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What is a Sexless Marriage? Definition, Types, Signs, Causes, Effects, and Everything Else

What is a Sexless Marriage? Definition, Types, Signs, Causes, Effects, and Everything Else

Updated on Aug 21, 2023

Reviewed by Julianne Cantarella, MSW, LSW , Certified Relationship Coach

Sexless Marriage - Definition, Signs, Types, Causes and More

Wondering if you’re in a sexless marriage? Perhaps you didn’t have sex in months and losing confidence from your marriage?

It tears me apart that you’re going through so much… but I’m so pleased that you’re still standing strong and putting in efforts for your marriage, and finally reading this think-piece…

…because you’ll find everything you need to go through this troublesome phase here.

There can be various reasons behind your current relationship dynamics – the changeable and unchangeable ones – along with possible solutions to lead a better life.

With the best wishes from me for your healthier married life, let’s first know…

Sexless Marriage Infographics

Sexless Marriage - Definition, Signs & Types
Sexless Marriage – Definition, Signs & Types
Sexless Marriage - Causes & Effects
Sexless Marriage – Causes & Effects
How To Fix & Survive in a Sexless Marriage
How To Fix & Survive in a Sexless Marriage

What is a Sexless Marriage? (Sexless Marriage Definition)

When a couple has sex less than 10 times a year or doesn’t have sex for over a year, it’s a sexless marriage.

When a married couple completely loses interest in sex and there is a lack of sexual activity between them, it is called a sexless marriage.

However, a short break from sexual intimacy doesn’t make your marriage sexless…the dry spell will soon wear off. After all, the sex drive of men and women… ebb and flow differently.

Married couples might have phases when they have more or less sex depending on various factors like life circumstances, stress, poor mental health, aging, or even deteriorating physical health.

Usually, there’s no exact definition about what frequency of sex makes it a sexless marriage. But if you don’t have sex or have it around less than ten times a year.

Moreover, if both physical intimacy and emotional intimacy are down, and there’s some cold war between you both because of the lack of sex… your doubts might be true.

If you want to know whether or not you’re in a sexless marriage, let me tell you a few…

Sexless Marriage Signs

Well, if you’re in a sexless marriage, the most obvious sign is dissatisfaction with your sexual life. However, there can be other signs which you might not notice immediately.

Many signs predict that your marriage might become sexless soon if you’re not careful from now on. 

Let’s know them all right away…

1. You don’t groom anymore

When you started dating or got married, you both were excited about your new life, wanted to explore your sexual desire… you had a healthy sex life and put enough effort to keep it that way.

However, do you still do that? Do you wear special lingerie or groom yourself as your partner likes it for the special nights?

If not, then that’s a red flag of a sexless relationship. Due to the lack of sex, you don’t feel the need of grooming yourself to awaken your partner’s sexual interest.

2. The kids drain your energy

Perhaps, you guys have children or stepped into parenthood recently?

Many married couples can’t handle the stress of child nurturing and expenses which leads them to stress and restrain personal expenses.

You might be tired after putting the child to sleep and brush the sexual relationship under the rug.

Moreover, if you do all the chores after lulling the baby, there’s no way you can stay up for sex.

Battle this alarming sign with properly split chores to conserve energy.

3. There’s an uncomfortable silence about sex

Since you’re here, this isn’t a new thing, I’m sure. The lack of sexual intimacy in your marriage has been around for quite a long time… but did you have a conversation about it with your partner?

If you feel uncomfortable talking about your sexual needs and mismatched libido, that’s a sign you’ll soon hit the sexless marriage label.

Any healthy relationship survives on the basis of communication. Don’t expect your partner to understand you without telling you your desires.

4. Flirting is out of the question

Another red flag of sexless marriages is a lack of intimacy even when there’s nobody around.

If you and your partner talk like two friends sitting on the porch when there’s nobody at home and you’re just chilling instead of bonding sexually, that’s not a great sign.

After all, if you both hardly get enough time to have sex, then take complete advantage of such situations.

If there’s no movement from either side, unfortunately, you’re leading to the sexless town.

5. When together, you skip on-screen intimate scenes

When couples have sex or intimate scenes onscreen, it spikes something in real-life couples too. So, what do you guys do during such scenes? Do you glance at each other or snuggle at least?

If either of you skips the scenes, then it’s an indication that one of you don’t desire sex and intimacy in the relationship.

Also, if you guys are uncomfortable about watching intimate scenes, much less enact it, it’s a bad sign.

6. You lack any kind of physical contact

When did you last engage in any kind of physical intimacy in your marriage, like kissing, hand holding, hugs, or even massages?

