Version of Grant Wood's painting “American Gothic” depicted against the backdrop of an office building.
He loved her so much that he almost told her. Sex was vulgar and to be avoided. (Photo Credit: CC BY-SA/Danielle Scott/Flickr)

A lack of sex in marriage can tear couples apart. As comedian Rodney Dangerfield once exclaimed, “My psychiatrist said my wife and I should have sex every night. Now, we’ll never see each other!” Such was the case for a French couple in a sexless marriage, reports The Telegraph, but there’s an added catch. A judge in France’s highest court at Aix-en-Provence ordered a man to pay his ex-wife for lack of sex.

Paying the ex for lack of sex

According to the French judge, the 51-year-old husband identified only as “Jean-Louis B.” was subject to fine under article 215 of France’s civil code, which states that married couples are obligated to participate in a “shared communal life.” As a result of what the court determined was his withholding of sexual relations, Jean-Louis B. was ordered to pay about $14,000 to his ex-wife.

“Sexual relations must form part of a marriage,” ruled the Aix-en-Provence magistrate.

Divorce was already final

Two years ago in a court in Nice, France, the 47-year-old woman filed and was granted a divorce from Jean-Louis B. It was only recently that she filed in Aix-en-Provence for damages resulting from a sexless 21-year marriage. Despite the ex-husband’s defense that “tiredness and health problems” derailed his ability to engage in a sexual relationship, the judge made the unprecedented ruling in favor of damages paid.

Sex in marriage: Going with the odds

Various American marriage experts state that marriage without sex isn’t necessarily wrong, but it can make the relationship more vulnerable to failure. If the loss of libido isn’t medical in nature, therapists suggest such things as sharing erotic stories, films and fantasies together. If it is medical – or if private efforts aren’t working – couples who want to recapture the magic are advised to seek professional help.

New York sexologist Judith Steinhart reminds that ultimately, the focus of this pursuit is simple, honest and open communication.

“The focus needs to be on giving and receiving pleasure,” says Steinhart. “And letting the feelings in.”

Dealing with a lack of sex in marriage (Note: Adult themes)


Brainy Quote:

FOX News:

The Journal of Sexual Medicine:

The Telegraph:

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