The idea that if you’re married and unhappy with your sex life, you should be able to sue your spouse and get a divorce too, is a concept that appears to be taking hold in Europe. In a unique ruling, a French court recently ordered a 51-year-old man to pay his ex-wife $14,000 in damages for failing to have enough sex with her during their 21-year marriage.
The man named only as Jean-Louis B, was fined under Article 215 of France’s civil code which states that married couples must agree to a “shared communal life.â€ The ruling judge in the Aix-en-Provence high court said he felt the law clearly implies that sexual relations must form part of a marriage and stated that “A sexual relationship between husband and wife is the expression of affection they have for each other, and in this case it was absent. By getting married, couples agree to share their life and this clearly implies they will have sex with each other.â€
The ruling came after Jean-Louis B’s wife filed for divorce two years ago, blaming the break-up on a lack of activity in the bedroom. The judge at the time then granted the divorce and held the husband solely responsible for the split. Later the ex-wife appealed to a higher court and demanded the compensation for a lack of sex during the entire 21 years of marriage. In his defense, Jean-Louis B claimed “tiredness and health problems” prevented him from having sex, but the court disagreed and imposed the unique fine.
Studies here in the United States have shown that American married men and women, on average, have sex with their spouse 58 times a year, which translates to about once a week. Just 15 percent of married couples are estimated to have not had sex with their spouse within six months-to-one-year. That detail that brings to mind the question, “Is sex a mandatory part of marriage or not?”