On Chesil Beach

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The importance of discussing sexual desires within a marriage

January 26, 2013

On Chesil Beach, by Ian McEwan shows a reader the adverse effect on a marriage when sexual wants, desires, fears and expectations are not openly discussed prior to engaging in sexual acts. The lack of communication by the characters causes them to end their marriage less than 24 hours after taking their vows. While I agree that sexual relationships in a marriage are vital; they are not the tell all of a long-lasting committed relationship. From conversations with friends and family members, I’ve learned that as time passes in marriage and you become consumed with the business of life; the sexual aspect of your life becomes less important. When speaking to my 82 year old grandmother, she told me she’d like to meet someone again just so she wasn’t alone. She said sex didn’t matter anymore, but it would be nice to have someone hold her hand and take her to dinner. She acknowledged that at her age, a lot of men may not be able to physically have sex but also stressed if they could, it would certainly be a bonus. She just wanted companionship. Most important is open communication about sex. These are values that should be discussed prior to marriage, as well as finances, child rearing, and where you will make your home. These are issues that can have wiggle room in a conversation; but they must be discussed. You must give your partner the respect of hearing their concerns, recognizing them as real (even if you don’t agree) and working towards a manageable solution that does not require either of you to completely forfeit your belief. When we first meet someone the first attraction is physical appearance. The thoughts of their sparkling eyes, wide smile and attractive physique appeal to us. In a group of 10 women, you will find 10 different “types” described. If this were not the case, and every woman was attracted to “my type” then only the 6’2”, muscular, physically...
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