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Why Do Couples Stop Having Sex? Top 12 Common Reasons
Intimacy in marriage is a vital cog in the smooth running of a relationship. When sex and intimacy leave a marriage, your mind can’t help but go to the darkest place and worry that your partner no longer finds you attractive or is having an affair.
This begs the question, can a sexless marriage survive?
While sex is not the most defining factor in relationship happiness, sex and intimacy missing in your marriage can lead to serious relationship issues like anger, infidelity, communication breakdown, lack of self-esteem, and isolation – all of which can ultimately lead to irreparable damage to the relationship, ending in divorce.
Read this article to find out why do couples stop having sex and understand the sexual dynamics of relationships better:
Why do couples stop having sex? Top 12 reasons
The following are some common reasons why intimacy goes missing from a marriage.
Take an honest look at your relationship and see if any of these ring true. They just may help you to understand key reasons for intimacy missing in your marriage and get back on track to bring intimacy back into your marriage.
1. Immense stress
Women, in particular, find it hard to believe that stress could impact a man’s sexual desire. If you are looking for a way to fix the intimacy missing in your marriage, you must slay the biggest culprit in a sexless marriage – stress.
This is because we’ve spent our lives being told that men are always in the mood for sex, and this is simply not true. Stress at work or home can leave men and women exhausted, making sleep or some other way to relax more appealing than sex.
Studies have found a link between stress and decreased sex drive. Talk to your partner about what’s causing them stress, and do what you can to help take some of the burdens off their shoulders.
Resentment can put a strain on intimacy
2. Low self-esteem
Self-esteem and body image issues don’t only affect women. No one is exempt from feeling down about themselves.
Low self-esteem can take a toll on a person’s relationships, particularly when it comes to physical intimacy, because it leads to inhibitions and, ultimately, to a sexless relationship.
If intimacy is missing in your marriage, cultivate the habit of complimenting and appreciating your partner.
Compliment your spouse and let them know that you find them attractive. You can help make them more comfortable by leaving the lights dim and staying under the covers.
Is your wife not interested in sex? Is the lack of intimacy in marriage from your husband eating away at your peace of mind? Be patient and do your part to resolve intimacy issues and help them feel loved and desired.
Have you rejected your partner’s advances in the past? Perhaps you have been less than enthused when they tried to show you affection in or out of the bedroom.
These things can put your partner off of intimacy.
No one wants to feel as though their partner sees sex with them as a chore, and this is what can happen if you constantly put off sex or never initiate it.
Lack of sex in a relationship impairs a couple’s connection and leads to a slew of marital problems, including depression.
Living in a sexless marriage can make the partners feel unwanted, unattractive, and completely demotivated. Marriage becomes drudgery, and as a result, either one of the partners starts experiencing frustration and loses the motivation to devote energy to other important areas of life too.
If you are looking for tips on how to survive a sexless marriage or to overcome a lack of intimacy in marriage, it would be most helpful to consult a certified sex therapist who deals with intimacy problems.
Low self-esteem can take a toll on a person’s relationships
Your partner may be feeling resentful.
Unresolved issues in your relationship can make them pull away and withdraw affectionately and emotionally. If there aren’t any glaring issues that you can think of, then consider whether or not your partner feels unappreciated or let down by the way you treat them.
The only way to get to the bottom of this is to talk openly about the relationship and try to resolve any issues that may strain intimacy.
5. Lack of non-physical intimacy
Intimacy missing in a marriage isn’t just about a lack of sex.
Your sex life can suffer if there’s a lack of emotional intimacy too. Feeling disconnected from your partner can make it hard to connect during sex or enjoy it. This isn’t only limited to women either; men crave emotional intimacy from their spouses too.
Spending quality time together can help build emotional intimacy and ultimately bring back physical intimacy. It is important for couples to understand why sex is important and how couples can use intimacy and sex as glue to maintain their love bond.
6. Become platonic partners over time
One of the reasons to explain why couples stop having sex is by taking a look at their day-to-day dynamics, as they may have turned platonic over time.
A married couple can get caught up in the day-to-day struggle of life, where they end up overlooking the sexual aspect of their relationship. They become versions of roommates or best friends that are leading their life together.
Have you rejected your partner’s advances in the past?
No intimacy in relationships can be the result of physical or mental exhaustion that the couple might be facing. It can make one or both partners lack the motivation to have sex.
Wondering when couples stop having sex? Possible when they stop trying new things in the bedroom.
Sex can become boring if you don’t constantly try things that can make it more fun, exciting and engaging. In the absence of new ways to enjoy sex with your partner, marital sex can become boring for some.
9. Lack of hygiene
When intimacy stops in a relationship, you can try to assess whether there has been a difference in hygiene maintenance by either you or your partner.
When two people are together for a long time, they may start taking things for granted, and that may include maintaining good hygiene. And therefore, bad hygiene can become the reason for their partner to lose interest in them sexually.
10. Form of payback or punishment
You may have to start worrying about the effects of lack of intimacy in a relationship if one or both partners end up withholding sex as a form of punishment for bad behavior by their partner. Some can use lack of sex to punish their partner over time, over disagreements, fights, or opposing opinions.
