What Happens to Couples Who Stop Having Sex

by Lindsay E. Mack

If you go by any television show or movie, yo'd think relationships are just a conduit for endless sex. With all the time some characters spend in bed, you have to wonder how they hold down a job or have time to eat. In real life, though, relationships are not so straightforward. Dry spells happen to most every couple. But when those dry spells go on for too long, the things that happen to your relationship when you stop having sex are rarely positive.

This isn't to say you have to get down and dirty every hour of every day to have a good relationship. According to Bustle, having sex about twice a week is healthy or average for most couples, although there are always variations. And of course, there are plenty of asexuals, or couples with low libidos, who don't mind going without it for a while.

For many couples, though, sex is a crucial relationship bond, and its absence can be problematic. It's perfectly normal to desire sex from your partner, and facing a life of apparent abstinence can be pretty dispiriting. That said, if you know the way sexlessness can hamper your relationship, you're more likely to work to fix things before they hit the irreparable level. Hopefully, you and your SO can talk it out and find a solution that works for you both.


You Become More Frustrated

If at least one person in the relationship does want sex, the dry spell can lead to some pretty mixed feelings. As noted on the website for The Today Show, lack of sex can lead to frustration for many people in a relationship. That level of irritation can take some repair work, as well.


You Look For Online Consolation

Almost anything can turn into a community thanks to the internet, and your most private relationship troubles are no exception. As noted in Salon, online communities that seek a solution to what's known as dead bedrooms are thriving. Your most intimate issues may be aired out to internet strangers (for better or worse).


You Endure A Sex Standoff

Sometimes both partners are desirious of a sex life, but they have simply fallen out of the habit. As explained in Psychology Today, it's common for the more libidinous partner to give up after a string of rejections, and the other partner does not feel comfortable initiating. Time goes by, and nothing changes. It's a standoff.


Your Self Esteem Suffers

Feeling iced out by your partner can hurt anyone. But as noted on The Huffington Post, straight women in particular may face a painful blow to their self-esteem from a sexless marriage. As further explained by The Huffington Post, the stereotype that "all men are horny all the time" can be a tough one to break.


You Issue Ultimatums

If pushed long enough, the relationship may hit its tipping point. As noted in Psychology Today, this ultimatum may come in the form of couples counseling, or even separation. For what it's worth, this forces the couple to address the issue.


You May Have An Affair

It may not be entirely fair, but it isn't surprising. If your relationship goes for years without any sex, then one partner or the other might consider an affair. This can be problematic for people who aren't in a deliberately open relationship.


You Become Depressed

Again, this kind of a situation can lead to some seriously crappy feelings. As noted in the Independent, a sexless relationship can lead to feelings of sadness and depression. You may turn the feelings of rejection back onto yourself.


You Feel Like You're Missing Out

Chances are, a sexless standoff was not what you planned for your relationship. This can make you feel like you're missing out on a major part of your life. Can you make things work with your current SO? Or should you try to find a more compatible match?


You Have A Real Talk

This may be the best-case scenario. The state of your sexless union could drive you and your partner to have a serious discussion about your relationship. Some real honesty about your needs from the relationship could help you both decide where to go next.