Why Marriage Kills Sex
David Schnarch, Ph.D. is co-director of the Marriage & Family Health Center. He is a licensed clinical psychologist, world-renown sex and marital therapist, and international best-selling author. He is a Certified Sex Therapist (Diplomat status) by American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT). He chaired the Professional Education Committee and served on the Board of Directors for eight years, and received the first AASECT "Professional Standard of Excellence" Award. Dr. David is also a Clinical Member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), serves on the editorial board of AAMFT Journal of Marriage and Family Therapy. For seventeen years he was an Associate Professor in the Depts. of Psychiatry and Urology at Louisiana State University Medical School.
Topic: Sex and marriage
David Schnarch: The way that the human race has evolved, it is virtually guaranteed that sex is going to die in emotionally committed relationships, and you can either bail out or tell yourself you picked the wrong person, and if you just found the right person they'd love all your flaws, and no matter what you did they'd just think that you're the bee's knees. And that's the picture most of us have -- we're supposed to have -- in childhood. But that's not marriage. Marriage -- people get fed up with you leaving your socks on the floor and having all your little habits. And they get tired of telling you that you're wonderful and propping you up, and they want you to stand on your own two feet and be a whole man or be a whole woman. And we usually get angry about that kind of stuff. It doesn't fit our picture, you know. We sort of have the picture of while we're single I have to take care of myself; once I get married you have to take me any old way I am. That's known as loving me. And one of the things sex and marriage and intimacy will teach you is, love is not accepting you any old way you are.
When people get married, you get married for better and worse, in sickness and in health, but that's not an excuse to screw off, get sloppy, get fat and not take care of yourself and not be an interesting person. So sex invariably dies. And we move on to your next question. That's really the answer to why sex dies. All around the world, where rape is not allowed, and women are allowed control of their own body, all around the world from time immemorial it is the low-desire partner that always controls sex. Now, you might think God's passive aggressive, or Mother Nature has a sense of humor. Maybe what she should have done is made the person who wants sex the most the person in charge, and the high-desire partner says, let's have sex, and the low-desire partner says, aye-aye, sir -- just -- whatever you say, that's what goes. And it doesn't work that way.
So what happens is, most of us are going through the struggle of "I want to be with you, but don't tell me what to do." And because the low-desire partner controls sex, when the high-desire partner says, let's have sex, and the low-desire partner says, well, I'm not so sure, and the high-desire partner says, well, then you don't love me enough, that's the end of sex. When it gets to be proved that you love me, do it my way. And the high-desire partner says, well, why do we always have to do it your way? And the low-desire partner says, well, why do we always have to do it your way? You are now in the middle of what happens to all of us, that none of us ever anticipate. You are in the middle of the wars of self-development, and that's what marriage is about.
Marriage is about growing up and getting to the point where you can love somebody on life's terms. And in the middle of that, sex dies. And couples go through, very often, months or years of not having sex, which nobody who is 18 years old ever believes. You get married because you can have sex all the time; you're even living with them; they're very convenient. And that's not the way that it works. So what we're really describing is what made the human brain evolve, where the low-desire partner controls sex, the high-desire partner doesn't like that, and the high-desire partner has to learn to control themselves because when the high-desire partner says, "You know what? You're just as controlling as your mother," that basically does not usually inspire high-desire or lubrication in your partner. So you have to learn to control yourself. This also teaches you to be considerate of your partner and not act like they belonged to you. And getting over the idea that your partner doesn't belong to you is a tough one. It sounds great when you first get married: we belong to each other. But that's as good as long as you're cutting the cake. Two years in, when your partner acts like your genitalia belongs to them, believe me, it does not inspire passion.
And when you go through the way that marriage really works, which beats out of you the idea that your partner either belongs to you or is always supposed to put your needs first, then you become a solid enough person, you earn your own self-respect, you earn each other's self-respect. That's what ignites passion. Self-respect is one of the best aphrodisiacs there is, but that's not what you get when you're first in the mad, passionately-in-love-with-each-other stage.
Recorded on October 29, 2009
Therapist David Schnarch says that bedroom embers almost always burn out in emotionally committed relationships.
Dominique Crenn, the only female chef in America with three Michelin stars, joins Big Think Live this Thursday at 1pm ET.
The number of people with dementia is expected to triple by 2060.
The images and our best computer models don't agree.
