Sexless Marriage: 21 Dangerous Effects On Husband (2024) & Turnaround Tips

The sexless marriage effect on husband isn’t something that’s always fully considered by their wives.

Sexless Marriage Effect On Husband
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Below, you’ll discover how a sexless marriage tends to affect the husband, plus some ideas to help you want to bring intimacy back to your marriage. 

In my role as a life coach, I am often helping clients better understand themselves and those closest to them. 

That’s why I’m keen to share this guide with you.

Let’s dive in.

What Is A Sexless Marriage?

A sexless marriage is often defined by experts as a marriage where the couple has intercourse less than 10 times per year.

The thing is: the number of times you have intimacy doesn’t define the problem. 

Any marriage where one partner desires sex more than the other could experience the effects listed in this guide.

On the other hand, you could be in a ‘no sex marriage’ with no conflict if neither of you has an interest in sex.  

Specifically, this guide is for wives of husbands who want sex more than they do.

It explains how a lack of sex can make your husband feel and the impact it could have on your marriage.  

What Are The Effects Of A Sexless Marriage?

There are many legitimate reasons why a wife wouldn’t want to have regular intercourse with her husband.

In many cases, a sexless marriage can only be fixed by a husband helping his wife want to have intimacy with him.

I would never suggest that a wife should fulfill her husband’s intimate needs if she doesn’t want to. 

However, it’s important that women understand how sexless marriage affects men.

This might give wives more sympathy toward how their husbands act when their relationship lacks intimacy. It might push them to want to work on whatever is limiting their desire too. 

That’s a good thing. Marriage is a team sport. You should both be working together so that you’re both happy and excited to continue as a couple.

If you both do that throughout your whole relationship, there will be little stopping you from thriving in your marriage for the rest of your lives.

With that said, let’s dive into my list of sexless marriage effects.  

Related: Turnaround Strategies When The Intimacy Stops In A Relationship

1. It’ll Play On His Mind A Lot

There may be no sexless marriage effect for you, but there usually will be for him.

Intimacy is a big deal for most men. A lack of it bothers most men, so you can expect that the lack of intimacy in your marriage will be playing on his mind. 

Does he seem distracted more often? Do you feel disconnected when you talk? It’s probably because his mind is preoccupied with how to fix this problem.

2. He May Feel Unloved

You may do other things to show your love for your husband. Denial of intimacy can often override all these other loving gestures in a man’s mind.

Indeed, intimacy within a romantic relationship is rarely just about physical pleasure. In fact, the most important aspect is often psychological. 

Intimacy is often a way of accepting our partner in the most profound of ways. It’s an undeniable method of accepting one’s physical and emotional flaws and affirming that you love this person in spite of them. That’s why a lack of intimacy often leads men to feel unaccepted and unloved.

Related: Intimacy Coach – 8 Facts Checklist

3. The Emotional Bond Between Couples In A Sexless Relationship Can Quickly Break

It is widely accepted that love-making can create a stronger bond between a man and a woman.

Oxytocin, a hormone released during sex, is often nicknamed ‘the bonding hormone’ or ‘the love hormone’.

So, it would make sense that couples in a sexless relationship would begin to experience less of an emotional connection than before. 

4. The Husband May Suffer In Silence

Your husband might not always mention his frustration at your lack of intimacy, at least not initially.

He may feel like complaining about isn’t particularly helpful and therefore won’t get him any closer to what he wants. 

He may understand (at least initially) that perhaps you’re feeling tired or stressed during this period of your life. 

He may have no desire to engage in the conflict that he believes might arise if he brings this up during this period of excessive stress. 

This might lead you to conclude that your husband isn’t too frustrated by the lack of intimacy.  

However, even with his mouth zipped tight, his frustration might leak out in other more subtle ways. 

Related: Signs You & Your Partner Are Growing Apart & Solutions

5. Humiliation And Resentment Are Common

We live in a sex-centered society. It is used to sell almost every conceivable product. It’s frequently referenced in all forms of media and is the source of most pub banter among male friendship groups.

That’s not your fault – but this can add a sense of shame among men who aren’t getting any action. 

When a man can’t even obtain intimacy in marriage, this might lead him to feel embarrassed or ashamed. 

This sense of humiliation can turn into resentment for his spouse, as he’ll often see her as the reason why he’s not getting enough intimacy, rather than looking inward at what he can do better. 

Related: Real Reasons Why Your Wife Avoids Intimacy + Solutions

6. He Seeks Subtle Revenge

This is a symptom of a husband feeling resentment in his sexless marriage.

Rather than being brave enough to talk about the reason he’s frustrated, he’ll take out his frustration in unrelated ways. 

He’ll deliberately forget to do that favor for his wife. He’ll make passive-aggressive comments. He’ll start arguments about household chores.

The devil on his shoulder tells him: “why should you do anything for her, when she won’t meet your sexual needs?!”.

