Help! My Husband Doesn’t Want Sex!

Written by Dr. Dave Currie

You might feel like you’re alone in this, but you’re not. Free email mentoring is available today. Request a mentor.  Also in this series: She Doesn’t Want Sex.

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
What does God have to do with love?
Has love betrayed you? Is it preventing you from believing that you are a human being who is loved by God? You are intelligent, beautiful, loved, and not alone.

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

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1,563 Responses to “Help! My Husband Doesn’t Want Sex!”

  • Marianne says:

    The blood will let you resurrect fallen foes that can be compelled to join your party.
    The greatest number of console games send you running around a totally computer character inhabited world, which is quite different from
    the environment of online games. This game possibly has one of the most awful acting voices, but the gameplay is actually reachable.

  • Aldo says:

    Sharon, there can be many reasons for feeling that we can’t go on anymore, and for most people there is more than one reason. Some reasons are internal and some are external. Some reasons are related to our own choices, some are related to the choices of other people and some just happen and we cannot understand why. Some of the reasons include:
    We have intense pain (whether physical or emotional).
    Body, mind, or soul is not functioning as it should, perhaps because it is lacking something we need.
    Unwise choices of ourselves or others have left us with consequences to deal with
    We just don’t know how to deal with what our lives have become.

    Whatever the reason, Sharon, you must realize that there is help and hope for you. Also, that you cannot go it alone. What you need is supernatural strength, and that you can get from the Lord Jesus Christ. Give Him your heart. He made it, and He can fix whatever is needed for it. Trust Him. He loves you so very much that He died for you. Talk to Him in prayer, and tell Him that you are sorry for going your way instead of His Way. He is listening. He knows your heart, and will grant what is best for you.

    Sharon, below are a couple of websites which you can go to. Please Copy and Paste them into your web browser address bar. Let’s pray:

    Heavenly Father, thank You for Your love for Sharon. A love so great it is unfathomable. Help her to grasp the magnitude of that love. Help her to comprehend the sacrifice You made for her in sending Your Son Jesus Christ to suffer and die for her sins, and the sins of all mankind. Lord, grant her the understanding that You want the very best for her, and that You will help her in the situation she is in with her husband. Lord, help her to realize that with You nothing is impossible; and that all You require is our hearts given to You, in the precious and powerful Name of Jesus Christ, Your Son, I pray, Amen.

    http://www.crosswalk.com/family/marriage/relationships/what-speaks-love-to-your-husband.html
    http://www.crosswalk.com/family/marriage/relationships/loving-your-man-as-god-loves-you.html

  • Layla says:

    Sharon, I feel your anger and pain. Reading your words makes me cry, for both you and me. I understand how it feels, I know it’s not my fault but it makes me feel like a piece of garbage.
    It’s definitely out of our control, I think there’s nothing we can do but praying. And at same time, keep in mind that we are beautiful, unique and precious. We are God’s masterpiece, nobody’s words or behavior could make us worth less a bit. I know it’s easy to say, but if we keep thinking about the harmful things, it will leave us nothing but more and more bitterness.
    Let’s keep praying and holding faith on Jesus Christ. He will make a way. Believe when it comes to us, he is always ALL IN! Believe he would die for us, he will make a way.

  • MGtoW says:

    It’s probably the MGTOW. It’s spreading like wildfire among modern men!

  • Marie says:

    Dear Sharon,
    You are as addicted to him as he’s addicted to porn. I found help in Al-Anon, as there were no group for porn addicts’ partners. Still, an addiction is an addiction, and it helped me so much in understanding myself, my husband, and our dynamic. Some people decide to stay, some others leave. In both way, there is a necessity to change.

    Wish you peace in your heart…

  • Trish Hicks says:

    “Ms Sharon,
    Man I can so relate . I have been down this road with a friend.Sharon being interested in porn Sharon,I am not really sure if you realize. That this in itself, is not normal, not healthy as we all know. However having to watch porn and get off watching just porn, is an addiction. Your husband right now probably has no idea that he is addicted to it. And too ones who want to only watch porn,majority of them will satisfy themselves with masturbation. When this is constantly done time after time after time. Eventually I know from experience, with a friend going through this. Once they constantly masturbate, that is the only way they can reach their peak. It gets to that point where a woman will no longer satisfy them. So your husband may or may not be at this point I can’t be the judge of that one. But too Sharon whether we can believe it or not and it is a hard one to believe, but they are also hurting. When they see their wives are hurting. That they can no longer get satisfied from the actual sexual act other then masturbation. When they have reached this point in my opinion the only thing we can do as wives is pray for them. Because nothing we can say will be of none affect. Only God can help them, And only God can help them when they have reached the point where they admit they have a problem and want help.
    Sharon here is a page I came across It may interest you to read: it may help
    http://www.familylife.com/articles/topics/life-issues/challenges/pornography/helping-your-husband-battle-pornography#.VNTEMC7aLfQ
    I pray that this will help ease you some.
    Much love and blessings
    Trish”

