Healing The Sexless Marriage

Healing The Sexless Marriage

By Jennifer Elizabeth Masters

When we get married, we often have expectations of romance, great sex and deep intimacy well into our golden years. We think when we get married that love is enough to keep us happily ever after. Love isn’t enough to sustain a marriage. Communication, appreciation, recognizing that our partner isn’t perfect, as well as a deep sexual connection with passion is key. After children are raised, we sometimes look at our partner and wonder where the passion went? Is it possible to rekindle that desire, passion and pleasure that seems to have vanished?


No matter what our age is, a healthy marriage involves affection,

kissing, holding hands and yes…… SEX! If you are the one not wanting sex, but can walk, talk and are not incapacitated due to a serious illness or disease you are withholding love, affection and abusing your partner. The reality may feel harsh? Try to put yourself in the jilted party’s boxers.

The reality of a sexless marriage is that you are in a relationship traditionally based on love. Love involves support, appreciation and physical expressions of love;  physical touching, kindness, and sex. When we continue to refuse advances for sex, our partner can feel unloved, unappreciated and unworthy. Self esteem can suffer when the sex valve has been turned off for a very long time. If you don’t want sex, there can be myriad of reasons why. 


Author’s note: Please note that it is not always the men who are doing without sex. Some men have low libidos and are not as interested in sex as their women. I have done my best to stay in the middle of the road about who is saying NO to whom.


Most healthy sexual beings want to have some sort of coupling several times a week. As time goes on and we begin to age, the frequency can dwindle somewhat. Most men prefer sex several times a week into their 50’s. The desire for weekly sex is normal for many healthy men into their 60s. Women that are post-menopausal can have no sex drive at all.

For many long-term married couples, however, sex can fall into the non-priority for the women, while still being a necessity for the men. The ones that come to me complaining are men. It is sad that so many women feel that sex is such a low priority that they needn’t bother more than on holidays and birthdays. Sex should not be a carrot or manipulation tool used to get what you want from the other person.

How It Feels To Be Rejected

For the party being left out in the cold, sexually, it can feel like you have been emotionally abandoned, shut out and shut down. For

men, sex is a frequent need that allows them to become more vulnerable and affectionate afterward. Sex opens the door to deeper conversations and bonding. It is also a sign of love.

Women can feel that their men are too focused on the physical act and not enough in their hearts for us to open our legs to them. However, men often close up like a flower without the outlet of sex to open their hearts. They operate in complete reverse to women. Women need romance and their partner to be vulnerable. Men won’t open up until after they have had sex. We are wired with cross-purposes to one another. 


Without Sex

Without sex as a sign of love and affection, relationships dry up, wither and die. Griping, complaining and arguments may ensue. Over time, when sex is withheld, other forms of sexual outlet may be sought. Affairs can begin. Or a professional may be used for sexual outlet. As horrifying as this sounds, think about it. When a commitment was made to marry it was for the long haul. Sex is not the foundation, but it certainly is the glue that holds a relationship together. Without sex, depression, weight gain and low self esteem often become a friend to the one who has been shunned. 

My Own Experience

Having been there myself in my last marriage, I felt unattractive, depressed and gained weight. I felt unloved. Yet, what surfaced in my marriage was my husband’s inability to see how he struggled with his sexuality. He did not want to be gay, he had been raised Christian, abused in his childhood by an uncle. All the signs were present that he preferred men to women. He just would not admit it to me.

Following are some reasons sex has fallen by the wayside:


  1. Your heart is closed.
  2.  You are angry or resentful about something that your partner is either doing or NOT doing. 
  3. You are bored with your marriage or maybe your life.
  4. Your relationship has a rift, that needs to be mended
  5. You are not expanding and growing together.
  6. You don’t feel attractive and/or sexy.
  7. You are not feeling attracted to your partner.
  8. You are unhappy with your life.
  9. You are not happy with you.
  10. You realize you don’t even LIKE your partner.
  11. You expect your relationship to support you and make you happy, and it isn’t.
  12. You are in blame. When you look at your partner, you complain in your head about how they are acting or not acting and wish they were different.
  13. Your hormones have dwindled down to almost nothing.
  14. You have just given birth, or are breast feeding and sex is the last thing on your mind.
  15. Your cholesterol is too low. Cholesterol is needed to produce hormones. A diet rich in fats, coconut oil, avocado, nuts can be helpful.
  16. You are depressed. When we are depressed our brain is deficient in serotonin. Serotonin is needed for healthy sexual function.
  17. You feel your partner smells funny, or isn’t clean.
  18. Sex may not feel pleasurable to you. Women who have been non-orgasmic for years may find sex more of a chore than pleasure. Being non-orgasmic can be caused by past sexual assault, rape or molestation. Healing the frozen fear within the body will remedy this situation. (Read the chapter in Orgasm For Life on Sexual Healing.)
  19. You may prefer the same sex over the opposite sex and have not realized the truth. If you can’t bring yourself to make love to your partner, look inside. Is it them, or you?


Sex begins in the brain. Our brain needs to be present, focused on what we are doing rather than all the chores that need to be done, or if the children will hear. Men are more able to turn off the outside influences that distract women from being turned on. Letting go of thoughts about the housework, laundry and grocery list needs to happen for most women to begin to focus on pleasure. A lock on the bedroom door helps to keep little ones out when parents are having private time. 

When we focus on how our partner is not making us happy, we are not taking responsibility for our own happiness. The happier we are with ourselves, the happier we will be with our partner. Making the choice to throw away the magnifying glass and stop making our partner WRONG or nitpicking on all that they are not doing is the first step to getting out of our heads.