Needless to say, this makes the marriage more insufferable for both parties and decreases the chances even further that his wife will want to make love to him.

Often, this behavior takes the marriage into a downward spiral which will continue to plummet until one-half of the couple is brave enough to bring up the real reason behind all this frustration.   

7. A Competitive Attitude Begins To Form Within The Marriage

How else does a lack of intimacy affect couples? 

Well, most women and men in a happy loving relationship will make decisions as a team. They’re on the same page and there’s a collaborative attitude.

But when one partner denies the other, the entire relationship can devolve into a bitter and childish point-scoring battle.

At this point, it’s no wonder people question how can a sexless marriage survive.

8. The Husband May Begin To Question What’s Wrong With The Relationship

You might have told him the real reason behind your lack of drive.

However, after a while, the husband may begin to question the truth of this statement. 

Perhaps he begins to wonder whether there’s another man on the scene. 

If he has particularly low self-esteem, he may begin to consider if it’s his body or his performance in the bedroom that’s driving you away from him. 

To help your marriage survive, it’s so important for you to reinforce the honest reason behind your lack of sexual interest to apologize (even if you don’t feel you’re to blame) and to try and fix the problem. 

Otherwise, it’s all too common that your husband will assume the worst. 

9. He May Be In Denial Even If You Tell Him The Truth

His ego may not allow him to hear the truth even if you tell him.

This can be especially true if you tell him why he’s to blame for your lack of desire. 

Such a situation can be too much for a man’s ego to handle.

For him it would be more comfortable for him to tell himself a different story where you’re to blame, rather than fix the problem you’re explaining.    

10. He May Feel Like A Failure

When a man’s wife doesn’t desire him, this can cause him to feel like a failure as a husband. 

11. He Feels Like Less Of A Man 

Men in sexless marriages may feel less masculine as a result. 

The ability to obtain a good sex life is seen as a pillar of masculinity by a lot of men.  

There are shades of ‘toxic masculinity’ around this idea – and I’m not saying it’s correct for a man to feel unmasculine in a sexless marriage. But the social campaign around ‘toxic masculinity’ was so widespread, because so many men experience feelings like this.

So, there’s every chance your husband feels the same.  

12. The Husband May Give Up On Seeking Sexual Intimacy Altogether

If his every attempt to initiate intimacy results in conflict or rejection, it could eventually become too disheartening for him to keep trying.

On the surface, this may look like less of a rocky marriage, as perhaps the heated arguments will stop. 

However, in the husband’s heart at least, it could be even worse because now this man might see no way out.

Indeed, when one begins to feel depressed, apathy is an even bigger warning sign than grief or anger.    

Related: How Long Is Too Long Without Sex In A Relationship?: 9 Things To Consider

13. His Other Insecurities Might Be Triggered

Does this man have unresolved trauma or self-esteem problems surrounding a parent not loving or an ex-girlfriend not wanting him?

Photo By Andrew Neel On Unsplash

Perhaps he had repressed them and neither of you were aware of these mental health problems. 

You might find out only after the sexless marriage effect takes hold of him…

This can easily trigger other hidden self-esteem issues he has felt about being unwanted in the past. 

14. He Feels Stressed

Intimacy can be a great stress reliever.

The feelings of inadequacy which stem from a sexless marriage can be very stressful. 

So, perhaps it will be no surprise when your husband shows more symptoms of stress. 

15. He Feels Trapped 

This man has taken vows in front of all his friends and family members to remain loyal and faithful to you.

So, it’s somewhat obvious that a man will begin to feel trapped once he’s accepted he’s in a sexless relationship. 

He’s not able to have intimacy with you – and he took a vow not to seek physical experiences elsewhere. He’s trapped!

This feeling can be so daunting, especially among men, for whom the sense of freedom is often so important. 

16. Your Husband Seeks An Affair

The sexless marriage effect is one of the most common reasons why married men seek affairs.

This rarely happens because they don’t love their wives anymore. It’s not that likely to happen because they miss the physical sensation of intimate satisfaction.

More often, extramarital affairs happen because men are missing the emotional intimacy that comes with sex. This man whose confidence has been destroyed by the dwindling emotional connection with his wife is motivated to find it with another woman.  

On top of that, he is often partly spurred by a desire for revenge on the woman who denied him that intimacy before. 

17. Poor Communication

Have you noticed your husband is less willing to tell you where he is or what he’s doing?

This could be due to the resentment he’s feeling in his sexless marriage. 

It could be that he’s hiding his affair from you, or it could be that he wants you to think he’s having an affair when he actually isn’t. 

Needless to say, poor communication never makes a relationship better. It only makes it worse.

18. He Stops Taking Care Of His Appearance

Why would he make the effort to look nice, when he believes there’s no chance of his wife having sex with him either way?

Perhaps that’ll be enough of an excuse for him to stop exercising too…

19. He’s At A Higher Risk Of Physical Health Issues 

As well as poor mental health, a man’s physical health can be affected by a lack of physical intimacy. 