If you two hardly touch each other physically, then there might be some other underlying issue in your relationship or life circumstances.

This is more than just a sign of a sexless marriage.

7. There’s a mockery of sex drive

Mismatched libido among couples isn’t uncommon. However, does your partner make fun of the fact that the other has too high or too low sex drive?

Then you’re dealing with both emotional abuse and sexless marriage. You can deal with a sexless marriage but can’t excuse abuse.

A healthy relationship needs understanding, trust, and respect. If you can’t even trust your partner to share your feelings, that’s torture.

8. They never have time

If your partner purposely overworks, makes other insignificant engagements, and always seems busy, then sex is a lower priority in their life. Or, they’re purposely ignoring your needs.

Whatever the reason maybe, if your partner doesn’t want sex and avoids intimacy with petty excuses… This is a clear signal that you’re getting into your sexless marriage.

9. They go to wild extents to avoid the conversation

Perhaps whenever you initiated sex, your partner refused it. But now, things have changed drastically… you wait for your partner in bed and fall asleep every night and wonder why you’re so tired every day.

Well, you’re not tired, your partner stays out until you fall asleep from waiting. They’re intentionally making you wait if this is a regular incident.

Perhaps your partner became tired or feels ashamed of refusing you daily. So, they avoid the refusal scenario completely like this.

10. You fuss over the big O

Men orgasm with ease, but it’s not the same for women. A wife might fuss over why their husband can’t help them orgasm, a husband might fuss over why they can’t reach mutual orgasm.

Orgasm is the “happy” ending to sex, and since it’s not the same for all women, don’t have unrealistic expectations about it.

Perhaps your expectations made your partner uncomfortable and they’re avoiding you because of the same… this might soon become a sexless marriage.

11. You harbor negative thoughts

Do you feel resentful towards your partner? Is there any particular reason, or do you have none?

If you don’t know the reasons behind your grudge against your partner, it might be a sign that you’re distressed from the lack of sex in marriage.

Sex is an important part of marriage that promotes harmony between couples. It boosts hormones that make you feel happy.

A common sign in a sexless marriage is resentful feelings towards each other.

12. You fantasize about others

Do you feel a sexual attraction towards someone outside your marriage? Wonder why there’s no emotional connection with them?

Unless your marriage lacks sex, or your partner can’t satisfy you, you won’t be sexually attracted towards others. Adultery, affairs, and sexless marriages have a dep, historical connection.

13. You don’t remember the last time

When did you stop having sex? Does your marriage lack sex for a month, or over six months?

The duration isn’t the highlight of this question. Rather, do you remember what happened during the last time? If not, then it’s simply too long for a healthy married life.

If it’s too long, then it’s already a sexless marriage.

14. There’s some hesitancy

Do you guys hesitate to have sex? Well, what makes you hesitate? Do you wonder if your partner wants it? Or, do you think they’ll refuse you?

Hesitation before or during sex implies a lack of communication between you both. Also, hesitation reduces the frequency of sex drastically in your marriage.

It’s a harbinger of a sexless marriage in the future, so communicate about this hesitation before it worsens.

15. You feel disconnected

Do you feel an emotional connection with your partner? Even if sex is momentarily off, how much do you connect outside of your bedroom?

If you avoid each other completely, then there’ll be times when you’ll feel your partner is just a friend or even a roommate.

Sex helps you stay connected and a lack of sex in marriage implies you gotta work on the issue. Don’t ignore this sign of sexless marriage, otherwise, it’ll affect your union.

But what do you define sex as? On that note, they are different…

Sexless Marriage Types

Whether you desire intercourse or more sexual foreplay… completely lost interest or want more intimacy… your definition of sex can vary. 

And based on your definition, the definition of sexless marriage can vary too. Let’s know the different types of lack of sexual desires…

1. The Intercourse-less

Sex is not just mating or penetration. Human beings have lots of other sexual activities other than penetration. This type of sexless marriage includes everything other than penetration.

People might consider the no penetration relationship for a number of reasons like lack of experience, a homosexual relationship, or just taking it slow.

If you and your partner aren’t on the same page about your relationship, this structure might hurt your relationship.

However, if you agree on it there’s nothing wrong with other sexual activities only.

2. The Sexual Intimacy-less

Going without intercourse is possible but lack of sexual intimacy is a no-go for romantic relationships. After all, what’s the difference between a friend and your partner in this scenario?

Sexual intimacy might include foreplay or even knowing what each of you likes.

If there’s no connection, it’s a loveless and sexless marriage. Furthermore, sex is a burdensome responsibility to rear children only without any sexual intimacy.

