Monday, January 24, 2011

Romantic, Emotional vs. Sexual Needs Debate

Recently on a marriage forum someone asked- In what ways do you feel emotionally fulfilled in your marriage? Typically I avoid these types of questions because they remind me of the same old, same old. One spouse says, “More emotional intimacy,” and the other spouse says, “More sex,” with both of them constantly locking horns. This time I made an exception and replied to the post. I wrote:

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Off the top of my head and in no particular order:

*I need good conversation about us. This means conversation beyond the kids and the 'to do' list.
*He comments on my appearance. I enjoy knowing that I still 'wow' him when he looks my way.
*He needs to sexually pursue me as I do him on a frequent basis. Sexual intimacy is entwined with emotional intimacy. When one lacks, they both do.
*He enjoys my cooking and other homemaking and parenting skills.
*He cannot keep hands off me when not having sex. It is the knowing that he desires me even when we can't have sex right at that moment.
*He looks forward to being out on dates.

For me, all of the above spell ROMANCE and emotional fulfillment. Emotional and sexual intimacy go hand in hand. For us it is never romantic/emotional fulfillment OR sex. Rather it is romantic/emotional fulfillment AND sex and when we see a lack in one or the other, we do not wait until everything is perfect before we continue enjoying each other in both ways. This results in a win/win for us.

I see more couples shooting themselves in the foot when one says, “We need more romantic/emotional fulfillment,” while the other says, “We need more sex,” and then neither of them budge and both of them lose out.

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Do you and your spouse often lock horns over the romantic, emotional vs. sexual needs debate? What helpful ways have you found to overcome differences in intimacy needs?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Contrary to popular belief, many if not most men, need romance and emotional fulfillment as well as plain old sex. Without something behind it sex is just another physical function. Men need to feel that their wife respects them, desires them physically and desires their company. Men usually don't get the message the same way women do but,

When a woman lets her appearance go around her husband it is obvious she is no longer respecting him or thinking about him romantically or sexually

When a woman takes her relationship with her husband for granted and makes time for everything else in life but their relationship it's a pretty good indicator of all of the above

When a woman disobeys and defies her husband

The list could go on for hours.

Bottom line, a kiss going out the door, meeting him at the door in a pretty dress or even the short shorts and halter top you would never wear out, cooking his favorite meal, and always common respect and appropriate deference go a long way toward meeting many men's romantic needs.

Gemma said...

Anon said: "Contrary to popular belief, many if not most men, need romance and emotional fulfillment as well as plain old sex. Without something behind it sex is just another physical function. Men need to feel that their wife respects them, desires them physically and desires their company."

Absolutely, I agree.

Corner of a Rooftop said...

What about those of us dealing with the romance sponge who has little intention of ever responding sexually? Job has written about "the dance" before.
Is there not some amount of foot shooting which I maybe need to grit my teeth and endure if I'm not going to be doing the same thing 25 years from now?

landschooner said...

Romance sponge. I like that description. Describes my marriage.

Romance sponge who has no intention of responding sexually.....