September 9, 2017 – The Secret Struggles Of Couples In Sexless Marriages
By Kate Halim
No matter how we want to pretend about it, sex is very important in relationships. Good sex offers couples opportunities to give and receive physical pleasure, to connect emotionally and spiritually. It builds closeness, intimacy, and a sense of partnership.
Sex is a powerful tie that binds. When you enjoy good sex, it leaves you happy and fulfilled. It’s after such sweet encounter that most women ask for things from their men because they know the man is still basking in the euphoria of sweet release.
As important as sex is to relationships and marriages, many men and women are sexually starved in their marriages. Many women have not experienced orgasm in years. They believe the reason for having sex is to get pregnant and give birth to children. When you talk about experiencing orgasms, they will be looking at you as if you just said something abominable.
The men married to these women just insert and remove from their oil rigs without taking time to explore their bodies. It doesn’t matter if these women are ready or not. They must please their lord and master. They don’t enjoy sex but they pretend to just to make their men feel good. These women are so accustomed to bad, two-minute sex that when they hear a woman talk about her beautiful sexual experience, they start to judge her.
Many men have been rejected so much by their wives that they are confused about how to get their wives to have meaningful sex with them. Some men are drifting to the woman who smiles more at them outside their home due to their sexual frustration.
Some couples are living like strangers. They just talk about food, clothes, their children and expenses to be made. They don’t engage in the joining of bodies anymore. Sex has taken the back seat and it is beginning to affect their relationship.
For many couples, the sexual intimacy tends to wax and wane over time. I get countless couples who state they have had sex-starved or sexless marriages for years. A sexless marriage is one in which sex happens 10 times a year or fewer. Sex is so infrequent in these marriages that by the time such couples do have sex, it can feel awkward and uncomfortable.
Couples in sex-starved marriages have an average amount of sex each month. Since there are no recommended daily requirements to ensure a healthy sex life, a sex-starved marriage is more about the fallout that occurs when one spouse is deeply unhappy with his or her sexual relationship and this unhappiness is ignored, minimised, or dismissed. The resulting disintegration of the relationship encapsulates the real meaning of a sex-starved marriage.
When one spouse isn’t interested in sex, the touching, kissing, and other forms of physical affection and intimacy often cease as well. Spouses distance from each other emotionally. They carry on their lives together, involved in similar activities in close proximity but without meaningful connection.
Marriage becomes mechanical. Friendship often evaporates. Anger bubbles just below the surface. Misunderstandings abound. Emotional divorce becomes inevitable. They start to feel confused and cheated by their spouses’ lack of interest in their sex lives and try to figure out what’s at the root of their partners’ rejections.
Unfortunately, they often assume the worst. They start thinking, “My wife isn’t attracted to me.” “He must be having an affair.” “The children’s needs are more important than mine.” “My husband doesn’t find me attractive anymore.” “My wife must be seeing someone else for her to keep rejecting me.”
When people believe that their spouses aren’t attracted to them, that their marriages or their feelings aren’t important, or that an affair is brewing, they feel rejected, suspicious, hurt, resentful, and unloved. They start doubting themselves and their abilities to satisfy their spouses. They often feel deeply depressed about the void in their marriages.
Having a better sexual relationship is much more than mere physical pleasure. It means connection, intimacy, closeness, and affection. It’s about feeling attractive, feeling masculine or feminine, and feeling whole as a person. It’s about being in love. It’s about a feeling of oneness. It’s about being fulfilled sexually with your partner no matter how long you both have been together.
Eventually, feelings of rejection become increasingly difficult to manage. Sadness turns to anger. Those yearning for more physical closeness vacillate between being distant and unpleasant. And although these behaviours are merely symptoms of underlying hurt, people with low sexual desire don’t perceive their spouses’ behaviour quite so benevolently. Empathy is in short supply.
Arguments about sex, or lack of it, become the norm. Blame-slinging disagreements add to the already icy distance between spouses. Then, like a runaway train, it’s not long before their bitterness and animosity collide head-on with every other aspect of their relationship. Nothing seems right anymore.
Does any of this sound familiar to you? Have you felt starved for a better sexual relationship with your spouse? Are you desperately yearning to be touched, held, fondled, and caressed? Have your pleas for closeness and more sexual connection fallen on deaf ears?
Do you tell yourself that your spouse will never understand your sexual needs? Do you sometimes feel defeated? Are there times when you have considered divorce or satisfying your needs for sexuality and intimacy outside your marriage?
In sexless marriages, couples wait for long periods between sexual encounters. During that time, pressure or tension builds between the partners. Next, individuals put higher expectations on the sexual experience. When they do have sex, something goes wrong or it just doesn’t meet expectations. This leads to both partners feeling like failures and waiting even longer before trying sex again. It’s a vicious cycle.
Relationships become sexless or sex-starved for a variety of reasons. Sometimes couples don’t intentionally set aside time to themselves as a couple. It is hard to be intimate if you don’t feel connected to your partner. Other times, an individual may develop a sexual dysfunction such as orgasmic disorder, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, or painful sex.
Whatever the cause, once couples get into the cycle, it can be difficult to break, especially if the cycle lasts more than a year. After a year, couples begin to build resentments toward each other. The lack of intimacy can lead to problems in other areas of the relationship.
One of the intimacy-building tips will keep the spark in your relationship include making your relationship a priority. Set aside time together alone at least two times weekly. This can include a date night, going for walks, cuddle time before bed, sharing a hobby, eating together, exercising together, or anything else that involves you two being alone together.
Couples also need to create and keep couple rituals. This is a habit that is unique to your relationship. A ritual can be simple or great. Examples include bathing together, watching your favourite series together while the children have gone to bed and kissing before you leave for work and once you get home.
It can also be an inside joke or special language only the two of you share. Develop a variety of couple rituals and keep these rituals going over the years. It will enhance your intimacy levels and this will in turn make sex fun for you both.
If you are experiencing a sexless marriage, intentionally and regularly put yourself in the mood for sex. People tend to wait until they feel sexy before initiating sex. Rather than waiting, learn what turns you on and intentionally do things to put yourself in the mood. Couples should put themselves in the mood and initiate sex with their partners once every week.
While dating, couples are great at flirting with each other. They share sexy text messages, speak with innuendo, smile and toss their hair, dress their best, and in general try to attract their partners. Many couples get married and assume flirting is not necessary anymore. Flirting is a key component to keep the spark. Men and women should devote time to keep flirting with their partners. It goes a long way in building intimacy.
Couples need to work towards a sexually-fulfilling relationship by trying out new things. They can talk more about their sexual likes and dislikes. Sex shouldn’t be done monotonously. It should be done in different places. Couples should be more romantic with their partners and be affectionate regularly. They should engage in activities that will bring them closer.
If you are in a sexless marriage, you have to understand that building intimacy involves both parties. Don’t say it’s your woman’s duty to make it work. Don’t claim your man must initiate sex all the time. When you feel like it, grab him and take him to ‘heaven’. As long as both are committed to do that work, you will overcome the sex drought threatening to destroy your relationship.