This aspect isn’t worth compromising. Also, sex and intimacy aren’t the same things.

Both can exist without the other, and intimacy-less in marriage is a deal-breaker… sexless intimacy isn’t.

3. The Sexual Interest-less

The next type comprises couples who don’t desire sex. It might be because one of you has a low sex drive due to health issues that came with aging.

If the lack of interest is due to hormonal changes, then the sexless marriage isn’t anybody’s fault… it’s how their body became.

It might be due to menopause, prostate cancer, ADHD, or erectile dysfunction.

4. The Poor Quality Sex

Sometimes it’s not about how many times, but about the satisfaction factor.

For instance, your and your partner’s likes don’t match, so either of you compromises on your desires which lowers the quality and satisfaction factor in your marriage.

Communicate about what you want, else you’ll both lose interest sooner. Moreover, consider consulting a sex therapist if you face trouble understanding each other’s needs.

So, you want to know what led your marriage here? Keep reading.

Sexless marriage Causes

A sexless marriage can begin for many reasons… your partner might not know what or how to do it, or they might be asexual.

There can be many reasons in between and knowing them can help you revert your marriage dynamics. 

However, never assume a cause, be sure only after you discuss it with your partner.

Come on, let’s know what’s the real culprit…

1. Their drive is low

Some people have a lower sex drive without any underlying medical condition. They might have a lower interest in sex or may not have any urge at all.  

On the other hand, some people abuse substances which leads them to have a lower sex drive.

Also, if you continuously refuse your partner to have sex, they might get the wrong signals which ultimately discourage their interest in sex.

2. The emotional strings snapped

A healthy sex life can’t sustain if you don’t nurture your emotional connection. It’s about intimacy in your relationship… if you don’t have it, sex will eventually become a boring chore.

You both will feel better avoiding sex than engaging in sex without intimacy. It hurts your romantic bond and your marriage becomes sexless.

3. You guys don’t talk

Another reason is you guys don’t communicate. What kind of sexual activities do you like? What kind do you not? If you don’t spell it out properly, who will guess your preferences?

If you want to satisfy yourselves, talk about what helps you reach the climax and what doesn’t. Poor communication always resulted in relationship issues, inside or outside the bed.

4. There are physical health issues

You might suffer from hypertension, diabetes, obesity, thyroid, or hormonal imbalance… And all of it directs to one thing… medications!

Sometimes you might even feel you have more medicine than food… and too many medicines can hamper your libido. Some medicines have a direct side effect on your libido.

But this is fixable, consult your clinical physician for medicines that don’t hamper your libido.

5. They’re disabled

If your partner acquired some disability like erectile dysfunction or prostate cancer, you won’t get any intercourse ever. It’s unfortunate and your sexless marriage isn’t their fault.

Consider other options to handle this issue. There are other sexual activities on the plate that doesn’t require penetration but can satisfy you, so experiment well.

6. They suffer from mental conditions

If either of you has mental health concerns, sex might be the last thing on your mind.

If you let it slide without any professional help, you’ll never understand when sex becomes be a far-fetched dream.

Also, medicines for mental health concerns cause vaginal dryness, erectile dysfunction, and lower excitement.

Seek your clinical psychologist for better medicine options or learn to cope with them.

7. You fell out of love

Another cause behind a sexless marriage can be falling out of love, or even worse an affair.

These are irreversible damage to a married relationship. If you both want to make your relationship work, take marriage advice from a marriage counselor.

Otherwise, divorce is the only option.

8. Life changes after pregnancy

Pregnant women go through lots of issues before and after childbirth.

Females suffer from hormonal imbalance, vaginal dryness, or even vaginal soreness… overall sex becomes uncomfortable.

Also, with time when the child grows up, you hardly ever have time for each other. Your sex life becomes stagnant because you’re always tired looking after the children.

Sexless marriage after a baby is an issue in many young couples.

9. It all went down with time

Nobody can stop aging and its impacts. If yours is a sexless marriage after 60, it’s because of the issues in your body with aging.

Women undergo menopause which includes vaginal dryness, hormonal imbalance, and other issues and men suffer from erectile dysfunction.

Consider attending sex therapy for sexless marriage beyond 60.

10. You have past unresolved issues

If there are unresolved issues in your marriage, then you both are refusing sex as a form of punishment.

It’s a common and toxic dynamic in many marriages. However, when it became unbearable, many couples filed for divorce due to sexless marriages.

Though, in reality, they divorced due to the unresolved issue, they blame it all on sex.

