Common Reasons Couples Stop Having Sex

Posted on July 18th, 2023
Alt: A man and woman lying next to each other with backs turned

Although we live in a much more sexually cognizant and accepting society than other generations, talking about sex can still be an awkward topic. In general, most people won’t discuss what happens in bed with others, which can be understandable. However, many won’t even discuss sex with their partners.

Sex is a very intimate topic, and that’s why many couples won’t discuss the fact that they have very infrequent sex or that they have a sexless marriage. Sex generally slows down after two people have been together for some time, but it’s an essential aspect of intimacy and connection in a relationship.

So, why do people stop having sex? There are a multitude of reasons that sex begins to fizzle out in a relationship. Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons.

Stress, Exhaustion and Routine

The most common reason that couples stop having sex is simply because of long and tiring days at work or looking after the kids. Of course, this doesn’t mean your marriage is in huge danger. It’s just that stress, anxiety and tiredness have eclipsed desire.

The trap of the daily routine is bigger than many people think, especially if they are having sex repeatedly in the same way. People tend to follow the same script and no longer take the time to want to romance or please their partner in new ways, and sexual motivation starts to die a slow death.

Sexual Discomfort

People who experience discomfort or any level of pain during sexual intercourse are not going to want to have it. This situation is more common than you might think. Women, in particular, are prone to painful sex, and they could be too embarrassed to talk to their partners about it. Women are especially prone to this after going through menopause, when their estrogen levels become low, and their body does not produce the same levels of lubrication.

That’s not to say men don’t struggle with pain during sex, but the numbers are much lower. If painful sex is not addressed, it can have a huge impact on body image, mental health, and the relationship, which will lead to a decrease in sexual desire, too.

Trust or Safety Issues

The psychology behind sexual arousal can be complicated, and if one partner doesn’t feel safe or like they can trust the other, then there could be a genuine lack of arousal. This could come down to being a survivor of, or witness to, sexual violence, or it could be trust issues from a previous relationship.

The key to a good sex life is open communication. The ability to talk about the past any sexual anxieties, wants, or needs is vital for a healthy sexual relationship. If communication is severely breached and a partner doesn’t feel that they can talk about past traumas or concerns, this is likely to present itself as a low sex drive.

Unproductive Conflict in the Relationship

As with the point above, communication is the foundation of this common reason why people stop having sex. However, it has less to do with not communicating but rather the communication styles.

Small, everyday problems are normal in a relationship, but if they aren’t dealt with, they can very quickly develop into full-scale resentment and anger, which is commonly communicated through unproductive conflict. If you are unable to solve conflict in your relationship productively, then chances are it’s going to start eating away at it, and the sexual desire will become eroded.

Conflict resolution is one of the most essential aspects of having a healthy relationship and a healthy sex life.

Chronic Disease and Mental Health Disorders

Other causes of low libido can be chronic disease, post-surgery recovery and mental health illnesses. For example, something like diabetes causes tiredness and other symptoms that can lead to a lower sex drive.

Some surgeries can also result in side effects like erectile dysfunction or vaginal dryness. At the same time, mental health issues have a similar effect. Depression can completely diminish sex drive and affect a relationship in several simultaneous, damaging ways.


Some prescription medications can have a huge impact on your sexual wellness. Some could impact your libido and reduce your sex drive dramatically, while others can have a more physical impact, causing erectile dysfunction and other sexual issues.

Self-Confidence and Body Image

More often than not, your partner probably isn’t finding your body unattractive, but their own. Many people have self-confidence and body image issues that could reduce the frequency of sex. This is common after birth and weight gain but could also just be a concern as people age and more.

Communicating with your partner about how they are feeling about their body if you notice any negative comments is a good way to open a healthy conversation.

Quick Tips to Improve Your Sex Life

Rekindling the passion and intimacy in your relationship is not something that will happen overnight, but here’s how you can get started:

Schedule it in: As unromantic as this sounds, scheduling in sex means that you give it top priority in a busy schedule. If you simply say, “oh, we’ll have sex eventually”, the chances are very high that this won’t happen.
Tell your partner what’s happening: If you are the one who is constantly rejecting your partner or you’ve lost your sex drive, then it’s essential to communicate how you are feeling to them and what could be impacting your libido.
Listen and be compassionate: If it’s your partner who’s not feeling like being intimate, then it’s important to give them the platform to tell you what’s going on with them. Let them know you understand how they feel and are happy to work with them on their issues.
Go slow: There’s no need to jump head-first into wild positions and fantasies as you rekindle intimacy. Rather, take it slow and build up safety and trust between yourselves.
Talk openly about what you want: Sometimes, a decrease in sex drive could simply be down to not talking about what you both want and what feels good during sex. Once you’ve built up safety and trust, it’s important that you both feel comfortable enough to communicate about what you would like in the bedroom.

Get Professional Help

Sexual intimacy can be complicated, especially when it is caused by factors such as trauma. At Naked Recovery, we specialize in trauma and how to heal from traumatic experiences.

Our programs are created to address specific traumas and help people move on to a healthy and happy future.

Contact us to find out more.

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