The Hidden Truth About Sexless Marriages

Sex is one of the most important aspects of a marriage. It helps to strengthen emotional bonds and keeps the relationship healthy. But what happens when a passionate sex life becomes a distant memory? A sexless marriage can be a source of unhappiness and stress. If couples ignore this issue too long it can even lead to infidelity or divorce. In this comprehensive article, we will present all the reasons, the effects, and a variety of solutions because you deserve a fulfilling love life!

Understanding the Concept of a Sexless Marriage

A lack of sexual activity characterizes a sexless marriage and can be caused by various physical and emotional factors. In a sexless marriage, at least one partner experiences a decrease in libido and a lack of sexual desire, which leads to infrequent sexual intercourse. Some common reasons for a sexless marriage include sexual dysfunction, low sex drive, and past trauma (we will cover more reasons below). It’s important to understand that a sexless marriage is not uncommon in the United States and can be influenced by a variety of factors, including social and psychological aspects. By understanding the concept of a sexless marriage, individuals can begin to explore ways to improve their sex life and build a fulfilling relationship.

The Existing Definitions and Perspectives

Some people consider a marriage to be sexless if the couple has sex less than 10 times a year, while others define it as having sex less than once a month. These differing opinions reflect the personal and cultural beliefs surrounding sexuality and intimacy. It’s important to note that the definition of a sexless marriage can vary based on individual circumstances, such as physical health, emotional well-being, and relationship dynamics. Taking these factors into account is crucial when understanding and discussing the concept of a sexless marriage.

How Often Do Married Couples Have Sex?

The frequency of sexual activity in a married couple can vary greatly. On average, studies suggest that couples have sex 1-2 times a week. However, this can be influenced by factors such as age, health, and relationship satisfaction. The most important aspect is open communication and mutual satisfaction between partners.

What ‘Sexless’ Really Means

In a sexless marriage, couples experience a significant decrease in sexual desire and activity. It refers to a lack of sexual activity within the relationship, where couples have infrequent or no sexual encounters. Being in a sexless marriage can have a profound impact on both emotional and physical intimacy. It is crucial to address the underlying causes of this situation, as it affects the overall relationship. By understanding what “sexless” truly means, couples can take steps towards improving their sex life and seeking solutions such as sex therapy. Addressing the issue of a sexless marriage is essential to foster a healthy and fulfilling relationship.

But what’s considered “minimal” sex?

In a marriage, “minimal” sex refers to infrequent sexual activity. Some experts define it as having sex less than once a month. However, the definition can vary depending on individual preferences and needs. It’s crucial for couples to communicate and establish their own understanding of what “minimal” sex means to them. Understanding expectations can help address issues in a sexless marriage.

How common are sexless marriages?

Sexless marriages are more prevalent than many people realize. Studies have shown that a significant number of marriages experience periods of sexual inactivity. Around 15-20% of marriages can be classified as sexless, with factors like age, health, and relationship dynamics contributing to this phenomenon. Seeking professional help is important for couples concerned about their sexless marriage.

What percentage of sexless marriages end in divorce?

Sexless marriages are more prevalent than many people realize. Studies have shown that a significant number of marriages experience periods of sexual inactivity. Around 15-20% of marriages can be classified as sexless.

The Impact of a Sexless Marriage

The impact of a sexless marriage goes beyond the lack of physical intimacy. It can lead to emotional distance and strain on the relationship, creating feelings of frustration, resentment, and low self-esteem for both partners. Sexual fulfillment plays a crucial role in a healthy marriage, contributing to overall satisfaction. Effective communication is key in addressing and resolving issues related to sexlessness within a marriage. Seeking professional help, such as therapy or counseling, can also be beneficial in improving the relationship. By addressing the underlying causes and finding ways to reconnect, couples can work towards rebuilding their love life and reestablishing frequent and fulfilling sex. Stats show that sexless marriages are more common than people realize, with an estimated 15-20% of marriages being classified as sexless. To overcome the impact of a sexless marriage, it’s important to prioritize relationship building and seek outside help when needed.

