As I’ve traveled the country speaking to women’s groups since “The Secret Lives of Wives” was published a year ago, I’ve fielded hundreds of questions on what it takes to stay married. Most of the queries have to do with how to sustain “intimacy,” a fancy word for sex. I’m hardly surprised about this prevailing obsession.
While researching the book there was lots of sex-talk during my interviews with 200 women in long-term marriages. Staying hot for each other was one of the primary reasons their relationships had endured, I heard from satisfied wives married more than 40 years.
One of my favorite stories came from 86-year-old Libby, married for half-a-century and a widow of five years:
“We never lost our physical attraction. I have to tell you, sex was always very, very good. This business that women over 70 don’t lubricate is bullshit: We had great sex nearly up until his death.
“I guess people would call us sex addicts because we thought about it and did it all of the time. My grown children now tell me, ‘When we were kids all our friends parents took them out on adventures on Sunday afternoons. You and Daddy closed the door at 1 p.m. on Sundays and didn’t come out until 4 p.m.'”
Hundreds more husbands and wives reached out to me about the importance of sustaining sexual crackle when my blog post, “The Fine Line Between Marriage and Divorce,” appeared. One 77-year-old wife wrote me that her husband of 57 years still buys her Victoria’s Secret lingerie. The response to my blog—which is one of Huffington Post’s most viewed posts ever—re-affirmed my belief that sex matters big-time.
I heard over and over that the choice on whether or not to cross that line often had to do with what was going on, or not going on, in bed. Here is a typical letter from a 47-year-old wife who described her “dry two decades” of matrimony:
“I was never that sexually attracted to my husband, even when we were dating. But my family really urged me on—he had everything else going for him, successful parents, a good job. We were good friends. I figured sex would get better.
“It got worse, even after years of therapy…
Read more: Iris Krasnow, Huffington Post