According to the National Survey of Family Growth, up to forty-eight percent of first marriages fall apart within the first 20 years. But why? One of those reasons points to intimacy problems in marriage. While sex isn’t the defining factor in happiness, when a marriage is missing intimacy, it can lead to serious relationship issues.

5 Reasons Your Marriage is Missing Intimacy

Intimacy is a vital cog in the wheel of a successful relationship. When sex and intimacy suffer in the relationship, cracks can form in your relationship, which leads to loss of emotional and verbal connection with your spouse. Here are five common reasons why intimacy disappears in a relationship.

1. Stress

Stress leads to a lack of intimacy. It may be hard to believe, but stress could impact your partner’s desire for intimacy. Stress at home or work can leave men and women feeling exhausted (physically and mentally), making sleep or other ways of relaxing more appealing. If you want to improve intimacy in your marriage, you need to slay the culprit – stress. Talk to each other about what causes them stress and do what you can to help lift some of the burdens.

2. Low Self-Esteem

Self-esteem and body image issues aren’t isolated to women. No one is exempt from getting down on themselves. Low self-esteem affects not only the individual, but it also takes a toll on the relationship, especially when it comes to physical intimacy. Poor body image and self-esteem issues lead to inhibitions, and ultimately to a sexless marriage.

If intimacy is lacking in your marriage, cultivate a habit of complimenting and appreciating your spouse. Let them know you find them attractive.

3. Rejection

Rejection can result in a lack of intimacy. A feeling of rejection can creep in if you’ve rejected your partner’s advances or been less enthused when they tried to show you affection in or out of the bedroom. This feeling can put your partner off of intimacy.

No one wants to feel as if being intimate with them (physical or otherwise) is a chore. Living in a sexless marriage can make a spouse feel unwanted, unattractive, and demotivated.

4. Resentment

Unresolved issues become resentment. Resentment can make your partner pull away and withdraw affectionately and emotionally. In some cases, the resentment builds when your partner feels unappreciated or let down by the way you treat them. The only way to get to the bottom of it is to talk openly about the relationship. Then, try to resolve the issues.

5. Lack of Non-Physical Intimacy

Sex isn’t the only form of intimacy in a marriage, but your sex-life can suffer if there’s a lack of emotional intimacy.  Failing to connect emotionally can make it hard to connect during physical intimacy. The need for emotional connection isn’t limited to women either. Men crave emotional intimacy from their wives as well.

Carve out quality time for each other to build emotional intimacy. Intimacy (emotional and physical) is the glue to maintain your bond.

Lack of intimacy can stem from many things. It’s important not to jump to conclusions. Have an honest conversation with your spouse without being accusatory.

Signs Intimacy is Suffering in Marriage

Here are some signs to look for when intimacy is suffering:

  • Partners begin withdrawing from each other.
  • The rejected spouse feels unloved and insecure.
  • Chances of infidelity increase significantly.
  • If intimacy issues persist, divorce becomes imminent.

Is intimacy missing in your marriage? Are you in a loveless marriage? Take a look at your relationship and see if anything we discussed rings true. It may help you understand a key reason why intimacy is missing and get back on track. Seek a marriage counselor if your marriage is suffering from a lack of intimacy.

Eagle Family Ministries is committed to helping couples rekindle intimacy in marriage through fun marriage retreats, Christian conferences, and relationship coaching. Contact us today at 479.464.4442 or visit our website for more information.