More than 4 million Americans enter into marriage every year, of which, virtually all do so with the hope and expectation of building a life with a partner they love and trust. It is an unfortunate reality that half of those marriages or more fail to live up to that expectation, ending in separation and divorce. Many divorcing couples, however, are surprised to realize in hindsight that their romantic relationship may have revealed clues that their marriage was actually in trouble.
While not necessarily true in other cultures throughout the world, Western culture places a large degree of importance on sexual attraction between partners in a marriage. Author, psychologist and television personality, Dr. Phil McGraw maintains ‘the belief that sex is not important is a dangerous and intimacy-eroding myth. [Sex] allows us to experience a quality level of closeness, vulnerability and sharing with our partners. ‘A healthy sexual relationship with your spouse bodes very well for the overall health of the marriage.
Signs of trouble in your marriage, however, may show up in your sex life first. It may initially seem easy to dismiss them as physical or emotional anomalies, but sometimes, they may be symptoms of much deeper relational issues. For example, if you find yourself making excuses to avoid sexual contact with your spouse, or you feel your spouse is only being sexual out of guilt, it is very likely that there are underlying reasons that might be completely unrelated to sex itself.
Dr. Jennifer Landa, author and bioidentical hormone therapy specialist, has witnessed such concerns in her patients. Many cases involved married women who were not being physically intimate with their spouses and sought her help. Even after addressing hormone imbalances, she said, ‘they finally admit that they feel unhappy or unsettled in their relationships. Issues from all aspects of the marriage may have a direct impact on sexual health. ‘Hidden resentments, one partner feeling rejected by the other, one partner bearing a lot of financial burden, or a lack of trust can all get in the way of hitting the sheets,’ Dr Landa explained.
Failure to address such issues and to make positive changes can ultimately be devastating to the marriage. The absence of physical contact and excitement may create emotional barriers between you and your spouse. Additionally, marriages with little or no sexual relationship regularly report lower levels of marital satisfaction. Sometimes, Dr. Landa cautioned, ‘a sexless and unsatisfying marriage leaves you or your partner open to getting your needs met elsewhere.’
Identifying the underlying issues can obviously help a couple salvage a failing marriage, and experts offer a wide variety of advice on general marital health. Others offer tips specifically on how to maintain a healthy sex life within your marriage. However, if you live in Illinois and you have found that your marriage is beyond repair, we can help. Contact an experienced Kane County family law attorney today. Divorce is never an easy choice, but you do not need to face it alone.