11. They’re a sexual abuse victim

If your partner was a sexual abuse victim, the topic of sex will naturally put them off and remind them of the past. You can never proceed with sexual advances in your marriage.

Sexual abuse can result in a long-lasting impact on the abuse victim.

Such conditions require professional attention to resolve the psychological issues and resume a normal marriage later.

12. You’re having a midlife crisis

The midlife crisis hit different people at different times. People reach the peak of stress during such a transitional phase… somewhat similar to adolescence.

Stagnancy in the job, financial issues, impacts of aging on the body, and many other problems trigger a midlife crisis.

A midlife crisis can make a person lose interest in sex and it only becomes better once they cope with the issue properly.

13. They’re a porn addict

Watching porn is a normal way to let off steam… However, there must be a limit. If you cross the limit, i.e., become a porn addict, you won’t desire your partner anymore.

Doing the real deed might not feel as good, or you might lose sensitivity. A porn addict will always ditch ex over porn and make the marriage sexless.

This might be curable, so consult a psychologist asap.

14. It’s a cultural thing

Some cultures or religions might promote or force sexual abstinence even in married relationships. If your partner is from a certain culture or religion, that might be the case.

Dig deep about your partner’s culture more to understand the circumstances of your marriage, because some people might practice sexual abstinence to control their partners.

Don’t let any relationship red flag go unnoticed in the name of an unknown practice.

15. There’s a lack of sex ed

Even till today, many nations don’t provide sex education to children because of the content “inappropriateness”.  

If your partner didn’t get one either and you never had sex, then they aren’t sure how things work which led to the sexless marriage.

Know if that’s the issue and consider taking sex ed lessons together from online videos or consult a sex therapist.

Now that you know the causes, you should also know the effects.

Sexless Marriage Effects (Dangers of Sexless Marriage)

A sexless marriage doesn’t just snatch away your chance to have sex in your life… it can rip off your confidence.

If you both truly don’t agree to a sexless marriage, it will bite you in the back. After all, human beings can’t easily give up on worldly desires. 

Hard to believe? Let’s know how…

1. The happiness quotient slides

Whether your sexless marriage can be happy or not, depends on your needs.

You might decide to mutually abstain from sex, however, if you’re not honest about your needs and sacrifice them knowingly, the dissatisfaction won’t spare you.

Being in a married life with suppressed sexual desires will frustrate you and you’ll be unhappy about it.

Unhappiness can become the root cause of many other relationship issues.

2. You consider cheating

When you’re dissatisfied with your marital sex life, you will look for ways to release the sexual energy. Perhaps, you’ll help yourself with pornography and fantasies about your spouse.

When self-help won’t satisfy you, you’ll look outside your relationship. You might cheat, or embrace ethical non-monogamy (ENM).

Cheating obviously destroys your relationship, but ENM instills jealousy and other issues with time.

3. You have confidence issues

When your partner doesn’t sexually bond with you, you’ll have questions about your desirability to your partner. This hurts your confidence despite your gender.

You might feel that you wronged your partner, become self-conscious, or even reduce your productivity at work.

4. You second-guess the marriage

Another sexless marriage effect is doubting the stability of your marriage.

Sex is an important aspect of marriage, so when this component disappears from your marriage, you will think that there’s nothing left in the relationship.

The lack of intimacy in your marriage can also become grounds for divorce.

5. You lose the intimate bond

Intimacy definitely isn’t all about sex… you can build intimacy even while lying on the bed. But you can’t deny that sex is ONE of the most prominent ways to be intimate.

Since there are only a handful of ways to create intimacy, putting sex off the plate decreases your possibility to form an intimate bond by a few folds.

6. The relationship becomes sour

If your sexless marriage is full of dissatisfaction, it can lead to conflicts. Also, if it’s a way to suppress a partner, conflicts are a sure-fire outcome.

Or, if it’s an unintentional situation, the one who can’t have sex feels guilty, while the other feels resentful.

All such situations lead to the souring of your relationship with fights and arguments.

7. You feel lonely

When couples don’t engage in healthy sex life, the one with a higher libido will feel left behind.

The other one might or might not feel anything about the situation, but people with higher drives feel that they’re not normal because of their excess carnal desires.

A sense of isolation creeps in as another effect of a sexless marriage. This happens to people who feel sex is an important way to develop intimacy.

8. It embarrasses you

Imagine yourself in a gang… and one of the friends begins a conversation about the sex life. Sometimes people do it just to have more ideas to incorporate in their sex life, and not for poking fun.

That’s when you feel completely left out of your circle because you can’t relate. You withdraw from social gatherings wherever sex might be an important topic.

