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Marriage, Sex & Meeting Your Needs


There is no such thing as a simple fix for a troubled marriage or relationship. A primary goal in any marriage or relationship therapy is to help you define and understand what each party involved wants and needs in association with that relationship.

Individual symptoms may surface that merit use of individual psychotherapy and prescription medication. It is important to discuss all available evaluation and treatment options available, including individual sessions with the individual therapist and psychiatric medication specialist of your choice in order to more clearly focus on meeting your own private needs outside of the marital/relationship therapy session if so needed. When the individual is suffering, the marriage suffers as well.

What is a marriage?  Is it cultural, religious, spiritual, legal, ethical, economical, sexual, nonsexual, asexual, bondage, possessive, loving, giving, taking, real, fake, a trap, a shared experience, solitude, slavery, ownership, joy, death, life, new life, an extended date, prostitution, outdated, open, closed, modern, traditional, difficult, complex, changing, confusing, an experiment, multiple, serial, bought, sold, irrelevant, convenient, forced, a source of power, repression, oppression, the list goes on. In truth, no two marriages are alike.

As an economic contract, marriage has been around for ages, and at its core has nothing to do with infatuation or romance. It may simplify the closed transmission of wealth, status, and power. Even the concept of "family" is irrelevant to this "economic marriage," except in so far as children serve as necessary and vital agents of hereditary transmissions and additional tax benefits, if so perceived.

The spiritual or religious concept of "holy matrimony" is yet another matter. It is based on the concept of a man and a woman giving themselves to each other for life, often in order to usher new life into the world: to have children and to create a family in which the children are raised to honor such values as faith, hope, and charity--not to fear love. The conjugal act between the man and the woman promotes this generation of life. To many, marriage, therefore, is a religious/spiritual act of service, expressing the virtues and responsibilities of caring and providing for children, each other, and the community.


The philosopher and theologian Thomas Aquinas said, "to love is to will the good of another." Thus, if you think about it, all the moral decisions about marriage and family actually derive psychologically from love--real love that is giving. Love is a combination of wisely giving and humbly receiving with gratefulness out of a genuine concern for others, which may at times directly compromise your own immediate wellbeing, if needed, for the good of the relationship and others in it.



Contact Rainier Professional Psychiatry