Sexual Intimacy
A couple embraces as soldiers of the 25th Infantry Division are greeted by family, friends and loved ones at the Second 25th Infantry Division Redeployment Ceremony at Wheeler Gulch, Wheeler Army Airfield in Wahiawa, Hawaii, Dec. 6, 2011. Getty Images/ Kent Nishimura

One of the most common concerns for married couples, especially those who are facing a rough patch in their relationships, is whether they are engaging in enough physical intimacy. Couples at the verge of divorce often wonder whether the lack of sex is the reason they are being driven apart.

Sexual intimacy between two people in a relationship is not only important for maintaining physical closeness but also for an emotional connection.

But how does one find out if they are in a healthy sex life with their partner?

A 2015 study published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, based on data collected from surveys of more than 30,000 Americans over a period of 40 years, showed that married couples who had sex at least once every week enjoyed “greater happiness” in their relationship than those who did not.

"Although more frequent sex is associated with greater happiness, this link was no longer significant at a frequency of more than once a week," Amy Muise, the lead researcher of the study said. "Our findings suggest that it's important to maintain an intimate connection with your partner, but you don't need to have sex every day as long as you're maintaining that connection," Muise added.

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Maureen McGrath RN, an expert in sexual and vaginal health in Canada, has frequently talked about and nursed patients who face psychological or physiological issues with keeping their sex life active after certain years of marriage. She appeared on TEDx Talks last year and shared her views on why more marriages are becoming sexless by each passing day.

In her speech, even though she emphasized on the fact that good communication between couples can solve problems that typically arise due to the lack of physical intimacy in marriage, she also stated that relationships hit a roadblock when one of the partners expresses the desire to have sex and the other one denies or is suffering from hormonal dysfunctions that limit their sex drive.

It is also important to note that that sexual intimacy becomes an issue in a marriage to the point where one of the partners involved in the marriage feels rejected by the other. “Because rejection can be such a painful experience, it is important for both partners to work on discussing the emotions attached to their sexual relationship so that they can repair the possible ‘break' in their attachment bond,” Jennifer Chaiken, marriage and family therapist from Pennsylvania said, Elite Daily reported.

Otherwise, more often than not, the one who feels unloved either goes into serious depression or engages in infidelity, which in turn leads to separation and divorce.

In the United States, there is one divorce approximately every 36 seconds, which adds up to about 2,400 divorces per day, 16,800 divorces per week and 876,000 divorces a year, according to family law firm McKinley Irvin.

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Even though there can be endless reasons as to why couples decide to part ways after marriage, the cause that is perched on top of the chart is sex or rather a lack of it. In a 2008 survey done by Bedfordshire law firm, it was seen that 43 percent of couples listed the absence of sex as being the reason they did not wish to stay together any longer.

Donna Flagg, a New York-based author who has written books like “Surviving Dreaded Conversation: How To Talk Through Any Difficult Situation At Work,” wrote on Psychology Today that he estimated about 15 to 20 percent of marriages today are sexless.

She further stated that more than 50 percent of these marriages end in divorce and those who opt to stay together, despite sharing an almost platonic relationship, are “miserable and imprisoned, lonely and longing for real love, and the opportunity to express that love through sexual intimacy.”