9. It triggers trust issues

Along with self-esteem issues, sexless marriage also instills doubts about your partner’s intentions. You question why your partner doesn’t involve sexually with you.

Is it because they found someone outside the marriage? Your partner’s infidelity will come to your mind first.

Such thoughts become detrimental for long-term relationships where partners feel insecure about their changing bodies. 

10. People get divorced

In the end, couples walk away from a sexless marriage due to the lack of a sexual component. Sexual satisfaction is an important part of marital relationships.

If your partner can’t fulfill your basic desires, this can become obvious grounds for divorce (and has been).

In fact, it’s better than cheating on your partner, losing self-esteem, or even engaging in meaningless fights.


How to deal with a sexless marriage?

You can deal with a sexless marriage in two ways depending on your circumstances – if the issues are reversible or not.

If your partner’s health is fine, and they’re still interested in sex… experiment different ways to regain the sexual bond in your marriage… try to understand each other’s needs and act accordingly to fix it.

On the flip side, if there’s no chance of intercourse … explore new ways to satisfy your desires to save the marriage… change your perceptions on sex and happiness and survive your sexless marriage as it is.

If you picked the first choice, here’s what you can do

How to fix a sexless marriage?

Hey, don’t be pessimistic so soon…  if there’s nothing wrong with your partner’s health and they agree to resume the sexual relationship… your sex life still has a chance.

Let’s quickly know how here…

1. Become friends once again

Your sexless marriage pushed you so far away from each other, do you think you can be intimate all over without any hitch?

There are too many unresolved issues to behave like loving partners again.

So, befriend each other, be honest about how you hurt one another, and resolve your issues as friends… not husband and wife.

Like friends, try to understand each other’s issues, forgive and forget the past together and heal each other with empathy.

2. Revisit your sexual habits

During the journey in your sexless marriage, you both also drifted apart physically… not just sexually.

There’s no physical intimacy and perhaps you guys also avoid each other before bed, don’t cuddle, kiss, or even fondle.

Begin with changing a few things right now… cuddle when you watch shows together, stay awake until you’re both in bed (if you’re not too tired), kiss goodbye and welcome backs, cuddle or hold hands in bed.

Also, put off porn for a while.

There’s nothing sex-like yet, but it’ll help you overcome the distance.

3. Sex isn’t about penetration only

Learn that sex isn’t about mating only… if you believe it’s only intercourse, then how are humans any different than animals?

Human beings can enjoy “sex” even without touching each other.

For instance, talk dirty and pleasure yourself in front of each other. Too shy to speak? Show them what you like.

Make each other your personal pornstar and enjoy.

And if you feel like attacking each other, who stopped you? That’s the goal, but take your time if you aren’t ready yet.

4. Plan sex dates

What do you do when you plan dates? Groom yourself to look your best and stun your partner.

Now imagine planning sex dates… What will you do to amaze your partner? Well, it’s your choice whether you want to buy a sexy outfit, new toys, or surprise your partner with a roleplay.

When you schedule sex, you give each other the chance to prepare more for the bedroom.

Though nothing against spontaneity, refusals might discourage you or your partner from future moves. Also, sex will be on your mind the whole day.

5. Embrace awkwardness in bed

We’re humans, not robots, so our bodies will not fit each other “perfectly”. There will always be some sexual mishaps.

You might aim at the wrong place, your body will make normal noises… don’t make fun of it if it’s your partner’s body. But if it’s yours and you feel awkward, laugh it out.

Don’t allow space for insecurities and judgment… enjoy every moment of it… it’s pleasure, why torture yourself?

6. Never weaponize sex

Married or not, relationships will have conflicts. And during fights, you might not feel like having sex… that’s natural.

BUT, don’t hold back on sex because you want your partner to feel sorry. If your partner is precious to you, you won’t do that. Use sex for fun, not for torture… also, that’s emotional abuse.

If anybody holds back on sex to punish you, it’s not worth the effort.

7. Identify what sets you ablaze and what extinguishes it

Your genitals aren’t faucet that pushing a button will turn you on… doesn’t work that way. Some particular actions turn you on or off. List them together and exchange them.

Know what each of you likes or hates in bed. If you don’t communicate and teach each other what works for you, it will never work.

Show each other that you’re willing to make it work.

8. Normalize refusal

Many people can’t refuse. For instance, you can’t have sex because of work and your partner takes it personally. Accept each other’s refusal to have sex.

Sometimes you really have other priorities and commitments, you can’t make it… and that’s alright. Sex is important, but not more than you guys’ wellbeing and happiness.

Make a rule: Whoever refuses sex, gotta make the first move next time.

