A few days without s*x, no problem. A few weeks, yeah, we guess that’s not so bad. Months? Ehh, that’s getting up there. Years?! It’s time to confront the issue at hand. If you and your partner don’t feel nearly as close as you used to, that’s not hugely out of the ordinary. People change over time. People evolve. But when the s*x is gone, that’s usually not the last thing to go. Are you two just not having s*x, or is the love gone too? That’s the real question.

S*x. So let’s start with one of the important elements in a marriage: your s*x life. Sure the s*x isn’t nearly as frequent as when you first got married, but are you and your partner both bothered by the s*x’s absence. Ossiana Tepfenhart writes for YourTango that this mutual apathy toward the absence of s*x is a real problem.

S*x. Tepfenhart writes, “if half of the couple isn’t happy with the lack of bedroom activities and keeps bringing it up only to be stonewalled by his or her partner; it’s a loveless marriage. If the partners truly cared about maintaining the relationship, they would work to establish a reasonable s*x life.” But keep in mind that if you and your partner are mutually unhappy with the lack of s*x, love may still be present!

Love. Everyone has a different love language. Some show their love and affection through gift-giving. Some show their love and affection through verbals cues and compliments. Some people are fans of PDA or hugs and kisses. Tepfenhart writes, “In a s*xless marriage, there will still be closeness, cuddling, gifts being given, and other expression of love.” But you won’t be the only one, your partner will echo those acts.

Feelings. How are yours and your partner’s emotions being affected by the absence of s*x? Do you feel like you are the one who has any opinion on the fact that you and your partner haven’t had s*x in weeks, months, maybe even a year or more? This is an indication, according to Tepfenhart, that love has left the building in your relationship.

S*x. Not everything is about s*x, though. Let’s talk purely about your everyday emotions. Tepfenhart writes, “If given the option to go back in time and 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 s*xless marriage rather than a loveless one.”

Talk. Does Charlie Puth’s song “We Don’t Talk Anymore” resonate with you? Are you and your partner living in a communication desert? Tepfenhart writes, “A healthy relationship is one where you feel comfortable talking about almost anything with your partner.” Do you feel like secrets are being kept from you, or you’re the one keeping the secrets?

Divorce. Is divorce something you joke about, something you don’t ever think about, or something that has crossed your mind on numerous occasions? If divorce is a topic of discussion for you, it might be time to face the music. Tepfenhart writes, “The chances of your relationship being s*xless rather than loveless are very slim, primarily because a lack of s*x is most often a symptom of deeper issues that need to be sorted out.”

Bribe. Does s*x feel like the carrot on the stick that’s keeping your marriage going? It might even be worse to be in a relationship where s*x is pushing our forward, helping you get by. If you’re not genuinely enjoying the time you spend with your partner, then you might have to sit down and have a frank discussion about the feelings you’re having.

Loveless. Over on Reddit, users discussed when they knew for sure that their marriages were over. User LoveBin said, “When I was driving home from work and thought ‘If that Mack Truck T-Bones me, I won’t have to go home today.’ It was totally out of the blue and very uncharacteristic for me to think anything like that. I gave myself my own wake up call, that I would rather be killed/end up in the hospital than go home to my now ex.”

House. User gshell wrote, “When I came home from work to find my house trashed and empty of almost everything except my clothes, followed by being thrown out of her work by police when I showed up to ask where my child was, and finally the emails I found where she was cheating on me for months. All this was on the same evening.”

S*x. CressonX wrote, “My ex-wife and I barely had s*x in the last few years. She always made it seem like a chore. One day, she went out to get her nails done. It took 5 hours. I asked her what she was doing and she said she only got her nails done. I asked what took so long and she avoided the question. The next week, she had an STD.”

Marriage. Idma responded to CressonX, “I feel you on s*x being a chore. At least for me. My wife requires so many things. I can’t see her. We can’t make any noise, she gets dry too easily. She gets tried. So many things. I can’t even get off with her.”

Gift. Ikimasen wrote, “I was willing to try after I found out about the drugs, and I was willing to try after I found out about the first affair. I was trying after I found the video she made of herself m**turbating that she sent to some other guy, and I was starting to try again after I found out about the other affairs. The best case for kids is to have two parents together who love each other. I didn’t stop trying until she told me that she wasn’t going to try. That’s how I knew it was over. No matter what I would do, it didn’t matter if she wouldn’t work on it too.”

You. Do you know anyone who has been in a loveless marriage, but was just completely in denial? What are some of the signs of a loveless, s*xless marriage that we might have missed? We’ve done enough blathering for today and want to hear from you, so let us know in the comments what you’re thinking.

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