It’s important to remember that, if you are in this position, you’re certainly not alone. In fact, data analysis from 2015 revealed that ‘sexless marriage’ was the most Googled phrase for spouses, with 21,000 searches every month - even beating ‘unhappy marriage’.
Meanwhile a more recent study from Japan revealed that nearly 50% of couples had not had sex for more than a month.
Tackling the topic head on, Redditors have opened up about their (sometimes heartbreaking) experiences of sexless marriage. Here’s what they had to say...
‘I Have Postpartum Depression And Anxiety’
“We have a two-month-old baby and I (the wife) have been going to bed by 8-9pm every night. Right now I’d prioritise sleep over sex 100% of the time. I’ve also got pretty bad postpartum depression and anxiety and don’t want to risk getting pregnant again. He’s getting a vasectomy next month, so I’m hoping once he’s healed I’ll be in a better mental place to start thinking of sex again.”
‘We’re Busting Our Butts To Keep Our Heads Above Water’
“We have three kids and live in a small house. I work two jobs. She works one. We both team up to take care of the housework and running the kids to this activity and that activity. But besides not having the time or energy, we’re in our 40s and my wife has become less interested in having sex. We’d rather catch up on a show we never get to watch.
“We haven’t had sex in a couple of years but not a day goes by we don’t hug and kiss each other and say ‘I love you’. I don’t know. We’re best friends busting our butts raising kids, paying bills and doing our best to keep our heads above water.”
‘My Wife Had A Breakdown’
“My wife had a complete mental breakdown in 2009 and can no longer work. She is diagnosed [with] bipolar disorder and has extreme anxiety. Unfortunately, one of the things she has anxiety about is bathing so it doesn’t happen very often.
“I love my wife, but the lack of hygiene combined with the added stress of taking care of the family mostly on my own means that I’m not in the mood very often. We’ve had sex I think once or twice in the past year.”
‘Sex Is Painful’
“My wife suffers from vaginismus and vestibulitis. Both conditions make sex very hard for my wife. Vaginismus is the involuntary contraction of the pelvic floor muscles during penetration - think kegels on steroids. The vestibulitis makes the friction of sex feel like rug burn.
“We have been married eight years and together 13 years. Our worst years we had sex two times. The average is probably four times a year. Lately she has been trying to have sex once a month.”
‘He’s Not Good In Bed’
“The truth: my husband is not very good at sex and shows no interest in improving in a way that will be enjoyable for both of us.
“We had very different experience levels when we got together. I’d only had two partners, but one of the relationships was very long term. He’d had twice that number, but all of the relationships were very short term. So I knew what I enjoyed. He, it seemed, did not.
“No problem. I could teach. I thought it would be OK for him to learn what he liked and what I liked and we’d mesh.
“The sad truth? He doesn’t seem to like any of the things I like. Or maybe he doesn’t like sex. Or maybe he doesn’t like sex with me. Hell, I don’t know. And I don’t care anymore.”
‘She Was Cheating’
“My wife’s sex drive plummeted throughout our relationship. I thought maybe it was stress from her work, so I tried to help her find a new job she would like. I thought maybe it was because I gained a bit of weight, so I worked hard to lose it. I thought maybe I wasn’t spending enough time with her, so I gave up almost all my hobbies and friends to stay home.
“Turns out she was cheating on me the whole time. Finally caught her in the act and she had zero remorse, despite the crocodile tears. This is reinforced by the fact that she got a new boyfriend a week after we separated.
“My divorce officially came to an end two days ago and I couldn’t be any happier. No more wondering if it was ever because of me. No more being turned down for sex because of a ‘headache’, being ‘tired’, or the like. A new chapter begins!”
“It’s slowly taken away his sex drive and has altered him a lot physically and mentally. Our sex life ground to a halt a couple years ago, not long after we got married. However, we’re still happy together and in love and I’m supporting him through it. The desire for a baby seems to be giving him some of his spark back so I think we’re on the up.”
‘She Developed A Germ Phobia’
“My wife developed a germ/dirtiness phobia around year one of our marriage. It’ll be five years soon and there’s little to no contact of any kind physically at this point.”
‘She Doesn’t Have Much Drive Anymore’
“12 years married. We’re very compatible together in every way but that one. I don’t know what happened. She claims she just doesn’t have much drive any more. In the span of one year, we had sex one time. And at the one year point, I was gutted emotionally and had almost completely disengaged. I did make an effort to try again and have a nice weekend but when we got to that time, she rejected me again. I flipped the hell out and oddly enough, she didn’t know that it had been, in fact, a year. It got better (subjectively) for about three months but it’s been another three months since last time. I feel like we’re slipping back into the old routine of nothing again.
“In these last three months, I have been genuinely observing her. I am coming to the realisation that she doesn’t love me any more. We had people visiting in January and she was all about affection to them. I asked her later if she thought she was the same person around our friends as she is to me. She didn’t take to that question very well but I think it woke something up because she started being more affectionate.
“I’m steadily growing bitter about it and I know that doesn’t help at all so it’s a vicious cycle.”
‘Sex Is Impossibly Painful For Her’
“My wife has scar tissue of some sort in her vagina from a childhood injury (she fell onto the corner of a cabinet door). We didn’t know it before we got married, but it has made sex impossibly painful for her. We’ve tried all kinds of treatments and therapies short of a very uncomfortable and expensive surgery. It sucks because we’re young (early-mid 20s) and we love each other. It’s been a major strain on our relationship. It has forced us to explore options other than actual intercourse for satisfying each other, which has been fun. However, the dark cloud of what we can’t do is always hanging over our heads and we don’t do other stuff as often as I’d like.”
‘She Has Poor Mental Health’
“We’re both 58 and we’ll be married 38 years in July. Our last intimate encounter took place in August 2002. She was diagnosed with a mental disorder after almost successfully taking her life during that time frame. She was prescribed several medications that resulted in multiple health issues and is completely asexual. She took care of me and the children in our younger days when I was in the military and frequently deployed. It’s my time to take care of her. She understands I still have needs and would probably look the other way, but I keep my promises.”
Useful websites and helplines:
Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393 Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill.) Get Connected is a free advice service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org