by Ossiana Tepfenhart for YourTango
It’s hard to imagine a happy relationship between romantic partners without sex involved. If you look at just about romantic comedy out there, there’s going to be a certain level of sexual tension involved. There’s that beautiful spark that seems to ignite between both characters in these kinds of movies, and that just makes you as a viewer know everything will be alright. Of course, rom-coms don’t really get the full grip of reality.
Though it’s exceedingly rare, there are relationships out there that are totally happy and loving, but sexless. Unfortunately, the majority of sexless marriages are also loveless ones, and people who are in these kinds of relationships don’t always realize it until they’re about to leave or cheat.
Sexless marriages and loveless marriages can be similar in some ways but have several crucial differences. Here are the glaring differences between a sexless marriage and a loveless one.
- Whether or not both partners are content with the lack of sex
If one half of the couple isn’t happy with the lack of bedroom activities, and they keep bringing it up only to be stonewalled by their partner, it’s a loveless marriage. If their partners actually cared about them, they would work to try to establish a reasonable sex life. On the other hand, if both partners are happy with the arrangement, then it’s simply sexless.
- Whether or not affection is being shown in other ways
In a sexless marriage, there will still be closeness, cuddling, gifts being given, and other expressions of love — and these expressions will go both ways. If it’s a one-sided battle, it’s a loveless marriage.
- Whether or not you feel like your partner is lashing out at you
Are they doing passive-aggressive things to avoid sleeping with you? Are they actively trying to upset you? If so, it’s most likely a relationship that is loveless rather than sexless.
- Whether sex is being used as a bribe
In any healthy relationship, sex will not be a weapon or something used to bribe the other partner with. If you find yourself in a relationship where one partner is constantly dangling sex over your head like a carrot, it’s likely a loveless relationship.
- Whether the lack of sex is negatively affecting the other person’s emotions
If it gets to this point and the other partner has not done anything to try to remedy the situation, it’s safe to say it’s a loveless marriage. The more resentment there is, the more likely it is that the love has all but disappeared from that bond.
- How often excuses for not having sex are used
In a sexless marriage, there’s never really a need to give an excuse, because neither partner has that high a sex drive. During a loveless marriage, there’s going to be an excuse every single time, primarily because the other person doesn’t want to be “mean” when they reject their partner’s advances.
- Whether both partners are happy with one another
If given the option to avoid marrying your partner, would you take it? If the answer is no, then you’re probably happy with them, and that’s a sign of a sexless marriage rather than a loveless one.
- How good communication tends to be
A healthy relationship is one where you feel comfortable talking about almost anything with your partner. If your partner refuses to talk about the lack of sex in the bedroom, constantly blames you or deflects things on you, it’s a loveless marriage.
- How often you contemplate divorce
Have you been considering leaving them over the lack of sex? Are arguments more frequent than cuddles? If so, the lack of sex is a symptom of something much, much larger.
Simply put, the chances of your relationship being sexless rather than loveless are very slim, primarily because a lack of sex is most often a symptom of deeper issues that need to be sorted out. Sadly, if you’re in a loveless marriage, your best option is to divorce.
This article was originally published on YourTango: 9 Ways To Know If Your Marriage Is Just Sexless Or If It’s LOVELESS
More content from YourTango: