Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

How do cope with a sexless marriage

Community Member
I've been married for 10 years, we haven't had sex for 6 years, sometimes i cope ok, other times not at all, in defense of my husband he has had spinal fusions done, he is otherwise very loving, sweet,and helpful, and im really in love with him, he says he knows he cant perform properly so he doesnt try. now he doesn't even feel like sex, but the problem is, i do, and all the time, im very attracted to him which makes it worse. i feel so starved of affection, you know the playful kind that makes you feel special and comforted .. I never get that, i feel so lonely inside and im going into a depression because of it. I feel so rejected and its affected my self esteme terribly. I dont know how to get past this...
7 Replies 7

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Its just me, welcome

Most definitely visit your GP. While you may not believe much can be done there are many people with mental health issues that take medications that directly effect their sexual performance that get assistance from their GP and their whole world turns around because of it. The spark is reborn.

There is also the possibility that if your husband got such help that his enthusiasm will also change for the better as he gains more confidence. As medication effected me in a negative way 10 years ago I got such help and it has proved so crucial.

Thankyou for having the courage to write in on a difficult topic. Many people will read this thread and be in the same situation and will be inspired to go to their GP.

I hope I've helped.

Tony WK

Thank you Tony, im glad someone actually listened,we've both been to the Dr's, we're both on antidepressants, my husband went through therapy and medical treatments, but now he just lost all interest completely, it seems all i can do is weather this through until get beyond it again, its good to get it out off my chest tho.... i guess i have to come to terms with thats the end of my sex life 😭

Hi there, sad to hear of your situation, it bears a striking resemblance to mine.

I am off to have a fusion and disc replacement surgery in the near future, as I have compressed spinal chord. My little fella doesn't work as a result, and I can tell you, It has left me extremely depressed, self conscious, and with Zero sex drive. It cost me my marriage. What hurt the most was the abandonment from my partner, whom I stood by thru some very difficult times including her illnesses, yet I was shamed, ridiculed, accused of being gay, then dumped. I always believed in "for better or for worse, in sickness and in health". Sex is not just intercourse, and maybe a sex therapist may help direct you both to a "NEW WAY" I hope you both reach a "happy ending"

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Its Just me~

I'm very sorry this is happening to both of you. I've been in the position your husband has and might offer a word of explanation about one little bit of the problem. When one knows one can't perform it not only affects confidence but makes one reluctant to start anything that might on past occasions have led to sex.

It is precisely the "affection, you know the playful kind that makes you feel special and comforted" that would have ended up intimacy and as such is frightening as it will bring that inability into focus and in all probability cause hurt and maybe dissent.

So there are actually - or were in my case - two problems, the lack of ability/drive/desire and the reluctance to engage in the activities that will lead to the inability, which made for more hurt and the whole problem being underlined. It also enhances feelings of failure. I hope all that makes some sort of sense.

Most often intimacy is so emotionally loaded, embarrassing to talk about and surrounded by secrecy that finding what are practical substitutes is hard. I sadly don't have good answers except it might be possible to encourage him to be more close and playful if convinced it is not a guaranteed path to upset.


It's just me.

This topic is personal and hard sometimes for women to really understand what it means to the man. We can reassure them and they we enjoy cuddles and affection but the the thought of failure again makes them stop trying. Croix explained this well.

My partner had his prostrate taken out, and after a few attempts he gave up. He is still affectionate but he has lost the will to try again. He got help from a specialist and when they that didn't work stopped trying.

I suppose I have accepted this but it is difficult seeing your partner so disappointed in themselves and then shutting down any further talk.

You are not alone.

Post whenever you need or want to.


Hi IJM and previous posters - all your replies resonated with me too.  Confidence comes and goes and it is elusive stuff - if drug companies could bottle it they would! When it goes, then other thoughts kick in like loss of attractiveness and so on, and things can go downhill in a vicious circle. Key is talk and reassurance and the willingness to do sex and broader intimacy in other ways.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello It's just me,

You've had lots of very understanding and helpful replies but I was wondering why noone had suggested the obvious (well obvious to me I suppose).

Where does it say sex requires him to perform? MissMySon had a good point suggesting finding a new way to be intimate.

When my husband was very stressed and had no drive to speak of I went for a different approach. I found a very light cream and learnt how to give facial massages. A friend who had been a reflexologist gave me her tips on where to focus to relax him.

I asked him to let me be in control. That I didn't want him to lift a finger just lie and feel and watch. He looked at me like I was a bit mental at first until he realised how nice it feels. He's not really touchy or cuddly so this was my way of finding a way he would enjoy a gentle touch.

With his eyes closed I don't think he realised I would watch the slide of my hands on his skin and focus on how deeply I adore this man. It felt good to see him so calm.

Then it was my turn. I reminded him of my rule. That the only thing I wanted was his attention. To relax and watch.

I'm sure you get the picture. Check out a few of the toys on the sex shop websites. You've got a long life ahead of you why say goodbye to a sex life? It's not gone you just have to be a little creative and push some of your own boundaries and comforts to find a new way.

Yes it felt embarrassing. But only untik hubby told me that was the only time in his day when he didn't have to perform in some way and it felt relaxing not having any pressure on him to do anything.

Was it as good as having sex with him? Well it sure as hell beat not being intimate at all. But yeah it was good in a different way. Changed both of our perceptions on what in means to be intimate.

I really hope this isn't just a massive embarrassing overshare.