Sexless Marriage: What To Do? Video provided by: Seriously Funny Entertainment

When one partner in a marriage feels unloved, it can be devastating. When a marriage is sexless because one partner simply does not want sex, it can lead to deep hurt for the other partner. They can feel unattractive, unwanted, and ultimately unloved. “Does they still love me?” they might wonder. Are you in a sexless marriage? Where can people go to look for help for a problem that can be socially taboo?

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26 Responses to “Sexless Marriage: What To Do?”

  • Tom Tom says:

    MrB—
    I can understand the frustration you feel concerning the sexual aspect of your marriage. I also commend you for bearing with it for the children’s sake.

    Let me ask you something MrB: What was it that originally attracted you to your wife? What things were present that made you love her enough to marry her? Did you two marry only for the sex, or did you marry because you connected on a deeper, more spiritual level?

    The fact is, things change over time, particularly the physical things. Sex drives change, fat and flab and wrinkles appear, gray hair shows up when it’s least expected. But the inner qualities that real love is founded on don’t change, and those are what need to be focused on.

    Suppose that something happened to you—maybe you became disfigured or contracted a crippling disease—how would you want your wife to respond? Would you want her to continue to love you unconditionally for who you are, or to “turn off” the love because of the changes that occurred?

    All too often in our society, love and sex are equated with each other. All too often, sex is mistaken for real love. That’s why so many young people get involved with sex so early—they think that’s love. But real love, lasting love, goes beyond the skin deep lustful emotions of the sex act. Sure, God created us to procreate and to enjoy doing so. But he created man and woman as co-equal partners who complement each other in far more than just the physical things.

    Love is a choice, a concerted will of the mind. So MrB, I encourage you to consider—what do I really love about my wife? Are they the same things I loved her for when I married her? Are they ways—maybe new ways– I need to be or could be cultivating my love for my wife so that she’ll know that I love and cherish her for more than just her body? Am I willing to sacrifice in one or two areas of my own desires in order to show my unconditional love for her and to cherish the gift God has given me in her? If so, then that’s what love is all about!

  • MrB says:

    I’m not attracted to my wife sexually and can’t get aroused with her. So we stopped having sex altogether after our last child was conceived.I now stay on for our kids. Basically I have given up sex in order to be part of a family. It’s been over 12 years since I had sex with anyone and it isn’t easy. Marriage can be a real trap sometimes.

  • Chuck says:

    Sex should not be a timed 6 week thing. If you don’t want your husband or wife let them go. You are letting them go without one of the most enjoyable things in life for you selfishness. You cause them to have a complex that they are unattractive and loss of self esteem and self worth. Children or no children should the spouse stay with you this cause the spouse left out in The cold to become bitter and angry and it makes the child or others to point the finger of why are they so mad.

  • LeftHome says:

    Jen wrote earlier that she had no desire but wanted to have desire. She wrote that she was supposed to but her heart was not in it. She though that her husband could be happy with once every six weeks.
    What if the wife does not want to have desire? What if she doesn’t believe that she is supposed to, and “feels like it” only once every 3-4 months on average. What if she sees her husband’s desire as the problem, not her own lack of it, or simply their mismatch in desire? What if she’s looking for every excuse, and then the final excuse of menopause to put an end to “all that”?
    There is so much advice to “get help”, “work on it together”; but what if she simply doesn’t want to? If she actually says “please don’t talk about this to anyone”?
    That is my story. I left. I know I shouldn’t have done, and now I’m guilty and lonely. But I couldn’t stand it any more.

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Hi Amy, I’m a little confused. So far we have 32 comments from you under 12 different names but all with the same story. I have written back and offered you resources as have others. It feels like you’re still in the same position leaving the same comment. Is there something else that you’re looking for? Did the earlier responses not help? Were you hoping we’d say something different if you used a different name? How can we help you?

  • Amy says:

    What I’ve done in my sexless marriage, I’ve just given up and decided to just live my own life. My husband has no real interest in me or our marriage. He hates sex and me. We did have sex once on our wedding night and he turned it into a disaster. He said sex was disgusting, gross, messy, smelly, to much work for so little. He couldn’t believe people actually enjoy this, his thoughts were that no human should do some thing so vile to another human. Now whats sad we have been married 45+ years and since that day I’ve been ignored and haven’t been spoken to. He moved to our basement and worked the night shift so he didn’t have to be home with me at night. He looks terrible long ugly beard and hair to match, I wouldn’t forgive him ever for ruining our lives and marriage.

