Help! My Wife Doesn’t Want Sex

Written by Neal Black

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There’s a love that can fill the void of a sexless life.

I agree with Dan Allendar when he says that, “Sex is volatile and it was meant to be.” For guys, when we are getting regular sex the world is as it should be and we are the confident male species ready to take on any challenge and defeat any enemy! On the other hand, a lack of sex causes us to plummet, doubt our self-worth and wonder, “what’s the use?”  This leads to some very common questions like:

Q:  My wife does not want to have sex. I take it personally and feel like she does not want me.  I am assuming it is her lack of desire for me.  I feel unloved and hurt by this. Am I right?

A:  Don’t jump to conclusions. There are many factors as to why your wife does not want to have sex and many may have little to do with you.

Wired differently

Because of the way we are wired, men and women have very different views of sex.  It begins with the chemicals in our brain. Men have a much higher level of testosterone than women do. That’s the chemical that causes us to think about and want sex. Women have a much higher level of oxytocin, which is sometimes called the “bonding hormone”. That’s the chemical that makes them want to connect.  So here we are with high testosterone ready to have sex and our wives with their high oxytocin are ready to snuggle.

She is wired to want connection as much as we want sex. “Hey we want connection!” I hear you say. Ya right!  We want to connect our body with hers! She wants you to be interested in her by giving her attention, listening and touching but only non-sexual touching. We are wired to feel fulfilled when we have sex, women are wired to feel fulfilled when they are bonding.

So it is easy to see there is going to be a frequency issue that has nothing to do with how desirable you are. Guys are wired to want more sex and women are wired for emotional connection. (Although in about 25% of relationships this is reversed – I met a couple of these guys but neither appreciated the great situation they were in.) Women can feel sexually fulfilled without having an orgasm during sex. I know, it’s mind boggling!

Part2:  Help! My Wife Doesn’t Want Sex

233 Responses to “Help! My Wife Doesn’t Want Sex”

  • Tom Tom says:

    Jonathan–

    Glad you see that a sexual relationship is not just about what we get out of it but about what we can do to please the other person as well.

    One thing the article doesn’t address is that the only way to really have a lasting, not just a pleasing, sexual relationship is to have it within the confines of a marriage covenant before God. God created the marriage covenant so that one man and one woman can come together and become one sexually, completing each other and enjoying each other fully and without restraints. I had to chuckle because you signed your post “Sinferily” and that’s what sex outside of marriage is–fairly sin before God.

  • Jonathan says:

    I learned a lot bye reading this, Thank you for sharing. I know my girl still wants me and I’m going to make this sexually charged time together all about her thank you.
    Sinferily
    Jonluck

  • Nuniabizness says:

    Beth (April 29, 2016)
    No, your roles are NOT switched. Your statement came across as very identifiably female. Your stance on sex is exactly THE same issue.
    This article is sort of right but it also mocked men for wanting an emotional connection which makes me angry. I am far more interested in a connection with my wife rather than a fling on the side or a whore.
    I want quality and quantity time with my wife. If she doesn’t want quality and quantity with me …. well then…. therein lies the frustration, depression, anger.
    Understand this, I have been “the other man” for some married women. All of them were “too busy” for their husband yet seemed to make plenty of time fore!
    These are the women that complain about too much sex and for too long and doing too many “extra” things like oral and such. Haha… isn’t it strange how NONE of them had a problem with giving me oral for hours on end and every time we were together!! How come they could swallow and I didn’t even ask!
    How is it they found tons of time and energy to have sex several times throughout the night yet were too tired with their own husbands?!
    I say it’s all relative. You choose love. Love is a choice and it’s selfless.
    Selfishness is THE problem.

  • St says:

    Idon’t want sex with my husband because he won’t work and help support us. I am
    Just too stressed trying to keep the household going and view him as a dependent child, not a husband. I just can’take do it all!

  • Gee says:

    My wife is on antidepressants which I now affects her sex drive, I understand that. She expects me to listen to her every word, do things for her, meet her needs and I do it willingly and in love. The problem is…that when I need her to meet MY needs I get the anger, the argument, and no sex…EVER! I don’t want pity sex, I don’t want guilt sex, I want her to understand while she has emotional needs I have physical needs and when they aren’t tended to resentment builds, physical issues manifest and no one is happy.

