5 Signs You’ve Gone Too Long Without Sex

I know when it’s been too long.

I can feel it. I think every aspect of our life together can feel it when my husband and I have gone too long without making love.

What about your marriage?

What does it do to you as an individual and to you both as a couple when you go too long without having sex?

I will speak from my own experience, but I imagine some of these ring true for you, too.

5 Signs I’ve Gone Too Long Without Sex

1. I lose patience quicker when I’ve gone too long without sex.

While every Hallmark movie would lead us to believe marriage is an endless slumber party of bliss, you and I both know that marriage requires a boatload of grace.

It’s mind boggling the coordination and cat-like reflexes needed to run a household. And if you managed to replicate a Mini-Me or two (or three or four or more), those creatures have an uncanny propensity to sabotage all your cat-like reflexes.

Oh for the love.

Add to the mix jobs and financial issues and needy relatives and volunteer commitments and lawns that need mowing and fridges that need filling.

When we commit our lives to one another in marriage, we are committing to swimming upstream for longer than we ever could have imagined. I’ve yet to meet any married person who would argue otherwise.

I don’t know about you, but I found out fairly quickly that if my husband and I were going to do marriage well, we needed to develop incredible muscle memory on what it means to extend grace.

So it shouldn’t be a shock at all that when my husband and I go too long without sexual connection, my grace and patience plummet. The very grace I need to extend in legitimate “grace deserving” situations evaporates. Nada. Kaput. I’ve got nothing.

Sex isn’t just good for my body. It’s literally good for my home and the life we are managing together. Like I always say… I like my husband better after we make love. It’s easier to extend grace to the man I like, not just the man I love.

2. I feel stressed when I’ve gone too long without sex.

Speaking of my body, though, I find sex incredibly relaxing. I physically and emotionally feel better after we make love. I like being touched and held and pursued sexually, so the longer I go without that, the more stressed I become. There is a direct correlation I could recognize a mile away.

Research upon research has proven that when we enjoy sexual connection with our spouse, it benefits us physically and emotionally. Oxytocin rises. Cortisol goes down. We feel tingly. Orgasm isn’t just about bonding, it’s also about a release — a release no one word could adequately describe. We just know.

Sure, some stress in life is normal and actually motivating. But persistent sustained agonizing stress never did anyone any good. And yes, there are many ways to relieve stress (exercise, counseling, hobbies, journaling, meditation, talking with a friend.)

Married people have those stress-relieving opportunities too, but what sets marriage apart from all other relationships is that it is a covenant relationship that includes sex. Not as an option, but as an intricate part. Even couples who physically cannot have intercourse for medical or other reasons are still afforded sensual touch and, in some cases, the ability to still reach orgasm.

I think God knew that the very nature of marriage is a hotbed of messy stress, so He gave us a way to keep some of that stress at bay. Get naked with each other as often as possible. Keep the stress at bay. I know it works for me.

3. I am more tempted to masturbate in secret when I’ve gone too long without sex.

I know this is a rather transparent and vulnerable thing to admit, maybe even from someone who blogs about sex in marriage, but it’s true. When my husband and I have gone too long without sex, I am tempted to secretly satisfy my desire for climax.

Hear me out. I’m not opposed to masturbation in marriage when certain parameters are in place. It’s just that one of those parameters I believe is it shouldn’t be done secretly —an activity that you hide from your spouse.

Sadly, I hear from many husbands and wives who feel sexually neglected by their spouse, so they seek sexual release alone through masturbation. And that becomes their go to. That becomes their normal, to the point that they no longer think sex with their spouse is even up for discussion or is even an option. It’s a heartbreaking path too many people head down.

All things considered, I would much rather my orgasm come through the handiwork of my husband’s technique and touch rather than of my own alone experience. And the kicker is that masturbation is never going to fulfill the way mutual sexual connection with the person you married will. It’s just not.

Go too long without sex with the person you married and masturbating in secret becomes all that more alluring.

4. I start to question the strength of our relationship when I’ve gone too long without sex.

Lack of sex doesn’t make me question if we are going to stay married (although I do hear from people regularly who do feel that way, so it’s a legitimate experience no doubt). But lack of sex does start to entangle me in way too much doubt about how strong our relationship really is.

I start pondering things like, “maybe our best years as a couple are behind us” or “maybe this is just how it is and I need to lower my expectations.”

It’s exhausting, really… to start to drift into a mode of settling when I know in my heart we don’t need to settle. But that’s what happens when we’ve gone too long without sex. I start to question the strength of our connection. And I hate that feeling.

5. I get bored when I’ve gone too long without sex.

The older I get, the more spontaneity I need. Not in an obsessive sort of way, but I just need each day to have some variety in it.

Sex is fun! It’s rich entertainment that’s cheap. Doesn’t cost us a thing except a little time, creativity and energy. And it doesn’t require we go out anywhere. We can make our own private paradise of fun right in the comfort of our own home.

So I know it may sound odd, but if we go too long without sex, I start to get a little bored with life.