  • chuck says:

    Jen, thanks for your response. I am glad things are going better for you and your husband. I appreciate advice from someone who is dealing with the same problems and is willing to share their story.

  • Doris Beck Doris says:

    Thank you Jen! For all the helpful information and also for the encouraging story of your lives and how by working at it you have changed the direction of your marriage and your relationship. That is so encouraging for everyone that is reading this read! Thanks for showing us all that there is a way!

  • Jen says:

    Thanks Doris,

    And that was me. I’m not sure why I had “Anonymous” in there. I’ll add that I’ve been doing a few things to take ownership of my low sex drive. I got a second opinion on my hormone levels and began a regimen a few months back that included testosterone cream and a few other supplements. It took some time to take affect.

    But my husband has really taken ownership of himself, too, and he’s more desirable. He’s lost weight, toned up a bit, has some nicer clothes that accentuate him and give him a “fresher” look than his 5-year old shirts and pants. He wears jeans less and slacks more and pretty much gave up begging and pouting. He did, however, tell me how he feels about our situation back around the holidays in a caring but direct way, and I didn’t expect that. For a while he hardly initiated anything, either. He has been good to me, and I see that more than I did last year.

    I look better, too, and feel better, and that has a direct impact on my own sex drive. I hate exercising, but I’ve learned to like walks and some basic resistance training, enough to make a difference. I’ve stopped eating garbage and have dropped some flab. (If I didn’t know better I’d say we’re competing!)

    I’m proof things can change, and that it’s not just one thing. Look at all the possible problems and explore improvements in every area. There is a way, just let God lead you to it.

  • Doris Beck Doris says:

    Those are excellent points Anonymous Woman.It is hard to find good information about the model of sexuality that God intended and it is so helpful to find some good resources such as these!

  • Anonymous Woman says:

    Chuck,

    First, ask your wife (away from the bedroom) to read a good Christian blog about sexuality and intimacy. To do that, make sure there are no distractions and her privacy is certain. Turn off all the phones, etc. Get a neighbor to watch the kids for a while.

    Tell her that you are trying to be the husband she deserves (more on that in a minute) and that you see how virtuous and attentive she is to your home. As you move to talk about sex, affirm that she knows how important it is to you, but that you both have more to learn and perspectives to consider. For your part (Chuck), you’ve reached out for guidance from other Christians and they have suggested following some blogs. These help inform our opinions and educate us to a model of sexuality that God intended. Ask her to keep in open mind and if she struggles with a topic, consider writing the blogger directly for insight and understanding.

    My favorites are:
    http://www.IntimacyInMarriage.com
    http://www.OneFleshMarriage.com
    http://www.ToLoveHonorAndVacuum.com
    From these you’ll find links to others. These bloggers are not bashful, but they are not reckless, either. Allow her time and privacy to read them as many of them speak to low desire situations.

    Now, on to you.
    You need to do certain things to draw out your wife’s natural attraction to you. At best, it will solidify your marriage. At worst, you’ll be a better looking, better behaving man. I’m talking about “Alpha” traits and “Beta” traits in a man. The problem is that I cannot find reliable CHRISTIAN literature that deals with this. Gary Smalley’s book on 5 Love Languages is full of “beta” concepts, but my husband can only really find secular reading on it. As with all things we read, pick out the bones, tread carefully, and keep a male accountability partner. There is a website (and eBook) called Married Man Sex Life, written by an atheist author and not exactly shy about using language. I have NOT read this book, but I can’t help but agree with many things he posts on his site. If you can find Christian literature that deals with this, rely more on it (and let us know about it here), but don’t throw the fish out with the fishbones either. Be careful if you go that path, and I encourage you to explore it carefully.

  • chuck says:

    Jen, your situation sounds very similar to the problems my wife and I have been experiencing. Has your situation improved any? If so, what seemed to help? Also, since you have a similar perspective as my wife, do you have any advice for me that may help improve our situation?

  • Doris Beck Doris says:

    Judy,I am encouraged that you are finding help. Julie’s blog is an awesome resource and I am so glad that you found it. I’m praying for you too as you desire that intimacy in your marriage.

  • Jen says:

    Sexual desire is a mystery, and the absence of it more grave than I realized. I am working on this, prayerfully. According to Julie S. who blogs at http://www.IntimacyInMarriage, yes, I have a defect and yes, it is rooted more in hard-wired thinking I hold as a result of years of negative attitudes. While I’m working to break all that away I still concede I have no ‘desire’ for sex.

