Real Couples Get Candid About Their Sometimes-Sexless Marriages

“We went from having sex every other day to suddenly once in eight months.”
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The Real Reasons Why Marriages Fail — And How To Not Let Yours Suffer The Same Fate

For BRIDES, by Jaimie Mackey.

You’re going into your marriage with your heart in the right place — because you’re in love and want to spend your lives together! — but even as the divorce rate drops, not every marriage is destined for success. However, yours doesn’t have to be one of the ones that fail! Our experts are here to break down four reasons marriages might not succeed and share some tips to keep yours strong.

The best way to make sure your marriage is a success story is to know the key things that can cause a marriage to fail, then put in the time and effort to make sure it doesn’t happen to you. Dating strategist Jasmine Diaz shares four essential parts of any relationship that can lead to divorce if not addressed.

Lack of Communication

“Many couples either don’t know how to communicate their feelings effectively enough for their partner to understand and receive what they’re saying or simply don’t communicate at all,” says Diaz. “It may sound clichéd, but communication is the foundation of every relationship. How can you expect your partner to make positive changes for the betterment of your relationship if he or she doesn’t know changes are needed?” Remember, your husband or wife is not a mind reader!

See More: The 50 Most Beautiful Wedding Cakes Ever

If communication is not your specialty, set aside a time once a week for a real catch-up session. “Spend this time talking about your week and any issues you might be having. Instead of making it awkward or confrontational, order a pizza and turn it into a lighthearted discussion,” Diaz suggests. By talking regularly, you’ll avoid getting to the point where the wheels are falling off and it’s too late for candid conversations to help. “It’s better to schedule regular check-ups to ward off more serious issues. Why wait until you’re in critical condition?” asks Diaz.

Lack of Care

Every relationship reaches a point when the white gloves come off and the comfort sets in. Comfort has its upsides, but the problems arise when that comfort turns into consideration going out the window. “Being considerate means caring for your partner’s feelings, showing your partner that you love and value them, and being their champion,” says Diaz. “Marriages tend to fail when one partner (or both) stops caring for the other, when the friendship you once had is replaced with anger and resentment. This causes you to stop seeing the things you love about your partner, replacing them with the things you hate.”

Avoid this lack of consideration and care by pouring healthy energy into your relationship. “Don’t go weeks or months without a date night,” Diaz advises. “Schedule a few dates per month to keep your feelings fresh. Tend to your relationship with a healthy dose of love and attention.”

Lack of Commitment

“They say that anything worthwhile takes hard work, and the same is true for marriage,” says Diaz. “But if you’re the type of person who doesn’t like confrontation or gives up easily, you may find yourself divorced more quickly than you realize.” She emphasizes recognizing if you’re not ready to talk about a problem yet — but never acting as though the problem doesn’t exist. “Being in a healthy relationship takes a certain level of availability, and you have to be willing to stick it out when the going gets rough, because it will. Be physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually present in your relationship and for your partner. Listen even when you don’t agree, and make a conscious decision to put in the work.” If you make divorce an option for dealing with tough situations, it will become a default opt-out. “Instead, say to your partner, ‘I want to fix this.’ You’ll be surprised by the solutions that will come out of it!”

See More: The Unexpected Thing That Saved the Marriages of These Real Couples

Lack of Intimacy

Intimacy, by definition, is about closeness and togetherness. But for some couples, relationship problems can become a barrier to entry. “The closeness you felt in the early stages of your relationship can be replaced with different emotions, and that once-free-flowing sex life can be diminished from once a day to once a month to never,” says Diaz.

“It’s easy to look at sex and try to find a simple solution — for some this means more sex — but that treats the symptoms and may not treat the actual problem if there’s a breakdown of intimacy,” Diaz explains. “Combat it by creating more opportunities for intimate moments. Light candles and play romantic music while you’re cooking at home. Enhance the things you already do together, and dedicate yourself to being present. Forget technology and consider only your partner, giving yourselves the opportunity to create intimacy.”

