Three Reasons that a Sexless Marriage Causes Divorce

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Sexless marriage is more common than people think. It is a silent marriage killer; it starts out as a slow burn, then explodes at the end of a marriage. Are you trapped in a sexless marriage, are you considering divorce because of it, or have you already filed for divorce? If so, you are not alone.

Many people try to make a marriage work for years, hoping that something will change. Sometimes, it seems petty to divorce over sexual issues. If you have put time and work into improving your sex life and are still not happy with the intimacy, then you have every right to move on.

In all likelihood, you did not get married to have a roommate. According to a survey by the New York Times, the top three most important qualities of marriage are:

  • Friendship/companionship
  • Sex/intimacy
  • Love

You do not have to be expected to be held hostage in a marriage, which is exactly what many people feel in this situation. It is why so many sexless marriages lead to either infidelity or divorce.

There are three main reasons why sexless marriages end in divorce.

1) Making Excuses

Children do change things, and libidos are affected by hormones and exhaustion. All of these things are perfectly normal, and most married couples experience a slowdown in their sex lives after their children are born.

However, problems arise when one partner uses these normal occurrences as a crutch to bring the intimacy to a standstill. Then when the kids get older and the couple has more time, the blame switches to something else, such as demands at work.

Have you informed your spouse that you are unsatisfied? Has it been months or years since you experienced intimacy together? Does one partner refuse to admit that there is a problem, and continuously puts the blame on outside sources, instead of working on whatever is causing them to avoid intimacy? If so, sexless marriage is a viable reason for divorce.

 

2) Not Making an Effort

Sexual problems are nothing to be ashamed of. However, if there is a sexual problem, there are things that need to be done to address the problem. If the spouse who is avoiding intimacy refuses to work on the problem through counseling or medical checkups, this problem can become exponentially worse.

Ignoring the unhappiness of the other partner is detrimental to a marriage. Is your spouse refusing to put forth any effort, despite you letting them know how unhappy you are? If so, it can be classified as irreconcilable differences, which is grounds for divorce.

 

3) Refusing to Compromise

If your partner gets defensive and refuses to listen to you when you try to talk to them about your sexless marriage, it is disrespectful. They are minimizing something that is causing you a lot of turmoil, and they are not respecting your patience, your willingness to work on the marriage, or your marriage as a whole.

Do they expect you to stay faithful, yet refuse to work on the relationship or try to help meet the biological needs of you both? If so, they are disconnected from the marriage.

Every marriage requires compromise. Agreeing to go to a sex therapist or couples counselor is enough to show that they respect the marriage, and they will try to work on the problem. However, if they even show an effort by talking about it privately and are willing to try new things, that is enough to show that they want to save the marriage.

Expecting somebody to accept a lack of intimacy shows no interest in the marriage as an equal union. Your continuous feeling of rejection takes a big toll, which should be something that your partner takes into consideration.

 

Sexless Marriage Divorce Rate

Sexless marriage is almost unanimously defined as having sex less than once a month. Maybe it should be called a low-sex marriage. According to the New York Times, about 15% of marriages are sexless.

Some sex therapists and counselors argue that a sexless marriage should be defined by the way the intimacy rate affects the couple. Therefore, if both spouses are content with having sex less than once a month, should it still be considered a sexless marriage?

If you are reading this article, it is likely that you or someone you know feels like they are in a sexless marriage. Therefore, whatever the monthly total is, the way it is affecting you is the most important factor.

There are no clear numbers to determine the rate of divorces due to sexless marriage, but the knowledge that 15% of marriages are in this category is a place to start. It creates a sizable minority.

Reportedly, sex is important for the health of the body. Admittedly, each person has different biological needs, and therefore different libidos. However, there are ways to make it work if there is a mismatch in the libidos in your marriage.

As mentioned before, compromise is incredibly important in a marriage, so both partners can get as many of their needs met as possible. If your partner refuses to do the work it takes to make a balanced union (which includes at least a minimum of sexual needs being met), then a divorce might be the logical next step.

A divorce due to a sexless marriage will be challenging. You will be dealing with a lot of sensitive information, and strong emotions will be triggered. However, a good divorce coach can help you work through these challenges and figure out the most constructive, respectful way to proceed while you keep yourself protected.

If you decide to move forward, try to remember that your happiness is worth it.

Shawn Leamon, MBA, CDFA is the host of the “Divorce and Your Money Show” and Managing Partner of LaGrande Global, with offices in Dallas, New York and Hanover, New Hampshire.

 

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Shawn Leamon, MBA, CDFA

Dallas, Texas

Shawn C. H. Leamon is Managing Partner of LaGrande Global, a firm that helps successful families manage large financial transitions like divorce, inheritance and selling a business.

He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College, double majoring in Economics and Philosophy, and his Masters in Business Administration at Spain’s IE Business School.

Before founding LaGrande Global, Shawn helped manage $1.1 billion in client assets at Bernstein Global Wealth Management. He also worked as a credit research analyst at J.P. Morgan. He is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, and he has been an advisor to numerous high-stakes divorce cases.

Shawn is the author of two well-received finance books: Managing Private Wealth: Principles, and Divorce and Your Money: The No-Nonsense Guide, both published in 2016.

In his spare time, Shawn is an ultra-endurance athlete and has competed in events as long as 24 hours. He is an Eagle Scout and a member of the Alumni Board of Greenhill School.