Sex, Work and Finances: Common problems in the early years of marriage

A study in the US surveyed almost 1,000 couples who had been married five years or less and identified sex, work and finances as the top three problem and adjustment issues for couples (Risch, Riley & Lawler: 2003).

The top three issues identified were:

  1. frequency of sexual relations
  2. balancing job and family
  3. financial issues

1. Frequency of Sex:

It is easy to get caught up in the demands of life to find we are living our lives narrowly focusing on everything other than our partner. Whilst the quality and quantity of our sexual relationship often reflects the quality of our overall relationship, neglecting or forgetting our marriage – and the needs of our partner for affection and intimacy – can have dire and expected consequences. If neglected there is a greater risk of an affair both for the one feeling neglected and the partner neglecting the other and none of us are exempt from the risk of an affair. Affair proofing our marriage and establishing boundaries is vital: for example, don’t get into a situation where your relationship could be at risk.

Your relationship with your partner is important and exclusive and can be protected by:

  • Building each other up
  • Filling emotional needs
  • Setting boundaries – avoid meetings, dinners etc with people of opposite sex
  • Keeping sex alive – to love is to give
  • Being careful with emails
  • Pornography – to be avoided.
  • Always keeping your sexual relationship interesting. Remember anything we constantly repeat will lose impact.
  • Trying to vary place and be creative, vary who initiates it.

Tune in next week for item two, balancing job and family.

Source: Risch, Gail S; Riley, Lisa A; Lawler, Michael G., Problematic issues in the early years of marriage: Content for premarital education. Journal of Psychology Theology, 2003, 31, 253-26

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