What It's Like Living In A Sexless Marriage

I Was In A Sexless Marriage

April 26, 2019 Updated June 3, 2020

South_agenc: Getty
South_agenc: Getty

One of the things women usually talk about on girls’ night is sex. Some couples are having amazing mind-blowing sex after a few decades of marriage, while others have regular dry spells.

I have to be honest here: I was always more relieved and interested in talking to the women who were in the middle of a dry spell in their marriage because that meant I wasn’t alone.

My ex-husband and I had so many of them after our kids were born, I began to question if it was normal or something was wrong with me. I was never in the mood and always used excuses to get out of having sex with him. Then, when I was able to relax enough and enjoy having sex, I wondered why I didn’t do it more. Sex was fun, wonderful, and left me feeling closer to him.

During our dry spells, he’d get resentful and I’d get angry at him for resenting me for not having sex with him. I wanted to be seen for more than my sexuality by him. This was a never-ending problem that never repaired itself.

According to an article in Body Logic MD, sex plays as big a role in a marriage as loyalty, compassion, support, and respect. Also, sex has proven to help with “stress relief, mood boosting, higher levels of commitment, and deeper emotional connection.”

I knew this just by gauging my marriage and relationship with my husband. When we were having sex, things were better. When we weren’t, they felt lonely and broken.

So when the moms’ night conversations shifted to sex, sitting across from someone else who hadn’t had sex in a year because the last thing they wanted was to take care of their partner’s sexual needs after spending the day cleaning human feces and cutting up snacks, or spending the day working and opening the door and going into full mom-mode with people tugging at them and asking them things, made me feel validated.

In actuality, I’d lost the fire I used to have for my husband and it was killing me inside. I thought we could sustain a healthy marriage without having regular sex. But when you take out the sexual connection the two of you have shared, it’s hard to continue on without feelings of anger and resentment towards your partner.

An eye-opener for me was talking to a friend who told me her husband hadn’t been in the mood to have sex with her for over a year. She felt worried, insecure, and obviously wasn’t as happy in the marriage as she was when they were having regular sex. Her self-esteem was damaged and she realized she didn’t want to be in a sexless marriage any longer. This was probably how my ex-husband was feeling and that didn’t make me feel good.

After surveying 1,000 couples about the lack of intimacy in the bedroom, experts say there is always a reason behind your sexless, or “dead bedroom,” marriage. The “dead bedroom” couples surveyed were those couples having sex anywhere from once a month to not in all the last decade or longer. The number one reason they said their sexy time had lost its luster was because of their stressful jobs, second in line was weight gain, and third was lack of communication between couples.

No matter the reason, the likelihood of feeling anxious, depressed, or angry with someone you used to have a better physical relationship with can create bad feelings towards your partner. Once the regular sex goes, it’s hard to get it back. According to Body Logic MD, “[O]nce the fire starts to go out in the bedroom, reigniting it might not be as easy as you’d expect.”

It can be like exercising certain body parts — once you are out of practice, your desire weakens and you become less motivated to get back in there.

But, if you are in love, should what’s happening in the bedroom matter at all? Can you still have a happy marriage? Maybe. Maybe not. According to the survey, less than half of married men and women surveyed said they were happy in their partnership. If you are unhappy with your partner, you aren’t going to like being in your own home when they are around and sooner or later, you are going to have to deal with those feelings.

Only you can decide if a situation is good for you or not, but after being in a sexless marriage for a really long time, I can honestly say the reasons were a lot bigger than just being tired at the end of the day. My marriage eventually ended and our sex life played a big part in us going our separate ways.

If you are in a sexless marriage and unhappy about it, be open with your partner. Consider couples therapy as a good place to start to get to the bottom of the situation. Because sex can become a huge deal in a marriage when it’s missing.