Help! My Husband Doesn’t Want Sex!

Written by Dr. Dave Currie

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So often I hear about how much men need sex, but my husband has no interest in sex. The only time we make love is when I initiate it. Is there something wrong with me? Why doesn’t my husband want me?

Donalyn: Well first of all, there is nothing wrong with you! The first response of most women in your situation is to second-guess or blame themselves. While your husband’s lack of desire is certainly a problem, it is most likely not a problem with you. In fact, most sexual problems aren’t sexual at all.

Dave: That is right Donalyn. We sometimes have the idea that for men, the sexual experience is detached from what is going on inside. In reality, a man’s emotions can have a huge impact on his sexual desire. If he feels emotionally distant from his wife, and especially if he feels like a failure in any way, it can lead to a lack of confidence and therefore a lack of interest in sex. For a man, sexual performance is very much tied to ego, so if he is not feeling good about himself it will definitely show up in his approach to sexual intimacy with his wife.

Donalyn: As women, we know that our sexual appetite is diminished when we do not feel connected to our husbands, or if there is unresolved anger between us. But we forget that our husband’s sex drive can also suffer for these same reasons. Likewise, if a man is overworked or under a lot of stress, whether inside or outside the home, sexual interest may start to take a back seat.

Love & God
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Dave: Of course, there are all sorts of physical issues that could be at play here too. If your husband has had any struggles with erectile dysfunction, that is likely a huge contributing factor. If he is feeling any lack of confidence in his ability to perform, he will almost certainly shy away from physical intimacy. Libido is also significantly impacted by testosterone levels, so if your husband has low testosterone, that could be the cause. Drug use, whether prescription or otherwise, may hinder the sexual desire. The good news is that many of the physical factors are very treatable, so it may be time for your husband to have a doctor’s appointment to get some help with this.

Donalyn: Sadly, in many cases, there are other things going on which are not so easy to deal with. Healthy sexual intimacy in marriage can be totally derailed by a person’s involvement with pornography or other inappropriate sexual activities. That is becoming more and more prevalent in this age of the Internet.

Dave: It is true. So many in our society view pornography as harmless, and some even think that it’s a great way to spice up your sex life with your partner. A man can easily be drawn into porn, where he never fails in the fantasy and where he can be sexually stimulated without facing the issues with his wife. But the truth is, pornography neuters a man. He becomes so wrapped up in this fantasy world that he is no longer capable of being excited by his own wife. She cannot possibly compete with the airbrushed models in the magazines and on the computer screen, so the husband simply loses interest in her.

Donalyn: So in reality, he has as much need for sexuality as ever; he is just getting those needs met elsewhere.

Dave: Exactly. And it is not just pornography, either. Sexual substitutes can include a variety of fantasy sources, combined with self-stimulation. Pornographic movies and books, phone services, and strip clubs are rampant. Some men find release in voyeurism: scoping women out and fantasizing about them later. Others give into their attractions to other women, leading to emotional and/or physical affairs. Regardless of the way it is acted out, the point is this: few men can choose to be “neuter” for long. If your husband has lost interest in sex, and there does not seem to be a significant emotional or physical explanation, he may have fallen into one of these snares.

Donalyn: As you can see, there are a whole lot of issues that may need to be sorted through to get to the root of the problem. You need to have an honest talk with your husband, but do it in love. Rather than attacking, grilling or blaming him, share your struggles with him. Tell him that you are wondering if there is something wrong with you that is causing him not to want you. Be vulnerable and let him see what you are feeling – whether that is your insecurity, feeling unfeminine or even ugly. Even if you suspect that it is more a problem on his end rather than a problem with you, approach it sensitively.

Dave: That is a great suggestion. Realize that this is an extremely difficult thing for a man to talk about. He may feel embarrassed, insecure, humiliated, or guilty – especially if he is living a lie. Coming at him with guns blazing will only push him further away, so be gentle in your approach.

Donalyn: I would ask him how you should interpret his lack of interest. Ask him what you can do to help him re-engage sexually. Maybe he knows exactly what the problem is, or perhaps you will have to work through it together to discover what lies at the root. The best thing you can do is approach it as a team. He cannot be made to feel like this is all his problem to solve on his own. He needs to know that you are on the same side. So share with him your needs and your desires – how you would like things to be. Then work together to get there.

Dave: That is right. Support him throughout the process as he works through his fears and insecurity. Remind him of your love and your desire to grow in your intimacy – emotionally, physically and spiritually. And even though you might not be able to fully relate to his perspective, work hard to genuinely understand where he is coming from.

Donalyn: Right. But that is tough to do if you discover that pornography or other illegitimate behaviors are part of the picture.

