Under the Covers: Why Your Marriage Now Lacks Intimacy

Conflict between man and woman sitting on either side of a wall

One of the essential elements of a happy and successful marriage is the presence of intimacy between couples.

While intimacy means different things to different people, at its core, it means a close, comfortable, and loving relationship. In a marriage, intimacy covers knowing someone on any level, be it physical, mental, emotional, sexual, or spiritual.

Unfortunately, not every couple can maintain intimacy in their marriage. According to Dr. Parkhurst Joseph D MD, Urologist, sexual health concerns become increasingly common as people age. Since intimacy is often portrayed through sex, couples who lack this element often experience a sexless marriage.

According to a 2008 New York Times article, people in sexless marriages are more likely to consider getting a divorce than those who are regularly intimate. If you’re one of the people whose marriage now lacks intimacy, there’s still something to be done. Save your marriage by recognizing and addressing these possible problems:

There’s Unresolved Conflict

Unresolved issues in a relationship can make you or your partner pull away emotionally. It can grow into resentment and ultimately, the dissolution of your marriage.

If you want to get back to the affection you have for your partner, address all unresolved problems you can think of. Consider what your role in the conflict is and how you reacted or treated your partner when it happened. Through this, you can talk openly about issues that are bothering you and keeping you from being intimate with each other.

You’re Under Too Much Stress

Stress affects not just your mind, but your entire body as well. Too much stress can cause the body to produce too much cortisol, a hormone that can lower your libido or sex drive. Stress also impacts your metabolism, which can cause you to gain or lose weight. When you’re not comfortable with your body, you might be less likely to engage in any intimate activity.

To remedy this, talk with your partner and explain what’s causing you stress or understand what causes them. Together, you can work to relieve the burden off each other’s shoulders.

Being Emotionally Distant

Intimacy is marriage isn’t about sex and other physical manifestations of affection alone. You may also be holding out on emotional intimacy. For some reason, you or your partner may feel disconnected from each other or purposely avoiding emotional connections. According to the website Marriage.com, active withholding of intimacy may cause great pain to your partner. This prevents the marriage from flourishing and causes the intimacy to fade.

To resolve this, try spending more quality time together. This may be especially hard if you have children who need constant attention, but try to find the luxury of being together even for short periods of time. With enough couple time, you can build your connection back up along with intimacy.

The lack of intimacy in a marriage, especially one that has existed for a long time, can stem from a lot of things. The key to everything is opening the communication lines between each other. This is the foundation of a lasting marriage fueled by unwavering intimacy.