Can a marital relationship survive and thrive without sex? Lenny 44, affirms his love for Linda, his wife of 14 years. They have both created a healthy relationship founded on friendship, he says. “My wife Linda is the apple of my eye, she means the world to me. Although I love her deeply we are not able to enjoy a fulfilling sexual relationship. We have created a wonderful life together and I would not give it up for anything.
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I tried engaging in sex so many times, failed miserably, injuring my fragile ego and gave up on it. Finally we both agreed its best we quit trying and enjoy a sexless marriage. My wife is accommodating, loving and caring. I do worry sometimes, and wonder whether we could have done something to enhance this union.”
Couples that have less sex do not necessarily have a loveless marriage. What is important is to find fulfillment in their overall levels of intimacy; intellectual, emotional, spiritual and most certainly recreational. As long as they remain focused and honest about their needs and feelings the relationship will ultimately grow and thrive!
It is however, important to address the reasons that causes the dysfunction, their libido loss could be as a result of illness, medication, grief, hormonal changes, aging or physiological and psychological effects. It is, however, easier when both partners lose their desire for sex but when one partner feels deprived, the relationship becomes challenged.
Studies indicate a close correlation between sex, happiness and a better well being. I certainly do agree that a marriage without sex may experience some challenges and is vulnerable to conflict and promiscuity. It is said that many marriages could be classified as “sexless”, meaning they have sex less than 10 times a year.
Here are some tips to support you in this season;
Consult your Doctor/Therapist
Research suggests that sexual dysfunction is common (43 per cent of women and 31 per cent of men report some degree of difficulty) unfortunately most people are hesitant to talk about it or seek help. Treatment options are available and therefore it is important to discuss therapeutic options with your therapist. Why suffer in silence when there are various interventions available at your doorstep.
Express your feelings
Express your feelings to one another and as feelings are made visible in relationships, owning our feelings, rather than projecting them onto our partners, we can move emotionally closer. As this happens, the fear and guilt in the relationship and around sex will dissipate.
Exercise diligence and honesty
Address the situation with diligence and openness, without honesty partner’s rob their marriage of every opportunity to grow and thrive! No matter how painful the truth is do not shield your partner from the pain, deal with it and move on! It is the only way to build on the foundation of trust and love.
Articulate your needs
Can touch be a substitute for sex, what works best for you to ensure that you feel loved despite a sexless marriage? A partner ought to clearly articulate their needs. The language of love, as presented by Garry Chapman can be powerful here; affirmation, quality time, touch, acts of service and gifts. How should your partner compensate. Say it loud and clear.
If you do nothing else, spend quality time together so that you can grow as partners building a solid foundation of oneness. It is important that both of you feel safe, secure and valued.
Find a replacement
Truth be told, you will experience loss and may from time to time find yourself in a loss and grief mood. It is important to find something that you do, to relief these negative energies and relieve yourself of the bottled energies, a good workout in the gym is a good idea, run, walk, or simply catching up with a good old friend whose company you treasure.
Live, love and thrive because you deserve it!!
The writer is a Relationship Coach and Author, Marriage Built to Last.
You can reach her on; www.jenniekarina.co.ke