Dave: Yes, that is very true. But if you do suspect that this is a factor, you are going to ask him the tough questions about where he is having his sexual needs met. And as hard as it will be, if your husband has the courage to open up with you and share his struggles in this area, he will need your support. These issues can be worked through and overcome, but not without a great deal of patience and understanding.

Donalyn: It is also important to find out if there is anything that you have been doing to contribute to the problem. Not that it ever excuses wrong behavior on his part, but you need to know if you have said or done anything to turn him away from you. It may be that you have a critical spirit, that you have been controlling him or cutting him down, or that you are making him feel less of a man. If so, these are behaviors that you can take responsibility for and begin to change, in order to improve the situation between you.

Dave: Absolutely. If a man is feeling constantly criticized or dominated, it creates big damage to his self-worth, and that filters down to his sexual interest. So find out what issues may be coming between you and take positive steps to resolve them. You might even read some marriage and sexuality resources to help you through this process. Sheet Music, by Dr. Kevin Leman and Staying Close, by Dennis and Barbara Rainey are good places to start.

Donalyn: Finally, make sure you are taking care of yourself. Do you feel good about how you look? A failure to take care of yourself can put extra strain on him. Remember the woman that he married? Keep yourself looking your best and you will feel better, regardless of his response.

Dave: Keep in mind 1 Corinthians 7:3-5.

“The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self control.”

While I would not necessarily recommend preaching at your husband, every couple needs to remember that depriving or denying each other increases the temptation to have sexual needs met elsewhere. Again, it never legitimizes it. But a wise person will work to keep their spouse satisfied within the marriage.

Family Life offers hope and resources for struggling marriages. Does your sex life need help? Find out why men can have a low sex drive.

Learn more about intimacy anorexia

devo-interact-icon-42x42So, how’s your love life? Do you need to talk? Either contact us privately so one of our confidential mentors will contact you, or make a comment below.


1,512 Responses to “Help! My Husband Doesn’t Want Sex!”

  • Chris Chris says:

    cristal…i regret to hear of your situation. its so important to allow christ to become the heads of our families if we want them to function the way that they should. this means that first you need to let jesus have control of your heart so you can begin guiding your husband by your changed life for him to receive christ also. you can find out more on how to do this and why its so important at… or click talk to a mentor above. i pray that you would see that marriage without christ is as bad as life without christ, empty, meaningless and witout a true connection to him who is our life. i pray jesus becomes real and important to you so much as you are to him, in his name i pray amen

  • Crystal says:

    Long story short. My husband and i used to be real big times freaks we got married amd have a 4 month baby. After the baby came along he seems not to make a move to have sex. His always playing his video games or watching movies or always on his phone.. i try talking to him about putting attenting to me but he says he dosemt mean it. I know he watches porn and i dont we ha e sex maybe omce every 2 weeksi dont know how to deal with this sex issue first marriage first baby daddy. I need some advice or something.

  • Adelaida says:

    I agree that you should talk to your husband and ask him to open up with you and share his struggles in this area. Perhaps, it’s his temperament, or, perhaps, he needs somethign else in this area. My husband and I had some issues in this particular area too because our sex life got so dull, as he confessed to me. Well, we just mad? it more interesting – used more positions and even some sex toys. I also oredered some Ben Wa Balls and he says that they made intercourse feel better. They look like this –

  • Bella says:

    hi. never have posted before. long story short. i want sex more than my husband. it is super frustrating. he says he just is not as interested as he use to be. honestly it has been this way our entire married life 22 years. i feel he had his fun before we met. i dream about being pursued and cherished. we both love God. what do I do?

  • TandT says:

    Actually just went through this with my husband.. Here is what i’ve learned and i hope it helps you. Love language!!! Mine is Acts of Service and my husbands is Quality Time.. Big difference here, for years we have been fighting the sex issue, i have had to act by myself for many years, it’s made me feel horrible about myself, caused many fights about it and to no avail did the issue fix, untill couple weeks ago when we had come back together after some time apart. ( it should never have went that far ) I’ve known for years that God created us different, men need sex to feel loved and respected and women want sex after feeling loved and emotionally filled!!! this is where the confusion and issues set in. So i wasn’t being filled which made me feel unloved which caused me to have quick no fun sex that i thought was good enough for him to feel loved and would do the job but he could tell that i didn’t enjoy it and to him in his mind i was only doing it because i felt i had too, you know so he wouldn’t stray! Well truth be told that’s exactly why i was doing it! So he stopped trying feeling unloved and like i didn’t really want to have sex at all. But i just wanted to feel like he loved me but that would take him doing my Acts of Service and that was hard for him. Spending time with me ( Quality Time ) was his Love not mine so it did nothing for me and me working my butt off and doing things for him was my Love not his. See we often show our Spouse we love them with our own LOVE LANGUAGE which dosen’t work unless their the same, which doesn’t happen often. So long story short, this ended up with some other issues causing us to think about divorce and Thanks to Jesus for helping us through! That did not happen… Here’s what i have figured out. My husband needed to feel Loved with sex and without sex, He needs Quality Time spent everyday for just a few minutes ( that’s hard for me ) I need him to do things for me with out having to beg ( that’s hard for him ) But it’s possible… There’s HOPE! He has been doing things around the house laundry, dishes taking kids to school so that i could sleep in and feeding the dogs, ect…. This has caused him to be SUPER Hot and has made me feel so Much LOVE from his that well i can’t seem to keep my hands off, which is his 2nd love language ( physical touch ) It has also given me more time since everythings done by the time the kids are in bed to spend more time just us together which is what he needs most ( Quality Time )… It’s not perfect and after 13 years of doing it wrong i can see a glimpse of Hope and Love returning to our marriage! Get and read Gary Chapman’s 5 LOVE LANGUAGE’S read and then both of you take the test in the back of the book. It will not be easy but it will open both of your eyes and hopefully help with some of the issues!

