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More Sex May Help Neurotic Newlyweds

FRIDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Frequent sex can help neurotic newlyweds achieve the same level of marital bliss as other newlyweds, a new study finds.

People who are neurotic tend to have more difficulty with relationships and marriage because they are more prone to irritation, mood swings and worry, according to the study, recently published online in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

"High levels of neuroticism are more strongly associated with bad marital outcomes than any other personality factor," the University of Tennessee researchers wrote in a journal news release.

In this study, the researchers followed 72 newlyweds over their first four years of marriage. On average, the couples reported having sexual intercourse about once a week for the first six months of marriage and about three times a month by the fourth year of marriage.

Overall, marital satisfaction was not associated with the amount of sex. But there was one exception. Frequent sex did improve the marital satisfaction of spouses with high levels of neuroticism.

The researchers explained that frequent sexual activity eliminates the "happiness deficit" that tends to occur in neurotic spouses.

"Frequent sex is one way that some neurotic people are able to maintain satisfying relationships," the authors wrote.

More information

The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy offers tips for marriage preparation.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Social Psychological and Personality Science, news release, Dec. 7, 2010

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