One person can not possibly be responsible for making us happy. We need friends, a creative outlet, activities away from our partners to learn and grow. Being interesting and having something to talk about at dinner can make a huge difference in our relationships. When the kids are the only conversation at dinner, we can become boring and dull to our working partner. 

Meditation Before Sex

Meditation together before sex can calm the mind, get you both centered and make the act of love-making more conscious and sacred. Your spirits can come together in unison before your bodies

do making your sexual experience much more connected and powerful. Sit on the bed facing one another, cross-legged if you can. Spend 5 to 10 minutes connecting heart-to-heart before you ever touch one another. Place your hand flat on your chest touching your collar bone. You will know your hand is in the correct position if you can lower your chin and touch your hand. Breathe in deeply, exhale completely 5 times. You will feel a tingling in your hand when you have connected with your heart. Now look each other in the eyes, keeping your hand on your chest. Smile a little while you look upon the face of the one you fell in love with. Now close your eyes and sit in silence breathing slowly for about 3 minutes. You can do this meditation naked or clothed. Do whatever is most comfortable for you.

Eye gazing can help you connect in a different way, if you can actually look each other in the eye and hold your eye gaze for two minutes, you may begin to laugh. That’s okay too. You would be surprised at how many married couples can’t do this simple exercise.


Overworked and Underpaid

In many marriages, both parties work outside the home. Often stay-at-home mom’s have a cottage industry business that could be increasing stress for them. Men can be consumed with work and be scattered and unfocused when they return home. Men too are working at home. Too much time together can make our partner seem ho hum and dull. We all need stress relief to be fresh for our partner when we reconvene at the end of the work day.

New babies and fluctuating hormones

During pregnancy women can be flush with desire, wondering what on earth has gotten into her. After giving birth, a woman’s hormones run amok. They drop to almost nothing. She may feel depressed, exhausted and teary. For some women, it can take up to two or three years to get back to what was previously considered normal hormonal functioning. Once that happens, new mothers are so busy, running after toddlers, breast feeding and maybe even pregnant again, the desire for sex just isn’t there. We often forget that our men have needs, when sleep is our highest priority. New mothers are also concerned about getting pregnant again. They may hesitate to have sex because of tremendous fears. Waking their sleeping baby is another reason new mother’s may be hesitant to get their groove on. It always seems that babies instinctively know when mom is getting turned on. They wait for that moment and wind up with a huge, “WHAAA!”

Your body may be aging, but that does not mean you have to stop

having sex. Sex changes as we age. We might not be clearing the dining room table to have sex any longer, but some people do. Following are some sexy suggestions to help you spice up your relationship and get the home fires hot again:


  1. Romantic gestures for both parties. Flowers, chocolates, special dinners are not only for newlyweds. Romantic gestures who that you appreciate your partner. Appreciation is a key component of love.
  2. Laughter and fun. Couples that laugh and have fun in the bedroom experience deeper intimacy in their relationship. Sex does not have to be all business. Play, dress-up and change it up!
  3. Play. Play is a component of healthy living and relationships. Staying connected to our inner child keeps us young, playful and in touch with our true selves. There are all sorts of games the two of you can play to bring the element of play into your bedroom.
  4. Play sexy games. Sexy Scrabble, Kama Stura, Cards Against Humanity can all keep you laughing and give you new ideas for sex play as well as break the ice to get you back in the swing of an active sex life.
  5. Great communication and the ability to express what you would like to do in the bedroom is the number one way to change things up. Talking about sex needs to happen outside of the bedroom, over a glass of wine, or in front of a roaring fire. Make it light,

    fun and be open. It could change your life in beautiful and unusual ways. Couples that have a habit of shutting down or storming off have less success in the long-run.

  6. Stimulate Your Minds. Having sexy, intelligent conversations about subjects that matter is an important facet of a healthy, balanced relationship. Discussing subjects that turn each of you on can help to ignite desire before you begin to undress.
  7. Accepting your partner’s flaws and faults is what unconditional love is all about. Maybe your partner isn’t the best lover in the world. Letting them know what they do well as well as what you love that they do in bed, offers encouragement. Once you have given compliments, you can ask for something to be a little different, “harder, softer or more rapid.” Nitpicking about every little thing they do, may be hard to take once you are naked. We are never so vulnerable as when we have no clothes on. Be kind, generous with compliments.
  8. Respecting each other as individuals. Perhaps your partner likes to be touched in a way you don’t. Allow them their little fetish, as long as it doesn’t hurt or harm you. Maybe they like to

    have their anus stimulated and you don’t like that. Remember unless you have tried it, don’t knock it. 

  9. Buy some sexy lingerie. When women have new lingerie we feel beautiful. Want some sex, buy her something beautiful. 

  10. Massage can be a great way to initiate sex again after a long dry spell. Offer sex to your partner with no strings attached. Just a massage to begin to touch again.
  11. Sex does not always have to include penetration. As both sexes

    age, dryness, a penis that is less than stiff can make intercourse more challenging. Sometimes just holding your partner while each of you mutually masturbates can offer a change of pace without the worry about an erection or lubrication.

Jennifer is a compassionate coach, author of Orgasm For Life with a large tool box to assist you on your journey into joy and happiness in your life and relationships. She offers private sessions

for couples, individually, as well as assistance with addictions to PMO. Her private e-mail isJenniferElizabethMasters@gmail.com

Visit her website Aphroditeeffect.com

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