What’s Our Problem? The Sexless Marriage Help Checklist.

Sex gives couples a way to have fun together and increases their emotional connection. If there’s little or even no sex in your marriage, here’s some sexless marriage help!

When both partners feel similarly disinterested in sharing sexual activities together, a marriage may survive just fine. If they share lots of appreciation, good times and non-sexualized affection (smiles, hugs, fond words, eye contact, etc), they can bridge the gap left by minimal physical intercourse.

Getting sexless marriage help becomes vitally important however when spouses show different levels of interest in sex. Distress, resentment, and a sense of betrayal or deprivation, can corrode a couple’s affection, and their marriage can become at risk for survival.

The first step in getting sexless marriage help is to understand the factors contributing to the problem. Here’s a quick diagnostic assessment checklist. Which factors seem to apply in your situation?

The Sexless Marriage Help Checklist

Category A: Informational inhibitions

  • Negative messages received about sex as a youth
  • A lack of clarity about how to initiate sex
  • A lack of knowledge about mild practical difficulties regarding sustaining erections, stimulating or increasing lubrication, or compensating for age-related sexual retardation
  • A need for more information about cultivating emotional intimacy
  • An underestimation of the importance of sexual activity in marriage
  • The mistaken belief that arousal should precede sexual activity (in fact, arousal often is a response to sexual activity rather than a precursor)

Category B: Physical inhibitions

  • Vulvar pain syndromes
  • Prostate difficulties
  • Back pain
  • Chronic physical discomforts (headaches, stomach difficulties, etc.)
  • Excessive work demands are leaving no time for sex
  • Fragile or friable vaginal tissues from low levels of estrogen
  • Heart-attack post-event fears
  • Fatigue from too much work and not enough rest

Category C: Emotional inhibitions

  • Inhibitions about being sexual stemming from earlier trauma or abuse
  • Withholding of sex because of negative interactions, retribution, or power issues
  • Fears of potential rejection
  • Concerns about gender identity or homosexual impulses
  • Feelings of depressed, which can inhibit desire
  • Body image disturbances (resulting in feeling unattractive)
  • Attraction difficulties toward spouse

Category D: Alternative outlets

  • Pornography
  • Masturbation
  • Affairs
  • Sportsaholic
  • Workaholic
  • Alcoholic

In order to know for sure which of the problem categories are relevant to your situation, and therefore what kind of sexless marriage help you’re going to need, you’re probably going to have to talk openly about it with your spouse.

How do you feel about talking openly together about the sexless marriage help checklist above?

If talking about sex with your partner sounds overwhelming, or if the two of you try talking and it does not go well, even before getting sexless marriage help, you will need to get learn skills for how to communicate with your spouse.

A marriage communication program like the Power of Two Online can make a huge difference. It’s inexpensive, convenient, and fun — and can give you the skills you need to be able to talk together about sex in your relationship.

The second step for getting sexless marriage help is brainstorming together about options for resolving the problem.

Strengthening your communication skills with a marriage education program like the Power of Two Online will be critical for this step as well. You’ll need to be confident that you have the skills to keep your discussions creative and win-win, instead of critical and argumentative.

Once you have identified which issues in the sexless marriage help checklist are most relevant to you, you can check out marriage help books, websites, therapists or therapy programs specific to the underlying problem you have identified.

In general, for Category A (informational inhibitions), books, articles and/or a sex education specialist can provide the sexless marriage help and information you need.

For Category B (physical inhibitions), consulting with your medical doctor may make a big difference. Also, give yourselves permission to get creative on finding ways to enjoy sexual activity that circumvent the physical problem.

If your intimacy problems stem from issues in Category C (emotional inhibitions), find a therapist you can trust. This could be a psychologist, counselor, or social worker with experience working with people who share your issues.

Lastly, for problems in Category D (alternative outlets), like in Category C, working with a psychologist, counselor, or social worker could help. You should also consider seeking out an addictions counselor or program such as AA.

Finding good sexless marriage help is not easy. Just remember though – in order to really be able to address the problem, you’re going to have to have the communication skills to be able to talk about them together. You could say verbal intercourse is the path to sexual intercourse.

Remember, building a better marriage is one of the most gratifying and fulfilling activities a person can put their energies into. So, bravo to you for confronting your dilemma and seeking out the sexless marriage help you need!

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Funding for this project was provided by the United States Department of Health Services, Administration for Children and Families, Grant 90-FE-0123. Any opinions, finding, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Department of Health and Human Servies, Administration for Children and Families.