How important is your physical relationship with your mate? Too many couples go from one frantic activity to another each day. Somehow we can always fit what's "important" into our schedules, but leave sex off the list. Maybe it's time to reevaluate the importance of a good physical relationship. In fact, it had better be rather high among our priorities.

One busy wife sobbed to her friend after her husband left her for another woman, "Why her? She's overweight and not even pretty. Why did he have an affair with her?"

If she had asked him, her husband would have quietly said, "Because she has time for me."

Ouch. And in that same vein, more than one professional husband received this answer when asking his wife why she took up with a manual laborer: "Because he makes me feel important to him."

So don't take each other for granted. The Wow! side of marriage is too important to let slip away. Thus, schedule intimate time together. Yes, write it on your calendar if that's the only way to make it happen regularly. We make time for parent-teacher conferences, business trips, or picking up tickets for that special basketball game. Many folks spend more time pursuing hobbies than they do trying to improve their marital relationship.

And while you are enjoying working on this part of your relationship, don't compare your spouse to another. I've heard it said that husbands worry about being attractive. But I know for sure wives worry about how attractive they are to their husbands -- especially if they've gained weight or if the stomach stretch marks are especially bad after the birth of the children. For Martha, those marks embarrassed her so much that she stopped undressing in front of her husband, Joe. When Joe asked her what was wrong, her reply surprised him: "I don't want you to see how ugly I am with all these marks."

Joe quickly assured her he wasn't bothered by the marks. In fact, they reminded him that her body had produced two beautiful children.

Wow. Good choice of words, Joe, to build a bridge between the two of you. Not like Tim, who wanted to let his wife know he liked looking at her body, so he bought a couple of "girlie" magazines and left them out where she would see them. Dumb move. Tim's wife interpreted his action as dissatisfaction with her body.

Unfortunately, pornography isn't limited to magazines anymore. Readily available through cable television or the Internet, it creates ever increasing problems. No matter how much rationalization folks offer, it is neither healthy nor normal to need pornographic materials for sexual activity.

Some men shrug off the habit, saying they wouldn't bother looking at the images if their wives were more receptive to sex. Meanwhile, their wives are longing for a deeper relationship but feeling inadequate. Believe me, it's impossible for a normal woman to complete with those computerized, image-enhanced perfect women.

Too bad more husbands don't have the attitude of Mario, a teacher who was working a summer job in our area. At noon one of the men came into the lunchroom and asked, "Hey, did you guys see Miss July? She's something else!"

A couple of the guys nodded and grinned, so the original luster turned to Mario. "Did you see her?"

Mario dismissed the man. "I don't look at those magazines."

"Mario! You're Italian! How could you not look?"

He shook his head. "Those women have never had babies. How must a wife feel if she knows her husband is looking at another woman's naked body? I love my Rosa. I never want to hurt her like that."

The men looked at him as though he were from another planet instead of from another country. But every woman in that room sighed with new respect for Mario.

Respect and love form an incredible base for a healthy physical relationship After all, the intimacy between a husband and wife was God's original idea Think back to the Song of Solomon. The couple in that book of the Bible enjoyed each other's bodies. And we can find ways to make it the Wow! side of our relationship as well.


Read The Wow! Side of Marriage Part I and Part II.


Adapted from
Men Read Newspapers, Not Minds -- and other things I wish I'd known when I first married by Sandra P. Aldrich. (Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1996. Used by permission.) Author or co-author of 17 books, Sandra is an international speaker who handles serious issues with insight and humor. For booking information, she may be contacted at  BoldWords@aol.com.