    Bernhard, I was not offended. Just as a suggestion the best thing to do is to ask questions for more information instead of throwing an idea on the board first, as doing so tends to make too many assumptions that can come across in an undesirable, even distracting manner. I’m thankful for Godly men like you who at least try to help when so many “godly” men are distracted with ungodly things.

  • Bernard Bernard says:

    I am sorry Jen but I was just trying to find a solution to your situation. Some husbands are like that but I did not specifically judged your husband as such. Sorry!

  • Jen says:

    I appreciate feedback and I’ll try to keep my reply objective. First, to Bernard: My husband doesn’t “help me” with the dishes and laundry. It’s not my job. It’s our job, and in that respect he takes care of his part of those duties. Some nights he “slaves” over the sink washing dishes, other nights I do. Some days he rotates three loads of wash and other days I do. He never folds the laundry. I never take the trash to the curb or mow the yard or tend the gardens, but if he asked my help I would, in some way. I’m sure you meant well; but please don’t stereo-type husbands like that. Most Christian men I know who have jobs often come home to a new set of work and chores instead of plopping down in front of the TV or going out with the guys.

    Likewise Bob: There is no need to reverse rolls. It’s not about rolls. It’s about the fact that I have zero desire for sex. Let me try this on you: Do you WANT to go shopping for shoes? Do you WANT to shop for a new swimsuit? Got any DESIRE to find the perfect baby gift for the shower at church next week? It’s not rare that my hubby dutifully tags along on such excursions, though not often either. When he does, though, he has no real DESIRE to be there. It’s just that I wanted his company, or didn’t want to be out shopping after dark, or whatever the case. He was present and to some degree, involved – but not immersed in the experience. He had other things in his mind or on his heart that he wanted to tend to but went along with me anyways. As for me, I can’t wait to go shopping! I do enjoy it and find it fulfilling (especially since we’re debt free in the Dave Ramsey sense of the word/phrase) to find the right deal and pay cash. It’s about desire: I have none. If I wanted to reward him for a hard day’s work, I’d prepare a meal and ensure he came home to an orderly home, and he usually does.

    As far as it being all “on my shoulders” I mean this: That I feel like I’m the one that needs to be fixed, that I have to go figure out how to change me, that I’m defective, that I’m not good enough, that I’m the exception. Well, I think my situation is the rule, the norm, and rooted more in how I am fearfully and wonderously made more than anything else, plus our season of life. We’re not a couple of teenagers with gushing hormones. That’s why I would like to think our level of frequency should be enough. (As for frequency (“once every six weeks”) that’s a ballpark guess and not a schedule.) And I’d like to think that men (who are well into their married years) who THINK they need sex more than a few times a month need some fixing too. Why doesn’t that need to change? Why isn’t that defective? Were men like this 100 years ago before the age of modern media blasting them with umpteen trillion sexual messages each week?

    Since my original post I have learned a lot about lack of desire and contributing factors. I’ll not divulge too much other than to say there are some physical issues I’m working on after all – as well as attitude and understanding. The blog, http://www.IntimacyInMarriage.com, has been a challenging but good help for me in expanding my perspective on all of this. It’s by a Christian wife for Christian wives, and I encourage you men to lovingly ask your wives to consider reading any subjects on her site that are relevant. Some of her material angered me at first, but I felt compelled to pray and keep reading and learning.

    Sorry if this is too long.

  • Bernard Bernard says:

    What could help and that is just a theory is that if a partner is too tired for sex there could be maybe some sharing of the responsibilities with the home. In other words, husbands if you see your wife too tired for sex why don’t you help her with the dishes or laundry. If you don’t want to do it then don’t complain about the issue. So the wife/husband team needs to communicate at home and if they both working the responsibilities need to be shared at home. I do it myself, I wash dishes for our whole family everyday. But I also have reach an age and I take anti depressants that inhibit my interest for sex as well,so….

  • Bob says:

    jen,

    not sure why you resent having sex because “it’s all on you.” Not sure how it is all on you. if your husband wants to have sex, but lies there like a log, then, yeah, it’s all on you. But if he’s pursuing you, to some extent you can just “go along.” obviously, it’s not going to be great for either of you. Yeah, he does care if you’re just going through the motions. He wants you to want it. He wants you to want him. He judges his worth and self esteem by how much you want him.

    you can hope all you want that once every six weeks will be “special” for him. Six weeks seems like an arbitrary figure. How did you come up with it?

    and finally, and this question goes out to every wife here: yes, there’s kids and jobs and other responsibilities. But doesn’t your husbands have the same reponsibilities? Let’s play a game for a moment. Imagine your day to day lives are reversed. You do what your husband does and your husband does what you do. Now, do you think he would still want sex regularly? My guess is that most men would. If you answered yes, then you can eliminate the “I’m busy all day; that’s why” reason for not wanting sex. That is unless all the men out there have infinitely more amounts of energy than the wifes. We know that’s not true, so we’re still in search of a reason.

