Married People Reveal Reasons Why They Stopped Having Sex With Their Spouse

Relationships are complicated. Particularly intimate aspects of your relationship that you might not necessarily feel comfortable discussing with others. In this article, people who stopped having sex with their longterm partner share their stories. If you fall into this camp, hopefully you can find some comfort knowing that you aren't alone. 

Thanks to everyone who contributed their stories. If you would like to check out more, be sure to check out the sources at the end of this article. Comments have been edited for clarity. 

We're both 58 and we'll be married 38 years in July. Our last intimate encounter took place in August 2002. She was diagnosed with a mental disorder. She was prescribed several medications that resulted in multiple health issues, and is completely asexual. She took care of me and the children in our younger days, when I was in the military and frequently deployed. It's my time to take care of her. She understands I still have needs and would probably look the other way, but I keep my promises.


After the birth of our second child, sex became significantly less frequent. When it did happen, it was scheduled. Like, meet in the living room at 9pm. After our second child she insisted that I sleep in a different room. All of a sudden I was hit with a dry spell and I told her I wanted some "lovin". She preceded to tell me, "Go buy a DVD and take care of it yourself." I waited about two months. Then asked her again. To which she responded with, "Go find a girlfriend. I don't care." Two weeks later I found she was having an affair. Divorce is currently in the works.


I gave up.

We've been together since the mid 80s, so there's that. I still find her very attractive, but she has no interest. Until last fall, we were still doing it, but over the past four or five years it had gotten to the point where I could tell she was only doing it for me, and I began to feel as though I was essentially doing it without her consent. I never forced myself on her, but her lack of enthusiasm, (to the point of curling up when facing me so I could not see or touch her breasts or vagina), made me feel like a total creep. I was frank with her. She claims she wants to continue, but I just don't believe it. If I made her dinner every night and she hardly touched it, over time I would get the impression she didn't like my cooking. Why make the effort if it's not wanted? That's how I feel. So I'm done.


We have three kids and live in a small house. I work two jobs. She works one. We both team up to take care of the housework and running the kids to this activity and that activity. But besides not having the time or energy. We'd rather catch up on a show we never get to watch. We haven't had sex in a couple of years but not a day goes by we don't hug and kiss each other and say I love you. I don't know. We're best friends busting our butts raising kids, paying bills and doing our best to keep our heads above water.


After 30 years together, we have simply grown apart. I dropped her off at the airport this morning, as we are now separated. I'm sitting in a cafe now, wondering what my next move is.

We separated amicably and used a mediator for the paperwork. Not being bitter and angry towards each other was/is a big plus. I am still processing it all but it will work out for the best. We both can stand on our own financially which is a big help, while not wealthy by any stretch neither one of us will be living under a bridge any time soon. As you get older that is one of your bigger fears, along with losing your health. But as of right now, life is ok.

None of it is what I thought it would be, but as I look back it never really was.


My wife had a complete mental breakdown in '09 and can no longer work. She is diagnosed bipolar and has extreme anxiety. Unfortunately, one of the things she has anxiety about is bathing, so it doesn't happen very often. I love my wife, but the lack of hygiene combined with the added stress of taking care of the family mostly on my own means that I'm not in the mood very often. We've had sex I think once or twice in the past year.


Twelve years married. We're very compatible together in every way but that one. I don't know what happened. She claims she just doesn't have much drive any more. In the span of one year, we had sex one time. And at the one year point, I was gutted emotionally and had almost completely disengaged. I did make an effort to try again, and have a nice weekend, but when we got to that time, she rejected me again. I flipped out and oddly enough, she didn't know that it had been, in fact, a year. It got better for about three months, but it's been another three months since last time. I feel like we're slipping back into the old routine of nothing again.

In these last three months, I have been genuinely observing her. I am coming to the realization that she doesn't love me any more. We had people visiting in January and she was all about affection to them. I asked her later if she thought she was the same person around our friends as she is to me. She didn't take to that question very well, but I think it woke something up, because she started being more affectionate.

I'm steadily growing bitter about it and I know that doesn't help at all so it's a vicious cycle.


The person who was originally my escape and solace from the daily grind, has slowly become just another authoritarian figure in my life and an integral part of the aforementioned daily grind.


My wife developed a germ/dirtiness phobia around year one of our marriage. It'll be 5yrs soon and there's little to no contact of any kind, physically, at this point.


It stopped being fun, after 30 years married. She started blatantly using it to get something she wanted, or to cover up something she did. That feeling of being played just kills you inside.


It's been 10 years.

We had been married for almost 17 years and I'm 2007 my wife had her appendix burst and her doctor told her she had a stomach flu and to go home and have some 7up and crackers.

