This past August 12th was our 32nd wedding anniversary. Cherie and I have been playing, loving, parenting, fighting and making up for all these years (Well- parenting together for 23 of those years). Our relationship has had its challenges as all close relationships do. We are very different in some significant ways. Our parenting styles were different; I am a dreamer and have been a risk taker as an entrepreneur while my wife preferred more stability and structure. And of course the most important difference of all- I love sushi and my wife never has and never will eat raw fish of any kind. Also, we both tend to speak before we think sometimes which can lead to triggering each other. So, we have had our share of struggles.
However, after 32 years, I can say that we still have a SEXY MARRIAGE. We have passion, we laugh a lot together and we have a lot of fun. As I am writing my once a year piece about my own marriage, I want to write about why we are still so sexy to each other. Here is what I have come up with that may be what is needed for all couples to have the long hot marriage I write so much about.
Despite the differences I mentioned above, we have quite a few things in common.
- We both love to hike (we started a hiking club and just got back from one a few hours ago). We hike with others and hike by ourselves.
- We have similar tastes in music and love going to concerts.
- We both value emotional and physical health and make a priority of yoga, meditation and working out.
- We both have a strong emotional connection to our religion (Judaism).
- We both value family and love being parents to our 2 lovely daughters.
- We both love to travel.
- We both love the outdoors and love nature as well as other outside activities.
- We both love dancing and enjoy our weekly ballroom dancing lessons.
I am sure there are other things we have in common. No doubt that as different as we are, we have many things that we can enjoy together and have similar values and mindsets about some very significant aspects of life. I do see that with other couples, the best scenario is when they are different enough and also the same enough and I think that describes my relationship with Cherie.
We speak our minds.
My wife and I do not avoid conflict. We both have the freedom to express ourselves and do not “walk on eggshells” around each other. I have been saying for years to my client couples- “Consistent self-expression is the biggest aphrodisiac in long term relationships.” I know that as we have continued to have the freedom to ask for what we want from each other, express our negative as well as positive feelings and share even the most difficult aspects of ourselves, it is connected to how much I am turned on by her.
We take care of ourselves and still look fantastic.
That sentence is not meant to sound like bragging or arrogant. We are disciplined when it comes to eating well, exercise and overall wholesome living. I am not perfect and would not want to be, but being disciplined “enough” slows down our aging and keeps us as youthful as possible (without plastic surgery) as we get ever more close to our 60th birthdays. Just as importantly, taking care of ourselves like that allows us to enjoy each other more because we feel good!
We enjoy the freedom that marriage gives us to explore different parts of ourselves and try new things.
Relationships are adventures (if we create them that way). People too often treat relationships as havens from the other challenges as life. Even though relationships should be a place for comfort, we need to leave our comfort zones on some kind of consistent basis in order to experience the intimate relationship as the adventure it has the potential of being. Cherie and I definitely have some patterns and rituals; however, we create novelty in our lives both in and out of the bedroom.
There you have it- 32 years and still a sexy marriage. That does not mean that we have sex multiple times a day or have 3-hour lovemaking sessions. (Not that I am against that of course). It means that we are alive with each other. It means that we are excited to spend time with each other. It also does mean that we have an erotic side of our relationship that we enjoy and there are many ways we can enjoy that part of our relationship. We both intend to continue having a sexy marriage. It takes work but the rewards are enormous. I am blessed and feel very grateful.