The Effects of a Lack of Intimacy in Your Marriage
Most people think physical intimacy in marriage is overrated and given too much emphasis, despite the fact that marriages include other kinds of intimacy as well as physical intimacy. They think that security, trust, and the capacity to emotionally connect are the foundations of a successful marital relationship. And, as long as they continue to exist, you won’t have to be concerned about the consequences of a lack of intimacy in a romantic relationship.
This is true to a large degree, but the absence of physical intimacy in a relationship has the potential to wreck your marriage and impact you negatively in many ways. Having a sexual relationship with another human being is the closest kind of closeness you can have with another human being. It is also possible to see the negative consequences of lack of intimacy in a relationship on not only the quality of your connection but also on the personality and feeling of well-being you and your spouse share.
Intimacy occurs naturally throughout the first few years of marriage. Sex starts to take a backseat as time passes and you and your husband get more comfortable in your marital happiness, which may result in melancholy caused by a lack of closeness. Couple that with pregnancies and children, busy schedules at work, and social obligations, and you’ll be surprised at how quickly you’ve progressed from the “can’t keep our hands off each other” to the “when did we last have sex” stage of your relationship.
Having a lack of intimacy in a relationship may lead to a variety of other problems in your marriage and can make it difficult to maintain your mental health.
1. Your degree of self-assurance continues to diminish
With no question, if a couple does not have intimate feelings for one another in their marriage, it may have a negative impact on their self-esteem and perhaps lead to despair as a result. Because you are trapped in a platonic relationship and have to cope with your overtures being rejected or ignored on a consistent basis, it is natural for you question your capacity to please or satisfy your spouse.
You will continue to question your abilities and will believe that you are unable to meet their demands, which will result in your relationship failing. Insecurities about your sexuality may rapidly spin out of hand and have an effect on your personality outside of the bed. It has the potential to negatively impact your work life as well as your relationships with your children, friends, and extended family….
2.Your feelings for your spouse begin to fade.
A partnership that lacks intimacy is difficult to maintain. According to research, how sexually happy you are has a significant impact on your marital contentment. The act of having sexual relations not only makes you feel relaxed and joyful, but it also allows you to connect with your partner on a romantic and emotional level. It is impossible to maintain a connection in a marriage when there is no physical intimacy. As a result, you learn to understand one another better and better. These emotions are manifested as sentiments of despondency and anger. A relationship without intimacy implies that you gradually begin to drift apart and begin to live as two cohabiting people rather than as a couple.
3.You begin to be very critical of your spouse.
One rejected approach after another, one sexless night after another, and your perspective of your partner begins to shift. Instead of making an effort to be loving and thoughtful of your spouse’s wants and wishes, you have a tendency to be very critical of them and their behaviors. Nothing they do appears to be good enough for you, and you have a tendency to whine despite yourself, which causes your spouse to become distant from the situation. As a result, the issue of lost closeness in the relationship becomes even more complicated.
4. Body image problems begin to take hold.
Taking excellent care of your body and devoting time and effort to improving your look is a smart idea if you want to put others in a good mood. Your self-esteem may suffer as a result of your attempts to win them over with a personality makeover if the absence of physical contact in the relationship is not addressed.
A lot of body image problems may also take root in your thoughts as a result of this. Furthermore, this may rapidly develop into an obsessive habit, where a significant portion of your time and energy is devoted to enhancing your feeling of vanity, even at the expense of neglecting other obligations.
5. You are unable to express your emotions to your partner.
Communication issues are one of the repercussions of a lack of closeness in a marriage. After some time has passed, you may find yourself no longer comfortable opening up to your partner and expressing your ideas, emotions, and weaknesses with them.
6.You begin to avoid obligations
A relationship’s inability to communicate intimately may be fatal. Married life entails an array of obligations that you and your partner must share equally. Due to the fact that you are in a relationship with little intimacy, these duties may seem like an additional, needless weight. For example, if you find yourself thinking, “My spouse is not interested in me sexually,” it is not uncommon to believe that your job in the marriage is confined to shouldering duties and carrying out tasks and running errands.
If you don’t spend time with your partner, it will cause a great deal of arguing, nagging, and blame-games over who is shirking from whose responsibilities and who is contributing more to the family.
7. The likelihood of engaging in an affair increases significantly in severity.
As a result of a lack of intimacy in a relationship, one or both parties may begin looking for fulfillment outside of the marriage, which may be very hazardous. If your relationship with your spouse isn’t sexually fulfilling, the chances of you becoming attracted to someone else while married increase significantly.
