Executive Contributor | Relationships | Cass Morrow
The clinical definition of a sexless marriage is one where you haven’t had sex in six months or more.
My definition of a sexless marriage is when your wife starts treating sex as a chore to tick off the to-do list. She’s doing it because she feels like she has to, rather than because she wants to.
Let’s be honest guys – we don’t just want sex! We want love. We want emotional connection, respect, and a wife who adores us.
As soon as passionate intimacy feels like a job for your wife, all of this disappears. And oftentimes, it is because she isn’tgetting any of these things from you. She has put up a wall between the two of you – and no matter how much you talk, you can’t seem to get past it.
I’ve been there. My wife Kathryn and I were stuck in an extremely toxic marriage for years. If I’m being honest, it was abusive in every way.
My behavior and disrespect towards her caused her to completely check out. I belittled her daily and attacked who she was as a woman, wife, and mother. She forgot who she was and felt invisible. Of course, our sex life was non-existent – how could we possibly have that passion with how I made her feel?
All my words and actions came from a place of deep insecurity. The good news is, with a lot of work, effort, and patience, we got through it. I was able to take down her wall and become the husband, father, and man I always wanted to be. Now, we are crazy in love, have an incredible sex life, and set an example to our children every day of how good a relationship can be.
And as a coach, I help men all around the world do the same in their own marriages.
(I even have some free training on this exact subject that you can check out here.)
If you’re ready to take down those walls and get the passion back in your marriage, here are the five steps that will make it happen.
Ignore Society’s Traditional Solutions
Remember how I mentioned earlier that no matter how much you talk, your marriage problems aren’t going away?
That is exactly why. Because you keep talking.
Talking around in circles leads to arguing about who is right and who is wrong. This is NOT communication!
Before you can even begin to bring down the wall between you and your wife, you need to learn how to communicate. This starts with action. Decide that you are going to stop behaving in a way that builds up the wall.
In my marriage, my anger problems caused a huge rift between us. Once I learned how to respond, rather than react, things started to improve – because my wife felt safe.
Women are naturally loving and empathetic. Once you can bring your wife back to her natural state, everything gets softer, and there is laughter and joy in your relationship again.
The safer your wife feels, the more you can start to introduce old affectionate behavior back into your relationship – from flirting to cuddling, and eventually, sex.
Become a Leader
Once the wall starts coming down, you need to keep consistently acting like the man you want to be.
You’ve probably been telling yourself for years that your wife owes you love and respect, especially if you provide financially for your household.
I have news for you: believing that you are a great guy because you provide for and protect your family is not enough. If you get defensive and frustrated and blame your wife for not giving you what you need, the wall goes back up.
You need to be an equal partner. Not only does this help your wife feel more connected to you, but it will help you get the intimacy back and feel less lonely too.
Maintain a ‘Yes’ tone in your Household
Once you take a leadership role in your household, you take on a new responsibility: setting the tone in your household.
Even if your wife is screaming or your kids are acting up, you have to choose not to react to it negatively. If you can remain calm and diffuse the tension, everyone else will follow your lead.
The less you argue with your wife and can control your emotions, the more open your communication will become, because you can speak to each other with a respectful tone. At this point, you can start to have real conversations again – and this is where the magic begins.
Remember when you first started dating, just how great that spark was? You were finishing each other’s sentences, so excited to talk to each other for hours.
This is where you start to get those feelings back, and you can talk, laugh, and dream again – together.
Before you start trying to engage in sexual behavior, prioritizenon-sexual contact instead.
Your wife is still building trust in you. Sure, your behavior has changed, but how can she know it’s going to last this time? You need to show affection in other ways to prove to her that you areworking hard to be better and that you respect and value her as an equal partner.
These actions don’t have to be huge; a kiss when you arrive home from work, a cuddle while you’re watching TV at night, or flirty banter over a glass of wine. But if you are consistent with this kind of loving behavior, rather than falling back into bad patterns of arguments, deflection, and blame, you will both start to feel excited about spending time together again.
Once both you and your wife are ready to emotionally connect again, you can start to try and bring the fire back into your bedroom.
Again, your wife might not be all in yet the way you are – but because of the steps you have taken, she wants to connect with you sexually again.
That would have felt impossible before you started this process, right?
You need to be careful at this point because it’s easy to get comfortable and complacent. Just because things are going well, does not mean you’ve overcome all of your issues yet.
As I have said before, you can’t expect things to be magically fixed overnight. You need to be clear on the direction you want your marriage to go in and act every day in a way that makes that a reality.
For example, my wife used to say to me:
“If you stopped yelling, I’d be happy and I’d want you again.”
Sure, I learned to control my rage…but then I would get frustrated when I was treated like I was still yelling!
You need to have patience and give her time to understand thatyou have changed. Kathryn was triggered by the ‘old me’ so I needed to keep proving over and over again that he was gone.
If you respond with anger and resentment, you end up right back at square one, because your wife will feel like she cannot trust you, and that she doesn’t have a safe and secure space to communicate.
So, there you have it: my foolproof 5-step process to getting intimacy back in your marriage.
How long the process takes will depend on how bad your marriage was and how checked out of it your wife had become.But if you stay consistent, keep showing up, and genuinely reflect and work on your behavior, you can get that passionate marriage and sex life back.
If you want to learn more, here’s the link again to some free training on my website.