Social Question

mazingerz88's avatar

Could relationships without much sex still last?

Asked by mazingerz88 (20804points) May 17th, 2011

Sometimes sooner or later, the frequency of sex in a relationship wanes no matter what. Once this happens, what would make a couple, married or unmarried decide to keep the relationship. Would there be compromises made if one of the party is still very sexually active and the other not so much? What are some scenarios where a couple stayed together with little sex between them. How could they have pulled it off and why?

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20 Answers

Seaofclouds's avatar

I think it completely depends on the people involved in the relationship and the circumstances of the change in frequency. The first thing, in my opinion, that needs to happen is an open and honest conversation about what’s going on and about what each person wants to have happen from there. If they can work on things together, then there’s no reason it has to be a relationship ender, but if they can’t and it causes friction and other issues, it can definitely lead to the demise of the relationship.

6rant6's avatar

Two most common issues in divorce: sex and money, right?

Those who work it out stay married. Those who don’t won’t.

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Ajulutsikael's avatar

Well, in many cases at that point the couple realizes there is more to a relationship than just sex. I’ve gone almost 2 years in a relationship without it; mostly due to having a child and not being able to have sex until my hormones returned my body to normal.

Not having sex can be a relationship ender because sex relaxes people, and to be under constant stress and no relief can have an explosive end.

This is basically a compromise and some people can do it and others can’t. It becomes the point in the relationship where you find out what you have in common outside of sex.

wundayatta's avatar

You can negotiate things and you can try to compromise, but in the end people revert to who they are at their cores. You just have to decide if the marriage is more important even though it does not give you what you want and need, or if what you want and need is more important.

There are a lot of very unhappy people out there who have spent years in sexless marriages. There are tons of them on one website I know of. It is the most active topic on that website.

I think some people can deal with it, and others can’t. It’s difficult because there might be children and savings and property involved so many people are stuck in the relationship and don’t feel free to leave it.

Some have affairs. Usually secretly. I don’t think that works. Sooner or later you have to decide to stay under the regime of no sex, or leave so you can find someone more like you… if such exists.

We live in a society with very puritanical values. Having affairs is not acceptable here as it is in other parts of the world. So it becomes a binary situation: stay or leave. Not much of a choice if you ask me, but that’s the way it is. A lot of people try to have secret affairs. It’s probably one of the major causes of affairs, and affairs happen often. 50% or women and 60% of men in marriages will have an affair at some point in their marriages. You’d think we’d find a different accommodation.

marinelife's avatar

Cetainly. There are many that do. Common sense of purpose, friendship, enjoyment of each other’s company, habit, fear of living alone.

The reasons are as varied as the people.

Blackberry's avatar

Of course, look at your mainstream suburban household lol.

People have kids and are dependent on each other. Once you get in that deep, you can’t end it unless you have a lot of money.

Seelix's avatar

Of course it’s possible, and it happens all the time – even with younger couples. My and Mr. Fiance’s libidos aren’t very high, so truth be told, we don’t have sex very often.

Once this happens, what would make a couple, married or unmarried decide to keep the relationship.
Because he’s the other half of me.

ucme's avatar

I hope to find the answer to this when i’m in my nineties. Can’t wait, sounds intriguing.

pshizzle's avatar

Yes. Sex isn’t everything in a relationship. Relationships should be about love.

Sunny2's avatar

Some people have strong sex drive; others have little interest. If both parties have similar drives, they should get on fine, with or without. As long as sex wasn’t the only reason they got married, they should have reasons to continue to be together. If one fades before the other, they can still pleasure each other sexually. Good communication is the biggest glue a marriage can have.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

Why would an otherwise happy couple break up over sex?? That’s pretty petty in my opinion. There are examples everywhere of couples that make it, such as couples where one spouse becomes paralyzed but they stay together. In a healthy relationship, sex is far from the main point of the relationship. If my husband were to become unable to have any kind of sex at all, I wouldn’t leave him or cheat on him or anything. There is so much more to our relationship that I wouldn’t even consider leaving.

YARNLADY's avatar

Believe it or not, some people don’t really even like sex very much. When they marry each other it can be a wonderful relationship.

stardust's avatar

Yes definitely. Although I think it’d be important to address why it has waned and work on reigniting the spark.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

I think it depends on the people involved. For me, sex is a huge part of a healthy relationship. My previous relationship ended because our sex lives became almost non existent and when it did happen, it felt strange. When I can’t be openly sexual with my partner, it causes a lot of tension in my relationship. My current relationship has been wonderful. I’m sure there are many reasons the relationship is flourishing but I know for sure that one main reason is how healthy our sex life is. We both have high sex drives and we keep up with each other in bed.

Magdalene's avatar

a true relationship can last even without NO sex as its independent of physical gratification. A real relationship doesn’t demand anything physical..its holy and heavenly!

wundayatta's avatar

@Magdalene You can only say that if you are completely divorced from your body. And if you are divorced from your body, you can’t know love. Our bodies are not separate from mind and spirit. All are inextricably attached. They are all the same, really. If you understand that, then you understand you can’t have love without a physical expression of it.

A relationship where people believe they can separate mind and body is not a very coherent relationship. The people probably have no idea what they are missing so they disappear into some fantasy about holiness in order to console themselves. They are no longer of the real world, and that creates a lot of problems, both psychological and physical.

Coloma's avatar

I dunno. I have always been a woman that enjoys sex, but now, coming up on 52, it is just not that important to me anymore. I am single, divorced for 8.5 years and have had some lovers, but, I choose to be single, have zero interest in re-marrying and really, not into relationship much anymore either.

