Relationship Marriage

Breaking Free: Knowing When to Walk Away from a Sexless Marriage

Let’s dive into why sex is important in marriage, how common sexless marriages are and why sexless marriages are really painful in terms of both physical and mental suffering. Find out when to walk away from a sexless marriage.

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Let’s start with the basics. First, sex is an essential part of married life. It’s not just physical pleasure but it connects the couple deeper. It can foster a sense of trust, emotional closeness, intimacy and bonding in a couple. Feel-good hormones named oxytocin and endorphins are released when a couple indulges in sex. These hormones keep couples stress free and promote well-being. It is a unique aspect of married life that strengthens the emotional and physical bond between the partners and boosts a satisfying relationship.

Before starting with our second point, let’s check the statistics about sexless marriage. In the past year, sex activities between married partners were reduced to 15%–20%. There is a high rate of sexlessness i.e. 25%-50% in heterosexual marriages in year 2022 according to “Psychology Today”. It seems harsh but true. Physical intimacy becomes infrequent or nonexistent.

Second, the impact of a sexless marriage goes beyond the physical aspect. Lack of sex in marriage results in less intimacy, fewer emotional attachments, increased stress levels and frustration. Overall, it affects our self-esteem and overall sense of happiness.

Related:  7 Secrets to a Happy Marriage You Won’t Learn in Therapy

Can you have a sexless marriage? Few signs

At the beginning, we have seen a few aspects of sexless marriage in brief. Alright, here we discuss the signs that you are in a sexless marriage. Although it is not easy to spot, one can easily find the telltale signs that may suggest your relationship is lacking in sexual intimacy.

Signs of sexless marriage spark is gone

Sign 1: Spark is Gone

If you discover that the chemistry between you and your partner has vanished, it means you are in a sexless marriage.

Sign 2: No Initiation or Rejection

If one partner consistently shows low interest or avoids initiating sex activity that indicates you are in a sexless marriage. It may indicate a lack of desire or interest in physical intimacy.

Sign 3: Sleeping in Separate Beds

Sleeping in separate beds or bedrooms can be a sign that physical intimacy has dwindled in your relationship.

Sign 4: Feeling Unfulfilled

Feeling constantly unsatisfied or low with the level of intimacy with your partner even after trying your best. It could be a sign that you’re in a sexless marriage.

Sign 5: Decreased Frequency

It is normal to have fluctuations in sexual activities but a consistent decrease in these activities may be a cause for concern. That could lead you to a sexless marriage.

Related: Are Arranged Marriages Really Successful?

What are the Causes of a Sexless Marriage?

If you and your partner realize that you are in a sexless marriage, you first need to understand the reason for having such a relationship. It may be due to a lack of conversations, stress, lifestyle issues, conflicts or something else.

Without any delay, delve into the reasons why some marriages may experience a lack of sexual intimacy.

Lifestyle Factors

The demands of modern life, such as work stress, financial pressures, and busy work schedules, can negatively affect a sexual life. Multiple responsibilities can leave little time and energy for intimacy, leading to a sexless marriage.

Emotional and Relationship Challenges

Unresolved conflicts, communication breakdowns, or lack of emotional connection can affect intimacy in a marriage. Emotional distance or unresolved issues can create barriers to physical intimacy. These challenges lead to a sexless marriage.

Health Issues

Health difficulties might reduce sexual desire and activity, resulting in a sexless marriage. Here are a few health issues that could be a reason for your physical detachment.

  1. Physical health problems can make it hard for a married couple to be sexually intimate. This health issue may be caused by chronic pain, tiredness, hormonal imbalances, or sexual problems like erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation.
  2. Mental health issues can lower libido and make it harder to want and do sexual things with your partner. Depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder may be the reasons for your mental health issues.
Cause of sexless marriage mental health issue image

Life Transitions

Life transitions can disrupt the intimacy and sexual routine in a relationship. Becoming parents, retiring, or dealing with aging parents are a few major life transitions. Changing scenarios in life develop mental stress which results in avoiding sexual activities.

Personal and Cultural Beliefs

Some cultures promote abstinence before marriage. Certain cultures and religious beliefs may impose rigid gender roles and expectations regarding sexuality. The former belief gives attention to sexual purity and engages in physical intimacy only after marriage is done. Whereas in later instances, men are expected to have a higher sexual desire and be the initiators of sexual activity as compared to women. These kinds of mismatches develop conflicts or dissatisfaction in the sexual relationship.

Sexual Longing

An imbalance in libido can result in decreased sexual desire. If one partner has a higher sexual desire than the other, then it creates a difference in sexual pleasure between the partners. This difference contributes to depression and a lack of physical intimacy.

Trauma or Past Sexual Abuse

Past trauma and sexual abuse can lead to emotional and psychological issues such as anxiety, depression and low self-esteem. These problems affect your ability to feel emotionally connected and intimate with your partner. This leads to a decrease in sexual activity in the marriage.

Related: How to Celebrate an Anniversary in a Bad Marriage?

When to Seek Help for a Sexless Marriage

When we speak about sexless marriage, it is important to resolve the issue and rebuild the intimacy in the relationship. Seeking help from professionals can encourage couples to settle their unresolved problems. Here are some signs to seek expert help:

Communication Breakdown

If you find it challenging to speak openly and honestly about a lack of intimacy with your partner. This reflects that your communication has broken down with your partner. It’s time to consult a therapist or counselor who can offer a safe space to improve your communication skills.