This rule can help ease the awkwardness and uncertainty about the next move.

9. Serve the starters outside the bedroom

You don’t need to begin the actions on the bed… that’s mainstream. Whether you have guests over or the children are playing in the living room, sneak a kiss or a quick hug in between.

It will be fun, get you both fidgety, anticipating the main course, and save your time from getting in the mood once you enter the bedroom.

10. Seek a sex therapist

If there are deep-rooted psychological or physical issues in your marriage, or you can’t work things out, consider seeking a sex therapist.

A therapist will show you how to communicate well to understand each other’s desires and satisfy each other to your best.

Sex therapists can also help sexual abuse victim overcome their trauma.

If intercourse isn’t possible, let’s know…

How to survive in a sexless marriage?

But first the question is: Can sexless marriages survive?

Of course, it is! If you both love each other and are ready to fight anything that comes your way, how can intercourse stop you?

If sex or more particularly, intercourse is not possible in your marriage for valid reasons, yet you want to save the marriage… it’s possible to continue the relationship even without sex. 

Follow these steps to survive your sexless marriage with ease…

1. Honestly communicate

If your sex life is bothering you, speak up. Tell your partner what’s wrong with your marriage. Suppressing your emotions won’t help the marriage at all. It will only lead to further issues.

Also, be very specific, don’t talk half-heartedly as it’ll cause further misunderstandings. Pen down what you want to talk about if you’re not sure.

And stay genuine during the conversation. Explain how much it bothers you, else sugarcoating will not help your marriage’s survival.

2. Don’t assume bizarre stuff

People in sexless marriages immediately assume that their partner cheated on them and that’s why they can’t perform sexually at home.

If you want to survive in this marriage at all, let your partner advocate their issues. Don’t label them a cheater or say they have mental concerns because they don’t want sex.

Also, if they don’t know what’s wrong, consider seeking a sex therapist. Assumptions won’t help you solve the issue.

3. Discuss to make things interesting

Find out what each of you needs in bed. Don’t be shy about asking for what you want. Imagine yourself in a restaurant too shy to place your order, doesn’t make sense, right?

If you’re still too shy to do what you want in the bedroom, start with writing down what you want.

Whether it’s more cuddling, more kisses, frequent sex, or even more pillow-talk. Of course, don’t miss out on your preferred way of pleasure either.

Next, exchange the lists and find out what works for each of you. For instance, if intercourse isn’t a choice, replace it with toys.

4. Redefine your happiness

You can’t change your sexless marriage into a sexual one overnight. Will you sulk until then? No, rather replace your cause of happiness.

Take time to emotionally bond before you add the sexual component, and do something else that equally fulfills you.

Though sex is important, it’s not the only solution. Practice other forms of intimacy to connect with each other and keep the happiness factor high.

5. Hold the vows strongly

Lastly, never forget your partner is a human… they get hurt, feel lonely, lose confidence, and feel depressed.

Do you remember the vows of your marriage? You promised to stick with each other through thick and thin… this is the moment.

Empathize with your partner, don’t blame them for ruining the marriage… because you’re both struggling through this situation.

If you give them the promised support, everything will work out fine.

However, if neither works out, you need to think about something else…

When to walk away from a sexless marriage?

However, if your partner doesn’t respond, or you don’t feel like continuing the marriage, it’s time to walk away. Settle for a divorce… staying back in a relationship forcibly will only hurt you both. 

Here are some scenarios when you must consider otherwise…

1. They don’t admit any relationship issue

If your partner turns a blind eye to the “sexless” marriage conversation, then they don’t want to change the current dynamics of your relationship.

They won’t consider fixing it even if it means your well-being.

Your partner is selfish, and it’s time to return the favor. If they can’t think about your happiness, step up and walk out of the marriage.

Also, the more you stay, the more you’ll feel like cheating on your partner to soothe yourself. Instead of carrying the guilt of cheating, file a divorce. 

2. They don’t love you at all

If there was no love from the beginning, then sex is out of the question. You can’t survive both in a loveless and sexless marriage. Affection and love are basic human needs.

You can ditch the sexual component in your relationship but never ignore the lack of love. Despite your age, never compromise your need for love.

Lack of love can lead to many emotional and physical issues.

3. Your sexual incompatibility is beyond explanation

If your partner only considers what they want in bed and disregards your need, you’re no more than a sex doll for them… which is disrespectful.

When you hardly have any common sexual interest, it’s obvious you can’t make it work. Soon your sexual life will get boring and frustrating if you don’t realize your sexual fantasies.

Instead of ending things on a sour note after suffering from lots of pain, consider ending things now. 

