How Do You Fix a Sexless Marriage?


sexless marriageIt’s normal for married couples to get bored in the bedroom – but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with a sexless marriage!

These tips can help you reconnect with your partner. I wrote this for a wife who told me this:

“I feel completely disconnected from my husband and don’t want to spend the rest of my life in a sexless marriage. I met him when I was 20. We’ve been together 13 years, married 3, and have a two year old son. Right from the beginning we had issues with intimacy, so much so that I cheated on him early on. I didn’t hide it from him, and told him I wanted to break up as I didn’t believe we were right for each other. He showed such little interest in me sexually. He promised to change and apologised for making me feel bad, but I’m really not sure I feel enough for him anymore to keep trying. I really need some advice on this – am I’m being selfish and unreasonable to place such importance on sex?”


Need hope and faith? Get Echoes of Joy!

You'll be inspired & encouraged by Laurie's free weekly "Echoing Jesus" emails.

* indicates required


No, I don’t she’s being selfish or unreasonable. One of the best books on fixing sexless marriages is His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage – it’s not just about protecting your relationship from affairs. It’s about connecting with your partner so you are happy in your relationship.

Fixing a Sexless Marriage

I don’t think you’re being selfish or unreasonable to want a healthy sex life with your husband. Sex is an important, healthy part of being married! A sexless marriage can make you feel disconnected, alone, and unsatisfied.

It sounds like your husband wants to work on your relationship and is interested in sex to some degree (this reader’s full comment is on Is Your Marriage Over?). He loves you, and wants to work on fixing your sexless marriage. But, it sounds like you think it’s too late. You don’t feel “in love” with him anymore, and aren’t sure if it’s worthwhile to rebuild your marriage.

Rebuilding a healthy sex life

I think you should try to fix your relationship by focusing on reconnecting sexually and emotionally. Divorce is so difficult on so many levels (financially, emotionally, socially, physically) – and it’ll devastate your son. No marriage is perfect, and if you connect with another guy you’ll find a whole new set of problems to fix. If I were you, I’d try to find what I once loved in my husband, and focus on re-igniting sex in our marriage.

Why do you think you and he have incompatible sexual libidos? Maybe he’s always had a low sex drive, and you’ve always had a stronger one. Maybe your husband has emotional or physical health issues that decrease his libido. Maybe he’s anxious or stressed, and as a result prioritizes sex much lower than you do. Fixing a sexless marriage involves finding the root of the problem, so you can work out a solution.

Fixing a sexless marriage is also about finding ways to meet each other’s needs without splitting up or letting your relationship go sour.

Marriage is hard work. You’ll never feel 100% in love with your husband all the time, and you’ll go through droughts and boring patches. It’s just part of being in a long-term committed relationship with another person.

When your partner seems like a roommate, not a lover

“Once upon a time, you and your partner were having sex like bunnies and then one day you woke up next to someone who’s more like a roommate than a lover,” writes Dr Trina Read in Till Sex Do Us Part: Make Your Married Sex Irresistible. “You love your partner and want to have a stronger intimate bond with him – you just don’t know how. Having infrequent sex – in a society that puts so much value to self-worth on being sexy and sexual – is an uphill battle that millions of couples grapple with every day of their marriage.”

I don’t know if it makes you feel better to know you’re not alone, but the truth is that sexless marriages are the norm. It takes energy and time to make your marriage intimate.

For more tips on increasing intimacy in your relationship, read Emotional Disconnection in Marriage – How to Feel Less Alone.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

5 thoughts on “How Do You Fix a Sexless Marriage?

  • Laurie Post author

    Dear southerngirl,

    Terri gave you some great advice! That tip about the 40 beads sounds like a great way to fix a sexless marriage.

    But, I think your struggle is a bit deeper than just sex. I think sex and your affair are the symptoms of a deeper issue that you’re struggling with. I don’t know what that issue is — it sounds like you’re aware of how your biological father and stepfather’s actions affected you.

    Have you asked a counsellor for help working through your issues with your stepfather and bio father? I think it might be good to get an objective perspective — in person — about what’s really going on.

    Sometimes we’re not happy with who we are or where our lives are going, and it’s not because of our marriage or sex life. It’s because of what’s going on inside us spiritually and emotionally. I don’t know what will help you figure out what to do about your marriage and affair, but I do believe counselling is an excellent way to work through these issues.

    What do you think?

    Stay true to you,
    Laurie

  • terri

    To southerngirl, your life sounds almost exactly like mine but I am almost twice your age and still going through the same kind of things you are. I never went as far as you not while being married but came very close. Believe me when I tell you yes the attention is great but your husband is right! This guy is going to break your heart. These guys really do want in your pants. I have been told the exact same thing. It all started the same exact way and immediately upon going to see them, they become sexual. That will be the end and you will be left with a broken heart. I have been told the same exact things you have, been made to feel special and beautiful but that always seemed to be the intention with ALL of them. I believe if your husband is acting this way, he does care. Mine did the exact same thing. Now, how to fix the situation. Two things, well three, don’t tell your husband about the affair and break it off. In fact, run! Sit down and have a heart to heart. There is a book called “His Needs/Her Needs”. This book, if read by both of you, even just the first few pages, will work!!! I can’t express that enough! Get a small bowl or container and some cheap beads. Have him put a bead in the bowl every time he desires lovemaking. That way, there are no misunderstandings. You have 24 hours to respond to his request (the bead) and this will let you know you are desired. It will bring you closer than ever. It did us. As a matter of fact it came from a book called forty beads but we didn’t read it. We just heard what it was about on a TV show and my husband much to my surprise had a bowl with a bead in it by the next day…and continued. We only skipped about 1-2 days per week. It brought us so much closer. It very much sounds like you have the same communication problem we did. We also years ago had the same past history you did except he didn’t party with others. He did it alone. Anyway, if that doesn’t work and he refuses to participate then you just need to leave the relationship first but you need to give him a chance. Chances are 99 percent that the guy you are involved with will break up your marriage and leave you in the dirt alone. He has no respect for pursuing you knowing you are married. Those kind of guys have no remorse. He’s a good listener now but if he will do it with you, he will do it to you. Please listen. Your husband loved you enough to marry you. If he is jealous and worried, then he still cares. Give it a shot. Don’t let yourself get hurt.

