In what might strike you as a shocking statistic, research shows that almost half of all married couples report that they have sexual relations less than ten times a year. Whilst this might come as reassurance for those who find themselves stuck in such a situation, the knowledge that it isn’t something wrong with you or your relationship and that it is a common issue does little to help alleviate the feelings of isolation and rejection often brought about by such a predicament.
As a further example of this, Google reports over 20,000 search requests for the term “Sexless Marriage” each month and there is much evidence to suggest that these reports represent only the tip of the ice burg for this issue. So what is behind this?
Firstly, it is worth considering that this is not a modern dilemma and has only been brought the forefront now due to society being a lot more open to the discussion of personal matters such as these. Some people are of the opinion that a Sexless Marriage is just a natural progression and in no way any more remarkable than the initial lust of a new relationship. If both partners in the marriage are happy with this state of things then there doesn’t have to be an issue and life can continue. But if one of those involved is made unhappy by this, then things need to be addressed.
A recent survey on the subject showed that many reported the issue starting after the birth of their first child. This will be a period of great change for any couple, as their feelings that had been almost exclusively for each other are now directed towards their new born. This coupled with a host of other issues, fatigue and stress related to caring for a new child, chemical changes in the body in the lead up and post birth months and a shift in priorities can see sex taking a backseat, forgotten about and never rekindled.
Almost half of those questioned said that had they known that their marriage would end up sexless they wouldn’t have chosen to go through with things. A third felt that there was no way back from their situation and have claimed to have given up expecting things to get better, with one respondent saying “There’s nothing left inside me for this marriage. I’ve given it all I had and it’s time to move on.”.
Worryingly enough, the same amount of people said that they felt ready to end their marriage and move on if things showed no sign of improvement and people reported turning to masturbation, pornography and extra-marital affairs as ways to alleviate their frustrations.
The vast majority said that they had tried to talk things through but found that nothing changed, though tellingly only 14% had looked into therapy to help with their issue and just 3% had tried sexual counseling as way out of their situation.
So, what can we make of this?
If you are in this situations then take comfort from the fact that you are not alone. But also, try to avoid the trap of feeling helpless and unable to do anything. As always, dialogue and understanding is key and this is an issue that we at the London Love School would be very happy to assist you with.
SEXLESS MARRIAGE STATISTICS
90 per cent haven’t tried anything new in bed since their first anniversary
Only a third (34 per cent) are satisfied with their sex lives
Women are more likely to report sexual problems (37 per cent) than men
30 per cent of over-65s say that watching porn alone is the same as cheating on a partner
Only 37 per cent of women over 65 had sexual activity in the past year
One in five say low libido or differing sex drives is a strain on their relationship