By America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts.
Older adults between the ages of 57 and 85 make sex an important part of their lives! That’s the results of the first comprehensive national survey of the sexual attitudes and behaviors of older adults as reported in the New England Journal of Medicine. And, as you might have guessed, our more than 25 years of research with successfully married couples offered the same conclusions.
For sure, every happily married couple we have interviewed over the last 25 years reported at least a reasonable degree of satisfaction with their sex life. But you know what, NOT ONE of the couples we interviewed who had been married 30-60 years reported that their sex life was central to overall success of their relationship. Not one! Sure it was important, but if you think anybody’s marriage is going to last 30 or more years just because they have good sex ---- well, forget it! It isn’t going to happen.
Lasting marriages are characterized by frequent moments of intimacy and bliss. Over the years, we have had a wonderfully healthy sexual relationship with each other. Sometimes our sex is so good . . . . . well, we won’t bore you with the details!
We could wax on and on about the role of sex in a marriage, but others have done that over and over. Those who write about sex all the time might have contributed to much of the dysfunctionality surrounding sex in relationships. Frankly, some of the popular books on the subject we have seen hold up a standard of sexual performance and gratification that hardly any couple could achieve. And worse yet, couples that can’t live up to the “standard” think they’ve failed. Many times their relationship suffers.
Our message should be clear to our readers – in successful marriages sex can be fun, important, and a healthy way of being intimate with your partner. Just because you get older and have been married for 30 years or more does not mean that your sexual life has to be less active. On the other hand, based on our research and first-hand experience, we think it is grossly overemphasized in terms of its centrality to successful and long-term marriages. So much more is present in those relationships that pass the test of time. Sex is only one of them and is certainly not the most important for couples with long lasting successful marriages.
As the study points out, the sexual activity of older adults is not as much tied to their age as it is to their physical health. In an earlier article we wrote called, Physical Love, we talk about how successfully married couples focus on each other’s physical health. So, we would like to leave you with this final thought—if you want to continue enjoying sex into your later years, take time today to focus on the physical health of both you and the one you love.
By Dr. Charles D. Schmitz and Dr. Elizabeth A. Schmitz
Authors of Golden Anniversaries: The Seven Secrets of Successful Marriage
Winner of the INDIE Book Awards GOLD Medal for Best Relationship Book
Winner of the 2009 Mom’s Choice Awards GOLD Medal for Most Outstanding Relationships and Marriage Book
Now you can order the Doctors' award winning marriage book, Golden Anniversaries: The Seven Secrets of Successful Marriage at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com or www.GoldenAnniversaries.com, the 2009 Mom’s Choice Awards Gold Medal Winner for Most Outstanding Relationships and Marriage Book. With 26 years of research experience on successful marriage and their own 42-year marriage, Drs. Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz know what makes marriage work. From their hundreds of interviews with happily married couples, representing 15,000 years of marriage, they've discovered the seven pervasive characteristics present in all successful marriages. Their book exposes the secrets for success through these poignant, real life stories.
Get started with America's #1 Love and Marriage Experts by taking their Marriage Quiz or asking them a question at Marriage Advice or downloading their FREE eBook at Salad Recipes For Love and Health.
During their distinguished careers the Doctors have received some 65 local, state, and national awards; published nearly 350 articles and manuscripts; delivered over 1000 speeches, workshops and public presentations; traveled throughout the world; and appeared on radio and television and in the print media. Dr. Charles D. Schmitz is Dean and Professor of Family and Counseling Therapy at the University of Missouri in St. Louis and Dr. Elizabeth A. Schmitz is President of Successful Marriage Reflections, LLC.
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