Thoughts on this - Page 9 - Talk About Marriage
Sex in Marriage Sexual problems are common in many relationships. This section is for discussions about sexuality. Please limit discussions to those asking for help with a problem and those offering advice. Any other threads may be deleted.

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post #121 of 1530 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 12:34 PM
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Well, @Jessica38, I think what you describe is ideal. And there's nothing wrong with that.

It's just that ideals are rarely realistic. That's why they're called ideals.

You can aim for 15 hours a week of exclusive "couple time".

But accept that you'll probably only get about 8-10 hours, and it will mostly be on the weekend.

And that's if you're fortunate enough to work similar shifts.

I worked nights for several years. Your marriage really does take a beating from that. Anytime posters here say they are working two different shifts; I'm the first to recommend they end that arrangement as soon possible.

But it's not always possible. Most folks can't just walk away from a job.

As usual, a lot of these issues can be solved with money. If you can pay someone to clean your house and mow your lawn; then none of this stuff applies.

Most people don't have that luxury.
Many couples make this happen. Even with 5 kids. Of course, many don't- which is why only 1 in 5 marriages are considered happy and healthy where the top 4 emotional needs in marriage are met: conversation, affection, recreational companionship, and sex.

Dr. Harley found that the 15 hours a week meeting these needs is so important for marriage that he won't agree to counsel a couple if they won't make this time possible. He found that a successful marriage is very difficult without it.
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post #122 of 1530 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 01:37 PM
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Re: Thoughts on this

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Many couples make this happen. Even with 5 kids.
Wow! That's impressive. I would guess that if they have 5 kids, that one of the couple stays home.

Good to know that it can work for some people out there.
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post #123 of 1530 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 01:45 PM
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Re: Thoughts on this

With 5 kids both sides are royally screwed in case of a divorce so... Unless the wage earner is a dot com millionaire you better believe it. Also religion and personal values.
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post #124 of 1530 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 01:52 PM
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With 5 kids both sides are royally screwed in case of a divorce so... Unless the wage earner is a dot com millionaire you better believe it. Also religion and personal values.
And people prioritize what's important to them.
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post #125 of 1530 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 02:15 PM
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Re: Thoughts on this

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And people prioritize what's important to them.
With 5 kids the priorities are predetermined
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post #126 of 1530 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 02:38 PM
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Re: Thoughts on this

The comical aspect of all this - is that number is treated like gospel. Like it is fact.

But I have news for you - by itself - that number is completely meaningless.

Companionship - the real deal - is like sex - not subject to quotas. Trying to impose a top down quota is unlikely to produce a good outcome.

I saw this - in a marriage that was unraveling. The husband disengaged - the wife self righteously demanding more time together as part of marital privilege.

M2 goes shopping for house stuff - I don't go to make 'quota' for the week. Or to avoid an angry reaction. Or to increase the odds of getting laid.

I go because - somehow - rolling towards thirty years - whatever we are doing - is fun because we are doing it together. Kayaking, xword puzzling, hiking, shopping - each just presents a different set of 'props' to play with.

It's good and healthy for people to try to find stuff they like doing together. Inspire your partner to WANT to spend time with you and they will.



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Originally Posted by Jessica38 View Post
Many couples make this happen. Even with 5 kids. Of course, many don't- which is why only 1 in 5 marriages are considered happy and healthy where the top 4 emotional needs in marriage are met: conversation, affection, recreational companionship, and sex.

Dr. Harley found that the 15 hours a week meeting these needs is so important for marriage that he won't agree to counsel a couple if they won't make this time possible. He found that a successful marriage is very difficult without it.
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post #127 of 1530 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 03:45 PM
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Re: Thoughts on this

There are few people I can stand to be around for 15 hours a week... My cat, on the other hand...

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post #128 of 1530 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 03:53 PM
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Re: Thoughts on this

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If I thought I "had to" have sex, I don't think I would ever want it.
@jld so if for whatever reason Doug absolutely has to have it, but you don't think you can get in the mood, BUT you promised him some quality intimate time moments before leaving on a week-long trip....

....he then has to just be OK with helping you pack and a small hug good bye?

The truth is that you actually do "have to" have sex in your relationship, but because you are enjoying it you have not likely had to struggle with how your partner reacts over a long period of time when the two of you sexually withdraw from one another. While I am not suggesting that you experiment with stopping sex for a few months to see exactly how he behaves towards you, the dynamics of your relationship would become very toxic without sex unless the two of you found a way to work through it and "make it happen" for one another.

