How To Survive a Sexless Marriage Without Cheating
So you’re here wondering how to survive a sexless marriage. Marriage is about friendship between you and your spouse but what actually makes it a relationship is physical intimacy. Couples often make the biggest mistake of letting the physical part of showing affection fade. This repeated pattern of no physical intimacy can also be dangerous for their relationship.
After a few years of marriage, physical intimacy may decrease and as the couple is surrounded by children, they find them so busy that the physical intimacy is lost. It is a marital problem and needs to be addressed for a happy and healthy marriage.
How To Survive a Sexless Marriage Without Cheating
It may not seem like a problem if both the partners are okay having a relationship that feels more like a roommate relation. But in some cases, one partner’s needs might be ignored by the other one. It could be that both partners are frustrated by the lack of intimacy and need to hold each other.
A sexless marriage means a marriage where both partners seldom or never have sex. This situation can be hurtful for one or both.
Common Reasons for Lack of Intimacy
If you are not receiving love physically in your relationship then you may not be alone. According to a New York Times report, it was estimated that around 15% of the married couples did not have sex with each other in the past six months or a year.
Although the reasons for a sexless marriage can be different and serious involving health problems and lifestyle factors. It can still take a toll on the couple’s mental health and tarnish the love they have for each other at least in some cases.
Here is a list of what common reasons affect physical intimacy:
The health of a person can affect the overall physical and mental desires, including the desire to have sex. Health also plays a major role in determining a person’s libido. If the health is disturbed by one or both partners, it can affect their psychological process of arousal.
The desire for physical intimacy or sex differs from person to person. Some may have a higher desire to have sex because of their sex drive, natural ebb, and flow. But when the partners have different levels of libido, they maybe waiting to find the right time. Waiting for each other to be in the mood for sex can be frustrating, again for one or both due to incompatible libidos.
Doctors often advise women to have sex at least after six to eight weeks of childbirth. Delivery and care of a newborn can be very overwhelming. Body changes, tiredness, hormonal factors, and stress can affect the woman’s libido.
When one or both the partners are stressed most of the time, it can not only be destructive for their health but it can also decrease their sex drive. Cortisol is a stress hormone that can play a huge role in lowering libido. The physical effects of stress on sex drive aside, the mental frustration can just not let you get in the mood. A stressed person who is tired, drained, and has high levels of anxiety cannot make up for the energy he needs to have sex.
If you and your partner often find yourself at conflict, the intimacy thing can be very difficult. When you and your partner are always involved in arguments and have poor communication and happiness is just not there, it is impossible to engage in any sexual activity.
- Factors that lead to less or no intimacy are:
- Fights and Arguments
- Negative Feelings
- Passive-aggressive behaviors
- Power Struggles
- Addiction to Pornography
Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
If the couple has not been receiving enough sex due to erectile dysfunction, it can lead to bigger problems. While it can be difficult for some men to achieve or maintain an erection, it may cause anxiety, lower self-esteem, and confidence too. Erectile dysfunction should not be taken lightly, it may be a symptom of an underlying health problem. To make sure everything is fine, one should visit a doctor to discuss.
Decreased Sex Drive
Decreased sex drive is also known as hypo-sexual desire disorder. It can be found in both men and women that can control and decrease their sexual drive. Decreased sex drive in women can be a result of irregular menstrual cycles, use of contraceptives, childbirth, breastfeeding, hysterectomy, or menopause.
Mental Health Issues
Some mental health issues may also cause decreased sexual activity and effects can be long-term if not taken care of. The signs and symptoms of depression include lack of energy, loss of interest, and pleasure. Similarly, social withdrawal and depressed mood can take over the ability to want physical intimacy.
Abuse in the Past
Sexual abuse in the past can have a life-long effect on a person. If one of the partners has been a victim of abuse or sexual abuse, it may affect the relationship. A person’s sex life can be disturbed tremendously if they have been fearful or shameful of sex because of post-traumatic stress, and distortions in self-perception can have a serious impact on a person’s sex life.
Recognize Your Marital Issues
To address marital problems, you should look for problems that are the cause of this problem. Lack of sex can be due to problems if your marriage is low-sex or no sex.
