No Intimacy In Marriage? 6 Possible Solutions For Your Relationship
A lack of intimacy in marriage can potentially cause it to fall apart over time. What is intimacy in marriage? Intimacy in marriage is one of the main aspects that separate this relationship from your friends and family. Although there are consequences to having no intimacy in marriage, and it can potentially end one, it is possible to solve these issues before it goes on for far too long and becomes irreparable.
1. Rebuild Your Emotional Connection
Emotional intimacy precedes physical ones for many couples, and if you notice that you are not touching or have a sexless marriage, you should probably revisit how you communicate with one another.
According to Terry Gaspard, MSW, LICSW, an associate of Drs. John and Julie Gottman, the highly successful Gottman Method couple's therapy creators, need to focus on meeting each other's needs lovingly and respectfully because a close sexual bond is built on emotional closeness. 
If you find that your lack of intimacy in your marriage is due to disagreements and the negative responses associated with it, you both will need to practice emotional attunement. Instead of becoming defensive and closed off, both partners will need to show empathy and be open with their needs.
This is a viable strategy for anyone looking to reignite the passion that once existed in the relationship. Even if you disagree on certain issues, which is completely normal, you will still learn how to stay connected and work on this constructively.
2. Use Touch To Reestablish Chemistry
Being intimate does not always need to be just about sex; it also includes smaller actions such as hugging, kissing, and even touching. Although it is not entirely physical, eye contact can disappear in some marriages and need to be reestablished.
Forgetting to do these often can cause the spark that was once there to fade away and make your partner feel unwanted or undesirable, even if that is not the message you are trying to send.
Even a small gesture such as gently caressing your husband or wife while passing can make a significant difference. However, you should try to make contact as often as possible to rebuild your physical connection.
If you look back in time in an earlier part of your relationship, even before your marriage, there is a pretty good chance that you were much more physical with one another.  Consequently, you also probably felt much closer to each other.
3. Bond With One Another
Intimacy in marriage should be enjoyable, but if it's not there right now, you both need to learn how to have fun together outside of the bedroom if you want to make progress inside of it- if building intimacy in marriage is your main goal.
It doesn't have to be anything extravagant and watching TV or a movie together can be a great start to enjoying each other's company again. Even if you prefer to eat at home, going out the dinner can allow you to relax and focus on talking to each other rather than worrying about cooking and any other stresses.
On the weekends, or whenever you both have the same day off from work, you can consider trying more fun activities, like taking a road trip, sightseeing, going to a museum, listening to some live music; the possibilities are basically limitless! As long as you're engaged with one another and having fun, you are on the right track to improving intimacy. 
If you have a family, it's okay to include your kids sometimes, but it's equally important to have time dedicated to just the two of you. The same concept can apply when organizing a get-together with your friends; it can be a great social experience for everyone, but there is the possibility it will take away from the whole point of bonding, which is to rekindle excitement in your marriage.
4. Be Honest With Each Other
If you couldn't tell already by reading this article thus far, communication is key to any relationship and will be necessary if you want to improve intimate sexuality in your marriage. One of the easiest ways to do this is to be honest about everything. Be upfront about your feelings and discuss why there is a lack of intimacy and affection in your marriage. However, always strive to be constructive and non-combative when you do this and avoid blaming him or her for the problem. Instead of saying "you make me upset" or "it seems that you don't love me anymore," try to say words such as "I," "we," or "our." For instance, "I think that we can work on intimacy in our marriage" 
While honesty does involve talking about your feelings, it can also refer to building trust with your partner, or in many cases, rebuilding it. By making your spouse feel included by saying "we" and "us," you can help create trust and reassurance; however, it also involves things like keeping your promises and vowing to stay loyal to each other. 
Not too many people want to be close to someone that they cannot trust. Having honesty and trust provides a stronger foundation for a healthy marriage, and by doing this, you will improve intimacy in it.
5. Mix Things Up
Sometimes having no intimacy in marriage is the result of sex life getting too stale and boring. As a result, it can become more like a routine or chore than enjoying your time together. Therefore, it can be good to try new things to keep you and your partner engaged and interested.
You should also consider how you engage in intimate situations, such as coming on too strong or demanding. According to Gottman, this can also mean that those who don't typically initiate intimate sexuality should often try to do so. In contrast, those who are "pursuers" or those who usually initiate should look for more subtle ways to do so.  This way, both individuals in the marriage will feel included in this process, not just one.
Additionally, speaking of routines or chores from before, you should always try to plan and dedicate time for intimacy and avoid discussing relationship issues, household problems, the kids, or other possible stressors. These things are unproductive and distracting when trying to focus on being intimate. 
By making intimate conversation, touching, and sex a priority in your life, you actively take steps to improve something that needs work. That is switching up the routine of having little to no intimacy at all.
6. Say I Love You As Often As Possible
These three words can potentially have the single most positive impact on your marriage - who would have thought? It is a simple gesture that can go a very long way in making your partner feel loved and appreciated. This also touches base on the idea that if your marriage is stronger emotionally, it will positively affect the physical aspects of it.
While love is not always a prerequisite for physical intimacy for many individuals outside of marriage, it is a different story for couples who have tied the knot and are experiencing common intimacy issues. In fact, one of the main takeaways from this article should be that these problems arise because of underlying emotional dysfunction that needs to be resolved before physical changes can occur.
There are several ways to go about saying "I love you" to your partner - one of the easiest ways to do it is before you both go to sleep at night. You can also tell him or her before they leave to go to work or even send them a brief message while they are there. Leaving a note with a small gift, such as flowers, can get the message across as well. 