4. You caught feelings for someone

If you feel attracted to someone else, and desire them secretly, yet you haven’t cheated on your partner, that’s enough reason to file a divorce.

Clearly, you don’t love your partner anymore, so why struggle with the marriage? Don’t force yourself to stay in a marriage and desire someone else.

That’s disrespectful for all three of you… and soon you might have feelings about cheating on them. Either consider ENM or part ways.

5. Either of you cheated

If you or your partner cheated on the other, there’s no turning back. If you guys don’t have an open relationship or if sex outside the marriage is off-limits, this will never work out.

Communicate with your partner about divorce, don’t force yourself when the boundaries don’t matter to whoever cheated.

You can’t pursue this relationship any longer, divorce is no longer a choice now. Stop hurting yourself and lead happy lives separately.

Of course, your mind is blowing with questions, so check out some…

FAQs about Sexless Marriage

Marriage isn’t a child’s play, there are more than two hearts involved in it… considering if you have children… things get more complicated when you try to get a divorce.

So, there are other things you might want to know before you step ahead in your life.

Find more information here…

1. Will a sexless marriage lead to divorce?

No research found a direct connection between sexless marriages with divorce, but it can definitely be one of many factors.

In fact, there is a chain or branch of factors that result in divorce in a sexless marriage.

Communication, lack of other forms of intimacy, and lack of love and attention are some other reasons for divorce alongside lack of sex or as a direct result of lack of sex.

A 2012 study shows different reasons for divorce: 55% of people grow apart, 40% for financial issues, and 53% for lack of communication.

2. How common are sexless marriages?

Experiencing a lack of sex during certain life phases is common. It matters how much you’re willing to change things for each other’s wellness.

A 1993 research showed 16% of married Americans didn’t have sex in the previous month of the research. 

A 2017 research found more than 15% of men and 26% of women between 18-89 didn’t have sex for over a year – for old age or being unmarried. More than 8% of men and 17% of women didn’t have sex for over five years.

As per Barry McCarthy – sex therapist – good sex amounts to at most 15% relationship satisfaction and lack of sex amounts to almost 50% of the dissatisfaction in the relationship.

3. Does sexless marriage justify adultery?

If your marriage promised exclusivity to each other, and you guys don’t practice ENM, your sexless marriage doesn’t justify adultery.

However, your partner also promised to meet all of your needs but didn’t in a sexless marriage. If your partner intentionally denies you sex, they’re at fault too.

But wrongdoing against another wrongdoing isn’t the answer. You might feel guilty or traumatize your partner. Adultery in sexless marriages hurts your physical and psychological health too.

4. How do you survive a sexless relationship without cheating?

Surviving a sexless marriage isn’t an easy task. Some people consider masturbation, accept the death of their sexual life, find happiness in something else in the marriage, or even open their marriage consensually.

If ENM is your choice, seek couples counseling to not hurt yourself in the process.

5. What age do people stop being sexually active?

There’s no specific age beyond which people stop being sexually active. However, this usually happens somewhere in between midlife and old age.

But old age doesn’t imply you can’t have sex… nowadays people beyond 70 are also sexually active.

6. Is having sex once per month considered a sexless marriage?

When you don’t have sex within a year, that’s sexless marriage and when you have sex less than 10 times yearly, it’s a low-sex marriage.

Sex once a month implies 12 times a year… so it’s definitely not a sexless marriage. However, if your libido is much higher, your definition of a sexless marriage might be different.

If you feel it’s an issue, you can’t bond with your partner properly emotionally or sexually, then communicate with your partner.

7. How to deal with a spouse who doesn’t want sex?

You can only communicate your way out of this.

But before that, remember that your higher libido isn’t an issue. If your partner tries to convince you otherwise, you’re not at fault.

And, your partner might have their own reasons for abstaining for a while, know their reason instead of assuming anything.

8. How long do sexless marriages last?

Frequent sex has a connection with lower divorce rates due to high relationship and sexual satisfaction. Individuals don’t seek fun outside the marriage when they have enough in it.

Lack of sex can definitely put a damper on your marriage which might lead to divorce, however, it depends on the couple on when they end the marriage.

And it’s also unknown if it will definitely lead to divorce. 

9. Can women tolerate sexless marriages?

Well, anybody can. In fact, women tend to stay back in sexless marriages more because of children and family pressure to compromise more. However, they’re never happy to sacrifice the sexual component of their life.

Just because they can, doesn’t mean they must.

Also, it’s the same for men… they can tolerate it too, but they’re never happy.

