Coping With a Sexless Marriage

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Can you Cope in a Sexless Marriage?

The negative effects of being in a sexless marriage are far reaching and can be quite dire for the relationship and for personal mental and physical health. Coping with a sexless marriage is therefore something that anyone stuck in this unfortunate situation needs to learn how to do.

Some of the things that must be endured include:

  • Humiliation - Being rejected by ones spouse is not just annoying it is humiliating and soul destroying
  • Self Esteem Issues - Linked to the humiliation many begin to blame how they look for their partners indifference.
  • Depression - Living with constant rejection can spiral into clinical depression as this becomes the focus of all your problems in life.
  • Infidelity - Men and women without a sexual partner frequently are tempted to cheat even if it makes them feel guilty and they still love their spouse.
  • Divorce - Eventually for many people they give up and while they still may care for their partner the intimacy that was the grease in the gears dries up and the whole machine grinds to a halt.

So just how does one cope with all these problems?

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Help on Coping With a Sexless Marriage

There are many ways you can approach each separate issue that is plaguing you because of your sexless spouse but here is one essential thing you must so before you can help your spouse to a normal healthy sexual relationship again.

You must learn to be a whole person.

This does not mean abandoning your spouse to go explore the world or something but it does mean that if you are not coping with your marriage you must build a stronger sense of self. There are three reasons for this.

1. Strong People Are Attractive - Both men and women react to strong people with a defined sense of self. This should not be mistaken for ego however as that is just being full of yourself! One problem in many relationships is that you merge so closely you lose who you once were to become a wife or a husband. Reclaim your whole person and also be a wife of husband! This will often stimulate attraction again form your spouse.

2. Stronger Sense of Self Copes Better - If you have a defined sense of what you want and how to achieve it outside of your marital troubles it can help you cope with those problems. The more you focus on your sexless marriage the more you become anxious and frustrated. Taking time to explore the other things in life gives you a chance to change the focus and become stronger in the process.

3. Being Secure Help You Help Others - The person with the problem in the sexless marriage is not the one who wants to make love and be intimate. That is normal and healthy. The person who really has the issues in the spouse who has lost the desire. While the causes of this are varied you will not be in a position to help if you have been brought low by the whole situation too! Being in charge of your own emotions and being self fulfilled in other aspects will give you the strength to help and to not be too intertwined with their suffering to be enmeshed in it.

Don't Just Cope in a Sexless Marriage!

I dislike the with coping to be honest. It strikes me as a term used to describe carrying a burden for which there is no relief. Just suck it up and keep moving ... this does not need to be the case.

Good communication is the real key to fixing rather than just coping with a sexless marriage. Uncovering the reasons behind your spouses change in sexual attitude is vital to do before you can take any real substantial action to mend this rift before it spirals into something worse.

For more information about healing the gap between you and your partner to reclaim the passion and intimacy of a healthy sexual marriage i recommend the following guide.

 Last updated on April 10, 2010

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Reader Feedback 31 comments

anonymous 2 years ago

Women HATE sex period. THAT is the problem.

anonymous 2 years ago

@anonymous: That's funny, Bill, bc my husband seems to be the one who hates sex in this relationship!

anonymous 2 years ago

@anonymous: Now that is just not true. This happens on both sides. I know because I am a women and I am here.

anonymous 2 years ago

wife always too busy or too tired, sometimes she shows interest, then falls asleep! Would not change her lifestyle, and I feel more and more distant... it really saddens me.

anonymous 2 years ago

Not all women hate sex. I have been with my husband for almost 16 years. I am 33. We are intimate once a month maybe 3 at the most. I would like 3 a week if not more. When we are intimate it is not kissing and foreplay. It is done in minutes. I usually end up in tears. Humiliated and confused. I love him but this lack of passion is so diffucult to handle. Getting constantly turned down is honestly destroying my self confidence and causing g depression.

anonymous 2 years ago

simone..i can totally relate to you..and foreplay no kissing..

anonymous 2 years ago

I think it would be great if the people who wanted it more could get together. Let the one's who don't have each other. P.S Anyone out there want more, I have lots to give.

