Think back to the time your relationship was new. When you met your partner, you felt a tremendous sense of passion toward them, both emotionally and physically. You were inseparable and you couldn’t keep your hands off each other. Then came the shaadi, you got married and you set you a happy ghar-sansaar. You couldn’t imagine you’d ever be in a sexless marriage. But things changed and over time, you’ve found yourself coping with a no-sex marriage. Romance has fizzled out. Though the relationship is still intact, you’ve lost that necessary intimacy you need to keep your love alive. This happens to a lot of couples, and even more so during the pandemic. A sexless marriage is not unheard of but neither is it something that can’t be resolved.

Without the physical intimacy that differentiates a romantic partnership from a platonic one, married couples can become more-or-less roommates. If both partners are okay with this type of relationship, it doesn’t call for concern. But often, one or both partners become frustrated or hurt by the loss of physical intimacy and sex. So if intimacy is on your list, don’t sit back and accept a sexless relationship as normal. Learn to reconnect with your partner and bring back the passion into your relationship.

Common Causes Of A Sexless Life

There are all sorts of reasons for a sexless marriage, like:

  • Stress
  • Illness
  • Worry about performing
  • Low libido
  • Age
  • Menopause 
  • Lack of body confidence

Other times, life events intervene, making it harder to find the time or the inclination to be intimate. Especially in Indian families, where responsibilities come first, read more here. Some examples include:

  • Having a baby
  • Constraints related to raising children 
  • Having a demanding job or incompatible work schedules
  • Excessive stress
  • Having a midlife crisis or having an affair
  • Pornography addiction
  • A change in physical attractiveness causes a partner to lose interest in sex
  • One or both partners are angry with each other and fight a lot
  • Or, they have fallen out of love with each other

Possible Consequences Of A Sexless Marriage

A sexless relationship can cause havoc and can be fatal for the marriage. Other times, it can just become a part of the routine. Living in a sexless marriage can lead to a variety of emotions, including, among other things:

  • Frustration
  • Anger
  • Sadness and depression
  • Embarrassment
  • Suspicion
  • Temptation to cheat

5 Ways Of Improving A Sexless Marriage

1. Communicate About It With Your Partner

For a husband or wife, sexless marriage can just be a result of a lack of communication. If the lack of sexual intimacy and decreased frequency with sex bothers you, it’s time to talk about it with your partner. Couples need to talk about sex — not once, not twice, but continually as things change in their life, whether because of kids, work or financial stress, illness, ageing. 

If sex matters to you and you expect it in your romantic relationship, there’s only one way to know if your partner’s on the same page as you are — talk about it and come to some agreements and continue to talk about it. You may need to put in a little more work, but romance and desire can be a consistent part of your life, no matter the age, as elaborated here.

2. Date Each Other

When intimacy withdrawal comes from timing and availability, sometimes the best answer is to make time. Proposing a date or an activity may be the key to reigniting your relationship and naturally segue into helpful conversations for each other. The solution to a sexless life is to create and build up intimacy in varied ways.

While studying the topic of ‘sexless marriage: effects on the wife’, the lack of efforts to be romantic stands out the most. Know how you can reignite the flame of passion with your partner postpartum here. Hire a nanny to take care of the kids, go for a walk at night, take some time off work or simply turn available time into a quality experience. If cooking together means quality time for you, then head on over to the Red Dot Shop for some gourmet foods here.

3. Initiate Sex Without Preconceived Notions

It’s nice to feel special and seduced by your partner. If you both equally take charge of your bedroom activities, then the chances are you both are highly satisfied with your sex life. Once the couple is back in the practice of acknowledging each other’s needs, take turns initiating sex.

According to researchers, sexual satisfaction is greater in relationships in which partners initiate equally or in which women sometimes initiate sex. Because of hurt that can develop from not having needs met, the bond between a couple can dissipate to the point of putting the marriage at risk. Learn different ways to initiate sex with your partner with minimal words here.

4. Let Out Your Fantasies

Too often, people in long-term relationships keep their latest sexual fantasies and interests to themselves. It’s typically beyond what they want in bed and this goes a little deeper and requires self-disclosure. For example, trying new positions, trying roleplay or exploring fantasies and fetishes can help a sexless marriage.

If anal sex is on your partner’s mind, here’s how to go about it safely. Or if you desire more oral sex, let your partner learn all about it here. Sexual awakening can happen at any age and sexual preferences can change, irrespective of age. Here are the indicators of the levels of sex drive, the science behind a woman’s orgasm and how to stay sexually active regardless of your age.

5. Address Any Sexual Dysfunction

The fear of having lacklustre sexual experiences or letting your partner down does more harm than good. Stress and sexless relationships are more connected than you think. Couples need to realize that there are an infinite variety of ways to delight a partner that don’t depend on an erect penis or vaginal penetration.  

Sex therapy can help you with working out what the underlying problem is and can also give you a sense that you’re sorting this out together. At the beginning of a relationship, sex can feel so easy, natural and exciting that it can feel a little sad that you might have to work at it, but the results can be well worth it.

Do Sexless Marriages Work?

Some may say that as long as both partners are happy in a sexless marriage, there isn’t a problem. Intimacy, however, is an important component of any healthy marriage. Plus, active sex life can help both partners individually in a myriad of ways. Sexless marriages are much more common than people know. If your partner doesn’t agree that there is a problem in your marriage and doesn’t want to change, you will have to decide if a low or no-sex marriage is a deal-breaker for you. 

Research doesn’t directly connect sexless marriages to divorce, but it can be a factor. It’s just never the only factor. For some partners, sexual intimacy is an essential aspect that enriches their connection to one another and provides an outlet for a physical expression of affection or love. If the frequency of sex has decreased to a point that divorce is on your mind, take a step back to consider whether you still feel comfort, trust, and love for your partner. Often, not having sex, or having less sex, is a symptom of something bigger.

Remember, you and your partner get to decide if you fit in society’s definition of a sexless relationship or not — and whether it matters at all!

Key Takeaways

  1. All marriages go through ebbs and flows, and it’s not easy to be married. 
  2. It’s essential to have an open and honest dialogue with your partner to get to the root of your sexless life.
  3. A sexless relationship can be frustrating for both partners. Married people want to be close to one another, which is why they got together in the first place. 
  4. Staying faithful in a sexless marriage could be tricky if one person is extremely sexual and is very attracted to their partner, but the other is either asexual or has a low sex drive. 
  5. It’s challenging to bring up that your marriage is lacking sex, but one place you could discuss it is in couples counselling. A couple’s therapist or counsellor is skilled in bringing up the issues that happen in sexless relationships or marriages.
  6. Research suggests that sex dwindles after you’re married; however, people tend to be happy with 3 or 4 times a week. 
  7. In addition to being unhealthy on their own, unmet physical intimacy needs can cause other problems in an otherwise healthy marriage or relationship – including infidelity.
Srushti Pathak
Srushti Pathak

A blogger, aspiring author and old soul at heart, Srushti Pathak believes in writing stories that touch the heart. She maintains that curiosity defines her zeal for writing and creativity in all spheres of life motivates her.