5 reasons why couples stop having sex

Many married couples stop having sex a few years later. Here are 5 reasons that can lead to a sexless marriage.

Relationships become stronger as they get older. But it’s not always so when it comes to a couple’s sex life. With time and age, some partners may find sex and intimacy to be on a decline and sometimes nearing a slow death. This drought can have side effects in a marriage. Read on to know why couples stop having sex, and if lack of sex can impact mental and physical health.

Is it normal for couples to stop having sex?

While you might have been very sexually active at one point in your life, you might find yourself to not be so inclined towards sex presently. There are a variety of reasons why people might stop having sex. A study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, points that nothing having sex has no effect on the mental health. The study says that many of the participants cited reasons such as age, or the fact that they were not married as reasons for not having sex. There was also a group of people where the men were earning less than 20 per cent of the household income, and this was one of their reasons to not have sex. Having said that, reasons for declined interest towards sex may be attributed to a variety of reasons.

5 reasons why couples stop having sex

There can be various reasons concerning both your mental and physical health and well-being which lead you to stop having sex with your partner. Neha Bhat, a licensed Sex and Trauma Therapist, tells Health Shots some of the primary reasons that leads to reduced sex among couples.

1. Relationship conflict

Sex has a lot to do with how you are feeling about your partner. Conflicts often pose as a hindrance to a healthy sex life. That is why relationship experts emphasise on the importance of a healthy communication channel between couples.

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2. Lack of trust

A study published in Sage Journals talks about the importance of trust in a relationship. It says that trust is a “significant predictor” of how romantic a relationship is. Another study, conducted by the Department of Pediatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine, states that, “Trust appears to be both antecedent and consequence of sex, and violations of sexual trust distort the comfort and safety of many relationships.”

3. Infidelity

According to a study published in The Journal of Sex Research, infidelity is the biggest reported reason of divorce in the US. However, it also lists sexual and relationship satisfaction as one of the primary reasons for infidelity.

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4. Vaginismus

Vaginismus is a sexual condition where the vaginal muscles contract involuntarily. This leads to very painful sex. However, there is no pain in sexual arousal. Penetration is very painful due to the persistent contractions of the vaginal muscles. This can pose as a strong reason for the patient to stay away from sex.

5. Sexual trauma

Rainn, an anti-sexual violence organisation in the US, claims that approximately, 463,634 people, aged 12 years or older, are raped and sexually assaulted every year in the country. A study published in The Journal of Sex Research, states that a sexual trauma victim experiences loss of interest in sex and might even be triggered due to the impact of their assault.

Can no sex affect your mental health?

While one may feel that not having enough sex can alter how one thinks or feels about someone, this might not be the case. No sex can affect relationships, but if viewed in isolation, lack of sex may or may not have a relation with the mental health of a person.

“No such generalisation can be made about sex being necessary for a healthy mental state because sexuality and libido vary from person to person,” explains Bhat.

Couple experiencing painful sex
Relationship conflict and lack of trust are some of the factors that couples stop having sex. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Not having sex also means not exposing yourself to the emotional as well as mental and physical benefits to sex. “Being sexually connected to your partner encourages feelings of calmness, feeling wanted and valued, nurture and and care in intimate relationships,” says Bhat.

There are many mental health benefits of having sex. This includes the release of feel-good hormones such as endorphins. The physical benefits of having sex include improvement in cardiovascular activity, boost the immune system, improve sleep cycle. In fact, some women claim that sex even gives them relief from menstrual cramps and headaches.

So while lack of sex will not cause any illness in the body, having sex regularly will give you these added health benefits.

A man and woman having sex
Communication and trust must be focused on in a relationship. Image courtesy: Pexels

How long can you stay without sex?

There is no time frame specifically when it comes to not having sex. “Folks can remain asexual for their entire lifetimes without having any bearing on happiness levels or sense of well-being,” says Bhat.