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Sexless Marriages???

(76 Posts)
Tattoos29 Mon 20-Jun-11 16:07:05

Can it happen?? Can a marriage remain happy without sex?

Shinyshoes1 Mon 20-Jun-11 16:09:05

yes we don't have sex at all, I suffer with depression and DH is tired alot of the time.

He doesn't mind as he has a low sex drive as well.

I think the last time we had sex was last November.

Tattoos29 Mon 20-Jun-11 16:11:37

The reason I ask is I had a very in depth and rather heated discussin with a very very good friend today about this topic. It raised many questions which we mostly disaggreed on:
1, does a relationship need sex to survive?
2, would it not make partners turn elsewhere unless there is a reason i.e medical?
3, does it mean that the relationship is in trouble?
4, does it depend on the age/

it went on and on and on.... mind you it was a very enjoyable convo so I thought I would post it to see what others thought x

Tattoos29 Mon 20-Jun-11 16:14:53

I know what you mean shineyshoes1, if i was being honest mine isn't the best and could be better, but I don't feel my marriage is in crisis at all. I have a wonderful relationship with my DH and I do believe that we could both try alot harder romantically but it wouldn't make me want to leave him. I think if he was honest with himself he would probably want to broach the subject of why it has fizzled a little but I don't think it would come down to us not loving each other etc. Work, kids etc doesn't help. :0

ineedabodytransplant Mon 20-Jun-11 16:29:01

My sex life with my wife stopped over 12 years ago. We finally agreed a short while ago to go our seperate ways, and that's after 35 years of marriage. I originally didn't leave because I wanted to stick to my vows, although it was difficult. May have happened anyway, who knows. I'm 54 now, she is 52. So there is still time I suppose

I suppose it wasn't just no sex though. There was no intimancy of any kind. I expect a lot of people will be quite content with no sex if there is closeness and intimancy, or if both are happy with no sex. I stuck it out. but it was difficult.

Sorry to waffle

Tattoos29 Mon 20-Jun-11 17:00:47


I do know exactly what you mean, and you weren't waffling. It's great to hear other views smile

strawberryjelly Mon 20-Jun-11 17:29:54

I have a friend who is 50-ish and they have not had sex for 10 years.

marriage has been very rocky for emotional reasons and she withdrew sex for thos reasons. he works overseas M-F. However, she is staying in the marriage as the benefits outweigh splitting up. He puts up with it- and as far as she knows does not play away.

buzzsore Mon 20-Jun-11 18:27:19

I think if you're both ok with it, then yes. I don't think it necessarily means the end or that a marriage is in trouble - lots of older guys end up with insoluble impotence (like a few I know with diabetes/prostate problems etc) and their marriages carry on without PIV. One of the wives chooses no sex at all because not being able to have PIV frustrates her. As long as it's dealt with openly, it's not the end. I think where one partner refuses to address it it becomes a massive issue.

Aislingorla Mon 20-Jun-11 18:28:01

Interesting thread. One of mine and Ds problems was lack of sex and intimacy. My lack of interest. We are fine now and have sorted that side of our relationship out.
I guess the bottom line is , sex is what makes your relationship unique, it's what you share with each other exclusively.

Aislingorla Mon 20-Jun-11 18:29:48

I must add, I refused to address it and it became a big white elephant in the room.
Each to his/her own really. But for us it needed to be addressed.

travispickles Mon 20-Jun-11 18:33:02

My friend recently told me that her and her DP haven't had sex in a year. Prior to that it had only been every few months. The thing is, they have only been together 2 years and she is 35 and really wants a baby. When she talks to him about it he gets all weird and makes out she is trying to humiliate him. I told her to leave, I'm afraid.

buzzsore Mon 20-Jun-11 18:39:02

I think in that situation I'd probably say the same, travis - if having a baby is high on her agenda she doesn't have time to waste with someone who is more interested in protecting his ego than dealing with the problem.

fluffy123 Mon 20-Jun-11 18:41:14

Aislingoria, do you mind if I ask how you sorted it out .

BertieBotts Mon 20-Jun-11 18:42:56

Answer to all 4: Not necessarily.

I agree with others though that both partners have to be happy with it. If one partner is resentful and/or the other feels pressured, it can turn into a big problem. However I think it's the way you deal with it which is make or break.