Emotional Consequences for Men and Women

Emotional consequences in sexless marriages can impact both men and women. Men may experience feelings of inadequacy or rejection when their partner lacks interest, while women may feel neglected and unloved without intimacy. The absence of physical and emotional connection can lead to loneliness and even depression. It is essential for couples to communicate openly and seek therapy to overcome these emotional repercussions. By addressing the underlying issues, such as low libido or sexual dysfunction, couples can work towards reestablishing a healthy and fulfilling sex life. Seeking outside help, such as a sex therapist, can provide guidance and support in navigating the complexities of a sexless relationship. Remember, emotional well-being is just as important as sexual intimacy in a marriage.

The Effect on Relationship Dynamics

Sexless marriages can have a profound effect on the dynamics of a relationship. The lack of intimacy can lead to feelings of emotional distance and resentment between partners. This can create a barrier to open communication and may cause both individuals to seek fulfillment outside the marriage. However, addressing the issue through effective communication is key to finding a solution. Couples therapy can be a valuable resource in identifying underlying problems and improving relationship dynamics. By prioritizing and investing in the physical and emotional aspects of the relationship, couples can work towards reestablishing a strong bond and rebuilding their love life.


Sexless marriages can lead to feelings of unhappiness and dissatisfaction in one or both partners. The lack of physical intimacy can damage the emotional connection between partners, resulting in overall unhappiness within the relationship. This unhappiness can manifest in other areas of life, including work, family, and social life. It can create a sense of loneliness and isolation, impacting the individual’s well-being and overall quality of life. However, it is important to note that there are ways to address these issues and restore happiness in the relationship. Open communication and therapy can help identify and address the underlying reasons for the lack of intimacy, allowing couples to rebuild their connection and find fulfillment in their love life once again.

Self-Esteem Issues

The absence of physical intimacy in a marriage can trigger feelings of rejection and inadequacy, which can have a detrimental effect on the self-esteem of both partners involved. When couples lack affection, their overall sense of self-worth may be compromised, leading to various negative consequences. Open communication is crucial when addressing these self-esteem issues and finding solutions to improve the relationship. It’s important to recognize that a sexless marriage can also contribute to the development of mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression. Seeking professional help from a sex therapist or counselor can provide couples with the tools and guidance they need to navigate these challenges and rebuild their self-esteem. By prioritizing communication and seeking outside help, couples can work towards improving their love life and overall relationship satisfaction.

Blaming And Fighting

Blaming each other for the lack of intimacy in a sexless marriage can further damage the relationship. Instead, communication and understanding are essential for resolving issues. Fighting and arguing only push partners apart, making it even harder to achieve intimacy. Seeking therapy or counseling can help couples work through underlying problems and improve their relationship. Addressing the problem early on is crucial before it escalates into a bigger issue. By focusing on open dialogue and empathy, couples can break the cycle of blame and create an environment conducive to rebuilding intimacy. Seeking outside help from a sex therapist or counselor can provide guidance and support in navigating the challenges of a sexless relationship. By putting in the effort to address the issues and seeking professional help, couples have the opportunity to rebuild their love life and achieve frequent and fulfilling intimacy.


Sexless marriages can increase the likelihood of infidelity or emotional affairs. The lack of intimacy often leads to feelings of loneliness and disconnection, making partners vulnerable to seeking attention outside of the relationship. It’s important to note that infidelity can occur even in non-sexual relationships where individuals are seeking affection or emotional connection. To prevent infidelity or repair the relationship, partners need to prioritize open and honest communication and address each other’s needs. By doing so, they can establish a strong foundation and work towards rebuilding trust and intimacy. Seeking outside help, such as from a sex therapist or counselor, can also provide valuable guidance and support in navigating the challenges of a sexless marriage.

Will a Sexless Marriage Lead to Divorce?

A lack of intimacy in a marriage can contribute to divorce, but it’s not the sole cause. Feelings of neglect, frustration, and resentment can arise. Effective communication and professional counseling may help improve the relationship and prevent divorce.

