Married couples do sex every day

Whoever has less desire controls the situation


Read on one side

ZEIT ONLINE: So what rules should you follow?

Snore: It is very important to argue to get to the critical point instead of arguing to avoid the critical point. You should stay on topic and be clear. Keep an eye on the goal - not your feelings.

During his lecture, Schnarch names four qualities that are important for real arguments. The first three: a solid and flexible self, inner balance and controlled behavior. He nicely contradicts the psychological tip of always addressing and expressing feelings by saying, "Marriage improves by doing two or three things that you don't say to yourself every day." He also doesn't think much of the much-invoked I-messages: What the heck, snorts, unless the sentence "I think you're crazy!" better than the sentence "You're crazy!" You feel hurt after both.

Fourth, he calls something old-fashioned like perseverance. For him, it's not about ignoring things, but about consciously accepting them. He wants to demonstrate why in a conversation right away.

Snore: Please come up with a pair and a topic they will fight about.

ZEIT ONLINE: Okay, I'll let them argue about the division of the housework: he's messier than her and she accuses him of always leaving everything lying around and never tidying up. For that he wants sex more often than she does.

Dr. David snore

Dr. David Schnarch is considered the leading sex therapist in the United States. He is a psychologist and director of the Marriage and Family Health Center in Colorado. His books The psychology of sexual passion (2006) and Intimacy and desire (2011) published by Klett-Kotta.

Snore: Great, that is not particularly original and therefore ideally suited as an example. By the way, I know a lot of men who do everything at home. Even if her life depended on it, the woman couldn't even darn a sock. What I mean to say: If we take such a stereotypical example, we should never forget that the roles in an argument work regardless of gender.

But now let's go arguing! Are you the tidier partner?

ZEIT ONLINE: Oh no, let's turn the stereotype around. I wanna be the bitch

Snore: And do you then also take on the part of those who want sex more often?

Talking to a sex therapist requires a certain amount of openness. When the two likeable couples, who sit next to and behind me during the seminar, realize that I am a journalist, they limit themselves to friendly conversation. Understandable. Even in a one-on-one conversation, I find it difficult to give the messy woman looking for sex. Snoring opened.

Snore: "I'm not happy with the way we split up the chores. I'm mad at you for expecting me to do everything."

ZEIT ONLINE: "I don't expect you to do everything. Just don't do it. That would be fine with me."

Snore: "But I hate living in a mess."

ZEIT ONLINE: "This is not a mess. We have different standards."

Snore: Does such an argument look familiar to you?


Snore: And I say: "I also see that we have different standards. We need a solution in which my values ‚Äč‚Äčalso count. It cannot be that I do everything just because I have different values."

ZEIT ONLINE: "This is your problem. Relax!"

Snore: "I'm not tense. We just have different standards - you said that yourself. We also have different standards when it comes to the frequency of sex. And if you want to play off that we just have different standards, then I hope so that you enjoy masturbating. "

On this day, Schnarch repeatedly demonstrates what it means that, in his opinion, the partner who has the weaker desire always controls the situation: If something is less important to you, the situation can be determined by the fact that he has no problem with it, something not to do - be it cleaning up or having sex. That changes in a good relationship. At some point, the one who has the higher demands can also set standards. How do you fight that out?