The worst way to miss someone…

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…is when they’re right there beside you and you can’t touch, taste, hold or have them. It’s not a tease but extreme torture!

Some will disagree with the following statement: It’s worse having a partner who won’t participate in sex than not having a partner at all. Illusion promises opportunity but rejection destroys it over and over again. There’s nothing worse than sleeping close to a lover’s body without being able to access it or have it touch you back.

What can be done?

Firstly, check to make sure you’re advances aren’t being misunderstood. Love-language signals can get mixed and even lost during translation. So make sure your partner knows how you feel.

Open conversation is always a solution. Communication is the key to understanding. Once discussion has taken place things should improve, if not then it’s a perfect opportunity for you to expand your communication skills a little further. Perhaps a clearer sexual signal should be installed in the relationship. I once remember friends used a doll as a device to post their interest in sex. The doll sat on their mantelpiece and when one of them was interested, the doll was tipped on its side, if the other one wasn’t up to a roll under the sheets, the doll was uprighted. This visual cue left no doubt to what was going on in anyone’s mind at any time.


Visual signaling isn’t entirely foolproof though. For some couples, using a flagging device like this could appear threatening or unromantic, turning couples further away from the bedroom. Fair enough, but perhaps this deflection is only an excuse for something else. Perhaps there is a real underlying issue that needs exposing and discussing more. In any case, the doll concept is a good thing to bring to the relationship table because if it exposes such a problem, professional counselling may assist with a decent and lasting repair job.

What if better communication doesn’t work?

That’s a good question. Sometimes it doesn’t work.

In my situation, communication didn’t work at all. No amount of talking or professional counselling helped us. In the end I had to remove myself from our marital bed to reduce the sense of torture affecting me and stop the insanity free fall. Moving into another bedroom did solve these two problems almost immediately. I felt one hundred percent better for making the decision. One week into it and I was sleeping through the night again. A month had passed and I had a dream, the first in many years.

Yes, things were THAT bad… and the move created new problems for my wife. For her, the bed was empty at night. Her husband chose not to be with her and said nothing about why he had left. Once upon a time I would’ve been concerned enough to stem her anxieties. Unfortunately, self-preservation took precedence and I already had a ship load of my own to manage. I wanted her to ask. I wanted her to show some initiative and take charge of her side of the relationship. Several months have gone by and she hasn’t said or done anything. I don’t expect she will. It’s too hard now. The truth makes sex unattractive and pride keeps lips closed. An admission of guilt is a bolus too difficult to swallow.

Fourteen years wandering in a sexual desert isn’t normal for anyone. Logical and stable thoughts are hard to maintain when they’re continuously confronted with an undying thirst and consecutive mirages that promise a watery oasis at journey’s end. Unfortunatley the journey never did. The mirage kept lying. I just had to close my eyes and turn away.

And that’s why this is the worst way to miss someone.

-Michael Forman (Author of SEETHINGS)

The Novel ¦The Author ¦ Order

SEETHINGS novel by Michael Forman (This is real)

Michael has put together a strong, heart beating novel, one which the readers of ‘psychotic thrillers’ will enjoy – for the faint hearted, leave it alone!

– Mike M. Roleystone


Having no intimacy with her for 23 years is killing me.

Today’s truth teller is crazy madly in love with his wife, but his wife is physically and, possibly emotionally, unable to have sex with him.  And that’s pretty much been the story for the last 23 years.Where does that leave him? That’s what he’s trying to figure out.


Ever hear of “vulvodynia”? Me neither until I read about it. It’s one of those woman-things that’s quite real but insurance companies don’t pay for diagnostics or treatment for whatever excuse they’re using on a given day. The scuttlebutt is it can take up to ten grand to find out. Then there’s not a whole that can be done about it. She doesn’t have an official diagnosis. But when you’ve been around Her for over a decade and you both know the exact nature of the problem, when you read the symptomology, it’s not rocket science, no matter what the insurance bastards have to say.


