A Passionless Marriage

Margot Tenenbaum

I received this email today.

“I am 27 years old and married. I have been married for four years. He is a lovely man. Kind, considerate, funny, sweet, smart, he has a fantastic career, is hard working. Really, I couldn’t ask for a better husband. But for the last six months, all I can think about is getting out. We haven’t had sex in months and months. I don’t feel attracted to him at all any more, in fact the idea of being with him makes my skin crawl. We barely even kiss. I still love him. He is my best friend, but I am pretty positive that I’m not in love with him. There is no passion. Lately, he has been travelling a lot for work and I’ve been relishing the time to myself because I don’t have to keep up the fa├žade that everything is okay. I don’t miss him at all. And lately, all I can think about is flirting with, kissing and having sex with other men.

“I was so in love when I got married and I really believed I would feel that way forever but now I realise that I was young and naive. I don’t want to be a divorcee in my 20s. I feel like so many people will be let down if this doesn’t work out. And the worst part is that the thought of breaking his heart crushes me. In some ways I would rather stay with him forever than break up with him and hurt him.”

The first & most important thing is that you stop worrying about other people’s perceptions of you. They are an illusion. No one ever really knows what people think about them, so you will doing yourself a huge favour if you can let that stuff go. (EFT is great for this.) Think about the people you admire, whoever they might be: Madonna, Prince, Donald Trump, Anna Wintour. None of these people are perfect, but do you honestly think they spend time worrying about what the public thinks about them? No. People who allow their fears about other people to control the way they live their life are destined for misery. It’s that whole “What would the neighbours think?!” mindset but on a huge, life-destroying scale. Let it go.

When it comes to your husband… well… sometimes we have to hurt people to help them. Be honest with yourself: do you think, if he knew your true feelings, that he would actually want to be tethered to a woman who only stays with him out of pity or fear? How about if the situation was reversed? What would you want him to do? Remember that your life is yours alone — you are the creator & destroyer, & you wield absolute power. You can make your life a dream or a nightmare — it all hinges on your actions & beliefs.

What you’re going through with your husband is more complicated than you & I can get into here. There are a few things I can suggest, however.

Recognise the “honeymoon period” for what it is
At the start of all relationships, there is a dizzying high. A lot of people liken falling in love to being in the grips of a frantic drug addiction. Your lover is all you can think about, you get enraged if anyone else interferes, & you spend what seems like a lifetime counting down the days until you can get your fix of them. Eventually though, this wears off. That doesn’t mean you’re not in love any more, just that it’s not the absolute centre of your universe. That’s normal. The thing is, some people expect that being in a relationship means that you’re floating on a cloud, blissed out, all day, every day. It’s not like that! Once you get past the ecstasy of new love, it can be pretty mundane at times! You learn about people’s flaws & reality starts to sink in. You learn to love one another despite all that stuff, & the bond you build strengthens your relationship immeasurably. The point is: relationships aren’t always exciting. They aren’t always earth-shaking. & they don’t have to be in order to be “good”.

Think about the situation
What happened that spelled the end of your passion? Your immediate thought might be “I don’t know”, but if you ask yourself the question & allow it to gestate in your brain for a little bit, you’ll probably have a flash of inspiration in a day or so, & you’ll know.

It’s possible that you’ve just lost your mutual spark, but it’s also quite likely that there is something more going on. Maybe he did something that reminded you of someone who hurt you, & you shut down to protect yourself. Perhaps his actions irritate or enrage you. Maybe you lust after a deeper intellectual connection. Perhaps the two of you just aren’t compatible — all of these things are possible, but you really need to get down to the root of the problem. Otherwise, even if you leave him & find someone else, it’s likely that you’ll see the same thing happen further down the track.

Where do you do your best thinking? While walking, in the bath, on the bus? Put yourself in that situation & really nut out the problem. The big question is: do you actually want to patch things up with your husband, or do you really & truly want out? Your answer to that problem will determine your best course of action. If you want to work things out with him, try doing the rest of the things mentioned in this article. If you want to get out, then be honest with him & split. There is no point in drawing it out. If not now, when? (Et cetera.)

Talk to him
If people truly knew how to communicate their needs to one another, there would be far fewer relationship breakdowns. The reason things are all turgid & ugly at the moment is because you’re not talking to each other — not explaining yourselves in a way the other person can understand. You really need to start communicating with him. If you haven’t had sex in months, it’s pretty likely he has some thoughts on that! Find out what they are. You might find that he feels the same way about you — or that he is hurt & feels rejected. Talking over those things is a major step in the right direction, & at least he will know that you want to remedy the situation.

Consider seeing a therapist
If you can’t work out why you’re feeling like this, sometimes it is really useful to talk to an objective professional. The good ones know how to ask the right questions & help you realise what’s actually going on. You might want to take your husband along, but you don’t have to.

Margot Tenenbaum

I know that I say people should use EFT for everything but that’s because it’s the best problem-solver (okay, it’s actually more of a problem eraser) I’ve ever come across. Tap on the fact that you don’t want to sleep with your husband. Tap on the fact that you don’t feel any passion. Tap on him making your skin crawl. Tap on your desire to find passion elsewhere. & most importantly, tell yourself that you forgive & love yourself regardless. You might find that just doing this brings your passion & desire back.

Don’t do anything rash
Going out & sleeping with someone else is never the answer! I promise. Sleeping with someone new will confuse you & make reconciliation between you & your husband a lot more difficult. Even the best sex in the world isn’t worth the way it will make you feel afterwards — sex lasts a while but guilt lasts a lot longer.

You might also want to think about why you want to have sex with someone else so badly. Do you crave intimacy? Do you feel like you need validation from these men? Does having sex make you feel powerful or boost your ego? Or is it just an urge? Use your brain & be honest with yourself. If you can work out the real reason why you want other men, you might have the key to your problems right there.

Seriously, it sounds like your husband is amazing, & if you guys aren’t having sex & he isn’t angry, resentful or sleeping with someone else, he is worth his weight in gold. A keeper, as they say. Worth hanging on to. Get my drift?

It’s your life & you can live it how you want to. But you need to take some kind of action. Life is too wonderful to stay with someone you’re not amazed by — & love is too precious to be thrown away thoughtlessly.

Good luck!