If you’re stuck in a sexless marriage and are not sure how to fix it, know that there is a way to make things better. It’s perfectly natural for a couple’s sex life to fluctuate over time, especially in a long-term relationship. And when sexual activity dwindles, you’ll both need to make a deliberate effort to reverse course. Emotional closeness and strong communication are key. And if you’re not sure where to begin, keep reading to learn how to survive a sexless marriage and enjoy reconnecting in the process.
What Is A Sexless Marriage?
There are varying definitions of what constitutes a sexless marriage. According to the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT), a sexless marriage is a relationship where the couple has sex 10 or fewer times per year. This doesn’t necessarily mean the relationship is entirely broken. The couple may still have an emotional connection, love each other, and be good life partners. However, in a sexless marriage, these couples do not have a regular physically active sex life.
Talking About Intimacy Is Necessary
There are many reasons for a sexless marriage. Busy lives, young children, and health factors can all contribute to a decline in sexual activity. In this article, we will focus on couples who not only are in a sexless marriage but also avoid talking about their sex lives at all costs. These couples may be so sensitive or emotionally guarded that they cannot bring themselves to discuss issues around intimacy with each other.
Sex is often a topic loaded with shame and fear that avoidance becomes the default result. Fear of conflict, especially around delicate topics, feels so insurmountable that it’s no wonder it feels like such a big issue for some spouses. However, talking about your sex life with your partner is vital in any relationship. Physical intimacy is part of a healthy marriage. And if your sex life isn’t where you want it to be, discussing the situation with your spouse is the first step in reviving it.
Pick a quiet moment to have a conversation about your sex life with your spouse. Make sure you won’t be interrupted or distracted. Acknowledge any discomfort you may have in discussing this sensitive topic and come at it from a place of empathy and compassion. Here are some suggestions for how to broach the topic of intimacy with your spouse:
“I’ve wanted to talk with you about something that’s been on my mind but is rather difficult for me to bring up…”
“I know there’s a lot going on in our lives right now, and it’s not surprising that our sex life dwindled. I love you and miss being intimate with you. Can we talk about how to make things better?”
“I know we’re not teenagers anymore, but I’d like us to still have a physical relationship. Could we talk about how we might be able to put a little spark back into our life?”
How To Survive A Sexless Marriage With Mocha Sex
Couples may think that what they want from their sex lives is so different that there’s little hope and so they give up before even trying. This is a fallacy. The truth is, both partners want intimacy to be fun and meaningful, regardless of what they do physically. Remember, sex is more than just intercourse. Touching, kissing, rubbing, oral sex, and sex toys are all ways in which couples can express their sexuality beyond penetration.
We often hear couples talk about vanilla vs kinky sex. At Marriage Quest, we coined the term “mocha sex” to describe the many sexual options which exist between vanilla and kink. Perhaps one partner wants to take it slow and the other wants to be wild and crazy. These differences are not unusual and don’t have to be a threat to the marriage. In fact, if handled well, can breathe fresh air into a stale relationship. We help couples bridge the gap and lighten the heavy discussion by being fun loving and by negotiating each other’s needs and desires.
Couples Therapy Can Help Revive Your Sex Life
There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to sexual norms. Each couple is unique and has its own preferences, capabilities, and constraints. And therefore, each couple must find their own recipe for what “mocha sex” looks like for them. Sexuality can be fluid in many ways and will change over the course of any long term relationship. This is especially important to remember for older couples who want to revive their sexless marriage. The key is to keep up with the changes life brings by being flexible and open. Often healing childhood messages about sex opens us up to guilt-free sex.
Navigating physical and emotional changes or confronting feelings of shame and fear about sex can be difficult for many. If these obstacles are standing in the way of your being able to enjoy an active and fulfilling sex life, consider working with a couples therapist. Professional support will help you get to where you want to be faster than going it alone. Here at Marriage Quest, we’ve helped hundreds of couples survive their sexless marriage and reclaim their sex lives. Learn more by clicking the button below.