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"Straight Talk about Strengthening Marriage!"
September 22, 2009 -- Newsletter #35
  • Characteristics of a Healthy Intimate Relationship
  • Marital Intimacy Show -- The WIN Official Launch
  • TV Show Appearance
  • Strengthening Families -- New Book -- "Famous Family Nights"
  • Sexual Intimacy Workshops
  • "What Sex Means to a Man"-- New Blog Posts
  • Book Feedback
  • Newsletter Archive

couple in white"Characteristics of a Healthy Intimate Relationship in Marriage"

by Laura M. Brotherson
Characteristics of a healthy sexual relationship in marriage include mutual fulfillment, open communication, a satisfactory frequency of intimate relations, and emotional connection beyond the bedroom.

How would you define a healthy sexual relationship in marriage? While there may be a number of ways, the following represents my definition of a healthy sexual relationship:

1.    Mutually Fulfilling. Lovemaking is mutually enjoyable and satisfying for both husband and wife. (This would include regular orgasms for both husband and wife.)

2.    Open Communication. Husband and wife communicate openly and honestly about sex–including their needs and preferences. This ability allows them to reconcile the many differences that will inevitably arise in the sexual relationship.

3.    Satisfactory Frequency. Both husband and wife feel satisfied with the frequency of lovemaking.

4.    Emotional Connection Beyond the Bedroom. In order for the intimate relationship to come full circle there must be good emotional connection outside the bedroom as well.

How Many Fit?

What percentage of couples would you think fit this description of a healthy sexual relationship? Most research only measures sexual dysfunction rather than how many people consider themselves to have a healthy and fulfilling intimate relationship, so it’s difficult to find accurate information.

Given that 40-50% of couples divorce over matters such as sex, and considering that a majority of those who stay married unfortunately subsist in a parallel/mediocre marriage, I would have to say that maybe 20% of couples have what could be considered a healthy sexual relationship. And that’s probably a pretty generous number given this proposed definition....

Read the rest of the story here and share your thoughts.

Click for -- Laura's Strengthening Marriage Blog
Click for -- Other Published Articles


The Marital Intimacy Show logo"The Marital Intimacy Show"
Weekly Online Audio Show
-- The WIN Official Launch

The Women's Information Network (The WIN) -- "The Online Home for All Women, All Ages" -- is the premier media and social network for women. The WIN is strengthening women and families worldwide with a team of nearly 200 show hosts who are experts in their field covering nearly every imaginable subject.  

The WIN will have hundreds of audio/video shows, well-written articles, safe social networking, The WIN Store, offline Conferences and Retreats, and much, much more! WIN participants can expect to: Get Solutions ~ Share Ideas ~ and Really Connect!
I have been asked to join this great organization as the host of a weekly online audio show entitled "The Marital Intimacy Show."
The WIN Official Launch Event

You are invited to join in the celebrations at the official launch of The Women's Information Network this Saturday, September 26 from 2 - 5:30 p.m. My husband and I will be there, so be sure to say hello! Click here for more information and to register.
Cost?            Free!
When?          Saturday, Sept 26, from 2:00pm until 5:30pm ~ socializing at 1:30pm
Where?         Auditorium, Salt Lake Community College, Larry Miller Campus
                      9750 South 300 West, Sandy, UT 84070

At The WIN Launch event you'll enjoy inspiring presentations and entertainment, and you'll receive a gift bag with books, chocolate, and much more! We'll be celebrating the Launch of The WIN and we'll have tons of FUN! So bring your sister, friend, mom, daughter ~ everyone is invited ~ and enjoy a wonderful afternoon with us. You'll be so glad you came!!

The Marital Intimacy Show
At "The Marital Intimacy Show" you can download my online shows, listen to them online, or subscribe through RSS feeds and/or iTunes. By listening to "The Marital Intimacy Show" couples will:
  • Be inspired to elevate the gift of sexual enjoyment to its divinely intended place
  • Learn to fully embrace the God-given gift of sexuality
  • Learn the secrets of sexual satisfaction
  • Find solutions to the intimacy issues that plague so many marriages
  • Create a mutually fulfilling, intimately connected, and passionate relationship ~ emotionally, spiritually and sexually.


The previous radio show segments "Sexual Intimacy in Marriage" that I did with Dr. Liz Hale recently reached over 100,000 downloads on iTunes. You can listen to them or subscribe here. I hope our new Marital Intimacy Show podcasts will provide even more valuable insights to help couples strengthen their marriages intimately.


KSL Studio 5 headerTV Show Appearance

If you are in Utah, tune your television to KSL Channel 5 on Friday, September 25th from 11 a.m. -12 noon for my second appearance with host Brooke Walker on Utah’s KSL “Studio 5” show. We will be discussing the "Characteristics of a Healthy Sexual Relationship in Marriage."

Click here to view my previous KSL appearance -- Secrets of Sexually Satisfied Wives
Click here to view all Video/TV appearances

Famous Family Nights bookStrengthening Families -- New Book "Famous Family Nights"

Family Home Evening -- one night a week to spend time as a family -- is a great idea to strengthen any family. In the fun new book Famous Family Nights by Anne Bradshaw I have written a chapter entitled "This Is The Night We've Waited For," and share a little bit of our family's fun with Family Home Evening.
Touching, inspiring, and often hilarious, the personal experiences in Famous Family Nights highlight Family Home Evening as a priceless tool for building strong, faith-centered families, despite the many obstacles of modern life. Other contributors like me sharing their stories are LDS entertainers, writers, radio and TV personalities, as well as LDS leaders in sports, business, and the community.

