Sex, Money, and Marriage

Updated: Jan 26

How poor personal financial management can get in the way of the BIG “O”


By Matthew Collings

This article may contain links from our partners.


Are money problems getting in the way of great sex in your marriage?

Don’t lie. You saw the word SEX in the title and clicked the link. Hey, I’m not judging. Personally, I think it is a healthy thing that I caught your attention with the title. Sex is fun! Sex is good! And sex is healthy!

Where do sex and money cross?

Look, sex and money are two of the most taboo topics of discussion on the face of the planet. Unfortunately, we often tend to shy away from discussing these topics because they are uncomfortable and embarrassing. But we should talk about them. They both have a significant impact on our lives, especially when speaking to marriage.

Until we understand that money and sex are undeniably interconnected, you can take it to the bank that if there is an issue with money in a marriage, it’s highly likely that there could be a sexual intimacy issue as well.

Sex and money are, by far, two of the most significant contributors to our relationship’s overall health.

When financial issues are present in a marriage, it tends to preoccupy one or both parties' thoughts, time, and energy. And when we become so stressed and burdened by money problems, it becomes tough to let go and enjoy yourself during sex.

Not to mention, when the bills are stacking up, many times people find themselves working overtime or extra side jobs just to make the minimum payments.

Naturally, working this much will cause fatigue and exhaustion. And good sex (you know, that GOOD SEX) requires you to be energized. And when one person is exhausted, replenishing that lost energy with sleep immediately takes priority and gets in the way of getting-it-on.

Let’s call it what it is; money stress and all of the negative consequences of poor personal financial management can utterly destroy your sex life. And when this intimate part of your marriage suffers, it’s likely to impact every other aspect of this relationship negatively.

Sex isn’t the most critical part of the marriage relationship, but it is important. Money stress is damaging to the marriage relationship. It may start as stress related frustration, but as the financial issues grow, the effects of our poor financial situation can manifest themselves in much more detrimental ways.

In my book, Negative Net Worth, I talked about how good and bad financial decisions compound and grow. They build and build and build into one of two things:

Wealth (Good financial decisions)

Debt (Bad Financial decisions)

The same could be said about how those decisions affect your sex life. Sound financial decisions create a safe and trustworthy environment within the marriage relationship, which is essential to building strong sexual intimacy. Poor financial choices cause stress and uncertainty. And those two things divide the marriage and can easily create animosity and resentment.

If you have ever experienced pent up animosity or resentment in a relationship, you know it’s like cancer. It eats away at the structural foundation of a happy and healthy relationship. When one person in a marriage begins to feel this way, it’s easy for one partner to withhold sex as a form of punishment or as a vendetta towards the other person in the relationship.


This behavior is a major warning sign and should cause us to take immediate action to save our sex life. If poor financial management is illuminating this warning light in your marriage, it's important to take this seriously. What happens when your car's check engine light comes on? You run a diagnostic to find out what needs to be fixed, right?

The same is true when your marriage sex life "check engine" light comes on. Here are a few things to do when you recognize the problem.

Step 1 - Get On A Budget

The first thing you need to do is acknowledge the problem. You need to get your finances in order, and that always starts with getting on a budget. At The Money Rant, we offer a free downloadable budgeting tool in our free resources section. The most important thing is that you create a budget together.

Step 2 - Sleep

Stress is real, and all marriages face it. Be intentional about getting some sleep. And sleep together with your spouse. You both could probably use it. And not to mention, you are in your bed together, which is the standard “sex initiation” location.

Step 3 - Talk

You and your spouse have to talk. And you have to talk about the hard stuff, like money and the reality that it’s impacting your sex life. Remember, you and your spouse are a team. Teams don’t fail or succeed because of one person. If you are struggling financially, you and your spouse have to work together, starting by talking. Have real, deep, and meaningful conversations. You would be surprised how this will build intimacy and ultimately lead to better sex.

Step 4 - Find A Healthy Outlet

We tend to bottle up our emotions when we get stressed, and as we have already discussed, this can manifest in very unhealthy ways. So go for a walk, hike in nature, or take a bike ride. And try doing it together.

If you haven't noticed, every one of these steps suggests you do them together. That’s because doing them together builds intimacy. And when intimacy is healthy, the desire to come together sexually will come naturally.

Step 5 - Have More Sex

Sometimes, this doesn’t seem enjoyable at the moment. But one of the best things you can do is just have more sex, even when you don’t feel like it. Sex in and of itself relieves stress. And it keeps you connected to your spouse. Sometimes, you just have to work at it.

At the end of the day, learning to handle our money better will likely lead to much better sex in our marriage. So when you notice your sexual check engine light come on, don’t wait! Handle your business so you can keep your marriage sex life healthy and exciting.


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