The wedding’s over. The starry-eyed bride has brushed the confetti out of her hair and her husband has removed the old shoes from the bumper of his car. Our average young couple face each other as man and wife – alone, for the very first time.
If I am a starry-eyed bride, it will be down to the fizzy pop, just FYI.
This should be the very happy climax of weeks of preparation – the moment they have been waiting for. But to some – and an awful lot of people experience this – it is an anti-climax. Instead of the unrestrained joy they expect to feel, there is a strange constraint between them. They feel embarrassed with each other, for perhaps the first time. They feel shy, miserable – and cheated.
What?! I’ve waited twenty years for Mr TOPP to pop the question and now you tell me I’m going to feel cheated?! Nah. Pretty sure I’ll be ok. And maybe drunk.
Maybe they’ve made a terrible mistake? Maybe it wasn’t love at all but just infatuation? Maybe… maybe this strange mood will soon disappear?
I’m pretty sure that we know it’s not an infatuation after twenty years…
And it does of course. It is caused chiefly by the strain, which is emotional as well as physical, of their wedding day.
(And, like I said before, probably the fizzy pop.)
The transition from being sweethearts to becoming husband and wife is not an easy one to make, and it is at this moment, at the very start of their marriage that the man and the woman must begin to show sympathy and understanding for each other.
Two becoming one
This sympathy and understanding is vitally important to the sexual side of marriage.
Sex, as someone once cleverly remarked, is here to stay, and making love is a highly popular pastime. Sex is not the be-all and end-all of a good marriage but no happily married couple will deny its importance in their relationship.
Happily, we live in a more enlightened age than, say, our grandparents did,
and no one need nowadays enter into marriage without a theoretical knowledge of the facts of life. Most young people, even before they meet and fall in love, are fully aware of the basic essentials of human reproduction. And, in theory, it appears to be a simple matter.
An egg cell is produced in the woman’s ovary, travels down to the womb, and, if it is fertilised, remains to grow and develop, miraculously into a baby. If the egg cell is not fertilised, then it is discarded during the menstrual period and the whole process is repeated, monthly.
Fertilisation occurs when the semen (the male seed) meets the female egg. The semen, which is introduced into the woman’s vagina by the penis during sexual intercourse.
“Vagina, meet Semen. Vagina enjoys flower arranging, Semen is a strong swimmer.”
But in marriage these basic facts cease to be theoretical and, just as in many other instances, theory and practice can be very different matters.
It is important that our average young couple achieve a mutually satisfying sexual union as soon as possible, because the sexual contentment between them will permeate through their entire relationship, colouring their life with a quiet joy.
Conversely, sexual frustration will result in anxiety and irritability which, although perhaps subconscious, will sour their love for each other.
Well, there we go then. Thanks to the 1960s, my PSHE lessons and the fact that I have two children, I now know the basic facts of life. Pretty sure I’m prepared for married life.