In a marriage there is not a fixed amount of sex partners should be receiving. But, the important thing to note is whether or not the two are physically and emotionally intimate?
Your marriage or relationship cannot be compared to another’s. Every relationship is unique and every once in a while, you may come across challenges and difficulties. If it is lack of sex, then it is not something new, researches have found that it is very common for couples to have a sexless life.
According to a research, it was found that around 15% of men and 27% of women did not have had sex in the past year. That is a huge number!
Communicate With Your Spouse
Communication with your spouse can improve the relationship, and talking about the lack of sex in your case can help you and your partner understand each other. The communication at this point can be very hard to initiate but it will be worth it. Even if you have sex once in a blue moon, your relationship can be stronger than others who have that experience often. Lack of sex is not always a sign of a weak marriage but it can become one if the physical intimacy and love wears off.
If there is no physical intimacy, it simply means that you and your partner need to spend more time together. If you are having a tough time trying to figure out what to do, then you should consider having a consultation with a therapist or seek professional marriage help. Talking about this subject and opening up to someone new can be difficult. Keep your session positive and do not blame your partner for lack of intimacy among you.
let me tell you something, marriage counseling has a very low success rate if you’re marriage in trouble and you don’t know what to do, DO NOT presume things will go back to normal just like that, you have to make an effort and work on your marriage, and the only way to do that is to seek professional help. Mort Fertel was just like you suffering from a troubled marriage and he learned a lot and helped thousands of people avoid divorce. I would like to share with you Chris’s story and how Mort Fertel’s program changed his life and made his marriage work again.
Even if you are facing fear or anxiety talking about it directly to your partner, you can talk about it with the professional or psychotherapist. Your marriage can be difficult and it is okay. No relationship is perfect. Never try to live up to someone’s expectations if it costs you your mental health.
Talk to your partner and try to rekindle your sex life in a positive way. If you want to change things, you should both do it together.
Reverse a Sexless Marriage
If both of you have finally decided that you want to have sex, add it to your schedule. The idea may seem unromantic and unexciting at first but gradually you may begin to like it and feel happy about it. Making a schedule will give you a sense of commitment and make it a priority.
It should not be limited to sex, you want to rekindle intimacy, this is why you should be building closeness and learn to touch your partner to show affection. This can require effort, as it can take energy and time. You need to bring back that spark you had in the early days of your marriage.
Being close, both emotionally and physically, is an important part of a healthy relationship. If you like to spend some time with your partner, either cuddling while watching T.V or giving each other a reinvigorating massage. You should be lowering boundaries and building intimacy. It can seem awkward at first, but gradually you will not be able to let go.
Ways To Fix Your Sexless Marriage
Help from a professional and outside may be the best option if you two cannot figure it out on your own. To gain advice and help, try a workshop, marriage retreat, or seminar to help with communication and connection.
Other medical problems, may also be a reason for lack of sex in your marriage, if that is the case, you should see a doctor. Seeking support from a mental health professional or a couple’s therapy class may also help open up lines of communication with your partner.
If enrolling in a therapy session feels like the right direction, then focus on all the sex life issues you have been encountering and open up to the therapist. Therapists or a certified sex psychotherapist can help fix and address issues that exist between you and your partner.
Michele Weiner Davis explains in her book Sex Starved Marriage why a sexless marriage can affect the quality of your marriage.
“It’s when one partner is desperately yearning for more touch, physical closeness, more sex, and the other partner is thinking: ‘What is the big deal? Why are you so hassled?’ When this major disconnect happens, intimacy at all levels tends to drop. [But it’s] really about feeling wanted, feeling loved, feeling appreciated and feeling connected,” she says.
She further explained that because sex life can hurt the relationship, it can also go on to destroy the bond, you and your partner share, ultimately putting your marriage at risk of falling apart.
Divorce research also suggests that one of the common issues that led to divorce are growing apart, poor and no communication, different likes and dislikes, even financial difficulties.
Your partner may not even bother about the low-sex thing but if it is something you want then it will shake you. But do not betray your partner or cheat on him at all. You might be frustrated after his listening to his ideas and thoughts but it is vital to stay calm and think clearly.
Open lines of communication and try to understand him and let the partner understand you.