All those blissful billions of nerve endings sistas have, in Her they experience a massive malfunction when stimulated. Instead of pleasure, they send PAIN! to Her brain. And they don’t all agree with each other across the topography of Her magic places; up near the clitoris, they say PAIN!, along the outside of the labia 5 mm from the bottom they say YAHOO!, inside the all-powerful opening, they say everything from WTH? to PAIN! To YAHOO to JEEBUS WTF ARE YOU DOIN’?! So yeah, so much for the science lesson and now that we know the problem has a medical name, my husband-guilt goes into overdrive—I may NEED sex, most preferably with Her, but if it hurts Her, then “sex” just turns into the thing I have to “sacrifice”—or else I’m a selfish male asshole, isn’t that how it goes? Once sex is out of the equation, all the “other” problems that come with 23 years married and quarter century living with Her go into a slow nuclear burn.
She was the girl I “did the right thing” by… I was abstinent until our wedding night, because that was how She wanted it and I wanted to be with Her more than any other girl I’d ever been around, let alone those I’d been with before Her. She rolls her eyes every time I say it, but it’s the authentic truth: I saw Her in her younger sister’s dorm room and that was it, no other female human being had any appeal to me whatsoever. It wasn’t my “other brain” that sang, it was the whole deal, head to toe, both brains included. I must have done something right that first night out because we began to see each other a lot, She drove five hours to see me, I moved to her town first chance I had so five hours was five minutes. I wrote her mammoth love letters, I wrote songs for her that my band played at gigs, I photographed the daylights out of her although she protested (a lot). We got married [too] young. Her mom wrote her a letter trying to talk her out of marrying a 23 year old musician/photographer/writer —“dreamer” was what her mom said, and I think “loser” was in there somewhere; thankfully FIL-to-be loved me. I was working-class like him but college educated and could spend hours under the hood of an old car with him and honestly have a great time. He’s quite possibly the most honorable guy I’ve ever met.
Then came the wedding night. She was the fourth virgin I’d been with out of a dozen others from the time I was fifteen (I know that makes me a high school and college boy-slut jerk, right?). The other three virgins, things worked out fine, I actually went and found out how to make those first times better than the way most women describe them—maybe they lied to me. I’ll never really know. She brought me with her to the “lady doc” and She did her homework assignments with me as prescribed. I did extra homework to make sure everything was going to go well, because I’d waited and She deserved nothing but my very best.
So we were both a little shocked after I came up grinnin’ like fool from giving Her a nice and loud, jumping-all-over-the-damned-place-orgasm, when intercourse, after appropriate recovery and well-earned snuggling, was impossible and waaaay more painful that it should have given all the conscientious preparation—in retrospect, we were both shattered. Unfortunately we were too ashamed and scared to tell each other just how shattered we were— for the first decade or so that we were married. The honeymoon wasn’t the intimate emotional-physical-sexual discovery and bonding experience we’d planned. Instead it was just another one of our many trips together, except that this trip was an emotional nightmare and we talked very little and we only tried to have sex one other time, again to failure and a lot of me apologizing for letting Her down. I was convinced it must be my fault.
Our marriage was publicly known to our friends and family as the model for “doing it right” but in private, in our bed, it was emotionally tortured and sexually just awful. In the first year I kept trying to get her to take this all to her doctor. I was a fix-it guy, something doesn’t work you go fix it. In the meantime you work around it. I had a vocabulary, I had some experience with a bunch of other fun things to do with two human bodies. I didn’t know what “vanilla” meant back then but I discovered She was a vanilla’s vanilla. Missionary only or nothing, well, almost nothing, She’d let me go down on Her, which I was all too eager to provide because all I wanted was to make Her happy. I couldn’t help but wonder it that was a response to our wedding night shocker or if She just really was “not into anything else” as She told me that first year. Over the first few years we tried to have sex and failed. Eventually intercourse, as brief as possible and as an afterwards She endured, was possible. Bottom line, She refused to go see a doctor and refused to try any workaround. I just wanted Her to be happy so I settled. That’s what a “good guy” does. I loved Her.
I was devastated but I loved Her. And it hurt even worse that Her body was (and is to this day at late forty-something) rockin’. It was like coming to the table every meal, every damned day, where the table is loaded with chocolate covered strawberries and champagne and never being allowed to even touch any of it, well, one strawberry, a couple times a year, and I had to down it quickly so it wouldn’t hurt her too much. That’s been our “sex life” for 23 years.
Somehow we managed to have two kids. We were stupid, thinking: well, maybe this will be something we can do right, in spite of the “problem.” Economics put me home as the Stay-At-Home-Dad. It was kinduva “choice” for me, I had already bailed on my arts careers in favor of a desk job but the economy was tightening up around the millenium, both of us wanted to raise our own kids and, since we couldn’t afford daycare anyway even with both our jobs, I had the time so I downshifted. Ha! More like “shifted-sideways” because any SAH parent knows kids are never “down” even when they’re unconscious.
Now that our kids were a distraction from our intimacy crisis, our silence about the “problem” continued until I went back to college to finish whatever-degree-was-cheapest-and-fastest-to-finish and could get me back to an arts-based career (I was always a better artist than a paralegal), and when our eldest entered kindergarten. One day, out of the blue she tells me matter-of-factly, no tears or anything, our wedding night devastated her. “It was one more thing in my hard life that was hard. I always believed sex was going to be something easy, natural, organic I could count on to not be more work. But it wasn’t and it isn’t and I’m done with sex for good.”
I was devastated, hell, beyond shattered all over again. I felt numb, surely She didn’t mean it. After two kids, birthed the way evolution geared it, she still had a body that was rockin’. That table filled with chocolate covered strawberries and champagne I was not allowed to touch? Not even on the table anymore. I blamed her for waiting until she was married. I kicked myself for being stupid for breaking the Rule for Her that I established when I was still in high school: no moving forward with a girl without sexual compatibility being established. It was a socially unpopular Rule (one my fundamentalist parents would have freaked out over had they known) but it had always weeded out girlfriends who liked the idea of me more than me. Until Her. And here we were thirteen years married, I broke my Rule for Her and I was getting’ spanked for it (not even the fun kind).
I had a shitstorm to deal with because I was around younger twenty-somethings every day on campus and four different women (older twenty somethings) made me an offer no man could refuse, except me. I was still head over heels in love with Her. I had thirteen years emotionally invested in Her and the last thing I wanted to do was complicate that—it was plenty complicated already, dammit—and I already knew Her shit; why would I want to have to learn to deal with another woman’s? And I kicked myself for it while simultaneously glad I still wanted Her more than those very appealing other women. I was noble, it’s what a “good guy” does, right?
Again, we didn’t talk about the “problem,” except for briefly when the vulvodynia discovery happened three years after She announced to me She was “done with sex for good.” All along I kept saying to myself, “Dude, don’t be a selfish asshole, it’s gotta be hell for Her, put yourself in Her shoes—if you imagined that your parts were fine then discovered on The Most Sexually Auspicious Occasion in Life that they didn’t, how badly would that suck? How guilty and ashamed would you feel that you were depriving your mate of the thing they always looked forward to and already had plenty of good experiences with?” Along with the self-recriminations and heart-driven motivation to Sacrifice for Her—because that’s really what it was always about for me, my whole life was oriented around this amazing, breathtaking woman who possessed my heart, even though She could never articulate why She said “yes” to me, why She loved me or much else in the intimacy department let alone sexually—I began to realize I really had some authentic needs that weren’t being met. Those unmet needs interfered with my career, my sense of myself as me, my sense of being worthwhile and valuable to another person; to Her I clearly was not. For me sex wasn’t, and still isn’t, about “gittin’ some” or an event-count, and it was so much deeper than fairy-tale romantic hoohah. Sex presents a vital affirmation on the deepest level that I, as a male human being was loved, desired, needed, wanted, important to the woman I wanted to be with. When I was having sex, I was young, sure. But I know how much taller I walked, how much “brighter” I was in my worldview and confidence. Women constantly underestimate the power they have with men. I don’t know why. Mom is the first and most important woman to a boy. When he becomes sexually active, the girl he’s having sex with becomes the next most important woman in his life. Why? Because women can do that to us. It’s just nature’s most authentic sexual truth.
After I was complaining about how I wasn’t getting published any more except in pissant non-paying literary journals, one of my mentors told me, very emphatically, “If you don’t have sex with your woman, if you cannot go into a hotel lobby and land any woman you desire right then and there, how the hell can you pitch your work and sell it?” I realized, well shit, this celibacy[-against-my-will] crap is definitely impacting my work now. I ain’t young anymore so the sell is even harder to buyers are wealthy confident young guys, often with either super model-type girlfriends or wives. I have to be twice as confident, twice as self-assured as they are, and let me tell you, those guys are pretty damned confident and self-assured. But I no longer am. For 23 years I’ve had no affirmation from a woman on the deepest level and that’s a long time for a guy like me to go with no emotional feedback from the person I adore and try like hell to give Her what She needs, including the supreme sacrifice from me.

I’d be pitching a story in front of a bunch of younger guys, rich guys, and here I’d be mister working class SAHD artistic creative guy trying to sell myself, my ability to spin a yarn over and over again, always be fresh and innovative, quality driven but with almost no self-esteem when it came to feeling worthwhile to other people. That I could still pitch demonstrated I had enough self-esteem to think I had something to offer, but I was the guy who couldn’t make his marriage to Her be intimate, let alone be rock solid and awesome. I was the guy who gained too much damned weight and had zero incentive from Her to lose it—I found out later stress is a major impediment to losing weight, and men need testosterone to be able to lose it and SAHDs apparently lose testosterone in the process. I was the guy who turned down other very appealing women who seemed to desire me enough to offer me a sexual relationship. I kind of wondered it they were just nuts or something because if She doesn’t want me why would they. I was getting gigs before I had begun to really think about this stuff and now I was getting “we’ll pass” all the damned time.


