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What Comes First In Marriage? Sexual Or Emotional Fulfillment?

Posted Jan 14 2009 5:15pm

It’s like the age old question “What came first? The chicken or the egg?” Does sexual fulfillment or emotional fulfillment come first in marriage?

I was watching the Today show a few days ago and they were doing a segment on relationship resolutions and how to start off on the right foot for the new year. It was a panel discussion which focused on people who are in either committed or non-committed relationships and what steps they should take in the upcoming year to find happiness.

When the discussion turned to those who are married, or at least in a committed relationship, one of the guests, Shannon Ethridge, author of The Sexually Confident Wife, said something that has been stuck in my head that I wanted to share and get your opinion. Fast forward to the 3:20 mark to Shannon’s part.

Relationship Resolutions on the Today show (Jan. 2nd 2009)

Shannon mentions that at the beginning of each year she evaluates what she needs to do in the upcoming year to inspire her man (she’s been married for 17 years) to meet her emotional needs. I love that she uses the word inspire! It’s certainly a word that’s lost in many marriages these days especially if you have children or you’ve been married for any length of time.

She goes on to clarify that if a woman meets all of her mans sexual needs then he will fall all over himself to meet her emotional needs. I agree with her and here’s my question; does his sexual fulfillment or her emotional fulfillment come first in marriage? Does the wife make sure her husband has all of his sexual needs met first or does the man support his wife emotionally before his own needs?

In a good, healthy marriage I think the answer to the question is simple…it’s both. How can it be both? How can his needs be met at the same time as her needs? If you both make it a priority and work on fulfilling each others needs at the same time, mutual fulfillment can be achieved. If you value your marriage, neither you nor your spouse can afford to sit around and wait to have your needs met.

I doubt that I’m going out on a limb when I say that every man wants a wife who is confident and fulfills his sexual needs. On the flip side, I’m sure the same women want their man to be able to fulfill them emotionally. It’s just as important for men to support their wives emotionally as it is for women to leave their men sexually satisfied.

The one thing that I know I struggle with is recognizing, reacting and inspiring my wife’s emotional needs. I’m always selfishly thinking that she should satisfy my sexual needs first, but we should be working on mutual fulfillment.

What do you think? Drop me a comment below. I’d love to hear from you.

Flickr Photo Courtesy: A-happy-couple by mando2003us

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