Can Sexless Marriages Work?

Has the sex gone out of your marriage? If the answer is yes, you’re not alone according to our top California Psychics.

Everyday, our psychics speak with callers who share their personal sadness over marriages that have never been consummated, couples that lose their drive after having children and issues of sexual intimacy and compatibility.

Oftentimes when sex has become the elephant in the room, individuals begin to look outside of their marriage for fulfillment. In these situations, our psychics say, the person may not even believe that they are cheating – they have to get their needs met after all.
If sexual needs are mismatched, an astrologer can see it immediately in a couple’s chart. But there are times when both spouses are on the same page and are in agreement that sex is not all that important.

Tell us what you think. If everything else about a relationship is great, can sexless marriages work? How important really is sex to a relationship? If needs are mismatched, is it ever ok to venture outside the marriage?

Read the next part in our sexless marriage series.

269 thoughts on “Can Sexless Marriages Work?

  1. Cheryl

    After over 20 years of my ex-husband telling me sex was too much of an effort, he found a co-worker young enough to be our daughter whom it wasn’t too much of an effort with. He lived with her for 3 years, but has now returned. And guess what, it’s back to being too much of an effort.
    Are some people “comfortable” together without needing intimacy? Maybe, but not happy!

  2. sara

    hi offcores i love sex but i have problum i meen, i am not hot . when my hasband need sex i am still cool i dont know why?any time if he is not cameing to tech me or to wermap me to start a sex i never go to start with hem .he alwyes telling me that what happen sar ?? you are a leady you dont need sex?? you are not heuman ?? if i am not caming to tech you you never fill any thing ??all the time this is hes quation to me . but my filling never been change . by the way when ever he is not at home i will fill it i feel i need more sex, but when he came i am so cool ??what can i do?? is ther any one to help me coz i am afread one day i will lost my hasband . but ilove hem too much what can i do ???????

  3. Susan

    Sex is a very important part of ANY good relationship. If you’re not sharing the physical and emotional intimacy, how godd can the marriage be? You’re only room mates without it.

  4. Lovely

    Marriage and sex are different things. Marriage is an institution and when we are part of an institution we must work to make it successful. for those who think sex is only thing in life to live happily, better not marry at all. Leaving a husband or wife for lessor no intimacy is selfish. That perosn only thinks of his own need and not working as a team to make things work. married couples have to understand that marriage is not only about sex. I know copules who are much happier even without sex or less sex than those who are having an excitement with new one every night. A wife can do anything for her husband which a lover can not becuase she is part of him and she is his other half. Sex is not everything in relationship, but sincerity, respect, care, faithfulness, honesty, and commitment is important to make it work and to be happy.

  5. Rita Voros

    I don’t see how a sexless marriage can work. It is a well-researched fact that men think about sex several times a day; much more than women, therefore wanting to have sex frequently. The man in a sexless marriage will likely go looking elsewhere to get his need met. The woman in a sexless marriage will do the same. Sex is instinctual in the human species.

  6. Cindy

    What about a connection when you first met, and then after 2 years the sex gets less and less until there is NONE. I think the person whose needs are not being met, feels contempt for the other person. They question “why” and their self esteem drops.Maybe they stay for fear of being alone.

  7. tanya183

    It’s called love. I married my husband after being involved with him for six years and he was diagnosed with prostrate cancer that had meststasis so that was a definate impotency diagnosis. I had to really ask myself could I be all he needed and that meant giving up a sex life and loving him and accepting him with flaws and all we will be celebrating our 1st anniversay in November!!

  8. Kitten

    Right now i am in a relationship with almost no sex, and is is going no where FAST,no i don’t think if there is no sex there is no Love

  9. Kelly

    My ex-husband and I had a sexless marriage that lasted for 20 yrs. We were very happy together. We got along great, we had a lot in comment and we both still believe that we are twin flames. But I finally divorced my husband a year and a half ago because I felt it was selfish of me to stay married to him when I knew that he had “gay” tendencies. I divorced him so that he could live what he “felt” was a normal life (being gay). We still talk to each other all of the time and we still love each other very much. We are both happy and sad at the same time that we are no longer married to one another. The closest thing we did as far as intimacy goes is we slept in the same bed together and we cuddled each other all night long every night for 20 yrs. I miss cuddling him and he misses the same. Sex isn’t everything in a marriage-LOVE IS.

  10. pam

    after you have been married for over 25 years, its very dull, old, and you just don’t want it anymore. It takes off a lot of pressure not having to pretend you like it and it just feels good to have that load lifted, and if you can still remain friends and be happy because you share grandchildren and children together, thats what matters. You get old and don’t feel attractrive anymore, and the thought of sex just doesn’t mean all of that much.