anonymous 2 years ago

@anonymous: I relate to you too, Simone. I'm 27, my husband is 31. I feel like we're too young to be having these issues! Makes me feel terrible. I like the advice above and I'm going to start working on ME.

anonymous 2 years ago

I've lived in a marriage like this for years. My advice to anyone who feels hurt humiliated and ignored......move on. Your spouse will never change. I have told my husband countless times how I feel about this type of rejection to no avail. He just doesn't care. And for Simone....consider yourself lucky having sex three times a month! That was my whole year last year! I love him but this has broken me....and I'm either going to leave or go freakin crazy. I mean like literally crazy needing Meds and a facility. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy.

anonymous 2 years ago

@anonymous: My husband is just like yours only worse. He actually will make like a freaked out facial expression...if I have the nerve to ask him for sex. How long have you gone through this?

anonymous 2 years ago

My husband and I haven't even been married a year. He didn't want a honeymoon, and there is no intimacy in our marriage. I have begged him to see a counselor with me and he refuses. The things going through my head are horrible, such as I keep questioning why he married me. Was it for the money? Who is he sleeping with? He always blames me for it, using different excuses each time. I'm tired of being torn down.

anonymous 2 years ago

I have coped with a sexless marriage for 45 years. We had sex once that was our wedding night, it maybe lasted 15 minutes. That was my first and last experience with sex. Husband said sex was nasty, disgusting, not worth the effort and way to much work for so little. So the day after our wedding night things really changed. First he moved all his stuff down to the basement and thats been his home for all these years. Second he started working the midnight shift so he didn't have to be around me at night. Thirdly he told me he was not gay nor was there any other women, he just didn't like intimacy or sex thought it was sick. Since I've only had sex once I can't say it was good or bad, I've nothing to compare it with. Being sexless didn't bother me as much as no intimacy, communication, cuddling and or being together. Depression and confusion, I guess has been the worst thing in the world.

anonymous 2 years ago

I have been having alot of sleepless nights I have unintentionally been avoiding my bed cause their is no passion or initimacy there. It Bothers me, I love my husband but it hurts and it worries me to think where our marriage will end up.

anonymous 2 years ago

How about if you have a sexless marriage because your husband is physically incapable of having and maintaining an erection? We still kiss and hug and hold hands but there is no sex. How do you cope with that? I don't think divorce is the answer but what is?

anonymous 24 months ago

@anonymous: My marriage recently hit rock bottom in this area. After a month of mind bending sex my wife didn't touch me for about 6 weeks. I asked what was wrong and I was informed that the sex "was for me" and that she was no lolonger going to pretend she wanted to have sex when she didn't. She also told me she still loved me but wasn't "in love" with new. I'm sorry your husband I'm sure its not your fault.

anonymous 23 months ago

@anonymous: Sounds like my issue. Our 1yr anniversary was 2months ago. I can count on one hand how many times we have had sex and been intimate since our wedding. I beg for sex. For anything intimate. And he says maybe later or tonight. Then the night comes and all such statements are forgotten and I get a peck goodnight. I feel helpless and do unattractive.

SylviaLongman profile image

SylviaLongman 23 months ago Hub Author

@anonymous: Remember this is HIS problem not yours! It has just become your problem through him.

anonymous 22 months ago

I have been married 14 years and am now experiencing all the things talked about here. He does not want to have sex with me. There is no passion or intimacy. The most I get is a routine peck upon arriving home. Not even a hug or an embrace of any kind. I have talked to him about it many times, expressing my feelings through tears as being rejected and humiliated and made to feel unwanted. I am afraid I will cheat or we will end up divorcing. I can't live like this. He does not see a problem so he won't seek any help. I feel alone.

