Fretting Over Frequency

Posted by Beth Darling on Aug 11th 2023

Fretting Over Frequency

Dear Beth,

I’ve been married 8 years, we have 3 children and I work full time. We had a great sex life before we had kids and never thought it would ever be a problem.

But these days, I’m fed up with my husband making me feel like I’m a bad wife because I don’t want to have sex as much as he does. He really thinks other married couples probably have sex every other day at least, but I think that’s crazy. Every time he tells me that he “didn’t get married to have less sex” than he did when he was single, I want to tell him to just leave me alone and go be single again then.

Please help us! How often should we be having sex? How often do married people usually have sex?

Christine M.

Dear Christine, 

I receive this question quite frequently, probably because marriage is so important to us, and we want to "do it right." First, let me say that there's no definitive "right" answer to the issue of sex in marriage. Researchers suggest the average married couple has sex once a week, but this can vary based on factors like relationship duration, age, and whether there are children at home.

However, what matters more than frequency is whether your sexual intimacy fulfills both of you and strengthens your relationship. More sex doesn't necessarily equal a better relationship, especially when blame, shame, guilt, or obligation are involved. Instead of focusing solely on sex, consider the five types of intimacy - physical, emotional, romantic, spiritual, and sexual. How do you and your husband fare in these areas? Try spending a couple of weeks enhancing intimacy in the areas that feel easier for both of you. My book, "The 5 Kinds of Intimacy: How to Keep Your Love Alive," provides intimacy practices that may help.

By building success in one area, you'll gain motivation and confidence to approach sexual intimacy in a more positive manner. Have an honest conversation about what sex means to each of you, as your perspectives may differ. Emotional intimacy may be a requirement for you, while sexual intimacy could be vital to him.

Be open about the roadblocks affecting your desire for sex, such as stress, body image issues, or hormonal imbalances. Awareness of these obstacles can help find ways to overcome them.

Ultimately, what's crucial is the overall satisfaction and fulfillment you and your partner experience together. By focusing on shared joy and pleasure in all types of intimacy, your relationship will grow stronger and more loving. Trying new things together, both inside and outside the bedroom, can rekindle passion.

If discussing these matters with your husband becomes challenging, don't hesitate to seek help from a coach or counselor. Addressing struggles early can prevent them from festering and causing even more serious issues in your relationship.

Wishing you the strength to create the marriage of which you always dream. Keep me updated on your progress, so we can celebrate together!

Hopeful hugs,