  11. Sue

    I believe it can work if both partners are happy and satisfied with the nature of the relationship. Personally, sex is important to me and I would not want to live in a relationship without sex, but in an open honest relationship where both people are in agreement, whether their needs are met within or outside the relationship, with good communication and honesty most any kind of relationship can work.
    And personally, I love being married to my best friend…..I just like sex with him too!

  12. sad

    It is not easy to leave a marriage when you have been together a number of years, in my case 22 years, of which a lot of those years have been without fullfillment sexually. I agree though it is very hard as i am not happy, but my partner will not do anything about his problem, always making excuses, so now i feel it is me that he doesnt fancy anywmore….Suggestions?

  13. Aaron

    I have a very high sex drive for a 49 year old male, [three times a week] my wife,52 does not. Several of my friends (female) think I am crazy for not looking elsewhere to satisfy my desires but I think if I did I would feel too guilty and it would hurt her. Sex is important (very important) but is it worth hurting the one you love? I will keep working on my wife to increase her sex drive naturally through herbs but I must be patient.

  14. CLARA


  15. R

    I have been in a nearly 9-year sexless relationship, I left it last year. We had some intimacy in the beginning of the relationship but due to his physiological/psychological issues the relationship was never ‘consummated’. To make matters worse, I never felt truly sexually attracted to my partner. But we had an amazing emotional connection and a true friendship. I truly felt very loved and cared for and I adored him in return.
    The lack of intimacy was always there in my mind, the first few years I was the one who would discuss the issue and try to fix the problem but my partner never did anything and slowly I suppose I gave up and thought that this is how my life will be, this is my lot to have a sexless life. I accepted it more or less. I was even prepared to marry him!
    Looking back I can see that I was depressed almost throughout my relationship and I blamed it on other things, never seeing that maybe my relationship caused it. I put on weight and never felt like a real woman. I am happy I’m out of that relationship.
    I entered the relationship with expectation of true and passionate intimacy and love, but my expectations were never met. I believe sex is very much a part of a real relationship. If 2 people enter a relationship with agreement that they don’t want sex, then maybe it can work, but for a longlasting relationship one needs that passion and that true physical connection. The emotional connection held my relationship together for a longtime, but eventually it fell apart.
    I also believe I wasn’t quite understanding of my situation, I didn’t have that emotional maturity and clarity of mind to see where I was at and where I wanted to be. Honestly, for 8 of those 9 years I belived myself to be happy. But when I suddenly saw that there was a world outside of the relationship, and when I started looking at my relationship from a different angle, I realized I was taken for granted and I had to leave….
    Hope this answers some question…
    ‘From the one who stayed…’

  16. duce

    what happened to reasons namely : cerebral and financial ? couples can achieve harmony and peace being together… and they say they don’t die without sex (?). i want to hear from someone who is in a sexless union ! thanks

  17. Happily Married

    I have an extremely High IQ,..and so does my husband of 19 years. We have a fabulous relationship, and have not been intimate in 10 years. You will generally find the higher the intelligence, the less preoccupied with things like sex, someone tends to be. There have been numerous studies conduct to support these findings. So I absolutely believe one can be in a perfectly happy, and enduring relationship without intimacy. You will find that if you dig into the history books, many of the great minds, were celebate ;0)

  18. LISA

    Well I am living example…… I’m 44 married to a man who is 54… I’m a very affectionate person and when we would sit together I would be close to him try to snuggle and he just would always push me away. The very few times we have sex there is no foreplay its just booom he gets his semi erection and expects to have intercourse immediately which last if a minute is alot… So basically I’ve had it. (I have to say I am cheating now to have my needs met) and have no guilt……If my husband and I didn’t have our little girl I would be history. (Sex to me is very important)

  19. helen

    my husband is gone when to find someone eles i was very sick it’s been three years now we are still marryed we don’t talk he’s with the other woman and i move on having more sex with out him but told everone he did not have sex for thrree year ha’ha’

  20. Raima

    Hi ,this is a 31 yr female who got married 6 yrs back and now at the end of her marriage in which not only sex,,every single thing is absent.I feel sex is parallay important not a must thing,,important is caring,love and sharing,,giving importance to eachothers decision,values ,norms and above all u need to feel the belongingness.In my marriage he has nothing left to give me,but i still love him a lot as before dont know why he is going too far too fast?So finding this is most important to me in a marriage rather than sex ,,caz if ur love is lost nothing exists,,u cannot even have sex properly with the person u were so close in one point of ur life,,u will feel ur sex life as a burden.

