How to Take the "Meh" Out of Your Marriage
The average number of sexual encounters for married couples is 56 per year.
Posted May 24, 2022 | Reviewed by Michelle Quirk
- Setting honest and realistic expectations may be the way to get to the core of the problem.
- Taking the "meh" out of marriage may involve using your words.
- As unromantic as it may sound, I believe we should be conducting "intentional interviews" with our partners.
Maybe you’re sitting across the table from your significant other right now. You look up, catch his or her eye, and wish to all that is holy that you had that spark back. You know, that one from the early days of your relationship when everything was sparkly and new and passionate and felt absolutely amazing.
Join the club!
Perform a random survey of married or committed couples and you’ll find that a relationship that feels turbocharged with passion every single day is what they’ll report they want.
But do they? Really?
Recent studies of sexual frequency indicate that, for all our talk about sex in this country, the actual number of sexual encounters with a spouse has been growing smaller over the past few decades. Some theories give a nod to the ever-widening entertainment choices we have: “Honey, normally I’d want to have a romantic interlude with you, but have you seen this kitty video on YouTube?”
The long and short of it, I believe, is that many of us actually prefer something far more predictable, dull, and less fatiguing.
Direct, Honest Communication
Setting honest and realistic expectations may be the way to get to the core of the problem, and that can only be accomplished through direct and honest communication. But it often depends on how you frame it.
Here’s an example from the dating realm: I once knew a wise woman with a terminal case of wanderlust who used to ask men she dated if they liked to travel. Every one of those boys said, "Yes, I love to travel!" But that response never jived with reality.
Over time, she learned to ask, "Where have you traveled in the last few years?" Invariably, the answer was a blank stare.
I want to think all of us could learn a lesson from her.
Asking if someone interested in you wants a "passionate, smoldering-hot romance" is almost guaranteed to get you a "Yes, please!" But remember that, oftentimes, people want a married sex life that is "regular, predictable, and convenient." Nothing wrong with wanting what you want.
Taking the "meh" out of marriage, therefore, may involve something our parents told us for years: "use your words."
Use Your Words
As unromantic as it may sound, I believe we should be conducting "intentional interviews" with our partners. We have to ask them what they felt was missing in their last relationships, why things didn’t work out for them, and what they are most missing out on now.
We also need to talk about sex and that "magic sex number"—the frequency one expects to engage in sex in a committed relationship.
Oh, and one thing to keep in mind: The average number of sexual encounters in married couples is 56 per year! If that sleep number setting sounds right for you, then be honest. If it doesn’t, share your magic number.
So if you’re sitting across from your partner right now and feeling somewhat "meh," stop lamenting your lot in life and start talking. There’s a good chance the conversation will result in reciprocal honesty, and you may discover your spouse really wants exactly what you do and always has and they are totally capable of giving this kind of love.
Just be sure to keep far away from the YouTube kitten videos!