This might seem a bit of a stretch, and I’m not saying that more sex will save his life. However, there are several scientific studies that have linked regular intercourse with improved physical health, specifically cardiovascular, prostate, and bladder health. A marriage without intimacy technically puts him at a higher risk of these health issues, then.    

20. His Libido Could Be Affected  

The idea here is that depression or similar mental health problems affect sexual functioning, especially if one is taking medication to treat it.

Indeed, anti-depressants have been linked with erectile dysfunction, as well as vaginal dryness in many women. 

Technically, you might say that his dysfunction would fix the drive mismatch, but it’s unlikely to make your marriage any happier.

After all, you’ll still have the unresolved relationship issues that caused the sexless marriage in the first place. 

21. He’ll File For Divorce

A bad intimate life is regularly mentioned as a reason for initiating divorce proceedings.

In fact, in a study of divorce claims from OECD countries, a poor intimate connection was mentioned as the primary or secondary reason for filing 70% of the time.

Meanwhile, it could easily be argued that a healthy intimate relationship could provide the motivation for couples to overcome any other problems in their long-term relationships.     

How To Revitalize A Sexless Marriage

A great first step is to talk with your husband about why you don’t want intimacy with him. It would mean a great deal if you brought up this difficult conversation before he did.

As we’ve explored, there’s a good chance that he feels unloved, so it would really help to convince him that this is not the case.

The next step is to explore what he could do to make you desire sexual intercourse more often. 

It’s unfair for him to expect you to fulfill his sexual needs without having any sexual desire yourself. That’s why the conversation should focus on how to increase your desire. Let’s hope he understands that.

Hopefully, you two can figure out a plan to help increase your desire, so that you’re both happier in your marriage.

It’s also worth encouraging your husband to explain how he feels when you deny him intimacy. Perhaps there are other ways that you can stop him from feeling like this that don’t involve regular intercourse.

Are there other ways you can please him physically – or other things you can do for him in general – to make him feel more appreciated in your marriage?

Marriage is about finding a compromise so both spouses are satisfied. That’s as true with your intimacy as it is with any other relationship problems. 

A lack of intimacy can be a particularly sensitive problem, so if you’re struggling to have calm and honest conversations about this, it could be worth seeking help from a marriage counsellor to act as a mediator.  

Related: I Don’t Want My Husband To Touch Me Anymore – Helpguide

Sexless Marriage Effect On Husband: Frequently Asked Questions

Sexless Marriage
Photo By katemangostar On freepik

Can A Man Survive A Sexless Marriage?

Some men lose interest in sex as they get older and will be happy to remain in a sexless marriage.

However, those who still have an interest in intimacy will find it very hard to survive a sexless marriage.

These men will either push their wife to regain their sexual interest in him – or they will seek fulfillment elsewhere, either by watching dirty films or by cheating on their wives.

Married couples looking to successfully revitalize their sexless marriage should take hints from the above section of the article.  

Why Would A Man Stay In A Sexless Marriage?

The majority of men would see a sexless marriage as a problem.

Still, few men would walk out on their marriage without a fight. The moral thing to do would be to try and honor your vows, stay and fix the marriage – and that’s what most men will try to do.

There will be a percentage of men who will accept a sexless marriage, but won’t be happy about it and will most likely experience poor mental health and many of the other symptoms listed above as a result..

Then, there will be some (mostly older) men who have also lost interest in intimacy altogether and will therefore be happy to remain in a sexless marriage, provided all is well outside the bedroom.   

What Percentage Of Sexless Marriages End In Divorce?

A lack of physical intimacy is often mentioned among the most common reasons for a divorce.

A study of divorcing couples in the OECD countries suggests that 70% of those who initiate divorce cite a bad sex life as a first or second reason for filing. 

However, it should be mentioned that a lack of physical intimacy is usually caused by a bigger problem. Indeed, couples tend to stop having intimacy in the weeks and months before parting ways.

That’s why it’s better for married couples to focus on the problems that decreased one’s drive, rather than the lack of activity itself.    

Should You Walk Away From Sexless Marriage?

It’s possible to save a sexless marriage. If you really love your spouse, the honorable thing to do would be to try.

However, if you’re unable to fix the sexual problems in your marriage, that’s generally regarded as a good enough reason to walk away and find someone else. 

My Sexless Marriage Is Killing Me

If you’re struggling to come to terms with the symptoms of your sexless marriage, now’s the time to start fixing it. There are recommended steps further up in this guide, but don’t hesitate to seek professional help from a marriage counsellor if you’re struggling to reach a breakthrough with your spouse.  

About The Author

Bijan Kholghi is a certified life coach with the Milton Erickson Institute Heidelberg (Germany). He helps clients and couples reach breakthroughs in their lives by changing subconscious patterns. His solution-oriented approach is based on Systemic- and Hypnotherapy.