Dear Doctor Love,
My husband and I have been married for nine years and somewhere between the jobs and the kids we lost the intimacy in our marriage. It has been slowly dwindling for years until it became non-existent. When I ask him why we’re not having sex he gets defensive, I feel rejected and we end up fighting. Now we avoid it all together. Is sex so important that not having it can make me feel miserable? Is it normal for a couple to live without sex?
Is sex really that important in marriage? In a word—yes. Humans differ from animals in that we have sex for pleasure as well as procreation. We are hardwired to need intimacy so if you remove sex from your marriage you deny a basic human need. You and your spouse become glorified roommates. It can be a livable situation, but in most cases, it isn’t and the marriage fails due to lack of intimacy.
But why it is so important? After all, it’s just sex, right?
Sexual intimacy brings a couple closer and creates a lasting feeling of happiness. There is no deeper connection than what you experience after making love with your spouse.
Couples in a sexually healthy relationship get along better. It offers emotional as well as physical satisfaction and when a healthy love life is fully enjoyed, all other problems become easier to manage. Your marriage falls more smoothly into place and you work together instead of as two separate entities.
Without intimacy couples begin to argue. This leads to a separation of forces that should be combined to battle the everyday problems. Couples stop seeing eye-to-eye on issues that would normally be easily solved and fractures begin to appear in the relationship.
Nurturing a sexual connection leads to selflessness. When partners put each other first in the bedroom, it extends to other areas of the relationship. Husband and wife feel loved and cherished, and the feeling of overall happiness grows exponentially.
Sexual intimacy in a marriage is a gift and should hold a position of high esteem in your daily lives. Not having sex can easily become a habit so make loving your husband a priority. Start by opening up to him with displays of non-sexual intimacy such as touching and kissing him for no reason. Then commit to a “date night”. Remove all distractions—turn off the phone and send the kids to grandma’s.
If it happens you cannot resolve it on your own, engage the help of a relationship coach to help you get back on track.