Mark and Tina entered my office sitting as far away as possible from each other on the couch and barely making eye contact. They reported that they had struggled with a sexless marriage for nearly 10 years, and they felt hopeless they could fix it on their own. They agreed to attend a marriage retreat as a last-ditch effort to rekindle their sexless marriage. During their 3-day private retreat, we identified the root cause of their lack of sexual intimacy and worked on improving communication skills. We also agreed on a plan for how Tina and Mark will prioritize their relationship and reconnect emotionally. They left my office holding hands, smiling, and giddily planning a romantic weekend away for later that month.
A sexless marriage is one of the most common issues in couples therapy. A bad sex life can affect any romantic partnership, whether married or not, and can make you feel lonely, rejected, and unfulfilled. Effective counseling can help trace the steps which led to a sexless marriage. It can also identify the underlying emotional reasons for the breakdown. The most efficient way to understand what led to a lack of intimacy and how to rekindle your sexless marriage is through an intensive marriage retreat.
An intensive marriage retreat can put your sexless marriage on the road to recovery faster than traditional therapy. You will benefit from uninterrupted chunks of time and professional guidance from a therapist to get at the heart of the issue. In fact, more and more couples are turning to marriage retreats than ever before for this very reason. It is possible to revive your sexless relationship through intensive therapy so you can get back to fulfilling and lasting sexual intimacy.
Common Causes Of A Lack of Physical Intimacy
Most often, a sexless marriage is the result of an emotional disconnect. This can be caused by a number of issues including:
- Stresses of career and family life
- Differing sex drives and needs
- Physical impediments
- Past sexual trauma
- Perceived sexual incompatibility
- Reluctance to authentically and compassionately discuss all forms of intimacy
The majority of couples with sexless marriages have solvable problems which just require a little extra support. Effective therapy will help the couple diagnose the problem and then shift gears to focus on finding the solution.
Why Intensive Marriage Retreats Help Rekindle Your Sexless Marriage
An intensive marriage retreat is helpful for couples for whom traditional therapy hasn’t worked or for those who want to supercharge their counseling journey. Typically, the retreat takes place over a 2-3 day period. The couple is with the therapist for a few hours each day, and we dive deep to briefly identify the root causes behind the sexless marriage and then focus most of our time together on the path toward a solution.
The greatest benefit of intensive couples therapy is that you get results much faster than standard couples counseling. Instead of the prolonged process of weekly counseling sessions, you spend dedicated hours during an extended weekend to get to a resolution. Marriage retreats work because the couple has the time and space to really focus on rebuilding their relationship. They also learn and practice valuable skills that allow them to continue to experience positive changes in their relationship long after the retreat.
3 Key Components Of Intensive Counseling For A Sexless Marriage
The most effective therapy for partners in a sexless marriage is couple-centered and solution-focused. It will work best if both partners are committed to fixing their relationship and doing the work needed to get there. An effective marriage retreat will focus on the couple’s emotional connection, peak sexual experience, and communication skills training.
1. Emotional Connection
The first step in getting your marriage, and your sex life, back on track is to identify the reasons behind the couple’s emotional disconnect. What do you need from each other to feel sexual desire? Did past trauma or other negative experiences lead to avoiding intimacy? Answers to these and other questions will help identify the reasons behind your emotional (and sexual) disconnect. When you make an effort to improve your emotional connection, you are likely to increase your mutual desire.
2. Peak Sexual Experience
Did you and your partner used to have an amazing sex life? If yes, what made that so amazing and possible before? If no, what fantasies do you want fulfilled that would improve your sexual experience? Answering these questions helps you to identify your peak sexual experiences, and now you can try to replicate them. Having an amazing sex life is often easier when you are a young couple. It does get more complicated as life becomes more demanding. Figuring how the formula that created your spark years ago will help you reignite a flame that used to burn hot.
3. Skills Training to Rekindle Your Sexless Marriage
With every couple I see, I always start with the hypothesis that your marriage can be mutually fulfilling and successful, but you just haven’t learned the skills to make it work. Counseling helps couples learn effective communication skills. When you and your partner learn how to ask for what you need, stay calm during disagreements, and have constructive discussions, your relationship will become stronger and happier.
It’s important to note that not all sexless marriages are fixable. Couples therapy often provides a set of tools to evaluate the causes of the conflict and a path forward. In my experience, the vast majority of the couples who completed a marriage retreat report that they felt enough positive change and had a rubric to continue making significant progress that they did not need to continue couples therapy after the retreat.
It is possible to rekindle your sexless marriage with the support of a well trained therapist and a desire from both partners to make it work. An intensive marriage retreat will get you there faster, so you can enjoy the passion and spark once again with each other.