I’m not a buff, hairless, cut-no-body-fat-washboard-abs, six-foot something, wealthy guy that most women these days seem to want. I am debt-free (apparently that’s something), honest, passionate, honorable, and I give more than I take, always. She has always come first, then the Offspring, then me. The only time I move ahead in that priority sequence is when it’s directly related to my ability to put funds in the family bank account. And now, that’s become a sore spot for me. I know my economic shortcomings have to be a turnoff or at least an irritant for Her, despite her protestations that that doesn’t matter to her. Every other woman says it is. All I know is having no intimacy with Her—emotional and lately intellectual—let alone sexual, for 23 years is killing me. I honestly don’t know how much longer I can stand it. I am not dead, no matter what society puts on me as a mid-forty-something guy. And it’s heartbreaking because I still adore Her.8100434-blond-man-sitting-alone-with-his-head-down
At my “advanced age” I don’t honestly think I would fare well in the attracting a partner let alone a mate—apparently over 40 and male=dead and asexual–because if you get an erection, especially upon seeing a woman under 40, that’s a bad thing, you’re a “dirty old man” (jeebus, the crap our culture buys into). I’ve been online in my darker more depressed moments at 3:00 a.m. on those dating websites, trying to figure out what women want in a guy. I’m nowhere near any of those descriptions put out there by women I find appealing. So much for a fix-it or a workaround. Besides the genuine bottom line I keep coming back to, and feeling so utterly stupid for feeling it, is I just want Her. I ache for Her.
Two days ago she told me, “I’m emotionally dead inside, except for being angry. I’m really angry.” She even tossed in a Probstian, “I got nothing for ya’” to assure me there was nothing I could do about it. Somewhere along the line this has to be my fault. 23 years of not being able to fix anything, not being allowed to try any sort of workaround. I have teenage kids, one with Aspergers, one who’s bipolar. I can’t just leave them. I’ve devoted the past sixteen years bonding and being deeply attached to them. Economically I’m not independent enough to make a go of it on my own. Sexually and physically, despite having lost 40 pounds (working on the final twenty) and having one of four jobs as a paid mid-level sports official (if you cannot keep up with under 21s you don’t get to work—I work), I’m so busted up and demoralized I’m not going to attract or gain a partner anyway. And I keep wanting Her. Just Her.
A female high school friend (yay Facebook, bane of my existence—it sucks to have three high school ex’s trying hard to get back the “one that got away.” Hell one named her kid after me—jeebus ) told me it’s completely unfair for a married woman to tell her husband unilaterally that she’s not going to have sex with him anymore (No, she’s not one of those three ex’s). I may have even read that in a blog comment somewhere too, so it must be a real thing. In principle, I agree with that. But my situation just isn’t that simple. She has a physically broken sweet-parts. She’s had a life of hard work where nothing comes easy. She has shattered expectations. I don’t know if She honestly loves me anymore; She still won’t tell me and She doesn’t say the three magic words anymore. I do hear a blistering critique of my flaws on a regular basis, often really unfair ones (my sixteen year old has begun to ask my why Mom is always riding me about stuff—I just don’t have an answer).
I do know her expectation of me is that I’ll stay with Her until She’s dead. She talks about us buying a place, where we’ll hole up together once neither of us can work anymore. It make me do a double-take every time; it confuses the hell out of me why She has no problem expecting me to continue to live with Her anger, her admitted emotional deadness, that she’s got nothin’ for me, when she knows how important intimacy and sex is for my very soul. How can I live with Her when there is nothing I can give Her?
I’ve tried to show my adoration, my affection for Her, my passion for Her above every other woman on the planet in every nonsexual way I can. I work my ass off doing anything that’ll pay (and I still pitch and pitch) in the toughest economy since the Depression to pull my weight. One of the two jobs that pays money regularly I get to put up with obnoxious fans, temperamental young players and far more often that people realize, threats of violence against me—I don’t care, I love the work too much. I dumped 40 pounds. I constantly and actively listen to Her go one for hours about how shitty Her life is. I’ve learned to clean the place up to Her standard despite two very challenging Offspring. I still do my damnedest to show her where my heart I with Her. I endure the unrequited love and the rejection from Her. I drive hard to be the very best Dad I can possibly be for the two kids I adore—if I read one more bullshit female author’s blog about how there’s nothing hotter than a good Dad (or a man who cleans), I’m going to explode because in my house that’s not the case. Nothing and no one is “hot,” except Her and She’s got nothing for me.
It’s galling, it’s living every day heartbroken, and feeling stupid for being unable to not be in love with Her. It’s so demoralizing that there’s nothing I can do to fix it or try a workaround, sexually or emotionally.
Everyone keeps telling me, leave her. I can’t. To quote a character in Juno (shudder), “the sun still shines out her ass” in my heart’s stupid foolhardy eyes. I feel alone. I am alone, married for 23 years to Her. And that truth is just too hard to take.

I used to have this recurring dream that started about a year after we started seeing each other. The two of us, old in our own place somewhere on the central coast, and we hosted big communal meals outside under the oak trees. It was our thing and we were happy. Five or six years ago that dream has been replaced with another recurring dream. In this one I’m alone, homeless “in a van down by the river” and I’m anything but happy. Damn, that’s just depressing. Somehow I can’t let that happen. But I really don’t know how to do that.



My Own Deadbedroom Story

hugs in the morning light

My own story began 14 years ago when a lovely young lady entered my life one night at a friend’s party. To be honest, she wasn’t striking to the eye. As many of us know, some woman attract attention instantly. Some are all legs, some have hair that floats and bounces as if controlled by a magic hand, while others have haunting eyes that mystically taunt men with a single sideways glance. Sam wasn’t any of these types. A fair judgement would be to say that she was a middle-of-the-road girl. Little makeup and little height, Sam never stuck out in the room made up mostly of similarly unattached twenty-year-olds.

But looks aren’t everything, right? Although I have the same red blood running through my veins as any other fertile man, I rarely take people on appearance alone, including unattached women. I look first but I also listen, making assessments after some significant contact is made. Sam and I made some great contact that night. It was a perfect connection. She made me smile. I felt comfortable in her presence. I drove her home and she asked me to call her sometime. I took it as a sign that the night went well for her too.


