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to think no sex is NOT always the kiss of death?

(154 Posts)
moonlessmayhem Sun 22-Nov-20 02:33:06

Sorry NCed because (obviously) this is a bit of a personal issue.

I've read a few threads and had a few conversations with friends where the general consensus seems to be that sexless marriages are doomed or on their last legs. I don't really agree with this - I've had long periods of not having sex for personal reasons, and my relationship hasn't really suffered from it.

AIBU?

(also to preface NOT a troll, just a bit of a personal worry for me even if irrational)

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SD1978 Sun 22-Nov-20 02:35:28

Would be an issue only if it's one sided. If the other partner does see intimacy as missing without sex, and the relationship as not working therefore- then yes it's an issue.

KylieKoKo Sun 22-Nov-20 02:37:52

In my old relationship the lack of sex was a symptom of the lack of connection and commitment. I guess it doesn't have to be though if both people are happy.

What I will say is that the desire to have sex is a primal instinct so I think that if you're in a sexless relationship both partners are more likely to have their head turned by someone they have sexual chemistry with. I also don't think it's reasonable for one person to unilaterally decide that both people in the relationship are going to be celibate.

moonlessmayhem Sun 22-Nov-20 02:40:55

What I will say is that the desire to have sex is a primal instinct so I think that if you're in a sexless relationship both partners are more likely to have their head turned by someone they have sexual chemistry with.

I think you can have chemistry without sex tbh, but I see your point! I do think in some circumstances you can come up with a compromise of some kind though, it's not necessarily a deal breaker if you have different sex drives (for some folk, I reiterate)

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ComtesseDeSpair Sun 22-Nov-20 02:50:46

Generally, unless there are specific and obviously understandable reasons - such as having small children and being too tired, health problems and so on - then not wanting to have sex with your partner is usually indicative of wider problems within the relationship which will result in it ending unless you address them. The lack of sex can be a symptom of a failing relationship just as much as a cause.

If a couple can communicate through a sexless period and the partner who doesn’t want sex believes they will want sex again at some point and is willing to try things to make this happen then a relationship is more likely to survive. But one partner making a unilateral decision that they don’t want sex and so their partner has to live within a sexless relationship is likely to lead to relationship breakdown. Your relationship might not have suffered for it, but plenty do, and you also can’t assume that one partner thinking it isn’t an issue means the other feels likewise: there are countless threads on here from posters who have discovered their OH is cheating, where they admit they haven’t been having much sex for ages but never thought it was that important / thought they still had a brilliant relationship.

moonlessmayhem Sun 22-Nov-20 02:55:14

then not wanting to have sex with your partner is usually indicative of wider problems within the relationship which will result in it ending unless you address them.

I agree, I think if there's no intimacy in your relationship then there's a big issue. But sex and intimacy are not the same in my eyes. For example, there was a period where I didn't have sex with my DH due to some previous sexual trauma (which I still struggle with) but even with him having a very high sex drive we still kept the intimacy and affection up, which I think probably preserved the relationship. I also think that even if we never had sex again, he wouldn't cheat on me. I know many people think is an automatically naive belief but I do truly believe it.

I just think it's an important thing to normalise a shift in sex or not having sex, as a lot of weight is tied to it both in relation to a healthy relationship and your own individual self esteem. Anyway food for thought, @ComtesseDeSpair I just think it's an interesting conversation to have!

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moonlessmayhem Sun 22-Nov-20 02:56:33

(also to add, even if I got a serious health condition or another difficulty that made sex hard / impossible, we would still be able to pull through it by focusing on other parts of the relationship. So I think it's possible to be done and not automatically "the kiss of death" or a sign of falling out of love, iyswim)

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Seasidemumma77 Sun 22-Nov-20 03:03:24

My partner and I have vastly different sex drives. I'd happy spend all day every having sex, whereas my partner will happily just have sex once a week/fortnight. We've made our relationship work by having open and honest conservations about our hugely different sex drives. If you and your partner are both happy with the frequency/lack of sex then its not a problem, but strongly believe communication and honesty is vital.

user1481840227 Sun 22-Nov-20 03:28:44

I think the kiss of death is when the low libido partner starts to avoid any kind of affection/intimacy because they think that it's going to lead to sex.

fallfallfall Sun 22-Nov-20 03:35:02

Age? Sure nearing 70 low libido might be fine and even sexless by 75 might be the norm. 15-40 not so much.
If both partners similar needs that’s okay though.

moonlessmayhem Sun 22-Nov-20 03:38:23

@fallfallfall I'm in the 15-40 category, though I feel 70 sometimes! Why the distinction?

