Recently, I voted (though no opinions had been solicited) a hearty "NO" when the author of the So the Thing Is Blog wondered aloud whether her blog was becoming a knitting blog. Good news...the latest entry is about sex.
Of course, she did the whole Seinfeld thing; it doesn't SAY it's about sex. But trust me--it's about sex. And maybe it's good that it's done discreetly, because, you know, it's a family show over there. Not so this blog, so I'm going to call it like it is. She advocates, via advice from an unnamed friend, having sex twice a week as a means of improving communication in marriage.
I think it works. Of course, I'm not married, but when I was, I developed a theory that marriage was much happier and easier for everyone if you had sex every day. That's right--not twice a week, but every single day. If you gave it the same priority you gave to things like eating dinner and showing up at work and showering, it could really improve everyone's attitude. I suggested this to other married friends and at various times various of us experimented with it, and it worked. I never heard anyone say that it didn't. Interestingly enough, it seemed to make no difference whether or not one or both partners actually WANTED to be participating--the feeling of closeness increased, regardless. The tension and intolerance for little annoyances decreased, regardless. It seemed, all in all, to be the key to a happy marriage.
So why, then, doesn't everybody do it?
Partly, I suspect, it's one of those vicious circles--the worse you're getting along, the less inclined you are to make love. The less you make love, the worse you get along. And so on and so on. I think that the generally accepted view is that of course you're going to have less sex if you can't stand each other, but my absolutely non-scientific and small-scale study indicates precisely the opposite...you'll be able to stand each other if you just make it a point to have more sex.
You may have noticed that, despite having discovered the foolproof means of maintaining a happy marriage, I'm divorced. So is at least one of the friends who participated in my experiment with positive results. So what went wrong?
It's not so much a flaw in the plan as it is a balancing. It works, but is it worth it? At least some of us, obviously, decided that it wasn't. And that's pretty representative of marriage as a whole, isn't it? There are so many little things that, if we did them consistently, would significantly improve our homes and marriages and the way we live together, but we don't do them. It isn't because we don't know they would help, it's simply that we can't or don't or won't make them a priority. Maybe it's more important to be right. Maybe it's more important to get some fucking sleep. Maybe it's more important to watch the latest episode of X-Files. And maybe that's because we don't view marriage as the framework of our lives, we don't start out willing to work at it, we start out with a fairy-tale vision and never expect that a lot of times, it's going to be as much fun and require as much effort as cleaning up the bathroom after the sewers back up.
But we don't just move out of our houses when that happens, do we?
Recently, I offered the opinion that it's just too damned easy to get married. I still believe that, but Danny Bonaduce provided a surprising counterpoint to my argument this week by...getting divorced. You see, Danny Bonaduce has been married--or so I learned this week--for sixteen years. And if their story is to be believed, he's been married to a woman he didn't know, a woman he married in Vegas while he was drunk so that he could get her into bed, and who introduced herself as his wife the next morning. Sure, the marriage is ending, but they've made it longer than a lot of couples who planned their weddings in advance, stone-cold sober and for what they thought were much better reasons. That doesn't mean I think instant weddings are the way to go now, but it does go to show that if you're committed enough, you can make almost anything work. They must have had sex at least twice a week.