Since childhood, I have always heard it said that a good reader is a good writer, and vice versa. My desire to blog is fueled in part by my love affair with scouring the internet for amateur writers like myself who are skilled at captivating others with their depictions of their individual slices of life. In order to keep up with my favs, I receive notifications via email of the latest posts from each blogger. I am fairly picky about which blogs I choose to subscribe to, because I don’t need clutter in my inbox, nor do I need clutter in my thinking.
Two weeks ago, I experienced a serious case of subscriber’s remorse when I woke up to an email linking to an article from a community blog and author that will go unnamed (I am not in the business of starting feuds, and I plan to keep it that way) advising women on guaranteed ways to get out of sex. As I read the blurb contained in the email, my brows furrowed and my jaw hung open. Hoping the post was written in jest, I quickly clicked the link in order to read the article in its entirety. To my disappointment, the writer was very serious as she gave readers her advice on how to short circuit the advances of their husbands, which she ironically suggests will strengthen the relationship.
Call me backwards, but I am a firm believer that no matter how equal men and women claim to be, there are fundamental differences in our needs. Exceptions may exist, but for the majority of men and women in the world, connecting sexually and verbal intimacy are two of the greatest needs within a relationship, respectively. A woman instructing other women how to short change their husbands of sex is as preposterous as a man instructing men on how to avoid meaningful conversation. It’s cruel and it’s a surefire way to destroy intimacy within a marriage.
In preparation for my response to the article that set off my anger, I began to compile a list of all the surefire ways, in my opinion, that keep a marriage hot and steamy.
Alas, I am no sexpert.
What works for one couple may prove to be a wet blanket for another. However, there is one guiding principle that I believe to be timeless and universal. You might have heard it referred to as The Golden Rule. Many people claim that it originated in Judaism, as it is documented in the Torah, but there is some version of this philosophy in several other cultures around the world. Sharing that fact is by no means meant to detract from people of faith, as I have strong faith in G-d myself. Rather, it is to buttress the point that this is something all people can and should do.
So, what is the Golden Rule? In short, it is to do to someone else what you would want them to do to you. Another way of thinking about it is not doing to someone else what you would not want them to do to you.
Now, what does this have to do with intimacy in a marriage? It’s about focusing on service to your spouse, rather than selfishly expecting him or her to fulfill your desires constantly. When we enter a marriage for the sake of what another person can do for us, we have already embarked upon the path of failure. Many couples quickly discover this truth early on in marriage, when things are the stormiest. However, all is not lost! With maturity and a change of attitude, any couple can choose to take the path of generosity, love, honesty,and reciprocity. When love and respect are the ends, rather than just the means, within a marriage, greater intimacy will follow. Of course, that doesn’t mean reading a book here and there for a little extra “help” isn’t necessary, but without the deeper spiritual connection, you won’t get very far.