Whilst there are many marriages that work just fine without physical intimacy in marriage. These marriages are likely to be missing a crucial element that forms a wonderful, unique and magical bond between a husband and a wife. However, some of the couples who happily lack physical intimacy in marriage might not realize that such magic exists.
Some marriages might tick along nicely without physical intimacy – but that’s probably because both partners are gaining something from not being physical together. For example; both spouses might have a fear of intimacy and so make a subconscious compromise to have everything else in their relationship with the exception of the closeness that physical intimacy brings. And this might be a much more desirable compromise to them than having to deal with the challenge of facing their issues or fears that they might have in relation to physical intimacy.
There are thousands of reasons why there might be a lack of physical intimacy in marriage; physical illness, emotional distress, sexual dysfunction, fear of intimacy, and stress are all examples of reasons why physical intimacy in marriage can be lacking.
Such lack doesn’t always mean that the marriage is doomed, or over if your sex life becomes quiet. However, if physical intimacy lacks in your marriage problems might arise one day in the future. We’ve listed the common problems below so that you can be prepared – and so that you’ll know what to do if you find yourself in any of the situations.
1. One partner becomes dissatisfied with the lack of physical intimacy
A marriage may have been ticking along nicely without physical intimacy in the marriage. Everything may have seemed to be fine, but then, one partner starts to feel dissatisfied with the situation – and starts to want more physical intimacy.
This is a sign that one partner was always as satisfied with a lack of physical intimacy in their marriage as they may have first thought. Perhaps they tried to support their partner, who still lacks the desire for physical intimacy, to maintain equilibrium, or so as not to lose their partner. Or perhaps they didn’t realize how much they needed the physical closeness.
This partner who has previously compromised is starting to desire a connection and closeness that only arises from physical intimacy.
2. Physical intimacy that once was is now non-existent
The physical intimacy from at least one partner has been withdrawn, possibly leaving the other partner perplexed and feeling out in the cold.
This is a tricky situation because there could be many reasons for such a dramatic change. Ranging from small issues (such as experiencing temporary stress), to much larger issues (such as illness, sexual dysfunction, or possible relationship issues).
The person who is withdrawing may not even realize they are experiencing a problem which can compound the situation.
3. Both spouses are happy despite the lack of physical intimacy
But then change occurs.
Some couples may have lived happily together for many years without any physical intimacy in marriage. The lack of physical intimacy may never have presented a problem to them.
Perhaps they are both uncomfortable in being too intimate, or don’t feel great about themselves, and have lost confidence in their ability to be any good at, or enjoy physical intimacy anymore. Whatever the reason, a couple in this situation have achieved a comfortable equilibrium in their relationship that they both might be happy with.
However, a lack of physical intimacy indicates a distance between spouses. Even if a couple has found that distance to be comforting. There can be times in life, particularly when the change occurs that often require a couple to be strong together in every way. For example; loss or grief, a trauma, or just a change in psychological development can all cause changes in a relationship.
It’s at these turbulent times, that most people will want to be on the same page as their partners. Not just to feel supported through the times of change, but also to stay strong together as a unit, as each person adjusts and evolves their psyche as a result of change or trauma.
Any type of distance in a relationship, including a lack of physical intimacy in marriage will show itself in these situations and can either cause conflict and further distance or put you in a position where physical intimacy is required to reignite the spark in the relationship.
If you find yourself in any of these situations, here are some ways that you can overcome the problem.
- If you are lacking physical intimacy in marriage, and you are unsatisfied with that situation it’s time to start discussing this with your spouse.
- If your spouse agrees that there needs to be more spice in your life, start to look for ways to reignite that spark. There are plenty of articles on that topic to get you started right here on marriage.com.
- If your spouse is uncomfortable with physical intimacy, try to discuss the reasons why with them. Try to do so in an open, un-defensive, and non-judgemental way. Be prepared to need to support your spouse and to possibly hear things you don’t want to hear.
- If your spouse doesn’t feel like they can discuss the problem with you, encourage them to seek advice from a professional. A marriage counselor, or therapist to help them address their problems with intimacy.
- If none of these ideas are working, it’s time to consider attending marriage, or intimacy counseling together as a couple, so that you can work through the problem.