Men don't like to talk about it; neither do their partners. But loss of
libido in men or inhibited sexual desire stresses a marriage more than any
other sexual dysfunction, according to Barry McCarthy, co-author of
Rekindling Desire: A Step by Step Program to Help Low-Sex and No-Sex
Losing interest in sex may not be as common an occurrence for men as it is
for women: It affects about 15% to 16% of men, and at least double that many
women. "But when men lose interest in sex it...
Traditional marriages still exist. But in the last half century, we've seen
lots of changes: interracial and interfaith couples, gay and lesbian couples,
and the older woman with the younger man -- a union that mirrors the older
man-younger woman pairing.
Now, according to experts who spoke to WebMD, a 21st century union may
involve a couple that falls in love at work, now that the office romance is
losing its stigma. Or a couple might be in a commuter marriage, conducting
their long-distance relationship through phone calls and web cams. Or an Indian
engineer in Baltimore may log on to an Indian matrimonial site and find the
woman of his dreams -- a dental student in Bangalore.
With powerful forces -- such as the Internet and a 24/7 work world --
exerting influence on our passions, surprising trends are springing up on the
Long-Distance Marriages on the Rise
In a landscape of dual careers, Internet romances, and globalization, the
long-distance marriage is growing in numbers.
In the U.S., long-distance marriages increased by 23% between 2000 and 2005,
according to census figures analyzed by the Center for the Study of Long
Distance Relationships. In 2005, roughly 3.6 million married people in the U.S.
lived apart for reasons other than marital discord, the center estimates.
On average, couples live 125 miles apart, but some dwell on separate
continents. Some visit every weekend, others, every few months. But on average,
long-distance couples see each other 1.5 times a month, according to center
Such pairs include the two married academics who love their jobs and have
lived apart for more than a decade; the spouse who accepted a foreign job
assignment but didn't want to uproot the family; the high-powered, dual-career
couple constantly on the move to advance in their jobs.
Greg Guldner, MD, the center's director, knows about long-distance
relationships firsthand. He was doing a medical residency in Southern
California when he met his future wife on a trip to Phoenix. The couple
survived four years in a two-state relationship before marrying. Guldner also
wrote the book, Long Distance Relationships: The Complete Guide.