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
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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1,342 Responses to “Help! My Husband Doesn’t Want Sex!”

  • Roy says:

    TO ADAM: Let’s get your wife into sex okay? Here’s how!
    1) When you are around here, always act sexual, touching, hugging, kissing..always! No, friendly stuff, like how’s work!
    2) [Ed's note: comment redacted]
    3) Wipe the thought of divorce from your mind.
    4) Tell your wife, as blunt and straight up as you can…”Honey, I need sex from you…this present situation is not acceptable…[Ed's note: comment redacted]if she has severe anxiety, then go to 5.
    5) Halt! Your wife may have PTSD from some past sexual abuse that you don’t know about…quiz her…ask her gently to tell you about her early childhood and her relatives, neighbors,etc. Or, she may have beliefs from her mom or a teacher that sex is dirty…Tell her this, “Baby, who told you that sex was dirty?, or who destroyed your interest in developing sexually?”.[Ed's note: comment redacted]
    6) [Ed's note: comment redacted]
    7) Treat her like a lady at all times…ALWAYS bring flowers, get the door, etc…dont ever believer the womens libbers…Females always want to be special…
    8) If all fails, go see a sexologist (perferably, an MD), these folks deal with this all the time…low sex desire.
    9) Be BRAVE! Be a man! She may try to reject your advances…look into her eyes and tell her, “you are my wife, and i desire you sexually.” Tell her this all the time.
    10) Now, listen up! Don’t ever, ever, ever expect your wife to ask you for sex! Big, big mistake! Some females just will not do it. But, I assure you…they are waiting for you to TELL them that you are ready for sex with them…Then, just take them to the bedroom…its their DNA….good luck!

  • Adam says:

    I just found this thread and have found it very emotionally moving for me. I have been married a mere 3 years to my wife. Our problem stems from her having no sexual desire or arousal. This is both our first marriage and we waited until our wedding night for anything sexual. However, I found that she had no need for sex at all. We tried being intimate but eventually she even stopped touching me in non sexual ways. Sex for us has become not just infrequent but completely absent due to her repeatedly turning me away. To think I waited years for this only to be greatly disappointed. I first thought that something was wrong with our relationship but after I got her to agree to see a counselor with me (she hadnt seen anything wrong with the relationship until I complained), we seemed to be doing well. She has been seeing a sex therapist and nothing seems to be changing. We are the proverbial “best friends/good roommates”. Whenever I reflect on this, I feel as if im reading a worst case scenario lol. I have lost a great deal of self esteem, ego, and desire to be around her. I would NEVER have an affair and I would encourage everyone to seriously think about what they are doing before they take that step. However, I agree with Alysson that if this last attempt at counseling fails, then I am going to leave while im still young. These feelings of anger, regret and resentment have been impossible to ignore (ive even seen counselors on my own). Everyone’s comments have given me some encouragement in that I am not alone. I only wish we could have anticipated this sooner.

  • josh says:

    I think many men wish they had taken Paul’s advice in 1st Corinthians 7:1

  • Alysson says:

    Found this website and although there are alot of great comments, the religious comments persuaded me to chime in. God will NOT replace intimacy between you and your spouse (I am the wife in this case), is great that you find joy in it but faith doesn’t replace actions or lack thereof. Picking up a bible and reading genesis is not going to make my sex life any better, yes I have needs and I married under the impressions that ALL of my needs would be met. If they are not met, you best believe I will either- divorce, arrange an open relationship or cheat if he is unwilling to work things out as an equal partner. It is what it is. It is not fair for a woman to be submissive to whenever he feels it is the appropriate time to indulge in HIS needs but yet mine are undermined.

    As women, we are ingrained with the idea to shut up, do as your told and when you are told. We are taught to change, adapt and repress our emotions for the good of the family. I am SICK of being ignored, belittled, and treated like some sort of nymphomaniac because I need to feel loved, cared for, wanted and desired.

    So I will try my best to keep my vows, for better or worse, ONLY if he is willing to work with me, but if after counseling, testosterone testing, love and devotion he does not change, then I am gone. I will not waste my youth for the next 10, 20, 30 years of unsatisfactorily sexual life. After almost 7 years together, I feel that his biggest change happened after we married, almost as if though he thinks I will never have the courage to leave. Well guess what, I Do!