  21. Dancebox

    I lived with this situation for over 25 years. The marriage was based on friendship and I suppose we just rubbed along and built a home together, had nice holidays etc. etc. But in the end I decided that I couldn’t stand it any more and was worth a more fulfilling relationship. Now I have that I wonder why I stayed in the first marriage for so long. Why? because I lived in hope that things would change – of course they never did, they never do!!! If you are reading this and in the same situation I was in I can offer this advice. Firstly, if you have lost confidence let me assure you that returns when you meet the right person. Secondly, there is someone out there with whom you will be compatible, it may take a while to find them, but you have to be willing to look and perhaps make a few mistakes along the way. I may have missed out for some time, but things happen for a reason, and now I have met my soulmate I realise the time was right. Finally, buy getting out of the marriage before either of us had an affair we have managed to maintain a dignified friendship and didn’t tear each other apart. We just agreed that we were not compatible and both needed to seek that compatibility elsewhere.

  22. clemgab

    Marriage without sex? It’s a horrible thought. Some couples go through such a phase, when the relationship goes off the boil. The phase can be prolonged and if neither party makes an effort to rectify the situation, the relationship withers and like a dead branch, can break off and fall off.
    Is there a solution? I don’t know, but to soldier on in a sexless relationship is like staying on in a loveless relationship. Better to call it quits and look for love and sex elsewhere?

  23. Christine

    Sex is very important to the marriage and if one person suddenly pushes their spouse away – it is heartbreaking for the one on the receiving end – my first marriage ended because my husband did not want sex anymore – I was young and felt it was me – actually he couldn’t perform – I tried everything – back then they didn’t have the little blue pill – I believe if they had we would still be married – the complete lack of sex killed our marriage.

  24. Olga

    well, marriages get complicated after decades. The sex stops, but there are children, ageing parents who need care, money issues, loss of jobs, and finally, a physical incapacity on the part of one or the other partner. These things make walking out very difficult. Personally, if I had it to do over, I would have left when I was 32 instead of 62—I’m still craving closeness, my husband never cared that much for sex or even kissing for that matter. We are horribly mismatched. I suspect there are many of us women out there. Society likes to think of the woman as being the cold fish. I would like to say, based on MANY years of experience—That is sooo not true.
    I still ‘toy’ with the idea of leaving, meeting someone who would hold me, etc. But I have a disabled husband and son I care for. I try to make happiness with friends and in my work. There will always be a hole in my life.

  25. shazbell

    im married and my husband is highly sexxed but im not yet we are very close and love each other a lot,i like sex but unfortunately my husband lasts 1 minute so i can live without it completely as it does nothing for me,i wouldnt go outside my marriage i love my husband

  26. tabinda_09

    I did the mistake of staying in a nearly sexless relationship for 7 years out of compassion and care for my husband…He never let me discover what i was missing….I accepted it as fate….but everything evaporated when i discovered he had been having an affair with his secretary for the last 7 months…. huh!!! that was cruel i just left him n never looked back…but i regret wasting 7 yrs of my life…….

  27. Hungry:)

    I was in a marriage of a very unsatisfying sex for 24 years. I am sad to say I did stray a lot and eventually got caught (willingly, almost wishfully). My husband didn’t want to admit he had a problem and although I tried to talk him into going to a sex therapist he felt insulted.He used to say that I am like a 16 year old virgin every time, that was his excuse why it took 1 minute to end:). I used to wish he didn’t come home or that he would have an affair so that I’d have a “reason” to end it and hate him, but he never did and eventually I just couldn’t take the lack of intimacy as it was very mechanical and boy was it quick:), so I strayed because I was afraid to leave with 3 kids as my responsibility, so I stayed for them until I got caught. Lucky for me, I got out of the marriage because of it and I am happy to say that I now have a man I love with all my heart and am loved completely in the full meaning of the word and I feel like the most beautiful woman in the world because of it. I got myself a real man this time:) yeay:)

  28. Gene

    Marriage without sex is not my idea of a good marriage. Couples who consummate their love for each other seem to communicate their needs, goals and aspirations. If there is a physical or mental circumstance circumventing intimacy I may be able to understand but when a perfectly healthy couple chooses to live without intimacy there are substantial problems that will eventually lead to a painful conclusion. As I see it, without the shared intimacy aren’t we describing a couple of folks who are just friends, not real partners.

  29. Lonely

    I am in a relationship like that. He says he doesn’t know why but he doesn’t want sex anymore.I stay because I can not afford to leave.We get along ok except for this one thing. I do alot of pretending to be happy.He says what does sex have to do with love? With that being said I feel the spouse who still wants sex should not have to remain faithful.

