Dear 100 Hour Board,
Pa Grape often recommended reading "The Act of Marriage" before getting married. We never read any books before getting married and were fine because we discussed our concerns and expectations beforehand, but so many people have suggested getting some sort of book on sex that I wondered whether we should read that book even after being married half a year. Or if not that particular book, are there any others that a still fairly newly married couple could benefit from? I realize that almost all of the Board writers are single, but maybe the married ones have an opinion.
This is not coming from a married writer, but the HBLL has a book by Albert Ellis called The Art of Love. Um... that's all I'm going to say about it.
One item that is pointed out throughout the book is that there is more to physical intimacy in marriage than just the biological aspect. The experience is supposed to improve the longer you are married. They point out (if I remember correctly) that it takes work to improve your love life: cooperation, patience, and trial and error (hopefully not too big of errors). Would newlyweds benefit? Absolutely. Perhaps it wouldn't be as much of an eye opener for then as it would for those who are preparing to marry, but it contains some good information and thoughts that could benefit couples celebrating any anniversary.
There are other books out there. I would suggest checking out some of the ones at Deseret Book (http://deseretbook.com/store/search?search=intimacy&x=0&y=0 ). While I don't know the authors, nor have I read many of them, they tend to be good resources. If you want a suggestion, the first one on the list is Purity and Passion by Wendy Watson Nelson. Wendy is a former BYU Marriage and Family Therapy professor. She retired in 2006 so that she could support her husband, Elder Russell M. Nelson, in his calling. I'd really suggest you and your spouse head up to Deseret Book, read the back covers, and find one that both of you think sounds interesting.
Kudos to you for wanting to improve things even if they are fine now. A proactive approach like that has the potential to save you a lot of pain and frustration years from now because you chose not to let your marriage fall into disrepair.
-Pa Grape (coming briefly out of retirement)
I've also heard recommendations from a lot of married friends for Between Husband and Wife by Stephen E. Lamb, M.D. and Douglas E. Brinley, Ph.D.
~ Dragon Lady
One of my close friends and former roommates just got married in December. She and her husband read "The Act of Marriage" and she said that it helped SO much in easing the initial awkwardness of intimacy.