THE DESEXUALIZATION OF THE AMERICAN MARRIAGE/A SEXUAL-SYSTEM EXAM: A SEXUAL “BALANCING ACT”

I work, I wash, I clean, I cook, I parent, I give up!

WIFE

I help out around the house.    

Husband

Big deal! I’m used to dust.

SUGGESTED GRAVESTONE EPITAPH BY ERMA BOMBECK

IMBALANCE:

UNEQUAL DIVISION OF TASKS: RESPONSIBILITY FOR MARITAL SEX TO ONE PARTNER

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TENDING TOWARD    TENDING TOWARD

BALANCE    IMBALANCE

Do you feel that your marriage includes a shared approach to the problems of daily living, including the erotic life of your marriage (balance)? Or, does it seem that one of you is more responsible for things, that it is one partner’s house, one partner’s “job” to initiate sexual encounters (imbalance)?

Remember the idea of “flowing” in systems as you score your marriage on this item. All marriages must have imbalance or there could be no growth in the system. Sometimes one partner has to carry the entire burden, perhaps because of illness or work obligations on the part of the spouse. Super marriages are well enough balanced to have plenty of imbalance. As a child learning to ride a two-wheeler, eventually a safe range between imbalance and corrective balance is maintained. Some falling is needed for learning to occur.

You very seldom hear about a woman who is home “babysitting” her own children, but wives will sometimes report that their husbands are “babysitting,” as if his children were not really his but instead some type of marital obligation. It is still rare to hear a woman state, “I even did the wash” or “I cleaned up his kitchen for him.” Sex rules may be changing, but if my couples are any indication, not very quickly.

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