When Sex Has NEVER Happened in a Marriage…

no sex in marriageOccasionally, I receive an email from someone who is beyond frustration (and somewhat exasperated) by the fact that they have never had sex in their marriage.

Usually the person I hear from is the one being denied sex, and they don’t know how to resolve this.

One husband who wrote to me said he and his wife had been married 7 years and never once had had sex. Seriously. 7 Years.

Most emails I get about this topic, though, are desperate cries for help from people who have been married less than a couple of years.

Regardless of how long a couple has been married — a few months or a few years or even longer — it is not okay that one person (or sadly, in some cases, both people) have completely avoided consummating the marriage.

Sex is part of marriage.  No matter how anyone would try to argue or justify otherwise, God and His Word are not vague about this.  Sex is intricately woven into the design of marriage.

Yes, in some instances, there are medical reasons that make it difficult for a woman in particular to have intercourse. She likely was a virgin when she married, and understandably didn’t know these challenges even existed until she and her husband tried to have sex.

I’m not downplaying physical challenges.

In those instances, I know it takes courage for a woman to reach out to doctors, but that is what she needs to do.  The impact of physical challenges, such as vaginismus, often can be eliminated or at least minimized through the right physical therapy and medical assistance.

If you think there is a physical challenge that is preventing you from having AND enjoying sex, please do not delay in seeing a gynecologist.  If you have to, get second and third opinions.  Don’t give up.

If there is not a physical reason for sex being painful or extremely difficult, then what could be some of the other reasons sex hasn’t happened?

If you are in a marriage that has not been consummated or if sex has happened only a few times, do any of the below resonate with you:

1 Do you have skewed views about sex?

Did you grow up hearing that sex is always wrong, dirty or gross?  Sadly, Christians perpetuate these lies the most, particularly Christians who never saw the value of sex in their own marriages.

Or did you simply hear “don’t do it” so often in your teen years and early 20s, that now it is difficult for you to see sex as permissible, even though you are married? Oh my, I hear from many married women who don’t know how to “flip the switch” and now see sex as something to pursue rather than something to avoid.

I encourage you to dig into God’s Word and reliable Christian resources that will help you see that sex is a totally good and needed experience in your marriage.  God designed sexual pleasure and sexual oneness for a husband and a wife.

It’s time to put lies and half-truths behind you and get down to the holy business of being married, including enjoying sex.

2 Are you scared that you don’t know how to have sex?

If you and/or your spouse were virgins when you married, you may feel apprehensive about sex, because you aren’t sure how to have sex.

There’s a lot to be said for trial and error — simply exploring each other’s bodies and offering good feedback to each other about what feels good.  Give yourself permission and room to learn and grow in your sexual confidence.

Don’t rule out books, websites, etc., that give solid Christian guidance on enjoying sex.

3 Do you have relationship struggles outside of bed?

If you and your spouse are already having a hard time enjoying each other’s friendship and company while you are clothed, it is no wonder that getting naked and vulnerable beneath the sheets feels impossible.

Don’t ignore the disconnect and problems you are having in your relationship.

The more you shed light on those problems and seek to resolve them, the more likely your intimacy (sexual and otherwise) will grow.

4  Are you stuck in the “no sex” routine?

Sometimes when I hear from people who haven’t had sex yet in their marriage, the scenario looks something like this:

The wedding was so exciting and exhausting and incredible.  Then the honeymoon was eagerly anticipated, yet the couple was still exhausted from all the wedding festivities. Then they came home to settle into life together, go back to work, and write thank you notes.

And. Still. No. Sex.

Before long, they fell into a routine of “no sex,” all the while thinking, “It will happen someday.”

Someday never came. And then weeks and months (and sometimes years) passed, and someday still never came.

And now the two people are paralyzed (and possibly embarrassed) in knowing how to finally have sex.

If that describes your situation, time for a heart-to-heart with each other.  Time to get real.  This situation isn’t going to fix itself.

The two of you are going to have to get outside your comfort zone, get outside your routine and start exploring a sexual relationship with each other.

You are husband and wife.  You need to be having sex.

