpretation sexual intimacy is an obligation. To refuse sex is to go against what God has ordained for a healthy marriage. It’s that important!
However, Dr. Leman in his book, Sheet Music, balances this scripture with another scripture that helps us put this all in its proper place biblically:
“…one of the all-time great biblical lines is ‘Love…does not demand its own way” (1 Corinthians 13:5). Just as Paul tells us we have sexual obligations within marriage, in the same book he insists that love does not demand its own way. In short, you don’t force, ever.” – page 48
Did you get that? Sexual intimacy is a shared gift between a husband and wife who love each other without holding back.
Dr. Leman continues, “If you really love your spouse and he or she, to put it bluntly, really wants your body, you’re being selfish if you withhold it. That’s not to say we’re never selfish, because all of us are from time to time, but you can’t make a marriage grow from a selfish attitude for a long period of time. Eventually your selfishness will kill it. (page 49)
One thing we have learned in 40+ years of marriage, is that there is never a rote answer to this question. Each marriage is unique. Each spouse has unique challenges when it comes to intimacy of any kind. Physical intimacy reaches beyond all barriers and requires a vulnerability, honesty and trust like nothing else in marriage.
Don’t allow weeks to pass without engaging in this gift from God. If you are going many weeks or months with no thought about having sex, please seek counsel from a trusted friend, pastor or counselor. You don’t know what your marriage is missing!
“How often can we have sex?” Now that’s a great question! 😉