Dissatisfaction with a sex life is one of the common issues couples experience that affects their overall relationship satisfaction. Differences in sexual needs and desires could lead to struggles and conflict.
Consequently, if people in no sex marriages don’t manage the incompatibility between them, they might start to wonder when to walk away from a sexless marriage.
Causes of a sexless marriage
If your sex life has decreased, and your partner used to have a high sex drive, there are several causes for a sexless marriage to consider:
Increased stress and expectations
Recent loss or emotional suffering
Loss of desire or aging
Low or decreased self-confidence
Pregnancy or childbirth
Communications issues and conflict
Criticism and lack of support
Ideally, you would be able to address the potential reasons to know what solution to strive for in your unique situation. Approach it with an open mind and heart, as many problems can be solved when both spouses are motivated.
Effects of a sexless marriage
For some, a no sex marriage is a nightmare, while for others, it is the desired way to live. To answer what are the effects of a sexless relationship on spouses, we need to have in mind how compatible their sexual needs are.
When both partners have a low sex drive, they might not consider it an issue. If you are wondering if it is reasonable to be in a no sex marriage, you ask the wrong question. Ask yourself, is my marriage a happy or unhappy one? Can a marriage with no intimacy work? Yes, if both partners are at peace with the amount of sex they have.
When one or both partners desire more sexual intimacy, any number of effects can happen. They might feel angry, disappointed, lonely, ashamed, and experience a lack of self-confidence. If sex is an integral part of the relationship for spouse(es), then they can feel deprived and dissatisfied with the relationship overall.
It is not uncommon for partners to wonder when to walk away from a sexless relationship in such situations.
When to walk away from a sexless marriage?
Life has no easy answers or guarantees, so how to know when to walk away from a sexless marriage?
If you are pondering how to end a sexless relationship, there are 3 most likely scenarios to keep in mind.
1. Your partner is not willing to work on the issues
Often, this kind of marriage is a sign of overall relationship dissatisfaction.
Other significant issues may be causing you to consider divorce, like disagreements about money, parenting, power struggles, constant fighting, physical, emotional, or substance abuse. If so, unless addressed and dealt with, these issues can lead you to divorce.
Sexless marriage and divorce rates
According to some data, the divorce rate is around 50%. Although many might ponder divorce due to a lack of intimacy and wonder when to walk away from a sexless marriage, we are unsure if a lack of sex is a valid reason for divorce.
An unhappy sexless marriage can be a consequence of deeper relationship issues. Hence, even if we did a study on marriage divorce rate that lack sex, we might not know if such a marriage is the reason. Albeit, many couples wonder when to walk away from a sexless marriage and can a marriage with no intimacy survive.
Is divorce the answer – can a sexless marriage survive?
Sexual intimacy is not all that simple. There is no “normal” or “healthy”, only what works for you. For some, no intimacy marriage and futile efforts to make it work will be ground for divorce while for others it won’t as they might be totally fine with having sex rarely or never.
Research backs this up by showing that for marital satisfaction a satisfying sex life and a warm interpersonal climate are more important than a great frequency of sexual intercourse. Hence, such marriages can survive and thrive if it is something both partners are content with.
Furthermore, sexual intimacy can be rehabilitated, if one or both partners are not pleased with the no sex marriage situation. Improving sex life is a process and can be accomplished. Understanding why it is happening is important, as you will approach the issue differently depending on the cause.
In the video below, Dr. Laurie Betito says sexual intimacy is a shared pleasure. There’s a big difference between something to share and something to give. That’s where everything goes wrong for some people. Listen more below:
Abandon norms, focus on satisfaction
For some, such a marriage is a desired state, while for others, it is a nightmare. The most important question is how you and your partner feel about your sex life and how compatible are your needs.
Many long-term relationships experience decreases in libidos in busy, stressful, or child-rearing times. Talk to your partner and try to work it out. Before you start to figure out when to leave a sexless relationship, invest in making it work.
Passion can be reignited in a no sex marriage if both commit to the process. Having a sex professional assist can make this journey smoother.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Milica Markovic has graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy with a degree in Clinical Psychology. She has 7 years (and counting) of Psychotherapy and Coaching education (both Transactional Analysis and Psychology of Personal Constructs) and experience in working with clients. Throughout her career, she has had remote clients around the world facing various personal, academic, or professional challenges.
She finds her primary duty is to establish a trusting environment in which clients can feel safe enough to discuss anything that might be troubling them and grow closer to their goals. She believes that whether you are experiencing a personal, relationship related, or professional challenge, the journey to surpassing it can be made easier with the right help by your side.
Milica is also a strong advocate of lifelong learning and continuous improvement.