Recently I had lunch with a therapist sister friend of mine. We were discussing the topic of marriage among black couples and the trends around divorce. The number one reason why African Americans tend to get divorced is due to financial instability. However the next thing she said sort of took me aback. She stated how she has counseled several African American couples over the years in sexless marriages. When she said that I sort of smirked, but then I thought is that really a marriage? More importantly how does it get to that stage. I often talk about love, sex, and relationships with my girlfriends. It made me wonder if this is a frequent issue among black women. This led me to do some research. According to data scientist Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, the top-searched marriage complaint on Google is “sexless marriage.” (What’s more, searches for “sexless marriage” are three and a half times more common than “unhappy marriage” and eight times more common than “loveless marriage.”)
Intimacy issues in a marriage are nothing new. As women tend to focus on emotional connections and men tend to view intimacy on a physical level. Intimacy in my opinion is a huge part of a healthy relationship. You want to feel close and connected in your relationship. A lack of intimacy can have a damaging impact on the relationship. I know for some women this is a taboo topic especially for women of color. This is something that needs to be discussed. Sex is a important part of a marriage. I began to just check in with my girlfriends about this topic. Some women disclosed that they withheld sex from their partner due to feelings of anger, frustration, or just plane being physically tired. According to therapist Michele Weiner Davis, author of The Sex-Starved Marriage, the number of sexless marriages is “an under-reported statistic.” The real number of marriages going through a sexual drought may not be known, but experts see this crisis as paramount.
There are many benefits to having a good sex life. It keeps you looking younger, reduce stress, and definitely provides better sleep. Understanding the underlying causes that led to your marriage becoming sexless is key to dealing with the issue.
Here are some tips on how you can work through your sexless marriage:
- Get your husband/boyfriend to the doctor to get a complete check up to make sure no medical issues are impacting his ability to have sex.
- Don’t blame yourself: This issue is more common and not any indicator of how sexy you are.
- Seek professional help from a counselor and or medical professional
- This is a big one especially if there are past issues around infidelity. Practice FORGIVENESS
- Discuss your needs openly and honestly with each other
- Make time for intimacy and date nights
- Attend a marriage retreat
- Detox your marriage: let go of any resentment, anger, mistrust, and start treating your spouse with kindness, love, and affection
- Kiss and cuddle
- Commit to fixing your intimacy issues
Culture Keepers if you could describe your marriage/relationship sex life in one word what would it be?
Ms. Culture Keeper-