5 Were you sexually abused in your past?

Your hesitancy about sex could be rooted in the tragic experience of past sexual abuse.

Sometimes people know full well they were abused and other people have repressed these experiences, only to have them then resurface during intimate encounters during their marriage.

If you were sexually abused in any way, I hope and pray you know that those people who wronged you and committed the abuse are to blame, not you.  While healing from and moving beyond past sexual abuse can be a difficult journey, that kind of healing is vital for the health of your marriage.

There are resources available to help you face and heal from that pain, including counseling, books, seminars, blogs, etc.

The reality is that as a married person, you are left with a choice.  You can either continue to let that abuse wreak havoc and devastation in your life or you can find ways to embrace sex in its right context of marriage and enjoy it.

Don’t let past sexual abuse continue to rob you and the person with whom you fell in love.  Sexual abuse has already taken enough from you.

The above 5 reasons are not exhaustive, but they cover quite a bit of ground as to why a couple possibly hasn’t had sex yet.

For some couples, this is a real issue.  And they would never dream of talking about it, even to their closest friends or family, for fear of feeling like a failure or being seen as an oddity.

But I want to shed light into those dark places and speak hope into your discouragement and paralysis.

If there really is no reason you shouldn’t be having sex (like illness, injury or extended separation because of military deployment or work commitments), then you need to be having sex — and finding ways to fully enjoy it.

You are worth it. Your spouse is worth it.  Your marriage is worth it.

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Copyright 2015, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.

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19 thoughts on “When Sex Has NEVER Happened in a Marriage…

  1. Pingback: » When Sex Has NEVER Happened in a Marriage…

  2. vincent says:

    Of a truth, I don’t think the man is normal because if he does, he would have desired and demanded for sex from his wife unless he is satisfying himself sexually outside without his wife knowing.

    For their relationship to go without marriage, I think they are roommates not couples because couples engage on sexual relationships.

  3. bengal15 says:

    I’ve lived this situation. It took my wife and me 12 years to consummate our marriage. Everyone seems to think that sex is the most natural thing in the world. Let me tell you something: for some people, it’s the most unnatural thing in the world. What you all take for granted, some people have to struggle for with every fiber of their being. Please be aware of that.

  4. Roberta says:

    It is so hard living in a marriage like this. I have been married for 3 years and even though my husband says he wants kids and wants to have sex with me we never have. We haven’t even tried in almost 2 years. There are days were I just want to leave. I want to have a family and I want to have an intimate relationship with my husband.

  5. Amy says:

    Yes! It is difficult living in a sexless marriage ! We’ve been married almost 50 years and they have been really hard years. He’s 70 and I’m 69 and our sex life was maybe a half dozen times. I’ve cried begged why no sex and what’s wrong with you. All he said he has no interest in me or sex! I asked why did you marry me all he said that’s what I wanted so he went along with me. He’s not gay or have something on the side, that was the first thing I checked for. He has been living in our basement for years and has worked the midnight shift for as long as we’ve been married. I was very stupid by not leaving him and in turn ruined my life. This was my mistake and I won’t forgive my self, almost 70 and why should I try any longer. I go about my own business and do my own thing.

  6. Nathan says:

    Marriages don’t NEED sex. They need love, and romance, and intimacy, but not sex. Marriage is a spiritual thing, sex is physical. A buddy of mine is married, and they both admit they have no desire for sex. They are both asexuals, who vale and enjoy romance, but are turned off by the idea of sex. And yes, they’re a man and woman.

  7. K says:

    I think this is just a dangerous place to be its much needed prayer . Because this situation gives place for divorce or infidelity.

  8. MG says:

    When I met my now husband we were intimate and sex was great. We married and it all changed. We’ve been married for a little over three years and our marriage has never been consummated. I’m at a loss and seriously need to just accept it or move on. I love my husband but finding it difficult to not harbor major resentment. I’m 54 and he’s 48. Sad and pathetic

  9. Ashley says:

    Me and my husband havn’t had sex for 46 years and still to this day havn’t . Due to our riligious coustoms. They do not allow it . But , despite not having sex or even thinking about it … Were still going strong.

