December 14, 2013 in Features

For some, intimacy may not mean sex

Kathy Mitchell
 

Dear Annie: “Frustrated in South Dakota” was concerned about the dearth of sex in his marriage, saying his wife has no sex drive. You rightfully suggested she talk to her doctor to see whether there is something they could do to remedy the problem. However, when you write that “intimacy is important, but it isn’t everything,” I think you’ve missed the point about sexless marriage: It’s entirely possible to be in a committed relationship without sex, but it’s incredibly important to keep the intimacy alive in other ways.

People sometimes identify the act of sex as the only validation of love and caring between a couple, but there are other “love acts” that have a bigger impact on a relationship, like hugging and touching and kissing.

My husband’s libido took a nosedive several years ago. It took some adjusting of mindset, but when I realized that the other “good stuff” wasn’t going out the window, things suddenly weren’t as bad as I thought.

– Learning Curve

Dear Learning: We agree that there are many ways to show intimacy, but it requires the cooperation of both partners. Here’s a reader response:

Florida: “Frustrated” complains that he has sex with his extremely attractive wife “maybe once every two weeks.” I say: What are you complaining about? There are far too many of us on the opposite end of the spectrum who would gladly trade places with him. I’m 45, she’s 43 and still hot, but it’s been years since we’ve had sex. I’m in decent physical shape, have a well-paying job and do my share in taking care of the children and the house. However, all romance, intimacy, handholding, kissing are initiated by me and are rebuffed too often for me to make further attempts. Apparently, watching 15 hours of television every week is more important to her than an hour of intimacy once a month.

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