I tend to be a bit prim and proper so you don’t usually see posts on the topic of sex on Family Focus Blog. When the author Leon Scott Baxter wrote me to see if I’d be interested in a guest post on the subject, I said I could take a look at but I was very non-committal. When I read his post on the importance of sex in marriage, it was just the right mix of funny but true so I had to share it with you. Marriage is probably the most important relationship of our lives and it sure is important to tend to it. A healthy sex life can help the relationship stay strong. So here it is folks- 4 Ways Sex With Your Partner Can Help You Be A Better Parent- Really!
Is Sex Important In Marriage?
by Leon Scott Baxter
I’m no sex therapist, but I can tell you that sex is important in marriage. This physical intimacy is part of what keeps us connected to our partner and feeling valued. We all know that sex is an important part of marriage and staying bonded. In an NBC feature about maintenance sex, Dr. Hafeez explained the biology of it by saying, “orgasm releases oxytocin which is the ‘feel good’ hormone that bonds us. This is why, when couples begin to feel that they are drifting or growing apart, they’re mostly likely to report a lack of sex.”
Now, rewind to my own childhood.
It was early that Saturday morning. I was four and wanted to watch cartoons. I opened the door to my parents’ bedroom to ask if I could. “Get out of here!” “What are you doing?!” “Don’t you know you should knock first?”
I scurried back out the door, closing it behind me. Hmmm, that was weird. I’d opened that door dozens of Saturday mornings in the past only to be met with a bleary-eyed, “Yes, you can watch Scooby-Doo.” What had gotten their panties in a bunch this time?
Now, I didn’t do it purposely, but because of their strange response to my door-opening, my preschool brain couldn’t help but store this memory for future observation, when I could figure out what was so different about this instance. I would one day regret this.
By the time I was a teen, I had most of the “doing it” facts straight, and that was when my brain decided to put the pieces together. “Hey, remember when you were four and your folks got pissed when you came into their room on a Saturday morning?… Well, they were totally doing it.”
Best way to make a teenager puke.
“Thank God that was ten years ago,” I reasoned with myself. “ I can’t imagine they’d be interested in sex now…because they’re old…really old…too old for sex.”
It’s a defense mechanism that has evolved in all teens, because if they actually believed that we had sex over the age of twenty-five they would fall into a catatonic state of denial. I’m forty-six years old, and to this day still think my parents had sex exactly twice: once to create me, and once on a Saturday morning in 1972!
The thing is, though, that many of us “post-25ers” have accepted this false belief of our offspring, that sexual desire is for the young. You know, that if we try to have some fun in the sack, we’re not “acting our age,” and that our time has come and gone for that kind of stuff. We sometimes feel that we need to focus less on doing the Humpty Dance and more on being responsible parents and raising our kids.
Why Sex Intercourse Should Stay Important In Marriage
Thinking this way, though, couldn’t be further from the truth. Sexual intimacy is not just for the young. If you want to be good parents and create a strong stable family foundation, one of the best things a married couple can do is have sex with their partner. Often and with the lights on! (I just threw that in for good measure.) An intimate relationship helps maintain the long-term relationship.
If you are thinking, “How important is sex in a marriage, really?” The answer is, “Very.” As Family Life says, “Married couples who have sex regularly live longer, have better heart health, enjoy a deeper connection, and can let go of annoyances easier.” Basically, couples who have sex tend to be happier and stay bonded better, that means we can provide a happier home for our kids.
A sexless marriage is often leads at least one of the partners drifting away and finding connection elsewhere. If you have a sexless relationship, it is a huge warning sign that the emotional intimacy is probably in need of help. It may be time to start date nights or see a clinical psychologist to get restoring a healthy marriage.
The truth of the matter is that we want our kids to grow up in a home where they feel safe and loved, where there is stability and where their parents are in love. When children feel secure in family life, they are more able to focus on school, friends, and extracurricular activities.
Kids know that marriages don’t always last. All around them their friends’ parents fight, separate and divorce. Knowing Mom and Dad are securely in love, gives them one less thing to worry about.
And, one easy way to connect with your partner and strengthen your romantic bond is through regular sex. Now, let’s be perfectly clear about how this works. If your kids know you are having wonderful, regular sex, they won’t be able to look you in the eye, and they will be so nauseated that they won’t even realize how safe they feel in the family. You have to keep the sex on the down-low, and your kids will benefit from the benefits of your rolls in the hay.
Also, if you aren’t having sex regularly with your married partner, you may want to take a look at your emotional connection to your spouse and work on strengthening that too so that the sex will come more naturally. Make sure you are filling each other’s love tanks, as Dr. Chapman would say.
4 Benefits Of Sex In Marriage
You Feel Attractive
When your partner makes sexual advances on you, you feel desired. That makes you feel good about yourself as well as attractive. Even if the advances don’t result in actually having sex, according to research from Penn State, just the idea that the person you love wants it is enough to bring the spark back to your relationship.
This will lead to flirting, smiling and touching your partner more often. The kids will notice this and stress reduces.
You Stay Younger Longer
Having sex regularly makes it easier to fall asleep, which lowers stress and causes a younger appearance. The physical exertion of sex can boost blood flow giving the skin a healthy look. It can also burn fat, trimming us down which can cut out up to ten years in our appearance.
This facade of youth makes us feel better about ourselves as well as our partners. When we feel young, we act young. That means more surprise kisses and spontaneous sofa snuggles on a regular basis. Although the kids may cringe, they also feel their parents relationship is safe.
There’s Science Behind This
Sex produces a virtual buffet of chemicals that help us in many ways. Two of the main dishes are oxytocin and vasopressin. Have more sex, produce more of these two entrees. Oxytocin is produced during orgasm and it is known to deepen the attachment in couples. Vasopressin helps sustain long-term commitment in couples. Sexual satisfaction is a real thing.
When Mom and Dad feel attached and committed, Junior feels safe and secure.
It’s Great Modeling
Over half of marriages in the U.S. tank. No one ever gets married thinking it’s just a three-year lease. We dive in for the long-haul, but all too often we bail out just after the haul has begun. And, we don’t want this for our children when it’s time for them to settle down.
Yet, one of the biggest indicators of our children’s success or failure in their own marriages depends upon our own marriage during their childhood. No matter how we may not want to admit it, in many ways, our children will become us. So, if we want them to have a healthy, loving marriage in the future, we need to model that today. And, what better way than to start with regular sex?
The truth is that when it comes down to it, our children don’t want to think of us as having sexual needs, but they crave the people we become because we are having regular sex. So, why not go for it? An active sex life makes us feel attractive, keeps us young and trim, connects us romantically, and helps make us better parents…my parents are the exception, of course. They were great, in spite of their very limited sex life.
Try Scott’s tips for greater relationship satisfaction. If you liked his writing you can check out his book Secrets of Safety-Net Parenting: Raising Happy and Successful Children (amazon affiliate link).
So do you agree that marriage is probably the most important relationship of our lives? I foresee many men forwarding this article to their wives. Hey, what better excuse to get busy?!