Do you have a sexless marriage? And, can you have a loving, intimate relationship without sex?
Of course! But, is that what you want? Probably not.
Despite what the media depicts, there is a significant percentage of married couples not having sex for a wide range of reasons: emotional, psychological, physical, religious, or other reasons.
A sexless marriage lacks intimacy but before you can figure out how to fix a relationship, you need to look at yourself and your partner.
What do you need and how do you feel about what is happening to the two of you?
Once you figure that out, then you can decide your next steps.
Despite the external pressures on you, the best thing to do if it bothers you is to talk about it.
So…what happened to your marriage? How did it turn into a sexless relationship that lacked intimacy?
The answer can be pretty simple, really. You wanted the dream and then the dream changed — or did you change with it and he didn’t?
You see, when dreams change, values change, you change, and life happens.
So, now what, can your marriage be saved?
How long has it really been since you’ve been intimate with each other? Is it too long to remember?
The bigger question is…how do you feel about yourself and him even though it’s been a while?
Are you feeling distant and awkward? Or simply bored and frustrated?
Do you feel like you’re becoming best friends or roomies without the benefits?
Knowing he’s loyal but wondering how long can this go on. Do you see that you’re each drifting apart and at a loss as to what to do?
“It just sort of happened.”
“It simply stopped.”
A marriage without intimate sex can deteriorate. No matter how you explain it to yourself, you still miss the sex, the fun, and the touching.
What happened to having sex in every room in the house and, afterward, sharing your dreams together while you cuddled in bed?
In the beginning, it was non-stop fun and sex. But, nowadays, you don’t even share the same room together.
Data scientist Seth Stephens-Davidowitz reports that “sexless marriage” is one of the most Googled phrases when it comes to marriage complaints in the United States.
The Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture found that 12 percent of married couples hadn’t had sex in the previous 3 months.
Statistics aside, you can learn how to fix a broken marriage as long as you don’t:
- Compare your current marriage to the days when you were a younger couple and in lust.
- “Act out” your resentments by bitching, yelling, or nagging at him.
- Don’t tell your best friend or mother all the things you need to be telling him.
- Don’t start until you’ve decided to make changes for yourself as well. It takes two to tango.
If life is comfortable and there’s no drama that’s a good thing!
Perhaps, you’ve raised the kids and now it’s your time — just for the two of you.
There’s plenty that you share together: traveling, reading, friends, sporting events, and other shared interests.
Remember: Rome wasn’t built in a day.
If you feel comfortable in your marriage and you talk about a lot of things (except the lack of sex), there is a strong foundation that you’ve built upon over the years that will help both of you.
When you decide to explore some options between you to increase the intimacy that seems to be gone, it will draw upon your love, your friendship, and your kindness to one another.
It’s about reaching out to him without blame. It’s the little things that go a long way.
With that said, here are 10 counterintuitive ways to fix your marriage when you’re lacking the intimacy you need:
1. Break the ice
Forget the resentment and the awkwardness. For five minutes, walk up to him with a smile on your face and give him a hug.
You can even say, “Hi, I just needed a hug from my beautiful husband. How are you doing?” This is key to moving forward with positive energy.
2. Create a new routine
Create a new ritual of greeting him with “Good Morning” a “Good Night Sweetheart” and a “Hey, babe, how was your day?”
3. Have no expectations
A peck on the cheek with a strong squishy hug can turn into a kiss on the lips. Who knows? Whatever you do make certain you do it without any expectations.
If you have an agenda that it will be wonderful and he’ll take you in his arms — you might be setting yourself up for disappointment for both of you.
Just keep it simple and positive and friendly. If he acts awkward just keep smiling and smoothly let the awkward moment pass.
4. Make eye contact and smile
Tell him you were thinking positive thoughts for him, knowing he had a big meeting that day.
Let him feel your positive sincerity.
5. Smile more and more
It’s kind of hard to be angry or agitated or rude when his beautiful wife is smiling at him and paying attention to him!
Even if it’s just for a moment focus your attention on him.
6. Minimize using your smartphone
They are wonderful and an integral part of our lives, but do not bode well.
People are texting instead of talking or texting someone else when they need to focus on who is in front of them!
Nothing new, trendy, digital, or electronic will ever replace direct face-to-face eye contact and a smile!
7. Show acts of kindness
Make his coffee in the morning just the way he likes it. If the coffee machine does it, then bring it to him or have his favorite pastry tomorrow morning heated with butter on it just for him!
8. Give him flowers
Instead of thinking about how he never brings you flowers, why don’t you bring him flowers? Start treating him the way you want him to treat you.
Remember, the gesture has to genuinely come from you to him without any expectations of change from him.
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9. Be trustworthy
Think of it as planting seeds into the ground. The farmer cannot go out into his fields and tug and pull on the leaves to make them grow faster.
He just tends to them, weeds around them, waters them, feed them with nutrients, and makes certain they get a lot of sun.
He trusts and believes that his plants will grow and bloom because of the good love energy he infused into each plant.
10. Show your appreciation
If you have a lot of love for yourself and for your spouse, appreciate that.
Be grateful for your kids, your pets, your home, your love, and your health! Appreciate that you have each other.
Is this a lot of work? Only if you think it is. This is a 3-step process towards connecting and creating intimacy!
Step 1: Positive intentions are the positive emotions of wanting the best for each of you.
Step 2: Change your thinking from what you “used to have”, “lack now”, or “wish might happen in the future”.
Start seeing what you have in front of you. Other people would stand in line around the block to have your life!
Step 3: Take action with baby steps one at a time. This is a covert mission to reclaim your power back over the awkwardness and disengagement. Actions tell the Universe you are seriously showing up in this marriage and you’re willing to do your part.
By infusing your marriage with new behaviors, new attitudes, and a new outlook, you are creating new energy in the marriage.
Start taking care of yourself — exercise, do yoga, change your hairstyle, or get a new outfit.
The more joy you reclaim for yourself, it will ripple into the relationship.
The more you take care of yourself the more love you have to give!
Dr. Margot Brown is a couples therapist who has helped couples and individuals create happier lives for over twenty years. She’s the author of Kickstart Your Relationship Now! Move On Or Move Out.
This article was originally published at Dr. Margot E. Brown. Reprinted with permission from the author.