Are you in a sexless marriage or sexless relationship? (SILO)

Co-written by Alexis Shepperd, Ph.D. Life & Relationship Coach from ???

what is a sexless marriage?

Sex in a marriage or a relationship can create a healthy relationship. Married couples may well go through periods of no desire for sex and this is normal. When it becomes a problem is when both couples do not agree.

The title “Are you in a sexless marriage is the right one but this blog should probably be wrote “Do you want to stay in Sexless marriage”

Sexless marriages and relationships are a lot more common than people believe a lot of people don’t like to think that they have what is classed as a sexless marriage.

Top reasons why marriages may become sexless:

  1. Low or non-existent sex drive
  2. Chronic Illness or Health Issues
  3. Relationship issues
  4. Stress
  5. Mental health issues

6 relationship or marital affairs

What is a sexless marriage?

A sexless marriage is one in which a couple is not being sexually intimate. This can be for a variety of reasons. The most common reason is because of a lack of desire in both men and women. Or this can also be When one or both partners are no longer interested in sex, This in its self can be a sign that there are deep routed problems.

Most sex therapists agree that having sex less than 10 times a year is reason enough to label your marriage as sexless. This is also featured in a ted talk that has had more than 30 million views worldwide.

Citations from two sex therapists

Is once a month a sexless marriage?

Most professionals agree that a sexless marriage is one in which sex occurs less than once a month or less than ten times per year. While once a month would not technically be considered a sexless marriage by this measurement, a more important aspect is whether or not the lack of sex bothers you.  So Having sex one time a month is not inherently a problem and could be classed as normal.

How much sex is normal or healthy? 

How much sex is normal or healthy? There is no right or wrong answer to this question. Kids and life can always complicate things and make them a little more harder.

How a sexless marriage affects a man

Feeling of failure

If you live in a sexless marriage as a man, it may make you think you are a failure. Men sometimes tend to measure the relationship based on how much sex there is. This may well be a wrong way to rate a relationship but it happens.

You and your husband may drift apart

Intimacy and sex are a major part of the relationship It will make him feel insecure and can make him feel like he is a failure. If he cannot have sex with you or feels like you do not want him, it can make him feel like a failure.

Depression and anxiety

Without Sex a man may well tend to go towards either anxiety of depression. This is more a symptom but could also be the signs of deeper problems within the relationship.

Cheating or thoughts of cheating

If a man wants sex he will find it somewhere and if he is not getting what he wants or what he likes then at some stage he is probably going to look elsewhere.

What does a sexless marriage do to a woman?

Just like with a male the effects can be pretty much similar with a woman.

Can you divorce because of a sexless marriage?

Although a sexless marriage is not listed in the law as a ground of fault for absolute divorce or divorce from bed and board, it can be strong evidence for a court to find constructive abandonment.

How long do sexless marriages last 

It’s important to understand that a short-term cessation of sex does not make your marriage sexless. Instead, sex must have stopped happening for 1 year or longer.

Some couples don’t mind a marriage or relationship without sex. If it’s not a problem for both of you then there is no problem with the relationship lasting.

Sexless unions can last a lifetime, but for others can be intolerable after two weeks. Couples don’t like to discuss this openly because they’re under the impression other couples are having sex all the time.

How do I fix a sexless marriage 

We have a whole page on this topic with resources and tools to help you fix a sexless marriage if this is a problem for you or your partner.

Sexless marriage resources page

One to one coaching

Can a sexless marriage survive

living a sexless life can be challenging

A lack of sex can indicate a red flag for a couple to notice that their relationship may well be breaking apart

The short answer is Yes there may well be no sex in the marriage but if there is plenty of love the relationship can last. As stated above this has to be a mural agreement. The only real time it becomes a problem is when one partner wants sex and the other partner does not. Sex is a two sided coin

but that doesn’t mean she’ll be happy doing so.

To some people there love life is more important than the sexual side of there relationship.

For males especially try not to value your relationship on frequency of sex



: (Alexis Shepperd, Ph.D., 2022)

Alexis Shepperd, Ph.D. 2022. Alexis Shepperd, Ph.D.. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 20 February 2022].