Why Sexual Intimacy Is Crucial To Making Sure Your Marriage Is Healthy

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How To Avoid A Sexless Marriage, & Have A Healthy Relationship Through Sex & Intimacy

Sex is an important part of any healthy relationship since it helps build intimacy; sexual needs are just as important as emotional ones for many reasons.

If you're struggling with intimacy issues or wondering how often married couples should have sex, then you may be concerned that you're falling into a sexless marriage or that your relationship isn't healthy.

Keeping sexual passion alive and healthy is a critical aspect in the process of sustaining an enduring and fulfilling partnership. Failure to have fulfilling married sex may hurt the intimacy in your marriage with your partner and wind up becoming a factor in the breakdown of your relationship down the line.

RELATED: How To Fix A Sexless Marriage Before It's Too Late

While most people realize that the extraordinary magic of infatuation wears off with time, there is little understanding of the ways in which it is possible to continually regenerate the vitality that is often lost when couples settle into the ordinary reality of daily life.

When work, child-rearing, chores, and other family responsibilities dominate your attention and push sexual intimacy into the background, you run the risk of creating patterns that leave you feeling sexually unfulfilled.

This can cause frustration, resentment, and vulnerability to temptations outside of your primary relationship.

It is possible to keep sexual excitement alive, even in long-term relationships.

There are a variety of ways to cultivate the ability to engage in sexuality as a sacred practice in which your hearts and spirits, as well as you and your partner's bodies, are stimulated and inspired.

Many couples feel that they have to choose between ordinary or routine, which usually translates into “boring” sex with the same partner, or run the risk of jeopardizing their marriage by having affairs.

Neither of these options is viable to the couple that has a partnership dedicated to mutual growth.

The sexual experience can be broadened as well as deepened, regarding the focus of the erotic beyond physical contact. The elements that make your initial sexual contact with a new lover so compelling have to do with experiencing the excitement and aliveness that is inevitable when you encounter the "unknown."

You can extend the experience of new and compelling aspects of sexuality far beyond the "infatuation stages" of a relationship when everything is new and exciting. You can keep your passion and intimacy alive when into any relationship with a little bit of effort.

You may not realize that the reason you're struggling with sexual intimacy is because of unconscious patterns of resistance, or hidden fears and anxieties that may be the source of physical and emotional blocks to a more deeply connected experience with your partner.

By exploring these areas, you may discover what's interfering with your ability to enjoy your intimate moments more fully and be open and vulnerable.

You can work with your partner in creating a safe, trustworthy, and stimulating sexual environment that will help balance a healthy relationship.

RELATED: The 4 Types Of Intimacy Every Couple Has In Good Relationships

A study conducted at Dartmouth and the University of Warwich in England drew on a sample of 16,000 people. They found that sex factors strongly into a person's overall happiness.

Those who reported no sexual activity were actually noticeably less happy than the average person.

The typical American has sexual intercourse two to three times a month (regardless of income), and despite the myth, married people have much more sex than those who are single, divorced, widowed, or separated.

The findings of the study were clear: The more sex, the happier the person. They estimated that increasing intercourse from once a month to once a week is equivalent to the amount of happiness generated by adding an additional $50,000 in yearly income for the average American.

And by far, the happiest folks are those having the most sex. The point system that the happiness researchers use shows us that a couple having sex four times a week has a large effect on their happiness. Both women and men in their research derive a great deal of happiness from sex.

The statistics showed only very slight evidence that men enjoyed sex more than women.

A healthy marriage depends on a loving sexual connection. It is often the case that sex is more important to one of the pair.

It's important to understand that if sex is important to your partner, then it’s important to the relationship. You must both find a way to make time for true, honest, intimacy as much as possible. Don't just "go through the motions" since that may leave one or both partners dissatisfied.

Sex is a very valid and important part of any healthy relationship. To be truly fulfilling partnership, there must be enthusiasm. Stay tuned for some ideas about how to bring the passion level up.

RELATED: There Are 5 Stages Of Intimacy In Relationships — And Here's How To Know Which One You're In

Linda Bloom, LCSW, and Charlie Bloom, MSW, are psychotherapists and relationship counselors who have worked with individuals, couples, groups, and organizations since 1975. To learn more, visit their website, Bloom Work.

This article was originally published at PsychCentral. Reprinted with permission from the author.