Can a Sexless Marriage Survive—and Can Sex Therapy Save It?

If you find yourself in a marriage with very little sexual intimacy, you’re likely wondering, “can a sexless marriage survive?

In short—yes, a sexless marriage can survive. But there are some key things you need to consider.

To start, what is a sexless marriage? A sexless (or non-sexual) marriage is defined as one where sexual intimacy happens less than 10 times a year

But, don’t get too hung up on that exact number. It’s important to note that this is simply a number researchers use when conducting studies. 

It’s up to you to decide how much sex is normal for your relationship. If the lack of sex in your marriage has you concerned, read on.

So, Are You Living in a Sexless Marriage?

Regardless of how researchers define a sexless marriage, only you can decide if you’re in a sexless marriage

How satisfied are you with your sexual relationship? Are you happy with the amount of sex you have? Or, is it a source of anxiety for you?

A lack of sex by itself does not necessarily mean your marriage is in trouble. 

If you’re having sex 5 times a year and both you and your partner are completely satisfied, then your sexual relationship is likely in a good place.

Remember, the key part is that you’re both on the same page. 

However, if one or both of you are distressed about the amount of sex in your marriage, then you know there’s a problem that needs your attention.

Factors Leading To a Sexless Marriage

Sexless marriages can develop due to a variety of different factors.

Life circumstances impacting your sex life can include:

  • Medical conditions — A partner may have a chronic illness or sexual dysfunction
  • Mismatched desire — Sex drive changes over time and desire differences are common
  • Stress — Parenting, work, and financial stressors can lead to exhaustion and low desire
  • Major life events — Big changes like having a baby or loss of a loved one
  • Medications — Some medication side effects include reduced sex drive
  • Mental health issues — Struggling with issues like anxiety, trauma, or depression
  • Communication struggles — May stem from avoidance, hurt feelings, or assumptions
  • Boredom — Over time, sex can turn into a routine, and you may feel in a rut

As you can see, a lot of reasons may lead to a lack of sex in your relationship. What are the variables that are impacting your sex life?

Working through your sexual concerns requires addressing the underlying issues impacting your relationship as a whole. 

Can a Sexless Marriage Survive?

If you’ve determined that the amount of sex you’re having in your marriage is concerning, you’re probably asking yourself, “Ok, so can my sexless marriage survive?”

Yes, your marriage can survive this. But you’ll need to work through the problem to ensure both your needs are being met.

The most crucial action you can take is to talk about it with your partner.

Have you brought up your concerns with your partner? Do you have frequent fights about sex? Or do you avoid the issue entirely?

It cannot be stressed enough: Communicate.

Communicate that an issue exists. Talk through it with your partner. Without assigning blame, bring up your concerns so you can figure out how to solve the problem together.

Avoiding the issue will only allow it to persist and even get worse

It can be hard to bring up that you’re unhappy with the way things are, but if you don’t let your partner know, they won’t know your struggles. 

Things won’t get better on their own. They may even get worse.

And if you’re struggling to work through it together or you’re having trouble starting that conversation—it’s time to see a sex therapist. 

Seeking Sex Therapy To Save a Sexless Marriage

Can sex therapy save a sexless marriage? 

If you’re struggling with any of the following:

  • Communicating your concerns with your partner
  • Understanding the underlying causes of your sexless marriage
  • Finding ways to rekindle intimacy
  • You’ve been trying to fix the problem but things aren’t getting better

A sex therapist can help!

Communication Support

If your struggles have been going on for a long time, it can be hard to know where to even start.

A sex therapist can help guide the conversations you want to have with your partner, so you can start addressing those concerns in your sex life.

Through sex therapy, you and your partner can clarify what your needs are and how to talk about them in a positive and productive way. 

Addressing Underlying Factors

As mentioned before, there could be a lot of different factors impacting your relationship and sexual desire.

Mismatched desires is one of the most common reasons people come into sex therapy. 

In fact, desire differences are more common than you may think. One study found that only 46% of men and 58% of women in a relationship were satisfied with the amount of sex they were having1

Beyond personal sex drive, there could be other reasons for not wanting sex. A partner may be going through sudden life changes, health concerns, or high levels of stress—to name a few. 

Speaking with a therapist can help shine a light on these issues that are impacting your sex life and relationship as a whole. You’ll gain a better understanding on how to approach the problem and strengthen your marriage.

Rekindle Sexual Intimacy

Sometimes couples who find themselves in sexless marriages need support reigniting the passion that was there at the start of the relationship. 

Over time, a relationship can get into a routine. The novelty and excitement just isn’t there anymore, and sexual desire decreases. 

And let’s face it—responsibilities like taking care of children and demanding work schedules often don’t leave much time for intimacy.

Sex therapy can help you and your partner figure out how to make time to rekindle your sexual relationship. 

In couples and sex therapy, you may discuss things like finding time to be alone together, having new experiences, learning a new activity together, or scheduling in sex.

A sex therapist works with you to help you both figure out how to meet each other’s needs. 

Finding The Right Sex Therapist

When coping with a sexless marriage, it’s important you find a therapist with specialized training in both couples therapy and sex therapy.

In a sexless marriage, you are dealing with both sexual concerns and the overall relationship you have with your partner. So, a therapist with both areas of expertise will help you navigate both. 

It can be scary to reach out to a stranger for help, especially when it comes to something so private between you and your partner.

But when you find a professional couples and sex therapist, you can rest knowing you have a specialist trained in addressing your struggles. 

You’ll have an ally there to help you discover solutions and lead you along the way. 
You can have a thriving relationship where both you and your partner feel fulfilled. If you need some extra support getting there, we’re here to help. Reach out and schedule your free confidential consultation with us.


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