15 Common Causes for a Sexless Marriage

Relationship issues, including communication problems and a lack of emotional connection, can contribute to a sexless marriage. Physical health issues such as chronic pain or hormonal imbalances may also play a role. Mental health issues like depression, anxiety, or trauma can affect a person’s desire for intimacy. Additionally, certain medications that impact libido or sexual function might lead to a lack of sex drive. Stressful life events, such as financial difficulties or job loss, can create tension and strain within a relationship, potentially resulting in less sex. Differences in sexual preferences or desires between partners can also contribute to a sexless marriage. Remember, understanding the common causes for a sexless marriage can be the first step in finding solutions to improve intimacy and rekindle the spark in your relationship.

Physical and Health-Related Issues

Physical and health-related issues can have a significant impact on the occurrence of a sexless marriage. For instance, chronic pain or erectile dysfunction can both contribute to a decrease in sexual activity within a relationship. Hormonal changes, such as those that occur during menopause, can also affect libido and sexual function, leading to a decline in sexual intimacy. Additionally, certain medications or medical treatments may have sexual side effects that can impact the frequency of intercourse. Chronic stress and anxiety can cause physical symptoms that interfere with sexual desire and performance as well. It’s crucial for couples experiencing these physical and health-related issues to communicate openly with each other and seek professional help, such as consulting a sex therapist or counselor, to address them effectively.

Emotional and Psychological Factors

Emotional and psychological factors play a significant role in the development of a sexless marriage. Stress, depression, and anxiety can all contribute to a lack of interest in sex, creating emotional barriers between partners. Negative experiences and past traumas can further impact sexual desire and intimacy within the relationship. Communication issues and unresolved conflicts also play a part, as they create tension and decrease sexual attraction. Additionally, the lack of physical affection and touch outside of sex can contribute to a sexless marriage. Seeking therapy or counseling can be beneficial in addressing these underlying emotional and psychological factors and helping couples regain a healthy and fulfilling intimate life.

Life Changes and Stressors

Major life changes, such as the addition of a new baby, can have a significant impact on intimacy within a relationship. Alongside this, external stressors like financial troubles or job loss can also contribute to a decline in sexual activity. It’s important to recognize that physical and mental health problems can play a role in a sexless marriage as well. Decreased sexual desire can be linked to various health issues, and addressing these concerns with a healthcare professional is crucial. Additionally, a lack of communication and emotional connection can also contribute to the challenges faced in a sexless marriage. Seeking the guidance of a therapist or sex counselor can provide the necessary outside help to address these underlying issues.


Childbirth can bring about a range of physical and emotional changes that may contribute to a sexless marriage. After giving birth, women often experience hormonal shifts, exhaustion, and physical discomfort, which can impact their desire for sex. On the other hand, men may feel neglected and unimportant when a new baby arrives, leading to decreased sexual intimacy. However, addressing these challenges requires open communication between partners. It is important to discuss the changes, emotions, and desires related to postpartum sex life. Seeking therapy or counseling can also be helpful, as it provides a safe space for couples to navigate the complexities of sexual intimacy after childbirth. By prioritizing communication and seeking outside help if necessary, couples can work together to rebuild their love life and maintain a fulfilling relationship.

Mismatched Libidos

Mismatched libidos can lead to a lack of sexual intimacy in a marriage. Various factors can contribute to this issue, including stress, medication, aging, and hormonal imbalances. It is important for couples to prioritize communication in order to address and resolve these issues. Seeking professional therapy or counseling can also be beneficial in navigating the challenges of mismatched libidos. It is crucial to understand that sexual intimacy is a vital aspect of a healthy marriage. By actively working towards finding a solution together, couples can strengthen their bond and restore the connection in their love life. Remember, there are common reasons for mismatched libidos, but with open communication and outside help, it is possible to overcome this obstacle and build a fulfilling and satisfying sexual relationship.

Health Issues

Health issues, such as chronic pain, depression, and anxiety, can have a significant impact on a person’s libido. In addition to the physical effects, these conditions can also affect a person’s mental and emotional well-being, leading to a decreased desire for sexual activity. Certain medications that are commonly used to treat health conditions may also contribute to a decrease in sexual desire. For example, antidepressants and other psychiatric medications are known to cause sexual side effects. Chronic illnesses or disabilities can create physical limitations that make engaging in sexual activity challenging or uncomfortable. Mental health issues, such as trauma or PTSD, can also result in a decrease in sexual desire. It’s crucial for both partners in a sexless marriage to communicate openly about any health concerns that may be impacting their sex life.