  • Southerngirl

    Okay. I am writing this because I’m really struggling and confused about my marriage. I am 29, still young and attractive..I try to be a good person & be more than a pretty face by volunteering and helping others. My husband is 34 and a nice guy. We have been married almost 8 years, no kids together except my daughter age 9. Our marriage is not perfect. It’s had many ups and downs. The past few years my husband had a drug problem that caused us lots of fights such as lying & staying out with friends all night using drugs & whatever else while I stayed home with my daughter. This almost led to separation a few times but we worked the problems out. Fast forward to last year…We moved across town, I got a job, my husband started a new job & things were positive. Now the past few months I have felt like I don’t get enough attention from him and our lives are boring. Same thing everyday & we do go out on weekends but I always have to plan everything. If I don’t figure out somewhere to go we end up doing nothing. I like going out and getting dressed up & having a drink with friends and dancing or going to dinner. He goes with me but doesn’t seem fully interested. I feel like he doesn’t pay me attention and he gets irritated when other men notice me or compliment me. He says they are just saying that because they want to sleep with me. I honestly enjoy the attention. One night at a bar with friends a guy talking to my best friend notices me. He is good looking and even though we don’t speak I can feel the chemistry in the air. So..2-3 weeks later I get a friend request on fb from this man & I accept. He comments “beautiful” & such things on a few pictures of me and random girlfriends. Soon we start chatting on a social media site but he never hits on me or says anything sexual of offensive. Just chit chat. So that leads to us texting because its easier than chatting online. A month or 2 goes by with us texting every few days or so. Life continues normally at home in my marriage. We work, come home and take care of business, watch tv, movies..the usual thing. My husband falls asleep early every night while I am more of a night person. So the texting increases with this guy friend because I’m lonely and bored. Finally one night I ask the guy what is going on and what he wants out of this relationship..he knows I’m married. He says he can’t get me out of his mind..he thought about me ever since the night we saw each other months ago. He tells me how beautiful he thinks I am & how he likes me because I’m a good person with a big heart. This makes me feel good about myself. My husband doesn’t take the time to tell me these things. So eventually I went to the guys house and the chemistry was magic. We talked for two hours, he kissed me on the forehead and we has a quick hug before I left. Then the texting increased and I went back to his place and we kissed several times. The next time I snuck over to see him we had sex. I thought I would feel very bad and guilty but somehow I don’t & I don’t feel bad enough to stop. So, I have lied and snuck over there to see him & have sex maybe 5-6 times up till today. One night my husband caught me over there by tracking my cell phone. I talked my way out of it and convinced him we were not in a sexual relationship that it was not like that. He believed me but I can tell he is still hurt and he watches me more closely now. I told him I would quit texting the guy and not to worry. The problem is I don’t want to stop seeing him. I admit I see things about this guy that I do not love & I feel like I’m too mature for him & if we were seriously involved it wouldn’t work. I think each man gives me something I need, each one fulfills a void in my life. One is emotional the other is purely sexual. I know deep down I’m hurting my husband and damaging myself by cheating. I have plans with this guy friend in a few days & I know going will be risky. It’s almost like I am going over to his house knowing my husband is skeptical & could definitely find out the truth. I am not prepared financially or emotionally to end my marriage. I love my husband but we are stuck in a rut. It’s almost like living a halfway life. Should I leave my marriage? Should I tell my husband the truth about the affair? Should I end the affair & the marriage both? Maybe separate from my husband and see how I feel? I hate to hurt him like this but I crave the attention. He is now checking every text every phone call everything I do like crazy. Demanding to know who is calling me & who every number belongs to..I feel like he is driving me away and suffocating me. I’m so confused. I know these issues come from my childhood problems with my dad leaving & my stepfather abusing me. I’ve tried to work thru them but it’s so hard. Please give me any advice you can think of that may help me deal with these problems. I don’t want to lose everything I’ve worked for in the past 8 years.

  • Laurie Post author

    Thanks for sharing, Amy! It amazes me that you’ve been married for 45 years, and only had sex once. It sounds like you found other ways to occupy your time, and have filled up your life in other ways.

    I appreciate your comment, because other women in the same situation will see that they’re not alone.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  • Amy

    There is really no way to fix a sexless marriage. In my case its the extreme case. Weve been married 45 years and we aonly had sex once on our wedding night. That was the only time I’ve had sex and thats the same today.Now I don’t know about sex itself because I lack any experience. But I do know how I’ve been treated, and thats horribly! After we had sex he told me it was disgusting smelly and just plain nasty, and he said that it wasn’t worth the trouble, time and way to much work for so little. Also that he never wanted to do it again and it was something that a marriage doesn’t need. The next day he moved to the basement and proudly announced that he was going on the midmight shift at work. So I was not to bother ,talk and be quiet.I worked days so being quiet was no problem. Weve never slept together had sex or any intimacy in all these years. My life flew by and in my mid 60s now and I really don’t even care any more. Ruined my life by staying with him and really feel bad about it.
    Theres no way to fix a sexless marriage unless both of you commit in doing it. If one doesn’t want to fix the marriage then its over or just live with it its your choice.