Divorce is an ugly thing that happens all too often to couples. It is happening in far greater numbers now too which is depressing for some, and freeing for others. The purpose of this article is to discuss if a sexless marriage & divorce are linked because the frustration and shame from being in a sexless relationship can seem to many to be a smoking gun for divorce – but other people think this might not be the real reasons for divorce, or that many sexless couples actually stay married. Lets look into the facts and see what we can find.
Causes of Divorce
There is not a huge amount of data and hard statistics on sexless marriages. Perhaps many people do not want to reveal such intimate details when still married, or that there have been no real studies into this phenomenon. In any case, where we do have a wealth of stats is form divorce where people are more wiling to speak and a lot of attention has been paid by governments, church groups, and academics Lets look at the reasons of divorce and see what we can find.
- Communication problems (27%)
- Incompatibility/drifting apart (21%) (Includes loss of love, trust and changed values and lifestyle demands or desires)
- Sexual incompatibility (2%)
- Infidelity (20%)
- Alcohol & Drug Abuse (3-11%)
- Family Violence (35%) (nearly all women claimed this as the reason)
- Mental or Physical Health (5%)
- Work (3%)
This information was gleaned from a very comprehensive report on the reasons for divorce from the Australian Institute of Family Studies. There is a lot more to this report, I just picked a few interesting details. The numbers add up more than 100% I think because i took some from the women and some from the men, and perhaps the survey respondents could have picked more than one answer.
So what does this tell us? The most telling one is that only 2% said sexual incompatibility was the main reason for divorce. Does this mean that only 2% of divorces are because of sexual problems like a lack of intimacy in a sexless marriage? Or does this tell us that only 2% went to get a divorce specifically because of this problem and were willing to answer that question honestly?
The main reasons being communication problems and ‘drifting apart’ were also quite telling because a sexless marriage is FULL of miscommunication, or NO communication and a lack of sex certainly means people drift apart. The question formerly said loss of love and desires too so this hits right on the core issues of a sexless relationship.
Infidelity is also another huge cause of marital breakdown. While not everyone in a sexless marriage cheats, so many men and women frustrated at the lack of intimacy do seek out others while still married. What percentage of this segment were in a sexless marriage I do not know, but certainly some of them were.
The other reasons are probably not linked to any loss of intimacy so we can put them aside, but this does mean that a MUCH greater amount than just 2% could easily stem from sexless marriages. Not only this, but the reasons for a sexless marriage such as a lack of communication, deeply held resentment that brews up into a feeling of being pushed apart and having different values, and general incompatibility sexual or otherwise are all there in the divorce stats.
Sexless Marriage & Divorce – Linked or Not?
There is no conclusive evidence that a sexless marriage will the majority of times lead to a divorce, but we have seen that the same reasons a sexless marriage comes about are also leading contributors to divorce in general. We have also seen that soem of the consequences of a sexless marriage such as infidelity are also high on the list. This gives us some evidence to say that the environment of a sexless relationship is conducive to the factors many people report as major reasons for separation.
This is probably not a surprise to many people, but it is interesting to see it is not the sex itself that is the driving factor. This is a symptom of deeper problems that also causes even more emotional turmoil, anger and frustration. Perhaps it is one of the final straws before a marriage becomes unsustainable and something breaks down so badly it cannot be put back together?
In any case, a sexless marriage to0 see seems like it can be something people divorce over. However one finding from that report was that people who get divorced often do not want to. Many of the people being ‘left’ still want to marriage to work and even some who do the leaving regret it. I believe that marriages CAN be saved from divorce and sexless couples CAN reignite the spark of passion that will burn away some of these other divorce factors from a relationship.
We highly recommend Kate Dixon’s Fix Your Sexless Marriage if you would like more information on this by the way.
The only thing that seemed missing to me was pornography addiction which I believed was a growing problem, but this report was done before the internet became so ubiquitous which I believe is a key reason for porn addiction. Does anyone know of any statistics on this? Comment below.