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Sexless Marriage Reasons and Remedies

Intimacy is one element that makes a romantic relationship more than a platonic friendship. However, some couples can slip into a pattern of allowing the physical

If both partners are okay with this type of relationship, it’s ok. But often, one or both partners become frustrated by the loss of physical intimacy and sex. In this case, the intimacy that was once a part of the relationship but has disappeared, can indicate a problem that needs to be addressed.

I am going to explore some reasons why this happens and how you can potentially reverse this trend in your relationship.

What Is a Sexless Marriage?

A sexless marriage is one in which there is little to no sexual activity between the partners over time.

Whether being in a sexless relationship is an issue depends on the couple and how they both feel. But if the lack of sex and physical intimacy is an issue, there are ways to work through it both together and separately, which starts with identifying the underlying reason.

Reasons for a Sexless Marriage

There are many reasons why a marriage may become sexless, including everything from health issues to lifestyle factors. Here are the most common reasons:

Health Issues

A person's physical and mental health can have a major impact on their sex life. Health concerns and disability can also disrupt the physiological process of arousal in both sexes.

Mismatched Libidos

Not everyone has the same sex drive, and a sex drive has a natural ebb and flow. When the partners' desire for sex does not coincide, it's easy for them to find themselves waiting to engage sexually until both partners are in the mood, which can be infrequent.

Mismatched sex drives can lead to feelings of rejection for a partner with a high libido and feelings of guilt or annoyance for the partner with a low sex drive.


Childbirth is a major event and can be traumatic for some women, so having sex again may not be at the top of the list for a new mum.

Spending post-childbirth time without sex typically wouldn't be considered a true "sexless marriage."

The added stress of caring for a baby, body image issues and tiredness can also affect someone’s sex drive after having a child.


Excessive stress can lessen someone’s sex drive. The stress hormone cortisol plays a role in this process. When cortisol levels increase, sex hormones decrease, ultimately reducing your desire for sex.

The psychological effects of stress can leave someone feeling tired, frazzled, and anxious so the desire or energy for sex can lessen, which can contribute to a sexless marriage.

Communication Issues

When you are in conflict with your partner, it can be difficult to maintain physical intimacy. You might not even feel like talking to them, let alone have a desire to engage in sexual activity.

Low Sex Drive

Low sex drive is an issue that both men and women may experience.

A variety of factors can contribute and among them are depression, physical or sexual trauma, substance abuse or dependence, some medications, or having a medical condition that causes low sexual desire.

Mental Health Issues

Depression or many other diagnosed mental health issues or Anxiety disorders, can contribute to a lack of sexual desire.

Life Issues

A number of different life factors and/or circumstances can also play a role in how frequently people engage in sex with their partner, including:

  • Aging

  • Body image issues

  • Boredom

  • Grief

  • Job loss

  • Tiredness

How to Address a Sexless Marriage

If you have a low- or no-sex marriage, the first step is determining whether this is an issue in your relationship or not.

There is no right amount of sex in a marriage. What's more important, in many cases, is whether you still have physical and emotional intimacy in your relationship and whether both you and your partner are satisfied in your marriage.

Avoid comparisons to other relationships because every relationship is unique. It’s really important to remember that sex in other relationships is probably not as frequent as you might think.

Here are some ways you can address the lack of sex in your marriage if it's an issue for you and your partner.


Talk to your partner about the issue of low or no sex in your marriage. It may be tricky, but this communication is essential. Even otherwise strong relationships can have problems with sex and intimacy. It isn't necessarily a sign that your marriage is weak or in trouble.

Avoid blaming, accusatory or critical language when you communicate.

As you talk, aim to determine ways you both think can rekindle your sex life. Making a change will only work if both of you agree to change and work together.

Build Intimacy

If you have decided that you want to have more sex, consider putting sex on your schedule. It may sound unromantic, but it can also be exciting if done the right way. Scheduling gives you something to look forward to and shows a commitment to one another and your physical relationship.

Beyond sex, it's also important to explore other ways to build closeness that is often lost in low-sex or no-sex relationships. Physical intimacy doesn't only involve sex.

Physical intimacy should not be limited to sex alone.

Spending more time together, whether you're watching television or taking turns giving each other a massage, builds intimacy. Here are other intimacy-building activities you might think about:

  • Try a new activity together.

  • Do something physical together such as going on a walk.

  • Schedule a holiday

  • Go on a scheduled date night.

Get Help

Depending on the underlying causes, seeking outside help may also be a good option. You might try a marriage retreat, workshop, or seminar to help with communication and connection. 

If therapy feels like the right direction for you, consider seeing a counsellor who focuses on sexual issues in marriage. Your therapist can work with you to address any issues that are standing in the way of intimacy. Take these opportunities to focus on building a stronger, deeper marriage.

Will a Sexless Marriage Lead to Divorce?

Being dissatisfied with your sex life can breed trouble in a relationship. That is to say that the lack of sex itself isn't necessarily an issue, but rather any dissatisfaction associated with the lack of sex is.

If you're unsatisfied with the amount of sex that you and your partner are having, you may be wondering whether your relationship can be sustained. Making the decision to walk away from your marriage can be very complex and hurtful. There are many factors that can contribute to feeling sexually satisfied in a partnership, and they can differ from person to person.

Next Steps If You Are in a Sexless Marriage

Hurt can develop from not having needs met, the bond between a couple can dissipate to the point of putting the marriage at risk.

If your partner doesn't agree that there is a problem in your marriage and doesn’t want to change, then you have the choice to decide if a low- or no-sex marriage is a dealbreaker for you.


Whether being in a sexless marriage is a dealbreaker depends on the couple. But if you find yourself dissatisfied with the amount of sex you and your partner are having, the first step is to communicate this, then explore ways to find the intimacy that each of you needs to feel fulfilled in your relationship.

There are many reasons that a relationship can become sexless, and many are treatable. Experiencing sexual issues in a relationship can be very difficult, but you don't have to manage it alone xx




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