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What If Your Partner Does Not Want a Sexual Marriage?

Many couples are struggling with trying to figure out how in the world to bring the sex back into their relationships. Bringing sex back into a marriage is a great idea, if both partners agree they want it back. What if, however, one of the partners has no interest in bringing the sex back? Is there anything you can do in this situation?

If you're in a sexless marriage the first thing you need to do is decide if that's okay for you. Don't think about whether your partner wants a sexual marriage or even what your partner would say about the topic; just think about what you want. If your answer is yes, your next question to answer is: Is having a sexual marriage non-negotiable? Non-negotiable means that you want a sexual marriage and if you don't have one, the marriage will be in trouble.

Once you are clear that you want a sexual marriage, sit down with your partner and have an honest discussion. Inform your partner that you've given the sexual aspect of your marriage a lot of thought and that you know you no longer want a sexless marriage. Be clear that you're not willing to go the next 5, 10, 15 years with no sexual intimacy. Ask your partner to consider where they stand on this issue so you can decide what your next move is.

If your partner says they're willing to try, then come up with a plan. Start with both of you reading The Sex-Starved Marriage by Michele Weiner Davis. If your partner has lost their sexual desire, ask that they rule out any medical condition and meet with their doctor to discuss options. Finally, get professional help as a couple.

There are a number of things that impact the sexual intimacy between couples. It's in your best interest to figure out which issues pertain to your specific relationship. Some common issues that create problems for couples include:

  • One partner being a selfish lover
  • A high level of negativity form one partner
  • Verbal or emotional abuse
  • Issues of control
  • Pressure for sex or an entitlement and expectation around sex
  • Past affairs that have not been worked through
  • Past history of sexual abuse for one partner

Regardless of what led to the sexless marriage, it's up to the partner who wants a sexual relationship to have an honest conversation about their feelings. Be respectful, calm and clear that you are not willing to settle for a sexless marriage. Do not state this as a threat, it's simply a piece of honest information that your partner will need in order to make their decision. If they say they do not want a sexual relationship, appreciate their honesty and tell them what that will mean for your relationships (i.e. separation, divorce, moving into different bedroom etc.).

Challenge: If you're in a sexless marriage and that is not okay for you, get clear about what you want and be honest with your partner.

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