I think also, you have to firstly be honest with each other at all times, not have sex when you don't really want to, etc, especially at the beginning of the relationship. If you know you have a low/high sex drive etc you should say so early on (although I've learned this doesn't necessarily stay the same from one relationship to the next blush) And also keep an open mind and be aware that sex does ebb and flow over time. You can't expect the sex to stay the same as it does in the honeymoon period for ever.

midwife99 Mon 20-Jun-11 19:22:39

As you have probably seen from my posts on other threads I am really struggling with the fact that my DH doesn't want to have sex with me. Personally for me it's a very important part of an intimate relationship. It's like a little secret you have together that no one else can share in. The resentment grows & bitterness sets in unless you both feel the same. I do know couples who rarely have sex & they're both happy with that so I think it's all down to whether you have conflict over it or not.

allegrageller Mon 20-Jun-11 19:25:41

midwife that's very sad indeed for you. Does he refuse to address the issue at all?

I suppose it might just be bearable if you felt he was willing to work on it and try to change- but if not- it would seem he is acting as if it's a friendship not a relationship and surely that is not enough for most partners.

ineedabodytransplant Mon 20-Jun-11 19:33:46

midwife, that was a big problem for me not being able to talk to anyone in real life. Not the sort of thing to talk about at work, or when out with friends. I imagine, but could be wrong, that women would find this easier to talk to close friends about than men.

As you say the bitterness and resentment festers. I tried for over 12 years and it got gradually worse. You hope the feelings of wanting sex/making love will ease off to makes things bearable, but they don't and the lack of any intimancy or affection at all finally got too much.

I started to drink too much and really was trying to blot out things(several regulars on here will testify to my up and down posts..blush

Aislingorla Mon 20-Jun-11 20:11:53

Well fluffy,long story short, I discovered he was having a very intense affair and was seriously thinking of leaving. I was completly shocked but accepted it, strangely! I found out on the Friday and said to him on the Sunday ''well, if you're planning to go we might as well have a shag first'' and it was amazing, because, for the first time in our 20 year relationship ,I let myself go. He then had a epiphany, realising he loved me,etc. We had lots more issues to sort out and it's been (ongoing) a hell of a journey, major ups and downs. Lots of angry outbursts from me but the sex has gone from strength to strength.

midwife99 Mon 20-Jun-11 20:46:50

Blimey - you're good at forgiveness Aislingorla!! My DH really doesn't think there's a problem to address. We do it occasionally so he thinks that means he's "off the hook" & argues that I'm bring unreasonable by complaining. He says we have sex "regularly". If once a month or so (& even then he acts like he has a gun to his head) is normal perhaps it's me?

Aislingorla Mon 20-Jun-11 21:26:58

No midwife I'm not! This is only part of the story. It is too long to go into . I discovered it 2 years ago. We are making it work but many, many times I've felt like quitting!
I used to be like your H, duty sex, once a month or so, not enjoying it , not 'giving to it' at all! I refused to discuss it and because lack of an enjoyable sex life (supression, really)didn't bother me I didn't notice/care how it distressed him. I am not, for one minute, excusing his affair. But I do see now how lonely and unattractive he felt.

TDada Mon 20-Jun-11 22:01:22

...and sex can become a tool (of last resort?) for one partner to express his/her unhappiness about something else

TotallyUtterlyDesperate Mon 20-Jun-11 22:29:43

No sex in this marriage for about 6 years, due to disability/illness for both of us. I get upset about this, occasionally, but in the long run we love each other too much to split. We are very cuddly and tactile though and I count DH as my best friend! I suppose frustration comes out in arguments - which can be a bit nasty on occasion - but we always make up. I miss our sex life, which was wonderful, but am sadly almost reconciled to the fact that I will never have sex again as long as DH is alive.

Aislingorla Mon 20-Jun-11 22:31:58

Agree TDada, we didn't communicate, we had lots of problems.

ineedabodytransplant Mon 20-Jun-11 22:50:10

TUD, sadly you have a real reason for the lack of sex in your relationship. Some people, and I am including my stbxw in this, decide thatthey don't want sex anymore without having the decency to think about the other person.The other person and their needs and feelings are to them unimportant

Glad to see you are still close, and are touchy feely.

BertieBotts Mon 20-Jun-11 23:57:26

bodytransplant, I don't think it's usually as clear cut as one person making a straight choice never to have sex again though. And to say they think other person's needs and feelings are unimportant is unfair, I feel, unless there has been a general pattern of this kind of lack of regard in the rest of the relationship. The partner with lower or non-existent sex drive is usually very aware of how their partner feels and feels terrible guilt over this - not helped by the fact that most people seem to think it's a voluntary choice or that having a low sex drive is a medical problem which can and should be fixed by therapy or medication. If someone genuinely doesn't want sex, they can't help that. Sometimes, yes, it is a medical issue, but sometimes it's not. Sometimes that's just who a person is.

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