Your partner needs space to grow as an individual.
Stop the presses! We've discovered the most important ingredient of a successful marriage! And do you know what it is? The answer is . . . (drum roll, please) . . . alone time!
Successfully married couples around the world over our past 30+ years of interviews have told us this very simple truth during our interviews with them — the secret to their happy marriage is having time for themselves ... time alone with their own thoughts, their own meditations, their own self, in their own physical space.
Isn’t this an interesting notion? You can take this advice to the bank! Here’s why ...
If there is one thing we know is true, a successful marriage requires your contentment with yourself. Only those capable and willing to spend time alone can describe themselves as content with themselves.
If you can’t live comfortably in your own skin, it's difficult to share yourself authentically and fully with someone else. Being content with oneself is essential to a healthy, happy, and successful relationship with another human being.
There are many lessons to learn from this notion of healthy aloneness nurturing marriage, but the most important are:
Learn to live within your own skin. Liking you comes first. Liking yourself allows you to develop positive relationships with others. Work on this notion as if your marriage depended on it!
Respecting your own need for privacy and aloneness is an important first step in building a loving relationship with your spouse. There is a fundamental predisposition of every human being to have time alone. Recognizing and understanding that need in yourself and your spouse is a huge step towards building a love that lasts.
Aloneness is not a bad word! Spending time alone is good for everyone. Not recognizing this need is highly detrimental to your relationship with the one you love. Learn this lesson well. If you never give yourself or the one you love alone time, you willingly harm your own relationship.
Don't smother each other. So often when we've spoken to couples who split up, they say, "My spouse suffocates me!" The meaning of suffocation in a nutshell — I had no time to my own thoughts, my own being, and my own feelings. My spouse did not respect my need to know and grow into myself. The suffocation destroyed our marriage!
The need for alone time is universal. Successfully and happily married couples around the world report this "truth" to us repeatedly and overtly. This notion is not an American thing. It is not a European thing. It is not an Asian thing. The secret ingredient for the best marriages around the world is to respect the need for privacy and aloneness in yourself and in the one you love. Never forget it! All truly successful marriages place this need at their foundation.
Give your life’s partner the gift of privacy and aloneness. Your marriage will not regret it. Love well!
Think that "frequent sex" or "frequent orgasms" are the secret to a happy, healthy sex life in marriage? Think again.
47% of YourTango experts say "soulful, intimate connection" is the key, with another 44% saying, "prioritizing pleasure for both partners." So skip the "Energizer Bunny" approach to 'getting it on' and slow down. Make it a habit of looking each other in the eye, more often.
It turns out connecting heart to heart first is the best path the most mind blowing orgasms.
77% of experts recommend that clients "connect emotionally before initiating sex," in order to sustain a sweet, steamy and mutually satisfying sex life and another 76% advocate "each partner asking for what you really want."
That means court each other outside the bedroom and speak up and share what turns you on between the sheets. After all, the most basic lesson we learn in life is: closed mouths don't get fed — apply that to your relationship — it never fails.
The verdict is in ... modern married couples are mixing it up in the bedroom (or at least, want to). Our YourTango experts report that 38% of couples have an interest in exploring an "open relationship/swinging"; 30% get hot and bothered by the idea of "BDSM and bondage"; and 26% want to "read erotica together."
If you're interests align with these couples, don't worry curiosity didn't really kill the cat. So, stop daydreaming and talk to your honey about how to make your fantasies a reality.
4. Which Sex Trends Are Curious Couples Exploring?
Ugh! Sorry ... it looks like Christian and Ana were 50 Shades of Bullsh*t.
62% of our YourTango experts believe that a relationship cannot thrive when one person has control, power, or dominance over the other partner.
But do keep in mind, as one expert said, that, "Exploring control/dominance themes in the sexual relationship is very different than encountering control and dominance in the relationship outside of sex. The first can enhance a sexual relationship; the latter will most likely be detrimental to it."
So maybe dabble in dominance and submission as bedroom role play, but outside the bedroom — equal power and mutual respect wins.
5. Can Dominance In A Relationship Ever Be Truly Healthy?
52% of our YourTango experts feel that "daily overwhelm and stress" is killing chemistry in the bedroom. So, hectic day at the office be damned, show your honey a little TLC each and every day, even if it's just hugging or a small moment of eye contact last a few seconds longer. Those little moments of connection go a long way to keeping the home fires burning hot!
And, in case you're curious, the second runner-up in this category is infidelity with 37% of experts naming it as a culprit to ruining couples' sex lives. So seriously ... find a little time for intimate connection with your partner to your day. It's an easier way to recharge your sex life than adultery.