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— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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10 Hollywood Couples Reveal the Secrets to Keeping Their Marriages Strong After More Than 20 Years

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Dynastic Marriages 1612/1615

Dynastic Marriages 1612/1615


The union of the two royal houses – the Habsburgs and the Bourbons – in the early seventeenth century illustrates the extent to which marriage was a tool of government in Renaissance Europe, and festivals a manifestation of power and cultural superiority. With contributions from scholars representing a range of disciplines, this volume provides an all-round view of the sequence of festivals and events surrounding the dynastic marriages which were agreed upon in 1612 but not celebrated until 1615 owing to the constant interruption of festivities by protestant uprisings. The occasion inspired an extraordinary range of records from exchanges of political pamphlets, descriptions of festivities, visual materials, the music of songs and ballets, and the impressions of witnesses and participants. The study of these remarkable sources shows how a team of scholars from diverse disciplines can bring into focus again the creative genius of artists: painters, architects and costume designers, musicians and poets, experts in equestrianism, in pyrotechnics, and in the use of symbolic languages. Their artistic efforts were staged against a background of intense political diplomacy and continuing civil strife; and yet, the determination of Marie de Médicis and her advisers and of the Duke of Lerma brought to a triumphant conclusion negotiations and spectacular commemorations whose legacy was to inform festival art throughout European courts for decades. In addition to printed and manuscript sources, the volume identifies ways of giving future researchers access to festival texts and studies through digitization, making the book both an in-depth analysis of a particular occasion and a blueprint for future engagement with digital festival resources.

Price: $
Sold by Kobo Canada

Dynastic Marriages 1612/1615

Dynastic Marriages 1612/1615


The union of the two royal houses – the Habsburgs and the Bourbons – in the early seventeenth century illustrates the extent to which marriage was a tool of government in Renaissance Europe, and festivals a manifestation of power and cultural superiority. With contributions from scholars representing a range of disciplines, this volume provides an all-round view of the sequence of festivals and events surrounding the dynastic marriages which were agreed upon in 1612 but not celebrated until 1615 owing to the constant interruption of festivities by protestant uprisings. The occasion inspired an extraordinary range of records from exchanges of political pamphlets, descriptions of festivities, visual materials, the music of songs and ballets, and the impressions of witnesses and participants. The study of these remarkable sources shows how a team of scholars from diverse disciplines can bring into focus again the creative genius of artists: painters, architects and costume designers, musicians and poets, experts in equestrianism, in pyrotechnics, and in the use of symbolic languages. Their artistic efforts were staged against a background of intense political diplomacy and continuing civil strife; and yet, the determination of Marie de Médicis and her advisers and of the Duke of Lerma brought to a triumphant conclusion negotiations and spectacular commemorations whose legacy was to inform festival art throughout European courts for decades. In addition to printed and manuscript sources, the volume identifies ways of giving future researchers access to festival texts and studies through digitization, making the book both an in-depth analysis of a particular occasion and a blueprint for future engagement with digital festival resources.

Price: $
Sold by Kobo Canada

Do Open Marriages Work? How Dating Other People Brings Me Closer To My Husband

By Gracie X

For some people, perhaps, having an open marriage is a concession. Perhaps cheating comes to mind; you imagine that after infidelity, a couple has made a new vision of their marriage. These are marriages that “make- do” after the scar tissue has healed. But frankly, that isn’t the way it’s done in my polyamorous community, or my open marriage.

My situation is not at all about concessions. For me, sex with someone else is not a deal breaker. Being intentionally cruel, not taking care of our family, disrespecting me, and lying — all constitute deal breakers. But occasionally “stepping out” may just be part of our biology.

Right now, my marriage is mostly closed. Our lives are tremendously time-challenged. We have four kids and busy careers. But having some openness is one of many ingredients that keep the erotic life active in our marriage. Keeping an erotic charge can be challenging, given that almost every force in domestic life works against it. There are bills to be paid, kids demanding attention, and the endless, sexless grind of chores.

It all started a year ago, when my husband and I decided to go on an adventure. I wanted to have sex with a woman, not having done so in many years. The whole idea both titillated my husband and scared him a bit. We discussed what would make him feel safe and comfortable, and when he gave me the green light, I met a lovely woman online.

Bonnie, like me, was married and bisexual. We decided to meet at a local pub. There was an instant attraction. After half an hour of sipping martinis and flirting, we discovered that both of our husbands were parked close-by, nervously awaiting news of what was happening.

Sometimes, sleeping with new people is a measuring stick of how connected you are to your spouse.

Giggling, we texted them to join us. What followed was a new friendship between all of us. This is what I love about open marriage — the unpredictability. I was not expecting to be completely enchanted by her husband. Bill was so sex-positive and supportive about Bonnie exploring her newly confessed attraction to women. Bonnie had unintentionally “come out” at a BBQ the year before when she made out with her best friend — ironically, in a walk-in closet upstairs. While Bonnie’s best friend’s husband was angry and mortified, Bill was loving and supportive, encouraging Bonnie to explore this new part of her sexuality.

open marriges

The four of us had some great dates together. Eventually, time and family commitments slowed down our contact. But it was an adventure I’ll always cherish for many reasons — one of the main ones is that it heightened the love and trust between me and my husband. People assume that you get the excitement from the outside sexual encounters — and you sometimes do. But, as we explore who we are and what we desire, openness keeps the mystery alive between my husband and me.