  • Cat83 says:

    The old “biological imperative” that men have to spread their seed is just an excuse. You might just as well say that women have a need to have sex with many different men because they have a biological imperative to have genetic diversity in their children — and that’s why they can have multiple orgasms, because they can have sex with more than one man in a session — it’s ridiculous to bring it to that level. I think it’s important to try to work things out, try to communicate with your loved one, but there may be legitimate reasons why your husband doesn’t or can’t want you right now. I think it’s often health problems, stress issues, or emotional issues that make it difficult or impossible for them to want you. Sex is such a thorny subject, and so fraught with misunderstandings and “why doesn’t he want me when I want him?” And it’s so tangled up with “right and wrong” and religion that it becomes impossible to have a decent relationship and enjoy sex with each other. My husband of 5 years said a very insightful statement when I told him how much I worked on my past marriage and tried so hard to make it work (including trying to make my ex want me for 10 years when he mostly acted uninterested!). My husband said, “Well, it takes two to work on a relationship. When one doesn’t want to, it’s doomed to failure.” If you keep asking and asking yourself why your husband doesn’t want you, and have tried everything to get him to want you, and nothing seems to be working, don’t discount the possibility that he may not WANT things to work out, that only one person is working on the relationship and intimacy (you), and that it will NEVER WORK OUT because he has given up responsibility for the marriage. It’s quite a hostile action, and the sooner you recognize the anger and symbolic “get lost” message, the better off you will be with someone who really WILL want you and desire you sexually. Don’t waste years on a man who doesn’t want you. There are plenty of men out there who would love to love you. I can’t believe I wasted so many years on a man who made me feel unwanted and unloved sexually. . . when I could have had the gem of a man I have now years ago.

  • tim99 says:

    And why should she try and change when the man is obviously not willing to do any changing.
    It really bothers me when men will not accept the fact that they have issues, and the woman tries to blame themselves and tries to change everything or even stays with them for whatever the reason.

  • tim99 says:

    By Roy’s comments, this is exactly what I am talking about. It is not always the woman’s fault with the relationship.
    Why should a woman have to accept that she is totally to blame for what has happened to the relationship?
    It does take 2 to tango.

  • Roy says:

    I’ve been married 10 yrs…and I’ve been through this. This is what I’ve learned through reading and experience.

    Men and women are humans. Early humans had multiple partners to get the best DNA pool and other reasons….so, having multiple sex partners is natural for humans. You can preach religion and marriage vows all day long to me, but the fact is that seeking sex outside of marriage can be an overwhelming instinct for many spouses. It is possible that he just wants to have crazy with someone else for a while, and he still may be attracted to you. If he wants to just have a girlfriend, you need to decide to let him or not. Don’t be so shocked! Set some boundaries that so that he does not neglect you during the affair! Look, you need to grow up and realize that his affair does not have to ruin your marriage! Don’t be a rookie and get all mad and then say, I want a divorce. Because the next husband will do the same thing! Men are men, our DNA is to spread our seed…don’t blame us for being human…we are not near perfect.

    Next, your husband probably is mad at you or resentful for some reason. He is probably so mad that he has completely surpressed his anger and has just decided to not interact with you sexually. Trust me, this happens to spouses all the time. Also, he may be ashamed of his anger….it may be that he wants to be more experimental with his sex with you, and maybe you rejected his attempts in the past. You need to take him to dinner…an open place to talk civilly…and tell him this…”You may be mad at me…I am so sorry for what I’ve done or made you feel against me. But, I accept you in every way because I am your wife. Tell me straight up what you are thinking…its now the time to lay your cards on the table..I can take anything and I wont judge you.”…then you shut up…he will talk.

    Men has an intense, extremely intense, curiosity about sex and females…He may secretly be ashamed to tell you in what ways he wants to use you for his sexual pleasures…maybe you have a very conservative upbringing…it is possible that he has been exposed to these perversions (read, its weird but okay for adults) on the internet…As a man, I can tell you these sexual drives are extremely intense, more than any woman can imagine (my wife now accomodates me!)…so, be prepared…

    Next again, he may hate you. Dont worry! Most spouses will hate their mates at one time or another, for even the smallest reason…remember, you have to get him to tell you honestly…somehow, and you have to trust me on this one, brutal honesty has a way of dissolving hate, instantly…because, he loved you once, and he can again.

    Lastly, you husband could have gone gay! I know, be shocked, but it does happen. If he is taking an interest in gay porn or his buddies too much, then you might be sunk! If he wants a gay lifestyle, it may be time to cut him loose…unless you support him…that is your choice.

    One more point, if you, as his wife, have become boring or physically unattractive, then shame on you. Toss out your pantry, join a health club, and get some interesting hobbies…do whatever…he will see you trying to improve yourself.

    Good Luck!

  • tom clelland says:

    whats the point of all of this

  • Ramona says:

    Of course, you may use your partners “cold” as an excuse to be adulterous, but I don’t think it will float with God, if that is important to you. A clean break and an honest relationship with commitment is the right way to go.

    It is everyone choice, only we do pay dearly for wrong choices, whatever they are that we choose wrongly.

    I guess you may be saying, that’s preachy, Yeh, I am, but I’m right too.

  • Mike says:

    Suzi,
    I know what you mean….I am already “looking”.

  • Suzi says:

    Mike, I am with you. My husband and I get along in many areas and do lots of stuff. Yet in the bedroom, we cannot connect. I am also at the point where I just don’t care. A book, faith, or counsler isn’t going to change him. He needs to change himself… I’ll stick around, at least until the kids are gone. But no guarantee I’ll be faithful.