11. Health issues
One of the important reasons not to have sex can be based on health issues that impede one’s sexual abilities and desires. Hormonal imbalance and erectile dysfunction are some such reasons that can affect one’s ability to have sex.
Not having sex in relationships can also be attributed to age-related factors. One’s hormones and physicality may face certain limits as one gets older, and this can impact their sexual relations with their partner.
Some commonly asked questions
Here are some answers to some important questions related to couples not having sex that can help you understand things better:
Is it normal for couples to stop having sex?
It is normal for couples to go through various phases in their sex lives, some of which may be marked by a lack of or reduced sexual activity between them. However, things can get problematic if the lack of sex lasts for a long period of time without any hope for a better future.
Couples can consider meeting an expert for relationship counseling to help them sort out any sexual problems between them.
At what age do most couples stop having sex?
There is no set age by which couples stop having sex; however, studies conducted on the sexual frequency of people have concluded that usually that couples experience a decline with time.
What happens when a couple stops having sex?
If there is intimacy missing in your marriage, there will be cracks in your relationship, leading to potentially a permanent loss of emotional and verbal connection with your spouse.
Here are the other problems that can explain what happens when couples stop sleeping together:
- Partners start withdrawing from each other
- The rejected partner feels unloved and insecure
- Chances of cheating on a spouse increase manifold
- If intimacy issues persist, divorce becomes imminent
To fix a sexless marriage or overcome intimacy missing in your marriage, it is important to understand the causes of intimacy missing in the marriage.
Things are not always what they seem.
Lack of sexual intimacy in marriage can stem from many things. Avoid jumping to conclusions and have a frank discussion with your partner without being accusatory. Don’t let a breakdown in intimacy create a lack of emotional connection, marital conflicts, relationship dissatisfaction, and bitterness in your marriage.
An unhappy marriage is not the best place to hang out with your partner. Learn how to fix and reignite the spark in your relationship, to strengthen the love bond with your significant other before little or no intimacy in marriage leads to marriage breakdown.
Best Tips For Growing Intimacy In Marriage
Couples get married because they want to share their lives with the one they love in a very intimate way. As humans being, we wish to be unconditionally loved and always yearn to be close to our partners. When one thinks of intimacy, the mind immediately translates that to mean sexual intimacy. Of course, sexual intimacy in a marriage is extremely important (and a lack of it can destroy the marriage); but in time, all married couples realize that a sexual relationship is only one of the many myriad ways that they can experience being intimate with each other.
Emotional, intellectual & spiritual intimacy along with heart-to-heart dialogues are also significant methods of getting close with their spouse. Partners in love are the real architects, who can revolutionize their marriages, by making intimacy more personal and specific to them.
If you wish to enjoy better intimacy with your spouse, have a candid discussion with them about how you can make your love life more purposeful and emotional.
Create an atmosphere of love and closeness and let passion, care, affection freely flow in your marriage. Women, mostly, like to connect on a deeper emotional level.
For men, it can be the other way around. Be mindful of each other’s needs on a daily basis and forge a friendship that is unique and truly intimate.
Listening to romantic music together, holding hands, sharing feelings, taking a long walk and sharing a meal will all contribute in increasing love for each other in the marriage and create real intimacy.
For couples: 4 importance of counselling before marriage
Counselling before marriage is also known as pre-marriage or pre-marital counselling and is essential for everybody whether in a relationship or not.
Pre-marital counselling is a type of therapy that helps couples prepare for marriage and the challenges, benefits and rules that comes with it.
Engaging in counselling before marriage helps to ensure that you and your partner have a strong, healthy, non-toxic relationship which gives you a better chance for a stable and satisfying marriage. It can also help you identify your individual weaknesses that could become problems during marriage and also tries to proffer a solution.
If you are planning to settle down with your partner or in a relationship, here are some benefits of counselling for you:
Helps in planning for the future
Premarital counsellors do more than just help couples talk through their current issues. They also help couples plan for the future. A counsellor can help couples set financial or family planning goals and can proffer them a way to accomplish those goals.
Discover new things about the couples themselves
Premarital therapy sessions give you the opportunity and freedom to discuss things that do not come up in normal conversations between you and your partner, like his or her dark secrets, hurtful past experiences, sex, and expectations. Marriage counsellors and therapists ask a lot of questions when they are working with couples that are considering long-term commitments such as marriage. Listening carefully to your partner’s answers is a great way to learn more about who you are about to commit to.
Builds up effective communication skills
There is no relationship without communication. And as it is known, one of the most important aspects of any marriage is having an effective communication with your partner. When a couple stops caring and stops talking to one another, the marriage will eventually lead to a divorce. Counseling can help you learn how to be a good listener and also how to talk to your partner; therefore you know how to talk to your partner and what the other person wants and needs. When you live with someone day in and day out, it is very easy to take each other for granted, but keeping an open line of communication and expressing love to one another builds a relationship that can withstand the test of time and any storm.
Enables couples to absorb the counsellors’ wisdom
Sharing issues with someone who has been married for a while is another big benefit of seeking pre-marriage counselling. When you talk to a marriage counsellor, you get a firsthand or primary voice of wisdom on the subject of marriage. Marriage counsellor gets to share their experiences and the sacrifices they’ve made to keep the marriage healthy.