3.8 min readPublished On: April 1, 2024

The Mother Load: The Challenges of Having a Healthy Marriage

When relationship experts talk about the challenges of having a healthy marriage, one thing comes up again and again: that it takes ingenuity and effort to have a spouse who is everything you really need – a friend, emotional support, partner in running a household and a lover.

Sadly, most people decide to give up on one of those roles…  and that is usually the lover. It appears that the things that make a good partner who supports their mate emotionally can also take the spice out of the romance. 

Romance requires more tension — and even a little uncertainty — to create sexual chemistry, and those often go away when “friendship” and “partnership” exist.

I believe that happens because different moments of the week require different attitudes. Couples need to set aside time for spice. It doesn’t just happen by accident.

Before I give you some tips, I must caution you: Know what you are doing before you try anything too new! Once my husband Joe and I had been married long enough to master friendship and partnership, we began to be intentional about having great sex. (Yes, that’s what I was talking about when I said “spice”).

For instance, I read somewhere that new and fun sensations could be created if a man waxed his entire body. So I bought a wax pot, and, incredibly, Joe agreed to let me wax him.

Warning: What follows is graphic, rated PG-13.

I got Joe to lay up on the bathroom counter after I mixed up enough wax for 10 people. I didn’t really know what I was doing. I started with his privates and put on a strip of wax that was quite a bit more than I needed. Then… I ripped it off with visions of the pleasurable time I was expecting later that day. Well, those visions were replaced by a new vision that I still have trouble erasing from memory — Joe screaming on the bathroom floor where he had fallen. Once the blood was cleaned up, Joe was left with one strip of a clean-shaven area. In the end, I’m sure I rewarded him with some fun, but that was the last time we tried that. 

Waxing didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped, but the point is that married couples have to try new things. We were created with all kinds of needs, and, contrary to what some think, sexual intimacy is not just for making babies; it’s for enhancing happiness in a marriage, but the default will almost always be a loss of sexual desire, so keeping it spicy must be intentional.

Here are some things that you can do that (probably) won’t lead to screaming (unless that’s what you’re into):

The most important thing is simply realizing and accepting that, unlike when you were dating, sexual attraction has to be cultivated when you are also best friends and life partners. There is nothing more natural than that, so go with it and have fun!

About the Author: Sabrina Ciceri


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