Finally, when it comes to sex, "[t]here are great reasons experts cite differences around sex as major factors in divorce," explains Dr. Aline Zoldbrod. "For many people, nothing hurts as much as sexual rejection from the one person who was supposed to love you. For men, being accepted sexually—emotionally and on the most basic physical level of being accepted into their partner's body—is the definition of being accepted. Period. For women, not being desired sexually by their male partner is a major assault on gender identity. We've been socialized to think that men have more sexual desire than women, so the woman who desires her male partner more than he desires her feels like less of a woman."
So, what should you do if you and your fiance or spouse are committed to making the marriage work despite sexual differences? "I hope that couples who are having sexual problems will come to a sex therapist sooner rather than later," adds Dr. Zoldbrod. "Sex is painful to talk about. The feelings of vulnerability are intense; most couples can't get out of serious sexual problems on their own or through reading books. The vicious circle of hurt and anger that comes from sexual conflict is terribly destructive, and many couples could save their sexually troubled marriages by getting expert help."