I’ve worked with many long-term couples in sexless marriages. They didn’t start that way. We are all fairly clear that romance starts with lust. It takes a crowbar to make it out of the bedroom. Earlier in marriages it is harder to get out of bed than to get in it. And well it should be. In more mature marriages (5-7 or more years) it is harder get in bed. That goes hand in hand with evolution. Mother Nature cares more about reproduction that she cares about our feelings. In fact, she is quite happy to have us broaden the haploid bank by taking other lovers. It has been hypothesized that the 7 year itch is 7 years because that is how long it takes to get pregnant and to be protected while being an 8 – month, pregnant, slow waddling tiger-food-mom to be. And it takes about 7 years from conception for the fetus to become a child who can and start to contribute to its tribe. After that Mother Nature’s risk/reward assessment favors spreading the genes.

So much for early lust and love. What makes a marriage last? Most marriages that have survived for decades have found success to be based in and on history (both good and bad) and the fact that the couple has grown into being good friends. There is trust and loyalty. Much of which was hard earned from successfully overcoming the tough moments in their shared history. They have learned they are each trustworthy as a team player and that they have each other’s back.

Familiarity breeds….and then familiarity breeds contempt….

Then familiarity leads to a sense of monotony after those getting familiar have finished breeding. New looks attractive.

A sexually active marriage isn’t about which fantasy sex game to explore next. It isn’t about new hairdos or bigger boobs. It’s about new and different. Remember early lust? We all love and desire that. Mother Nature cares little about love. She wants more babies and lust is a great promotional tool.

However, many couples stay together for life. Most have some sort of sex life until they can’t or just don’t. And that is fine. It is a choice. A choice built on a bond most others would be envious to have. Do they have affairs? Maybe. Maybe not. But they are committed and in love and in like.

As with anything gender wise; flexibility is the key. Many people may choose a sexless marriage for reasons born of an abusive childhood. And if they can find serenity in a chaste and spiritually sensitive meeting of beings – well bless them.

For those who are dissatisfied in a sexless relationship; they can choose sex therapy which will focus on developing intimacy through touch – as a prelude to sex. Or they may agree to an open relationship where each spouse has a hall pass. In truth 95% of those are usually acclimating to divorce – whether they are aware of it or not. Others in unsatisfying sexual relationships cheat secretly and quietly. That has the obvious risk/reward profile.


If two people share a great good love and feed each other’s souls; it is quite possible that if one lost their sexual capacity due to illness or an accident, the other might choose to consecrate their love with celibacy. Or if two people with very low inclination and/or love of sex were to choose to spend their remaining days together as dear friends in a husband and wife relationship – more power to them.

Bottom line: it’s not about sex or no sex. Success in marriage is more about liking each other than it is about love. Much of that reflects the balance of how well good and bad history has been handled as a couple.