ADHD and Sexless Marriage: Causes and Solutions


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental condition that affects almost 4% of adults in Australia. It is characterised by symptoms such as impulsivity, hyperactivity, and inattention, which can significantly affect a person’s relationships, including their sex life. ADHD does not only affect the person with the condition but also their partner, leading to a sexless marriage. This article highlights the reasons behind sexless marriages in couples where one partner has ADHD and provides solutions that can help affected couples improve their sex life.

The Causes of Sexless Marriage in People with ADHD

When a partner has ADHD, their attention span and impulse control are often impaired. This can impact their ability to initiate and sustain intimate behaviour, leading to issues such as low sex drive, lack of desire or interest, and missed signals from their partner regarding sexual intimacy.

One of the key reasons for sexless marriages in couples where one partner has ADHD is the inability to focus. This can happen during sex when the person with ADHD may get distracted and change their focus from their partner to other thoughts or activities. This lack of focus could also cause them to resist or avoid sexual encounters, leading to a sexless marriage.

Another reason for sexless marriages is hyperactivity, which can make it difficult for a person with ADHD to maintain physical intimacy for extended periods. Hyperactivity can cause them to be restless or fidgety, leading to a lack of engagement in foreplay or decreased arousal. This can make it challenging for their partner to achieve orgasm, leading to frustration or a lack of interest in sex.

Inattention is also a significant cause of sexless marriages. Individuals with ADHD may struggle with paying attention to non-stimulating tasks, including sexual encounters. This leads to reduced arousal, making it difficult for them to maintain erections or become fully aroused during sex.

How ADHD Affects Relationships and Intimacy in Marriage

ADHD can significantly impact a person’s relationship with their spouse, leading to the breakdown of communication and intimacy. Individuals with ADHD often struggle with organising themselves, remembering important dates, and making commitments, which can strain their relationship with their partner.

In a sexless marriage, a spouse may start feeling unattractive or unwanted, leading to feelings of rejection and frustration. This can cause emotional stress and affect their mental health, leading to depression or anxiety.

ADHD can make it challenging for a person to initiate sex, and the constant rejection from their spouse can lead to decreased confidence and self-esteem. This can worsen the condition, leading to a vicious cycle of low libido, leading to difficulty initiating sex, and ultimately leading to sexless marriages.

Solutions for Improved Sex life in Couples with ADHD

The root cause of a sexless marriage in couples where one partner has ADHD is typically linked to the condition. However, there are solutions that can help improve the sex life of couples in such relationships. Here are some ideas that can help.

Couples Therapy

Couples therapy is an excellent option for couples struggling with ADHD and a sexless marriage. A trained therapist can help the couple improve communication, address intimacy issues and improve their sex life. The therapist will help the couple understand the impact of ADHD on their relationship and find ways to manage the condition better. They will also provide tools to help the partner without ADHD to support their spouse better.

Individual Therapy

Individual therapy can also be helpful for the person with ADHD. A therapist can help them manage their symptoms better and improve their ability to initiate and maintain intimacy. They can also get practical tips on how to manage their life better and reduce their ADHD symptoms.


Medication is another option for people with ADHD, and it can help in managing the symptoms that cause a sexless marriage. Medication can help increase focus, decrease hyperactivity and improve impulse control, which can make it easier to initiate and maintain intimate behaviour.

Sex Therapy

A sex therapist can help identify the reasons behind low libido, lack of interest or desire and help couples develop strategies to improve sexual intimacy. This may include using aids to increase arousal, focusing on emotional bonding and communication, or changing sexual positions to improve engagement levels.


ADHD can cause a sexless marriage, leading to emotional stress, poor mental health and relationship breakdown. However, there are solutions available that can help individuals with ADHD to manage their symptoms better, improve their communication skills and ultimately re-ignite their sex life. Couples therapy, individual therapy, medication and sex therapy are all great options for couples struggling with ADHD and intimacy issues. By acknowledging the impact of ADHD on their relationship, seeking help and working together, couples can become closer and improve their sex life, ultimately contributing to a happier and healthier marriage.


FAQs about ADHD and Sexless Marriage


What is ADHD?

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects both children and adults. It is characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Individuals with ADHD may have difficulty focusing, organizing tasks, and following through with instructions. ADHD can also impact social relationships and cause difficulties in maintaining intimate relationships.


What are the symptoms of a sexless marriage?

A sexless marriage is defined as one in which the couple has sex less than ten times a year. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including physical and emotional issues. Symptoms may include a lack of intimacy, decreased emotional connection or communication, and feelings of sexual frustration or dissatisfaction. Partners in a sexless marriage may also experience loneliness, depression, and low self-esteem.


How does ADHD impact a marriage?

ADHD can have a significant impact on a marriage. Individuals with ADHD may struggle with communication or have difficulty listening to their partner’s needs. They may also have trouble with impulsivity, making decisions, and completing tasks. This can lead to frustration, resentment, and feelings of neglect in their partner. Additionally, ADHD can affect a couple’s sex life by causing a lack of sexual desire, decreased sexual performance, and difficulty with intimacy. It is important to seek professional help to manage ADHD symptoms and improve communication in a relationship.


1. Ahmadi, N., Mossavi, F., & Bahrami, H. (2016). Investigating the effect of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder on marital satisfaction of couples. Journal of family medicine and primary care, 5(1), 57-60. doi: 10.4103/2249-4863.184652

2. Blais, M. A., Smallwood, P., Groves, J. E., & Rivas-Vazquez, R. (2004). Adult ADHD and negative relationship adjustment: common themes and future directions. Journal of Attention Disorders, 8(3), 88-96. doi: 10.1177/108705470400800302

3. Johnston, C., & Mash, E. J. (2001). Families of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: review and recommendations for future research. Clinical child and family psychology review, 4(3), 183-207. doi: 10.1023/A:1017578701328