  30. Ed

    Sex is more necessary when younger, but after years together and getting into the second half of our lives, couples can stay together and enjoy the love they share without regular sex.
    There is something missing but it is not a major issue, if both feel the same about it.

  31. Helen Preston

    Interesting…my past experience has always been men voicing their opinion’s. A woman should be a whore in the bedroom and a lady everywhere else simple…Men fall in love with their eyes not their hearts so when sex is a problem….woman should also be taught how to please a man before they get married very old school but true

  32. Stacey

    Well, let me tell you, after 20 years my marriage ended. My husband decided that we only needed to be intimate once, maybe twice a year. And then only if I was the one pushing the issue. If I didn’t say anything, he was not interested. Resentment built. My self esteem suffered. I was so hurt and bitter towards him. It just drove a huge, huge wedge between us. The lack of inimacy in the bedroom lead to a lack of intimacy with everything. Money, goals, ideals, everything. It was like a cancer. When I finally left, I was barely hanging on to any idea that I was attractive or had any value as a woman. It took me a long time realize that my sexuality was a significant chunk of my person, and it had been neglected so badly, its like never taking your car in for an oil change. The whole car suffers, not just the oil filter. I’m almost back to being a living breathing vibrant sensual woman again, but its been 18 months since I left. And yes ,there have been 2 significant physical relationships since. One was with a man half my age, (I’m 46) which lasted 14 months. Then he suddenly just changed his mind, after we had been in an exclusive, loving and very close relationship for 14 months. Yep, devastating. There went the self-esteem again. And I just started a new “dating” relationship with someone I’ve known for about 2 years. So far, no complaints….getting my game on again. Wish me luck!

  33. Carrie Lewis

    It worked between my grandparents, but they had both already been in marriages before and had children. The second time they got married (when they found each other) was for a different kind of love and a mutual respect for each other. They never had sex Why grandma told me that I have NO idea…maybe she wanted to open up to me. Anyway I thought it was a beautiful thing.

  34. Carolyn Andrews-Allred

    There was a time when I could totally agree with you all who question why stay in a sexless marriage…And I remember a time when I could not imagine being THE CREATIVE PERSON that I am without a great deal of sex…
    Things have changed dramatically in my life since I met and married my husband fifteen years ago…Sex was FANTASTIC before and after we married…in fact, he said that in all the years that he was previously married and had three children, he was SURE that we had more sexual contact, and ALL of it was different and better each time…eight years ago, lots happened…He was in a work related car accident…injuring his back and leg and requiring him to take many, many pain medications for activities of daily living…
    With that, everything went upside down…suddenly, no sex…at least, in the form we were really used to and enjoyed the most….Over a period of time, we have developed a modulation of intimacy which includes touching, kissing, massage, and what I call “water therapy”…engaging in “showering with a friend”, bubbles and very warm water increases the pleasure of contact…We enjoy what we have, and I have discovered that our shower event has elevated my husbands attitude, if you know what I mean…He is happier now, and I feel connected to him, even if it IS DIFFERENT…after all, we are on a different CHAPTER IN OUR LIVES…and it is all good!

  35. Anahata

    I think each situation need be evaluated individually. It’s easy looking from on the sidelines and make judgments but when one is actually in the situation the answer is not easy or clear cut.
    I know a friend who husband lost interest in sex after cancer surgery. After surgery he could no longer had use of his natural voice box. He uses a mechanical gadget so that people can hear him talk. I know his wife wants sex but she must loves him because she is still in the marriage. From the comments she has made to me, I don’t think she is stepping out the marriage but wants sex.
    Looking at things from his perspective, I wouldn’t feel exactly romantic or desire sex if I couldn’t express my pleasure naturally without having to use a mechanical tool holding it at my throat and simultaneously thrusting, feeling orgasm waves, etc…the scenario brings new meaning to multitasking. And quite possibly embarrassing.
    I think in that particular situation sex therapy/counseling would be an appropriate avenue to assist them and not just say be intimate or else.
    Then one would probably say, what if he refuses, I would respond that to cross that bridge when it appears. I don’t have an answer but I certainly would just say in this situation to have sex or I divorce.

  36. Teddi

    I need help please!!!!! What do you do when your husband doesn’t want sex very often at all, is not romantic, but you know he loves you, you love him, you have been together for 33 yrs. I am very sensual and love intimacy and feel it is very neccessary to stay connected in a relationship. Is it right or okay for me to have an affair to fill the need I am so desperately lacking. I feel it is too much of a sacrafice for me to go without. I really need some opinions from young and older.