Famous Family Nights is now available at the Strengthening Marriage Online Store, so get your copy today and learn some great new ideas for strengthening your family.
Click here -- Strengthening Marriage Online Store

Julie de Azevedo Hanks

Upcoming Sexual Intimacy Workshops

Wednesday, October 7 (Salt Lake City, Utah)
"Cultivating Sexual Desire in Marriage"
Women's Workshop
     Julie DeAzevedo Hanks, MSW, LCSW

If you're looking for an opportunity to learn how to strengthen your marriage intimately, my good friend, Julie deAzevedo Hanks, is holding a "Cultivating Sexual Desire in Marriage" workshop for women on Wednesday, October 7 from 7 - 9 p.m. in Salt Lake City, Utah (7084 South 2300 East #120). The cost is just $50. Julie helps women awaken desire and find greater enjoyment in the intimate relationship of marriage.

Register today by calling 801-944-4555 or emailing For more information check out the online flier. Visit Wasatch Family Therapy to learn more.


Emil HarkerSaturday, October 24 (Layton, Utah)
Amazing Intimacy Couples Workshop -- "Strengthening Marriage through Sexual Intimacy”
     Emil Harker, MS, LMFT

Marriage and family therapist, Emil Harker, provides an entertaining, frank and spiritual exploration of the elements of intimacy, and the road to mutually satisfying sexual fulfillment. Men will find what they are looking for, and women will find what they are missing. This workshop will be held Saturday, October 24, from 7 - 9 p.m. at the Weber State University - Davis Campus (2750 N. University Park Blvd., Layton, Utah). Cost is just $50 per couple. Register today by calling 801-510-1643.

Both Julie and Emil use insights from the book "And They Were Not Ashamed--Strengthening Marriage through workshop Emil HarkerSexual Fulfillment" in their presentations.

As recommended therapists, you can learn more about Julie Hanks and Emil Harker on our Marital Intimacy Therapist Registry (MITR).

marital intimacy therapist registry

blog screenshot"What Sex Means to a Man" -- New Blog Posts & Discussions

I apologize for not getting this newsletter sent out as often as I  would have liked this year. One way to receive marriage-strengthening intimacy insights on a more frequent basis is to subscribe to "Laura's Strengthening Marriage Blog" feeds, as I generally try to post at least a few posts each month.

I appreciate all those who share their comments, concerns and intimacy insights for others to find hope, encouragement and solutions to the intimacy issues that plague so many marriages. To subscribe to the blog entries and/or the blog comments look for the "Subscribe" box on the lower right side of the blog.

New Blog Features

New features have been added to the blog to make it easier for you to print individual posts, and you'll also find a complete list of all archived blog posts in the new "Archive" section on the lower left menu bar.
Latest Blog Posts

Some of the latest posts and topics include:

Click here for: "Laura's Strengthening Marriage Blog"

Bookcover - And They Were Not Ashamed -- Strengthening Marriage through Sexual FulfillmentBook Feedback

We recently received the following feedback on our book And They Were Not Ashamed -- Strengthening Marriage through Sexual Fulfillment:
I've been meaning to share some comments with you for a long time. My sister in law mentioned your book and how great it was during a family gathering some time ago. I came across it later and felt impressed to buy it.  As I started reading it, I quickly became aware that my sex life was not satisfying me. My husband and I had been married for almost five years at that point. As I read your description of a female orgasm, I thought, that's not what happens to me! I had been aroused before, but I didn't realize I could have a reaction like my husband had. I engaged in sex for him, not for me. There were times the frequency wasn't enough for him. I tried to please him, but I was not fulfilled sexually. 

I didn't realize how patient we needed to be with clitoral stimulation until I read your book. Your book taught me so much about the female sexual response and also about how important sex is to a man. It opened up the sexual subject in our marriage and made my husband more of a priority to me.  It made us more in love. Thank you so much (and a big thanks from my husband) for the improvement you have made in this special and crucial aspect of our life. I also wanted to mention that I enjoy sex so much more now and I have orgasms and I am much happier with our sex life. Thank you for making such a difference in our marriage! I can't thank you enough for the increased happiness you have brought into our marriage. We will continue learning and improving together.
Thank you for these comments. This is why I do what I do...I want couples to be able to strengthen their marriages intimately!
Click here to read more comments or to share your thoughts -- Comments Page

newsletter imageNewsletter Archive

Stay tuned for more intimacy insights in upcoming Strengthening Marriage Newsletters ... ! Click here to visit the e-Newsletter archive. If you missed the last newsletter, you can catch it here:

       "Embracing Sexuality" -- Marriage Newsletter #34 (Mar '09)



"Straight Talk about Strengthening Marriage" newsletters are created to strengthen marriages intimately and build strong families--written by Laura M. Brotherson, intimacy expert and bestselling author of the book "And They Were Not Ashamed - Strengthening Marriage through Sexual Fulfillment."
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Copyright © 2009 Strengthening Marriage, Inc.