How to Rewire a Sexless Marriage


A comfortable, smiling couple sits on porch steps with cups of coffee, happy that they learned how to nurture a sexless marriage

A drop in marital intimacy is normal but it doesn’t have to be permanent. There are many ways to nurture a sexless marriage for greater intimacy.


Key takeaways:

  • A decrease in sex happens to most marriages at some point.

  • Many factors, such as medication, lack of sleep, poor body image, and injury, can affect sex in a marriage.

  • Couples can remedy a drop in sexual frequency in many ways, including open communication and sex and couples therapy.

Love is a mysterious and enchanting thing. Many types of love exist in all the different relationships people experience in their lives, from parents and siblings to romantic relationships. Each bond has its ebbs and flows, and while love doesn’t always fade, physical intimacy can.


Romantic connections can be the hardest to maintain for many people. Intimacy can wane when relationships fall into harmful patterns and couples begin to distance themselves emotionally and physically.


A failing sex life isn’t always indicative of a collapsing marriage, however. Life changes throughout the years can cause intimacy to drop. Children, career changes, illness, and aging are common issues that affect sex drive, but diligent couples can overcome them.


Occasionally, a lack of sex signals deeper marital problems, such as infidelity and trust issues. Even these more serious concerns can be tackled and overcome with the right tools to produce a higher level of intimacy.


This guide will walk you through practical ways for couples to address a lack of sex in their marriages and get their love lives back on track.


Communication is vital


Open and honest communication between marital partners is a must. Sharing your life with someone requires trust, and direct communication is an easy way to accomplish that. Gently discussing a lack of intimacy brings the issue to the forefront where couples can deal with it.


Sex and intimacy are closely linked but not the same thing. Interest in sex can decrease with age but most people still crave intimacy throughout their lives. A lack of sex may not be a problem in a marriage if the intimacy levels are still satisfactory. Talking about it is the only way to know.


Approaching the topic of sex can be daunting. The key is to remain objective and not take things personally. Talking about the reasons sex is missing with your partner is the best way to start repairing the problem.


Tackle issues individually


Problems such as stress, insomnia, injuries, erectile dysfunction, and body image can drastically affect a person’s sex drive. Once such issues come to the surface, couples can navigate the tricky waters of their relationship easier by tackling each issue one by one.


Open communication can dissolve a lot of stress. Couples can manage undesirable situations and other stressors using effective action plans and goal setting. Sometimes medical care is required to address a lack of sex, especially if it’s related to erectile dysfunction, medications, or injury.


Identifying and addressing each issue individually helps couples improve themselves along with their marriage.


Couples counseling and sex therapy


Sometimes, the issues that cause a lack of sex are more challenging to deal with. Infidelity, infertility, mental disorders, neglect, and abuse are examples of situations that couples often need help getting through. Couples counseling and sex therapy are professional services that help couples get to the root of the problem and find ways to make things better.


Every couple has a unique dynamic with issues that are specific to their particular situation. The history between two people can have a significant effect on where the relationship goes. The therapeutic professional environment of couples therapy is tailored to provide a personal experience that isn’t available with self-help books and mindfulness podcasts.


Spend quality time together


A lack of sex and intimacy is sometimes the product of drifting apart. Work, children, and other responsibilities have a way of coming between two people if they aren’t careful. Spending time alone together isn’t always a top priority but it should be.


Reconnecting with someone you love is exciting. Just 10 to 15 minutes of quiet conversation can be enough to keep the home fires burning. Talk about things that bring you closer and strengthen the bond between you, even if it’s frivolous. It’s reminiscent of earlier passion and an easy way to put things back into perspective.


Date nights, staycations, new hobbies, and weekend getaways are all great ways to spend quality time with a special person.


Be patient


Problems in any type of relationship take time to resolve. When you’re in a troubled marriage, it can be a lengthy journey to recovery. Digging deep into what is causing a lack of sex can be an arduous task. It isn’t always obvious, even to the person withholding sex. Patience is required while the difficult job of revealing sexual roadblocks is underway.


Embrace vulnerability


Opening yourself up to be hurt is scary but it’s also necessary to build intimacy. A state of constant guarding against your spouse doesn’t feel good either. There is a middle ground of vulnerability in a marriage that can bring spouses closer.


Sharing thoughts and emotions presents the risk of being hurt by someone you love, but it also brings people closer.


Many of life’s mundane issues can pile up and cause all sorts of problems, including less sex. A sexless marriage doesn’t mean it’s over. There is hope. It all starts with honest communication.


Professional help for couples


Even the tightest couples go through rough patches. The Love Discovery Institute focuses on what we all want most - love, sex, and healthy relationships. Our therapists understand relationships exceptionally well and help people learn how to have deeply meaningful and authentic connections.


We’re here to help people heal, nurture, or grow their most meaningful relationships. Contact Love Discovery to see how we can help you.