Robert Indiana, Yale Digital Commons

While I am a believer in love, marriage, and Valentine's Day, for too many overworked couples life today is not about hearts and flowers.  In our 24/7 workday society, couples are stressed. Since 2009 the media has been reporting that there are some 20 million couples living a Sexless Marriage - ABC News

Whether withholding loving words through the silent treatment or withholding sex as punishment each is a game that is detrimental to relationships. Furthermore, witholding increases anxiety that can result in depression. In the sexless marriage oftentimes couples need to step back and put their priorities in order.  

However, lack of sex does not just happen with older couples. Young people as well are experiencing intimacy issues.  Fighting.  Slammed doors.  No sex.

Make-up sex and constructive fighting

In relationships characterized by sniping words and sexual withholding, it may be time to learn to fight right.  Or better yet, "If you don't believe in make-up sex, then don't fight."

However, there is a way to fight constructively rather than allowing pent up anger to turn into a volcano or the silent treatment.  When you are angry, let your partner know that you really do want to resolve the issues at hand. Remember your goal is loving and fostering a healthy relationship. Here is a link to "How to Emerge From A Fight More in Love" - Cosmopolitan

Also see my interview on these pages with Dr. Edward Hallowell who discusses fighting words in "ADHD Diagnosis Saves Marriages: Dr. Hallowell Talks with Dr. Oz."

Four little Don'ts

When two people do fight it oftentimes shows that they are invested in the relationship and want to jump over the hurdles to find happiness. Consider these "don'ts."

  • Never send angry emails -- these put a damper on loving. 
  • Don't keep repeating yourself -- you will sound like you are nagging.
  • The words "How many times have I told you?"  simply do not work.
  • Never let one incident turn into tumbleweed -- nip the problem at the onset.

Read what Laurie Puhn, JD, says in her book: "Fight Less, Love More" (

Three little Do's

What should you do to foster a happier relationship and sex life?

The best aphrodisiac: Loving words instead of criticism by day will enhance creative play at night. Just read Scott Haltzman, MD, who wrote The Secrets of Happily Married Men andThe Secrets of Happily Married Women. (

Sexercise: Couples who have been avoiding sex, may wish to reconsider the benefits. Sex could be better for your health than diet and exercise.  Sex over exercise  Why?  It eases stress, boosts your heart health, fights aging, and strengthens the immune system.   In fact, even just once a week sex is beneficial.

The art of kissing and making up:  It doesn't matter who is right and who is wrong.  What matters in relationships is that you go to bed with love instead of anger.  If you go to bed angry you are both losing sleep, peace of mind, and maybe your marriage as well.   

Copyright 2012 Rita Watson/ All Rights Reserved


Follow Rita Watson on Twitter @ LoveColumnist


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