8. You are haunted by feelings of loneliness.
It’s difficult to make sound decisions about your marriage when you’re dissatisfied with it due of a lack of physical contact in it. It is common to have frequent thoughts of leaving your spouse when closeness in a relationship has been lost. 50 percent of sexless marriages result in divorce, according to Psychology.com statistics. Divorce or separation, on the other hand, not only causes major disruption in your life, but it also puts you at the receiving end of a frightening sense of isolation.
9. Your stress levels stay dangerously elevated
The release of oxytocin into the circulation after an orgasm has been shown to lower stress levels and calm your body and mind. That is why sex is so unbelievably pleasurable! As a result, it is natural for stress levels to rise when there is a lack of sexual activity.
Depression brought on by a lack of intimacy may lead to a slew of other problems, such as impatience, loss of focus, mood swings, and so on, which can compound the problem. Physical and mental health may be affected by a lack of intimacy in a relationship, depending on the severity of the problem.
10. You look for satisfaction in other places.
As a result of experiencing continuous sexual rejection in your marriage, there is a significant likelihood that the consequences of having little intimacy in the relationship may lead to you seeking other forms of sexual pleasure in the future. Pornography, masturbation, and even paid sex are examples of what is prohibited.
Once this becomes a habit, it is possible to get hooked to items such as pornography very rapidly. This is bad for two reasons: first, the addiction will begin to have an effect on other areas of your life, and second, when you’re getting sexual pleasure via other methods, you’ll be less inclined to make attempts to repair your marriage.
11. Your family life seems to be a disaster.
The consequences of having no intimacy in a relationship are likely to derail your personal life in its totality if your sex life reaches a rock-bottom point. A lack of intimacy leads to a sense of alienation and resentment, which manifests itself in the way you and your spouse interact with one another in public settings.
Piercing jibes and insults may lead you and your partner to drift even farther apart. The subtle tension may quickly escalate into full-blown arguments in front of the children or other members of the household. A sexless marriage may rapidly devolve into a source of discord in a family’s dynamic.
Once a marriage becomes caught in this rut, it is very difficult to pull it out of it again. Each of these effects of declining intimacy in married life is corroborated by a young man’s description of how a lack of sex is affecting his life and his relationships.
There are a variety of reasons why the sexual chemistry between married couples may wane over time. It may include everything from bodily changes caused by pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause to unresolved pain from previous events and a natural decrease in desire, among other things. If you really care about your partner, you should look into methods to re-establish physical closeness in your relationship.
Small steps forward, such as expressing your sexual needs and desires openly, may make a big difference. Just experimenting with different positions and discovering new ways to please your spouse are some of the best ways to get started. Learn how to bring up a lack of intimacy in your relationship so that you may focus on improving your emotional connection by spending time with each other, scheduling date nights, and taking vacations where you can really appreciate one other’s presence.
Most importantly, be strong and work together to weather the storm until you can figure out what is causing your intimacy issues in the first place.
12. You begin to take your relationship for granted.
The tendency to take your spouse for granted is common when you’re married to someone who doesn’t want to have sexual relations with you or when the frequency of sexual encounters is much less than your hunger for them. The satisfaction of your own sexual wants and demands takes precedence over the satisfaction of your spouse in bed. This entails taking your relationship for granted, which may kick off a vicious cycle of unfulfilled expectations with your partner.
Because it is unfulfilling for one of the parties, they are more likely to retreat from it, decreasing the likelihood of any hot, steamy meetings between the two of them in the future.
Is it possible for a marriage to survive without intimacy?
Having to deal with the frustration of being in a sexless marriage when you didn’t want or plan for it to be that way may be very upsetting. Rest confident that, under some conditions, marriages may exist without sexual intimacy, and that, if both partners are willing to put in the effort, a sexless marriage can be saved. Experts in marital and sexual therapy provide guidance on how to manage a relationship without sex in it.
Relationships need closeness to survive, and that includes marriages.
There are many different kinds of closeness that a marriage need in order to thrive. Physical closeness is frequently beneficial to a marriage, but it is not required for all individuals or all couples…. When it comes to physical intimacy, some individuals place a higher value on it than others. The issue emerges only when the two persons in a relationship differ about the significance of physical closeness.
