Around 40% of marriages end in divorce, with common reasons including a lack of commitment, incompatibility, and extramarital affairs. Without a doubt, keeping things spicy in the bedroom is one way to promote closeness and loving feelings, with a recent study published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin (Debrot et al, 2017) showing that sex is associated with better wellbeing. Whether you have just asked your fiancée to marry you or you have long returned from your honeymoon, know that keeping passion alive is far from a myth. Many couples have managed to fan the flames of love and not allowed their relationship to turn into mere friendship.
Everyday Affection Matters
In the Debrot study, researchers found that everyday kissing, embracing, and touching all played a key role in overall relationship satisfaction. The findings show that ‘spice’ isn’t only mined in the bedroom but also in the interactions and small moments that present themselves in our daily lives. Of course, actually having sex is a big boon as well. The results showed that the difference in wellbeing for people having sex once weekly compared to those who had sex less than once a month was bigger than that measured between people making a large compared to a small yearly salary.
Communication and Experimentation
Affection is important but innovating in the bedroom is also vital. Sex is ultimately an imaginative and creative act and as found in a study published in The Journal of Marriage and the Family (Schulman, 1974), idealizing one’s partner “to think they are better than they are” is actually a big secret of happy couples. So, too, is fantasy, wearing sexy clothing to bed, and role-playing. Couples who prioritize sex often use these elements to keep bedtime fun, new, and exciting. Intimacy can certainly seem more appealing when variety, humour, and novelty are introduced into the equation.
Being There for Your Partners
A great marriage isn’t exclusively based on bomb sex. Research published by the American Psychological Association (2009) showed that romance can last a lifetime—but in order to do so, one has to feel like their partner is “there for them.” On the other hand, feelings of insecurity are linked to lower relationship satisfaction and in some cases, they can lead to relationship conflict. The findings are a reminder of the importance of working on oneself and one’s self-confidence, in order to be the best possible partner for the person we love. As a marriage progresses, couples should also learn to distinguish between obsessive love (which includes feelings of insecurity and anxiety) and genuine romantic love. The former fuels short-term relationships while the latter enables them to last.
If you are about to get married and you are worried that your passionate relationship will one day turn into a purely Platonic one, know that this does not have to be the case. The secrets of a good marriage include everyday affection and support; ensuring your partner knows you are there for them in good and bad times. Sex, fantasy, and a little play in the bedroom, meanwhile, can keep things spicy and add novelty—an ingredient that always helps to keep relationships fun.