It is simple. God makes many things simple and marriage is one of them. In 1 Corinthians 7:2-9 the Apostle Paul describes the purposes and attitudes for and in marriage. In verse two it is very clear, to avoid fornication (sexual relations outside of marriage) you should marry. The first concern of the Christian must then be to glorify God in all things in their life. If we have struggles or potential failing temptations in our life, God gives us avenues of escape. Marriage is just one of those circumstances. We place ourselves under accountability of another believer in Christ.
Because this circumstance (marriage) already admits an inability to remain celibate, the marriage relationship involves extending yourself to your spouse beyond yourself for their needs physically. Interestingly enough, within the biblical design of the marriage relationship a description of Christ’s extending himself for our spiritual needs on the cross (4).
Equally, as Christ never lies or deceives regardless the circumstance, we should never engage in deception of any kind. Verse 5 provides for two things. First, because those needing marriage admit, with marriage, that they need intimacy, one is never to deny that to the other under false pretenses. However, two can agree to abstain in order to commit themselves to fasting and prayer. Strengthening your spiritual relationship through a negotiated abstinence is therefore, the only reason to deny one another.
All of these things are colored and understood within the bounds of selfless love. If we love one another, we never impress our own desires upon those we love. We discuss our challenges and seek to give grace and mercy to those we love. When we love others, we give up our buttons, release our little pet peeves out of love. It is hard. Some of us have lots of them. But for love, we do our best to turn these over to Christ all the same.
One may be messy. One may be a neat freak. One may be direct. One may be very gracious in their communications. One may be focused. One may be very eclectic in life. Everywhere these opposites exist they have potential to drive your spouse mad. Christian selfless love, grace and mercy properly exercised fuels the successful marriage relationship.