SylviaLongman profile image

SylviaLongman 22 months ago Hub Author

@anonymous: One trick is when talking to him make the conversation about him not about your own desires. This is not to diminish your pain, but sometimes when you make it about yourself or even about the marriage they become defensive. Try to ask him questions about intimacy and how he feels and do not stop if he tries to brush this off. This is a problem with HIM not YOU - see if you can uncover if there is some underlying issue - its not easy, but once you uncover the blockage it can be unblocked!

anonymous 21 months ago

I have been with my wife for 6 years. I love her deeply, and am as sexually attractive and intreseted as the day we met. We were only together for a few weeks when we concieved or first child. During her pregnancy my wife rarely wanted a physical relationship but still made attempts occasionally. Since giving birth she has lost all interest with physical intimacy. We were married almost two years ago, and I suppose I naively thought showing my commitment would bring my wife a confidence that would help her opinion of me. I was ignored on our wedding night both at our reception and in our hotel room. We were together once on our honeymoon and then once a month or so later when our second child was apparently concieved. My wife wanted nothing physically to do with me during the entire pregnancy (not because she was ill, or felt tired) and it was not until our baby was 8 months old that we were together for the first time on Christmas Eve. Since then she has stated outright that she hasn't been intrested in sex, kissing or anything since our first child was born 5 years ago. Admittedly I was alright with my wife's wanting children early because she had been diagnosed with endimetriosous (sp?) making an early hystorectomy a possibility. She had also stated flatly to me that she believed the secret to a good marriage was daily sexual intimacy. After a couple years of a sexless relationship we went to a councellor where my wife stated that her expectations of intimacy in our relationship had changed and that my wish for a physical relationship was therefore unrealistic. I love and respect ky wife, and could never seriously contemplate infidelity but I need to feel wanted. My self esteem and confidence are in the gutter. I can't even think of splitting up my young family. We are 30 and 25 respectively, just too young to give up on love. I don't know what to do. Wife has been promising for years to see her doctor about hormones being an issue, but has never followed through. Anyone have any suggestions?

SylviaLongman profile image

SylviaLongman 21 months ago Hub Author

@anonymous: A situation that seems all to common. Two thing I suggest:

1. Really make an effort to get her to look at her hormones. This can sometimes solve a huge amount of issues - but it is not always the culprit. She has at least madethe attempt to go to counselling - so perhaps a gentle nudge to see a doctor about hormones might work if you also relate it to her bodily health not just the sex. Imbalanced hormones can lead to a range of physical and mental health issues.

2. You state she is not interested in sex anymore and had a change of expactations, but there seems to be no reasoning behind that that, or at leats you have not written it. This mightbe because she does not know either - which could be a hormonal issue - or she DOES know, but does not want to really reveal what is going on. Sometimes a wall of tiny petty resentments build up over time and lead to a sexless marriage. Because it is not a single massive issue you can spot and deal with it is very hard to uncover. It can be hard for them to really udnerstand as well sometimes. Good communication that is all about her - never about your own wants and needs can help to uncover some issues - but if you ever start using any new information to push the agenda you want more sexual intimacy they will shut down and all effort will be lost. It is a long process but it migth also be the way to uncover whtever fears, resentments, or probelsm she might have.

Remember - it is not you. This is her issue and you love and resepct her and want to help. You are doing the right thing, but it is a tough journey. We would all lvoe to hear if yuo hav any success.

Best Wishes

anonymous 21 months ago

@anonymous: It's hard to cope with the fact that donning sexy lingerie or getting your hair done or saying 'just the right sexy thing' doesn't ignite his passion. It's not an easy thing to come to terms with the loss of that aspect of life. I did it through therapy. I had no small sex drive and longed for naughty excitement to the point of being so frustrated i would act out in anger. I was full of resentment. If you're determined to make things work, you have to learn to accept your situation. You have to cherish the intimacy you do have. Once you learn to come to terms with it, you can focus on other things that fulfill you and find happiness, as I did. All my best to you.

anonymous 21 months ago

I hope this helps. I have a high sex drive. I love the whole ritual of getting myself prepared for a mind-blowing evening of red hot passion. I want to make my spouse melt or become inflamed with passion for me. I can't have those things. I love my spouse. I've come to terms with it because in other ways I know I am needed and loved very much. It took time to come to terms with this, but there are other things in life I have focused on to fulfill me. It takes time. It takes anger. It takes feeling rejected, and then moving on.

anonymous 21 months ago

@anonymous: Same here...sadly in my case we were only married for few months when he started cheating while he stopped having physical intimacy with me. He still says he wants children but no sex at all. I am 39 yo now and being forced to give up on being a mother and feeling like a woman.

anonymous 20 months ago

My husband and I have been married 10 months and we have absolutely no passion in our marriage. No kisses unless I ask for a kiss, he doesn't ever.just grab me to hold.or hug me just because. And the worst part is I have always dreamed of being a mom and sadly he won't give me that.and I fear he will never! He says he wants kids but theres no sex at all! I could count on 1 hand how many times we have had sex since we have been married.....what do I do? I have talked to him and the conversation is one sided and empty promises!

