Physical intimacy is an important part of any marriage. Sexual intercourse is a huge part of this equation. Frequency of sex is tied to marital satisfaction. When a married couple is no longer engaging in sexual activity, it can signal a huge problem in the relationship. It can also lead to divorce.
Sexual intimacy in a marriage is important. It involves being vulnerable and sharing emotions. There is no other activity that can replicate this, so when sex does not happen, the couple is not able to effectively build the relationship.
The happiest couples have sex 54 times per year, or roughly once a week. When a couple does not have sex for one year or longer, it is considered a sexless marriage.
When one person wants to have sex and the other does not, it can cause a lot of frustration for both parties. The person who does not want to have sex may feel inadequate, as if they cannot fulfill their spouse’s needs. The person who wants sex may feel frustrated that their spouse is unwilling to meet their needs.
Does a sexless marriage mean divorce? What are your options? Do you have an obligation to stay married? Here are some things to consider as you navigate your marriage and decide your next steps.
What Causes a Sexless Marriage?
A sexless marriage can happen suddenly for a variety of reasons, including the following:
- Lack of sex drive
- Falling out of love
- Stress and other relationship issues
- Unresolved trauma
- Medical issues
- Mental health issues
- Impotence and other sexual dysfunction
- Hormonal imbalance
- Old age
All of these issues can lead to a decreased sex drive. When these issues occur, it is important to work on them and find solutions to help the couple achieve intimacy again.
What are Your Options?
Sex with your partner is not your only option. You do not have to live in a sexless marriage. While not ideal, there are things you can do to get over your sexual frustration:
- Consider counseling. Before calling it quits, seek counseling to get to the root of the problem. If your spouse is willing to go, then it shows that they are at least willing to make an effort.
- Masturbate. We all have needs, and when they are not getting met by your spouse, it may be time for some self-love. While not the same as having sex with your partner, masturbation allows you to relieve sexual tension and perhaps improve your mood.
- Open your marriage. This should be done as a last resort, as infidelity should not be the answer. Cheating on your spouse is against your marriage vows, but so is not addressing each other’s sexual needs. Sex outside the marriage, though, is not something to be taken lightly. Many couples agree to it, only to later regret it.
- Leave your marriage. If your spouse is unwilling to address the lack of sexual intimacy in your marriage, then you need to determine how important sex is to you. Think about your age and sex drive. If you are in your 30s, you are probably not going to want to spend another 50 years or so in a sexless marriage. But if you are in your 60s or 70s, it may not be worth it to end your marriage over a lack of sex.
When to Consider Divorce
You may feel uncomfortable ending a mariage over sex, but the truth is that you need to be happy. To some people, sex is a minor thing, but it is actually a huge part of every marriage. If you and your spouse are not on the same page sexually, that is a major issue. Staying married will only breed resentment. Here are some situations in which a lack of sex warrant divorce:
- Your spouse refuses to address the issue. If your spouse is in denial or simply not interested in making any changes, then it shows they are not interested in your feelings. Discussing sex can involve storng emotions and hurt feelings. If your spouse is not willing to deal with the issue head-on, then it is best to just end things.
- There is no more attraction. It is hard to get into the mood and have sex with someone to whom we are not attracted. Is that what has happened in your marriage? If so, then having more sex is not going to help things. If there is no more physical or emotional connection, then it is a waste of time to even stay married.
- One of you has cheated. It is one thing to discuss an open marriage ahead of time, but if one of you is getting sex somewhere else behind the other person’s back, then continuing the marriage is a bad idea. Cheating on your spouse is a low blow. You clearly cannot trust the other person. Plus, moving on from cheating is difficult. It is easier to just end your marriage.
Seek Legal Help
A successful marriage means that both parties are happy. If one or both of you are struggling to come to terms with the lack of sex life in your relationship, then there is going to be a lot of resentment. It is hard to get past this, and marriages eventually break down as a result.
Not happily married because of your sex life or other reason? Broward County divorce attorney Scott J. Stadler can help you get out of your unhappy marriage. We can help you move on and find someone more compatible. Call (954) 346-6464 or fill out the online form to schedule a consultation.