  • Sharon says:

    not a good question either I love my husband what happens if he doesn’t want sex because he is tired from work and goes to bed different times than the wife most days. good comments in this thread– sharon

  • Joan says:

    Question
    “My wife doesn’t want to have sex. I take it personally and feel like she does not want me. I am assuming it is her lack of desire for me. I feel unloved and hurt by this. Am I right?”

    Female answer:
    No, you are not right. I’ve been married 32 years and am totally in love with my husband. There have been weeks and months (and secretly some years) where I have totally hated sex for one reason or another. Sometimes it’s painful, sometimes it takes too much energy to become aroused (fun having sex when you aren’t aroused), sometimes he’s stuck on wanting something I have absolutely no interest in, sometimes a yeast infection, sometimes I don’t feel like being his stress reducer. Other times I’ve been pregnant and puking, or going through a bout of hot flashes, or under a lot of stress at work, taking care of dying parents, etc. Get the picture? There are a million reasons a woman might not want or be able to enjoy sex at any given moment and it usually has nothing to do with her partner. And, it’s not because she wants to just be mean.

    At least, for me, I don’t have buckets of sexual energy oozing from my pores. I don’t have sexual energy to give away. I don’t ever feel spontaneously horny. I have to create energy to think about sex being a positive thing in the moment and not until I start to get aroused do I have much interest in sex. My love for my husband does not create sexual tension within me. I don’t rate how much I love my husband by how much he turns me on sexually. And that’s a good thing, because I don’t get turned on sexually very easily.
    Now, the sad truth. A lot of husband’s rate how much their wife loves them by their demonstration of sexual desire for them.
    Well, if you have a wife with a low libido, emotional issues around sex, physical/hormonal problems, or a plain exhausted wife, you have created your own living h***. Why put yourself through that? Look at the reality of the picture. Does she really not love you just because she has issues with sex? Does she not love you because she doesn’t act like a porn star? If you had erectile problems or low testosterone and didn’t feel like sex, would that mean you didn’t love your wife?

    So, back to the real issue. Testosterone. You guys need sex. It makes you feel good. It makes you feel like a man. It’s pleasurable to you. It’s how you show your wife you love her. You feel closer and bonded to your wife through sex. You just plain enjoy sex. Sex is easy for you. You have a vision of what a good sex life is supposed to look like.

    How is sex for your wife?
    How does her testosterone level compare to yours?
    How does sex make your wife feel?
    Is her vision of good sex the same as yours?

    There’s a million reasons a wife might not want sex.
    She only needs one reason to find sex an ok idea.
    Sometimes thats hard to find…..and meeting her husbands needs isn’t the best reason over the long haul.
    If she can’t find something that makes sex easy for her, it will be easier to just shut down.
    I hope she lets you help her find that reason.

  • Kristy says:

    Steve of April 19 said something very important.

    “What I want-what I have always wanted-is someone to love me for who I am and what I am.”
    What a beautiful statement.
    In essence, isn’t this truly what each of us wants deep down inside?

    The problem occurs in how each of us express our love for another and/or how we feel love from another.

    The other night I was lying awake listening to my husband breathing in his sleep. I was thanking God for allowing such an special man to be a part of my life. I was appreciating his sense of humor, his kindness, his masculinity, his honesty, his integrity, but most of all I was appreciating him for being who he was and what he was. I was filled with love and peace in those moments. I wonder if my husband ever experiences those same feelings for me? I wonder if just my presence in his life makes him feel loved and cherished?

    Just a couple of comments:

    “Hey we want connection!” I hear you say. Ya right. We want to connect our body with hers.”
    And men wonder why women get the silly notion that all men want is sex?
    We hear it everyday.

    “For guys, when we are getting regular sex the world is as it should be and we are the confident male species ready to take on any challenge and defeat any enemy! On the other hand, a lack of sex causes us to plummet, doubt our self-worth and wonder, “what’s the use?”
    Really, a man’s self esteem is their wife’s responsibility?

    Women can feel sexually fulfilled without having an orgasm during sex. I know, it’s mind boggling!
    Alert! There a many women who don’t have sexual needs at all. I know, it’s mind boggling!

    If sex wasn’t such a production and men could learn to be open to a more sensual quiet sexual experience as opposed to a physical performance and experimentation, women might learn there is something to this sexual intimacy thing after all.
    For some women, Male sexual expectations often make sex difficult to enjoy.