  • sanjana says:

    my husband does not want to ve sex , if i did not force him he became so happy to sleep, is the reason that in past days he had sex with many gals or he ve an physical problem,or affair with other gal , do we know that still he is having sex with other gals , how can we know pls help me,

  • madhu says:

    Sir,we married 10 year back

  • Rachel says:

    I was writing on this thread a few years ago and actually just discovered it in my spam box. Jesus Christ is at the center of my life. I suffered through years of being married to a partner I supported in every way possible in order to honor the Lord in this marriage. He counseled with our pastor for 2 years and finally the pastor gave up on not only being able to help him as a husband but also help him to love the Lord and other people. Our marriage went through years of him not participating sexually, but saying he desired me. I was even giving him testosterone injections through our doctor’s recommendation. I chose to not be unfaithful but felt that God had passed me by

    I was introduced to a friend of his in the context of sharing gospel music and the three of us performing together at a college. He was and is a godly man full of love for the Lord and giving to other people. We came to his house to practice every week and cook food. I was not even looking for another partner until it came up on my blind side one day that I was thinking about him alot.

    It went on like this for a year. I learned my husband was embezzling money from my business and driving around with an unregistered gun in his car and I moved on from him. It was year and a half ago I remarried and every moment has been blissfully happy in our lives and no, the honeymoon isn’t over and never will be. We go to school together, work in our office together, ride our tractors together, go fishing together and have never even gone to the store without one another. He is my true love, the Love of my Life that God ordained for me from the foundations of the forming of the universe. I say, be faithful to your partner until God moves you on if he is going to. I suffered for 10 years trying to change and wait on him…finally it all became clear.

    An update on my ex-husband: he is in another city, preferring to spend life on the seamy side of town in the gutters. He engages in 900# porn telephone calls, including child porno and I would suspect that he is due for some disaster. He is on disability but carries a wad of cash that can only be stolen or acquired from some kind of “favors”. He was living with his Mom for awhile here and she has stated that she does not want him to come back to this state ever.

    I just want to say that, what you think is going on in his mind (tired, unmotivated, past sexual interest, etc) could be very far from the truth.

  • Chris Chris says:

    amy…we praise jesus for your life! for your resolve! and for your dedication to christ even when your lifes circumstances havent gone the way you would have liked, you didnt let that stop you from being faithful to jesus. now i pray also that jesus would bless you in the best way he knows best for you and gives you the desires of your heart still in jesus name amen!

  • tonya says:

    Amy, its time to realize what a true relationship is. Have an affair openly. Who cares about money. Don’t let your life go by not experencing a fullfilling relationship. Don’t hide it from your husband or men you date. Just be honest with them. And start really living. You married a man who I bet has plenty of affairs on you. He is either gay or he is a pig. Embrace life. We can cry over these men, or let them know enough is enough and do something about it. My husband had to learn that I have needs and it was to late for him to be the one meet them. He can cry all he wants but guess what I dont care. He didn’t care about me then why now. Every bad man can and will be replaced with a good one. Vice versa for women.

  • Amy says:

    You can’t change any one who doesn’t want to change!
    I’ve been trying for 47 years to change my husband, instead I changed myself. I gave up trying and do my own thing. We don’t have a lot of money for me to just leave but for the 30 years or so I volenteer at my church.
    Sex for me never happened in all these years, that’s right I’m still a virgin.
    Husband hasn’t talked or even lived on the same floor I live on for over 40 years.

  • Rashid says:

    very easy don pay attention to sex just pay attention on him just show your charm pl. Tell him you only care for him more than anything he will be all for you. blessing

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