I like doing my own thing, being free of commitment after a long marriage and raising my child. I don;t have a desperate bone in my body and am very comfortable being alone.

I masturbate occasionally, joke about the turbo jets in my hot tub, have a few sex toys in the underware drawer, but, all and all I am good with my celibacy these days.

If I hooked up with someone again I am sure I would still enjoy the sexual aspect, but, sex is not even close to everything in a relationship.

Sexuality IS a healthy and natural expression of ones love for another, but, it is NOT a requirement, and, especially as we get a little older, I think there are many other aspects of relationship that take precedence.

Sex is not a function that is mandatory for living, it is a drive, not a need, like breathing.
Infact, the sex drive is the first thing to go during times of survival, the body eliminates the unnecessary energy expenditure on something that has no bearing on survival needs.

Regulating desire and taking into account the ‘normal’ shifts in such as men and women navigate the life process is just part of the ever changing nature of things.

I don’t believe in affairs, nor staying in unhappy relationships for reasons of finances, kids, or property. We are all responsible for our own happiness and if one is not happy they need to take charge, of themselves.

ALL relationships have their ebbs and flow, if the ebb is too longstanding and the parties involved cannot work out their differences in whatever arenas they show up in, either focus on the good stuff, the commonalities, or go.

My ex husband and I were extremely sexually compatible, but, his other issues were more than I cared to deal with after years of dysfunction that could no longer be denied.

I think a lot of men have unrealistic fantasies about some sort of never ending sexual Nirvana with a woman, just as a lot of women have unrealistic expectations of eternal romance.

The ‘boomer’ generation of males grew up on the Penthouse Forum fantasies and many have a hard time letting go of their youthful sexual narcissism as they age.

IMO a lot of sexual issues arise from unrealistic expectations and immaturity on behalf of one or both parties involved.

True ‘love’ has nothing to do with bumping body parts and everything to do with genuinely wanting whats best for the other.

When the mind and hearts are in sync, the parts naturally follow, and this is especially true for women.

Most women need to feel a solid sense of love and connection to give their sexual all. Many men neglect their women and worse, then complain they are not sexually satisfied.

Hurt a woman to her core, cheat on her, lie to her, well…you set it up that way!

Women want to fuck men, not whiney ass little boys and they want the men in their lives to be empathetic to the inevitable changes women endure that can effect their sexuality, from giving birth to menopause.

A womans sexual life undergoes many more shifts than a mans and men need to be sensitive to these changes.

wundayatta's avatar

@Coloma It makes me sad when you say something like, “True ‘love’ has nothing to do with bumping body parts and everything to do with genuinely wanting whats best for the other.”

Wanting what’s best for the other is absolutely an important part of love. But I don’t see how you can provide that if you leave out touch. We hold our babies all the time. We hug our children. In most cultures, people hold hands (regardless of gender) and hug and kiss as they grow older. This is what friends do.

And when it’s time for “true love,” your touch is the most intimate possible. If you don’t have that, then I don’t think you truly love that person. I don’t think it is possible to understand the ineffable parts of love without touch, and especially without intimate touch. It is intimate touch that allows us access to the transcendent and allows us to transcend the barriers between two people.

Without that, it’s not true love. It’s a more theoretical, intellectual love. It can only go so far, and I don’t really think it can be a completely spiritual love. Yes, spirituality enters it, but without touch, and especially without intimate touch, it can not go far enough.

In your terms, mind and hearts can not be in sync without the “bumping” body parts. Women may not trust the man, nor feel cared for if he does not make her mind and heart feel loved and safe, but true love can not enter the picture without the complete lowering of barriers that only happens with the physical.

Maybe we are saying the same thing but in different words, but I worry that you are cutting yourself off from something extremely important when you say you are not into relationships any more. I’m not criticizing you here, and I’m not telling you that you should find someone. I’m just wondering whether you are underestimating the importance of this simply because you don’t want to risk the disruption to your life that might occur by allowing yourself to try to find true love again.

You are by no means the only woman of a certain age that I know who is like this. My best friend has given up on finding love again. She seems certain that it is impossible to find and that she will only find another man who will do to her what her husband did to her. She does not have confidence that she can tell the difference between a man who will put her interests above his and one who will only give her what she needs until the ring is on her finger.

she doesn’t believe there is any man out there who could do that, anyway. Even if there was, she doesn’t believe she could recognize him. She’s been burned too much or too hotly or something.

I hate the idea that she won’t have that again. That she will never be touched that way again. But she has resigned herself to it. She believes that is her role in life now. That that’s normal for women of her age. She has me as her friend, and she says that’s enough. She has someone she can talk to about anything. But like I say, I hear this resignation in her voice and I know she is protecting herself from disappointment, but it just makes me sad, and it makes me feel like she is making her own reality, but not a reality she really wants.

Coloma's avatar

Hmm..I posted again, but it appears to be gone..uh oh..what other question could I have answered to this in? haha

@wundayatta

Your friend does sound like she has some stuff to work out, but, in my case, let me assure you I choose my singlehood from a fully conscious place.

It’s one thing to be sad because you want something you cannot find or have, it;s entirely another to not want it in the first place. lol

This is the difference between resignation and CHOICE.

I LIKE being single, doing whatever I want and if I’m hungry for touch I get a massage. I’ve had a good relationship run, plenty of sex, and, quite frankly I look at the cost/reward ratio and think that the rewards don’t outweigh the costs and work involved anymore.

I know I am not alone in my thinking and it has nothing to do with being resigned or bitter. I LOVE doing my own thing and not having to think about anyone else. Been there, done that. It’s my time now! :-D

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