When there’s a lack of intimacy in a marriage, divorce may be at hand. Intimacy in a marriage encompasses both physical and emotional closeness, and when this connection erodes or becomes unsatisfactory, it can lead to unhappiness and relationship strain.
As local divorce lawyers, we wanted to put together a blog post discussing some ways in which a lack of intimacy can contribute to divorce:
- Emotional Disconnect: Emotional intimacy is the foundation of a healthy marriage. A lack of emotional connection can lead to feelings of loneliness, unfulfillment, and frustration, which can destroy the marriage over time.
- Loss of Romance: Over time, some couples experience a decline in romantic and sexual intimacy. This can result from various factors, including the demands of daily life, stress, or changes in physical attraction.
- Infidelity: If one partner seeks intimacy outside the marriage due to a lack of emotional or physical connection at home, it can lead to feelings of betrayal and trust issues, potentially ending the marriage.
- Communication Problems: A lack of intimacy often goes hand in hand with communication issues. The inability to openly discuss emotional and sexual needs, desires, and concerns can lead to a growing emotional gap between partners.
- Feeling Unwanted or Unappreciated: When one partner feels unloved, unattractive, or unappreciated due to a lack of intimacy, it can lead to a sense of rejection and frustration. That will usually get taken out on the other spouse.
- Sexual Incompatibility: Sexual intimacy is an important aspect of many marriages. If there is a significant disparity in sexual desire or preferences and this issue cannot be resolved, it may contribute to divorce. Where one spouse has a significantly higher sex drive than the other, we’ve seen affairs and the use of prostitutes.
The lack of intimacy can play out with certain important legal consequences both financially and regarding child custody.
Division of Property
In Georgia, marital property is divided equitably in divorce cases (not necessarily equally, but rather equitably). Equitable distribution of marital property emanates from the case of Stokes v. Stokes, 246 Ga. 765, 273 S.E.2d 169 (1981).
The lack of intimacy in the marriage itself does not typically impact the division of property.
However, the emotional or financial consequences of the lack of intimacy, such as infidelity leading to the depletion of joint assets, could potentially influence property division decisions.
Alimony, also known as spousal support, may be awarded to one spouse based on factors such as their financial needs and the other spouse's ability to pay. (See O.C.G.A. § 19-6-1.)
The lack of intimacy within the marriage is generally not a direct factor in determining alimony. However, if the lack of intimacy contributed to economic disparities or issues such as infidelity, it could indirectly affect alimony determinations.
Child custody decisions in Georgia are made based on the best interests of the child. (See O.C.G.A. § 19-9-3.)
A lack of intimacy between the parents may not directly impact child custody arrangements, but if it leads to harmful behaviors such as neglect or abuse, it could become a factor considered in custody determinations.
But we’ve seen that if the lack of intimacy within a marriage is addressed, through communication, therapy, and efforts from both partners to reconnect and reignite the emotional and physical aspects of their relationship, things can turn around.
As local divorce lawyers, we know that ultimately the decision to divorce due to a lack of intimacy depends on the unique circumstances and the individual's assessment of whether the issue is irreparable and incompatible with their long-term happiness. Each marriage is distinct, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer regarding the impact of intimacy on divorce. Call us now for a free divorce or family law consultation.