Thinking About Sexual Compatibility In An Arranged Marriage? A Marriage Coach Weighs In
Arranged marriage is a major thing among us desis and honestly, I see it in a very positive light. In fact, for me, marriage is a beautiful thing – even though it calls for a lot of effort in keeping the wheels of it oiled and running! What’s not to love? You are committed to being with each other and you have that one person who over the years may become your best friend, your companion, and your family. But then again, that kind of commitment is so heartening if you see it as a choice and not an obligation. However, here’s a thing that really pops up in my head when I think of arranged marriages. What about sexual compatibility?
I maybe once burnt, twice shy but I have been in a relationship in the past that was all good until we discovered the passion between us was just a degree warmer than Santa’s home. Of course, that’s a mystery that remained unsolved. I was shocked that such levels of sexual incompatibility exists. And to speak the truth, it is the very reason I want to really know if I would be sexually compatible with my husband. In fact, just knowing that he would keep an open mind towards communicating and working things will be reassuring enough.
So I spoke to Leena Paranjpe, a millennial marriage coach based in Mumbai about sexual compatibility in marriages and it helped me feel more hopeful and positive about it. Her insights on the same opened up new thought processes and perspectives that we normally don’t think of. So instead of seeing it so black and white and keeping one foot out of the door, she brings in hope that even sexual differences can be fixed.
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“Couples who are getting married with fear and insecurity in them need to fix it. So exploring your compatibility will help you to build your foundation and then strengthen it. In most cases, sexual attraction occurs in the honeymoon period itself. But real sexual attraction takes place depending on how emotionally and mentally you are attracted to your spouse,” Paranjpe explains.
She further adds, “When the honeymoon period ends, the sexual compatibility or the physical intimacy starts getting affected. When the friction starts in terms of arguments and differences of opinion, it starts damaging the relationship. One partner may start developing a resistance to open up emotionally and physically. If emotionally you don’t feel happy, understood and accepted by your partner, eventually it affects your sexual compatibility.”
However, with effective and conscious communication, couples can enhance their compatibility in all terms. If sexual compatibility is on your mind, she suggests you must speak about it without hesitation in the pre-marital stage. “In the pre-marital phase, you can have a private conversation about level of understanding and the purpose of the marriage,” Paranjpe says. “It takes more than sex to build a great marriage but it is nearly impossible to build a great marriage without sex,” she quoted Dave Willis.
In fact, it’s likely that you will have two different approaches and not all issues can be fixed immediately. So it is important to not just express yourself but do it effectively. And how do we do that? “When you are approaching your partner to build a good relationship, to build the connectivity is very important because the other person’s language is different,” Paranjpe explains.
“You must not go on speaking in your language – and I am not talking about the dialect – I am talking about the approach. And it is always the practical and emotional approach in a couple. It’s usually that one partner is practical and one is emotional so their languages are completely different,” she said.
So the key is to approach the person in the language they understand. “So if you keep on telling a person openly but from your perspective, in your language, they will not be able to understand. And unless and until they do, they won’t realise it, so they will not accept it and hence not work it,” she explained.
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As we spoke, my mind wandered off to the dark, sexless corners of my past relationship and I wondered if it really works. I mean, ideally, yes. Why would your partner not want to sexually satisfy you? Or are we looking at things from an idealistic perspective? Maybe some people are simply selfish or they just believe a woman’s pleasure isn’t important.
However, she suggested that in such cases, when you see a lack of effort or reluctance in fixing sexual compatibility issues in arranged marriage or love marriage, it’s important to look at the root causes. “There is always a root issue behind it – fear, insecurity, parental pressure, interference, influence – so many factors are there. So you need to understand the root issue and fix that,” Paranjpe informed.
She further explained that we must then work on fixing the root causes without judgement. “Instead of judging if you start understanding each other more, you will be able to help each other. In sexual compatibility, effective communication is a tool which can help both partners to enjoy good intimacy,” she advised.
“Nobody marries in pursuit of unhappiness. Nobody marries to break the relationship,” she said, giving us millennials some hope.
She said it takes time but a couple can definitely work on things if they learn to deal with things the right way. “You both have two different mindsets and nature so suddenly you can’t fix all the issues. It takes minimum two years to build understanding and acceptance,” she said.
So this gives us hope. We need not feel shy and hesitate in having the sex talk before marriage to see if we are on the same page and there is a willingness to make it work. Then again, two people may be into completely different things sexually. For instance, he may have fetishes that he can’t compromise on and something that you don’t feel comfortable with. So again – and these are my two cents – it’s better to communicate in advance. And if there is a common ground you can reach. I would definitely see if he realises the importance of sexual compatibility and is keen on fixing issues as and when they arise.
And as long as he is willing, rest can be learnt, communicated, and worked upon – with effective communication, understanding and acceptance. Unless there are medical issues involved. Arranged marriage or not, sexual compatibility can definitely be worked on.