WHEN A SEXLESS MARRIAGE IS HEALTHY
- The level of sex drive and need for frequency of sex varies among individuals. Some people have very low, or even zero sex drive, but they are able to love, bond, support and delight in a partner. If two such people find each other and have values and goals in common, they can have a wonderful, healthy relationship.
- Many men and women, but not all, have a diminished or low sex drive as they age. Testosterone is the “hormone of desire” for both men and women. Men’s testosterone goes down 1-2% a year after the age of 30, so depending on how much they had to begin with, men can have 25-50% less by the time they’re 55. If their T goes low enough, they might not care about having sex anymore.
At the same time, women’s sex hormones are radically changing in peri-menopause and by post-menopause women are producing minimal amounts of estrogen and at least half the amount of testosterone, so they might lose interest in sex.
If you have such a 50+ couple who are both getting along in years and don’t care about sex, but have a good, caring, meaningful life together, then it’s healthy.
WHEN SEXLESS MARRIAGES ARE UNHEALTHY
- Sex is a very good thing for relationships. Physically, it releases “feel good” chemicals into your blood stream and stimulates the same section of your brain where you experience spiritual ecstasy, hence the “Oh God!” when you have great sex. Lovers do live longer and regular sex renews and deepens your connection and bond to your partner.
Having a sexless marriage is unhealthy because without physical intimacy, the partners can drift apart. How do you create a sexless marriage? You don’t make it a priority and you don’t make the time for it. Instead you put your time and energy into your job, your kids, your hobbies, your endless chores, etc. Also, if you get too stressed out and don’t handle it, you won’t have the attention or the sensuality to give to your partner.
- Another unhealthy scenario is when one partner wants sex and the other refuses. This leads to alienation, conflict and sometimes having the partner seek sex is other ways. You might as well file the divorce papers right then.
- Why wouldn’t someone want to give and receive pleasure from his or her mate?
What we see in counseling is that women don’t want to have sex because they’re angry at their husband due to unresolved conflicts, feel he doesn’t hear her or want to fulfill her needs, or that he’s not a good lover and won’t improve.
Another problem, is that sex may be painful after giving birth or post-menopause and the woman may be embarrassed to talk about it or not know what to do. Or she has told her husband and he doesn’t get it.
- Over the years, we’ve seen more and more women who have been frustrated to the point of potential divorce because their husbands wouldn’t have sex. It wasn’t that they didn’t repeatedly ask their husbands for it. For the men, a strange pattern emerged: mostly, the men just devalued their wives desire and were surprised to find themselves in counseling. Often the men had sex drives, but just took care of themselves by masturbating; they didn’t want to take the time in foreplay to satisfy their wives.
Other times, the husband’s drives were down due the decrease in their testosterone, and so didn’t care about their wives needs.
- The other sexless couples we see are so alienated from each other that they don’t want to touch the other person or give them pleasure. The marriage is sexless, because they can’t communicate, are engaged in power struggles and fight a lot.
- To get relationships back on track, you need improve communication, resolve the conflicts and start being physical again.
We get couples to touch each other, hold hands, breathe together, look in each other’s eyes, kiss. All those actions release oxytocin, the bonding hormone. As they connect more and more, they eventually do become sexual again.
- Even with low libidos issues, most couples will have fulfilling pleasure and deeper connection if the take the time to create a sexual experience.