6. What's Killing Sexual Connection In Marriages MOST?
News flash — your spouse (and their unique needs) do not suddenly become extinct once the two of you procreate. So stop assuming your duties as parents trump your "duties" as a spouse — they're not one in the same and you cannot treat them as such. 41% of our YourTango experts find "making the children a priority over your spouse" one of the most detrimental ways parenting kills sexual happiness in marriage.
However, 0% of experts believe that "lack of privacy" truly hinders sex in marriage (so quit using it as an excuse). So throw that "do not disturb" sign on, light the candles and enjoy a little parents-only romp around.
To kiss or not to kiss in front of the kiddos? What type of affectionate behavior do you think is appropriate to model in front of your children? After all, you're your child's best role model for a happy, healthy relationship, right?
Well, 94% of our YourTango experts believe "hugging, holding hands, quick peck kisses" are beneficial for the kids to see. "Prolonged embraces" are also OK. However, some experts suggested that while any "honest" act of affection can really be appropriate — with anything in life, the key is moderation.
So, maybe pass on the heavy petting and playful ass grabs. No matter how old you are, no child wants to see their parents doing that (it can do serious damage to little psyches). Spare your kids.
Simply (and sincerely) saying "thank you" to your spouse can prevent divorces, ladies and gentlemen.
Only 3% of our YourTango experts believe infidelity is mainly caused by "lack of sex." What's the real culprit when spouses stray? 39% of experts believe THE leading cause of infidelity is "feeling unappreciated" in your marriage.
So, let's just let that sink in shall we?
Simply (and sincerely) saying "thank you" to your spouse can prevent divorces, ladies and gentlemen.
9. What Truly Causes Cheating In Modern Marriages?
Does an affair mean your marriage is definitely over? 50% of our YourTango experts believe that, not only, can your marriage be salvaged after infidelity, it can transform into an even stronger connection than before.
Experts don't claim that path is easy, but do confidently say it's possible. Personally, we advocate working out your issues before anyone cheats.
10. Can A Marriage Every Truly Thrive Again After Infidelity?
So, what's more important in marriage, quantity of sex or quality?
53% of our YourTango experts say that, if forced to choose between the two, couples would prefer "just OK comfort sex anytime they want" versus 47% who said couples would prefer "mind-blowing, multi-orgasmic sex once a month."
Luckily, you don't have to choose so treat your partner right and enjoy the best of both worlds.
How much (in our social media "curate your reality" culture) does other people's belief that you're a fun, sexy couple with a great sex life contribute to a couple actually having a great sex? We asked our experts that very question and luckily ... it seems we've left our high school days behind us!
While there's still some pressure of being the "cool kids" of marriage. 53% of YourTango experts say that outside perception about your bedroom prowess and sexy couple chemistry "isn't important at all — if anything, the pressure can actually ruin your sex life."
So more than ever, it's most important to, genuinely, be yourselves.
12. Are You Keeping Up With The Jonses ... In The Bedroom?
It turns out, sex itself isn't the problem in sexless marriages.
Instead, an overwhelming 71% of our experts say that "resentment or unresolved conflict between partners" is the major cause of sexual connection fizzling.
Ladies and gentlemen, that's a fixable problem! And while another 41% of experts say "busy, stressful lifestyles" compound the problem ... with some counseling and a willing heart, it is entirely possible to rekindle that intimate spark between you again.
Yes, sex is truly important to sustain a happy, healthy marriage ... but far more goes into a satisfying sex life than just the physical act alone. So, what are the top three experts suggest couples do to maintain passion in your relationship for a lifetime?
38% say: "Prioritize couple alone time"
32% say: "Master connecting in the midst of normal daily chaos"
23% say: "Stay curious about one another"
We say — Do ALL three and you're sure to have a happy, dreamy, steamy sex life from your early courtship through your days in the old folks home. Cheers to making your "happily ever after" a reality!
15. What Keeps Sex In Marriage Happy For A Lifetime?
Dr. Charles D. Schmitz and Dr. Elizabeth Schmitz America's #1 Love and Marriage Experts **For marriage advice and hundreds of practical tips, read the Doctors' best-selling and multiple-award winning book Building a Love that Lasts. Available wherever books are sold. Learn How to Marry the Right Guy when you read the Doctors' latest book--2014 Mom's Choice Awards Gold Medal for Best Relationship Book and 2014 Eric Hoffer Gold Medal for Best Self-Help Book, and the Learn more about America's #1 Love and Marriage Experts.
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