Relationships may be more complicated than ever, but the eternal truth is, sex is - and should be - good. In order to help you get the most out of your sex life, you need advice from experts on both sides of the bed: Martin Downs, M.P.H., and Victoria Zdrok, Penthouse Pet and Ph.D.
My parents divorced in my early teens, and it seems like most of my relatives and buddies are either divorced or heading there. I recently married a woman I’m crazy about, but the high of being with her is spoiled by my constant fears about our relationship not working out. Can you give a few general rules that will help our relationship last?
Dr. Martin Downs says:
The first rule is, don’t expect that “high” to last. Absolutely no one goes through life as husband and wife cooing at each other and making out all day. One day you’re soul mates, the next, you’re just her asshole husband and she’s a fucking bitch. To stay happily married, you have to decide to love each other through the lows, too.
The second rule is, banish from your mind any thoughts of your marriage “not working out.” Remember, when you got married, you vowed certain things. I suspect a lot of couples mumble through their wedding vows like they’re reciting the Pledge of Allegiance: They don’t really mean or even hear what they’re saying. But think about what you promised–to stay together, no matter what, till death do you part. Or did you solemnly swear to play house until you get sick of each other?
If divorce is so common among your family and friends, you might think that’s what everyone does when they’re not happy. Instead, you should think of it as the nuclear option, the D-bomb. Even when you’re pushed to the brink–and most couples get there sooner or later–don’t be the one to drop the bomb.
I don’t mean to be a total buzzkill about marriage; I just don’t want you to panic and do something stupid the first time you have a real marital crisis. Most of the time, things are going to be fine, even sweet. So rule number three is, think about something else. Fussing about relationships is for single people. Married people ought to be able to take the relationship for granted. You should be thinking about what you’ll be doing together next month or next year, not whether you’ll still be together.
Dr. Z says:
The fact that you’re trying to storm-proof your relationship is a good sign, since most men put little effort into their relationships. Most women need three things to keep them happy: attention, affection, and appreciation. Listen to your wife and express interest in what she says; show her you care by giving her cards, flowers, and other things that make most men gag; and express your love through hugs, kisses, and caresses.
You can significantly enhance your chances of relationship survival if you:
*Tackle the conflict; don’t avoid it.
*Put your wife before your job.
*Give each other room for independent interests.
*Help with housework.
*Have plenty of sex.
*Keep the in-laws from intruding.
Got a question for the Doctors? Post it in the comments and we'll pass it along.
Standing the Test of Time by Martin Downs, M.P.H., and Victoria Zdrok, Ph.D.
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