What Should I Do If I Find Myself in a Sexless Marriage?

This article is based on What Should I Do If I Find Myself in a Sexless Marriage by Real Truth. Real Quick. For more insights like this, visit www.realtruthrealquick.com.

For various reasons, most married couples eventually find themselves in a season where sex occurs infrequently or even ceases entirely. This might be due to the birth of a child, injury, chronic illness, or the side effect of medication. It also could be the result of signicant hurt, broken trust, past trauma, or sexual abuse. Regardless of why sexual intimacy is difficult, seasons like this put an incredible strain on marriage.

God intends for marriage to be a safe place where both husband and wife can know and be known by their spouse. When sex doesn’t happen, spouses miss out on part of the Lord’s provision for them in marriage. Thankfully, God is able to heal even the most difficult of situations, including a sexless marriage.

If you find yourself in a sexless marriage, here are 5 principles to keep in mind.

Sex is God’s gift to us. But it is not his only gift to us.

We should look forward to everything in marriage that the Lord wants for us. However, the gift of intimacy in marriage is more than just its sexual component. Intimacy is also emotional, relational, and spiritual. Yes, sex is an incredible gift, but God delights in giving many good gifts to his children. During seasons of infrequent sex, do not neglect to thank God for the other gifts he supplies.

Focus on changing yourself, not your spouse.

Ephesians 5:28-29 tells you to do everything we can to nourish and cherish your spouse. This does not somehow change if your marriage is currently sexless. Loving your spouse in seasons of sexlessness will often mean working on your own problems. Resist the temptation to focus on changing your spouse’s sex drive. Ask the Lord to show you where your own past hurts and trauma may be contributing to a broken or selfish view of sex. If you are the one that is less active sexually, make sure your inactivity is not coming from fear, anxiety, or apathy. If it is, surrender it to the Lord and make a plan for re-initiating sexually.

Agree together on prayer and devotion.

The Bible only lists one reason married couples should intentionally deprive one another of sex. 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 says that, for a limited time, spouses may agree to not have sex in order to more fully devote themselves to prayer. However, this passage also reminds husbands and wives to “come together again” so as not to be tempted. If you are not currently having sex, make this a conversation, fill your time with prayer, and agree upon when you will come together again.

Be tender, patient, and give each other time.

Especially in instances of sexual trauma or abuse, sex can be a painful and difficult subject. Sexual intimacy, even in the safest of marriages, can be an uphill battle. However, this is an opportunity to model self-sacrifice in marriage. Like Jesus, seek to outdo your spouse with tenderness, graciousness, and patience. If needed, give each other time for processing through how the Lord is at work.

Marriage isn’t ultimately about you.

Your marriage and your sex life are not ultimately about you. Marriage is an opportunity to mutually serve one another and glorify Christ together. In this way, marriage can be a picture of the gospel. It’s a chance to say “even if I have a sexless marriage” I am going to love my spouse the same. It may look like missing out on what you want. But even without sex, the Lord still gives you everything you need to be a faithful follower and spouse.


Remember that the only holy and healthy sexual outlet in marriage is sexual intimacy with your spouse. This means that sex in marriage should be treasured, protected, and prioritized. However, in seasons of sexlessness, seek to love one another regardless. Serve one another in whatever ways possible so that, before long, you will be able to come together again.

Related Resources

Marriage – Can You Relate? – Sermon by Todd Wagner

Everyone’s Sex Drive Is Not the Same – Article by Robert Green

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