Why You’re In A Sexless Marriage- and How to Fix It!
If you find yourself in a sexless marriage, it is easy to feel rejected, hopeless and a little embarrassed. A sexless marriage is more common than you may think, and is rarely a standalone issue.
A sexless marriage is usually a symptom of another issue you are having as a couple. The great news is that with the help of a therapist, these issues can be tackled and bring you closer together than before.
A Sexless Marriage vs A Dry Spell
All marriages will have “dry spells”- perhaps you have a busy month, someone is sick, or any other zillion things that can get in the way of some time between the sheets (or on the couch, or on the kitchen table, or in the car….). A sexless marriage is a chronic, prolonged amount of time that is abnormal for you as a couple and leaves both parties with unmet needs. Some experts say this means having sex less than 10 times per year, other experts are hesitant to put a number on it because needs and the definition of sex varies greatly from couple to couple.
Reasons Why You’re in a Sexless Marriage
Again, it is worth working with a therapist to unpack any issues that are contributing to a sexless marriage, however the following reasons you may be in a sexless marriage can help get you and your partner reflecting on why- and how to begin fixing it:
Lack of Communication
It always comes down to a lack of communication, doesn’t it?! While communication doesn’t seem sexy, a lack of it can really make for a sexless marriage! Not communicating when something is bothering you is a recipe for building resentment, which is very unsexy. While it may take some professional input to unpack resentments that have built over years or are even the result of a traumatic breach of trust such as infidelity, you can begin to cultivate the habit of communication. When something bugs you, or if you feel hurt or rejected, don’t hold it in but also try to avoid these crucial conversations if either of you are stressed, tired, angry or otherwise emotionally raw. Cool, calm and collected and willing to stop and listen to the other side is a great start!
You don’t ever talk about sex
A sexless marriage can also be a symptom of shame and embarrassment around fantasies, perceived lack of knowledge or a lack of open communication (there it is again!) around desires you worry are taboo. Remember: no one is magically born with amazing sexual skills! Just like any other skill, it requires practice and feedback. If you’re in a sexless marriage because sex just isn’t satisfying or you have a desire you feel you can’t share with your partner out of fear, take the plunge and start talking about sex. It isn’t about laying out everything you don’t like about sex with your partner, it is about encouraging what works and discussing your needs, desires and boundaries!
“If I don’t try, then I can’t fail”. A sexless marriage can sometimes be a case of crippling performance anxiety that has become an ingrained mentality, kind of a bad mental habit. This of course ties into so many other issues: self esteem, fear of rejection, lack of communication about sex and desires, or even a physiological response to underlying trauma. If you avoid sex altogether because you are afraid of letting your partner down or being criticized, it might be time to do a deep dive with a therapist together to fix your sexless marriage and improve your self worth! You deserve a healthy, satisfying sex life and you can learn how to please each other, even if it takes a little outside help!
You’ve Fallen into a “roommate” dynamic
Maintaining a household, splitting bills, cooking meals, cleaning, doing laundry, arguing over who’s turn it is to empty the dishwasher- it can be easy to fall into a sexless marriage when the minutiae of day to day life takes over. You may be happily cohabiting, but is the small stuff piling up and getting in the way of seeing your partner in a way that invokes sexual desire? Obviously, as relationships progress that initial hormonal boost that made you so hot for each other int he beginning fades, but there’s no need to resign yourselves to a platonic existence!
A sexless marriage can be helped by deliberately making an effort to experience life (and your partner) erotically. Focus on parts of them that turn you on, or actions they take that make you feel aroused. Is paying a bill inherently sexy? No, but maybe the way your partner signs their name is, or how they lick their lips while they concentrate on how to reduce the overall energy expenditure next month, or the way their arm looks strong holding groceries can become new, more subtle turn ons.
You rely on spontaneity
At the beginning, you couldn’t keep your hands off each other and now you can’t even remember the last time you saw each other naked “for fun”. If your sexless marriage is a byproduct of feeling more like sex should “just happen”, why not add sex to the to-do list? It may seem like making sex “a chore”, but the opposite is true: it gives you something to look forward to, and a mandated opportunity to connect, touch, and experience intimacy. You can even plan themes or games that you want to try! Think of it like this- Valentine’s Day isn’t necessary or the only opportunity to show someone you love them, and it isn’t spontaneous, but having a specific day devoted to love and romance in addition to your day to day love or unexpected rendezvous is something to look forward to and make special. So make these planned “date nights” special, you deserve it! And who knows, it may become second nature and prompt more spontaneous encounters!
You’ve scoured the internet for advice on how to fix your sexless marriage and have picked up a few tips, so what now? Try them out!
And most importantly, communicate, communicate, communicate!
Take some time to discuss creative, kind and productive solutions, as well as what has been contributing to your sexless marriage- yet, listen to and empathize with your partner, and above all… don’t criticize.
A sex therapist can help facilitate these conversations if you find you’re having trouble opening up or making productive changes.
Never forget: it takes some work, vulnerability and communication, yet you can fix a sexless marriage!
You can get more free content on relationship and sex tips by checking out my Youtube Channel – The Sex Healer.
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