A few weeks ago I wrote a post asking you to consider the things you’re tolerating in your life.
There are so many men tolerating unreasonable situations from their performance to their relationships to their careers. Tolerating and settling for situations that you can’t stand holds you back and often keeps you trapped in your pornography addiction cycle.
One thing men settle for is a sexless marriage. When you’ve been with your girlfriend or wife for a long time, sometimes the sex and intimacy slow down. There are also cases where sex and intimacy with your partner are affected by your out-of-control behavior. Your girlfriend or wife may not be interested in a physical relationship with you.
If your marriage remains sexless for months or years, though, and you don’t do anything to fix it, you’re settling. After I wrote that post a few weeks ago, a brother reached out to the group about his own experience with his sexless marriage. He explained that every time he tries to initiate intimacy with his wife, she shuts him down.
Our brother asked for more suggestions on how to handle his sexless marriage. The responses he received showed me that it’s something lots of men in the group are dealing with. I’m going to go over a few things you need to realize and remember as you start addressing the lack of intimacy in your relationship.
Acknowledge Your Betrayal of Your Partner
Women view your out-of-control sexual behavior as a betrayal. Acknowledging this element of betrayal is the first thing you need to do if you want to fix your relationship. Your problems with compulsive sexual behaviors create the idea and lead to the belief that she isn’t enough for you. It doesn’t matter whether it was “just” pornography and masturbation or you went as far as stepping outside of your relationship. Your partner feels betrayed.
A woman won’t want to be intimate with you when she feels betrayed. You have to be willing to accept that your partner might not want to have sex with you for some time. She’s hurt because you broke her trust and she’ll likely relive the situation over and over again in her mind.
If you kept your compulsive behaviors hidden, she’s also in a state where she’s questioning her reality. You presented yourself as one type of man for several years but acted another way behind closed doors. She’s going to feel shocked and traumatized for some time after finding out the truth.
Prioritize Taking Care of Yourself
Another reason for sexless marriages is, in general, some women tend to lose interest in having sex with their partner. It’s something that nearly everybody in a monogamous relationship deals with at one point or another. Over time, women get used to their partner and begin viewing them as a roommate or best friend instead of a sexual companion.
You might feel compelled to blame your partner for this but I believe part of the blame lies with you, too. Usually, men stop taking care of themselves after they’ve been in a relationship for a while. They start dressing down, neglecting hygiene and grooming, and letting their hobbies fall to the wayside. They lose their sense of purpose, adventure, and excitement for life.
You must prioritize taking care of yourself. Be the man she got together with in the first place. Take care of your physical appearance, stay ambitious, stay enthusiastic, stay driven. You might think it’s “too challenging,” but it’s not if you prioritize it. I’ve been in a relationship for 12 years and I believe that longevity is due to my making sure I stay on point.
Learn to Communicate Your Needs
Women with betrayal trauma are most likely not going to want to have sex with you for a while. They need to work through their feelings of betrayal before they’ll be interested in rebuilding intimacy. That makes sense. But what about if your marriage was sexless before your problem with compulsive sexual behaviors started?
For example, our brother who raised the question mentioned that his marriage was sexless for five years before he sought outside sexual relations. Rather than communicating his sexual needs with his wife, though, he looked for sexual release outside his relationship. Had he addressed the lack of intimacy before stepping out, he may have avoided causing her pain.
Some men avoid expressing their needs out of a fear of vulnerability. As men, we’re taught that being vulnerable is the same thing as being weak. This is a false understanding of vulnerability. Our brother’s refusal to be vulnerable with his wife and express his needs created a far greater problem than if he had just been honest in the first place.
Both You and Your Partner Need to Take Responsibility
Neither you nor your partner is entirely to blame when it comes to a sexless relationship. When men struggle with porn, masturbation, and compulsive sexual behaviors, they tend to lose sight of this. Sometimes we take responsibility for the whole problem when intimacy requires the participation of both partners.
You have sexual needs and you didn’t sign up to be in a sexless relationship. Your partner has intimacy needs and didn’t sign up to be with someone who has compulsive sexual behavior. Your porn addiction might be the catalyst that forced you to look at your sexless marriage, but both you and your partner need to take responsibility if you want to save the relationship.
You Must Overcome Your Compulsive Behaviors For Yourself
In his question, our brother mentioned that he wants to overcome his behaviors so he can give all his energy and time to his wife. While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be a good partner, you shouldn’t overcome your behavior for your wife alone. You need to quit your behavior with pornography so you can be the best version of yourself for yourself alone.
You’re never going to stick to your decision if you end your compulsive behaviors for someone else. But once you decide to become the best version of yourself, you’ll follow through on your decision. As you take action to grow as a man, the people around you–from your partner to your kids to your colleagues–will feel the benefits. You become a man they can respect.
The Porn Reboot group is filled with men who finally decided to overcome their compulsive behaviors. We support one another on our journeys and offer guidance and insight along the way. If you’re tired of settling for a sexless marriage or you’re solving some other problem with porn and masturbation, make the decision to take back your life and join us today.