  • Mike says:

    Well, I don’t know about any of the rest of you but I have become very resentful of my wife not wanting sex with me. How we can do so many other things together yet she just has no interest in sex has me baffled.
    After years of going through this I am tired of trying to figure it out and rationalize why. Tired of reading books about it and tired of it in general. I have started to not care about it any more.

  • Sandra says:

    No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks.
    ~Mary Wollstonecraft~

    I was thinking about this quote this morning as I read our ongoing conversation. It’s so difficult to navigate this complicated issue without feeling like our mate/partner has deliberately wronged us. We feel as if they’ve chosen to reject us in an effort to be cruel, when, in fact, they are seeking happiness just as we are. Too simplified?

    TOM, you express it clearly: there’s intense anger and feelings of lack and loss on both sides. Women tend to be a little more adept at expressing their emotion (that’s a wiring issue, right? We’re biologically designed to verbalize. I think the actual stat is something like: men speak an average of 1200 words per day to a woman’s 5,000?), but the frustration in men is no less real, no less valid.

    We DO walk away too quickly these days. Sometimes we walk away for legitimate reasons (reasons that weren’t acknowledged as valid 50 years ago) like physical and mental abuse. Sometimes, as our thoughts become increasingly influenced by the “me” focus that surfaced post-WWII, we walk away like spoilt children who didn’t get the prince/princess charming that we were promised by the story books we could have.

    So. We’re angry. We feel deliberately attacked, rejected, neglected.Some of our mates would say they feel the same (even though we might disagree, feeling like we’re doing so much more to seek balance and intimacy in the relationship!).

    RAMONA, I agree with your thought on God’s involvement: He seems to be all about us taking responsibility for ourselves, hey? Owning our own part in the strength/weakness of the union. TIM99, that can leave us feeling like women are doing all of the work because we’re so intensely relational. We care passionately about our circle of people and will work hard to maintain closeness with our loved ones. Sometimes we do that brilliantly; sometimes we become manipulative and exacting in our efforts.

    If we shake all of the hormonal, emotional, past-life baggage, pornographic (SUZI, you made a noteable point), and season-of-life perspectives out, what are we left with?

    I think JOHN has it right (even though his “right” isn’t gratifying to hear!): honor and respect trump emotion. Despite the complexity of our individual circumstances, we can continue to choose love. We don’t love because it’s deserved or reciprocated, right? We love because we choose to. If we’re people of faith, we love because we’ve been loved so radically — despite OUR own lack.

    That choosing doesn’t deny our genuine grief and strong feelings of neglect, but it does position us to remain faithful while we seek healthy intimacy. Unresolved anger and unforgiveness hurt our partners temporarily, but they hurt us forever. Is this pain (and it’s a for-real state of suffering!) the thing that will define us? Or are we capable of choosing mirrors-God generosity toward our mates? Can we make that choice while continuing to nurture our own well-being?

  • tom clelland says:

    tom
    so I say something and it is as if I have said nothing
    I think that females seem to blubber more than males so that is why they get listened men tend to keep it in but women cry it out to the world
    My dad hardly a word to me and all I ever heard about him was from my mother
    i aint a clue what God does with relationships anymore I used to believe thatg God created love between two people and that wsa the cobvenant one made in marriage through thick and thin,but I believe now that people make all their
    own rules for being a Christian and being married .
    You grow up selfish and self centered mummy I want!
    thats the cry that most people have mummy I want and even children now and most teenagers I don’t like that so I’m not doing it I don’t want that I’m not eating it
    Then two selfish meet each other and guess what the two selves have to lose their selfishness which they haven’t been used to they want their own way but now their are two to consider the two selfish people self Jesu said deny yourself take up your cross and follow me. who is self that spoiled child when young that little girl who was doted on so much and told how pretty she was that she never had to
    develope a personality and the man who grew up average but was bullied and
    victimised and always felt alone and always felt that they were imposing on p;eople who didn’t want them always felt that they never do enough to produce
    a sense of belonging put these two people together and you got a lot of work at the beginning you put effort in and things start to become one flesh and then as the years go by the symptoms are still there but the fight goes then the couple complain and find fault with each other knowing it was there to begin with
    but they buried it So it shouldn’t be unusual when later on in life the cracks appear self is a heavy person marriage has to destroy self if not the problems never go.
    WEhen i was a kid you were thankful for what you got and apreciated now we live in a throw away society and thats the same as marriage and you know the
    trouble is we have stopped being people who stay for the long haul in anything
    this society spends more time throwing away than holding onto.
    The trouble is you lose your marriage after 15 years but lets not blubber eh
    Then after being with a partner in bed your expected by God to wait for another
    partner so that you can be Godly legal but society christians dont realise the pressure that puts on a woman or a man through no fault of thier own
    CFirst it is like you start writing a story together and then one goes and your left to finish the story without the help of the one who started in the first place
    so why do we blubber and maybe we should look for the mote in our own eye before seeking out the speck in your spouse.
    Marriage is the most ridiculous idea ever devised two people who are two individuals
    expecting to be happy and content when there both totally selfish a normal state for everyone in human affairs and ten the children come along and they both
    give their time to the children because children are naturally selfish so the
    two parents have to yield to their inheritance and here we are again
    mummy I want mummy I get and the parents then self has to be given up
    because the children are selfish and you can’t self everywhere otherwise theres no unity somethings gotta give
    God bless and don ‘t blubber when you said those vows maybe you should look at them again for better or for worse in richer in poorer in sickness and in health as long as we both shall LIVE
    hats a joke isn’t it go over your marriage contract and as a Christian covenant with God vows see what you said look at it together and then look at each other and say well I never really meant that I just said it for something to say.
    Well if you never meant it that means that you never believed what you said
    or agreed what you said God is the same yesterday and forever
    The enemy wants all Christians to leave each other and break vows The unity of
    proper love of two people is a force to be reckoned with.
    but I’ve said enough go ove your marriage vows and decide between you whether you meant it or not if you didn’t mean it then don’t stay together because you built your marriage on a lie and no point carrying on with it is there
    I leave you to your decisions
    Tom Clelland

  • Ramona says:

    In an I deal world tim99 both do work on the marriage. Not everyone lives in an ideal world. The fact is that you cannot make anyone change except yourself. Not even God will make us change. I spent 23 years waiting for God to change it. He told me that He could not change it that I was to change it. I doubted what I heard until I cam to realize that god limits Himself from forcing our wills. We have our own will and those who do not wish to work on a marriage cannot be made to do so.

  • tim99 says:

    I just have watched shows that the woman does everything to change but the husband still cheats.
    I just don’t understand, there have been women on here that said that have lost weight to try and improve their situation, and it doesn’t help.
    Marriage is a 2 way street, it should be up to both of them to make the marriage work.

  • Ramona says:

    Mike, It is called “Incompatibility.” You don’t have to spell it SEX.

    tim99, It is not always the responsibility of the woman to change but it is this way: as long as “baby boy” is having his needs met, why should he change? He is happy. No amount of persuasion will reach his heart until he feels pain.

  • Ramona says:

    John, Would you please elaborate on your comment?

    I agree with you in what you say in theory, but in the case of a rejected wife, whose feelings would be paramount?

    In the case of an unwilling husband, whose feelings would be paramount?

    I don’t think your method of deprivation of feelings, due to the supremacy of love can go both ways. Someone comes up on the short end. Even God, in Whose image we are made wants our attention and indulgences of His needs.. whether we feel like it or not.

    I could say, “Well God, I know You love and I am expecting all the things You provide for me, but I just don’t feel like serving You, I have something else I want to do; but I know Your Love for me will make it alright with You.”

    Now maybe I don’t understand what you are saying John. If I have framed it incorrectly, I hope you will explain it to me.

  • tim99 says:

    The thing that I can’t seem to understand is that why is it always the woman’s responsibility to change. I mean if there is a problem it seems to always be the woman’s fault. She has to lose weight, or change or hair style or something to that effect.

  • Mike says:

    Ramona and Rachel,

    I know what you all are saying buy you know this isn’t a male\female thing as I see that just as many women are unhappy with their low libido spouse as men are with their low libido women.

    The one thing I will say that while leaving may seem an answer for some, I don’t see it as being a resolution for many.

    I can only guess what the reaction from my friends, family and colleagues would be if I left my marriage due to low sex. I would be deemed a “typical male pervert” who left because he “wasn’t getting any”. Sorry to be somewhat crude in the presentation but its true. If a guys leaves a marriage because of no sex, he is going to be labeled.

  • Ramona says:

    Rachael,

    Tell it like it is! I have to wonder how many reasons there are for women putting up with being married in an no-marriage, and the men with selfish women as well. I know that many women think they are suffering for God.

    Ha! God does not approve of such behavior from the one designated by Him (the man) as the most responsible of the family. So I ask, “Where is the Church in holding people to accountability to do their duty?” Between Christian and Christian we are not to indulge behaviors that are not right from other Christians.

    When I say that, usually I get the comment, “We are not to judge others.” God tells us in Scripture through David, that we are to conTemn evil actions and those who do them. We are not judging when we call a sin what God has called a sin. We are told through Paul to “not defraud each other of sex in marriage, so that the temptation to indulge in adultery is engaged.” We do not CONDEMN because the sentence for sin belongs to God However, we do conTemn, or remove ourselves from those who practice sin. It is a selfish sin to defraud your spouse of legitimate needs, whatever they may be.

    So in my opinion, I agree with you, if it is destroying your life and you don’t like it, do something about it. Generally, men of this type are really little boys, whose bodies grew tall and they are now graduated to being the boss over the momma which they still need to nurture their every need.

