Marriage is a lifelong promise of commitment between partners to live together, joyfully, peacefully, and respectfully till death parts them. It’s for people who want to make their relationship permanent, official, and public legally to live the rest of their lives together in harmony. But no matter how strong a bond is between partners, there are various problems that can deteriorate a relationship to the extent that it may lead to a divorce.
A sexless marriage can be one of those problems if the partners continue to ignore this important aspect of their relationship.
Listed below are a few of the several problems that life partners encounter that, if left unresolved, can ultimately result in divorce :
- Extramarital affairs
- Sexual differences
- Differences in religion, values, and/or beliefs
- Lack of intimacy/boredom
- Traumatic experiences
These are all a few of the reasons that can work alone or in combination with one or more other reasons to put an end to a marriage.
After being with each other for a long amount of time, couples rarely expect problems related to intimacy to crop up after they’ve committed to each other. Yet, it can become a problem. According to a new study, married Americans or those living together had sex 16 fewer times per year in the period from 2010-2014 as compared to the years from 2000-2004.
Marriage is a concoction of many emotions, feelings, wants, and needs but it will not be farfetched to claim that intimacy and sex drive a marriage and work in keeping it interesting.
Can a marriage last without sex?
You are thinking – “We got together because our chemistry was great, and we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. Can an intimacy issue mean that my partner and I are not meant to be together?”
Sex was great in the beginning but as you settled down into the domestic responsibilities, it seems like intimacy took a backseat.
It became something that was no longer spontaneous. There was a gap in what you wanted and what your partner desired or you ended up doing the same thing over and over. Slowly both of you started avoiding the act altogether.
There could be other reasons for a marriage to turn sexless as well but no matter what the reason, here’s how they affect a relationship.
The love hormone oxytocin associated with building trust gets released during periods of sexual activity so it helps in forming closer bonds. The lack of sexual activity naturally affects this and causes couples to drift apart. At the same time, such couples still stay together without realizing what’s going wrong in the relationship.
Sexless marriages are more common than you think
Sexless marriages are not necessarily unheard of. In fact, it will not be too astonishing for you to hear that there are relationships that go on for decades and so on and on without sexual intercourse or any form of sexual intimacies. There are countless cases where the marriage is plagued by a disease or condition of one of the partners that makes establishing sexual intimacies impossible.
In some cases, after having children, either one or both partners don’t consider sex important because the basic goal of producing offsprings has been achieved. Most of these cases in which marriages last, however, are ones where communication is established and maintained.
There is an understanding regarding the needs and wants of both partners who unanimously agree to live together without sleeping together and are at peace with that arrangement.
Sexlessness due to the sexual difference is a cause for concern
The problems arise where one of the partners loses their sex drive for whatever reason and sweeps the problem under a rug hoping the other will get a hint. This leads the other partner to experience feelings of confusion, distress, embarrassment, and abandonment.
They are no longer sure if the partner is upset with them, bored of them, is having an affair, losing their interest, etc. They are left sitting there guessing what exactly went wrong and try to trace back their footsteps to determine at what point along the way did they lose their partner.
Events that occur in a sexless marriage
Following is the list of things that can possibly happen, in any order, when marriage becomes more of a living together situation and less of an intimate relationship.
- Distance is formed
- Feelings of resentment are fostered
- Partnership is reduced to roommate status
- Makes infidelity arguably acceptable
- Sets a bad example for children
- Leads to the formation of insecurities in one of the partners
- Leads to decisions to split
Sexless marriage may work for some and may not for others
It is difficult to determine whether or not a marriage can truly survive without sex. It is a truly subjective argument where a sexless marriage may work out for some and be a complete disaster for others. It is key to keep open communication with your partner though because the decision cannot be solely taken by one of the partners without the knowledge of the other.
Despite the love, understanding, commitment and honestly being important in a relationship, there is no arguing that sex in itself plays an integral role as well without which the aforementioned factors may diminish over time. It is important for both partners to be physically compatible and satisfied to fuel their relationship. However, a marriage cannot survive only on sex.
A successful and happy marriage requires a combination of efforts to make it work and any of the factors when missing leads to formation of a void which definitely has adverse effects on the relationship between partners.