How To Break The Shackles Of A Sexless Marriage?

Steffo Shambo

Updated on Aug 11, 2023
sexless marriage

I talk to a lot of men from all around the world, almost daily over the phone. One of the most common topics of strain is the struggles they face in their love life. I will often hear from married men who have sex just a few times a year. While for others, it has been several years since the last time they made love with their spouse.

Personally I find this so sad. Making love is one of the greatest pleasures available to human beings. It can also bring a man and woman together like nothing else. Sexual intercourse provides a huge boost of happy hormones such as oxytocin and dopamine, which literally alter and improve our experience of life itself.

I believe that instead of accepting a lack of sex, every person (and indeed couple) should take action to reignite the desire and passion in their relationship.

The pain of being in a sexless marriage is such a common source of suffering for my clients. Hence I’ve decided to write this article for those of you finding yourselves in a sexless marriage and or/not having enough sex. If you want to understand how you got to this place and what you can do to turn it around starting today – keep reading.

What does a sexless marriage look like?

First, let’s work on identifying what a sexless marriage looks like. It may not always be obvious especially if you are still having sex – albeit quite infrequently. Having sex 2-3 times a year can still be defined as a sex marriage.

Are you finding that there is a lack of physical intimacy in your marriage? Maybe you are no longer physically affectionate. Small things like a touch, a hug, or shared physical closeness can often start to fade away in a sexless marriage. You might share physical space but are in a relationship that is more akin to being roommates than passionate lovers.

How did you end up in a sexless marriage?

Now one of the common lines of thought among men in a sexless marriage is “How did I end up here?” There could be a million reasons why this has happened.

Sometimes, as you grow older and figure out who you are, there is the possibility of drifting away from your partner. Married couples sometimes suddenly find that the initial connection they once shared is now broken.

Maybe you are no longer aligned in your goals and the communication is almost non-existent. This could make you question your love for each other as you realize you’re no longer on the same page about things that matter.

Take a look at what you spend most of your time on. Take stock of what your priorities are. Are you working too much? Does your marriage revolve around your children? Try to look deep within the relationship and take ownership of the situation.

Your disconnect from your partner may also be the result of a lot of repressed pain over a long period of time. This pain can develop over time from a lack of trust. Maybe there’s a lack of honesty in your relationship.

Sometimes we make promises we cannot keep. Often we say one thing but do another. This can also cause a disconnect in your relationship. It can be hard to overcome this disconnect and work on being more open in your relationship.

Another reason is that you find you are not fulfilling your own dreams and goals in life. This can cause resentment to build up between you and your partner ultimately leading to a sexless marriage.

Don’t panic. I’m here today to tell you that a sexless marriage needn’t spell doom for the relationship. There are many things that you can do to bring the spice up the bedroom and revive your sex life.

man lying on the bead with pillow under his head

What are the consequences of a sexless marriage?

Apart from the obvious sense of loneliness and abandonment, a sexless marriage can have devastating consequences for all partners. Here, I talk about some of the most common effects a sexless marriage has on the husband and wife:

Trust will fade

When you connect with someone on a deeper level, you instinctively start to trust them. And having sex together is probably the most beautiful way to connect with your partner. Sex aligns your hearts and your spirit together.

Additionally, good sex helps release oxytocin, the feel-good hormone. And so cutting that off is denying closeness with your partner. Without this level of intimacy, it can be hard to trust your partner.

Resentment builds up

Long stretches of time without sex, combined with a drop in shared intimacy on that level can result in irritation and frustration. This can cause you to start communicating in a passive-aggressive way, which is extremely damaging.

We’ll often see the stereotypical bickering in long term marriages that is generally a result of lack of connection and intimacy. Sex is an important part of any partnership. When the frequency of sex dramatically drops, a slow resentment may start to build up.

This resentment can be intensified to an even greater level if only one partner has lost interest in sex. The partner who has not lost interest and still wants to have sex may feel deprived and become bitter. Of all of the things a relationship can cause us to feel – bitterness is absolutely one of the most toxic.

Of course, it is natural for our sex life to peak and trough. Factors such as stress and illness can cause our libido to drop. A good partner will be understanding of this and can find other ways to meet their needs (such as masturbation).

True difficulty arises when the lack of sex becomes chronic. If you are reading this and you haven’t had sex with your spouse for a couple of months, it might not quite be time to worry yet.

However, if you’ve only had sex a handful of times over the past year – Houston you have a problem. And it might be time to start looking for a solution.

Feelings of rejection

Although a lack of sex does not directly mean rejection, consistently being withdrawn can feel like you’re being rejected over and over again. Research studies have shown that this can make you feel unworthy, and will cause your self-esteem and confidence to plummet.

Even though the lack of sex may not have anything to do with you, it can be hard not to take it personally over an extended period of time. It can feel like a blow to your masculine pride and assertiveness in life. This can leave you feeling insignificant and unloved – two things we don’t envisage ourselves feeling when we enter into a marriage.


