I am livid about a recent Huffington Post article espousing how one could not only hold together, but thrive in a sexless marriage.
I posted this article on Facebook and the responses I got ranged from "unbelievable" to "self-imposed sexual abuse".
The more I sat with this article the angrier I became especially considering the source which until now I believed to be extremely sex positive and one of the few nationally respected publications that actually deals with sex intelligently. The fact that this was about couples 50 plus pissed me off even more.
This issue is very personal for me having lived in a sexless marriage for almost two decades. I had my reasons, as does everyone who experiences this. Fear of being alone, financial dependence, not wanting to break up the family, all can play a role.
In an earlier post on this topic, I received some very valid feedback and want to be clear that I certainly appreciate and support a decision made by a married couple to be asexual if that's what they both truly want. We all go through different stages of sexuality including being asexual. This article is about those couples in which one of the partners is essentially "forced" into celibacy because of lack of desire from the other and ends up becoming sexually shut down.
The sad facts are that national surveys show that 15-20% of couples are in a sexless marriage but I suspect that number is significantly under-reported and certainly does not account for the large number of men and women who stay in their marriage and have completely unsatisfying sex lives. Not surprisingly, the divorce rate in sexless marriages is considerably higher than the norm.
There are a many reasons why married couples stop having sex. Lack of time for intimacy is one of the leading causes and that is relatively easy to resolve. But what I see so often in sexless marriages is a deep despair, from one or both partners, about the foundation of the relationship.
Problems with sex are most often a symptom of significant relationship issues. Low libido, which is a typical complaint for both men and women, is more often a symptom of something gone awry in the relationship itself, than hormonal changes. Since orgasms actually prevent the risk of mild depression and increase libido, the lack of sex becomes its own Catch 22.
Here are some things you can do if you are in a sexless marriage:
The key thing is to recognize that you do not have to accept living in a sexless marriage...so there Huffington Post!
Sex & Intimacy Coach, Best Selling Author and Your Guide To Healing Yourself With Sex, Awakening Your Pleasure and Living An Orgasmic Life