10 Things To Do If You Have A Sexless Marriage

Last updated on : April 07 2022

They have white tops on.

Every fifth married couple has sex less than once per month. Lack of sexual intercourse or an emotional connection can lead to cheating even though there's no fixed number of times to have sex to avoid this. 

If you're not having sex at all or as often as you wish you would, what can you do about it? 

It's essential to get to the root of the matter. However, before we delve into the issue, let's look at the different situations couples find themselves in. 

Sexless Marriages Are Not All The Same 

There are four types of sexless marriages, and if you're in one, you'll find it described below. 

The different types include lack of or rarely intimate, lack of or infrequent intercourse, lack of or little interest in sex, and low-quality sex. 

There can be combinations of two or more types as well.

1. Lack of or Rare Intimacy

Many marriages suffer from a lack of intimacy. If there is no intimacy and passion, you might see your spouse as a roommate, a friend, or a companion. 

While there's certainly nothing wrong with that, it's not the same as seeing them as a loving and devoted partner. 

Without intimacy, no relationship can thrive. What's more, sex is not the same as intimacy. While sex in a romantic relationship has to be intimate, it's possible to have one without the other. 

2. Lack of or Rare Intercourse

In this situation, you might have sexual activity without intercourse, leading one or both spouses to describe the marriage as sexless. 

Among the reasons for infrequent or no intercourse is different experience levels. One person might have less experience and wants to take it slower than the other. 

3. Lack of or Little Interest in Sex

Some spouses have no desire for sex. 

Around 30% of women tend to lose interest in sex with time. About half as many men report a loss of interest. 

However, masculinity is tied to libido, so men are less truthful about losing interest in sex, meaning the extent of loss of interest in men is likely underreported. 

4. Bad Sex

Finally, having low-quality sex might lead one or both spouses to describe the marriage as sexless, although, technically, it isn't. 

After all, the view that low-quality sex is worse than no sex is quite common, so bad sex can impact your sex life just as much. 

Here, the issue isn't how often you have sex but what you want to get out of it. Communication is key. 

Why do Marriages Become Sexless? 

The most common reasons married couples stop having sex are children, illness, lack of an emotional connection, and poor communication. Then, age-related factors come into play. 

1. Children

She is carrying the baby

Many women report their husbands lost interest in them sexually after giving birth. The loss of interest can be due to weight gain and other issues. 

Even more often, it's the case that women don't want to have sex because of the changes in their bodies they experience. Prolactin levels increase due to breastfeeding, resulting in vaginal dryness. 

Finally, raising children can deplete a parent's or both parents' energy. Or, you might be worried your child will wake up and hear or see you having sex or that moaning and other sex sounds will wake them up. 

2. No Emotional Connection

The absence of an emotional connection often leads to less frequent sex. It's inevitable. 

You can't maintain intimacy when you don't support each other, which happens when an emotional connection is lacking. 

3. Low Sex Drive

Often, there are differences in spouses' sex drive. In addition, one's sex drive will be impacted by repeated rejection. 

4. Poor Communication 

Despite being married, spouses can face difficulty talking about sex, and inadequate communication can lead to unsatisfying sex or lack thereof. 

5. Medical Problems 

Issues like disability, medical problems, and mental health problems can result in sexual dysfunction

Anxiety and depression, in particular, can stop people from maintaining a satisfying sex life. Antidepressants can cause vaginal dryness and erectile dysfunction. 

Medical issues like diabetes, hormonal problems, high blood pressure, obesity, and thyroid issues can impact libido and stop people from enjoying sex. 

If penetrative sex isn't possible, couples can try other things that fulfill their needs and wants.

Can a Sexless Marriage Survive?

It depends. Intimacy is an essential element of marriage, and it can be hard to remain happy in one where it's lacking. 

Spouses might experience issues like infidelity, low self-esteem, uncertainty, instability, or constant fighting.  

Here are some factors that might cause the marriage to suffer or end due to the sex-related issues we discussed above. 

1. Affairs 

Having an affair can exacerbate existing issues even if you're in an open marriage. If lack of desire isn't the problem, a sexless relationship will inevitably lead to infidelity. 

2. Sadness 

You might decide to stay together even though you're not having sex or not having enough. 

This decision might not stop your marriage from breaking down because the lack of sex or intimacy will compound the issues with time. 

3. Low Self-Esteem 

Both men and women battle with poor self-esteem if they feel undesired and unwanted sexually. Our culture insinuates that since we're not having sex, there must be something wrong with us. 

Men in particular face pressure to be sexually active and often face criticism or ridicule if they're not. 

4. Instability and Uncertainty 

You might feel that your marriage has failed if you lack sexual desire. You will feel detachment and a dwindling connection. 

Ultimately the marriage can become unstable when spouses start distancing themselves. 

5. Fighting 

She turned her back to him

Unresolved anger and hostility often cause an absence of intimacy.

In sexless marriages, spouses might become vindictive, hostile, aggressive, or bitter. One might start manipulating the other by denying sex on purpose. 