Emotional closeness, on the other hand, is often a need for a couple to be genuinely connected, honest, and content. It is the capacity to communicate your real thoughts and emotions with each other, as well as a sense of safety, comfort, and warmth with each other, that is referred to as emotional intimacy. It is impossible for most marriages to operate well without this level of emotional closeness between the partners.
Emotional and physical intimacy are often intertwined, which means that if a marriage is weak in emotional intimacy, it is probable that it will also be lacking in physical intimacy as a consequence of the lack of emotional intimacy.
Yes, it is possible to have a successful marriage without having any sexual relations.
Having a marriage without sexual relations is OK for some couples. According to Jessa Zimmerman, an AASECT-certified sex therapist, a sexless marriage is not an issue if it is not a problem for the couple.
Whatever the reason for a couple’s lack of physical intimacy, it is a problem that can be addressed and resolved over time with effort on both sides’ parts. In his article for mbg, Zimmerman says, “If you love your spouse and you respect your relationship, there are methods to solve the lack of sex between the two of you so long as you’re both ready to work together.” A frequent, virtually universal experience over the course of any relationship is having difficulty with sex.
In certain cases, couples are unable to have sexual relations owing to health problems, age, an increase in caring duties, or other circumstances that are not always within their control. Despite this, couples who really care about their spouse and everything else in their relationship may come to terms with the absence of sexual intimacy with time. Additionally, they may appreciate types of physical closeness and sexual contact that do not center around sexual intercourse but are nonetheless very pleasant and connecting in nature.
Marriages without sexual intimacy will fail in certain cases.
All of that being said, for some individuals, the lack of physical intimacy in a marriage may outweigh the other positive aspects of the relationship, leading them to decide to terminate the marriage..
mbg reports that Vanessa Marin, LMFT, a sex therapist and founder of The Passion Project, has a hopeful outlook on resolving these problems. “I’ve worked with many couples to totally change their relationships,” she says. “When one spouse is dissatisfied with the degree of intimacy in a relationship while the other partner is completely satisfied, this may be very difficult. Anyone cannot be forced to alter or care about something that they do not believe in or care about.”
Whether you’re dissatisfied with the lack of sex in your marriage or not, the most important thing to consider is whether or not your spouse is ready to collaborate with you to change the circumstances. If they aren’t, it’s a good indication that things may not turn out as planned after all.
While “I don’t rule out the possibility of re-establishing a connection in this situation,” Marin says, “it will undoubtedly be more difficult.” You will have to ask yourself some difficult questions about the long-term viability of your relationship if you want to improve your sex life but your spouse is unwilling to work on it with you.
When a non-sexual marriage is successful.
As long as the pair maintains connection and closeness, a marriage without sex may be successful.
When both partners express a wish for a sexually neutral relationship, marital therapist and certified sex education specialist Lexx Brown-James, LMFT, tells mbg that the connection must be built on a friendship basis first. “They must be able to experience pleasure and intimacy outside of the confines of physically in order to be really happy. For example, being able to share in one another’s pleasure, express love (which is not necessarily physical), and provide genuine support for one another as they go through life’s journey are all important.”
The following relationships, according to Brown-James, are suitable for this model:
Someone close to you is hospitalized with an illness.
In the event that one of the partners becomes disabled,
People have had a terrible experience, either individually or collectively
Rather of becoming more complicated, it is just evolving with time and experience.
The asexuality of one or both of the individuals is apparent (though not all asexual people abstain from sexual play)
She goes on to say, “Ensuring that the connection has strong likability and commitment sets the groundwork for its long-term viability.”
Even if one or both of the individuals still has sexual wants, she says, the pair must be able to come up with creative solutions to ensure that those needs are fulfilled. “Every couple will have their own interpretation of this. Perhaps masturbating is essential, and other alternatives like as hugging, hiring a sex professional, or participating in sensual play via play parties may be available to the individual.”
It’s difficult to know what to do.
“In order to begin their journey toward a sexless relationship, a couple must first choose whether or not they want to pursue it. That’s fantastic if they do! “In the words of Brown-James When that is not possible, consulting with a specialist is essential in determining how to meet one’s sexual requirements.
As suggested by Marin, the following procedures may help restore sex in a marriage:
More quality and intimate time should be scheduled into your calendars.
A greater understanding of your own requirements
Acquiring the ability to communicate your desires
Developing a more positive connection with one’s physical appearance.
Playing around with non-sexual activities in the bedroom with your partner, such as kissing and touching
Putting the past behind you
Discovering more effective methods to communicate
Other causes of stress in the relationship should be addressed as well.