A trio of intriguing galaxy clusters<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDQzNDA0OS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxNTkzNzUyOH0.0IRzkzvKsmPEHV-v1dqM1JIPhgE2W-UHx0COuB0qQnA/img.jpg?width=980" id="d69be" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="2d2664d9174369e0a06540cb3a3a9079" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
The three galaxy clusters imaged for the study
Mapping dark matter<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="d904b585c806752f261e1215014691a6"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/fO0jO_a9uLA?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>The assumption has been that the greater the lensing effect, the higher the concentration of dark matter.</p><p>As scientists analyzed the clusters' large-scale lensing — the massive arc and elongation visual effects produced by dark matter — they noticed areas of smaller-scale lensing within that larger distortion. The scientists interpret these as concentrations of dark matter within individual galaxies inside the clusters.</p><p>The researchers used spectrographic data from the VLT to determine the mass of these smaller lenses. <a href="https://www.oas.inaf.it/en/user/pietro.bergamini/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Pietro Bergamini</a> of the INAF-Observatory of Astrophysics and Space Science in Bologna, Italy explains, "The speed of the stars gave us an estimate of each individual galaxy's mass, including the amount of dark matter." The leader of the spectrographic aspect of the study was <a href="http://docente.unife.it/docenti-en/piero.rosati1/curriculum?set_language=en" target="_blank">Piero Rosati</a> of the Università degli Studi di Ferrara, Italy who recalls, "the data from Hubble and the VLT provided excellent synergy. We were able to associate the galaxies with each cluster and estimate their distances." </p><p>This work allowed the team to develop a thoroughly calibrated, high-resolution map of dark matter concentrations throughout the three clusters.</p>
But the models say...<p>However, when the researchers compared their map to the concentrations of dark matter computer models predicted for galaxies bearing the same general characteristics, something was <em>way</em> off. Some small-scale areas of the map had 10 times the amount of lensing — and presumably 10 times the amount of dark matter — than the model predicted.</p><p>"The results of these analyses further demonstrate how observations and numerical simulations go hand in hand," notes one team member, <a href="https://nena12276.wixsite.com/elenarasia" target="_blank">Elena Rasia</a> of the INAF-Astronomical Observatory of Trieste, Italy. Another, <a href="http://adlibitum.oats.inaf.it/borgani/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Stefano Borgani</a> of the Università degli Studi di Trieste, Italy, adds that "with advanced cosmological simulations, we can match the quality of observations analyzed in our paper, permitting detailed comparisons like never before."</p><p>"We have done a lot of testing of the data in this study," Meneghetti says, "and we are sure that this mismatch indicates that some physical ingredient is missing either from the simulations or from our understanding of the nature of dark matter." <a href="https://physics.yale.edu/people/priyamvada-natarajan" target="_blank">Priyamvada Natarajan</a> of Yale University in Connecticut agrees: "There's a feature of the real Universe that we are simply not capturing in our current theoretical models."</p><p>Given that any theory in science lasts only until a better one comes along, Natarajan views the discrepancy as an opportunity, saying, "this could signal a gap in our current understanding of the nature of dark matter and its properties, as these exquisite data have permitted us to probe the detailed distribution of dark matter on the smallest scales."</p><p>At this point, it's unclear exactly what the conflict signifies. Do these smaller areas have unexpectedly high concentrations of dark matter? Or can dark matter, under certain currently unknown conditions, produce a tenfold increase in lensing beyond what we've been expecting, breaking the assumption that more lensing means more dark matter?</p><p>Obviously, the scientific community has barely begun to understand this mystery.</p>
Astronomers spot an object heading into Earth orbit.
Minimoons<p>Scientists have confirmed just two prior minimoons. One was <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_RH120" target="_blank">2006 RH120</a>, which orbited us from September 2006 to June 2007. The other was <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_CD3" target="_blank">2020 CD3</a>, which got stuck in the 2015–2016 timeframe, and is believed to gotten away in May 2020.</p><p>2020 SO, the new kid on the block, is expected to arrive in October 2020 and pop out of orbit in May 2021.</p><div id="37962" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="f4c0fc8a2cba6536ea4cd960ebed3e6e"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1307729521869611008" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Asteroid 2020 SO may get captured by Earth from Oct 2020 - May 2021. Current nominal trajectory shows shows capture… https://t.co/F5utxRvN6Z</div> — Tony Dunn (@Tony Dunn)<a href="https://twitter.com/tony873004/statuses/1307729521869611008">1600621989.0</a></blockquote></div>
Identifying 2020 SO<p>The first clue 2020 SO isn't your ordinary asteroid is its exceptionally low velocity. It's traveling much more slowly that a typical asteroid — their <a href="https://www.lpi.usra.edu/exploration/training/illustrations/craterMechanics/" target="_blank">average rate of travel</a> <a href="https://www.lpi.usra.edu/exploration/training/illustrations/craterMechanics/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"></a>is 18 kilometers (58,000 feet) per second. Even <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon_rock" target="_blank">moon rocks</a> sent careening into Earth orbit by impacts on the lunar surface outpace pokey 2020 SO.</p><p>For another thing, 2020 SO has an orbital path very similar to Earth's, lasting about one Earth year. It's also just slightly less circular than our own orbit, from which it's barely tilted off-axis.</p><p>So, what is it? <a href="https://cneos.jpl.nasa.gov/ca/" target="_blank">NASA estimates</a> that the object has dimensions very reminiscent of a discarded Centaur rocket stage from the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surveyor_2" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Surveyor 2 mission</a> that landed an unmanned craft on the moon. Back in the day, rocket stages were jettisoned as craft were aimed toward their desired position. This stuff, if released high enough, remains in space. It appears that this Centaur rocket, launched in September 1966, is now making its way back homeward, at least for a little bit.</p><p>When 2020 SO arrives at its closest point in December, the rocket is expected to be about 50,000 kilometers from Earth. Its next closest approach is much further: 220,000 kilometers, in February 2010.</p><img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDQzMDk3NC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyODg1MTQ1MX0.HGknDwqp0GmeuczKY_AS7vrPG7KMFUc_XO95tNoI2xo/img.jpg?width=980" id="e5cda" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="85eb1f790d8c3ee5b261f7ba13eaa5e1" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Centaur rocket stage" />
Centaur rocket stage
What we may be able to learn<p>Earthly space programs being as young as they are, scientists would love to know what's happened to our rocket during a half century in space.</p><p>While 2020 SO won't get close enough to drop into our atmosphere, its slow progress has scientists hopeful that they'll still get some kind of a decent look at it.</p><p>Spectroscopy may be able to reveal what the rocket's surface is like now — has any of its paint survived, for example? Of course, being out in space, it's likely to have been hit by lots of dust and micrometeorites, so the current state of its surfaces is also of interest. Experts are curious to know how reflective the rocket is at this point, valuable information that can help planners of future long-term missions anticipate how well a craft out in space for extended periods will remain able to reflect sunlight.</p>
Scientists have found evidence of hot springs near sites where ancient hominids settled, long before the control of fire.