Not only do I want more spontaneity the older I get, I’m also increasingly aware of how fleeting life is. Do you ever feel that way? Like one day you got married and here you are years (maybe even decades) down the road, and it all seems like one tremendous blur.

Clichés are clichés because there is some solid truth to them. Life is short. If you are married, there is no better time than now to be having sex and to have fun doing it. I don’t want to feel bored with my marriage.

So there you have it. 5 signs I’ve gone too long without sex.

What about you?  Do you sense when it’s been too long? What does that do to you? What does it do to your marriage? Please share in the comment section.

For more reading, cruise through my list of past posts. as well as my page with a bunch of posts on orgasm.

Oh and I have a 5 video series available on building better sex in your marriage. Great way to invest in your marriage!  You can find out all about it at this link:  Better Sex in Your Christian Marriage.

Copyright 2019, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.

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8 thoughts on “5 Signs You’ve Gone Too Long Without Sex

  1. Teri says:

    It only adds fuel to the fire when there is ED involved! it’s nobody’s fault but not having sex is the new norm. Having crazy thoughts of ending the marriage because he is no longer fulfilling his part or thoughts of cheating because I want to be fulfilled, also self gratification, those times of pleasuring in secret. Not to mention the thoughts of he’s not attracted to me anymore or he doesn’t love me .With ED, there is nothing spontaneous about any of it and we can’t just say oh it’s been too long let’s have sex. people say it’s “just sex” but intimacy is a lot more than just sex, it affects all areas of your life! It’s like being bound in a marriage that is just a roommate or a friend. Not a fun journey.

  2. LJ says:

    Julie, what a timely topic. As the pace of this Christmas season has escalated, we too have fallen into the dysfunctional pattern you discuss in your blog. It seems that other commitments frequently push lovemaking and “us time” to the bottom of our priority list.

    Interestingly, when we both experience gratifying sex on a regular and consistent basis, we seem to come back more resilient, less stressed, patient, and ready for new challenges. This has been a great reminder as we close out this year and get ready to enter 2020. After thirty-seven years, we are still learning how much God loves us, wants us to not only trust him as Lord and savior, but to allow him to restore and grow our relationship with him and each other.

    Lovemaking is a gift from God intended for married couples, and we as a couple can either choose to “use it or lose it”.

  3. oldermarried says:


    From the spelling of the name, you’re the woman. As a guy, I can tell you it’s tough to be in your husband’s shoes. Going in to talk to a dr. was one of the hardest things I had to do. Solutions are not perfect, but they are there. And some other medical findings might be even more important. Note how much he’s drinking. (if at all). How over weight is he? (if at all) What does he eat? They have done studies on diet, where you hook a man up to an erection detector before sleep. The adult male should be having erections all night: it’s like a systems check. How many he has and how hard they are is a direct result of his over all health. Meaty, fatty, cholesterol heavy foods can have a huge effect on quality of erection, or whether an erection can even happen. He should get checked out. The conversation won’t be easy, for you and your husband, or with the doc. But save his life first, and then your sex life.

  4. Bill Johnson says:

    I hate that I start having inappropriate thoughts about virtually every woman I see. Self-control becomes an constant exhausting battle. I find myself fantasizing about old relationships, or inventing new ones, when the real truth is, I’d rather fantasize about my W than anyone else in the world, Also I feel a lot of anger and resentment that she put me in this vulnerable position. I wouldn’t have gotten married if I’d known I would still that to deal with such things I feel defrauded and cheated, lied to and robbed much of the time.

  5. Alex says:

    My wife is almost 46 and is in the early stages of menopause. Her sex drive the last few years has been extremely high but over the past few months it has been erratic and she’s not having her period more frequently (this is all normal for some women, according to her doctor). We had quite a weekend in bed but it has been a few weeks and I was definitely feeling kind of neglected, very horny and quite edgy. The good news is that when we finally did get sexual this past weekend (3 times in all) it was all wonderful. But for me, getting edgy is normal when there’s been a drought.

    On masturbation, I agree with the above. It’s not healthy to secretly masturbate in marriage. My wife and I both masturbate–together and alone–but it’s not a secret. Do I tell her every time I masturbate? No. But it’s not a secret. We both really enjoy it.

  6. Jim says:

    Spot on with your observations. Going on almost sixteen months of no sex because my wife has ‘too much on her mind.’ Or, she’s too tired, or ‘there’s too much going on right now.’ You get the picture. But without fail she’ll remark how we’re drifting apart, and why is that?

    Something has to give and I don’t want it to be our marriage.

    One thing you should add, if possible. Couples that make love on a frequent basis are more forgiving of each other’s mistakes, their disagreements aren’t as petty, and they tend to laugh more together.

  7. Alone 24/7 says:

    Married over 40 years. No children. Took care of one set of parents. Now moved another in with us. Full time caregiver. Intimacy is definitely an issue. Living in a small apartment. Spouse works a rotational shift. Am only one who attempts to initiate intimacy. Looses something in translation. Going solo appears to be an option. Discouraged and exhausted.

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