But from the time of the greatest pornographer who ever lived, Shakespeare, we’ve demanded that love be something more. And what happens is, the utter grandeur and magnificence of what love actually is gets overshadowed by this disappointment that it’s not the way we fantasized it should be.
Jim, who is now 55 and happily married to his third wife, added, "The very best you can hope for is that you’ve got somebody who’s gonna respect you enough to go through the day-to-day bullshit and be honest with you," he said.
Yet, when thing are too comfortable in the bedroom, it might cause problems.
In fact, many couples reported that before they are married, their sex lives has little competition in their relationship.
I decided to go to the people I trust most on the topic -- from respected sex researchers to ... Compliments complement For nearly three decades, relationship expert Terri Orbuch has conducted a research project following 373 married couples.
She's found that couples who regularly give each other "affective affirmation" -- meaning "compliments, help and support, encouragement and subtle nonsexual rewards, such as hand holding" -- are the happiest.
"Newlyweds automatically know how to speak to the positive and make each other feel special and valued," says Lerner, author of "Marriage Rules, A Manual for the Married and the Coupled Up." "But the more enduring the marriage, the more you'll find yourself noticing and speaking to what you like." Lerner offers this maxim: "No one can survive in a marriage, at least not happily, if they feel more judged than admired." Relatedly, Stephanie Coontz, author of "Marriage, a History," says that "relationships, like the economy, run on credit." By that she means both "giving credit, or expressing gratitude, for the things your partner does that make your life easier, things we often take for granted" and "advancing credit by assuming that your partner has good intentions and would like to step up to the plate, rather than assuming that you need to ride herd on him or her in order to get what you need." Look for the soft emotion "One of my favorite pieces of advice come from an observation I once heard from two fellow Council on Contemporary Families board members, psychologist Philip and Carolyn Cowan," Coontz tells me.
Yet, after getting married, sex has to compete with the confliction of schedules, financial concerns, in-laws and children.
It seems to take a toll on their sex lives, particularly if compounded by the growth in sexual familiarity plus with the reduction in honeymoon hormones that are flowing through their veins.
Instead, it means: Don't always expect to be overcome by desire before deciding to have sex.
"Sexual stimulation of the genitals stimulates the dopamine system to sustain feelings of romantic love," she says.