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Marriage/conflict over future sexual frequency


Hello Peter. My fiance is now 8 weeks pregnant and the sex is great!! This morning she tells me to not get used to how often we have sex (once a day)once the baby is born because she will resume her antianxiety meds, of which diminish her sex drive.I told her that this troubles me deeply. She then says that I hold sex in a relationship too high. I told her that I understand having sex once a day is not sustainable, but I still think sex 2 or 3 times a week after the baby is born is necessary for a successful marriage. I asked her if she thinks sex is important to a marriage and she said it falls low on her priority of what makes a relationship work. She then says intimacy is more important ( of which her definition of intimacy and sex are completely different).

I feel terrified of being in yet another sexless relationship. I don't know how to deal with this. Is she right, that sex and intimacy are two completely different things? I love her and she loves me, and are both looking forward to starting our family. I will be marrying her soon. Any thoughts on this would be great. Thank you, Jared C.

Hi Jared - your core problems seems to be fear (of sexual dissatisfaction) and distrust (that you two- can find a comfortable compromise, not sex (intercourse). For mutual satisfaction, sex needs to be spontaneous, not based on "shoulds." Having a baby will change you each in ways that are hard to predict.

A learned skill that will strengthen your relationship is the ability to resolve values conflicts effectively - e.g. conflicts about intercourse frequency. Discuss these ideas and wait to see what actually occurs after your baby arrives, rather than assuming;

If you have related questions, Jared, please ask - Pete  


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Peter Gerlach, MSW


I can answer questions about choosing a mate wisely, marital communications and problem solving, affairs, same-gender relationships, trust, respect, bonding and intimicy, values differences, boundary problems, grieving, dealing with ex mates, parents, and in-laws, remarriage, separation, divorce, abuse, feeling unloved, codependence, psychological wounds, money disputes, balancing kids, careers, and marital primacy, etc. I cannot answer legal or medical questions


I've been a professional family-systems therapist in private practice for 33 years. I have specialized in helping people avoid and adapt to divorce, and manage remarriage ans stepfamilies, since 1979. I've studied and taught classes in interpersonal communication for over 40 years, and have presented over 200 seminars on a wide range of human-relationswhip topics to Chicago-area churches, schools, menyal-health agencies, and businesses, and have been featured on Chicago and national radio and TV. I have been married and divorced. I now believe all marital and family problems are caused by five little-known factors - see This forms the basis of my work as therapist and educator.

I now answer "" questions on stepparenting, communication, and counseling. I belong to ", "Death with Dignity," "Compassion and Choices," and to the online Adverse Childhood Experience Study (ACES) at

I've published over 200 free Internet articles on childhood-trauma recovery and wholistic health, communication skills, healthy grieving, human relationships (including marriage and divorce), family health, effective parenting, and managing a stepfamily). These articles are in the form of seven free self-improvement lessons ( These articles are augmented by 168 YouTube videos ("gercacn" channel); I've published a book on childhood-trauma recovery ("Who's *REALLY Running Your Life?"), and other books on interpersonal communicactioin skills ("Satisfactions"), remarriage ("The Remarriage Book"), "Stepfamily Courtship", and "Stepfamily Co-parenting" All published by

Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering (BSME) from Stanford University (1959); Masters degree in Social Work (MSW) from George Williams college (1981); hundreds of hours of post-grad trainng from Northwestern U. the University of Chicago, et. al. in a wide range of human-relationship topics.

Awards and Honors
The state of Illinois licensed me to practice clinical social work in 1981. I was selected twice to serve on the board of the Stepfamily Association of America (SAA), and am currently on the Stepfamily-expert panel at Auburn University; I was the Board chairman at a major public mental-health agency in suburban chicago, and was the chairman of the Parent Relations Council for a major suburban High School. I currently have over 500 subscibers on YouTube since I began uploading educational videos in May, 2011.

Past/Present Clients
I've worked with over 1,000 men; women; dating, merried, remarried, divorcing, and redivorcing couples; and whole families. I'm currently 74, semi-retired, and disabled, and I do therapy with people and couples by phone and Internet (Skype).

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