Sharing a connection with someone close to us is one of the most basic needs any person will experience. This includes closeness with friends, family, peers, and especially another person in a relationship. Being intimate is part of such relationships and expresses things like love, physical contact, trust, and closeness. Being intimate with your partner can be both emotional and physical, meaning it can be both sexual and non-sexual. It is by far one of the most important aspects of any relationship because it is the “glue” that effectively binds us together with our partner.
While intimacy is a lot more than touching, kissing, and holding hands, many people view this touch component as a key indicator of intimacy. A willingness to touch one’s partner indicates that we trust them and are committed to being with them. When a husband is not intimate, this becomes particularly indicative of relationship problems. There is always a key cause that contributes to a couple falling apart, whether it be complacency, kids, or an internal problem.
If you find yourself in a non-intimate marriage or relationship, this means there is a problem with the connectedness between you and your partner. There is a problem that is causing the lack of intimacy and can create significant marital issues or relationship problems.
Common causes for intimacy problems
If you find yourself not being intimate with your partner, then obviously something is contributing to the problem. A lack of intimacy can occur for a wide range of reasons but may involve more than one cause. Here are some common sexless marriage problems:
- Communication problems
Intimacy envelopes much beyond physical contact. An emotionally-connected marriage or relationship between partners depends on how they feel when communicating with one another. For two people to truly know each other, communication needs to be open, clear, truthful, and real. Effective communication relies as much on a person’s ability to listen as it is about putting the right words together.
If your partner is typically more of a closed person, then they may need to work on strategies to become more open. In comparison, you might need to be mindful and provide them with more space. A breakdown in communication results in a disconnect between partners and can result in conflict. A relationship without physical affection can easily occur when one or both partners feel like they cannot communicate what they’re thinking or feeling.
- Depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses
Mental health problems like anxiety and depression can have a drastic effect on a person’s outlook or perception of the world around them. Anxiety and depression affecting a relationship is not unusual as it can affect how a person feels about their partner, or even how they believe their partner sees them.
Mental illness magnifies ordinary stressors in a relationship and causes minor issues to “blow up” out of proportion. A person coping with depression or anxiety is more likely to lash out at their partner when faced with stressful situations like a family gathering or a bad day at work. Partners struggling with their own self-image and self-esteem are more likely to have issues with withholding physical affection.
Likewise, individuals on antidepressants may also find themselves struggling with creating an intimate marriage or relationship. These medications can often create side effects with a person’s libido and cause them to be less interested in sex overall. Thus you may see with regularity your husband not wanting to be intimate.
- Resentment, anger, and mistrust
Arguments and disagreements are a regular part of any relationship. With most arguments, both sides may find it easy to get over the emotions riled up from the situation. But this may not always be the case. Consider when persistent negative feelings like anger or jealousy arise. These can greatly interfere with being intimate with your partner. They interfere with intimacy and become a feature of relationship problems.
If arguments are a regular occurrence, then this can cause some built-up resentment from your partner. They may often find themselves on the losing side, which makes them become frustrated that they aren’t being heard or listened to. As a result, a relationship without physical affection forms as one partner resents and feels like they are always wrong.
Intimacy is best represented by the idea of a family. Pregnancy is a byproduct of being intimate with your partner. Starting a family can always be done with the best of intentions, because of the desire to raise offspring together. But rearing children can be one of the toughest jobs in the world. Ask any parent and they’ll tell you that feeding, cleaning up messes, and getting kids to sleep, in addition to myriad more activities involved in parenting, can leave a person with little time or energy for other things.
Even more so, it’s possible to place so much time and energy on children that the result may mean little time spent with one’s partner. Although children are a consequence of creating an intimate marriage or relationship, they can also result in a relationship without physical affection. It is quite easy to lose focus on one’s partner when the needs of children can be so numerous and time-consuming. As a result, one or both parents can become resentful of coming in second place to the interests of offspring.
- Out-of-home commitments
A fulfilling job or busy social life can often play a part in a person’s ability to be happy. More than half of your waking weekday hours are spent at work, so it’s most beneficial for you or your partner to feel satisfied. But in some cases, the requirements of a job might interfere with one’s personal life and prevent an emotionally-connected marriage or relationship.
Most people want to do well and have varying levels of ambition in life. But some people might let their focus on a career supersede all other aspects of life, and thus result in no romance in a relationship. Your partner might talk excessively about work, spend significant time away from home, or have little time or energy after working long hours. Work might even interfere with personal time, such as always checking emails during meals with you. All of these can ultimately cause problems in restoring intimacy in a sexless marriage or relationship.
Take a couples or single assessment
One of the main ways in creating an intimate marriage or relationship is to help a loved one realize that the relationship is suffering. They may not be aware of the problem or may be too resentful to have
brought up any problems before. But getting a couple to talk with one another is the first step in creating romantic couple goals.
One such goal should be getting them to take a relationship assessment. This helps to point out problems and strengths in the relationship. Our Couples assessment gives people the opportunity to take inventory of your entire relationship and identify problem points. You can then use the results of this assessment to explore how both you and your partner scored yourselves and each other.
Simply fill out the questionnaire by truthfully scoring yourself and your partner on all aspects of the relationship. Remember the truthful part, because that is critical for addressing problem areas and helping a relationship to succeed.
Encourage your partner to try couples therapy
Once you’ve completed the assessment, you can sit down with your partner and examine the results to identify relationship problems and discuss the possibility of couples therapy. If you and your partner want to ensure that no romance in a relationship doesn’t become the norm and you wish to restore intimacy with your partner, make this into an honest discussion.
But if you can’t simply discuss the assessment results, that’s where couples therapy comes into the equation. With the results of your assessment in hand, you can approach any counselor with evidence of relationship problems you might be encountering. A licensed professional can then use this during counseling sessions to help address the issues flagged by a lack of intimacy.