Why would you build your marriage on such a horrible foundation?
Why would you get married?
Why would either of you tolerate this for so long?
Everyone is different, but 37 years ago you were younger and more amorous. Now time has taken its toll. Perhaps this situation could have been avoided if both were willing to talk about expectations and both were willing to try. If both had an understanding of the role sex plays in marriage perhaps they would not have started down this path. Sex is for pleasure and procreation, which leads to greater intimacy between each other.
I know as humans we all have our moments - sometimes we're rearing to go and other times we need to be jumpstarted but treating sex as a chore all the time, diminishes its beauty. Clearly, there's a problem in this situation - but the words duty and obligation should never be used in the same sentence with sex as it takes away all the joy, beauty, and intimacy from it.
Bad habits can become entrenched and before you know it 37 years has gone by. Make the effort to undo a bad habit once you recognize it, but don't wait for 37 years.
I wish this couple well and hope they find a way to restore what was taken away from them. A long time ago a visiting speaker came to our church. He was quite old, perhaps he was married for 50 years or more. But in his sermon, he had a twinkle in his eye as he talked about re-discovering the beauty of love. My husband and I looked at each other, and I whispered, "He's talking about sex!" and my husband nodded his head. May that couple's 37-year drought be drenched with the waters of love.
The Lord says, “I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts,
the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts. Joel 2:25 [NLT]
What needs to be restored in your marriage?