How to Cope in a Sexless Marriage


In recent times there have been surveys galore which point towards an increasing trend of sexless marriages in society. Busy working lives, children, changes in libido over time and just plain exhaustion seem to be the major culprits. So if it has been quite a while since you and your partner have had a romping session, don’t fret since you have growing company. Here is a brief guide who will help you to cope with a sexless marriage and yet have a meaningful relationship with your spouse.

Sex is not the prime necessity

First of all understand that not having sex will neither kill you nor your marriage. Granted that sex fulfils an important human need, but there are other equally meaningful ways of remaining connected to your spouse. The obsession with sex and its supposed importance to a relationship is a modern construction. Sex is not a physical necessity and celibate couples can be equally happy in their marriage, though it will need more work than a normal relationship.

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Agree on the issue

The most important issue in a sexless marriage is that of agreement. When both partners agree that they can have a meaningful relationship without sex, then a sexless marriage can be a happy one. However problems arise when there is a mismatch in the sexual needs of the married couple. In such a situation, one partner may feel pressured to perform while the other may be hurt by the lack of physical love. To cope with these discordant feelings and expectations, it is necessary that you and your spouse talk to each other and find a common ground.

Resolve underlying issues

Very often lack of sex springs from unresolved issues between partners. If one partner is upset for some reason, he or she may hold back from sex as a way of making the displeasure known. This in turn will put off the other partner who will start holding a grudge against his or her spouse for withdrawing from intimacy. In order to break this vicious cycle of mutual distrust and hurt, it is necessary that both spouses sit together and bring the issues out in the open. Once the issues are resolved, it will not only lead to a healthier relationship but more love and understanding between the two, which may or may not be followed by physical love.

Make time for each other

For couples in a celibate marriage, it is necessary to explore various ways of remaining connected to each other. One useful way to do this is to schedule some “couple time” on a regular basis. Make sure that you both are free from distractions for this period. Leave the kids with a babysitter and don’t take calls from the office. Do something that you both enjoy like going to the theater or a football game. Don’t forget to indulge yourselves like having dinner at a fancy place or trying out the new restaurant in town.

Do something fun together

Yet another way to remain close to each other is to do something interesting together. Take up a hobby which you both enjoy like hiking in the mountains or putting up amateur theatrical productions. You could also join classes for couples like learning to do the salsa or experimenting with Thai or Lebanese cuisine. These activities will not only offer you innovative ways to have fun with each other but more importantly keep you busy from worrying about the perceived lack in your relationship.

Take pleasure in physical intimacy

Conventional wisdom has brought about an either/or attitude towards sex in relationships. Either you have sex in your marriage or you don’t have a marriage at all. In fact, there is a lot that couples can do to enjoy intimacy with each other. Hugging and kissing your partner regularly will help you to remain physically connected. For special occasions, take a shower together or pamper your spouse with a sensual massage. Spend leisurely evenings with some soft music and aromatic candles around. All these ways will help you to take pleasure in  physical intimacy.

Avoid extra-marital affairs

One of the biggest dangers of sexless marriages is that the temptation to get sex from outside the relationship is immense. This is especially true when one partner is more hurt by the lack of sex than the other. The dissatisfied spouse will reason that since he or she is not fulfilled within the marriage, it is justified to get sex from someone else. Nothing can be further from the truth however. Being unfaithful is just not the way to resolve issues within marriage. Having an affair is evidence of a partner’s own weakness and inconstancy. If one cannot live without sex, it is best to walk out of the marriage first and then look for a sexual relationship.

Be open to changes

Just because you have been living in a sexless marriage for several months now and perhaps even a year or two, does not mean that things can never get perkier between you and your spouse. Don’t shut yourself out to any pleasant surprises in your relationship. If you both love each other and happy with your marriage, then some day you may be naturally drawn to have sex with each other. Enjoy the experience and then go on with your life without getting stressed by the encounter.

Finally the key to coping in a sexless marriage is to accept the reality. If either of you are incapable of enjoying sex but your relationship is richly rewarding in every other way, accept the reality and get on with the business of living. When people realize that they lack something, they become obsessed by the lack, whether or not that object or experience is necessary to lead a fulfilling life. Similarly stop obsessing about the lack of sex in your marriage, find other things to love about life and each other and just move on.