Although this post is an opinion on the issue of sexless marriages and relationships, I think it’s safe to say that personal experience supported by ample ladies’ nights are amongst the best research. Not to mention, I have a solid sampling of husbands whose wives have “closed up shop”…at least for their husbands.
Allow me to start with: unless you’re dealing with a health issue or physical ailment, whether minor or major, losing your sex drive is most likely psychological. It could be how you view your partner, how you view yourself (this is usually the ringer), or both. The truth of the matter is, we allow ourselves to become complacent in our marriages. Some of us get lazy, others complacent, but the result is the same – a sexless partnership.
An Inconvenient Truth
Whether you’re the denier or the denied…
I know this is going to sound cruel. It’ll also sound like a sweeping generalization. But there is one great truth – whether you want to believe it or not. The sooner you accept that what I’m about to say is either happening or will happen unless you address the neglect of one of your partner’s most basic needs, the better.
Not having sex with your partner who desires sex with you will, sooner or later, drive them into the arms of another. Whether you believe it or not, whether it suits your religion or not, whether you think it’s immoral, or prefer to think that they were seduced by a bottom feeder…however you want to handle this fact is fine. Just as long as you accept it. And yes, once you get your head around this you’ll feel destroyed and betrayed. But the dust will settle and here I’ll be, ready to ask you one simple question. Why? Seriously, what did you expect to happen? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not giving you my opinion on right or wrong, what I’m asking of you is to take a logical look at this scenario. There are only so many times someone can have a headache, not be in the mood, or even worse fake their way through it before another biological being (known as “the partner”) seeks to remedy their sexless situation and satisfy their physical desire with a more willing and desirable recipient. Oh, and make no mistake, a desirable recipient isn’t necessarily someone more handsome or beautiful, but rather someone welcoming and openly receiving of someone who has been neglected. Acceptance goes a long way when you’ve been dealing with months of rejection.
3 Reasons for a Sexless Marriage
Now let’s get to it:
- Things Didn’t Turn Out As I Expected. Whether the bloom has fallen off the rose, you got married too young, or you got married for the wrong reasons, whatever the case, if you identify with this you need to seriously consider whether continuing a relationship is appropriate. It’s a fair ask for both of you. You see, often times people enter into long term relationships, even going so far as to legally bind themselves to someone while they’re still riding the “high” of the honeymoon phase of their relationship. The dream of finding the perfect person to love you just how you want to be loved and experience the life you desire is still plausible and the shortcomings of the prospective partner are still easily overlooked. Not saying relationships entered into at an early stage/age don’t last, but when they result in a sexless marriage, you need to consider what the dream of your partner included. Then consider how they have fallen short. Once you’re done indulging yourself in the “it’s all them” perspective, it’s time to face reality and take a look at your shortcomings, because this is where it begins and ends. Consider that perhaps you wanted them to fill a love void, one they could never fill because until you figure yourself out and start to love yourself no one could ever love you perfectly every single day of the rest of your life, except yourself. It’s also wildly unfair of you to punish them with abstinence because they couldn’t meet your expectations, no matter how high or how low. Neither of you are in servitude to one another, and neither of you get to determine which needs are more important to meet.
- It’s Just Such a Chore. We all assume roles in our relationships which turn into an ever growing list of expectations for our partner to meet…especially when we get caught up in the monotony of life. One person always feels that the scales are imbalanced and intimacy becomes just one more thing to tend to when you just want to relax after a long day. What’s more, it takes forever to get into the mood, or insert whatever reason you’d rather sleep than connect with the person to whom you’ve committed yourself. But if you think back, do you remember a time when you would forgo sleep just to feel their tongue on yours just one more time, or stayed up late yearning to know more about this person? It was the high of your relationship, so you know that you’re actually not too tired. Like so many people, we give sex a demotion because life has become “normal” again. The high has worn off and you’ve got things to do. In some cases this scenario can be too far gone and the very thought of sex with your partner is just incomprehensible. Often times people tell themselves that it will get better. In my experience it doesn’t, unless you take hold of your mind and determine your priorities and where your partner and their needs rank in them.
- Passion Turned into Friendship. It’s a wonderful thing for your partner to be your best friend, as long as they don’t become your platonic best friend. As the years go by, without the proper nurturing of physical and mental needs, it’s extremely easy for the spark to fall into the toilet of your redesigned bathroom. I’ve found that when this happens the pretense for which people come together is to fulfill their need for companionship rather than their want of a friend and lover.
These are just three reasons which can come to impact a relationship/marriage’s sex life. It could be any one of these or a combination of all three, but the common denominator in a sexless relationship is y-o-u. You can not control anyone else, even your spouse of 50 years. No matter how justified you feel in your reasons to withhold sex from your partner, or how justified you feel if you are the one who strays, the bottom line is, you owe it to yourself to take a long hard look at yourself and figure out what it is you want from your partner. Committed relationships are not fair weather only. So ask yourself how you can make it better, better yet, ask yourself if you want to.
Relationship Advice From a Friend
Just so you know, I’m guilty of all three of the sexless marriage reasons above. My marriage of nearly twenty years came to an end and I’ve been on a path of self realization ever since. Although our divorce was mutual, I was wounded (much to my surprise). It took about four years, but I finally emerged from my bubble, and I was wiser for having dragged myself through.
My advice to you is know yourself, deeply. Know your motivations and desires before entering into a long term relationship. Relationships are meant to compliment you, not complicate you. Do not date simply because you’re lonely. If you’re lonely, be lonely…feel it deeply. Once you become content in your loneliness, and realize that you are living your best life on your own, then start dating. That’s where you complement one another rather than simply filling a void or put a bandaid over old wounds.
Can Reading Erotica Help a Sexless Marriage?
I have always found that there’s something deeper in erotica, and obviously much deeper than watching porn. But why? Reading and watching TV have different effects on our brain, but less scientifically, reading is suggestive imagination. You’re given the scene, the plot, and the characters but it plays out in your mind’s eye. Often times a good book/story makes us feel as though we’re there, as though we’re a part of it…whereas watching a story play out can leave us longing for that life, but inevitably we feel separate from the characters.
What I find fascinating about erotica is how it begins to reveal our fantasies – the little secrets we hold so dear, the little things we’ll likely never free ourselves enough to actually experience in our external reality, but are wildly free to experience in our minds (also known as our “internal reality”). Critics may say that porn and erotica are damaging to relationships, I beg to differ. They are no different than a sex toy, and they can only enhance an experience if libidos are running slower than they used to. If erotica and porn ruin relationships, then one must explore a deeper psychological component, as damage to a sex life is much deeper than porn or erotica.
I believe that these two mediums can be beneficial to a relationship whose sex life is waning. They give you a chance to let go and explore a fantasy. Erotica specifically provides the opportunity to live in your imagination, which is something I think we’ve lost a bit in today’s world of accessibility.
In the end, sexless marriages have been around for Centuries, if not longer. The key to unlocking your libido is in your mind – what you’re willing to acknowledge about yourself, despite what society and your religion tells you is acceptable.