Persistent Emotional Distress

It is common to have grief, frustration or resentment if sexual activities are absent from your married life. You need a professional’s help to get out of depression and stress.

Seek help for sexless marriage

Unresolved Conflicts

Looking for professional help to manage unresolved conflicts or underlying issues in your marriage may help improve intimacy. Therapists or experts can assist you in improving communication and resolving conflicts.

Lack of Progress

You and your partner have tried hard to revitalize intimacy in your marriage. But if you are not seeing any improvement, it may be time to get help. A therapist or counselor can help you develop intimacy in your marriage with new ideas and perspectives.

Impact on Overall Well-being

Lack of intimacy in marriage can affect your emotional, mental, and physical health. It needs a professional to diagnose and provide the best treatment. A specialist can help you identify the problem and create a plan to enhance your health.

How to Tell When to Walk Away from a Sexless Marriage

In the above post, we have seen what the signs of a sexless marriage are, various reasons for a lack of intimacy and when to seek help from experts.

It’s also crucial to recognize that sexual intimacy should not be a burden on your mental, emotional and physical health. Despite your best attempts to resolve your sexless marriage, if it is not working out. Then it is time to leave the marriage. Here are some signs you need to observe:

  1. Feeling emotionally detached
  2. Repetitive patterns
  3. Negative impact on self-esteem
  4. Unresolved conflicts and differences
  5. Continued unhappiness

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Walking Away From Sexless Marriage

Consider the advantages and disadvantages before leaving a sexless marriage. Ending the relationship demands a careful analysis of its pros and cons.

Pros of Leaving

  1. It helps you grow and discover a relationship that meets your needs.
  2. It may reduce emotional tension, frustration, and loneliness.
  3. You can focus on your own happiness.
  4. Explore new options and possibilities.

Cons of Leaving

  1. Increase difficulty emotionally, financially, and logistically.
  2. It may involve asset division, legal actions, and have a child effect.
  3. It can raise social and cultural judgments.

Assessing the advantages and disadvantages of leaving a sexless marriage is important to making a decision that fits your values and ambitions. Consider the pros and cons and what’s best for your health. Careful consideration and self-awareness can help you control your happiness and fulfillment.

Factors to Consider Before Making a Decision

Consider many things before leaving a sexless marriage. To make an informed, values-aligned decision, you must carefully analyze various factors.

First, examine your emotions.
How does your marriage feel without intimacy?

Are you feeling frustrated, lonely, or sad?

Understanding your feelings might help you decide if a sexless marriage is right for you.

Consider your marriage’s communication and problem-solving.

Discuss the absence of closeness with your partner?

Have you tried therapy?

Consider whether you and your partner are willing to collaborate to solve the problem.

Consider the relationship’s health beyond intimacy.

Do you enjoy other parts of your marriage?

Existing values, interests, and goals?

Consider whether the relationship can survive a sexless marriage.

Money matters too. Alimony, child support, and asset division may follow a divorce.

Consider whether you’re financially ready to quit the marriage.

Think about the kids. Divorce can affect children’s mental health.

Consider how the decision may affect your children and how to mitigate any negative repercussions.

Finally, examine your well-being and aspirations. Your long-term goals? Does a sexless marriage fit your future? Consider whether continuing in the marriage meets your needs, values, and goals.

Making the Decision to Walk Away

Leaving a marriage is hard, but it may be beneficial for your well-being. To make an appropriate selection, measure all the circumstances and trust yourself.

Trust your gut. Intuition is often useful. It may be time to walk away from the marriage if you feel the relationship isn’t meeting your physical, mental, and emotional needs.

Consider your own satisfaction. You deserve a loving, fulfilling relationship. If your marriage lacks intimacy, it may be time to terminate it for your personal satisfaction.

Consider growth and change. Consider whether your marriage’s intimacy issues will improve. Even though you’ve tried several methods to solve the problem without success. Without thinking too much, it is better to try something else.

Think about mental and physical wellbeing. Sexless marriages might harm your health. It can cause irritation, low self-esteem, and health issues.

Take your future ambitions seriously. Analyze whether a sexless marriage fits your long-term goals.Consider if staying in the marriage is holding you back from reaching your goals.

Consult reliable friends, family, or a therapist. Divorce is difficult. Trusted friends and a therapist can help you make decisions.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, a sexless marriage is difficult, and leaving is a personal decision that demands great contemplation. A sexless marriage may lack intimacy, communication, and emotion. Understanding the causes of a sexless marriage—physical or mental health difficulties, emotional disconnection, or interpersonal dynamics—is important.

Prioritize your well-being when deciding whether to seek help or leave.

Consider your happiness, emotional health, and any children involved.

It’s hard to leave, but consider the long-term implications for your health. You may need aid from trusted friends, family, or specialists. After a sexless marriage, self-care, reasonable expectations, and personal growth may help you go forward.

As you start this new chapter, it’s important to forgive yourself and your ex-partner. Allow yourself time to grieve, absorb feelings, and rebuild. As you progress, emphasize your personal well-being and happiness. After a sexless marriage, be patient, compassionate, and open to new options.

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