    There are many things in life we can live without(except food and water) .. Is it suprising? Not really.

  10. Minister M says:

    I’ve been married to my husband for almost 15 years and we have not consummated or marriage as of yet. I’m reading the comments and trying to understand some of you. “Sex is not important!” “All you need is love, romance and intimacy!” Did anyone ever read in the book of Corinthians that a marriage couple should never deny themselves from one another? Lest you welcome temptation and lust into the marriage? Sex is important in a marriage, that intensifies the intimacy between the two and makes the marriage bond stronger. For a person not wanting sex, he is a eunuch. Whether a born one, man made, or self made and not all are godly. You can’t marry someone without them knowing there will not be any sex involved, after they have committed their life to you. That’s being unequally yoked. That is slavery. In my case there is no intimacy, love, sex, Christian support or romance. Because of tradition and not knowing the TRUTH of the WORD of GOD, I’m bond/ imprisoned, because I did what was “right.” I waited, I was celibate before marriage and I was truthful. I wanted more children with him and he knew he couldn’t have sex. So where does that leave people like me? “Oh well?”
    Leave this tradition stuff alone and teach people the TRUTH. God’s TRUTH. This is NOT a marriage. This is slavery! And I’m still young. God does teaches on marriage. We just pick and choose what we want to follow and ruin lives as well as our own, when we’re not obedient.

  11. Brillig says:

    “Christians perpetuate these lies the most”.
    Maybe we just move in different circles or things have turned around over time; the Christians I know aren’t the ones who coined, (and use), the words “the nasty” for coitus or “junk” for genitalia.
    Anyway, could my situation be linked to Narc or Borderline disorder? Lack of physical intimacy is just one of the oddities I’ve lived with these few years.

  12. Misty says:

    Reading these comments makes me feel sad as I’m in the same boat. I have been married now 7 months. Before getting married we’d talk about having kids, sex. I have never had sex as believed in saving myself for marriage and was so excited and looking forward to intimacy with my husband. Wedding night nothing happened as we were both tired, and thought in the next few weeks after the busy-ness of wedding affairs and hosting family that were over we would finally have our time. But months passed and I brought it up a few times. Each time I did bring it up he’d say soon we’d start having sex and trying for a child, then he’d say to wait a few months, a year and then the “oh what’s the rush? Enjoy our time together”. Feel so defeated and deflated bringing it up again. Hurts so much and not sure how to approach my husband about it again. Just feels like there is no use. Even our communication has just gone downhill. I try to initiate conversations on how he’s feeling, how his day, etc but get palmed off.
    Cry myself to sleep thinking why did he choose to propose and marry me if he didn’t want intimacy as part of our marriage. We both come from Christian backgrounds and have had teachings on intimacy in marriage. Also did pre-marriage counseling together. So I don’t know why nothing is happening between. I long for my husband but unfortunately he doesn’t seem to long for intimacy with me. I know divorce is not of God for married couples and we made a covenant before God. But I feel so so unhappy and upset that it’s making me feel physically ill and feel that divorce would be the only solution. I have prayed and started to fast for a solution as I don’t want to be led by my feelings. But this is definitely the hardest challenge for me, for us.
    I even doubt him sometimes and think maybe he’s satisfying himself sexually elsewhere or maybe he doesn’t want to be married to me anymore but doesn’t want to say anything to spare my feelings. But I rather him tell me so that I know and we know what to work on. But with the way our communication is going, it’s not going well. Please pray for us to save our marriage and to turn things around in our communication and intimacy.

  13. Kim says:

    My comments are the same as Misty. Married for a little over two months, my heart is weighted down over this whole situation. He is a good provider and very loving, just not sexual with me. Please pray for us. I’ve waited for fourty years for this, but NEVER expected this. My heart saddens more each day just knowing that our marriage is not complete.

  14. Missinglove says:

    Me and my husband had sex before our marriage and children after marriage we never did and it’s been 2 years. If no sex ever happens is the marriage real in Gods eyes is it better to just get divorced and marry other people since this marriage was never real?