History of Abuse

A history of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse can result in a loss of sexual desire within a marriage. Individuals who have experienced abuse often struggle with fear, anxiety, shame, or guilt that can impact their intimacy and trust-building with their partners. Healing and restoring intimacy in the relationship may require professional help through therapy or counseling. Open communication and understanding from both partners are essential in addressing the impact of abuse on sexual intimacy.

Hormone Changes

Hormonal changes can have a significant impact on sexual desire and performance for both men and women. Conditions such as menopause, pregnancy, and childbirth can cause hormonal imbalances that lead to a decrease in libido. Men may also experience reduced testosterone levels, which can result in a low sex drive and other issues. These hormone imbalances can also cause physical discomfort or pain during sex. It is important for couples experiencing hormone-related issues to consult with a medical professional to explore treatment options. By addressing these hormonal changes, couples can work towards improving their love life and overcoming the challenges of a sexless marriage.

Birth Control

When it comes to birth control, it’s important to consider its potential impact on your sex life. Certain forms of birth control can decrease libido or cause hormonal imbalances, which can ultimately lead to a sexless marriage. That’s why it’s crucial to discuss with your partner and doctor to find a suitable method that won’t affect your sex life adversely. Open and honest communication about any concerns you may have is key. Experimenting with different birth control methods can help you find one that works best for both you and your partner. In some cases, seeking therapy or counseling can also be beneficial in addressing underlying issues that may be contributing to a sexless marriage. Remember, finding the right balance is essential for a healthy and fulfilling love life.

Low-Quality Sex

Low-quality sex in a marriage can lead to dissatisfaction and decreased interest in sexual intimacy. It is crucial for couples to communicate openly and honestly about their needs and desires in order to address the issues related to low-quality sex. Identifying and addressing the root cause of the problem, whether it be physical or psychological, is essential for improving the quality of sexual experiences. Exploring new and exciting sexual experiences together can also help enhance the overall quality of sex in a marriage. Additionally, seeking professional help from a sex therapist or counselor can provide valuable guidance and support in navigating the challenges associated with low-quality sex.

Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED) can have a significant impact on sexual relationships within a marriage. Men who experience ED may often feel inadequate, embarrassed, and frustrated due to their inability to engage in sexual activity. The emotional toll is not limited to men alone, as women can also experience negative emotions as a result of the lack of sexual intimacy. Fortunately, there are various treatments available for ED, including medication and therapy. Couples counseling can also be beneficial in helping couples navigate the emotional and physical challenges associated with ED. By addressing the underlying issues and seeking appropriate treatment, couples can work towards restoring a healthy and fulfilling sexual relationship.

Lack of Intimacy

One of the key aspects in maintaining a healthy and fulfilling marriage is intimacy. It serves as the emotional and physical connection between partners. However, a lack of intimacy can be a common issue in many marriages. This may be caused by various factors such as stress, communication problems, or even physical and emotional health problems. When faced with a sexless marriage, couples therapy can be a helpful avenue to explore. Through therapy, underlying issues can be addressed and interventions can be made to improve intimacy. Open and honest communication with your partner is also crucial in understanding each other’s needs and desires within the relationship. By working together and seeking outside help when needed, couples can start rebuilding their love life and reestablishing a frequent and satisfying level of intimacy.

Communication Issues

Effective communication plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy and fulfilling relationship. Communication issues between partners can often lead to misunderstandings and a lack of intimacy in a marriage. In the context of a sexless marriage, a lack of open communication about sexual needs and desires can significantly contribute to the disconnect between partners. Poor communication skills, such as not actively listening or using defensive language, can further damage the intimacy in a relationship. However, there is hope for couples facing communication issues. Couples therapy can be an invaluable resource in improving communication and addressing the underlying issues that may be causing the breakdown in communication. Through therapy, couples can learn effective communication techniques, such as active listening and expressing needs clearly, which can help improve intimacy in their marriage.