Before you get ahead of my story, no, ‘contact’ does not mean I slept with her. We only talked. We talked so much that night that we forgot the time. We got to that point when we suddenly realised the sun was lighting the sky again. I didn’t want her to go. I don’t think she wanted to go either. No, I didn’t bed her. I simply enjoyed her company.

Calling her wasn’t an easy thing do, not at first. It’s not that I didn’t want to, I did, but my previous relationship had left some residuals behind. I wanted to be fair to Sam. I hadn’t quite let go of Nina. Going backward wasn’t an option but I knew I needed to move on… without dumping any garbage on the new girl. I decided I`d ring Sam but if we were to date, I’d prefer to take the whole process very slow. She agreed to my offer. She even liked it. I think she felt I was being responsibly sensitive, a most admirable and rare quality in a man.

The topic of sex didn’t arise again for another three months, when it did, the topic of religion immediately followed. She’s Catholic and I knew Church meant a great deal to her. I respected her Faith and I also respected her wish to remain celibate. At the time it didn’t matter. It worked well with my go-slow approach. If it weren’t for the movie we’d been watching beforehand it’d never come up. At least I knew the deal and we’d begun to make plans for a future.

Two years passed by and I was ready to proceed. Love had grown and I was certain she was the one. My motives were honorable and I felt my conscience was clear. We’d spoken of sex many times by this point, quite frequently too. I made my move. The move was rejected. The aforementioned reasons remained unchanged. She wanted to wait until we were married.

What do I do?

My mother had two simple rules for me: Never call and ask to be picked up from the police station and when a girl says no it means no.

I loved Sam but I couldn’t… you know, love her that way until we were married. That would be another five years away. She smiled and said, ‘Don’t worry, it will all be perfect then, I promise you.’

I was deflated… frustrated… but optimistic… a promise is a promise… and she was always good with hers. If you love somebody then it shouldn’t matter, right? In dreams it’s a perfect way to build love. Besides, I would’ve felt superficial to abandon this relationship over sex. A deep and meaningful relationship is built on things more important, like respect. Respect begins and ends with trust. She trusted me and I trusted her. I had no reason not to trust her. Respect is earned and we had much in our bank. Why end such a rich relationship when a promise is sealed with long-tested trust?

Was it too long?

The wedding night wasn’t perfect. Anxieties that had been building for almost a decade prevented her from relaxing. I didn’t like hearing the screams. I hated seeing the tears. It wasn’t the magical moment we’d dreamed it to be. I took it slow and she tried so hard but when the word was shouted over my shoulder, my mother’s voice was heard in its echo: ‘No means no.’

I stopped.

I should’ve known it was already too late. Long term abstinence had turned sex into a monster. It placed it on a plane we could no longer reach… and the course was set. By not going there so often we couldn’t get there at all. The habit of stopping was so ingrained into my routine and the habit of saying no was so buried inside of hers that we knew nothing else. An unpleasant first-time didn’t help and all-others reinforced it.

This year now marks 7th year of our sexless marriage, 7 more if you add our dating years. She wants a baby this year and I know what you’re thinking, she’ll be onto it and all that won’t matter. That’s where  all gets super-weird, she isn’t onto it. We want to have a baby and she’s telling her friends all about it… but it’s a joke because there’s no sex to make one. I’m in a joke but I’m not laughing. How do believe you’re having a baby without any sex?

Now I’m bitter and disappointed. I hate myself for being fooled. I hate her for not taking the same care I did for her. I feel she has used religion to cover her asexuality and me to present to her to the world as a normal person. She broke her promise and now she breaks it again every day that passes.

-K (My own sexless marriage is written in SEETHINGS)


Surviving a Sexless Marriage.

In reality, surviving a sexless marriage is impossible.  The best thing you can do really is to try and fix it.  Do not suffer through it.


Instead of merely surviving a sexless marriage, I want to encourage you to do more.  You can’t survive a relationship that exists with no intimacy.  You must either move on, or repair your relationship so that you can bring the fire back in your life.

Surviving a sexless marriage is not enough.

I want you to fix it because miracles do occur, and you never know. it could be your relationship that gets the miracle. Surviving a sexless marriage is not only possible it’s expected if you follow all of the available advice.

The problem CAN be fixed

It’s not enough to try and just survive in a sexless marriage. Surviving a sexless marriage is the minimum goal. Let’s go beyond that and find a happy, balanced marriage.


Don’t allow your sexual frustrations to bubble over; don’t wait to get angry, feel rejected and not feel good about yourself. Part of surviving a sexless marriage is realizing how bad you are feeling while in it.  If you start blaming your partner for the situation you could only make things worse.

There could be a very simple and easily understandable reason for your sexless marriage. To move forward, you need to find out what the cause of your sexless relationship is.

First, I want you to work on your attitude. Surviving a sexless marriage really does come down to your mental approach. In fact you’ve got to be mentally tough. I want to encourage you not to put up with a substandard relationship. A key to surviving a sexless marriage is not tolerating things that you don’t like.  This is about self respect.

Have higher standards for your marriage!

There isn’t a benefit for putting up with a low-quality marriage. This WILL affect your happiness and other areas of your life. It’s mentally draining and hard to live with, as I’m sure you’ve already found out. This kind of a marriage limits what you do with your life.

The attitude that you will simply “surivive” a sexless marriage is the kind of attitude that will not only prolong it but will lead to your unhappiness in life. For example, take two couples. In the first relationship, the husband is a heavy smoker and the wife hates it. She complains about it but doesn’t do anything about it.

In the other relationship, the man is a heavy smoker and the wife hates it. Instead of complaining about it, she does something about it. Every time she catches her husband smoking she leaves for a period of time or she kicks him out for a period of time.

The first wife wants change but isn’t going after it. The second wife wants change and decides to create change.  See the big difference?

Guess which wife is going to get her husband to stop smoking? It’s the same with your sexless marriage. It’s time for you to play hardball.

You’ve got to take it more seriously and make more of a point that you won’t tolerate it. You will need to be able to provide other options for your partner which may involve finding a good relationship therapist.

Even if sex isn’t the most important thing in your partner’s life, it will still be important to them if they know it is important to you.

Now that you’ve read tips on surviving a sexless marriage, don’t miss my FREE video presentation that’ll show you how to rebuild the chemistry you once had. If you know the 4 stages of a relationship and which ones are best to be in…your sex life and marriage will never be boring ever again. Click here NOW for the powerful secret to success.

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Finding Joy in the Sexless Marriage

Couple holding stop sign in bed

Why do relationships become sexless and how do couples cope?

We’ve come to assume that the long-term intimate relationship involves physical as well as emotional closeness. However, couples may decide for a variety of reasons that sex is not a key feature of their particular relationship. Over time, some may evolve through a set of phases from passionate to companionate marriage. For other long-term relationships, however, the ties that bind are intrinsically linked to physical expressions of affection. What determines which couples choose the sexless route and which remain sexually active well into their later years?

