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Can a man live without sex in a marriage?

Tagged as: Marriage problems, Sex<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (30 July 2015) 11 Answers - (Newest, 31 July 2015)
A female United Kingdom age 41-50, anonymous writes:

Can a married man in his mid 40's stay happily married if his wife doesn't want sex anymore? And I'm talking years now? Can a man live without sex in a marriage?

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (31 July 2015):

Honeypie agony auntI think there is a big difference from a sex-less marriage to a marriage without intimacy.

Sex-less can be working fine for a couple in their 40+ and long as there still is intimacy, hugs, kisses and "other things" both parties enjoy. My husband had a heartattack, then surgery and this summer more surgery. He is on a crap ton of meds most of them are making intercourse impossible. So sex (conventional sex) is out the window for us. I miss it, he misses it but we have found other ways to be intimate, so that helps. I can't imagine leaving my husband because he medical condition leaves him unable to have sex.

Now if there is absolutely no intimacy what so ever, it makes it harder to not want out or want it from someone else.

It's a choice though, to stay or not.

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A female reader, Euphoria30 Germany +, writes (30 July 2015):

Dear OP,

I believe it depends on a lot of things:

1) Sex drive of the man

2) If the lack of sex is the womans' "fault" or his or can be blamed to circumstances like for instance the wife being physically unable to have sex

3) How much the man is lead by principles instead of feelings

Personally, I met several husbands that didn't have sex with their wives for years. BUT they were either bitter, getting divorced or satisfying their sexual needs through cheating or an open relationship.

I am a woman in my thirties and I know that I couldn't accept a sexless relationship, unless I believed it was a temporary problem. But let's define sex here.. I NEED physical and emotional tenderness in a relationship. Hugs, kisses, compliments. And I need the able to feel desire and have fantasies.. but that doesn't mean I can't renounce to a certain technique or way of sex, if my partner doesn't like it.

If you want/need to renounce to "sex", think about what this would involve and how far this would go.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (30 July 2015):

What if the man cannot leave because he has children? So he's obligated to stay?

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A female reader, CindyCares Italy + , writes (30 July 2015):

CindyCares agony auntAs for staying married, yes they can , and they do. Sexless marriages aren't that rare , and even more frequent those marriages where sex still happens in some rare occasions,maybe 2 or 3 times a year- out of habit and a sense of obligation.

If they can stay " happily " married- define " happily ". If by happily you mean the sense of fulfillment, of elation, of sheer joy that you can get from an exciting ,rich sex life, and most of all from an exciting ,rich sex life with a person you are in love with,- then no, that will miss, and its absence undoubtely will be felt, more or less painfully according personality and circumtances.

But it's quite possible that the lack of regular sex is one element which makes this people unhappy in their marriage- still leaving intact all the other elements they are happy with .In other words, that , even if they are, reasonably, unhappy of a lack of physical intimacy in their marriage,- nevertheless that does not make them SO darn unhappy rhat they feel the need to leave.

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A male reader, Sageoldguy1465 United States +, writes (30 July 2015):

Sageoldguy1465 agony auntThat would be the same guy who can live without air, water, food and shelter, No?.....

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A female reader, jls022 United Kingdom + , writes (30 July 2015):

I think people often make the answer to this question far too simplistic. I actually think that the majority of men AND women wouldn't want to live in a sexless marriage. However, that doesn't mean they can't do it or that there aren't exceptions.

To me, any question that asks 'can all men...' or 'do all women...' means nothing as the answers can only be based on averages and guesswork when in fact, everyone is different.

I assume your question has something to do with your own circumstances?

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (30 July 2015):

I know of 3 couples in their forties/fifties who broke up due to the man's affair. Literally all the men claimed they only had the affair because the wife/gf never had sex with them. I don't believe it can be all one person's fault, but the common theme seems to be if you don't have sex with your man rightly or wrongly he goes looking for it elsewhere.

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A female reader, WhenCowsAttack United States +, writes (30 July 2015):

Very few men in their forties would be happy. "Survive", though? Of course.

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A female reader, Anonny United Kingdom +, writes (30 July 2015):

You can both 'live' without it & stay married without it - it's whether you can be happy or not without it - is the real question.

This is where the question of 'love' comes in - if you 'love' your wife, you will put up without the sex because you love her and love what makes her most happy (ie no sex). However, if having sex is more important than your wife's needs then no - you won't be happy!

I do think she should be having some intimate time with you if she cares for you - even if it's just sex for one day a week or month. But rather than going out & seeking an affair which will just end up with people getting used & hurt - have a chat with her & see if you can reach a compromise of some sort. If she thinks she may be losing you over this - she might rethink her decision.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (30 July 2015):

This is why I would never sleep with a married man, I don't want to be a meaningless commodity for someone's sexual relief. Only men can do it: sex without any feelings whatsoever

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A male reader, Garbo United States + , writes (30 July 2015):

Garbo agony auntA normal healthy male without libido and erection issues cannot survive a sexless marriage. I know myself that, in such situation, I would succumb to cheating, and so would other men and so have other men I know who are in a sexless marriage. However, in most men's eyes, having sex on the side and happiness in marriage are, in this situation, different compartments. A guy could be happily married in a sexless marriage, meaning he is happy about his wife in all respects, and although unhappy about sex, he is compensated by some other woman so he stays with his wife. Usually, the other woman is meaningless and is there for sexual releaf.

Men with erectile problems, libido issues, hormonal imbalances or asexuality would either refrain from sex with others or not care about it.

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