Marriage is a lifelong promise of commitmentbetween 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.
Can sexless relationships survive? 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 :
Differences in religion, values, and/or beliefs
Lack of intimacy/boredom
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 newstudy, 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.
Circumstances under which sexless marriage can survive
Can a relationship survive 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 sex in a relationship 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 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. So, can a relationship survive without sex?
There are countless cases where the marriage is plagued by a disease or condition of one of the partners that makes establishing sexual intimacy impossible.
Both partners do not consider sex important
After having children, either one or both partners don’t consider sex important because the basic goal of producing offspring has been achieved. Most of these cases in which marriages last, however, are ones where communication is established and maintained.
So, can a relationship survive without sex?
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 the 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.
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
Do you need sex in a relationship? 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 the formation of a void which definitely has adverse effects on the relationship between partners.
Sex is one of the important foundations that keep the relationship going. In fact, it is one way to celebrate the relationship.
Can a relationship work without sex? The amount of sex one needs to continue with a healthy lifestyle varies from person to person and the choice of both partners.
A study suggests that 17,744 people in the United States, with15.2% of males and 26.7% of females, reported having no sex in a relationship in the last year, while 8.7% of males and 17.5% of females reported not having had sex for 5 years or more.
The study concludes that “sexless Americans reported very similar happiness levels as their sexually active counterparts.”
However, sex is one of the physical needs and your body could be sending you many signals when it craves physical intimacy like lack of sleep, excessive anxiety, loss of appetite, frequent sexual dreams, and fantasies.
10 ways to help rebuild intimacy
Can a relationship survive without intimacy? Can a relationship survive without passion? Well, when it comes to emotional intimacy, the answer is definitely no. A relationship without intimacy will only drift the partners apart.
One of the foundations of a happy, committed relationship is passion and intimacy. For any long-term relationship to survive, intimacy is vital as it helps the couple stay connected and more communicative.
If you are looking for ways to ignite passion in your relationship, here are 10 tips:
Appreciate your partner
Appreciate your partner for something they do for you, small or big, and be specific with your gratitude. A Please, Thank You, and small acts of kindness go a long way in making anyone feel special.
It’s great to schedule sex when the intimacy factor is lost in the relationship. Over a period of time, you both will be able to understand each other’s fantasies and likings better and get closer.
Bring changes in your sex routine
If you have a relationship without physical intimacy, keep varying the way you both have sex. Vary the place, sex positions, and time. This will add novelty to the relationship and help you both find new ways to love each other.
Plan date night
Plan date nights. It is important to bring back the old times. Plan romantic dinners and have sweet conversations as you spend that quality time. Avoid bringing critical subjects during that moment.
Take it slow
Know that you will not get the results right away. So, keep the bar low and don’t rush the process. Considering you are working from reaching a certain level and this will not happen overnight.
The more you both discuss your fantasies with each other, the better your sex sessions will be. Once you know what the other person wants, a simple step in that direction will make a huge difference in strengthening the relationship.
Emotional vulnerability is important to bring the spouses closer. Vulnerability requires courage, and once you begin to open up without any inhibitions, your partner will begin trusting you all the more and become more sexually attracted.
Love letters are a long-lost tip. Resurrect your intimacy with this tip. You don’t have to be an expert in romantic lines. Anything written with love will be appreciated by your partner as it will show your efforts.
Restart non-sexual contact
Holding hands and hugging your partner will release the happy hormone, oxytocin which will calm you both, and it is one of the ways to fix the lack of intimacy in a relationship. A reduced level of stress will ultimately lead to better intimacy.
Continue till you reach the desired result
If you are not having sex anymore in a relationship, keep putting in the effort.
The idea is to remain persistent in your efforts to build intimacy in the relationship. If you continue to put in efforts to build intimacy in your relationship, you will surely reach the desired result.
Every couple shares a unique relationship, and no two relationships can be alike. The issue of can a relationship survive without sex, or it can depend on individual circumstances. However, the basic foundations of the relationship remain the same for each. When couples focus on working on these, the relationship is sure to prosper.
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.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.