A recent New York Times interview(link is external) with family sociologist Denise Donnelly explored the factors that contribute to sexless marriages, incorporating data from the General Social Survey to understand how these relationships come about and what keeps them going. I decided to explore the published literature on the topic and came across a 2008 paper written by Donnelly and fellow sociologist Elizabeth Burgess. This landmark paper identified the complex factors leading up to the sexless marriage and points to ways that couples in these relationships adapt and evolve over time.


The paper by Donnelly and Burgess is based on social exchange theory, a perspective that emphasizes the costs and benefits of remaining in a long-term relationship.  Applying this lens to the sexless marriage, the authors looked specifically at the case of “involuntary celibacy” in which partners remain sexless for 6 months or more.  “Sexless” in this case is defined as not having any physically pleasuring sexual activity not because the couples choose to become celibate, but because circumstances lead to this outcome.

According to social exchange theory, women who would otherwise prefer a relationship involving sex stay in one that does not because they regard the costs of being on their own as higher than the possible rewards of being on their own and free to have sex with someone else. Traditionally, particularly as they get older, women have fewer options to have sexual partners than do men because the older woman is seen as less sexually desirable than her same-age male counterparts. Women may also, traditionally, be more dependent on their husbands for financial support (though this is changing) or at least feel that they couldn’t raise their children alone.

Adding to this basic formula are the investments that couples make in relationships in terms of the time and effort they put into their marriage. The more they invest in their marriage, the greater the likelihood they’ll stay in it. In terms of sexuality, social prescriptions also play a role. These include the social norms that committed couples remain sexually exclusive backed up by the legal norms that make it difficult for couples to end their relationship when it becomes less than satisfying.

With this backdrop, let’s examine the reasons that couples choose celibacy in their committed relationships:

  1. The passage of time.  The longer a relationship endures, the greater the chances that the couple’s sexual fires will diminish. Even so, many older adults do remain sexually active. For aging women, the issue may be not only one of time changing the nature of the relationship but the fact that their partners are no longer alive or are in poor health.
  2. Stressors in the relationship. Even relatively young couples can become voluntarily celibate if they are facing enough outside pressures. Late in a woman’s pregnancy, the couple may decide to cease having sex, and even after the baby is born, she and/or her partner may simply not have the energy to engage in sexual activity. Eventually, most couples do become sexually active again after 6 months, but they may then run into other competing demands on their emotional energy.
  3. Illness in one or both partners. The development of chronic physical or mental illness isn’t necessarily the deal-killer when it comes to sex, but it may significantly interfere with one or both partner’s libido. It may be fairly obvious how physical illness can become a limiting factor, but as Donnelly and Burgess point out, people with psychological disorders may lose sexual interest as a result of medication or self-doubts associated with stigma.  Declines in sexual activity can also contribute to mental health problems, particularly if one or both partners feel that they are less attractive and desirable than they once were.
  4. Guilt or conflict. Certainly, many people with strong religious convictions continue to enjoy a satisfying sex life, particularly if their religion places high value on propagation. However, a lifetime of being exposed to religious teachings that place proscriptions on oral sex and masturbation may leak over and hamper the expression of sexual activity within even the marriage.

What happens when couples find themselves having slipped, for any of these reasons (or others) into celibacy? Is their relationship doomed? According to Donnelly and Burgess, the impact of involuntary sexlessness depends in part on a person’s reference group. Going back to the social exchange perspective, if they see their own celibacy as not that different from that of others in their own normative group (based on age, gender, illness status,religiosity) then entirely negative outcomes may be mitigated. In general, sexual activity is positively linked to relationship satisfaction, but there are still couples who don’t fit this pattern. They can maintain high relationship quality because their view of their relationship has shifted to define the sexless life as normative.

On the other hand, if a couple is celibate because their sexual relationship was unsatisfying or unfulfilling, then it stands to reason that they will experience high levels of sexual dissatisfaction. They may also start to stray from the marriage and seek sexual gratification in an extramarital affair which may exact a high emotional toll both on the cheater and the cheated-upon.

Despite these potentially negative consequences, couples do decide to remain in the relationship rather than leave their partner. From the exchange theory perspective, they feel they’ve already invested so much time and energy into the relationship that it would take a great deal to tear them apart. They may also value the shared affection they experience in non-sexual ways, what Donnelly and Burgess call “we-ness.” The social supports of remaining together as a couple, if not a family, also keep the sexless couple together. Emotionally, a couple may remain together in a sexless marriage because their partner is their best friend or their “ideal” partner.

In examining the data from a sample of 77 couples, Donnelly and Burgess identified a handful of basic strategies. About one-third gave up and stopped asking their partner.  Others sought sexual gratification outside the marriage. For the majority, investing their energy in other things (work, school, hobbies) provided the greatest emotional relief. Some redefined thestress of their relationship as a challenge of their coping abilities and sought spiritual or self-growth. For another third of the sample, though, marriage or sexual counseling was the preferred route though, by definition, this intervention was ineffective for the current sample.

Sifting through the information provided by this unique study, it appears that one of the key factors is perceiving that the rewards of being together with your partner outweigh the costs of leaving.  Love, shared values, and mutual goals, values, and experiences are the glue that can keep a sexless relationship going. Coping with a sexless relationship may involve a variety of strategies, then, whether or not that relationship occurs within the context of marriage. If you’re in a relationship in which you are celibate due to circumstances outside of your control, if you’re like the majority of people in this study, you find ways to cope.

Knowing that you’re not alone may be the greatest solace in coping with a sexless relationship. Social norms may make you feel like an oddity and the distress you experience may be very real. It’s possible that, like some of the least happy in the Donnelly and Burgess study, you decide to leave the relationship. Even though it may be difficult, however, it is possible to find ways to work through its challenges.

Follow me on Twitter @swhitbo for daily updates on psychology, health, and aging. Feel free to join my Facebook group, “Fulfillment at Any Age,” to discuss today’s blog, or to ask further questions about this posting.

Copyright Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D. 2014 


Donnelly, D. A., & Burgess, E. O. (2008). The decision to remain in an involuntarily celibate relationship. Journal Of Marriage And Family, 70(2), 519-535. doi:10.1111/j.1741-3737.2008.00498.x


-Michael Forman (Author of sexless story SEETHINGS) Subscribe to blog.

The Novel ¦The Author ¦ Orde
SEETHINGS novel by Michael Forman

The Brutal Truth About Sexless Marriages


Experts sound in on sexless marriage and long-term love.

Jennifer* didn’t have sex with her ex-husband on their wedding night. “I chalked it up to fatigue,” she says. But should it have been a red flag?

