Preventing sexless marriages
Putting sex *back* into sexless marriages is the usual topic here.
It is, by all indications, a very difficult task in most cases and requires initiative by both spouses. To a great extent, the low/no-drive spouse has to want to want to put sex back in the relationship, or want to make things better, etc.
I've seen people talk about months, years, and decades they've spent trying to fix the problem.
If fixing things proves actually or practically impossible, the three remaining options look to be: 1) remain celibate forevermore, 2) look outside the marriage for sex [either with our without spousal consent], or 3) Divorce.
1) is almost unimaginable for me. Some members here seem resigned to it, but they're likely in the minority.
2) is frowned upon. Spousal consent does not appear to be likely for the vast majority of sexless marriages (which still confuses me, but that's another issue)
3) means heartbreak, trauma for your kids, and financial hardship. It's the 'nuclear option' and it DOES appear to be a sort of MAD strategy.
How do we avoid this sort of thing in the first place?
Encourage pre-marital discussions about sexual levels and expectations?
- This seems reasonable but perhaps not good at predicting the future frequency for two reasons:
1) One side will have an incentive to misrepresent the level of sexual desires/needs they have. This is unlikely to be malicious - it's just something that they probably don't honestly think will be a big deal. Or they believe their level of sexuality will change when they're married. This looks like a 'bait-and-switch' to the other partner later on.
2) Sexual desires/needs may actually change. The spouse who actually DID want their partner 5x a week 10 years ago may change to a 5x a year person, through changes in hormones or long-term resentment or whatever. Again, it looks like a "bait-and-switch" when things change, even if the 'bait' was honest earlier.
Encourage future spouses to be more flexible with their spouse's sexuality?
- That is, adjust the sexual expectations of the marriage. If a spouse doesn't desire sex, they don't demand life-long chastity from the other spouse to keep the marriage intact. Remove the ability to veto another person's entire future sex life by redefining what 'fidelity' means.
As mentioned above, very few partners who don't actually desire sex with their spouse seem to be okay with their spouse having sex. So this seems fruitless; no matter how 'rational' it seems to allow a partner who has been withheld sex to go to 3rd parties for it, very few are comfortable with it. It's 'cheating' still.
Does anyone have advice to the great masses of how to avoid getting into this impossible situation in the first place?