Are You In A Sexless Marriage? Not that anyone but you should care. But are you? A more important question is are you getting the amount of sex you want? Then there’s the question, are you getting the sex you want? As a Marriage Counselor, I emphasize the importance of a healthy sex life. It’s an integral part in keeping a relationship happy and content from merely existing eventually morphing into dreaded roommates. And sometimes, bad roommates, to boot.
As a Marriage Counselor, I believe every couple is different with their own unique set of circumstances so there is no magic number that can tell them how often they should be having sex. There is no “normal.” Some couples have sex two times a day others have sex two times a month. Rather than talk about how many times a week a couple is having sex I encourage couples to openly discuss what they want from their partners and negotiate a relationship that meets both of their needs.
Some couples I work with have not had sex for several years and as long as ten years. Here is what statistics show about how often Americans are and are not having sex:
- Married couples say they have sex an average of 68.5 times a year. That’s slightly more than once a week. — Newsweek
- Married people have 6.9 more sexual encounters per year than people who have never been married. — Newsweek
- 15 to 20 percent of couples have sex no more than 10 times a year, which experts define as a sexless marriage. — Newsweek
- 20 to 30 percent of men and 30 to 50 percent of women say they have little or no sex drive. — USA Today
- 25 percent of all Americans (a third of women and a fifth of men) suffer from a condition known as hypoactive sexual desire (HSD), which is defined as a persistent or recurring deficiency or absence of sexual fantasies or thoughts, or a lack of interest in sex or being sexual. — Psychology Today
- The majority of studies also find that the longer couples have been married, the less often they have sex – Rao and DeMaris 1995
- Scientific research has observed a link between sexual frequency and well-being where a sample of self-reported Americans found sexual frequency was a strong positive predictor of happiness. – Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization
The roles of sexuality are different in every relationship. Sexuality plays an important role in marriage and other long-term relationships. The attitudes that partners hold about marital sexuality, the amount of sex that they have, their preferences and the kinds of sexual activities in which they engage, and how they communicate with each other about their needs and wants can have a tremendous impact on their level of sexual satisfaction and on their happiness within the relationship in general. Although there is no right amount of sex that characterizes healthy or satisfying relationships, research suggests, and I confirm with my work in counseling, partners are most satisfied when they have some kind sexual activity to express feelings of love, intimacy, and commitment. Those who are not getting the sex and love they want tend to feel lonely, disconnected, and eventually fall out of love with their primary partner. Often times depression is associated with living in a sexless marriage where men and women are affected in similar ways.
When couples find themselves in sexless marriages, the choices include marriage counseling, suffering in silence, having an extramarital affair, or divorce. For couples who get along reasonably well, or are co-parenting young children, or who want to stay together for financial reasons, an open marriage may be a compromise.
It would be best to get the help needed to be able to start a dialogue about what is needed to move forward as continuing to live in a sexless marriage is not only detrimental to your health, but to your emotional well-being.
For more information about doing just that please contact me at (858) 735-1139 or email me at [email protected]