    I

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Steve, thank you for sharing your story. I appreciate your commitment to your marriage and your wife even in the middle of all the pain. Can I ask why you remain faithful? In a society that has made personal fulfillment a higher value than commitment, your determination seems rare.

    I don’t have any magic wand either. But I do believe intimacy and sexual bonding is a healthy part of marriage and of human interaction. That means that your wife is not experiencing fully what it means to have healthy relationships. It is understandable that trauma like sexual-abuse could have that kind of a lingering impact on a person. Part of your love for her could be to continue to explore ways of helping her to heal from that trauma, and discover the beauty of love expressed mind/soul AND body. When we commit to loving in sickness and in health, it is just as much directed at emotional unwellness as it it about physical sickness.

  • Steve says:

    WOW. I thought I was alone. After reading this at least I know I am not an island. Bullet points will shorten it for me:

    – 58 yrs old, married 33 years
    – 2 girls 18 and 21
    – Wife hasn’t worked outside of the home since first pregnancy.
    – she has tons of animals and projects that keep her busy all the time

    Bottom line – we don’t have any form of intimacy any more. The last time was almost a year and a half ago.. that was on our anniversary. I considered that a combination of sympathy sex, guilt sex and pity sex. I had a heart attack about 3 months before. Prior to that it was almost 3 years since we were intimate. For the last 10-15 years the frequency has been between 6 months and 3 years. I’m no medical professional but I htink I have become clinically depressed. 24/7 all I seem to think about is how the woman I wake up next to and fall asleep next to doesn’t want to have anything to do with me physically. I tried everything I know how to from going to (multiple) counselors, dating her, going to marriage seminars, doing the “things” I should – nothing has changed in over 10 years. The emotional pain I feel every waking moment is almost unbearable. Some would advise, “Just leave her”, but I can’t, I won’t. It’s like being on a hamster wheel that never stops. Not even sure why I bother posting because she will never read this, and even if she did nothing would change. And, since I have determined that I am unwilling to lust walk away from the marriage I guess this is just a way for me to vent and get it out in the open.

    If there’s a magic wand I haven’t found it. All the phycobabble in the world isn’t going to help if she is determined to maintain her position. Yes, she was molested by her step father 40 years ago, and I am paying the price for it every day of my life. Beginning on our honeymoon night, and continuing through the first 20 or so years of our marriage, she reminded me of it regularly. Now we are at an impasse – I want sex, and she doesn’t.

    Oh, I suppose that if I played my cards right I could “get some”, but that’s what it’s always been like. It isn’t even worth it if it’s always a struggle and, especially at this stage of our marriage, if I have to beg for it, or it all is just a pascifier to appease me, what’s it worth anyway? If it’s just about physial release I can take care of that myself. What I want – what I have always wanted – is someone to love me for who I am, and what I am. I guess I just missed out on that in life.

  • Doomed says:

    I had to get that off my chest but honestly its time to seek professional help and if that doesn’t work its time to move on. If my wife doesn’t go seek help or try then I’m leaving. Which I’m telling her right after I finish this post. IF you tried speaking to her which I know its hard for a man and already tired professional help then there is nothing to it. Or maybe your wife doesn’t care if you seek it else where just as long as your still home to provide for the household and support. I have this strange feeling if I did go else where she wouldn’t even mind or care just as long as I’m coming home to her and are son. This is what’s its come to in my life.

  • Doomed says:

    Honestly Ive been with my wife for over 10 years married for 6 , we used to have sex so frequent no matter what time of the day it was. She would jump on me or I would her. Now after have a son who is three years of age now I vacant barely get time alone wit her. yes we work so what she will make herself busy no matter what it is. All the attention goes to are son no matter what even when putting him to bed she just sits there with him entertaining him playing with him letting him do whatever he wants where it becomes midnight. I mean come on how long does it take to put a three year old to bed????? !!! Seriously something is wrong her and I tell her but does she listen. Nope !!!! So now what I’m ready to seek it else where I cant do this anymore I tried being patient but this is horrible. Even if we do have sex she wants nothing to do with it or is discusted by it. That’s if we get a chance I feel like I have to struggle just to get it. There are so many things wrong like I don’t remember the last time her hand touched me and if I try to touch her she goes nuts especially if I touch her butt while she’s in the kitchen cooking. I Mean seriously I don’t remember the last time she sat down next to me on a couch to watch something but she does it all th time with are son. Then you have Beth here acting like she knows it all when she doesn’t have a clue . Regardless of how busy you are you need to make time to connect with your spouses becasue for that matter why are you married idiot!! Just to please society?? What all the junk in between oral sex??? Some four play ??? Yes that’s healthy it gets boring and if you don’t want him to find it elsewhere I suggest you compromise like you should be doing in a marriage. It’s not a one way street. Rushing to get it over with like you didn’t want to do it in the first place doesn’t make things better. You cant say that your the man and he’s the girl your not acting like a man your acting ignorant and idiotic, someone who hasn’t evolved one bit. Grow up before you leave comments like that.