Well, maybe.

It’s not that it didn’t happen that one night that was the problem; it’s that it was the first of many sexless married nights. As an engaged couple, Jennifer and her fiancé were doing it about three times a week, but once they said their vows, it quickly dwindled to about once a month—sometimes less.

Some experts call marriages that average 10 rolls in the hay per year or less “sexless,” but other experts take the word more literally, like Susan Yager-Berkowitz, who coauthored (with her husband).

“If a couple is content with intimacy less than once a month, and happily married, I doubt they would refer to themselves as having a sexless marriage… and neither would we.”

Dean Mason, who runs the website Fix Your Sexless Marriage, agrees, “Each person defines what his or her sex threshold is.”

But even if there’s no perfect definition for a “sexless” marriage, everyone seems to agree that they’re common. Newsweek estimates that about 15 to 20 percent of couples are in one, and sexless marriage is the topic of myriad new books—like Yager-Berkowitz’s—and plenty of articles and columns. Back in 2003, Newsweek’s cover blared, “We’re Not In the Mood,” and the story hasn’t gone away. The New York Times reports that about 15 percent of married couples had not done the deed in the past six months to a year.

It’s not a given that a couple’s bedroom activity will fizzle over time—we all know a randy couple who’ve been married for decades—but any number of factors could start the tailspin.

Psychotherapist Tina Tessina, PhD, author of Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage, lists these as the most common causes of sexless marriages: one partner had their feelings hurt or got turned down too many times, one got too busy or neglectful, or one or both partners has a communication problem of some sort.

Judith Steinhart, a clinical sexologist in New York City, is yet more specific: “Problems in a marriage [like] lack of trust, anxiety, financial issues, misunderstandings, pressure from children, all can impact a couple’s sexual patterns.”

The question, of course, is whether refraining from sex causes other problems, or if the other problems stop the sex in the first place?

“It’s a cycle,” says Mason. In other words, one can exacerbate the other—and before you know it, no one can remember what came first.

As for how much sex a healthy couple should be having, that varies—and is up to the couple to figure out. Tessina’s best advice is at least once a week, saying that “intimacy keeps you glued together. It’s what you need in order to nurture your connection to your spouse. You’ll be a lot happier with each other and feel more cared about if you’re regularly having sex.”

Husbands and wives shouldn’t feel like they have to stick to once a week during stressful or tumultuous times. And of course, there can always be an off-week—or longer. As Steinhart notes, “Sex and sexual expression change along with the longevity of a relationship, ebbing and flowing during a lifetime.” But the good news, she says, is that the ebb is “natural—and you can get back to the flow easily.”

But when a couple has had a long period—say, several months—without sex, it’s important to address the problem, so months don’t become years, Tessina says. “Some couples won’t have sex for two years and then come in to my practice and ask for help. We can get to the bottom of the problem at that point, but it’s more challenging. If they haven’t had sex for a couple of months, that’s when they really should be asking questions. That’s a good time to come in and have therapy. Otherwise, anger and frustration builds, and it takes longer to fix it that way.”

After a period of sexual inactivity, you and your partner can get back on the proverbial horse. The experts say that scheduling sex can work.

“I know this doesn’t sound romantic,” says Mason. “But with kids, work and chores, it may be the only way.” Take inspiration from the Obamas and call it “date night.” Think back to when you and your spouse actually were dating and try to recapture some of those spontaneous, getting-to-know-you moments.

“Remember how you connected back then and repeat that,” says Tessina. “It could be a few words, a gesture, a kind of look or touch.”

Do new things together, go on a trip or try some thrilling activities to try to keep things fresh. “Break away from your routine as much as possible,” says Mason.

It’s common for spouses to have different amounts of sexual desire. If you’re the spouse who’s unsatisfied, it’s important to communicate with your partner, compassionately.

“Say, ‘We haven’t had sex in a while, and I miss you,'” recommends Tessina. “Don’t complain about it—that’s not going to get you laid. Go for the sweetness.” Choose the time of day that works for both of you; maybe set the scene with some candlelight, romantic music or whatever helps you both get into the mood.

“Try to make it as easy and simple as possible to get together, and it gets easier to do,” says Tessina. “In a long-term marriage, you have to pay attention to keep the sex going. It won’t keep going by itself.”

The experts agree that a marriage without sex isn’t necessarily wrong, but it can be more vulnerable than one with regular sex. Luckily, it’s doesn’t always take much to keep up a routine—but it does take some effort.

Steinhart suggests getting back into the groove by reading erotic stories or watching X-rated movies together and opening a dialogue about each other’s sexual desires. What gets each couple—and each person—back on track will vary, so explore ways to loosen up your current attitudes about sex, shake up your routine a bit and begin to talk about sex with your partner.

“The focus needs to be on giving and receiving pleasure,” says Steinhart. “And letting the [sexual] feelings in.”

If you’re the one who doesn’t want to have sex, closely examine what’s going on in your life and your relationship and ask yourself why. It could be a physical condition you should see a doctor about, or it could be negative feelings toward something in your relationship—and that could be something you can get past. “Be honest with your partner,” says Mason. “Remember that it’s important to your relationship to keep you partner sexually satisfied.”

“There are deals you can work out,” says Tessina. “Maybe you can hold your partner while theymasturbate.”

So is a sexless marriage ever okay? Yes, says Steinhart, as long as both partners honestly feel happy and satisfied with their relationship without sexual intimacy.

“If a couple is OK with their pattern, whether it’s infrequent or not at all there isn’t a problem,” says Steinhart. “Some would say, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.'” That’s why it’s important to keep an open dialogue with your spouse, to continue to connect on other levels and to make sure both of you are truly content with the status of the relationship. Steinhart adds, “It’s not a lack of sex that’s the issue, it’s a discordant level of desire.”

*name changed


The real meaning of sex.

English: A couple performing sexual intercours...

Definition provided by The People (Thanks to Wikipedia):

Sexual intercourse, or coitus or copulation, is principally the insertion and thrusting of a male’s penis, usually when erect, into a female’s vagina for the purposes of sexual pleasure or reproduction. This is also known as vaginal intercourse or vaginal sex. Other forms of penetrative sexual intercourse include penetration of the anus by the penis (anal sex), penetration of the mouth by the penis or oral penetration of the female genitalia (oral sex), sexual penetration by the fingers (fingering), and penetration by use of a strap-on dildo. These activities involve physical intimacy between two or more individuals and are usually used among humans solely for physical or emotional pleasure and commonly contribute to human bonding.

I prefer Wikipedia’s answer over a standard dictionary’s, not only is it modernized and less sanitized, but it’s always evolving. Everyone has an opinion and no two opinions are the same. The amount of citation and amendment marks that surround the original text on its home site proves this and suggests we are passionate in letting the world know about our experience in the subject!