So, after a a few days home thinking it was the flu she then spend a week in the hospital, 2 trips to ER and a surgery about 4 weeks later.

She finally was all healed up from that and went in for a routine Mammogram and was diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast cancer.

After the living horror show that is cancer with Chemo, Radiation and 5 years of hormone inhibitors, she has no desire, and the the few attempts we have tried have resulted in severe pain for days, due to vaginal atrophy.

I admit at times it's been hard, but I love her to death. After two near death experiences, I can live with the trade off.


We spend all kinds of time with each other and we are super affectionate. But actually having sex just doesn't have the same allure as when we were younger.

She's still gorgeous. But we only do it once every month on average, just because we'd rather connect in other ways.

When we do screw, it's pretty nice though.


I just hit 6 years married. It all stopped after the baby. We will go months without it. Here and there she will be in the mood, but usually when I'm on the brink of passing out at bedtime. Lately, I actually reject her because I'm tired of being tired. I get up super early for work (345am). I have grown tired of trying. Right now I'm happy with us, except that. Probably once a year she gets into this wild kink mode for a couple days and it's great. Then it just stops. 

To be honest, I think it's a hormone thing or a mental issue. I asked her to get help and get her hormones checked, but she refuses. I've told her on plenty of occasions that she never used to be like this. It sucks, because everything else in the relationship is great. But I feel like if I can't have a happy healthy sex life, it's a major problem and I'm at a loss for how to address it anymore. I absolutely do not want a divorce, but this isn't going away. I really just don't know what to do anymore.


My wife has scar tissue of some sort in her vagina from a childhood injury. We didn't know it before we got married, but it has made sex impossibly painful for her. We've tried all kinds of treatments and therapies short of a very uncomfortable and expensive surgery. It sucks because we're young (early-mid 20s) and we love each other. It's been a major strain on our relationship. It has forced us to explore options other than actual intercourse for satisfying each other, which has been fun. However, the dark cloud of what we can't do is always hanging over our heads and we don't do other stuff as often as I'd like.


He likes to finger keyboards more than my vagina.


My wife doesn't believe in birth control and every time I have sex with her she gets pregnant. We are up to five kids and I don't want anymore. I'm holding out for her to let me get a vasectomy. I've even had a priest tell me that it's not a big deal if I get snipped. It's better than having 10 kids that I can't take care of because I don't make enough money.


For women, as you get older it can become seriously painful. You need medical help and it's generally successful. It's NOT a matter of "use more lube", it's the condition of the skin tissues and a doctor can help. Some ingredients in some lubes can actually be irritating/stinging. However, if both people don't understand this and aren't prepared, some bad feelings can build up. ("She never wants to!" "He doesn't care that he's hurting me!") It's a normal, natural thing and can be fixed if you talk about it.


The truth: my husband is not very good at sex and shows no interest in improving in a way that will be enjoyable for both of us.

We had very different experience levels when we got together. I'd only had two partners, but one of the relationships was very long term. He'd had twice that number, but all of the relationships were very short term. So I knew what I enjoyed. He, it seemed, did not.

No problem. I could teach. I thought it would be okay for him to learn what he liked and what I liked and we'd mesh.

The sad truth? He doesn't seem to like any of the things I like. Or maybe he doesn't like sex. Or maybe he doesn't like sex with me. Heck, I don't know. Truly, I don't care anymore.

Because he won't do the basic stuff. I'm not talking about reciprocal oral sex, (though there is that; I love giving and receiving, but guess which is the only one to happen?). I'm talking, we've been married over five years and he can't find my clit reliably. As far as I can tell, the only purpose of foreplay, to him, is to arouse himself. If I get going too, great, otherwise oh well. I'm pretty sure I could be a pair of disembodied boobs and he'd be perfectly happy.

Needless to say, nothing even mildly kinky happens. There has been one thing I introduced that he did more than once, and he took it to such an extreme it was no longer enjoyable for me. Everything else--and this is only mildly naughty --we'd do once, and then never again.

And in spite of all of this, I am the one expected to initiate. By which I mean, when I finally couldn't bring myself to do it anymore, sex stopped. Completely. We have had sex twice in more than a year, and even before that it was once every few months.

For the record, I absolutely have tried the "talk it out" bit. But you need two people to talk something out, and he will. not. talk. I mean, when I broach the subject of sex, zero words come out of his mouth.

Outside of the bedroom, he's not a bad husband. Not great, but not terrible. Still, the spectre of having incredibly short, incredibly bad sex a couple of times a year for the rest of my life is depressing, and once the kids are grown, I am out of here.


Thanks for reading!


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