Does a Sexless Marriage Always Mean Divorce?

Posted on August 1st, 2023
A signs saying Is Sexless Marriage Normal

Can’t remember the last time you and your partner had sex? Are you in a sexless marriage? Does this mean that you should get a divorce?

These are all questions that many people in a long-term relationship have asked themselves if sexual intimacy has dried up. It can be a tricky area of a relationship to navigate, especially considering that most couples in sexless relationships still love their spouse and are otherwise compatible.

In this article, we will take a look at what constitutes a sexless marriage, how common it is, and whether it is something that you should consider a divorce over.

What is a sexless marriage?

There is absolutely no one-size-fits-all regarding what is considered having a healthy sex life. This is completely dependent on each person’s libido. Some couples have sex once a week, some have sex every three weeks, and some have sex every three months. Many couples are quite happy with the amount of sex that they are having, even if it isn’t a lot by other people’s standards.

It’s also important to remember that a sexless marriage doesn’t always look like it does in the movies, where a couple turns away from each other at bedtime. The marriage is completely void of love and connection.

Technically, however, according to the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies, a sexless marriage or relationship is one where a couple has sex less than ten times a year.

It’s more common than you think

How common are sexless marriages? As mentioned, there’s no hard or fast rule about what constitutes a sexless marriage, but one thing is certain: people are having less sex than you think.

This topic is rarely discussed openly. However, “sexless marriage” is one of the most commonly Googled marital issues in the world. In fact, a data scientist Seth Stephens-Davidowitz revealed that people search for “sexless marriage” online three and a half times more than they search for “unhappy marriage” and eight times more than “loveless marriage.” This tells us that sexless marriages are a concern for many couples, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to an unhappy or loveless marriage.

Is a ‘sexless’ marriage grounds for a divorce?

Most long-term relationships will experience dry spells. Everyday stresses, obligations, and life can simply get in the way of having sex. Sometimes, however, this can go on for too long and turn into a sexless marriage, which is obviously of greater concern than a dry spell.

Having an intimate relationship – including sex – is important in most healthy relationships. If your spouse isn’t meeting your sexual needs, or vice versa, it could make you question whether it’s worth staying in the relationship.

This isn’t something to be taken lightly. However, more often than not, a sexless marriage comes down to a lot more than simply sex, and there are some emotional or physical aspects at play.

A sexless marriage alone isn’t a definite reason to split from your spouse or partner. It’s worth putting the work in to get to the problem of what is causing the issue before throwing in the towel. Seek out professional help or do a program together, such as the Naked Marriage Spark Program, that will equip you with the tools to reignite your marriage and find your way back together in the bedroom.

There are signs that your sexless marriage has bigger problems, however, and some of them are indicators that it could be time to walk away from your sexless marriage.

Signs that you should walk away from your sexless marriage

As mentioned, a sexless marriage doesn’t always mean divorce or a breakup, but there are some concerning signs that suggest it could be the best way forward for you. These are:

Your partner is unwilling to do the work

It’s unlikely that your relationship went from spicy, frequent sex to nothing overnight, so it’s important to understand that it’s not going to get back to that just because you both want it to.

That being said, a huge red flag is having a spouse who is unwilling to make a commitment to doing the work required to get your relationship back on track. Believe it or not, having more sex actually takes commitment, and it can feel a bit like work at the beginning, and this scares some people.

Honesty and collaboration are at the core of this work, and some people would simply prefer to remain as they are not having sex rather than deal with the feelings and emotions that could be behind it all.

Reigniting your sex life isn’t something you can do on your own, and if your partner isn’t willing to meet you halfway, it may be time to move on.

There’s a lack of love as well as sex

As we’ve already mentioned, a marriage without sex isn’t necessarily one without love and connection. Some people are perfectly content without sex when they still have a great relationship with their partner.

However, when other intimate moments like affection and touch are also absent from the relationship, then it could be a lot more serious. In fact, a lack of these basic human needs can trigger much bigger marital problems than a lack of sex.

Empathy, respect, and friendship are all crucial aspects of a happy, successful marriage, and these are durable and deeper than the initial overwhelming attraction that characterizes the start of most relationships.

Chances are, you know whether you’re just in a sexless marriage or if you’re actually unhappy overall. If your partner is not providing you with the affection, intimacy, and support that you need, then not having sex is the least of your concerns.

You can’t communicate about sex

Open communication is a critical component of any healthy and successful relationship, whether that’s with family, friends, or a partner. The way we communicate dictates how we solve our problems.

If you are not able to communicate, you won’t be able to tell your partner how you feel, what’s bothering you, or how you think you can problem-solve. Some couples have problems communicating in general. However, communication about sex can be particularly touchy for some couples.

Sex is still a taboo topic in many households, and some people are too embarrassed or shy to talk about it. This means that they are unable to discuss their sexual preferences and fantasies openly, they can’t tell someone if they are enjoying something or whether something is making them feel uncomfortable, and so on.

The inability to have open communication with a partner at home is one of the most common reasons people reach out for couple’s therapy. However, if communication remains an issue at home, then you won’t be able to resolve issues, and it could be time to start looking at separating.

Sexual incompatibility

Sometimes, two people are simply not compatible in the bedroom. This can come down to a number of things: Sex drive and preference. A person who doesn’t have a high sex drive does not match well with someone who is highly sexually driven. Sometimes, these types of people can meet halfway, but other times, it’s simply not enough.

When it comes to preference, there really are some extremes out there. Two people with vastly different sexual preferences might be able to make it work with a bit of compromise. Still, it becomes a problem if one person is comfortable with what their partner is looking for sexually.

Sex is all about trust and feeling comfortable. If you or your partner are having to engage in acts that you are uncomfortable with or won’t have sex with your partner because of this, then it’s probably worth considering ending your relationship.

If it’s led to infidelity

It’s not uncommon for affairs to take place in a sexless marriage. It often motivates one or both of the partners to look elsewhere for the fulfillment they are missing in their relationship. However, this could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, especially if the person who cheats is the one who isn’t interested in sex.

There could be many reasons why you and your spouse aren’t having sex, but when it leads to an affair, it usually means that there are more problems in the marriage than your sex life. In fact, a report released by psychologist Shirley Glass cited that 48% of men who had an affair cited emotional dissatisfaction, rather than sexual, as the main reason they were unfaithful.

Some infidelity is too painful to recover from, and it’s up to both of you to decide whether it’s something you can work on getting through together. Can you recover intimacy after infidelity?

A sexless marriage isn’t the end if you put in the work

Of course, all of the scenarios above are those that could make it worth considering ending a sexless marriage. However, this isn’t always the case. If you and your partner are willing to seek professional help, then you stand a good chance of reigniting the spark in your relationship.

Contact us at Naked Recovery to find out how we can help your marriage.

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