The morning after our first date with Bonnie and Bill, my husband and I were snuggling and talking about how surprisingly fun and drama-free the evening had been. Our hearts were so open with the realization of how much we loved each other. Sometimes, sleeping with new people is a measuring stick of how connected you are to your spouse.

I am the last person alive who’d try extreme sports — I can barely grasp the need to risk your life in an effort to feel more alive. But there is an allure in the emotional skydiving of allowing your mate to be sexual with someone else. There’s exhilaration in moving through the fear of the potential loss of the relationship that, for us, is often followed by an all-consuming gratitude for each other; a gratitude that can get lost in the shuffle of mundane life.

I believe that the second wave of polyamory has a distinctly feminist bend to it. In most poly-marriages I know of, the woman is not a “victim,” but many times the initiator.

My open marriage improves my connection with my spouse. It is an intentional way to evolve together, a way to create spaciousness in our connection while also maintaining a deep bond.

Yesterday, I was talking to an acquaintance about my open marriage. She stated flatly “No one enters their marriage expecting they’ll open it.” She assumed I opened my marriage because it was flawed. Her concept of open marriage was that it was a patch job post “cheating”–a second best set up, built on the belief that passion fades, all relationships sour, and a series of necessary concessions have to be made, one of them being sex with other people.

Her thinking is fairly pervasive and a complete misread on most open marriages I know of. My open marriage improves my connection with my spouse. It is an intentional way to evolve together, a way to create spaciousness in our connection while also maintaining a deep bond. In my mind, the challenge of sustaining the vitality in long-term relationships lies in fostering the opposite qualities of passion versus stability, and wildness versus predictability. My interest lies in maintaining both ends of the spectrum, and openness in my marriage is one of the many tools I use to achieve this goal.

open marriage

Every open marriage is different, just as monogamous marriages are varied. People have different philosophies and motivations. For me, I want the freedom to create a marriage based on my value system — not someone else’s.

It’s a delicate balance to create stability and excitement in a marriage. There is a tipping point for me; to make it work I need trust, clear agreements, and lots of communication. I’ve often imagined if my house or phone were tapped by surveillance cops, they’d sit in a bored stupor listening to hours of my husband and I conversing about the nuance of our feelings, needs, fantasies, thoughts — they’d surely beg for the “good old days” of surveilling the mafia.

But it is this nuanced conversation that keeps my marriage fresh. Recently, my husband and I discussed what we would “allow” each other on separate upcoming business trips. After nearly an hour of checking in on how we both felt, the general state of our marriage, if the majority of our needs were being met sexually, emotionally, astrologically (kidding), we both agreed that we weren’t connected enough currently. What we really needed was a vacation together. The timing of our trips wasn’t good for us — and if we “hooked up” with other people, it could potentially cause hurt feelings. I only take calculated risks in my marriage. I am all about checking if there’s water in the pool before doing a spectacular high dive.

People have said to me, “Open marriage seems like so much work! I couldn’t be bothered to put so much time into an open marriage.” But the art of the relationship is something I feel devoted to. When you love something, you spend time caring for it.

Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” I want to be in the habit of investing energy into the art of love, passion, and a continued sustaining bond with my husband. And for me, that means putting sleeping with other people on the table.

Gracie X is the author of “Wide Open: My Adventures in Polyamory, Open Marriage, and Loving on My Own Terms “, available wherever books are sold in September 2015.

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The Reason Ali MacGraw’s 3 Marriages Ended in Divorce – Super Soul Sunday – OWN

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Actress Ali MacGraw has been married and divorced three times. Her first marriage to college sweetheart Robin Hoen lasted a year and a half. In 1971, on the heels of Love Story’s success, Ali married legendary producer Robert Evans and gave birth to her only son, Josh. Two years later, she and Robert broke up after Ali began a public affair with screen icon Steve McQueen. Steve and Ali divorced in 1978 after five tumultuous years.

Ali says her marriages all ended for the same reason: She never said who she really was. Looking back, Ali admits she had an arrogant approach to marriage. “It was, ‘Why can’t you read my mind about what I’d like and what I wouldn’t like?'” she says. In the video above, Ali reflects on the biggest mistake she made in her relationships.

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