  • Alfred Neufeldt says:

    Hi John, I’ve found that sex about once every 2 to 3 months is better than no sex at all. This may sound difficult, but what if you ask for sex about once every two months? Try to get her into the mood by some act of kindness or whatever psychological lead-in you feel is best. That, in my opinion, is more likely to please her than asking for it more often. Married life is beautiful when both are trying to please each other. Praying for both of you, Alfred.

  • HULA BOB says:

    we solved the problem of no sex for 20 years ,sex was incredible for both of us,
    we don’t need sex it was a transition in the road through life.we found that working with our jobs we like took all of our sex time.we have many fiends that need advice on how to keep the family together so we help those in need and advice.
    we are very different in likes and hobbies that’s why we are happy. we are married
    more than 40 years . I thank GOD i married a ANGEL.

  • John says:

    So, this June my wife and I will have been married for 19 years. When we first got married, we had sex on a very frequent basis, but over the last 10 years or so things have changed dramatically. I understand that with age, business, etc. things will change, but I also feel a little bit of the old bait and switch! We’ve talked about sex and she tells me that it’s all I think about. I would be extremely happy (extremely!) if we had sex twice a week, I would be completely satisfied if we had sex once a week. But the reality is it is more like once a month to once every 2 months or so. I’ve tried to explain that if we had sex more often, I wouldn’t be thinking about it as much. My point is, I am a Christ follower and I want to do right by my wife, but at the same time, not only do I feel completely depressed (b/c I feel as though she doesn’t desire me anymore, etc.) but I have thought about looking elsewhere, which makes me more depressed and makes things worse for me. What’s a guy supposed to do. We both work, we are both tired, we have three girls (high school, middle school & elementary school. I ALWAYS make time to listen to her talk when ever she wants to use me as a “sounding board” but the minute I bring up my needs, I’m the jerk for always wanting sex! Thoughts?

  • Alan says:

    Hello Andy – I sympathise – I was rejected 30 years ago by my wife – I tried drinking myself to death – I’m now tea total. I’ve had a couple of ops on my heart and do various exercise routines – I’m fitter than I’ve ever been. I cope because on chatting to my niece she suggested going to an escort agency – lots of lovely girls – no emotional ties to worry about – just sex. I should have done it years ago. I’m way past caring if I’m being unfaithful or not – she rejected me – hardly grounds for a happy marriage. You say you won’t – I’m glad I did – and life is worth living now.

  • Andy says:

    Married in 1989, probably had sex 20 times in absolute total, no children, now 54 never have and never will be unfaithful. I just don’t know what to or where to start,
    Am a used to total abstinence, separate rooms so fed up and embarrassed with rejection, if I could just fold up and leave it all I probably would

  • Joe says:

    Beth,

    Being in a marriage for 16 years so far and yeah, life’s tough. As a husband, kids, jobs, kids clubs, busy…busy. My wife want me to be there emotionally just as I want her for me physically. If I have to listen to her and be attentive for 20 minutes when the conversation could of been 5 minutes is the same thing. Guess what, been having the same boring sex with you for years probaly. Why can’t you be there for HIM and let his physical needs be met? The whole life is tough excuse is a non starter, if you didn’t want a busy life you could of avoided marriage and kids.

  • Beth says:

    Just was reading your article. Here’s the main problem… Husband wants to have sex but not just sex he wants all the junk that’s not real – on tv/movies. I am fine with sex but really why must it take longer than 20mins. why does it have to be like the fake stuff you see. I work two kids sports… im tired lets just get to it already?! Really he’s the girl and I’m the guy…

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