Once the physical spark of sexual attraction has been dimmed between a married couple a chain of events is set in motion then can prove to be disastrous. If unchecked, the lack of sex can and often will lead to many negative feelings such as frustration, resentment, guilt, betrayal, rejection, inadequacy, contempt and worse.
As such, it is important to notice signs of a sexless marriage early to try to nip the issue in the bud as once it sets in it can become a circular self fulfilling prophesy and a hard cycle to break. In the first of a series of blogs on this unfortunately increasingly common subject, we will be looking at a few of the underlying issues and exploring how a sexless marriage comes about.
For some, the issue can first rear it’s head due to issues with sexual intimacy. There can be many reasons for this, all of which are deserving of their own blog and we might return to study in more depth at a later date. If you are struggling with sexual intimacy though, it can be due to negative messages received about sex in your childhood that make it hard to not feel guilty due to erotic pleasure in your later life. It can be due to the belief that sexual arousal must always be a precursor to sexual activity and not a response to it or it can be down to a shyness when it comes to initiating sex or understanding emotional intimacy.
For others there can be physical factors in play, such as ill health or other discomforts such as headaches and back pain. The stresses of our daily lives can be a cause of this, with fatigue from our work days and busy home-life leaving little time for us to play and enjoy ourselves.
There are other issues that can be taken into consideration as well. Pornography and masturbation are more commonly being seen as very damaging threats to a healthy marital sex life. What can start as a seemingly healthy outlet can soon snowball into a destructive force as one (or sometimes both) partners are sating their needs in private and lessening their desire for mutual satisfaction. Given time, this can lead to a dependence on visual stimulation to achieve orgasm and the act of actual intercourse becomes less and less appealing when compared to the variety of performers and actions available at our finger tips via the internet.
This is something that we are being asked about more and more at the London Love School and a subject that we have covered in length here: HOW PORN AFFECTS YOUR RELATIONSHIP. We will no doubt be returning to this subject at a later date.
Extra marital affairs can also be a sign of a sexless marriage. Even if this is not the case, it is unfortunately logical to assume this reason behind the lack of interest in sexual activity and as such a partner can feel rejected and betrayed with this assumption – even if it is baseless.
There are many other reasons why sex can fail in a marriage or long term relationship. Sometimes affection is withheld due to other resentments, there can be fears of rejection, lack of body confidence and even concerns about gender identities and homosexuality.
The message to take from this blog is that a sexless marriage (or the bed of death as it has dramatically been called!) is often the symptom of one or many larger underlying issues and can in itself lead to a great many more problems being summoned inside of your relationship.
In next week’s blog we will be looking at a few ways in which to treat these issues, though in the meantime, if any of the points raised to day are of concern to you then feel free to get in touch and we would be glad to help guide you through these problems.