Even if you haven't been great at directly telling your spouse that you love them, you can still show it through various actions like some of the examples just mentioned. Affection can be hard to express for some partners, but couples will be able to open up with time and practice. If this sounds like you, as long as you're letting them know that you're thinking about them, you're already doing a great job.
At the beginning of a relationship, intimacy can happen organically without much effort, but these feelings can fade as time goes on. This can lead to marriage without intimacy. However, you can still rekindle them by focusing on the emotional aspects of your relationship first.
If you are experiencing marital issues that can't seem to be resolved on your own, couple's counseling is recommended. Licensed and professional marriage counselors and therapists are available at Regain and are trained to help couples overcome issues in their relationships. While therapy will help the problems you both face right now, it will also give you the skills to address other problems that will arise in the future.
Improving communication skills is the most fundamental part of rectifying all marital problems, such as a lack of affection and intimacy in a relationship. Hopefully, you have learned some new ways to tackle this very common issue by reading this article. Don't let intimacy issues ruin your marriage. It's a very fixable situation. By putting these practical strategies to use today, the sooner you should see improvements and have a more fulfilling relationship and become intimate couples again.
- Gaspard, T. (2016, December 7). 10 Ways to Rekindle the Passion in Your Marriage. Retrieved from https://www.gottman.com/blog/10-ways-rekindle-passion-marriage/
- Marriage.com. (2018, September 12). 5 Things You Can Do Today to Fix Intimacy Problems in a Marriage. Retrieved from https://www.marriage.com/advice/intimacy/5-things-you-can-do-today-to-fix-intimacy-problems-in-a-marriage/
- Knaus, B. (2017, December 31). Six Tips to Switch Intimacy Killers into Intimacy Builders. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/science-and-sensibility/201712/six-tips-switch-intimacy-killers-intimacy-builders
- Degges-White, S. (2017, February 13). Intimacy is Honesty - Up-Close and Personal. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/lifetime-connections/201702/intimacy-is-honesty-close-and-personal
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can a marriage survive without intimacy?
A commonly asked question is, “Can a marriage survive without intimacy?” A marriage cannot survive without intimacy long-term, including emotional and physical intimacy. A marriage might survive without intimacy for a while. Still, eventually, in time, neither partner will feel happy in the relationship without emotional and physical intimacy, which can cause a problem in your marriage. If you’re left to ask yourself, “Can my marriage survive,” due to a lack of intimacy, it’s time to talk with your partner or maybe seek professional help.
How many sexless marriages end in divorce?
It is hard to determine exactly how many sexless marriages end in divorce since the topic can be embarrassing for some people to open up about. Still, statistics show that 15-20% of marriages are sexless, and 40-50% of marriages end in divorce. Can a marriage survive when it is sexless? Most marriages cannot survive without intimacy, so it’s important to get help if you need it.
How do I deal with no intimacy in my marriage?
Most marriages cannot survive without intimacy. To deal with no sex and intimacy in your marriage here is what you can do:
- First, understand the signs of a sexless marriage and determine if the level of sex and intimacy in your marriage is lacking. If you have been asking yourself questions such as, “Can my marriage survive without intimacy,” you can assume it probably can’t and that you should speak with your partner about the issue or get help from a licensed professional.
- Then, if you do believe the low level of intimacy with your partner to be a problem, it’s time to communicate this to them so you can work it out. A low or nonexistent level of intimacy with your partner doesn’t necessarily mean there is a major problem in your marriage. It may just mean you need to make more time for one another. If broaching the subject with your partner seems daunting, you may want to speak to a therapist specializing in marriage counseling beforehand to get ideas on how to approach them. You want to be sure to come from a positive angle and not belittle them. The goal should be to work as a team to improve the physical intimacy and emotional intimacy in your marriage or relationship.
- The next step is to work together to improve physical intimacy and sex in your marriage. Schedule in sex and find other ways to build closeness through physical intimacy that don’t involve sex, as well.
- Depending on the lack of physical intimacy and sex in your marriage, you may need to seek marriage counseling to fix a sexless marriage. Marriage counseling can help address underlying issues causing the lack of physical intimacy and help fix a sexless marriage.
How does a sexless marriage affect a woman?
A marriage or relationship without sex can cause anger or depression in a woman. They may want to fix a sexless marriage, but their partner isn’t on board with them, leading to internal suffering and feeling alone in their marriage. In some cases, the woman may look for her needs to be met outside of her marriage.
What’s the Number 1 reason for divorce?
The most common reasons for divorce are a lack of commitment, infidelity, and conflict or arguing. The root of these three issues often stems from a lack of intimacy or no intimacy, suggesting a marriage cannot survive without intimacy. Can a marriage survive a lack of intimacy? It can, but you’re going to need to seek professional help from a marriage counselor, and it’s going to require both you and your spouse to be on board with getting help.
How do you stay faithful in a sexless marriage?
You may be wondering, “can my marriage survive remaining sexless?” It’s true; infidelity is often caused by a lack of intimacy in a marriage. Here are ways you can stay faithful if your marriage is lacking physical intimacy or has become sexless:
- Work on communication with your spouse. A marriage can’t survive without intimacy long-term, and communication is necessary to increase sex in your marriage.
- Figure out why there has been little or no sex in your marriage by discussing with your partner.
- Work on intimacy with your spouse if you’ve determined the cause to be something minor.
- If there are deep underlying causes to a low sex marriage or marriage without sex, seek the help of a marriage counselor to help save your marriage.