Sexless Marriage

Real Relationship Advice

This week will focus on marriages. Specifically, we will be focusing on marriages that for some reason have decided to forego sex and/or intimacy. There is never a good excuse give up on sex and intimacy. When we stop doing that, we are really giving up on our partners and marriage. This week will be uncomfortable for some and a revelation for others. We promise, as always, to treat the subject with respect and maintain our commitment to the truth for the purpose of assisting our readers to create happy, fulfilled lives.

Recently I found myself in a discussion on whether a marriage can survive without sex. Sexless marriages are not a new idea. Many of our grandparents lived passionless life where the thought of identifying themselves as sexual beings was an anathema to their existence. Our understanding of the secondary effects of sex, baby making notwithstanding, was very limited before. In addition to the nonsensical theories of female sexuality, it is only recently that Psychology has acknowledged that sex has a vital role in adult lives other than procreation.

Sex is wonderful. The health and well-being benefits of sex are well documented. Merely having a partner that finds you sexy is a boost to our self-esteem. Having the ‘power’ to sexually satisfy your spouse is a source of pride. Being desired by someone you love makes you feel wanted and part of something bigger than yourself. These and many other reasons are why sex is an important part of any marriage.

When we get married it is with the express purpose of committing ourselves to our partners.  For some of us, this commitment includes the possibility of creating a family. For others, the commitment is solely a public demonstration that they are joined together. They are a team. Regardless of how or why you made that commitment, most marriages start out with a certain level of lust. We marry someone that we desire sexually and take advantage of the commitment to enjoy carnal pleasures with our spouses. Statistically, newlyweds tend to have more sex than couples married for 5 or more years.

Due to life, illness, pregnancy or other interferences, we tend to wane in our desire. Biology has a lot to do with it. Men lose testosterone as they get older and women, who require a certain amount of concentration to enjoy sex, find it much more difficult to muster the desire or mentality to have intercourse. Our sex life diminishes with time. Without our constant vigilance, a week becomes a month, a month becomes a year and one day we wake to find we are in a sexless marriage.

CoupleDumb speaks on this subject not only as relationship experts with over 20 years of experience working with couples but also as a married couple with over 23 years of marriage. Having a sexless marriage is a choice. Having a sexless marriage requires that the couple has decided that sex of any kind is out of the question. Having a sexless marriage is a decision to move from a marriage to being roommates who share a family and bank account.

Now, there are times when the libido is compromised whether through illness, stress or medications. This does not mean that sex is off the table. The compromised partner can still provide sexual stimulation to their spouse and believing that you cannot perform because you do not want to is tantamount to saying that you do not care about your partner’s needs. And, for those who offer the side effects of anti-depressants as an excuse for a sexless marriage, if you actually cared about your marriage you would ask your psychiatrist to reevaluate your meds and possibly even add talk therapy to your treatment. Depression creates a certain selfishness because you turn inward and focus solely on your own misery. This must be combatted with looking to extrinsic stimuli to pull you out of your ruminating funk. In other words, concentrating on being a good spouse and parent would help alleviate the harsh symptoms of depression.

So, if you hear someone ask if a marriage can survive without sex you can answer, sure but why would you ever want to.


  • hacscrap

    well written on a difficult topic. . .I think it’s difficult for a lot of people to talk about (as so many things are) . . .which then makes it harder to get help to fix it.

  • jessicaghr30

    What if you’re in a sexless marriage simply because your husband wont have sex with you?? There’s no desire of libido issues on either part, he just would rather masturbate then make love to you??!!

  • LeeReyesFournier

    @jessicaghr30 I will answer this next week in a post. Thanks for the question.

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