How facing marital problems by stopping intimacy is not a good idea
Posted by mandyf on February 2, 2013
Dealing with the problems that arise in a marriage by cutting out the intimate portion out of the relationship is never a good idea and rarely if ever works. Sure it may work in the movies or on television, but everything works out in the allotted time slot when you visit the world of make believe. That is not reality and those are not real relationships. Facing marital problems by stopping intimacy is not only a bad idea, it often only serves to make matters worse.
A healthy physical relationship is one of the cornerstones to any marriage along with love, trust, and communication. They are all necessary to any strong foundation. Assuming the problem you are dealing with is not sexual in nature it makes no sense to end it. A doctor is not going to remove a healthy lung to treat broken leg which is akin to what you are doing when you cease physical intimacy because you are perhaps experiencing a communication problem or some other issue. If anything, a good healthy physical relationship can help heal wounds and stave off future problems. The simple fact is that sex feels good and it makes people happy. Happy people are more receptive people which is exactly what you need to work through problems.
Denying the physical portion of a marriage is doing nothing more than throwing up a barrier. It is creating a problem where none exists which only exacerbates the existing problem. It is punishing both parties involved because we are not going to pretend that both parties in a marriage do not equally enjoy the physical aspect of it. Think logically for a moment and ask yourself if it makes sense to punish each other for having a problem by creating another problem? Simply cutting of physical intimacy does not solve the old problem nor does it replace it. All it serves to do is temporarily shift the focus from one issue to another. Eventually this will build to the point where yet another issue will have to be created to again shift focus in a vicious never ending circle of denial and avoidance.
While I cannot cite any scientific studies on how stopping intimacy is bad for a marriage, I don’t need to. I can tell you from experience it is a horrendous tactic when it comes to conflict resolution. It’s not just true because of the above mentioned reasons, but because the physical portion of a relationship carries with it a certain intangible power that for lack of a better word or phrase just makes things work. Every portion of a relationship comes into play when being intimate with your spouse.
Simply put physical intimacy with one’s spouse is necessary for a healthy well rounded relationship. It is not a panacea for all the ills you will encounter, but it can be a part of the solution. Using it as a weapon or punishment via withholding it is to take away all the innate good it can do. Of course you don’t have to take my word for it, but if you would like to avoid some potentially nasty issues that are unnecessary, don’t make the mistake of trying to end physical intimacy as a means of dealing with unrelated issues.