Conflict or Resentment

Conflict or resentment can create emotional distance between partners, leading to a decreased level of intimacy and a sexless relationship. When unresolved issues or disagreements pile up over time, they can cause a strain in the connection and prevent couples from experiencing a fulfilling sexual bond. However, there is hope for couples facing conflict or resentment in their relationship. Couples therapy can be a valuable tool in addressing these issues and improving communication. By openly discussing and working through the underlying conflicts, couples can strengthen their emotional bond and create a healthier, more satisfying love life. It’s important for both partners to actively engage in resolving conflicts and finding common ground, allowing them to rebuild trust and cultivate a more harmonious and intimate relationship.

Relationship Fatigue

Relationship fatigue can occur when couples become too comfortable or complacent in their partnership. This can lead to decreased sexual desire and a lack of emotional intimacy, which are common symptoms of relationship fatigue. Other factors that can contribute to this fatigue include stress, boredom, and a lack of communication. To address relationship fatigue, couples therapy or counseling can be helpful in reigniting the spark. Prioritizing date nights, trying new activities together, and maintaining open communication are also effective ways to combat relationship fatigue. By actively working on these strategies, couples can prevent themselves from falling into the trap of relationship fatigue and maintain a healthy and fulfilling partnership.

Unrealistic Expectations

Unrealistic expectations of sexual frequency in a marriage can lead to tension and disappointment. These expectations, influenced by societal norms or personal beliefs, may not align with a partner’s desires. Effective communication is crucial in managing expectations and finding a middle ground that satisfies both partners. It’s important for couples to be willing to compromise and openly discuss their sexual needs and desires. Seeking therapy or counseling can also be beneficial in addressing unrealistic expectations and improving communication. By addressing and managing these expectations, couples can navigate the challenges of a sexless marriage and work towards a more satisfying and fulfilling relationship.

Unresolved Trauma

Unresolved trauma can have a profound impact on a relationship, leading to emotional disconnection and affecting intimacy. Common traumas such as abuse, neglect, and loss can create deep wounds that go unresolved. This can manifest as anxiety or depression, which can in turn affect libido and sexual desire. Seeking professional therapy or counseling is crucial in helping couples address and heal from unresolved trauma. It provides a safe space for open communication and allows both partners to express their emotions and work towards healing. In supporting a partner who is healing from trauma, communication and empathy are key. Understanding their triggers and being patient and supportive can help rebuild trust and intimacy.

How to Fix a Sexless Marriage

In addressing the issue of a sexless marriage, open and honest communication is crucial. Couples should have candid discussions about their needs, desires, and concerns. Seeking professional help from a sex therapist or counselor can provide valuable insights and guidance. It’s essential to identify and address any underlying issues that may be contributing to the lack of intimacy, such as stress, medical conditions, or emotional distance. Rediscovering intimacy can involve physical touch, non-sexual affection, and quality time spent together. Additionally, couples can work collaboratively to create a plan for improving the sexual aspect of their relationship, taking into account each partner’s desires and comfort levels. By implementing these strategies, couples can take positive steps towards rejuvenating their love life.

Open Communication and Discussion

Open and honest communication plays a crucial role in addressing the challenges of a sexless marriage. By discussing each partner’s needs and desires, you can begin to find potential solutions. It is essential for both partners to feel safe and comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings, as this will foster a deeper level of understanding and empathy. Seeking professional counseling or therapy can also be beneficial in facilitating open communication and providing guidance on how to navigate this sensitive issue. Remember to have regular check-ins to assess progress and make adjustments to your strategies as needed. By maintaining open lines of communication, you can work together to overcome the obstacles and rebuild intimacy in your relationship.

What if Your Partner is Unwilling to Address the Issue?

When your partner is unwilling to address the issue of a sexless marriage, it’s crucial to have an open conversation about your needs. Consider seeking couples therapy or counseling for support. Remember to also take care of yourself and reassess the relationship if necessary.

Seeking Professional Help: Therapists and Counselors

Professional counseling provides couples in a sexless relationship with an opportunity to identify and address the underlying causes. Therapists and counselors create a safe space where partners can openly communicate, fostering the rebuilding of intimacy. Individual therapy may also be recommended to address personal issues that are affecting the marriage. Through couples therapy, tools and strategies are provided to improve communication and increase intimacy. Seeking professional help is a positive step towards repairing a sexless marriage, as it allows for outside assistance in navigating the challenges that arise. By involving trained professionals, couples can work towards finding common ground and rediscovering a fulfilling love life.