    It is a practice in my family for the mothers to nurse their babies born to our family, I have never nursed one of my babies who even said “thank you.” The baby has a right to that kind of nurture, but a grown man is expected to be reciprocal.

  • Rachel says:

    God states in His word that when a man and woman unite in marriage they are to give themselves to one another completely without holding anything back, including physical love, from one another. To do so is disrespectful to God and a sin against God. It is the partner who is holding back who does not care whether he displeases God or his wife who is dishonoring the marriage. These women we have heard from, myself included, have spent years honoring and respecting their husbands just trying to communicate with their husbands who care nothing about the suffering they have caused by wittholding themselves and their LOVE because they are SELFISH and have no remorse…the only way to get their attention to get their attention is to separate and remove the benefits they are getting from being with you while they are making you miserable since most are so self righteous and self justified they are not interested in changing anything or if their actions kill the marriage as long as dinner is on the table, their clothes are washed, you are taking care of their children while they watch tv and ignore you. Ladies stand up for yourselves and take some kind of action. If he doesn’t care that his cruelty has you crying yourself to sleep every night get RID of him.

  • John says:

    Respect and honor should supercede our physical needs. Reason and love should triumph over feelings. After all, we are created in the image of God.

  • cfast Power to Change says:

    Liz, we wish to apologize to you for the recent missing comment you left. Our system still shows your comment is still here but for some reason it wasn’t appearing on this page. We hope you will feel free to continue to comment on our sites.

  • Ramona says:

    Carla,

    Ideally, your respect for your husband and treating him with respect should fix everything, if you were the one who was wrong. However, there is a “theology” in the Christian Church that places a man in a god-like position of authority over the woman that is often exploited. I know this because I tried what it sounds to me like you are mentioning. It was not successful and it was like living in a concentration camp complete with physical abuse if I had a thought of my own.

    I will check into the book and it’s message.

  • josephines says:

    Tom…don’t give up. Trust me!!!!

  • Carla says:

    I really wish everyone in this forum would read the book, “When Sinners says I do”. It has helped to transform my husband and my marriage. I use to say the same things you all are but then I realized that I am a sinner as is my husband and by respecting him the way God intended our relationship has grown.

  • Ramona says:

    Sandra,

    In reading the recap of the recent comments that you have listed above, it occurs to me that there is one vital consideration missing from our thoughts on this subject of “unnatural” relationships in marriage. No sex or rare sexual encounters in marriage is not natural unless agreeable to both parties. It of course produces an atmosphere of silent hostility which intensifies over time.

    If there are children who have been born into this kind of marriage, they do not have the good soil of a healthy and happy home in which to grow. They do not learn what healthy marriage relationships look like and are in practice.

    It is such a shame to suffer through life, which is difficult at its best, and to have it troubled by what cannot be other than selfishness. (except in cases of paralysis or extreme physical illness.)

  • Mike says:

    So does any married couple really have a good sex life? It sure doesn’t seem like it. I must admit, I was wrong in my thinking that just men complained about their low interest wives but you all have shown me to be wrong as just as many men seem to deny their wives of a decent sexual relationship.
    No wonder so many folks cheat or have an affair. I know I would if I ever met the right woman as going without it at home and only being in my 40s is killing me. Especially knowing it could b like this another 20-30 or even 40 years!

  • Suzi says:

    I found this question and the response quite interesting. I am also suffering from a lack of a sex life, yet I don’t know how to discuss it with my husband. We have been married for 14 years and it is quite sad that I find it difficult to discuss this with him. We have sex about once a month… I believe pornography is an issue as it has been an issue since the beginning. I searched his computer and have found pictures and videos he has saved. I just do not know what to do… I know I must tell him my frustrations but I know it will entail an argument… Frustration is driving me nuts!!

  • Sandra says:

    Liz, your story reminded me to check out a link that this website has worked with: http://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/sex_and_intimacy.aspx
    Have any of you checked it out before?

    I do notice that the focus there (and with most other resources) tends to be on a husband’s need for sexual intimacy not being met, whereas what I’m hearing here is a split — women on are “going without,” too.

    What I loved about your perspective, Liz, is that you come from the position of friendship first. You and your husband DO share intimately, but that closeness doesn’t culminate in a sexual act.

    I sometimes feel like we’ve been so overexposed to media messages about what our sexuality should look like in our love relationships that no matter what we’re experiencing it will fall short of the advertised ideal.

    Olga, you noted the physicality of the issue: sometimes we’re just hormonally unhealthy, right?

    And Ramona, I so agree with your thoughts on hiding behind a sort of bleeding heart mentality. You pointed out, too that the church has done a disservice to it’s members by feeding idealistic expectations and then failing to offer accountability. That creates a pain all it’s own as members are left feeling like they need to maintain a public image while they suffer privately.

    So, we’re talking about a lot of areas of struggle and there’s strong emotion and heartache in all of this. What IS working?

    While the act of sexual intimacy is being neglected/avoided/abandoned in these relationships, are you experiencing healthy intimacy in other ways?

