1. People & Relationships
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Are You Living in a Sexless Marriage?

By

Couple facing away from each other on bed
Cavan Images/The Image Bank/Getty Images
sexless marriag
bigstockphoto.com
lack of sex in marriage

Question: Are You Living in a Sexless Marriage?

Answer:

Are you living in a “sexless marriage?” Is there less sex than you feel is appropriate? A sexless marriage is one in which a spouse feels there isn’t enough sex or there is no sex at all.

Let me qualify what I have said above by saying that if you want sex every night and your spouse only wants sex three times a week, you are not living in a sexless marriage. If you want sex every night or three times a week and your spouse wants sex once a month, you are living in a sexless marriage.

Your spouse may disagree. Having sex once a month or once every three months may fulfill their need for sex. In their mind they are not living is a sexless marriage because their needs are being met.

The problem lies when there is a huge difference in the sexual needs of the spouses. The definition of a sexless marriage is not dependent upon whether or not there is no sex in the marriage but on the effects of differing sex drives in the marriage.

For example, Jay could care less about sex. He had even told Janice, his wife that he didn’t know “what the big deal was about sex.” Jay was quite happy and content having sex every three months.

Janice, on the other hand fully understood what the “big deal” was. Janice had a healthy sexual appetite and meeting her sexual needs meant sex at least three times a week, not every three months.

Janice had no control over getting her needs met though because when it came to sex, Jay was calling all the shots. Sex was on his terms because in his mind they had a healthy sex life. After all, his needs were met and to him that meant there were no problems.

Situations like the one above are not uncommon. It is estimated that 1 out of 5 marriages are “sexless.” Imagine being trapped in Janice’s marriage, one in which a husband withholds sex. Maybe you are and are familiar with feeling undesirable, unattractive and unwanted by your spouse.

If so, the first thing you have to do is not internalize your spouse’s low libido. Do not make it about your level of attractiveness or desirability. It is not about you, it is about them.

Is there a way to fix a sexless marriage? Maybe, maybe not. Being able to fix the problem depends on what is causing the problem. Identifying what is causing the lack of sex is your first step; secondly, you must take steps at finding solutions for the causes.

Common Causes for a Sexless Marriage:

  • No Time For Sex: Working, paying the bills, household chores and parenting responsibilities can wear both spouses down. These are the most common reasons one or both spouses spend less time thinking about and engaging in sex.

    What is the cure for this cause? Making time for rest and relaxation. Understanding that if there is no intimate bond between you and your spouse, all that hard work is for nothing. In today’s society, we work very hard at maintaining our lifestyle but so readily put off working on maintaining our relationships. In the end the lifestyle you are working so hard to maintain means nothing if you lose the relationship.

  • Lack of Communication: Couples don’t talk about sex. It’s as if we believe sex is an action you take but not a subject you discuss. It is healthy to let your spouse know what you do and don’t like when it comes to the sex act. It is also healthy to let your partner know if you are less than satisfied with your sexual relationship. More sex talk can lead to more sex in the marriage!
  • Depression: Lack of sex or lost sex drive can be caused by depression. There are many reasons why your spouse may feel depressed. If your spouse is dealing with depression let him/her know that you are there to support them and will work through the depression with them.

    Insist that a professional treat the depression. Offer your support but make it clear that you will not accept your spouse ignoring their condition and not seeking help.

  • Childhood Sexual Abuse: In the example above, Jay had been sexually molested as a young boy. As a result Jay developed a skewed view of sex and intimacy. Neither is safe ground and until Jay deals with the molestation, he suffered as a child his marriage and wife will suffer.

    If you are in such a situation, it is important to understand that your spouse needs your support. Nevertheless, you don’t owe your spouse a healthy and fulfilling sex life. If he/she refuses to acknowledge and deal with the problem, you have a choice to make. Either learn to live with the lack of sex in your marriage or divorce.

  • Lack of attraction for one’s spouse: It would hurt to hear your spouse say they do not find you attractive. Again, I want to stress that this is not something you should internalize. Just because your spouse does not find you attractive does not mean you are not attractive.

    The chemistry we feel for our spouse can ebb and flow. It is not unusual in a marriage to go through periods where we feel a lack of desire for our spouse. What you have to do when faced with this issue is determine if there is still love present.

    If your spouse loves you but is going through a phase and not feeling that old spark I suggest you work at rekindling the spark. Work together as a couple at bringing back a little romance and connecting both emotionally and physically.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.