The spouse feeling the lack of interest might start to feel guilty. Instead of talking about the issue openly, the other spouse might belittle them. 

Pent-up anger at your partner is a common reason for a sexless marriage. And some couples cite sex problems as a significant contributor to divorce. 

10 Ways To Fix A Sexless Marriage

The following tips will help you start enjoying sex with your spouse once again as long as your mind is set on it.  

1. Beat the Boredom 

If sex drive isn't the issue, it's likely boredom. So don't be afraid to let your partner know you want to try something new in the bedroom

How you approach the issue is just as important as what you say. 

Instead of starting the sentence with 'I,' ask them, "Don't you think this will be fun?" Stay open to their opinion as well.  

Nothing beats boredom like a new position or introducing adult toys. Adult novelties like realistic dildos take performing pressure off partners. And when you throw discreet shipping into the shopping experience, you have nothing to lose - except the boredom. 

2. Find out the Underlying Reasons 

If boredom isn't the reason, there must be another one. You can't address issues without identifying them first. Usually, the lack of sex is a symptom of a deeper problem. 

The reasons are often profoundly buried inside, especially if the marriage has been sexless for an extended period. Try an in-depth conversation with your spouse or speaking with a sex or marriage therapist. 

Address repressed resentment or anger – it will help a great deal. And acknowledge issues like low self-esteem, no matter which spouse suffers from it. 

These changes can strengthen your bond.

3. Connect in Different Ways 

You need to connect in other ways if you're lacking sexual intimacy. 

You could tell each other stories or discuss dreams, hopes, views, thoughts, wins, losses, etc. 

Intimacy goes way beyond sex, and a new connection between the two of you may reignite a spark. 

4. Try Alternative Forms of Expression

If your sex drive is more robust than your spouse's, find another way to express your energy and passion. 

A new sport or hobby can help with this, and it will also improve your well-being. 

Once you relax, you can approach the intimate subject more easily. 

5. Use Effective Communication

It's essential to work on communication, verbal as well as nonverbal. 

Spouses need to be able to deliver their messages kindly and thoughtfully. You must be open and honest for communication to be successful and improve your relationship. 

To create real intimacy, you must be willing to be vulnerable. A sexless marriage is often less about sex than about intimacy. 

Intimacy is closely connected with how much you're willing to give. The marriage will remain sexless unless you're eager to show your spouse empathy and reveal your truth.

6. Bring Polarities in Sync 

We come to the concept of yin and yang, the two different energies. 

These contrasting energies are not unlike a magnet's charges. When two people are together, they create polarity in a relationship. 

Masculine energy, the yin, is directed toward a purpose, while yang is more focused on emotion and connection. One partner always has more of one kind of energy. 

When you first got married, you were in sync. However, now it may be that you and your spouse embody the wrong kind of energy. And so, the trick is to ensure you rebalance balance as roles change over time. 

Masculine and feminine energies aren't necessarily connected to biological gender. It's widespread for women to be breadwinners and men to be care providers.  

If you're starting to wonder if your sexless marriage can survive, you need to bring these energies back to where they belong. Doing so will bring more passion into the marriage. 

7. Deal with Sex without Intercourse

If you're having sex without intercourse, give each other sexual pleasure in alternative ways.

This solution doesn't mean you should go out of your way to avoid penetration. It's more about adopting the "if it happens, it happens" mentality - while satisfying your partner without intercourse. 

8. Go on Dates 

We tend to get comfortable in our marriage to the point where it becomes sexless. Passion fades when spouses settle down and succumb to routine. 

Before you were married, what did you do together that you don't anymore? Try to remember even the little things. You might have told them how important they are to you or made little presents. 

Going on dates is perhaps the first thing that suffers as you settle down. 

In the past, did you go on dates or trips that were followed by wild, passionate sex? Why did you stop? You stopped dating because you got too comfortable with each other. Maybe you started taking each other for granted. 

Your spouse needs to feel loved and appreciated. They would love a pleasant surprise, even if it's something small like getting dinner on your way home or buying their favorite drink. 

Passionate, mind-blowing sex doesn't come easily. It takes effort, and planning a date is an excellent way to start. Be sure to pick a place where you can talk – a quiet, well-lit, comfortable place. 

9. Fight Complacency 

Finally, it's essential to work together to survive a sexless marriage and its consequences. 

As you do, you will feel you need space now and then. Other times, you will need to be closer to your spouse. 

Whatever you do, don't get complacent. Be active and keep assessing your emotional and physical needs with your spouse.

10. Forgive

If you can't resolve a past issue, it may be best to let go of it, even if the problem is one of infidelity.  

It won't help if you punish your spouse for something they did or said if you intend to stay in the marriage. Learn to let go and forgive, and if you need, forgive yourself too.


Throughout a marriage, we change and grow, which is perfectly normal, and sometimes, these changes might cause a loss of interest in sex.   

However, successful marriages are those where spouses don't avoid change – they welcome it. As a result, you don't need to live with the consequences of a sexless marriage alone. Speak with your spouse and take actions to address the issue.  

You can revive intimacy as long as you're open to honest communication and a desire to restore it.  

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