How To Know When To Walk Away From A Sexless Marriage

How to Save My Marriage,Marriage Counseling NYC

How To Know When To Walk Away From A Sexless Marriage

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All marriages, including perfectly healthy ones, experience a dry spell at one point or another. Several factors can contribute to this such as stress from work, financial problems, and so on. However, any marriage counselor will tell you that sex is a crucial part of a healthy and happy marriage. There is a difference between occasional dry spells and a sexless marriage. 

If your spouse has gone to great lengths to deny you intimacy, it’s time to think about it. Know when to walk away from a sexless marriage through some tell-tale signs.

When to Walk Away from a Sexless Marriage

Dissatisfaction with sex is a serious concern in a marriage. Just think about how much impact a sexless marriage can have! 

Is sexless marriage a sign of a more serious issue or is it just a phase? Some signs help you determine when to walk away from a sexless marriage.

when to walk away from a sexless marriage

1. Your spouse is not willing to fix the issue.

If you have voiced your concern about the lack of sex in your marriage, your spouse must be willing to address the issue. If not, it is a good indicator that you should walk away from that marriage.

Problems in your marriage can only be resolved if both parties are willing to work together. Have an open and honest conversation with your spouse about your concerns. Sex and intimacy are a legitimate need for a spouse and if it is not being met (or your spouse is not willing to provide it to you), then it shows a lack of concern on their part. 

If you have made the effort to bring romance back into your marriage and they won’t do their part, it might be time to walk away.

2. Your marriage has many other relationship issues.

Lack of sex in a marriage is often the physical manifestation of other related issues you’re having. If your spouse cannot stand being intimate with you, it indicates a more serious issue in your relationship. These issues are what is preventing them from being able to express their love and emotions physically.

Take this time to assess if you are only dealing with a sexless relationship or if you’re in an unhappy marriage. Look at the bigger picture. You need to address the issues within your marriage first before you can get back to being intimate. 

If that does not work either, then you might have to move on.

3. You have different sexual preferences from your spouse.

Sexual compatibility is a critical part of a successful marriage. It’s not that your spouse does not want to engage in sex with you; the issue could be that they enjoy sex and intimacy in a way that is different from how you prefer it.

It is important to set the boundaries about what you find acceptable or not in sexual activity with your spouse. Just because you are married does not give them the right to perform any sexual act that you are not comfortable with. It is best to sit down and talk about it with your partner. If you are uncomfortable, don’t feel compelled to do it just to keep your spouse satisfied. 

If you find yourself having to do the latter, then you might as well walk away from your marriage.

4. Your partner is cheating on you.

Infidelity is one of the main reasons why a lot of marriages end up being sexless. There is a saying that if they are not getting it from you, they are getting it from somebody else.

Cheating is a serious issue within marriage and is one of the signs you have to walk away from a sexless marriage. 

5. Your partner uses sex as a form of control.

Does your partner withhold sex to exercise control over you? If yes, then you might want to think about whether or not it’s healthy to stay in that marriage. Any relationship that attempts to pressure or manipulate you, especially using sex as a tool, is toxic. Sex should never be used as a reward or punishment for certain types of behaviors. 

6. You don’t have love in your marriage anymore.

Most relationships start with intense and passionate love. Over time, this passion can fade and you are faced with the realities of a married life filled with trials and tribulations. 

If you feel that your marriage is drifting away and you no longer have love as the foundation in your relationship, your spouse may also lose interest in sex. This is one of the strongest indicators that you may need to walk away from your marriage. 

How to Deal with a Sexless Marriage

If you chose to stick it out with your marriage, there are important things you need to do to restore intimacy and passion. Whatever the reason is for your spouse refusing to engage in sex with you, lighting up the fire of romance in your relationship won’t happen overnight. Learn to be patient with your partner and focus on doing the right things to get back on track.

satisfying a sex life in a marriage

Take Things Slowly

If your spouse is refusing to be intimate with you, the natural tendency for most people is to keep pressing on their partner. It is a good idea to build up sexual tension and excite your partner by using some of the sexual techniques that you used on them in the past.

Make Things Exciting Again

Intimacy isn’t just about sex. It’s important to look after each other too. When was the last time that you went out on a “date”? It’s time for you to make your spouse feel special again and bring back the romance to your relationship. 

Emotional connection is a crucial part of satisfying a sex life in a marriage.

Be Understanding

If your partner has lost intimacy or the desire for sex due to a traumatic event, such as the loss of a loved one or infertility problems, be considerate. Try to put yourself in their situation. Sex in a marriage is important; however, it won’t save your marriage if it’s caused by a deeper, more damaging issue. 


  • Travis Atkinson

    Travis Atkinson, L.C.S.W., is the Director and Creator of the Loving at Your Best Plan. He has extensive training in marriage and couples therapy, based on over 27 years in practice, earning certificates from top-rated couples therapy models, including: *Certified Advanced Schema Therapist, Supervisor and Trainer for Individuals and Couples *Certified Emotionally Focused Couples Therapist and Supervisor *Certified Gottman Method Couples Therapist *Certified Group Psychotherapist *Honorary Lifetime Member of the International Society of Schema Therapy Travis is a co-author of the latest schema mode therapy inventory, the SMI. He is also the co-author of two chapters in the recently published “Creative Methods in Schema Therapy: Advances and Innovation in Clinical Practice (Routledge, 2020) and author of “Schema Therapy for Couples: Healing Partners in a Relationship” in the Handbook of Schema Therapy (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012).

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