A virgin bride who’s still a virgin after eight years of marriage? Couples need a sex life – don’t let it die
- Sexual connection is an integral part of a marriage. If you’re no longer having sex, you’re holding each hostage and that’s cruel
- To rekindle the flames of passion, exchange romantic texts, surprise your partner, show them they’re always on your mind. Physical intimacy will follow
I know a couple who have been married for eight years and have never consummated their marriage; the wife even confided in me that she is still a virgin.
On the surface, they seem a happy, loving couple, who share a lot of common interests, but in reality, their sexless marriage is causing both physical and emotional strain, especially for the husband. This is because the wife is erotophobic, which means that she rejects all forms of physical intimacy.
A marriage devoid of sex is extremely rare. True, as a relationship matures, sex takes a back seat when other factors such as family, children, and career as well as loyalty, trust and common interests take the wheel. But a romantic relationship with no physical intimacy is not a real partnership at all.
Sexual connection is an integral part of a marriage and can sometimes be an emotional booster when other things in life go wrong. Even if two people are extremely close and love each other dearly, without sexual intimacy they would be better off as best friends.
Many couples do not tell each other what they truly desire sexually. It is hugely important to communicate your needs and wants, and even your deepest desires, no matter how awkward. Do not hold back; you must be honest with each other, because one of you may think a big difference in your sex drives is an issue.
Do it right away, at the beginning of the relationship, so that neither party will have unrealistic expectations and each will understand what role the other wants sex to play in the relationship.
A mismatch in libido might not be a big deal when the sexual intensity is still high. Over time, a man’s sex drive remains mostly unchanged while a woman’s tends to diminish. When that happens, couples need to communicate in order to find a way to bridge this transition and nurture deeper emotional intimacy to make up for the changes in your sex life.
Remember, even as its significance drops, sex is still part of the package. Its frequency and how you engage with each other sexually is, of course, not the only aspect of your partnership, but a sexless marriage is cruel because it is like holding each other hostage in a “neither here-nor-there” kind of union.
Holding back or brushing off the sexual needs of your partner will have a negative effect on other aspects of your relationship.
When you talk openly about what you both want, you will not only increase the likelihood of having your needs met, but may inject your sex life with some creativity and enthusiasm. Sex between committed partners is not only physically fun, it is also a stress reliever and a path that leads to emotional and mental connection.
When couples have an unsatisfactory sex life, there are not many options left; deal with the problem together, seek therapy or counselling, or suffer in silence and let mutual resentment build – a course which will very likely lead to an extramarital affair or divorce.
If you are experiencing dry spells over an extended period, see if there are warning signs that your sex life could be dying.
First, talk to your partner about what led the two of you to neglect your sex life. Instead of trying to blame your partner, ask yourself how you feel about the situation. If you want to rescue the marriage, promise each other face to face that you will fix it. This will not be easy, since your sex life has gone stale, so do not rush it. But don’t drag it out either, because you need to reignite the flames before they die out.
Start by staying in touch during the workday; send romantic or even titillating text messages to each other as a form of flirting. Recreate romantic moments in your relationship, give surprises to each other, such as taking your partner out midweek to do something out of the ordinary – a walk on The Peak or a day at the beach. It is all about showing that they are constantly on your mind.
Once you have warmed up, get back on the path to physical intimacy. If you want to maintain a happy marriage, focus on quality over quantity.
A strong and committed relationship thrives on love and kindness. A good partner is someone who not only has a big, loving heart, but also a generous and selfless personality.
Showing kindness and consideration means you put your partner first; that means going out of your way, even if only every now and then, to serve them to show that they are everything to you. Once you have managed to convey this message, physical intimacy comes naturally and will not fade.
Luisa Tam is a senior editor at the Post