Can we survive without dating romance and love
As their living costs rose, Alex worked six or seven days a week and Natalia was forced to take a part-time job as a charity fundraiser to cover soaring food, fuel and energy bills.
Typically, the rejected spouse will feel unloved, unattractive or neglected.' What is curious is that according to Natalia, she and her husband adore each other. Neither of them has let themselves go during their ten-year marriage.'We both had other relationships before we met, but the magnetism between us was intense. He has a gorgeous, muscular body, a beautiful face and is unfailingly kind.' She describes their early sexual relationship as 'amazing', and when the pair married in 1998, their ardour remained as strong as ever. 'When we had our first child a year later and I saw what a wonderful, hands-on dad he was, I found that so attractive.While I was pregnant, I'd read stories about women who had babies and then went off sex with their husbands, and I was determined that would not happen to us.' Once she'd recovered from the birth Natalia made a concerted effort to make sure she and Alex still felt like a young couple in love.'But couples need to acknowledge the importance of sex - planning it and looking forward to it the way they would a holiday or a night out.' Natalia Martin with husband Alex ten years ago when they made love every night It's a scenario that Ruth Hallam, 35, a psychologist from Bath, has played a million times over in her head.Though she has been with husband Chris, 35 and a paediatrician, for eight years and married for two, they haven't made love since just after their wedding in July 2006.But can a marriage survive without physical intimacy?The arrival of a second baby, combined with the pressures of her 34-year-old husband's engineering career, a hefty mortgage and a stressful house move to Birmingham have driven a wedge between the couple which they fear will never be overcome.There was a time, in the early days of their relationship, when Natalia Martin and her husband Alex made love every night.When they married ten years ago, Natalia took pride in keeping the romance alive.The key question, of course, and the one which is being quietly asked by couples who feel that their sex lives are virtually non-existent, is whether or not a marriage without sex can survive.Janice Hiller, a consultant clinical psychologist specialising in sexual relationships, says it's unlikely.