10. Can a sexless marriage be happy?

Well, sex isn’t the only source of love… but it’s an important source. It can be happy if you and your partner satisfy each other in some other way, or you both believe in abstaining from sex in your marriage.

However, very few people can actually stay happy in a sexless marriage.

Still now sure if you’re in a sexless marriage? Take this…

Sexless Marriage Quiz

Found the signs of sexless marriages confusing? Want to make sure you’re in a sexless marriage in an easier way?

I’ve got the perfect solution for you… take this sexless marriage quiz to quickly know the dynamics of your marriage…

1. Define your ideal frequency of sex

A. Everyday

B. Once a week

C. Every alternate week

D. Once a month

2. How much is sex on your mind?

A. All the time

B. Sometimes

C. Hardly

D. Never

3. How important is sex for married life?

A. Very important

B. Important

C. Not important

D. Least important

4. Are you fine with a sexless marriage?

A. It’s okay if they have issues

B. No

C. Yes

D. If only I’m allowed to have fun outside

5. If your spouse asks for sex, how will you respond?

A. Accept with great disinterest

B. Happily accept

C. Deny them

D. Begin a fight

6. Describe your sex drive

A. Very low

B. Medium

C. Low

D. High

7. What’s on your mind during sex?

A. Work or family issues

B. Your partner

C. Other attractive people

D. you want it to end soon

8. Anybody ever called you asexual?

A. I don’t know what that is


C. Yes

D. Maybe, why?

 9. How many partners did you have till now?

A. More than ten

B. Less than ten

C. My partner only

D. Don’t remember

10. How long are you married?

A. Less than 6 months

B. More than 6 months

C. More than a year

D. Unmarried

11. How regularly do you both show affections?

A. Hardly

B. Every day

C. Once a week

D. Once a month

12. How regularly do you both give compliments?

A. Hardly

B. Every day

C. Once a week

D. Once a month

13. When did you last have sex?

A. We never did

B. In the last month

C. Within the last year

D. More than a year back

14. What do you think of sex with your spouse?

A. I wish it stopped

B. Absolutely marvelous

C. Love it but wish it was more

D. I’ve had better

15. How frequently do you get romantic?

A. Sometimes

B. Whenever we get a chance

C. Barely

D. I wish we did

16. Think you know what turns on your partner?

A. Who cares about that?

B. Yes

C. Maybe

D. They never tell me

17. And what about the turn-offs?

A. Don’t care

B. Yes

C. Of course, I do them all the time

D. don’t know, so I try to be careful

18. How frequently do you talk about sex?

A. I don’t like talking about it

B. Sometimes

C. All the time

D. Never

19. How often does your spouse want to touch you?

A. I told them not to

B. Quite often

C. They’re always busy

D. Once a month or two

20. What’s your goal of having sex?

A. Orgasm

B. Intimacy

C. Responsibility

D. To keep infidelity at bay

21. Do any of you ever use sex as a punishment?

A. Sometimes

B. Never

C. All the time

D. Hardly

22. How does your partner react to a conversation regarding sex?

A. I don’t like it

B. They listen and try to find better ways to fix things

C. They walk out of the room

D. Awkward

23. Do you feel emotionally close to your partner?

A. No

B. Yes

C. Only during sex

D. When we don’t have sex

24. Do you feel like roommates?

A. All the time

B. No, unless we play pillow fight

C. We don’t share a room anymore

D. They always sleep with the children/parents

25. Are children/parents a higher priority than your spouse?

A. Of course

B. Depends, but usually no

C. My spouse can fetch for themselves, children and parents can’t

D. My work is a priority.

If you mostly answered B from this quiz, your marriage isn’t sexless. Communicate well to understand each other’s desires properly.

If you answered B less than five times, or picked other options… you have a sexless marriage… it’s time to set your or your partner’s priorities straight.

If you feel satisfied, ask your partner if they’re fine with the current relationship dynamics. If you aren’t satisfied, talk to your partner about it and consider seeking a sex therapist.

Know what science has to say about sexless marriages from…

Sexless Marriage Statistics

A word from ThePleasantRelationship

Whether you stay back in a marriage without intercourse, try to return the sex factor in your life, or leave for good… make sure you both make the decisions together with a clear mind. 

Don’t let a friend or family suggest your next steps. It’s your and your partner’s marriage. Never involve anybody else in your personal matters unless it’s toxic or abusive

People mindlessly pass comments about your life without knowing what you’re going through… so keep what’s happening in your marriage to yourself. 

Or, consult a marriage counselor if you need some suggestions.

If you both are happy without sex, and it has no impact on your relationship, that’s commendable! There’s no reason to worry about your marriage.