Is it Possible to Maintain a Healthy Relationship in a Sexless Marriage?

Maintaining a healthy relationship in a sexless marriage is possible through open communication and joint effort. Couples should address underlying issues like stress, health problems, or emotional disconnection. Seeking therapy or counseling can also be beneficial. Ultimately, prioritizing mutual love, respect, and understanding is key.

Regular Date Nights

Making time for regular date nights is one way couples can prioritize intimacy and connection in their relationship. These date nights don’t have to be extravagant or expensive; they can be as simple as a cozy movie night at home or a leisurely walk around the block. By scheduling regular date nights, even amidst busy schedules, couples can ensure that they make time for each other and nurture their bond. Date nights also provide opportunities for couples to try new things together, whether it’s exploring new hobbies or going on mini-adventures. These shared experiences can lead to deeper emotional and physical connections, ultimately reigniting the spark in the relationship. By making regular date nights a habit, couples can strengthen their bond and create lasting memories together.

Exploring New Ways of Intimacy

When it comes to exploring new ways of intimacy in a sexless marriage, communication is key. Open and honest communication allows partners to express their desires, concerns, and boundaries. Experimenting with non-sexual forms of physical touch, such as cuddling or massages, can help reignite a sense of connection and closeness. Trying out new activities together, like dancing or cooking, can also enhance intimacy by creating shared experiences. If couples find it challenging to navigate this journey on their own, seeking the help of a therapist or sex coach can provide guidance and support. Each couple’s journey to intimacy is unique, so it’s important to find what works for both partners. Remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach, and it’s essential to prioritize open communication, respect, and understanding in order to create a fulfilling and intimate connection.

Sex Games to Build Intimacy

Couples can enhance their sexual intimacy by incorporating fun and playful sex games into their relationship. These games, such as Truth or Dare or role-playing, create a comfortable environment for partners to communicate their desires and preferences. Trying out new positions or introducing role-playing can also bring excitement and novelty to the bedroom. Setting aside dedicated time for intimate activities can help prioritize physical connection and strengthen the bond between partners.

Read Next: Top 10 Sex Games for Couples

Surprises & Romantic Gifts

Romantic gifts can help set the stage for intimacy and reignite the passion between partners. From sensuous massage oils to alluring lingerie, there are countless options that can aid in creating a romantic atmosphere. Thoughtful gifts that demonstrate love and appreciation can also enhance emotional intimacy, making your partner feel cherished and desired.

Sex Toys

Introducing sex toys into a sexless marriage can have the potential to enhance both solo and partnered sexual experiences by increasing arousal and desire. They allow for experimentation and can lead to improved overall sexual satisfaction and intimacy levels within a sexless marriage. By embracing these intimate tools, couples can explore new sensations and reignite the passion in their love life.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some signs that a sexless marriage may be a bigger issue than initially thought?

  • Feelings of loneliness and detachment due to lack of intimacy
  • Building resentment and arguments
  • One partner avoiding physical contact
  • Defensive communication about the issue.

Can a marriage survive without intimacy?

Yes, a marriage can thrive even without physical intimacy. However, the lack of intimacy may lead to emotional distance between partners. It requires open communication, understanding, and willingness to find alternative ways to connect intimately.

How do you survive a sexless marriage without cheating?

Surviving a sexless marriage without cheating requires open communication, and focusing on building intimacy in other ways. Cheating is never the solution and will only worsen the situation.

Can a sexless marriage still be emotionally fulfilling?

In a sexless marriage, emotional fulfillment is still possible through effective communication and prioritizing each partner’s needs. By focusing on emotional intimacy, affection, and addressing underlying issues, couples can maintain a strong emotional connection


In conclusion, a sexless marriage can have significant emotional and psychological consequences for both partners. It can lead to unhappiness, low self-esteem, blaming, fighting, and even infidelity. While not all sexless marriages end in divorce, the lack of intimacy can put a strain on the relationship dynamics.

There are several common causes for a sexless marriage, including physical and health-related issues, emotional and psychological factors, life changes, and stressors. However, it is possible to fix a sexless marriage through open communication, seeking professional help, and exploring new ways of intimacy

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Categories Sex