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We crave connection

Apart from physical pleasure, one of the greatest reasons human beings seek out lovemaking is for connection. Not having sex is not EVERYTHING, but it is an important part of a happy and healthy relationship.

The chemicals that are released in the brain during orgasm and sex help you form a bond with your partner. That bond will form on a psychological, emotional, energetic, and spiritual level i.e. – the whole spectrum of a human being.

This is why it’s super important to have sex in marriage. It is common for long periods of celibacy to result in one or both partners being open to attention from other people. Now I’m not saying a lack of sex always leads to an affair. But these thoughts suddenly creep in far easier than before.

Or maybe you’re wondering if your partner is cheating on you? So you allow yourself an emotional affair – be it with a coworker, a neighbor, or a friend – because it’s in our nature to feel loved and accepted. When we don’t receive these things from our partners, we look for ways outside our marriage to get them.

The bottom line is this: if you’re not having sex with your spouse, you’re setting yourself up for a disaster.

Will a sexless marriage end up in divorce?

If your sexless marriage feels like it is coming to an end and you find yourself on the path to divorce; Realize that it is not solely due to a lack of sex.

Several aspects come into play – such as a general lack of connection and trust, poor communication, and overall not feeling appreciated, needed, wanted, and/or love for each other. These feelings can stem from several different issues and are not necessarily from a lack of sex.

Porn is not the answer

One of the first things you may reach out for when living in a sexless marriage is to watch porn instead. But this is not a good solution. Don’t try to remedy a sexless marriage by turning to porn. This only causes more pain, disconnection, and unresolved hurt feelings. And eventually, turn into a porn addiction.

Why? It’s simple. What you’re going through is not a sexual problem, it’s a heart problem. And this is what you need to tackle – your heart and mind. We need to be careful about how we deal with sensitive issues.

Try to identify and get to the root of your problem. Your issues stem from one of these things: unresolved expectations, thoughts, feelings, behavioral patterns, and connections.

While there are a million different reasons that could cause deep-rooted issues in your marriage, I’m willing to bet it comes down to the reasons I mentioned above. If you need help pinpointing the cause, you’re welcome to reach out to me and we can work through it together.

But you can also start working on your problems by yourself. Meditate on some of the questions presented in this post and trace them back to yourself. You need to find the root cause!

What you can do to solve a sexless marriage

Reading all the way here, you might be wondering how on earth will I be surviving a sexless marriage? We will get to that now. In order to start the investigation to how you ended up there, ask yourself the following important questions:

  • What are your real feelings towards your spouse?
  • How about your thoughts towards your spouse?
  • What type of thoughts do you harbor towards them?

Do you perhaps look at your partner in a perpetually negative light? For e.g., “She’s so lazy, complaints all the time, too dramatic, etc.”. Identify your core feelings towards your partner.

Be super honest with yourself. Remember: where focus goes, energy flows. What you think about your spouse is what you will get more off. Analyze your connection to your partner outside the bedroom. It’s essential to understand that women want to feel a connection with their partner outside of sex.

So if the lack of sex is getting you down, don’t just try to rush into getting physical. Take stock of your relationship with your spouse. Without a solid connection between the two of you, your sex life will undoubtedly suffer.

Try something new

Sex and relationships expert Esther Perel talks of how we make a great deal of effort during the ‘dating’ stage to be impressive. Impressing our partner with our skills, talents, hobbies and positive qualities is a huge part of what attracts them to us in the first place. Once we are married, we tend to stop trying to impress our partner. This is because we feel secure – as if we have ‘snared’ them and don’t need to try anymore.

Esther explains how simple things like learning a new skill can have a huge impact on sexual desire. If both partners are willing to dive into something new – be it guitar lessons or a creative writing course – they will see each other as the impressive, highly desirable human beings that they really are. This alone is enough to rekindle the flame of sexual desire. Dedication, discipline and talent is sexy!

Another effective method for reviving a dead sex life is having fun together. Similarly to impressing our partner, we often stop having fun with our spouse once we have ‘locked them down’ by getting married.

Think of fun ways to build a bond and see life from the other person’s perspective. Do fun things together! If you laugh together and have fun, your sex life is going to improve!

Quiz: find out if you’re in a sexless marriage with this quiz

If you suspect you’re in a sexless marriage, or have less sex than you would like to, take my sexless marriage quiz to find out today.

Erectile dysfunction in a sexless marriage

If you suffer from Erectile Dysfunction, then this kegel exercise could help you. Your ED might be because you don’t really want to have sex. Or because you have mostly negative thoughts associated with your spouse. Once you take care of the heart connection the ED can go away.

I’m not saying this is necessarily you – you need to figure out your own personal situation. These are the things I help men figure out in my free training.


On that note, I leave you with a call to deeply meditate on the questions presented here. Do it every day for a week; give it at least 7 days.

For those of you who need help, and are really in trouble, go to this link below and watch the free marriage masterclass. It can help you figure out what the root problem is with your sexless marriage!

