Any marriage has times of separation, ill-health, or just plain crankiness, in which sexual intercourse is ill-advised. And it is precisely the skills of celibate friendship — fostering intimacy through letters, conversations, performing mundane tasks together (thus rendering them pleasurable), savoring the holy simplicity of a shared meal, or a walk together at dusk — that can help a marriage survive the rough spots. When you can't make love physically, you figure out other ways to do it.

Kathleen Norris, The Cloister Walk