Can A Sexless Relationship Really Work Long-Term?

It’s hard to imagine having a long-term committed relationship without sex, but they do exist. There are many reasons this happens. One partner may have medical issues or a partner might be asexual, meaning they have romantic feelings but little to no desire to have sex. People are even marrying their platonic friends with no intention of having a sexual relationship with them. Can it really work, though? Can you maintain a good relationship between committed partners without sex?

  1. Friendship must be a focal point. If you’re not friends with your partner, your relationship will never last without sex. There needs to be more in your relationship than sex. There has to be common interests that tie you together. You might share hobbies or children or a love of your home. Whatever it is that bonds you, it must be very strong and your friendship bond has to really mean something.
  2. Communication must be open. If only one partner doesn’t need to have sex or is not able to participate in sexual activities, there has to be some pretty steady communication. At some point, one partner might not be able to live without any sex. At that point, the two of you might choose to open the relationship. Open relationships can work if there is a lot of communication and understanding but it takes work. In a sexless marriage, both partners must feel free to communicate how they feel and work on finding solutions when one partner needs sexual contact and the other doesn’t.
  3. A sexless marriage doesn’t have to mean there isn’t intimacy. Sex and intimacy are two different things. Intimacy can be a powerful way to bond between a couple that doesn’t have sex. Intimacy can include things like cuddling, holding hands, kissing, massages, and other activities that involve physical contact. The act of touching and being physically close can keep a couple close. Your sexless marriage might even include aspects of foreplay that lead to orgasm but doesn’t include penetration.
  4. Both partners have other friendships. Spending too much time together can be rough on relationships, whether they’re sexless or not. It’s important to have other friends to spend time with. Time apart makes you value each other more. This isn’t to say that you should never do things together. You should. But having a diverse life helps you appreciate each other more.
  5. There must be respect between you. If you don’t respect each other, a sexless marriage will never work. You won’t talk if there’s a problem. You’ll start looking outside your marriage. In order for a sexless marriage to work, the two of you must respect each other and be ready to talk when there are misunderstandings or problems. You should be able to work out household problems and have a level of respect that makes you want to keep your partner happy.
  6. Self-pleasure is a form of sex. Just because your partner isn’t willing or able to maintain a sexual relationship, it doesn’t mean that you can’t experience self-pleasure on your own. Orgasms are good for the brain and for your emotional well-being. If you have decided not to have an open relationship and you’re in a sexless marriage, learn to pleasure yourself. Sex toys are fun, but you can learn to pleasure yourself without them, too. Remember that self-pleasure isn’t just about the orgasms though. Set up time for yourself. Get in a bubble bath and learn to make yourself feel good with music, self-touch, and fantasy.
  7. Don’t let anyone tell you what’s right for you. There will always be people that tell you how you can “fix” your relationship. After all, living without sex isn’t “normal.” At least this is what people will tell you. The thing is, every couple is different. How you manage your marriage is up to you and your partner and no one else. If you are both happy, that’s really all that matters.
  8. Sexless marriages can work but they’re not for everyone. Both partners must be committed to putting in the time and work to making sure that every other part of their relationship is strong. There needs to be honest and open communication. Some people have higher libidos than others and for them, a sexless marriage can cause a lot of grief. If you’re honest in your relationship and it’s not going to work for you, it might mean that your marriage may have to come to an end. You may find that ending the marriage helps you preserve the friendship and that still means something.
Danielle has been a freelance writer for 20+ years. She lives in Canada with her dog Rogue and drinks a lot if coffee.