If your marriage is on the rocks, you may be willing to do anything in your power to save it. What if we told you that it doesn’t always take therapy to help prevent you from getting a divorce? For some couples, working on heating things up in and outside the bedroom can do the trick.
If your marriage is in trouble, a fiery sex life is not a guarantee that you won’t be getting a divorce. You have to put your partner first, spend quality time together, and be willing to work on your issues.
What intimacy in a relationship does is boost marital satisfaction, trust, and emotional intimacy. These are wonderful stepping stones for getting your marriage back on track.
Here are 10 reasons why physical intimacy can help save your marriage.
1. Sex Lowers Stress
And so does spooning, holding hands, and hugging. This is due to the “love hormone” our bodies release when we are touching someone we love. This hormone is called oxytocin.
Oxytocin is often attributed to making couples feel more in love and can lower stress levels – which are likely plentiful, if you are considering getting a divorce. Studies show that physical intimacy in a relationship, including spooning, holding hands, hugging, and having sex, can reduce both physical and psychological distress.
2. Improves Communication
There is no better time for couples to speak up than when they are in the bedroom. Communication is how partners tell each other what they like and don’t like between the sheets.
In a study of 142 couples regarding sexual communication, Adam C. Jones, W. David Robinson, Ryan B. Seedall reveal “communication is positively correlated with sexual satisfaction and relationship quality.”
3. Oxytocin Boosts Trusts
When couples are on the brink of getting a divorce, it could mean that the trust they once had for each other has been damaged. Trust is one of the biggest factors in a healthy marriage. Once that bond has been damaged, it is incredibly hard to get back.
Boosting intimacy in a relationship and bringing that oxytocin forward. Oxytocin has been shown to increase trust between partners. This is often why people feel so connected after being intimate together.
4. Intimacy Creates Motivation
In a study of oxytocin, motivation, and the role of dopamine, Tiffany M. Love, Ph.D. says that “oxytocin in an ideal position to influence a wide range of motivated behaviors” including the release of dopamine.
Many people believe that dopamine in itself makes you feel good. This isn’t entirely accurate. Instead, dopamine acts as a receptor for nerve cells. One of these dopamine pathways includes reward-motivated behavior.
In short, dopamine makes you feel motivated to do things that will make activate the reward center of the brain. This stimulation will help married couples stay motivated to continue putting one another first and doing whatever they can to fix their marriage.
5. Heightened Emotional Intimacy
Studies show that later life couples, from ages 70-86, were more likely to emphasize emotional intimacy as being more important to the relationship than sex. This is an interesting point when considering what quality is going to carry couples through a long, healthy marriage.
A couple’s sex life can have a positive effect on their emotional connection. Couples who are sexually satisfying one another is one of the highest predictors of heightened emotional intimacy in marriage.
6. Sex Makes You Feel Included
Partners want to feel special to one another. They want their spouse to express their love and appreciation for them. This is what makes people feel safe and confident in their relationships.
Part of what makes partners draw away from one another is feeling isolated or uncared for. When sex is lacking, the emotional connection in a marriage starts to weaken.
However, studies show that being intimate with a partner, whether kissing, holding hands, or having an active sex life, can actually make them feel socially included. This could help bring couples closer together and boost their confidence in the relationship.
7. Increased Marital Satisfaction
Marital satisfaction rates shoot up when couples are engaging in a meaningful sex life. This has been proven in many studies where researchers find that with the increase of sexual satisfaction, marital satisfaction rates boosted accordingly.
This may be because sexual activity, especially resulting in an orgasm, is shown to be a mood elevator.
Research indicates that the more sex a couple has, the more likely they are to express their love verbally. This can be incredibly helpful for relationships in peril where one partner has a “words of affirmation” love language.
8. Amazing Health Benefits
The oxytocin released during physical intimacy has many health benefits as well.
For expecting mothers, regular sexual intercourse and exposure to semen can actually reduce the risk of developing preeclampsia during pregnancy.
Sex isn’t the only thing that can produce a healthy and humming immune system. Studies show that the oxytocin released from holding hands can actually lower heart rates and blood pressure while enhancing cardiovascular health.
There are even several studies that suggest that being regularly intimate may actually extend your lifespan.
The relaxing afterglow of a healthy sex life can also help improve sleep. This is especially true for men. This sleep can help reduce stress and help couples feel refreshed for the next morning, which can help prevent grumpy encounters that could turn into marital arguments.
Sex can also contribute to brain health, which can cause you to make wiser decisions in your marriage.
An active sex life should not be a replacement for marriage counseling. It can be highly beneficial for bringing a couple closer together. Focusing on building intimacy in a relationship can have a positive effect on a couple’s marital satisfaction that may help prevent them from getting a divorce.