SylviaLongman profile image

SylviaLongman 20 months ago Hub Author

@anonymous: Is this a big change from before you were married?

SylviaLongman profile image

SylviaLongman 20 months ago Hub Author

@anonymous: Why does he not see a problem? f we can elaborate on this a little we might be able to see some insight into your husbands sexlessness.

anonymous 19 months ago

I'm both saddened and releived that I'm not the only one experiencing this-I have been married for nine years and it seems like over the years my husbands desire grew less and less..maybe twice a year, to once a year-now for the last two years nothing..its not just about sex it's everything that would connect us emotionally. There no hand holding, a hug, a peck goodbye or hello..when I go to sit by him and hug his arm he just sits there there is no closeness. It's caused me to be so so upset, sad and my self esteem is to zero. I have tried to talk with him and he make empty promises..I've been seeing a therapist and I'm not sure it's helped..shes gives recommendations on how to approach him but im regected each time. He agrees something is wrong with our marriage and claims he wants to fix things and save our marriage-but is always too busy to go with me to therapy. I feel so lonely. We have two small children and I love my husband and the thought of divorce breaks my heart even more. Having to only see our kids 50% of the time...but I don't think I can do this for much longer.i need to feel wanted and loved. It's people in public always say we have a beautiful family and that my husband is lucky he gets to look at me everyday..i always wonder why he doesnt see it that way. if those people really knew my situation they wouldn't think we (or at least I was) lucky..

anonymous 18 months ago

My boyfriend and I haven't had sex in 2 years and before that it was over a year. I am losing my mind and running out of patience. I used to be this positive, happy, upbeat person very social and outgoing and now I find myself depressed, bitter, angry and resentful and looking back on my life wondering how I ended up in a sexless relationship with a man who is no longer attracted to me. He tells me I'm beautiful and is still attracted to me but I find that very hard to believe because he doesn't want to touch me or be affectionate. He gives me kisses through the day but I told him yesterday let's just stop that because it is pointless and I"m just done with it. We have 3 small kids and he claims he's tired, headache, long work day, just wants to watch tv..excuses are endless over the years and I have heard them all. I am so depressed I go to bed alone and watch tv til I fall asleep. I can't leave because we have 3 kids and this would tear them up but I don't know how long I can manage this depression is really affecting me on a daily basis. It is so hard to live with someone who just isn't attracted to you and won't have sex. I am in great shape I cook clean and the house is immaculate he has never had to cook a meal or do laundry I am always telling him how sexy or attractive he is but now I am going to stop trying. I feel like all I can do is get in the best shape ever and just have an affair. I think after 2 years of no sex and he won't go to therapy what am I supposed to do? He wouldn't touch me at all during 2 of my pregnancies I went the whole 9 months of no sex as well and that was so depressing. I have no self esteem left and I used to be so confident and outgoing now I feel worthless, ugly and just disgusting.

anonymous 17 months ago

@SylviaLongman: I don't agree with the term it's HIS problem as it becomes our problem more then HIS as HE is happy with not having sex he doesn't have a problem but for the one that is rejected and frustrated the problem becomes HUGE!

anonymous 14 months ago

@anonymous: I have lived with this too, Losing My Mind. I don't understand it. I am also in good shape and I have seen pictures of myself pregnant and I was so pretty. Great clothes and a smile and everything. I am clean and a great stay at home mom. People tell me that I look 35 and I'm 41. I have friend and hobby and a part time job. I don't know what's so horrible about me. We've gone to counseling and I've threatened divorce, but like you, I don't want to destroy my little girl's life-- plus I have no money.

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