Jake and Liz have been married 16 years - a couple since they were 19. They have 2 kids, a comfortable life with a nice house, good income, and kids. They vacation together, go out with friends together, and are, from all I know, friends.
Yet they have not had sex or any physical intimacy, over a kiss/hug/same bed for sleeping, in 8 years.
Sex is an issue that they simply do not discuss. Years ago, before they stopped having sex, they tried to discuss it now and again. But now, the conversation does not happen.
I have participated in many conversations about marriage, happy, enduring relationships etc, and realize that sex is not the key. Sex, possibly important, is a feature. The key is the friendship - the relationship itself.
But don't men and women need more than that friendship?
Perhaps they do not need sex specifically, but what about hugs, kisses, holding hands... cuddling... demonstrating physical intimacy - love through affection. Is this necessary in a successful, long lasting relationship?
What about the ability to communicate openly and honestly? For me, this is key. I simply can't imagine being in a long term, "loving" relationship and feeling confined to certain topics - or not being able to discuss anything and everything under the sun.
And they have conversations like this:
Jake and Liz saw a commercial where a bartender was muddling a drink. Liz said it looks like he has a big thick muddler and knows how to use it. Imagine if I had a proper muddler.
that was all she said...
Out of the blue - no context, just....
What did she mean? Was she teasing? Jabbing? Voicing dissatisfaction?
What would she do with a larger/thicker one if she doesn't enjoy that which she has?