The Sexless Marriage

A sexless marriage.  It’s what we all dread—the going south of our passion for each other, the edginess and irritation that results, the worry and fear that our relationship is slowly disintegrating because we can’t touch each other.

Just now, there’s a new conversation in our culture about the issue—which until now has been a hushed and secreted problem in our marriages.

Therapists of all stripes are beginning to talk about it, including Robert Weiss, Tammy Nelson, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, Maureen McGrath and dozens of others.

So what’s the problem and why is it happening?  Certainly, for some couples, there are health issues; certainly for some there are terrible and unaddressed emotional issues.  There are breakdowns that stop our sex life in its tracks—particularly when we have no mechanisms to communicate about them or recover from them.  And each of these things—these breakdowns—are serious and require help.

But what about the rest of us?  What about those of us who aren’t in terrible trouble, but we’ve just begun drifting?  Everything else in our adult work life, parenting life, home life and health life is taking precedence over our intimate life, and we’re creating bigger and bigger abysses of time between the moments we’re able to get naked and close.

Getting naked with each other eases everything.  It takes the edge off of life’s adult pressures.  But more important, it cements us to each other.  It reminds us why we made the choices we made, helps us remember what’s good about being alive and what’s wonderful about being married.  We are entitled to a rich and fulfilling intimate life with our partner. 

So how do we get there?  My new book is all about this:  finding short-cuts to engaging in intimacy so we get the love we say we want; the loving we deserve.

First off, we want to do what I talked about in my previous blogs—meaning, we want to create a habit of taking uninterrupted time with each other.  A date, if you will, to get intimate.

Yeah, yeah, yeah—I know.  You’ve heard this before and it just feels so not spontaneous to you.  Well, here’s a newsflash:  marriage is not dating, and it’s not—by any stretch of the imagination—a spontaneous experience.

So if you want a regular sex life, you’re going to have to stand up and take the hours you want and deserve.  No one is going to arrange it for you.  It’s not going to happen if you wait for both of you to be in the exact right mood to run-through-the-wheat-fields-toward-each-other in sexual glory.

Marriage is about commitment.  So why not commit to the one thing that brings us the most pleasure with each other?  Why not get it into our heads that if we want it, we have to stand up for it, plan it, set time aside, and then take it?

In the next blogs, I’ll talk about how to do that practically—about some suggestions that can get you into your loving regularly with easy short cuts.  In the meantime, though, know that if you want the regular loving you’re marriage deserves, and you haven’t been able to manage that so far, you’re going to have to change the way you think about sex and intimacy and how to get to it.

Don’t despair, though.  It’s an easy shift.  It’s not burdensome and it’s not difficult to learn.  Borrow my faith and know that there are solutions up ahead.


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