There is no shame in a couple that struggles and works on doing whatever it takes to make it happen and get the romance back going again.

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post #129 of 1530 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 04:24 PM
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Re: Thoughts on this

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The comical aspect of all this - is that number is treated like gospel. Like it is fact.

But I have news for you - by itself - that number is completely meaningless.

Companionship - the real deal - is like sex - not subject to quotas. Trying to impose a top down quota is unlikely to produce a good outcome.

I saw this - in a marriage that was unraveling. The husband disengaged - the wife self righteously demanding more time together as part of marital privilege.

M2 goes shopping for house stuff - I don't go to make 'quota' for the week. Or to avoid an angry reaction. Or to increase the odds of getting laid.

I go because - somehow - rolling towards thirty years - whatever we are doing - is fun because we are doing it together. Kayaking, xword puzzling, hiking, shopping - each just presents a different set of 'props' to play with.

It's good and healthy for people to try to find stuff they like doing together. Inspire your partner to WANT to spend time with you and they will.
Yes, this is what Gottman and Harley both describe in their work- those 15 hours together should be spent doing MUTUALLY enjoyable things that both spouses agree upon.

It goes a long way in building the bond that creates romantic love. Not saying the OP isn't doing that, just that if they are spending time meeting those needs instead of doing what many couples in LTR do (sitting in the same room essentially ignoring each other, watching TV in the evenings, recreating separately, living like roommates), his wife may actually be up for having sex during the time that her other needs are being met.

I can't tell you how many marriages I've watched go down in recent years now that we are hitting the 15 yr mark, and the wives almost ALWAYS say it is because they were essentially becoming "roommates" and "two ships passing in the night."

It is equally important to inspire your partner to want have sex with you, rather than meeting a quota that they're supposed to fulfill, similar to the importance that a spouse inspire their partner to spend time with them.

Last edited by Jessica38; 04-09-2017 at 04:44 PM.
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post #130 of 1530 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 05:38 PM
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Re: Thoughts on this

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@jld so if for whatever reason Doug absolutely has to have it, but you don't think you can get in the mood, BUT you promised him some quality intimate time moments before leaving on a week-long trip....

....he then has to just be OK with helping you pack and a small hug good bye?

The truth is that you actually do "have to" have sex in your relationship, but because you are enjoying it you have not likely had to struggle with how your partner reacts over a long period of time when the two of you sexually withdraw from one another. While I am not suggesting that you experiment with stopping sex for a few months to see exactly how he behaves towards you, the dynamics of your relationship would become very toxic without sex unless the two of you found a way to work through it and "make it happen" for one another.

There is no shame in a couple that struggles and works on doing whatever it takes to make it happen and get the romance back going again.
The answer is YES, I would have to be ok with it. I am not entitled to have sex with my wife and my wife does not have the duty to have sex with me.

Sex is like food, it is a need. But if you do not work and earn money, there will be no food on the table.

This entitlement mentality is what is wrong with humankind. I am not entitled to sex. I have sex with my wife because she wants to have sex with me. When I retire, I am not entitled to a social security check. I will get one if society feels like giving one to me.

Je suis Charlie, Russian Metrojet, Beirut, Paris, Bamako.
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post #131 of 1530 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 05:47 PM
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Re: Thoughts on this

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Originally Posted by Jessica38 View Post
Yes, this is what Gottman and Harley both describe in their work- those 15 hours together should be spent doing MUTUALLY enjoyable things that both spouses agree upon.

It goes a long way in building the bond that creates romantic love. Not saying the OP isn't doing that, just that if they are spending time meeting those needs instead of doing what many couples in LTR do (sitting in the same room essentially ignoring each other, watching TV in the evenings, recreating separately, living like roommates), his wife may actually be up for having sex during the time that her other needs are being met.

I can't tell you how many marriages I've watched go down in recent years now that we are hitting the 15 yr mark, and the wives almost ALWAYS say it is because they were essentially becoming "roommates" and "two ships passing in the night."

It is equally important to inspire your partner to want have sex with you, rather than meeting a quota that they're supposed to fulfill, similar to the importance that a spouse inspire their partner to spend time with them.
Are you sure Gottman says 15 hours a week? I thought it was 5 or 6. That seems more realistic.

Dug and I have 5 kids, and the weeks we have spent 15 hours together one on one have been few and far between.