  37. Kim

    I have this situation in my marriage of 25 years. There is a bi age difference and my husband has lost his drive and ability w/o medication and with it it still is no longer there. i stay because of his age however I still contemplate an outside affair to get that passion and physical intamacy. It has damaged my feelings for him and my kindness is tested due to lack of connectedness. I find my drive is now slowed/redirected to other activities as i do not want the feelings of emptiness after we attempt sex just to attempt to fulfil my needs. Life presents many challenges and this is abiggy for me. I care for my husband and at his age can not leave as he needs me now and so I sacrifice my own needs for now. He is 80 and I am 53. Each day is challenging now.I do not recommend this life to anyone else.

  38. eddie

    well ya im a male going through that right now me and my partner of 2 years have a 4 month old girl now and that makes it real hard on me to leave now,the first month or so there was sex all the time then after the sex was lacking she would even freak out and bite me real hard and hit me during sex like im a rapist and say hurry up as i would lose my erection anyway from this and i would always be the one making the move ,and then she got pregnant one of those few times of sex after the first month .now i waited 2 monthes after the baby was born to make a pass and she said no she dose not want sex again with me.and i know what it was like when the sex got bad and i was like a beggar for it,so its pointless to even try.and my sex drive i would say is above the i want out of this now to the point i wish i would not wake up sometimes ,but i feel very bad to have to leave the baby ,so i feel trapped with the women but not with baby ,im like 41 and always wanted a happy family,but this is not happy to me it stinks!

  39. DJ MacDonald

    There is evidence to support that they work. I think couples who have kids and are from mid thirties onwards have this problem.
    It depends on life experience and whether the chemistry, love and attraction is all still there.
    Despite the marriage staying together, truly and deeply the partners inside such a marriage are not happy. It emulates a state of mind of feeling unattractive, not needed or wanted. These can only lead to feelings of sadness and seeking to find alternative ways to feel appreciated.
    In this day and age of cyberspace, that is all too easy to do one way or another. Marriage today is not what it used to mean, my feeling is if the spark has gone and it cannot be reignited, there is someone else out there that can make you happy.
    Wandering within a marriage though, is always wrong, if you are sure you want to be with someone else, end one relationship before moving on to another, but I know from experience, even when it seems all is lost…try and try again in your marriage before giving up completely or on a whim.

  40. pk

    I must agree, while I love my boyfriend, I mean LOVE my boyfriend, his depression has ended our sex life and as a consequence ended our intimacy. For a while I fought the trend, but if someone is unwilling to have sex with you, it’s over…unless of course you choose a “no sex” relationship–but as adults, is it healthy not to have sex? As a woman, I think not.

  41. DYLL

    Love= love+sex. Sex=love. Nowadays people have sex before married. Man & woman met and fall in love. Naturally it leads to sex. All these happen before marriage. During the “trial” period both will decide if that person is to be the life partner. If yes, go ahead. If no, stop. If that person feels that sex isn’t that important or the priority requirement, don’t ever complain after marriage and tried to compensate outside. This isn’t self compensating but cheating your spouse. Some might argue that at first he/she was so in love to realise the important or having good sex. Well, teach your spouse to your liking. Work together. Definitely NO, NO to look outside of marriage. That’s CHEATING! Besides we all know what’s is masturbation. You don’t fully & really love a person when you cheat. Just excuses.

  42. GET REAL!

    Why get married if sex is not part of the marriage? Then just hang out with your best friend! Didn’t anyone see “When Harry Met Sally”? When couples get married it’s because there is a special magic, mental, spiritual and psychical. It’s called Chemistry and Connection. Without the chemistry it’s just a friendship. With Connection only it’s just a friendship. There has to be some kind of attraction. Without sex and communication, the marriage is doomed. Good night.

  43. Pandafox

    I don’t think I could stay. Sex is really important, for one thing it makes me feel so much closer to my partner. When you’re unfulfilled you’re not likely to be happy. Sex and relationships take work…you have to want it!
    I’m curious to hear from people who stay. What makes you stay?

  44. Miss Krystal ext. 9192

    Honestly, I have seen this before. Yes, and work…
    I have learned that not everyone is at all the same about sex. I have seen couples who are close, yet not require any or little sex. Not everyone has a strong sex drive. Sometimes these folks find each other/connect and spend an entire lifetime together-and happy! Not as common of course…But it is definitely out there
    However, in a relationship, when one person is not very into sex (in general), thus, the other one is, this could be quite complicated. Often times it does lead to physical or emotional affairs, or even, someone “jumps ship!”….
    Miss Krystal


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