  • Doris Beck Doris says:

    Jen you are no doubt not alone in your absence of desire for sex. Your life is busy with the kids and life in general, and your body is also changing. But as you said, you are married to a good man and you do want to have a desire for sexual closeness. Look at your schedule and see if perhaps getting more sleep, eating better or getting exercise might impact how your body is responding. Try scheduling evenings when you go to bed early and just plan on spending time together and see what happens? Sexual intimacy is important in marriage.

    For that reason, Judy, you need to talk to your husband about the situation you are in. Medication for depression definitely affects sexual drive, but there are other meds out there that he could take to help with that. Try to explain to him how important this is to you and prayerfully he will listen and get the help he needs. You definitely aren’t alone in this either as we have seen on this site with the number of women that have commented on this article http://powertochange.com/sex-love/nosex/

  • Judy Brown says:

    im in a very strange situation. I was a widow for 4 years. My husband has been a widower for 18 months. My children are grown but he 20 yr old baby lives at home. Three live outside. He has no interest for sex due to depression meds he takes he says. I really don’t think he would need them if he would allow me to meet his sexual desires. He needs medical help but refuses to go. It’s been 7 months and no sex intercourse. I’m about to die! Praying everyday for wisdom and Gods help. What would be your advice? He has horrible personal hygiene. Takes baths every 2-3 days never brushes teeth at bed time most baths are morning never fresh night
    Showers. I’m a shower everyday girl and tub at night. No cologne. And wants to stubble!!! Help me soon!!!

  • Jen says:

    I understand my husband needs sex. I’ve read a few books including Intimate Issues, Act of Marriage, etc. and I just have no desire. I’m 42 with three kids (11, 8, and 4) and married to a good man. I think our marriage is strong but I can tell he’s frustrated. I told him that, while I have no desire, I do want to have desire for sexual closeness. But life happens and it’s one of those things that’s hard for a busy mom to deal with. I guess I’m tired of it always being on my shoulders, that it’s something I have to fix. That alone makes me feel a degree of resentment about the whole matter. But, I KNOW – I KNOW – I’m supposed to do it. Really, I just wish my heart was in it but it is not. I doubt any other book or blog or seminar will ever change that.

    Also, when I read books and blogs like this I feel something like a combination of guilt, frustration, and even incredulity over all this. There’s nothing wrong with me like past issues, depression, parent issues, family issues, etc. Every time I bring this up with someone I’m thrown under the microscope to weed out all these possible causes. Well, I’m normal (which I thought included having no desire for sex). I would hope that my husband could be happy with once every 6 weeks on average, that it would be special to him. I haven’t gone to counseling though I have talked to doctors and physically and emotionally I check out with a clean bill of health. I love my husband. I don’t like the idea of sex, but I guess at some level I want to want sex and there is no easy way to get there, if there is a way at all.

  • ann says:

    Juile, google Natural Family Planning. It is a great way for you AND your future husband to find out how your body works. You can use it to acheive or prevent pregnancy.

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Julie, If you are genuinely unaware of the birth control options available to you this is a conversation you need to have with your Mom or your doctor well before the wedding day. There are a vast array of options, all with their own pros and cons. Not all options work for all couples so once you have educated yourself you will also need to talk to your fiancee about expectations and preferences. When to start having a family and what to do about it in the mean time is a decision you need to make together.

  • Julie says:

    I have a secondary question. I am marrying this August and my new husband and I are still virgins. Though we will be married we still wish to not have children for a few more years until it is financially feasible. Since we are only 22 we understand the importance of being intimate to a healthy marriage but how can we stay intimate and not always fear pregnancy?

  • cfast cfast says:

    Empty, have you looked at going to therapy? Would you consider that? Another alternative would be Power to Change private, confidential, and free mentor programs that allow you to share with a trained mentor. If you are interested, someone is here to speak to you today.

  • Empty says:

    What do you do in a long term marriage when this is a issue? I think God has forgotten me, there seems to be no hope.

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