  • Connie Huskey says:

    My God leave him….find a new life,say goodbye.No amount of pain,or dealing with this for the rest of your life,all in the name of LOVE is worth it.Go and don’t look back,be strong.Once your gone learn to live by yourself,then open a window,someone will be sent to love you and peace will be found.No matter what I would find a way to start over,and feel clean and worth so much more than you are getting out of the life you are now living. You will be so proud of yourself and that’s a great feeling.

  • Kathryn Kathryn says:

    Hi Sharon, I feel for you I really do. I am so thankful that several people have commented on your plight. I know I would feel jut like you if I was in the same position. Unfortunately as it says in the original article, pornography is responsible for so many broken marriages and it is so addictive that many people can never free themselves from it. So what hope for you? I cannot add much to what others have said but I do believe that one should never give up hope. If you truly love him, stick it out and start praying for him. If you are thoroughly disgusted by his behaviour then maybe it’s best to leave. You can be a heroine and let the family and friends think that it’s your wish to separate or you can tell him that you will leave and tell your grown children and friends why you were driven to these lengths. You will suffer, he will suffer and both go your separate ways. Either option means pain and deep suffering. I can’t help thinking that this is not the way that God created intimacy and sex between a man and his wife to be. Sad to say this world is falling more and more into sexual degradation as each generation moves further away from the only one who can save, our Creator and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, May God have mercy on each one of us.

  • meg says:

    Hi Sharon, I can feel your pain right now. May God’s comfort will be upon you… always remember that God loves you and He will never leave you…

    You are Blessed!!!!
    be strong…

  • shi says:

    I always read this serve and wonder why if God created marriage for the purpose he did…why then do we have this free will to hurt others where intimacy is concerned. I know we have been given self will to act….but why is it so painful and why can’t partners be honest with their spouses?

    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.”

  • shi says:

    Sharon…how I feel your pain because I’m going thru the same. I discovered porn on his computer and he was doing it even before we got married but I had no idea as we didn’t leave together and waited till we got married……he is addicted and I caught him 2 Sundays ago after church….he hadn’t come to church and then same night when I found myself sleep walking at 3am in the morning..he was in the living with his pants down watching porn which I’ve now discovered is lesbian porn. I don’t understand it and I don’t know why lesbian porn if for 2.5 years he’s kept saying that he doesn’t have a sex appetite..his appetite is being fed elsewhere. Are these men ashamed of this sort of behaviour against their wife..anyway only God knows why we are in this position…Sharon be encouraged and do what you need to do to make yourself happy…God bless you an give you wisdom..

  • Maricris says:

    Sharon,

    I am sorry to hear that he is acting selfish and only himself. Maybe this is a time where you realized your worth. “love yourself first and leave it up to God” this is hard to do, easy to say. You just need to focus on you for now, and dont let him take control of your life or make you feel any less. Just remember you deserve to be treated better with respect but how can he respect you if you dont love yourself. Regain your confidence and take it day by day if you have too, that is what i have learned. Leave it up to the Lord to bring him to his senses.

  • Sharon says:

    Help please, right now I feel like I want to die. He is totally into porn and or watching other couples have sex!!! He makes me feel ugly and I am several years younger then him. I have a great job great family grown children but he does not want me. I asked him what I need to change he said nothing but he hates when I question him about anything!!! He blows up at me calls me bad names and even called me a c word in front of my mother last year. Why am I so obsessed over him loving me. He is a jerk in every intimate way but is still my best friend. He makes me think i am crazy and I know I am not!!!! I feel like I can not live without him but hate living with him!! I have been in consoling, thrpy but he has only gone once. He does not want the marriage to work but I do. Am I crazy? He does not want me and I always initiated sex with him!!! Somebody please help me!!!!

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