As the definition changes and grows with little pieces of the puzzle being added and refined periodically, the answers to what sex is to humans appears to come from a complex, endless source. Sex to some is fingers and dildos. Sex to some is anuses and vaginas. It’s not just about reproduction and not so black and white. Human sexuality variants are as diverse as colours in the visible light spectrum.


Methodology and frequency heats any discussion fast. If you want to cool a sex-talk down, talk about connection. Most of us agree that there is something beyond the physical side of sex that we yearn for – a kind of emotional optimism. Some use the word love to explain that sensation but some choose to steer away from it, muddying up the waters again. To me, the water is crystal clear. Sexuality is an extension of a much simpler need, human touch.

I’ve thought about this long and hard. Almost everything we do seems funnel into one thing: The acknowledgment of self. I exist and I matter within this existence.

Babies know this feeling. A mother reaches out and touches her offspring for the first time and suddenly the journey of existence in the outside world begins. The baby knows it exists and matters when its mother strokes its head and nuzzles her face against its chest. The words are written all over every touch and we carry that desire to matter into our adulthood. All of us want to I matter. All of us want our existence to count for something.

Sex is one way we activate, communicate and receive this basic need as adults – I matter.

It’s a selfish need but even that selfishness is normal. Think about it. For the first few years a baby receives touch. It does not need to give touch to fulfil anything in its mother. It’s offering to its parents is its very existence, another way we receive the sensation I matter.

But here’s where adulthood screws with our mind. In order to receive touch we have to do three things: Be prepared to share and offer it. Communicate our need to receive it. Include our touch-specific sexual organs in the process. None of these things are freely taught to us at any time in our lives. Why? Well, that’s a question bound in too much civilised emotional red-tape to answer. All I know is we have an emotional need that is reached by a physical one and it goes to I exist and I matter.

It explains much.

It explains why the wires get crossed. If we are told nothing, shown nothing, taught nothing then the selfish programming we started with will prevail.

Even asexuals and those with low libidos can be explained by this. Touch doesn’t have to be sexual to provide I exist. I exist can be fulfilled in other ways that doesn’t require touch.

Most of us like a hug. A hug acknowledges our existence and says to us that we matter.

-K (My own sexless marriage is written in SEETHINGS)


Fixing Your Partner’s Sex, The Truth About

Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women'...

You want to fix your partner’s fading or faded libido? You’re researching the Internet for answers because sex is a natural desire and it’s only natural that you want to be with your partner. You want answers on how to show them the way to a new and better level of physical intimacy. You want to change them.

Well, you’ve found the right place to find the  best and proper answer.

Short answer: You can’t do it.

Longer answer: You can’t make another person change their libido. It’s nice that you think something like that is repairable. Trying shows you care. The optimism you’re showing by doing this reflects dedication. Unfortunately dedication isn’t enough. I know all this reads pretty uncomfortable – and you’re about two seconds away from exiting from this page… but hear me out first.

Take a look around the site. Do you see it sponsored by anyone? There’s no medication banners, no dating sites, no counseling links…


I don’t have any advertisers to answer to or satisfy. All I have is my personal experience to offer: Living 14 years in a sexless relationship and years of relationship counseling behind it. What I’ve found supports my statements. Yes, we’d prefer our partners to change. If they loved us they’d meet us in the middle. We want them to care for us, touch us, love us, but you can’t make another person’s libido change.

Let’s make it simple. Low libido isn’t an illness. There’s nothing to be fixed. That’s why it can’t be altered. There’s nothing to repair or heal. And it’s not your fault either. Often, it’s nothing to do with you at all, which is also why high libido shouldn’t be a blame-able offence either. Libido is just a way a person is. Libido is like food appetites. Some of us eat big and others eat like sparrows. Some gorge whilst others take their time. You eat differently and you sex differently too. What we need to come terms with is our understanding of that works and how we (not they) adjust to that.

You either accept and live with the differences, negotiate with your partner  or get the hell out.

What’s normal when it comes to sexual frequency?

Normal? You’ve got to be kidding! Normal?

But what a powerful word-weapon that one is when we use it against others. What is normal when it comes to libido and sex? To be honest, it changes with age. It changes with the length of the relationship. It changes with health. Stress plays a role. Routine can affect it. Boredom shouldn’t be dismissed either.

I can’t speak for everyone but I have my own experience that I’ll share with you right now:

  1. Teens to my 20’s: Horny plus. Fortunately I had a horny girlfriend who took everything I gave and never said no. Three times a day, more on holidays, hour long sessions every time. Lots of oral, various positions, giggles and fun.
  2. Early 20’s: Still horny. New relationships were banging at approximately once a night, sometimes a second turn in the morning, now 45 mins a time.
  3. Mid 20’s: Dating. Celibate partner. No sex.
  4. Late 20’s: Married. Little to nothing. Once a month for the first year. Once a year for following 6 years. SHE wanted less. No oral. Missionary only. As quick as possible.
  5. Mid 30’s to current: Still married but having an affair with former girlfriend. No sleepovers so the sessions go as long as possible. Highly aggressive two hour sessions at a time, meeting up once every two or three weeks.

I am heterosexual. I’ve performed anal a few times in the past but it’s not something I need to do. Now I’ve done it I don’t see the fascination. I figure that there’s a softer, cleaner, wetter place for a boy to visit than take on a dirty, dry backside. I also like the lights on during sex.  Seeing her is a significant part of my sexuality. If I couldn’t be allowed to see her then I wouldn’t stay. I need to touch and be touched. I have sensitive palms and I like having them stroked by her fingers too. I like feeling her hair tickle my chest when she sits on me.

The question I have been asked by lovers a few times has been: ‘Why do you take so long to come?’

Answer is simple: Why rush to get it over with? I like a naked woman under, beside or on top of me so much that I don’t want to miss a part of it or cut it short. It’s a visual feast as much as anything and I want it to last. It’s not hard to endure holding off. It’s not even an endure for me. I’ve trained orgasm so well I don’t always need to finish!

To have a woman share her time with me is so special that I just can’t accept fifteen or five minutes. There’s kissing, hands and fingers, lots of goosebumps to stimulate things between the beginning and the end of sex.  When the hump-action starts, I’ll spend at least an hour joined to her.  This is MY normal but it’s not everyone’s kind of normal. With my current and unusual situation at hand it’s difficult to find a natural state of mind. There’s no sex at home but copious amounts of intense sex outside it.

Yes, I know I’m probably over-compensating. The aggression in my sex says much. My lover doesn’t seem to mind. She likes a bit of push and shove. It tips her over knowing a man is in the driving seat taking charge of our journey together.

