Anyone fixed a sexless marriage?

posted 3 years ago in Intimacy
Post # 3
451 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Did you have an active sex life in the past? Or has your relationship always been sexless?

Post # 5
2355 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I’m sorry, anon4. I wish this post had more replies. I don’t have any advice for you. My relationship is not sexless, but we definitely have mismatched libidos. I know you are not alone.

Post # 7
1287 posts
Bumble bee

I solved mine – i got divorced.  


Post # 8
11772 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

I’m so sorry! I wish I could help you!

Post # 9
258 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

I am sure there are success stories…might be difficult to find them on this sort of forum.  Have you tried couples counseling/sex therapy?  Are either of you in individual therapy?  Your husband, especially, needs to be in treatment for his porn addiction.  I’m a therapist myself – I know this isn’t always a hopeless scenario.

Post # 10
258 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

Apologies, I didn’t see your post about the counseling.  I do believe that there is hope for you, though.  I am aware of cases in which couples’ sex lives have improved dramatically.

Post # 11
2578 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

Not completely sexless, but DH and I had a 2-month dry spell not too long ago. His libido is really low due to some health issues, and he’s very down on himself about his looks, as well. There were instances of me completely breaking down on him, telling him I felt unattractive, undesireable, etc., but that didn’t do anything. I tried lingerie, initiating, but nothing worked… he just had to work through it.
He’s living away from home over the summer for work, but comes home once a week. I now make sure to txt him naughty photos, or things I want him to do to me before he gets here, just to see if I can rev his engines a bit. Luckily it’s been working, because I can’t go through another drought again (plus we’re supposed to TTC when he comes home, too)!

I noticed you mentioned he’s addicted to pornography and can’t get aroused by a ‘real’ woman… has he elaborated on why? Of course I don’t know how the male brain works, but I’ve gotta believe that real intercourse or any type of sexual contact with someone would be better than going solo to pictures…

Post # 12
8480 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

Eeek…I only have one similar story.  I had an ex who (I would say) was addicted to porn and it was pretty much sexless, he couldn’t finish either except when doing it himself.  I don’t think it would have worked anyway and we had only been dating 3 months so I wasn’t heavily invested, so I just left.

As far as counseling, it would probably be best for him to go on his own (for his addiction) and then for you to go together.

Post # 13
118 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

@anon4:  I can think of ways to entice him into having sex with you, like having him “catch” you or watch you masturbate with porn star moans while you have makeup and hair done similar to the porn star image (and maybe wean him off of this image slowly as he begins to enjoy real sex more than watching it and, I would guess, using his hand).  However, I would feel like this would eat away at you a bit as he is sleeping with a person you’re impersonating rather than him sleeping with you, the inwardly and outwardly beautiful person.  Either way, I think you would probably at least start feeling more visually attractive (IF he takes the bait), but maybe less attractive or just as dissatisfied as you are feeling now as he only wants you when you are not the real you (i.e. the porn star you is better than the everyday you).  If he does not “take the bait,” then you are setting yourself up to feel worse than you are now.


What I hope you realize, or at least work on figuring out, is that this ball is not in your court–it is in his.  He has to want to go to therapy (or do whatever it is that he wants to use as a mechanism for changing this pattern) for no other reason than because he himself wants to stop the pattern that he is in.  He has to want to give both of you the relationship that you need.  You are willing and ready to jump his bones and you cannot force him to a) have sex with you or b) enjoy it (as much as, if not more than, porn), so you have limited options to come to terms with.  Either patiently keep talking to him about how you feel about the lot of it and that you would like him to stop this, or leave him.  Generally, I would have you two talk out a timeline and consequences, but I don’t think it is that easy in this case as it is really hard to gauge how fast feelings deteriorate in a relationship with on-going issues like these.  If you hit a turning point where your self-esteem may be irreversibly damaged, you should get yourself out until you are stable again.


Until then, I think sex patterns and attachments are really hard to rewire.  It takes a lot of motivation, patience, stamina, effort, care, concern, and communication.  I was sexually abused when I was young, so it took a long time before I was willing to have sex with my FI and then it was very infrequent with tears and painful flashbacks at times that would leave us both sad.  I continued trying, and as I began to re-associate sex with my FI and his love and undying compassion for me, it started to abate (maybe dim or fade is a better characterization) the links that I had formed to sex from my abuse (previously it had been danger, fear, etc.).  Logically I knew what sex should be, and I am sure your hubby does too, but once you have a pattern, it takes a lot of effort to override it.  I still have issues sometimes, but we went from having sex once every four months to once every month and a half, and so on until now, where we are at 3-6 times a week depending on stress and energy levels.  Sex lives and patterns thereof can change, but I was the one who had to be motivated and I was the one that had to keep trying because I was the one who had the problems that I wanted fixed.  My FI just took patient direction from me and supported me as he knew I was trying.  Same should go with you and your husband–he needs to do the nitty-gritty work while you need to patiently support his efforts if you choose to go forward in this relationship.


My concern from your post is that your husband does not seem super motivated to change his habit, and that makes me wonder if he is still emotionally into you in the way that you may deem necessary to continue solving this problem with him.  My situation never lost an emotional attachment, and if he has lost his (or most of it), I would think you two may need to more drastically cut porn out and help him use you as a substitute to first garner a physical attraction that will motivate him to seek out the emotional traits that he loved about you so much in the first place.  You need to get to the bottom of just how detached he is from you, and if it is at an emotional level, I would tell him that counseling and a “no porn rule” for recovery is going to be mandatory for the two of you sticking this out as you deserve a certain level of consideration and care.  This all sounds very centered around him right now, but maybe you did not list how much he actually wants to quit for the sole purpose of protecting you and your relationship.  I would hope that your feelings are not being pushed aside.  That being said, if you do stick this out, make sure you monitor your own mental situation and find a therapist for individual sessions if it is too much to handle on your own–I don’t think I’d put too much of your frustration on him once he is in the process of recovery.


Ah, I wish my thoughts were more organized on this matter, but that is the natural progression of how I thought of everything.  Just remember that a) you share equal feelings in this and he needs to care about them just as much as his own, and b) he needs to be motivated and actively working on this while you just help the process improve with positive support.  I would do anything to help my FI in a bad spot, but sometimes people have to sort their own crap out while the rest of us are left to hope for the best and do what we can to not enable a bad situation to continue.  If he is not motivated enough to help you get satisfied in the relationship, then there may only be one thing that you can do to get yourself back to satisfied: leave.


I guess what I’m down to is questions of how motivated he is.  He isn’t going to therapy and at best sounds like he is dragging his feet about it, so what is he doing?  Anything?  Does he want to stop completely?  Has he tried to stop?  Is he relapsing?  Does he feel bad about relapsing?  Does he tell you about his progress and allow your insight on his thoughts and feelings on the matter?  If it is true porn addiction, then there really is no such thing as controlled use.

Post # 14
8387 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

@anon4:  *HUGS* So sorry that you’re going through this.  I hope it gets better for the both of you.

Post # 15
4819 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

To me, it doesn’t matter if it’s an addiction to porn, beer, durgs or other. If he doesn’t want to “fix” it, then no, there is no hope.

If he aknowledges that the issue needs to be fixed, then with proper help, yes it can be fixed. As to if you’re prepared to weather the storm during the process is another story.

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