What you really want is for the man to devote those six hours to nurturing his wife. Talk about her interests, do the things she likes to do. Create attachment, and the sex will surely follow.

That is what Dug has done, anyway.

One of the deepest feminine pleasures is when a man stands full, present, and unreactive in the midst of his woman's emotional storms. When he stays present with her, and loves her through the layers of wildness and closure, then she feels his trustability, and she can relax. -- David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man
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post #132 of 1530 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 06:17 PM
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Are you sure Gottman says 15 hours a week? I thought it was 5 or 6. That seems more realistic.

Dug and I have 5 kids, and the weeks we have spent 15 hours together one on one have been few and far between.

What you really want is for the man to devote those six hours to nurturing his wife. Talk about her interests, do the things she likes to do. Create attachment, and the sex will surely follow.

That is what Dug has done, anyway.
I thought so too but another poster recently mentioned that Gottman's recent research led to the recommendation of 15 hours a week non-TV time for couples for a successful marriage. This is Dr. Harley's findings from his research at UC Riverside as well.

Here was DustyDog's quote from this thread: Do You and Your Partner Argue About How Much Time You Spend Together?

"Too, I am informed by reality. John Gottman's "Love Lab" in Seattle, after decades of study, measurement etc, has determined that there really is a numerical value. 15 hours a week. Below 15 hours a week of couples time, the statistical probability of divorce within the next ten years takes a significant spike upwards - like doubles, if I recall. "Couples time" by their definition requires some involvement. You could be working a project together, walking (even silently) in a low-distraction environment such as a nature park (a mall is high-distraction and only counts as couple time if you're engaged in conversations while being there). TV watching is never "couples" time according to the Love Lab."
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post #133 of 1530 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 06:24 PM
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I thought so too but another poster recently mentioned that Gottman's recent research led to the recommendation of 15 hours a week non-TV time for couples for a successful marriage. This is Dr. Harley's findings from his research at UC Riverside as well.
Did they provide a citation? They may have just confused Gottman with Harley.

Here is a reference for the 6 hours from the Gottman Institute:

https://www.gottman.com/blog/6-hours...-relationship/

Jessica, I have a good marriage of 23 years. And I can assure you that it is rare that my husband and I have ever gotten 15 hours a week. A solid, stable marriage can be built on much less than 15 hours a week.

Honestly, I think it's mostly about having values and goals in common.

One of the deepest feminine pleasures is when a man stands full, present, and unreactive in the midst of his woman's emotional storms. When he stays present with her, and loves her through the layers of wildness and closure, then she feels his trustability, and she can relax. -- David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man
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post #134 of 1530 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 06:57 PM
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Did they provide a citation? They may have just confused Gottman with Harley.

Here is a reference for the 6 hours from the Gottman Institute:

https://www.gottman.com/blog/6-hours...-relationship/

Jessica, I have a good marriage of 23 years. And I can assure you that it is rare that my husband and I have ever gotten 15 hours a week. A solid, stable marriage can be built on much less than 15 hours a week.

Honestly, I think it's mostly about having values and goals in common.
Point taken, but Dr. Harley found that it's one of the most important things a couple can do in marriage. Obviously, not everyone subscribes to that though.

I've seen both interpretations of Gottman's work- the Magic 5 Hours and 12-15 hours non-sleep, non-TV time together. Harley talks about 15 hours total for meeting all 4 emotional needs. In the link above, it seems that Gottman is saying those 6 hours are enough? It doesn't include sex though. So maybe if you add another 2-3 hours a week (YMMV) after the recommendations in Gottman's link above you have 8-9 hours/week.

I agree, that does seem more doable for most than 15 hours.

You make a great point though- if you're happy in your marriage and don't hit that magic number, who says that's good or bad? I think the idea is that for many couples where one spouse feels neglected, it's a good way to prioritize the marriage when it seems there are SO many competing interests and only so much time, especially when you have a family.

Last edited by Jessica38; 04-09-2017 at 07:08 PM.
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post #135 of 1530 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 07:30 PM
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Re: Thoughts on this

Ah, the fallacy of behavioral psychology using mostly subjective survey / interview data and fewer objective data.

We use them as well but we back the qualitative data with solid experiments and data collection.

I can believe 1 hour a day of together time helping an already good marriage, maybe even a marginal one. But take a poor situation and too many hours in close proximity reminds me of another psychology experiment...

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Behavioral_sink
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