An intimate relationship and sex are always expected to go hand-in-hand. But this does not happen in long-term relationships and the brutal truth is, over time the passion wanes. Sexless marriages are common and today we will tackle the topic of sexless marriage effect on husband.
There is no denying the fact that sexual compatibility in a marriage is as important as emotional and intellectual intimacy. But sometimes marriages do survive without sexual compatibility and there might come a time when sex can come to a halt.
The reasons for that could be varied. A couple could lose interest in sex after having children, they might get busy with their career and family, and they might be treating sex as a fun thing and are okay with not having it regularly.
Sometimes they are just happy with the financial security, parenting duties and building a family together so they do not pay so much heed to the lack of sex in the marriage.
That’s how couples often survive sexless marriages without cheating. But when the husband is interested and the wife is not, the sexless marriage effect on a husband could be disastrous.
Can A Man Live In A Sexless Marriage?
Sexologist Dr Rajan Bhonsle, MD, Hon Professor, HOD Department of Sexual Medicine, KEM Hospital and GS Mediacal College, Mumbai, says, “When a couple is young, in their 20s maybe, then sex is far more important than when they are in their 40s. That’s when life has other priorities like children, investments, travel and they are happy being involved in other things. Sex life takes up a more comfortable rhythm and both partners are satisfied with that. As long as both partners feel the same they are sexually compatible.”
Dr Rajan Bhonsle, who is a diplomat, American Board of Sexology and American College of Sexologists says, “The issues start when a couple has mismatched libido and this is a common relationship problem. Like a wife wants it once a week and a husband wants it every day. It could still be handled if a couple comes to a compromise.
“If a couple had their share of good sex in their youth and are more focused on other things in their 40s and are not interested in sex anymore then that is also fine. But once again the feeling has to be mutual. It cannot be that one person isn’t interested and the other is, in that case the marriage becomes a breeding ground for an extra marital affair.”
As pointed out by the sexologist a man can live in a sexless marriage. But the question is at what point of time the marriage becomes sexless? Sometimes men don’t bother that much about a sexless marriage when they are in their 50s but if in the early stages a marriage lacks intimacy it becomes difficult for a man.
How Does A Sexless Marriage Effect A Man?
Sexless marriage statistics published in an article in Newsweek pointed out that 15 to 20% of couples have sex no more than 10 times a year, which is how the experts define sexless marriage. This might be a conservative estimate and marriage counselors and authors, who have written on sexless or sex starved marriages, say the problem runs deeper.
So what is considered a sexless marriage? It’s a marriage where sex happens 10 times a year or less or doesn’t happen at all.
Famous psychologist and family therapist John Gottman points out that intimacy is a glue that holds a couple together and if that intimacy suddenly wanes, it could have a devastating impact on the relationship even leading to divorce.
If your husband is interested in sex and your idea of turning in for the night is a hot bath and loads of moisturizer on the face, then it is inevitable the sexless marriage effects on your husband will start showing.
Here are 9 effects he might be grappling with.
1. Sexless marriage and affairs
A study shows oxytocin released during sex helps in cementing a bond, especially with men. When a marriage becomes sexless and he cannot see any way of reviving the intimacy in the marriage, he might be looking for fulfillment outside the marriage, be prepared for that. Your husband can have an affair.
Sex usually takes a hard hit in a marriage when you are between 45 and 50 and that’s also the time when your husband’s midlife crisis starts. He might be looking for fulfillment with someone young and youthful who would make him feel young too.
Sexless marriage and affairs are common. This is the most obvious fallout of a marriage where intimacy has come to a nil.
2. Resentment in a sexless marriage
A husband might be too busy at work and a wife might be exhausted at the end of the day after handling a career, home and kids and the first thing they both want to do at night is hit the bed.
When two people are so tired action between the sheets is unthinkable. They might give sleep an instant thumbs up over sex but they do not realise that a pattern like this could lead to growing resentment.
Sexless marriage effect on your husband might lead him to be angry, upset and irritated around the house. He might lose interest in the chores and the children that would lead to more resentment on the part of the wife who would say “he is not doing enough”.
Without a couple even realizing the sexlessness in the marriage could have a deep negative impact on the family relationship.
Related Reading: 12 Warning Signs Your Partner Is Losing Interest In The Relationship
3. Drift apart in the relationship
You could drift apart in the relationship. Not having enough sex might lead to a lack of interest in other areas of the relationship.
The effect of sexless marriage on the husband could lead to him not enjoying the activities he used to enjoy as a couple or a family. If you watched 50 Shades of Grey together, earlier it was inevitable that it would lead to some great action on the couch.