    Like Liz mentioned, is their a foundation of friendship? Do you enjoy each other’s company? Does this unmet need, in one area, overshadow shared activities and companionable experiences? As Ramona pointed out: faith can underscore every aspect of this struggle. How does your faith sustain/challenge/motivate you as you wrestle with a very physical and emotional need?

  • Liz says:

    So, I came to this site searching for help. I described my story, hoping to connect with those of you who are experiencing this problem as well. However, I would like to know why my comment was deleted? I didn’t post anything offensive, or hurtful to anyone. I just described my situation. This was my last hope to get ANY support I can, and it was deleted… I had seen it posted on here, and went to check for replies an hour later, and it was gone.

  • Liz says:

    I would first like to say how comforting it is to read all of your stories… I think it makes me feel less alone in my situation.

    My fiance and I have been together for about 4 years. In the beginning, our sex life was great, we both liked a “wilder” kind of sex. everything was great, until I had to move from my college dormitory. since I hadn’t received a job offer after getting my degree, I was hesitant to get an apartment and be glued down to an area (I’m a teacher, and I could have been employed anywhere), so we moved into the upstairs of his parent’s house. We had semi-privacy, and it honestly wasn’t too bad, but we never had sex. I felt weird even trying to initiate anything, out of a fear of disrespect for their house. We literally went months without sex. Once I was employed, we moved into a house together, and I thought things would change, since we have that privacy back again. We painted, renovated, and fixed up the house, and were able to buy new furniture for our bedroom. We STILL do not have sex. This has been for a while now, and we still maybe only have sex once every month and a half or longer. We bought new furniture in our bedroom, and we have NEVER had sex in our own bed. that kills me, because it doesn’t even feel like ours… I ask him why we don’t have sex more often, and he says that he doesn’t feel as confident as he used to be. he claims that it is too early, too late, he’s too tired, we’re too busy… and If I try to initiate anything, he moves my hand away or recoils. We used to have the “wilder” kind of sex, so I even told him that we need to take time, to just be together, and not have to worry about bringing our the “dog and pony show,” so to speak. nothing helps. He doesn’t want to talk about it, and doesn’t reciprocate ANYTHING that I try to initiate. I literally spend hours thinking of ways that “might make him want me” this time, only to feel scared, because I don’t want him angry because I’ve tried to have sex with him. The thing is, we both cuddle, we spend time together, we even have a designated “date night” for the week. we are such a team in everyday life, and I love him dearly. I just don’t know how to please him anymore… I wish there were something I could take to make me not want sex, or something that I could slip him. how could he sleep in our bed every night and have me, naked, up against him, and not even feel remotely interested in making love? especially since I know that he will masturbate in the shower or before I get home, instead of being with me… I just don’t know what to do, I’m at the end of my ropes here…

  • olga says:

    well my husband has a mild ED problem and i did manage to once take him to the doctor.The doctor also diagnosed it as psychological as there was no physical abnormality found.After getting back,he raged saying that it was me who was to blame and with any other chick he could prove that he was fine and he has no problem masturbating!I have been insulted,rejected and emotionally and physically abused by this man and god still refuses to see my pain!This after i have been faithful and loyal.never ever slept with any other man till i got married to this man.Even if we ever make love,it is all about him jerking off,with no foreplay,no love or climax for me!if i talk about leaving he cries and says he will change .But then he goes back to his old ways.

  • Ramona says:

    Sandra,

    I realize that there may be extenuating circumstances that contribute to a problem that are not the direct cause of the person with the problem, such as the problems you mention; however, if reasonable satisfaction in the relationship at whatever level is unable to be enjoyed, and the one who has or is the problem is unwilling to seek counsel and or medical intervention, then they are behaving selfishly and stubbornly and they do not care for their partner in the correct way.

    Yes, we can bleed for their cause or causes whatever they may be, and we can be understanding and helpful, but if they won’t try to find relief for the problem that they have, they behave in selfishness and a lack of concern for their spouse and I don’t know a way to state it with kindness. Truth is not always beautiful.

    The ultimate result of such behaviors is, “I’m doing fine, why do you have a problem?” They expect to be permitted to have a problem while being uncaring that the need of their spouse is not fulfilled.

    Yes, faith does factor into my evaluation of this scenario on all levels. I feel that the major problem of the Church and families is that we do not hold each other to accountability. We enter marriage with a set of expectations and warm partnership is one of them. Scripture is specific about not defrauding each other in marriage. As for the gentleman who is petrified with fear, maybe he needs medication for that and perhaps a lot of prayer, but he can also selfishly hide out behind the excuse.

  • Sandra says:

    Mimi, you make a strong point: God’s expectation is that our relationships will be mutually gratifying, building, supportive, etc. If you’re being harmed, get out as quickly as you safely can.

    Ramona, you mentioned indulging grossly self-centered partners. I wonder, then, if we’re addressing this issue on a few different levels.

