No Intimacy In Marriage? Six Possible Solutions For Your Relationship

Updated March 19, 2024by Regain Editorial Team

Intimacy is one of the main aspects that separate a romantic relationship from those with friends and family. Many couples are drawn together over time because of the sense of intimacy they share with one another. They may connect intellectually, sexually, physically, spiritually, or in all of these ways. Every marriage is different, and everyone has different needs in a relationship, but a lack of intimacy in a marriage can potentially cause it to fall apart over time. Although there can be consequences to having no intimacy in a marriage, it is possible to solve these issues before they become irreparable. Consider the following 6 tips for solving problems relating to intimacy in your marriage.

Is a lack of intimacy hurting your marriage?

1. Rebuild your emotional connection

Emotional intimacy precedes physical intimacy for many couples, and if you notice that you are not touching anymore, you may want to revisit how you are communicating and connecting with one another. According to the highly successful Gottman Method, couples 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 may need to practice emotional attunement. Instead of becoming defensive and closed off, both partners can work on showing empathy and being open about their needs.

This could be a viable strategy for anyone looking to reignite the passion that once existed in their relationship. Even if you disagree on certain issues, which is normal, you can still learn how to stay connected and work on the problems in the marriage constructively.

2. Use touch to reestablish chemistry

Being intimate doesn’t have to be all about sex alone; it could also include smaller actions such as hugging, kissing, cuddling, and even simply touching. Although it is not entirely physical, eye contact can disappear in some marriages and may need to be re-established. Why? Most communication is non-verbal, and something like eye contact can show that you’re paying attention to your spouse. It can also communicate intimacy with them.

Forgetting to engage in small acts of touch 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 spouse while passing can make a significant difference. Making contact as often as possible can be especially important when trying to rebuild your physical connection.

If you look back in time to an earlier part of your relationship, even before your marriage, you may have been much more physical with one another.  Consequently, you also probably felt much closer to each other. Try to restore this feeling and your marriage may grow in closeness as a result. 

3. Bond with one another

If building intimacy in marriage is your main goal, it can be important to bond with one another both in and outside of the bedroom. Having fun and laughing together can improve the connection you share and bring you closer. Something as simple as watching TV together or playing a game can be a start to enjoying one another's company again. Even if you prefer to eat at home, going out to dinner can allow you to relax and focus on talking to each other rather than worrying about cooking, cleaning up after, and other types of stressors. 

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, or listening to some live music; the possibilities are limitless! As long as you're engaged with one another and having fun, you may be on the right track to improving your intimacy. 

If you have a family, it's okay to include your kids sometimes, but it can be 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 fun social experience for everyone, but it could take away from the whole point of bonding, which is to rekindle excitement in your marriage.

4. Be honest with each other

Communication can be key to any relationship and is often necessary if you want to improve intimacy in your marriage. One of the most effective ways to do this is to practice being open and honest when talking to your spouse. Try to be upfront about your feelings and discuss why there is a lack of intimacy and affection in your marriage. Strive to be constructive and non-combative when you do this and avoid blaming your spouse for the problem. Instead of using "you” statements, try to say words such as "I," "we," or "our." For instance, "I think that we can work on intimacy in our marriage” may help keep your spouse from getting discouraged or defensive. 

While honesty involves talking about your feelings, it can also refer to building trust with your partner, or in many cases, rebuilding it. Making your spouse feel included by saying "we" and "us” can help create trust and reassurance. Honesty can also involve things like keeping your promises and vowing to stay loyal to each other. Having honesty and trust can establish a stronger foundation for a healthy, more intimate marriage.

5. Mix things up

Sometimes having no intimacy in marriage is the result of a sex life that has gotten stale or boring. As a result, it can become more like a routine or chore than enjoying your time together. Therefore, it can be useful to try new things to keep you and your partner engaged and interested.

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 sex may want to try to do so. In contrast, those who are "pursuers" or those who usually initiate might want to look for more subtle ways to do so. This way, both individuals in the marriage can feel included in this process, not just one.

When planning for and dedicating time to intimacy, it can be crucial to avoid discussing relationship issues, household problems, the kids, or other possible stressors. These topics can be unproductive and distracting when trying to focus on being intimate. By making intimate conversation, touching, and sex a priority in your life, you can actively take steps to improve an area that needs work. This may involve switching up the routine of having little to no intimacy at all.

Is a lack of intimacy hurting your marriage?

6. Say I love you as often as possible

“I love you” – These three words can potentially have the single most positive impact on your marriage. It is a simple gesture that can go a long way in making your partner feel loved and appreciated. Remember, however, that showing your love can be just as important as expressing it verbally. If your spouse has a certain love language, try to express your love in those ways. Maybe they feel loved when you do something for them or buy them a gift. Perhaps they thrive on words of affirmation or enjoy spending time with you. Showing love through your actions can be just as essential as saying “I love you.”

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 them before they leave to go to work or even send them a brief text 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 consistent 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 may be able to open up with time and practice. 

Online counseling with Regain

Experiencing a lack of intimacy in your marriage can be difficult to work through alone. If you’re still having problems despite your best efforts, online counseling through Regain could be a beneficial next step. Regain is an online couples counseling platform that lets you connect with your therapist virtually from anywhere you have an internet connection. Whether you and your spouse have busy schedules, are concerned about cost, or don’t want to be seen attending therapy in your small town, online counseling can solve many of these barriers to care. Whenever you feel comfortable and ready, reach out to take that next step to a healthier, happier marriage. 

The effectiveness of online counseling 

Couples experiencing a lack of intimacy in their marriage could benefit from online counseling. Researchers discovered through one study that an online intervention improved couples’ communication skills, taught them how to problem-solve more effectively, and allowed them to focus on the positive parts of their marriage. Each of these things successfully increased their satisfaction with one another and with the marriage. Individually, couples also saw improvements, with many reporting fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety. All of these outcomes were still maintained when a 10-month follow-up was conducted. 


Intimacy can be a core tenant of many relationships. There are different forms of intimacy, and some are more important for certain couples than others. Maintaining a close bond with your spouse can be vital to enjoying a healthy, fulfilling marriage. If you are experiencing a marriage without intimacy, couples counseling could help. Regain provides counseling for couples entirely online and can help you restore the passion, commitment, and affection in your marriage. A close, intimate marriage is possible when you have the right tools, encouragement, and support. 

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