Sexless Marriage / Relationship

How to Rekindle Intimacy in a Sexless Marriage

a couple sitting on opposite sides of the bed, longing to rekindle their intimacy.

May 11, 2023

I'm Alana
I'm a Couples and Sex Therapist. For over a decade I have been working with partners and individuals, just like you, on their journey to a stronger relationship, a more fulfilling sex life, and finding their true sexual selves.
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The dreaded sexless marriage…

It’s a problem that many couples face, but it’s not one that’s easy to talk about. And when you’re in the midst of a sexless marriage (or even just a sexual slump) it can feel like there’s no way out.

But fear not, because there is hope. In this article, we’ll talk about how to rekindle intimacy in a sexless marriage. By the end, I hope you have a few more ideas on what can be done to bring you back together.

The first step to rekindling intimacy is conflict resolution.

Let’s be real, no relationship is perfect. There will be disagreements and arguments.

In fact, folks who have experienced a complete breakdown in intimacy have already had their fair share of arguments about sex and intimacy in the Escalation Stage.

Conflict happens to us all, and it’s important to learn how to handle such disagreements in a healthy way.

This means communicating openly and honestly, avoiding personal attacks, and finding common ground.

Conflict resolution helps couples to heal from past hurts and resentments by providing a safe space for both partners to express their feelings and work towards a resolution. When conflicts are resolved in a healthy way, it can lead to increased trust, better communication, and a stronger emotional bond.

The next step is to heal from the hurts and resentments of the past.

If there are unresolved issues between you and your partner, it’s going to be difficult to get back to a place of intimacy. Resentments and past hurts can cause a lot of tension and make it difficult to connect emotionally or physically.

That’s why it’s crucial to address any unresolved issues before you can work towards rekindling intimacy in your relationship.

Hopefully you now have a safer and more supportive environment for talking things out.

But when in doubt, revisit your conflict resolution skills. Allow your partner to share their thoughts and feelings without interrupting or jumping to conclusions. Listen carefully and try to understand their perspective without judgment or blame.

It’s equally important to express how you feel! Be honest and open about your own emotions and let your partner know how their actions or words have affected you.

It is essential to approach these conversations with compassion and empathy! Avoid personal attacks or blame, and instead, focus on finding common ground and working together towards a resolution.

When you’re feeling safer, don’t just jump back into bed.

One of the reasons why intimacy breaks down in a sexless marriage is because sex is often seen as the ultimate form of physical intimacy.

When sex leaves a relationship, couples can start to feel distant and disconnected.

This is where starting with affection and casual physical touch comes in.

It’s important to understand that intimacy is not just about sex, but also about creating a strong emotional connection with your partner. Small gestures of affection such as a hug, a kiss on the forehead, or holding hands can go a long way in rebuilding that connection.

When couples engage in non-sexual physical touch such as cuddling, massaging, or giving each other a foot rub, they are able to build trust and strengthen their emotional bond.

These acts of physical intimacy can be incredibly powerful and can help to create a sense of safety and security in the relationship.

Creating a physical connection through non-sexual touch can also help to rekindle intimacy in your sexless marriage or relationship. 

It’s important to remember that building intimacy is not a one-time event, but rather a continuous process.

By starting with small gestures of affection and casual physical touch, couples can gradually move towards more sexual acts as they become more comfortable with each other.

It’s important to take the time to invest in your relationship and prioritize your intimacy. When you make your partner feel loved and appreciated, you’ll find that your relationship becomes stronger and more fulfilling.

Rekindling intimacy in a sexless marriage is not easy, but it’s definitely possible.

Start by resolving conflicts in a healthy way, deal with old wounds, and then work on creating connection through casual physical touch. You never know, the sparks may fly!

And remember, intimacy is not just about sex or physicality, it’s about creating a strong emotional connection with your partner too.

Take the time to invest in your relationship and see what happens.

Alana Ogilvie, LMFT, CST Portland Sex Therapy

Looking for a quick win?

Losing the passion and excitement in a long-term relationship is NOT a foregone conclusion! If you know the roadmap to sexual disconnection, you can come back from (or steer clear of) intimate breakdown altogether!

Download my guide today to learn about the stages that lead relationships to less sexual and emotional connection and what you can do when it starts happening to you.

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