Can sexless marriages actually be a good thing? I received an email from a woman stating that she has a wonderful marriage where they might make love a few times a year only and it runs very well. She admitted they were a bit older, but neither found the lack of sex a serious issue in a marriage full of love and commitment. MY first thought was if the husband really thought that was the case and maybe she was a little deluded – but the more I thought about it the more I could see how this could work – that in some cases a sexless marriage can be good or even great … but not for everyone.
Matched and Mismatched Libido’s
The situation above can only really come about when a sexless couples both have matched low libidos from genetic and situational reasons. When two people are compatible on all fronts and both have a low biological desire for sex then a marriage can actually flourish with all the other parts they make a relationship great: teamwork, love, non-sexual intimacy, laughter, and all those magical things in marriage that make us happy when it is going well. All these things can be there when both partners are sexually satisfied.
How can they be sexually satisfied when they have sex so little though? Satisfied comes from getting the right about of sexual intimacy and if your desire for sexual contact is low for both partners they can both be satisfied.
This of course comes unstuck when there is a case of mismatched Libidos where one partner has a significantly higher sex drive and desire than the other. This sort of genetic mismatch of sex drives is a very difficult thing to deal with because one side is sexually satisfied and the other is sexually frustrated. This is the classic case of a sexless couple where the relationship will hang by a thread. Arguments and possibly divorce are common in this situation.
The other side of this is where BOTH partners are feeling sexually dissatisfied. This seems like it should not happen though … if both partners feel the need for more sex and intimacy then it should be as easy as adding 1 + 1 right? Unfortunately this is all too common because of a sexless couple’s inability to deal with the resentments and egos in their relationship. Often one side simply withholds sex even if they want it because they feel it gives some sense of power. Or sometimes they will want more intimacy but cannot ever quite get in the mood due to some niggling problem that is left unsolved and festering.
Can Libido’s Change?
The good news is that yes – of course sexual desire can change. Genetically some people might be lower than others but this can still change throughout a persons life. Lifestyle factors such as health, well being and lowering stress can help for instance. The more likely culprit for most sexless marriages is the situational factors. Resentments, poor communication, poor body image, lack of empathy and many other areas where fixing these underlying causes can unlock sexual potential and intimacy that has been locked away – not running low.
Check out Kate Dixon’s eBook on Fixing Sexless Marriages for more information on all these things.