Is it Normal to Not Be Intimate in Marriage?

We hear from a lot of couples who are concerned about the fact that their love lives aren’t what they used to be. We also hear from many couples who wonder if they’re love lives are “normal.” The truth is that there is no real “norm” when it comes to intimacy in marriage. There are statistics and there are stages and phases, but the important thing for your marriage is that the frequency and enjoyment of your lovemaking be satisfying to both of you.

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We found an excellent article on this very subject on and we wanted to share some key points with you, especially the statistics on intimacy in marriage. If you’re happy in your marriage but wonder if your love life is “normal”, this may put your mind at ease. If you’re unhappy with the level of intimacy in your marriage, you may find some encouragement.

Research Studies Show That Not Every Marriage is Rockin’

First of all, research shows that in 10 to 20 percent of romantic relationships, couples make love less than ten times per year. This is according to Robert Epstein, PhD, a San Diego research psychologist and founder/director emeritus of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies in Beverly, MA. That 10-20% adds up to about 40 million people in the United States.

Another recent survey reports that 30% of male participants in their 40’s and 34% in their 50’s who were in a relationship had not made love the previous year. Of women in their 40’s and 50’s, about 21% said they’d not made love with their partner in the previous year.

What’s important to note here is not just that you’re not alone if things have cooled down, but that less lovemaking doesn’t necessarily mean less love.

Less Fire Doesn’t Mean That Your Marriage is Doomed

Jennifer Freed, PhD, a marriage and family therapist in private practice in Santa Barbara, CA., estimates that about 5 to 7 percent of the couples she sees are perfectly happy in their marriages, despite very little lovemaking.

Epstein remembers a psychology professor who had this to say about lovemaking and marriage: When lovemaking is good, it’s 5 percent of the marriage, but when it’s bad, it’s 95 percent of the marriage.

According to Epstein,

The key is to understand what’s good and bad. Good means that each person’s needs are being met. Bad means that at least one person’s needs are not being met.”

In other words, if you’re both happy with the level of intimacy in your marriage, then it doesn’t matter how frequently your best friends make love or what you see in the movies.

If one or both of you is unhappy with your love life, then boost the intimacy in your marriage with the tips your read here or perhaps seek the advice of a marriage and family counselor or a relationshop therapist. As long as you love each other, you can work together to have a truly Rockin’ Marriage, no matter how often you make love.

One Response to Is it Normal to Not Be Intimate in Marriage?

  1. Cathy Lorient August 14, 2012 at 6:33 am #

    Do you agree that if you’re both happy with the level of intimacy in your marriage, then it doesn’t matter how often you make love? Please post your comments below.

    – Cathy Lorient

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