Some people get married to someone for whom they feel no physical attraction. Here are the explanations of some.
One of the first things I do after evaluating a couple is to separate the partners and ask each the following questions: Are you physically attracted to your spouse? Were you ever physically attracted to your spouse? How’s your sex life? How was your sex life in the beginning of your courtship? Why did you marry your spouse? Here’s some of the responses:
“I never found him very physically attractive.”
“He was ‘good-enough’ looking. But I usually like taller guys with more hair.”
“She was okay for a brunette, but I always liked blondes better.”
“I didn’t really find him attractive, but I thought I could with time.”
“He really seemed to love me, and I fall easily for guys who pursue me.”
“I didn’t date much, and she was the first girl who showed interest in me.”
“I used to be attracted to her, but she stopped taking care of herself.”
“I was attracted to him, but his drinking eventually turned me off.”
“I was attracted to him, but since cheating on me, I get nauseous when he’s near.”
“Our sex life is nonexistent.”
“Our sex life is sporadic at best.”
“Our sex life was inconsistent in the beginning.”
“I never thought a good sex life was that important.”
“I knew he’d be a good provider, and I thought that was enough.”
“I never liked the way she kissed.”
“He never initiated sex. I always wondered whether he was really attracted to me.”
“She never initiated sex. And I prefer more sexually aggressive women.”
“I married him because my parents liked him.”
“I married him because my biological clock was ticking.”
“I married him because I thought he’d make a good father.”
“I married him because religion was just as important to him as it was to me.”
“I got married because I really liked his family.”
“I married her because I just can’t say no.”
“I married her because we went out for a long time and I just couldn’t break her heart.”
“I married him because I thought the reasons why I didn’t find him attractive were shallow and not enough to take seriously (e.g., crooked teeth, smoker, dressed weird).”
As a marital therapist, most of the responses make saving a relationship rather daunting to say the least. But what I find ironic is that most of these people were conscious of the fact that something was amiss before they even tied the knot, and yet they carried on. This simply won’t do. You will need to more carefully consider who you are going to marry and why you are marrying them. It must be understood: if there is something that is bothering you—even if it is your gut alone—you should take some time and contemplate what you are about to do.
Marriage is not a game. It is a serious commitment with potential serious consequences. And while there will always be some risk involved in such a complex commitment, many take it for granted. Like the wife who complained to me that her husband stared at other women when they first met. She thought after marriage he would focus on her alone. Well she was wrong…and things got worse.
More often than not, when a problem exists before marriage it usually gets worse after. Hence I cannot underestimate the value of laying a good relational foundation. Without such a base to launch from, too often the relationship turns out to be a veritable “house of cards,” easily blown over when a strong enough crisis occurs. Dylan’s lyrics in Forever Young are prophetic:
“May your hands always be busy.
May your feet always be swift.
May you have a strong foundation.
When the winds of change shift.”