So, it’s been a minute since you shook the sheets with your spouse. You tell yourself that every relationship runs into a s.e.x rut from time to time. But somewhere in your brain, you can’t help but worry.
Because you may have crossed over into s.e.xless marriage territory. A slew of Google searches begins: How many times should couples make love in a week? Does once a month qualify as a s.e.xless marriage? Before long, you’re in a full-blown panic over the state of your marital union.
The first thing to do is to breathe. Relax. Know that you aren’t alone and there isn’t any shame in seeking out answers. And to minimize your digging for answers, we created this article on how to tell if you’re in a sexless marriage; and ways to cope once you’ve established your marital intimacy could use a booster shot. But first what’s a s.e.xless marriage?
What’s A S.e.xless Marriage?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. A marriage in which very little to no s.e.x occurs is a s.e.xless marriage. Very little is different for each couple. Some couples feel s.e.x should occur several times a week, while others require s.e.x several times a month. There are cases with couples who have s.e.x only several times a year and that is enough for them. Therefore, what constitutes very little s.e.x is different and defined by each couple. Physical intimacy is what separates a friendship or platonic relationship from a romantic one. Without it, those in a marriage can feel more like roommates.
How can you tell if you’re in one?
You’re going to have to trust your gut on this one. What’s normal for you? If you and your partner previously enjoyed s.e.x several times a week and it has dwindled down to once a month, that may qualify as a s.e.xless marriage in your relationship. Obviously, if you aren’t having any s.e.x at all anymore — and you have historically been a couple who likes to get frisky — it’s readily apparent you have some intimacy issue to work through. If you’re still unsure, consider speaking with a s.e.x therapist or psychologist to discuss your concerns.
What are the possible reasons for a s.e.xless marriage?
Relationships take work, and that includes intimacy. With so many other things weighing on your mind, it is easy to let things like exhaustion overshadow your s.e.x life. However, it isn’t always a matter of neglecting to nurture that intimacy. Sometimes issues that prevent or negatively impact a healthy s.e.x life are much deeper than just the act of s.e.x itself. These issues may include:
- conflict in the marriage
- lack of trust in the relationship
- s.e.xual incompatibility
- history of trauma
- changes in libido
- relationship or s.e.xual boredom
- er3ctile dysfunction or vag!nismus
- emotional dysregulation
- mental illness
- side effects from medication or substance abuse
- effects of p0rnography addiction
Are there ways to cope with a s.e.xless marriage?
As you may have guessed, communication is key! The first thing to do is talk about it with each other openly and honestly. Discuss the decline in s.e.x and explore what may be contributing to it. Then brainstorm solutions. If possible, make adjustments to any causes that impact your s.e.x life, such as reducing stress, making changes to schedules, etc. Recognize that it will not be easy to make changes to your s.e.x life. But it is doable by staying mindful of it.
Another idea? Prioritize s.e.x much like you would anything else in your life — by putting it on the calendar. Couples can also schedule s.e.x, much like they schedule other events and tasks. Scheduling intimacy time, like planning dates, lets each partner know when a physical connection will occur and gives them something to look forward to.
Can a s.e.xless marriage survive?
Don’t dismay — you can fix a s.e.xless marriage. However, it’s important to accept that you might not be able to do it alone. If you find it difficult to make changes on your own, then seek the help of a licensed professional. We also recommend a marriage and family therapist and/or a therapist who specializes in s.e.x problems (a s.e.xologist). You need not feel embarrassed, as these professionals can help you get back on track in their relationship without wasting more time that can lead to resentment — or the demise of the relationship.