Relationship Question of the Day: Is Sex a Solution to Marriage Problems?

I recently received a question submitted a question from our community asking if SEX was the SOLUTION to resolving problems in a marriage. As part of our “Relationship Question of the Day” segment she asked that I share her dilemma and provide some insight.   I commonly see couples who ask how much of a “cure” sex can be for a marriage. So, in an effort to try and gain some clarity I would like to explore the “ins” and “outs” of the sex as a solution for problems in a marriage.

Our relationship question of the day comes from Lori who has been married 15 years and has 2 children. She and her husband are in their 40’s and quite successful in their profession. They are busy and active like most professional couples. Over the past few years, she noticed that sex was being used as a pacifier for problems in her marriage.   Especially, she found that they had “incredible” sex after an argument. Often known as “make-up sex.” In fact, she had been finding that sex worked better than any other solution in her marriage.   Sound familiar?

Lori asked that I explore some of the ways sex plays a role in marriage and ultimately how successful is it in squashing problems. So, here we go!

Can sex cure arguing? It can surely create a distraction. Arguing with your loved one? How about a little (or a lot) of sex to make you both feel better?   Sick and tired of not getting along?   Yes, more sex can relieve the tension. Can’t stand sitting there and talking about problems that seem to never be solved?   Why not a good night of sex to make everything “okay?”   Crazy as it seems, you might even find yourself getting into a “good one (argument)” just to have some more sex!   Suddenly, you begin to realize that sex is being used as a pacifier and the real problem remains.   So, what does sex in marriage really solve?   As part of our Relationship Question of the Day, let’s explore some common beliefs that keep marriages stuck in the “sex is solution” equation.

Sex is easier than talking things out.
True or untrue? Well, depends on how you look at it.   Sex requires less talking and digging deeper for solutions.   It can happen spontaneously and does not require too much thought.   In the very moment you are arguing, sex can be a “perfect” distraction. But, ask yourself, “Does a quick distraction lead to resolving your deeper marriage problems?”

Sex will take away the stress and make everything better.
True or untrue?   Sex releases some great hormones that “temporarily” relieve stress.   You may feel better about your marriage for a little or even a few days. In the end, sex is not a true “problem solver.” It simply put everything on the back burner and will be re-visited sooner rather than later.

Sex is the glue that will keep a marriage strong during “rough” times.
Sex is definitely a form of communication and will help maintain a strong bond in any marriage.   The key is to remember that it is a “part” of a larger equation.   Running to have sex when there are “bumps in the road” can be a set-up for failure. When you are experiencing marriage problems what other solutions are in your “tool bag” to keep your relationship strong?

All marriages have their share of challenges. Just remember that you are not in it alone.   It takes two to create the problem in a marriage and two people working together to find answers.

Ready to find more solutions to your relationship challenges? Download your free copy of Dr. Jeff’s E-Book: 5 Critical Signs Your Relationship is on Life Support!

About author

Dr. Jeff Kane
Dr. Jeff Kane

Dr. Jeff Kane is a Doctor in Marriage and Family Therapy and the founder of Relationships Unscripted. Over the past 20 years he has helped couples re-ignite their spark, passion and have great sex in their relationships. Learn more about the couples coaching programs, free webinars and Ask Dr. Jeff your burning relationship questions at

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