    On one hand, we’re talking about partners who are sexually disconnected, disengaged. On the other, men or women who are creating pain by their refusal to contribute to the relationship.

    Willful selfishness is can be cruel and violent and exacting. Woundedness, fear, or insecurity, while looking like selfishness, may simply be a partner’s survival mechanisms creating a pattern of behavior that’s unwittingly hurtful.

    I have a friend who’s currently extracting herself from a relationship with a guy who is the former. He’s a con (she’s lost tens of thousands of dollars to him) and remorseless for the multiple affairs that she caught him in. He is verbally and emotionally abusive.

    Another friend is married to a man who is cool, distant, and emotionally detached. That detachment shows itself in everything from a lack of sexual connection to stilted everyday communication.

    Both friends are suffering because of their mate’s behaviors. But the behaviors cannot be addressed in the same way. The former refuses counseling because he’s belligerant and uncooperative and, in his words, “doesn’t care what she thinks.” The second refuses counseling because he’s scared to death about airing his personal abuse and shame “publicly.”

    Does faith factor into this for you? In my own relationship, complicated as it is, common ground in our core beliefs gets us through the sometimes-very-dry intimate times.

  • Sandra says:

    I agree, Mike.

    Do you find that in most relationships, one partner is ready to seek help much sooner than the other? Is there a place for the one who IS ready to move forward and look for solutions on their own?

    Intimacy is a complex issue: we all come into our relationships with baggage. We’ve been taken advantage of, rejected, misguided. Many have been abused. Our scars impact our ability to engage one another intimately (particularly as sex engages us emotionally, mentally, and spiritually — not just physically).

    In our marriages, we’ve committed to long-term connection with one partner. While our sexual needs are a valid (and really distracting!) aspect of our love relationship, they are only part of who we are, who our partners are.

    The issues that are deterring mutual intimacy may have little to do with the act of sex itself.

    If you’re interested in some tools that may give both practical and emotional help: The book “The Love Dare”(Kendrick) gives a pracitcal approach to addressing this issue (and others) through intentional actions. Gary Smalley also has several books that outline the complex differences between men and women. Understanding the profound differences between our genders can help us to approach each other more compassionately.

    These are just tools, right? They don’t take the sting of emotion and frustration out of this area of need in our relationships, but they may offer some insight into your unique situations.

  • Ramona says:

    Unfortunately, those who do not want to seek counseling are quite satisfied with the way things are. If they were uncomfortable in the situation, they would be looking for answers.

    I suggest that the uncomfortable party look for ways to search out answers before the rejection gets into their spirits and they begin to look for outside affairs. A divorce is more Godly than adultery.

    My point is that since marriage is a two party agreement, the agreement must be held by both parties or it is invalid. I have watched married partners, those with children as well, go to the fringes of hell and live in a war zone destroying everyone in the situation, except the one who has it like they want it.

    So how far shall we indulge grossly self-centered persons in a relationship?

    In my opinion, it is good for even one to get counseling but you are correct Mike, in my opinion, one person going to counseling will not work the situation out for the two.

  • Mimi says:

    Danni….I have the exact same relationship as you…8 yrs in a loveless relationship…mind you he wasn’t like that in the beginning…but guess what he was like that in his first marriage & his ex wife cheated so I wonder why??….Why do men work so hard to get you & then stop?? There is no hug, no kiss, no I love you…no intimacy from him…what is the point? When I snuggle beside him, he will say “I am tired” even sometimes before getting into bed…My friend said what would I miss if he was gone from my life…I really had to think about that one…probably his company….THATS IT! even at that…he just sits & watches sports on tv….I can find friends to do that…I am sick & tired of being rejected, isolated, worthless & feel unworthy…I have been dating him for 8 yrs – what is the point of marriage, it wouldn’t last!! NO MAN SHOULD DO THAT TO A WOMAN…I DON’T DESERVE THAT…I HAVE GIVEN HIM THE WORLD…ENOUGH IS ENOUGH…I am a child of god & deserve to be loved & cherised like a man should treat his gf or wife…I AM WORTH MORE THAN THIS! WHO IS HE TO TREAT ME LIKE DIRT…so I really empathize with you Danni…We need to be strong & stand up for ourselves! God loves us & would not want men to treat us that way!

  • olga says:

    I agree with Mike..I suffer too with my husband who refuses to go for counseling and refuses to change his attitude.in spite of being supportive,patient and loving towards him,he refuses to accept that there is a problem and thinks once or twice a month(that too if i initiate)is good enough:(Like Danni i too am childless because he refuses to have sex more often…all i can do is cry myself to bed every night and feel lonely.As far as he is concerned there is nothing wrong!

  • Mike says:

    Sandra,

    I think that is helpful advice but I think BOTH parties need to want to make things better for counseling to work. I have asked my wife if we should consider going and she said there is no way she is going to tell a stranger that we have a problem just because I want sex more than she does.
    So yeah, counseling can be a helpful means of resolution if both partners want to make things better.