If there is any topic or question you want me to write an article on, leave a comment below. Stay strong brothers!

Video: sexless marriage


How do you deal with a sexless marriage?

Firstly, have a conversation about the issue with your spouse. Communication is key in every case – without exception. Once you have communicated the fact that there is a problem, you can take measures to address it. Try and do some activities together that make you feel emotionally close. Research shows that couples who feel more bonded have better and more frequent sex.

How common is sexless marriage?

Unfortunately it is very common. I see it in my clients all of the time. Some research estimates that 15-20% of married couples find themselves in a sexless marriage. That’s almost a fifth!

Why do marriages go sexless?

It’s not uncommon for people to stop putting in effort once the marriage ceremony has taken place. They start to take their spouse for granted, believing that they have ‘put a ring on it’ so now they no longer need to try as hard. This can lead to arguments, tension and distance. When there is distance between partners, intimacy will decrease and eventually one or both spouses will stop wanting to have sex.

How does a sexless marriage affect a man?

Being in a sexless marriage can dampen a man’s self-esteem and his self-worth. It can impact his whole sense of identity and masculinity. Some men (but not all) can be led to infidelity, affairs and cheating.

Is a sexless marriage healthy?

Absolutely not. Regular (not necessarily every day/night!) sex is nothing short of essential for emotional and physical health. Between couples, sex is an important part of maintaining an intimate bond.

Does sexless marriage justify adultery?

Nothing justifies adultery or the amount of pain and suffering it causes. Especially when there is a child or children involved, cheating can tear families apart and do irreversible damage. Instead of adultery, there are much healthier ways to respond to a marriage that has become sexless.

How long do sexless marriages last?

In many cases, sexless marriages can last for many years, and perhaps ‘until death do us part’. However, this does not mean that the marriages are happy. Other sexless marriages break up eventually. It really depends on how long the problem goes unspoken for and how quickly the damage seeps into other areas of the couple’s relationship.

How do you reestablish desire in a sexless marriage?

To reestablish desire in a sexless marriage, you can take measures to increase polarity. You can also do activities to strengthen the bond between you and your spouse. Friendship, empathy and connection are key for maintaining sexual desire long-term!

How many times a year is considered a sexless marriage?

Healthy married couples should be having sex 2-3 times a week. Anything less than once a month should be considered unhealthy. Less than 5 times a year is as good as sexless.

What is a platonic relationship?

A platonic relationship is one without sexual intimacy or romance. For all needs and purposes, if a married couple are not having sex, the relationship is platonic.

How do you survive a sexless marriage without cheating?

If you are in a sexless marriage, talk to your partner about it. Work out whether stress, anxiety or health problems are causing the issue. Explain how it is affecting you and how it makes you feel. Make an effort to get to know your partner better. Spend more quality time together and be the best partner that you can possibly be.

Can a marriage survive without intimacy?

A marriage can certainly survive without intimacy. But the individuals in the marriage may well be miserable. Intimacy is an integral part of any relationship. Without it, the relationship is platonic.

What does lack of intimacy do to a woman?

Lack of intimacy can cause a woman to be unable to experience deep bliss and joy. When women are deprived of (sexual) intimacy and orgasms with a partner, it quite literally changes her brain chemistry. This changes the way she experiences the world.

Is lack of intimacy grounds for divorce?

In many countries (such as the UK) yes. Lack of intimacy is officially recognized as grounds for divorce. In the USA, it varies from state to state.

Does sexless marriage lead to cheating?

In some cases, yes. When one spouse is not having their desires or their fantasy met in the bedroom, they may feel forced to go elsewhere.

Why do husbands lose interest in your wives?

Men can lose sexual interest in their wives due to stress, anxiety, illness or for emotional reasons. Sex between a husband and wife can usually be restored. In order to do so you need to identify where exactly the problem is coming from.

What percentage of sexless marriages end in divorce?

It’s difficult to know the exact statistics because most couples in sexless marriages do not talk about it. But 50% of marriages end in divorce, so it could be somewhere around this number.

Why do men lose interest?

When couples enter the familiarity stage, sexual desire often goes down. This is especially true for men, who are more dopamine driven when it comes to sexual activity. When his partner becomes familiar or easy (as is the case when we get married), a man will often lose interest.

What does it mean if your husband doesn't want to sleep with you?

It means he may be going through a hard time and need your emotional support. There is a great deal of research around depression and sex that shows how depression can kill libido. Alternatively, there may be some problems in your relationship that you need to address. There are many reasons for decreased libido in men. It isn’t always personal, although it can be.

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Steffo Shambo

Steffo Shambo

Men's Tantric Relationship Coach

Steffo Shambo is the founder of The Tantric Man Experience. The #1 masculine mentorship program in the world, where he’s helping men master confidence, sexuality, & purpose to reignite the passion in their relationship or attract a meaningful relationship. He’s on a mission to spread a conscious sexual revolution for men worldwide so that they can show up as integrated partners, fathers, and leaders.

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