But now watching it together could feel like torture because he knows that you both would slump into bed after that. If you shared a glass of champagne in the kitchen there used to be action on the kitchen table top but now cooking together or taking a bath together feels like a chore because there is no action guaranteed.
Gradually he would stop enjoying these activities with you and even before you know you have grown apart.
4. Feel lack of attachment
A relationship goes through stages of intimacy. Like you work on building emotional intimacy and intellectual intimacy helps you to survive in the long run, sexual intimacy helps you to cement the bond, foster an attachment in the relationship.
There is no denying the fact that your sex life goes through a dramatic change after you have a baby. Then the child becomes the priority and tends to cement the relationship.
But if the intimacy has to stay and the attachment has to grow then as parents sex has to be in focus too.
After the baby the priority of the mother changes as she becomes too busy with the baby, she feels exhausted and anxious.
Sex takes a nose dive and if it is not resurrected a man starts feeling totally detached.
5. Sexlessness can lead to depression and irritability
If a man wants sex and is not getting it in a marriage it could lead to anger issues and depression.
A study shows that higher level of sexual satisfaction leads to lower levels of depression and anxiety. The study focuses on the importance of sexual satisfaction as a modifying factor against mental health problems, especially in the context of a current romantic relationship. Healthy sex life does keep you physically and mentally fit.
The side effects of a sexless marriage can lead to a vicious cycle of depression and low libido. A man might feel depressed for not having enough sex. This could lead to anxiety and anger issues that could give rise to erectile issues even.
Related Reading: 12 Things To Do When Husband Is Not Affectionate Or Romantic
6. Increase in stress
A study done on middle-aged women showed that those who had more sex had less levels of stress.
Men can also feel stressed when there is lack of physical affection and sexual activity. Sex releases hormones like serotonin and dopamine that helps to de-stress a person.
But the sexless marriage effect on husband could be the constant build up of stress that comes from the workplace or even from having a new baby or handling a family. He has no outlet and it starts affecting him.
Women can talk with their girl gang and handle their stress while men tend to keep things to themselves and keep suffering.
7. He treats you like a roommate
The sexless marriage effect on a husband can lead him to start treating you like a roommate. Partners in a romantic relationship are usually involved in each other’s lives planning holidays together, making financial plans about buying a house or taking major career decisions together.
But as the sex recedes to the backdrop, the friendship could just stay on and you could end up treating each other like friends living as roommates, keeping the house tidy but leading more or less separate lives.
This is one of the most dangerous side effects of a sexless marriage. You stay together but your marriage is on the rocks and you do not even realize that.
8. Decline in physical health
A study shows sex is good for health in many ways and it is especially great for cardiovascular health. In fact, men who have a good sex life also report better prostate and bladder health and can even keep certain cancers at bay.
Sexless marriage effect on a husband could mean decline in overall health because he doesn’t get to experience the physical satisfaction and intimacy.
Apart from sex being good for health, the health benefits of kissing are many and something as simple as cuddling or sexual activity without penetration, is great for health.
9. Thoughts of divorce
Infidelity, money issues, lack of compatibility, abuse and addiction are the top reasons for divorce in the US.
Lack of intimacy is also another top reason for divorce. Instead of grappling with a sexless relationship the marriage advice that men often go for is opting for a divorce. Maybe it is a better solution than infidelity and heartbreak.
Many people choose to stay on in sexless marriages and are often happy in it. But in that case they are okay in communicating and building trust in other ways. A person should know when to walk away from a sexless marriage.
Sometimes it is not worth living on in one and grappling with the side effects of a sexless marriage.
As a marriage progresses, kids, finances, career, new house dreams, looking after aging parents take on much more important roles and couples do not even realise that sex has become literally non-existent. But sexlessness in a relationship often has a more profound effect on a man, more than on a woman.
In that case communication is necessary to address the issues. If that doesn’t work then divorce is an option.
Sometimes priorities change in a marriage and couples get busy with kids and family and sex takes a backseat. If they communicate and are okay with it then it’s not unhealthy. But in a marriage if one person loses interest in sex and the other person is still interested, then it becomes unhealthy and can lead to frustration, resentment and even divorce.
A sexless marriage can last when there is an emotional bonding and a couple has a shared goal of bringing up the children, looking after the family and doing activities together that they enjoy doing.
A sexless marriage is a breeding ground for affairs. A man, or even a woman in a sexless marriage can end up having an affair because they would be looking for fulfillment elsewhere.
The reasons why your husband has lost interest in you sexually could be many. It could be health reasons, excessive stress, boredom or an affair.