  • Sandra says:

    Danni, your heartache and frustration are apparent and it sounds like you have attempted to address your relationship issues in a variety of ways — some ways that have been healthy and hopeful, some that have probably contributed more intense pain?

    Have you already attempted marriage counseling? I ask because the absence of sexual intimacy is an indication of a deeper problem and more complex issues. Conversation with a third party may provide an atmosphere where both your husband and yourself can openly discuss the underlying issues.

    Just beneath the blog post the you originally linked to here there is a mentor option: would you consider being connected to a mentor that can talk with you more about this issue? A mentor could link you to resources and support that may move you forward in this area.

    You don’t have to remain stuck or hopeless! You and your husband can, with effort and honesty, have an intimate, mutually satisfying relationship.

  • tom clelland says:

    I was married for 15 years before that I could never get an erection
    since I was born doctors are baffled I can’t tell if it is mental or physical
    I had an operation thought that would be succesfull the venous leak,
    but now it still hasn’t worked I tried viagra levetra injections nothing.
    It has left my person very deflated not too able now to make decisions
    I’m baffled I just wonder if anyone else has had this problem,because I am not gay so I fancy women but everytime in the past where it had to go further
    I backed out and I don’t know why no answers
    A strange place to be eh now I’m on my own again.
    I play music so that commpensated but it is strange cause somehow you don’t feel like a man unless you’ve managed what most men can do.

  • Danni says:

    I’ve known my husband for almost 11 years, married for 8… he has never had a huge appetite for sex. when we have it he always says “wow that was great! we should do that more often” but then he never is in the mood!!! If i initiate sex he rejects me because he “has a headache” or he “has a stomach ache” or he “doesn’t feel sexy” or he is just plain not in the mood!!! it is so frustrating to be married to him. the first year of our marriage we would have sex like maybe 3-4 times a month. now its like 2 times a month and some months we skip all together. BTW we don’t have any kids and its really hard to try to concieve when we NEVER have sex… i’ve broken down and cried my eyes out, i’ve gotten used to it and just learned to live with it, i’ve gotten angry and yelled, i’ve gone online and had virtual sex with men! i’ve fantasized about cheating, but i can’t hurt him that way… he doesn’t want to get a divorce and he cries his eyes out anytime we fight and i say that i want to leave him. i feel stuck, i feel like i am wasting away, my self esteem is low, i’ve stopped caring about my looks, i turn to food to feel satisfied so i’ve like gained 40 lbs!!! a year ago i was even suicidal! not b/c my husband has a low/non exsistant sex drive, though that was a factor! right now my husband is taking Bee pollen which gets him hard (though he has never had a problem with that) but it isn’t increasing his F#*!@% libido at all… geeze I don’t know weather to break down and cry, or hit him upside the head with a ficticious frying pan but 8 years of putting up with this Sh!T is too long and i don’t think i can do another 8 years of this before i leave, or get boozed up and screw some stranger’s brains out in a no tell motel!!!!

  • cfast cfast says:

    gypsiegirl, it is wonderful that you are in counseling and can finally lay out your feelings to your husband and hear his feelings. You should give counseling more tries before throwing in the towel and getting divorced.

  • Debbie says:

    Dear Mike, I feel for you. I am a beautiful woman, but my husband sees my imperfections. In dating, people are always at their best….I new relationship is always like that because people are trying to impress each other. When you have been together for over a decade, imperfections are seen. Now is that a reason to not have sex with a partner? I don’t know. We should observe good hygeiene and respect for our partners at all times, and apologize if we slip up. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING: IF YOU ARE GOING TO STAY, YOU NEED TO FIND SOMETHINGS THAT MAKE YOU HAPPY AND THAT DON’T DEPEND ON THE OTHER PERSON. It could be watching your favorite TV show on DVD, or getting a favorite food (just for you, please healthy), or getting a record player and playing old albums. Whatever it is, you have to find something that can make you happy that doesn’t hurt anyone, or depend on anyone else. Something nice, clean, safe, BUT MAKES YOU HAPPY WHILE YOU ARE GOING TO BE THERE. My thing….particular healthy foods, Movie downloads on Netflix, exercise. YOU CAN’T JUST STAY AND SUFFER…find something safe and wholesome that keeps you feeling happy.

  • Mike says:

    Dear Debbie, I wish my wife would say that or be that way. I could get the physical needs met yet also be happy in the marriage. But she never will so I just suffer.

  • Mike says:

    Dear Debbie, I wish my wife would say that or be that way. I could get the physical needs met yet also be happy in the marriage. But she is not ever going to do that and I just suffer.

  • Debbie says:

    Dear Silent writer, What you are going through is hard. My situation makes me believe that some people just don’t enjoy the same dish all the time. I is just who they are. So I would just find a way to be happy if I am going to stay. As for me, I used to be depressed but now I just look at myself and say “I am attractive”. This is thi other person’s problem. If you are going to stay, find a way to be happy.

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