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Sex And The (Newly) Married Couple

This Sunday marks six months since I got hitched, and I hope this doesn’t sound all braggy, but man, these last few months have been good ones. I love being married! Even more than I thought I would. That’s not to say I didn’t imagine it would be great; I just wasn’t expecting it to be so much better than simply living together, like we had been for a year and half before we tied the knot. For us, there’s a deeper commitment now, a stability that wasn’t quite as acute before; we’re closer, we’re family now. But with all that comes added pressure and expectations. And nowhere is that more apparent for me than our sex life.It’s not like when we got married I suddenly felt like we needed to have sex all the time or anything. But I admit, from the get-go, there’s been a nagging fear that we’d turn into “that couple,” the one where the husband wants it all the time and the wife has a bunch of excuses for avoiding it. You know the one — the couple on that sitcom or that movie where the wife always has a headache at bedtime. And there’s definitely a danger of us becoming them. For one thing, we have different sex drives. I’d be fine doin’ it twice a week — maybe three times if I’m feeling particularly frisky. My husband, on the other hand, would love to get busy every day. He’s really good about never pressuring me, but I can’t help feeling a little anxious. I hate letting him down. And perhaps more than that, I hate being a cliché. Is there anything more unsexy than feeling like a cliché?

I should say our sex life didn’t change when we got married; I think I just became more aware of these new “roles,” of being a “husband” and a “wife,” of being “newlyweds.” For me, these titles carried so much … well, weight. My idea of what these words mean have been shaped by novels, movies, and pop culture, and it’s been kind of a struggle to make them my own, to separate my preconceived ideas of them from, you know, actually living them. I worry about being like some dumb character on a TV show, of representing marriage in the same, often unflattering, way it’s been represented in movies. If I only have sex with my husband twice a week, does that make me like that wife I don’t like in that book I read once? The one who’s kind of frigid? I don’t want to be that woman! I want to be the one who leaves her husband so utterly satisfied he arrives to work every morning with a silly grin on his face. So, you see, as much as I hate to admit it, my motivation is often driven by a desire to live up to a certain ideal or to avoid being characterized a certain way. And by whom? My husband? God, he doesn’t care about any of that crap. He just wants some action; he just wants genuine intimacy!

Do other married women ever feel this way? Is it a newlywed thing? Am I just being totally neurotic? I’m hoping with time the newness of being married wears off and my anxiety is replaced with a deeper level of contentment. Hopefully, I’ll quit worrying so much about being a “good wife,” and I’ll focus more on just being me. After all, that’s who my husband married, isn’t it? Not some character on TV, not some woman represented in a generic poll. He married me. So why do I worry that he suddenly expected me to be someone else as soon as I became a wife?

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