  15. Rachael says:

    My heart also saddens readimg this, yet somehowvit makes me feel not so alone… we have been married just over a month however my husbands past in dabbling in same sex attraction (which he never told me about until after we got married) is causing major issues for us with any kind of intimacy. We still haven’t had sex either and I don’t feel like there’s any greater rejection than lying beside your husband and he has no desire for you. He is facing it now and getting ministry etc but I feel like this is going to be a very long road. I’m 41 and have faithfully waited a long time and also never expected this. I wish there was a way for all of us in similar situations to connect.

  16. Cassandra says:

    I am 44 and got married 6 months ago only to find out my husband has no desire for intacmy or sex. He like having his penis suck but does nothing in return. I am giving up as all he does is stay in bed . Or smoke a joint and shows love for his step daughter and lets me take care of everything else.it is to hard to live this way. I even ask before we got married if I was entering a sexless marriage he said no. Still waiting and now I sleep on couch.

    Feeling alone emotionaly, physical and financially..!

    Thanks sandy

  17. Catherina says:

    Well Ladies, I’m in the same boat! I have been married over a Year and we have not consummated our marriage.. I have found porn and videos mainly women having sex with other women and nudes in his phone and IPad.. yet he tells me he is impatient.. we went to Dr. the Dr. gave him vigagra and he has never tried! I have played with his penis to stimulate and he gets a hard on but can’t keep it to try and make love.. He has never touched me down below or even tried! I have come to the decision he is not that into me and young porn is his thing and satisfaction to himself.. I have moved out of our bedroom as I feel now feel he is undesirable.. I love him and care about him but my self respect was going down the tubes.. I always taught my kids if you have to ask it is not worth having! I am teaching myself self respect again and realistically seeing this is a room mate that I love and care about but this is not a marriage! Marriage is bonding and becoming one! We are not one!!

  18. Extra says:

    Going on 14 years. Zero sex. I have problems. She has problems. It just doesn’t add up to intimacy. While reading through these comments I realize that people are having a hard time knowing what the right thing is or doing it. It seems obvious that there are “hardened hearts” in these relationships and that the purpose of marriage is not being served. In some of these instances things need remedied and in others they need dissolved.

    Some of you need to make arrangements for the best interests of both involved, look to the welfare other, and then get a dissolution. Do right for each other. It will take strength to do this, but your goal should be to be in line with God’s Will and plans, not your own. God has a design and purpose in mind for marriage and we should try to follow it. Sex, reproduction, and intimacy are a part of God’s marriage
    If you need medical help get what you need but try to be conservative about it. Doctors can sometimes compound your problems.
    If you are stuck in a set of habits that prevent sex from happening you need to attempt to rearrange your life and space so that it does happen, so that it’s almost impossible for it not to happen. Be honest about how things make you feel.
    Remember that once you start doing the right thing for yourself and even for the other person, people are going to get upset. They often are attached to the rut they are in.
    God allows a way out. Look to the word.

  19. Pat says:

    Having been married 32 years and only having had sex 5 times with my husband I deeply regret wasting my life on him. My husband is physically fit so I cannot blame a medical condition for his abstinence. I face my old age with no children or grandchildren on the horizon. No matter how much discussion or medical help has changed this situation. The very thought of being intimate with him now repulses me and I have slept in the spare room for many years. For a man or woman to marry someone knowing they have a sexual problem and have no intention of fulfilling this side of their marriage is to me. all about mental abuse, mind games and control This supposed loving partner, you dedicate the rest of your life too has knowingly stolen this important part of your life from you and is an evil act. If I had seen my husband do everything in his power to get help, to have talked to me about the issue or if he had a medical condition, I would have accepted my fate as I do love him. Instead, he has absolved himself of any responsibility to be a loving intimate partner to his wife. My advice is have deep, open discussions before you marry about intimancy and leave if you are young and find yourself in this torturous, soul destroying situation. I am sure God will understand your pain. Do not waste your life, as your future will be a lonely landscape as you go into old age.

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