According to author Seth Stephens-Davidowitz ‘sexless marriage’ is the most Googled phrase when it comes to complaints in a marriage. In 2015 he found that ‘sexless marriage’ was Googled 21,090 times on average, with the next closest – ‘unhappy marriage’ – coming in at 6,029 times. In addition, Relate research reveals that a quarter of us (23 per cent) are unhappy with our sex lives.
Unfortunately, a sexless marriage is one of those subjects that many couples just don’t want to address. Having a sexless marriage may not be an issue on the face of it (at least for one of the people in the partnership!). Far too often though I come across scenarios where a partner hasn’t addressed the concerns of the other person and this has resulted in infidelity or in extreme cases the complete breakdown of the relationship. So why are these figures so high and what can be done about it? You may be disappointed to hear that there are no simple answers as far as I’m concerned. No silver bullet I’m afraid. For me I would always question what lies beneath a sexless marriage. I would want to know what sex provides each person (you might be surprised at the many answers you would get to this question). I would also want to know what the impact has been on each person and what, specifically, is not working for them.
Why do marriages become sexless? I have discovered that boredom is one of the most common reasons, and as the saying goes ‘familiarity breeds contempt’. Ultimately, people have been in a relationship for 10, 15, 20 years and they just don’t feel the attraction they felt when they first met. On top of this, huge numbers of us haven’t tried anything new in bed since our early days, which is going to have consequences in the long run for our marriage.
So, now I have outlined some of the issues, what’s the answer you may be asking. Consider this for starters – it has nothing to do with your partner. Nothing, nada, zilch. Yes, I am afraid it’s time to take a good hard look at ourselves. Now I get this may annoy some readers, and forgive me but that’s not my intention here. All I am asking is for you to try on that the other person is not relevant in this conversation right now. Not like it’s the truth – more that it’s something to try on. If it doesn’t work for you then fine, but, please, give it a go at least. You might be pleasantly surprised by the outcome.
Take my situation – I was celibate for seven years so I had a sexless life, let alone a sexless marriage! When I look back on it now, I can see clearly that it had nothing to do with anyone but me. Not that I blamed myself. No, that would have compounded misery upon misery. I just got to identify what was in the way of having a fulfilled sex life – something I had essentially just given up on. Why? Because I was scared. I was scared to be in a relationship and all that it entailed. My self-esteem was rock bottom and there was no way I could have even considered being in a relationship.
I now have a very fulfilled sex life and it all came from eventually feeling sexy and confident about myself. The journey was a long one and it takes real commitment to transforming it in my experience. However, if I could give you three of top tips for bringing back sex to your marriage, it would be these (all of which are in my e-book by the way):
- Take yourself on a date and do something you really desire. Now watch how you want to give excuses for how this isn’t possible. This is a great opportunity to get present to how important this area is for you, the impact of having a sexless marriage, and how much you really want to transform things.
- Look at your daily rituals and ask yourself this – do they empower you or are any of them things you do out of obligation? So many of daily rituals are for other people, but what about us?
- Start to list what matters to you. Now I don’t mean your career, your husband, your family etc. I’m talking about what values matter to you. In my case these are being fun, free and fulfilled and so much of what I do in life stems from those values.