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SarahBellam Sun 22-Nov-20 03:41:30

It depends very much on the relationship. In my case, if my DP stopped wanting sex 3-4 times a week I’d know something was wrong. It happens now and again and it’s usually easily identified - big deadline at work, or worried about something. Unless there’s good reason not to, sex is a really important part of the relationship. We’re both happier and more relaxed and it has a powerful impact on our health and well-being. I was in a sexless marriage for 6 years and it had an awful impact on my mental health. If both parties are genuinely happy with the situation that’s fine, but what is it that makes the relationship more than just housemates?

fallfallfall Sun 22-Nov-20 03:43:48

Menopause hormonal changes decreased libido naturally.

moonlessmayhem Sun 22-Nov-20 03:43:57

If both parties are genuinely happy with the situation that’s fine, but what is it that makes the relationship more than just housemates?

Apologies if this comes across as judgemental (and it probably will) but is sex the only thing that separates you and your DP from being housemates? I've got emotional intimacy, trust, affection, loyalty, mutual interest, openness etc. If you don't have sex for a week, does that mean during that week you're only housemates? confused

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moonlessmayhem Sun 22-Nov-20 03:44:23

@fallfallfall Not on the menopause bracket quite yet (I hope!)

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WindblowingSW Sun 22-Nov-20 04:02:48

I want a celebral relationship, physical I can take or leave although I enjoy it. But actually I miss someone to discuss, crossword with, cuddle and cook with as well as plan days out etc.

Beentherefonethat Sun 22-Nov-20 04:08:25

I personally believe that lack of sex is the kiss of death if one person wants it and the other is not bothered.

It’s a long, slow, painful death.

Crustmasiscoming Sun 22-Nov-20 04:09:08

When I was pregnant I had some health issues that made sex virtually impossible for about 5 months. DH and I both missed sex but we were fine.

moonlessmayhem Sun 22-Nov-20 04:11:51

@Beentherefonethat I personally believe that lack of sex is the kiss of death if one person wants it and the other is not bothered.

How does the viewpoint of "I want sex but I'm not especially fussed if I don't have it" fit into that, in your opinion? I definitely agree though, if one party is left very unsatisfied then of course it can't be a happy & healthy relationship

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ScotchBunnet Sun 22-Nov-20 04:23:32

I agree - and hope we’re right! I’m currently hugely pregnant and my husband and I haven’t had sex in months (mostly due to PGP and no sex drive on my part). He hasn’t expressed a moment’s concern about this and has reassured me when I have worried. We’re still physically intimate in lots of ways, still express love and affection regularly, still laugh and have a great time together.

I think sex drive can cycle and a dry spell doesn’t mean that part of the relationship is over. It can and will bloom again.

moonlessmayhem Sun 22-Nov-20 04:24:52

That's so lovely @ScotchBunnet! I'm glad to hear someone's in a similar situation and congratulations on your pregnancy smile

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Walkaround Sun 22-Nov-20 04:25:53

Sex is more important to some people than others. Of course some successful and meaningful relationships can survive long periods without sex, provided there is a strong emotional attachment, respect, trust and other demonstrations of affection and intimacy. Having similar libidos helps hugely, too - it’s a bit ludicrous to think it is only ever women who have a believable reason not to want regular sex that doesn’t involve them falling out of love with their partner.

bloodyhairy Sun 22-Nov-20 04:59:18

Totally doomed.

moonlessmayhem Sun 22-Nov-20 05:00:06

Why, @bloodyhairy?

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sofato5miles Sun 22-Nov-20 05:09:57

My marriage was sexless. It was indicative of a bigger problem and now divorced and remain friends. We both also have admitted that one of the best things has been the joy of rediscovering sex. Turns out i really, really love sex. Was just with the wrong person but we stayed together so long as marriage entangles lives, responsibilities, finances, kids, friends. I am truly happier now but would have argued years ago that our marriage was fine. It wasn't.

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