Love but No Sex: 9 Women on Life in a Sexless Marriage

Wendy Robinson | Mar 17, 2016 Love & Sex
Love but No Sex: 9 Women on Life in a Sexless Marriage

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In the course of a long-term relationship, it can be totally normal to go through a sexual dry spell. Life gets busy, date nights get skipped, and sometimes we're just tired. But what happens when that dry spell doesn't end? Well, some would say that means they have fallen into a sexless marriage -- a reality that can highlight deeper problems of intimacy or communication. What to do if the sex life that once was, is no longer rocking?

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We talked to nine women who are all in sexless marriages, meaning they haven't been intimate with their spouses for months and, in some cases, years. These women, who asked to remain anonymous, revealed some surprising truths about what it is like living with someone they love, but don't have sex with. For some women, their lack of sex was just the tip of the iceberg, while for others, they were just going through a drought. But for a select few, it was the final straw in a marriage that had run its course. But have no fear, all of their stories were specific to them and their circumstances. 

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Read on to learn what they want us all to know about being in a sexless marriage. Their answers might just be surprising. 

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  • It Just Happened


    "My husband and I were virgins when we got married. We were very young (19 and 20!) and I think we just assumed sex would be amazing once we could finally have it. Well, it wasn't.

    Sex at first was awkward and painful, for me, and it got a little better over time, but I've never had an orgasm. I love my husband but we just don't click sexually. I never thought we'd stop having sex altogether and it wasn't something we ever talked about, but it just kind of happened.

    It has been over a year since we've had sex. I don't know when or even if it will happen again, although we do want one more kid, so we have to figure something out soon, I guess."

  • Love but No Sex

    2 weerachonoat

    "I guess I want people to know that it is possible to have a loving marriage without having sex. My husband is my best friend and we are totally committed. He has some medical issues that make getting an erection hard (no pun intended). We are physical in that we kiss and snuggle, but we haven't had sex in probably two or three years. I miss it sometimes, but that is why the vibrator was invented!"

  • Deal Breaker


    "For us, I think the lack of sex is a reflection of a bigger problem -- an overall lack of connection. We still love each other and we parent well together, but I am afraid for the future of our marriage. I'm not sure we'll make it if we can't find a way to reconnected, sexually and otherwise."

  • Healing First

    4 Massé

    "I LOVE sex. My husband and I always had a rocking sex life -- until I got diagnosed with ovarian cancer. For the last year, I've been dealing with fighting cancer and recovery from surgery. I just physically don't feel up to sex and haven't been medically cleared for it for most of the last year. Honestly, I'd be worried about it, but I know this is just a phase and that when I am back to normal, I think our sex life will be too. I hope it will be."

    More from The Stir: 6 Everyday Aches & Pains That Could Really Be Ovarian Cancer

  • Family First


    "I haven't had sex with my husband in two years, four months, and 16 days. And, yes, I'm counting. Not having sex sucks. And I am not really sure why we aren't. I think we got out of the habit when I was pregnant. My husband felt weird about having sex when I was visibly pregnant -- which, as a feminist, I think is super problematic, but whatever -- so we didn't have sex once I hit my second trimester. And then we didn't have sex when the baby was born and then we just didn't even once I was cleared to. I think my husband, who really is a good guy, has a whole Madonna/whore thing he needs to figure out."

  • Bed Death


    "I feel like my wife and I are lesbian stereotypes. We have a great partnership but we don't have a sex life. We're loving companions but not sexual anymore."

  • Lonely


    "My husband is the love of my life: funny, smart, creative, and kind. He's always had a lower sex drive than me, but in the last few years he's struggled with major depression. He attempted suicide and then went on some pretty strong meds that have crushed his libido. I'm lonely. I miss sex. But I don't want to lose him ..."

  • No Baby Love


    "I'm 40 weeks pregnant and I have [not] had sex since we found out I was pregnant, so I guess it has been about 32 weeks? I did not expect my husband to be weird about sex while pregnant, so this has done a number on my self-esteem, for sure. We'd better go back to having sex once this kid is born or I am going to have to think long and hard about the future of our relationship."

  • Heavy

    9 SolStock

    "We don't have sex because of my weight. And not because my husband is turned off. I think he'd hop into bed right now if I was up for it, but I feel ashamed of my body and too self-conscious to be naked. I don't feel like my body is a sexual body anymore. I have a lot of guilt about depriving my husband of sex and I do worry he'll cheat, even though I know he loves me. I need to fix this, but I'm not sure how."

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