But it’s not the lover I really am. It’s the anger talking, the anger I hold over my wife for not participating in sex. There is guilt afterwards and it’s for the very same reason.

And now normal is knowing that this is all okay. It’s far more satisfying having life laid out this way than accepting an unexplainable life of forced celibacy.

There is no such thing as normal  in sex. The word we should be using in place of it should be comfortable.

Read all you want. Research yourself to the depths of best well-intended wisdom, you can’t change someone else’s libido. Pills won’t alter it. Roses and chocolates work but once or twice. Counseling will only expose the rawness of emotion underlying the truth and occasionally there will be glimmers of briefly lived hope as someone tries to change. In the end, lifelong change in sex isn’t possible. It comes down to looking at your own life and those realistic options you can be in control of.

Your options in getting through a sexless relationship.

  1. Stay and endure.
  2. Seek professional help.
  3. Open relationship.
  4. Secret affair.
  5. Get out.

It’s not an abrupt or brutal approach sexual counsel. It’s just reality. It also saves $$ and years having someone tell you a slower way and for you to realise on your own that these five are the only magic outcomes you need to know.

Counseling does offer one tiny thing: It’s like a highlighter pen bringing out the key issues to your partner – that something serious has been happening in the relationship and you’re making it known to them. It makes things official – and someone professional knows your problem too. Don’t expect long-term miracles from doing this though. Like I said earlier, libido isn’t something you can negotiate over no matter who’s involved, no matter how well you two understand the differences going on.

In my case, I talked until I was blue. I had to go elsewhere on-the-quiet because she didn’t see a problem and didn’t want me to have an affair. I love my wife but I can’t stand not having sex. I was able to separate love and sex… and it wasn’t too hard to do, not with her help.

And now I have a blissful night of passionate lovemaking once every few weeks and peace for the rest of the time. I’ve not felt this calm in years. I’m even dreaming and sleeping through the night again! My wife is even smiling because the conflict has gone.

-K (My own sexless marriage is written in SEETHINGS)


The side effects of low libido you never knew…

Sexless marriageAs we age we find ourselves having less and less sex. This may seem like no big deal and you might believe the only thing you’re missing out on is sex. But did you know there are health side effects that come along with not having frequent sex?

It’s true – sex offers us many benefits, such as lowering our blood pressure, boosting our immune system and actually increasing our desire to have more sex. On the other hand, when we don’t have frequent sex it can cause changes to our health that you may not even have realized. Here are some common side effects of a low libido you probably don’t know.

stressed due to low libidoSide effects of infrequent sex

You become more anxious

Sex is an effective way to reduce stress, so if you abstain from it, you may find yourself more anxious and stressed out. One Scottish study found that those who went without sex had a harder time dealing with stressful situations compared to individuals who had frequent sex.

Your risk of getting sick goes up

risk of getting sick with infrequent sexAs mentioned, sex can boost your immune system, so when we go without sex our immune system can take a hit, increasing our risk of catching a cold or the flu. Researchers from the Wilkes University in Pennsylvania found that those who had sex up to twice a week saw a 30 percent boost in antibodies, which are your body’s first line of defense against illness. The findings were compared to individuals who did not have frequent sex.


Your mental health may suffer

Research published in Archives of Sexual Behavior found that the longer women went without sex, the more depressed they felt. But further analysis revealed that women whose sexual partners wore condoms also felt an increase in sadness. It turns out that male semen contains mood enhancing chemicals like melatonin, serotonin and oxytocin. The study concluded that unprotected sex could be a mood-enhancer for women. But do be cautious, unprotected sex can run its own risks.

Your relationship changes, for the worsemental health affected due to infrequent sex

Lack of sex in a relationship can cause some weirdness to occur. A sexless marriage can have an impact on a person’s self-esteem and decrease levels of oxytocin, which creates a feeling of bonding. Furthermore, it may create fear that your partner is looking elsewhere for sex.

Although it is normal to have sex-free periods within a relationship, it is an expression of intimacy, so if you and your partner have chosen to go sex-free, you will need to use other means of intimacy to maintain the relationship, such as holding hands, kidding and hugging.


If up until now you used age as an excuse to not have sex, reconsider. Sex can provide many health benefits and prevent health side effects that occur if you go without it. So why not re-light the flame this evening and give your health a boost?

Related Reading:

Having low libido is more serious than you think

One common belief is that as we age our libido and sex drive take a downward spiral. Because many of us believe this idea we don’t get too concerned that the older we get, the less sex we have – but we should. Having low libido is actually not a normal sign of aging, but instead can indicate a serious underlying health problem that requires attention. Continue reading…

Is your medication the cause of low libido?

The older we get the more pills and medications we have to take. It seems for every ailment there’s a pill. Medications, as you may already know, can come with many other side effects – some more noticeable than others. Some may give you the runs, others may make you feel dizzy, and certain ones can zap your libido. Continue reading…




A story of one very extraordinary sexless marriage. 


What To Do If You Find Yourself In A Sexless Marriage

Couple Sleeping on Opposite Sides of Bed

The longer a couple goes without being intimate, the more ambivalence they will feel. It’s like a vicious cycle, and this only increases the lack of trust, the awkwardness and the subsequent distancing. Resistance to talking about the problems and to exploring ways to be intimate only puts greater stress on the relationship.

If your marriage is suffering from a lack of sex, consider these tips to help get the intimacy back into your relationship.

1. Rule out medical problems.

First, it’s necessary to medically rule out physical causes such as side effects of chronic illness or medications as well as age-related issues. Sexual problems in marriage can also be related to incompatibility in sex drives. The contributing factors are not insurmountable.

2. Think about counseling.

A sexless marriage is usually a sign of more serious problems in the relationship—lack of trust, unresolved anger, deep resentment, one partner having an affair or with one foot emotionally out of the marriage. If efforts to discuss the problems are too uncomfortable, frustrating or going nowhere, seeing a couples’ therapist may very well shed some light on the problems.

3. Know each other’s needs.

Compatibility of goals—both inside and outside the bedroom—is important, as well as the freedom to talk about what the partners both need and want. For some couples, control and withholding sex is one way to have the upper hand. If other problems in the relationship aren’t attended to, the anger and hurt take away the desire to be close or even try to make it work.

4. Consider gender differences.

Another contributing factor can be the hard wiring differences that surface between men and women around a lot of issues—communication, support, problem solving and, yes, sex too. Men often view sex as the intimacy in a relationship and making love is when they feel closest to their partner. Women, on the other hand, need to feel the intimacy before opening themselves up emotionally. It takes some understanding of these dynamics and a willingness to work together so both partners can feel loved and satisfied.

Dr. Phyllis Goldberg guides clients through reassessing their lives, before, during and after divorce. Learn more at