Wifey Wednesday: Why You’ve Got to Initiate, Baby

Christian Marriage Advice

It’s Wednesday, the day when we talk marriage! I introduce a topic, and then you follow up either by commenting or by writing your own post!

Why Women Should Initiate Sex--Even if it seems weird to you.
Ladies, today I am going to totally tick a bunch of you off. I understand that, and believe me when I say that this is not my intention. It’s just that I think sex is such a vital part of marriage, and it’s something that we women often get totally wrong.

Now, if you’re not a lady–if you’re a guy who has arrived at this page because you’re upset that your wife never initiates sex, I understand. You’ll likely appreciate these two resources: A post I wrote for guys to show their wives on why sex is important; and my 31 Days to Great Sex, a great way to start talking more about intimacy, and to rev up your sex life! It isn’t just 31 days of sex tricks; it helps ease into things by focusing on communication, having fun, flirting, and all kinds of great stuff before it even gets to making sex great. And it’s helped a ton of couples!

Okay, back to you, ladies: Let me start with some personal history that might make this pill a little easier to swallow. When Keith and I were first married, we used to get into a lot of fights about one thing: He wanted me to want him, and I never really understood what he meant.

He would say, “I just want you to want me!” and I would yell back, “But I do want you! I want you as my husband! I want you to be happy! I want you with me always!” etc. etc. etc.

What he really wanted was just for me to jump him.

And I couldn’t do that, because it felt somehow like lying. I really didn’t particularly want to make love. Sure I’d do it if he started it, but it wasn’t like I was sitting there, jets ready to go, just waiting to take off. I would much rather watch a movie, or read a book, or cuddle, or just about anything. I was frequently tired. I was still new at this so it didn’t always work all that well. And I was so, so tired of him wanting it all the time.

What I only understood later was how intrinsic to a man’s self-esteem is the idea that his wife actually desires him sexually. Most men really struggle with questions like, “Am I good enough?”, or “Does she really love me?”. What they want to know, more than anything, is that we think they are the best.

It’s not really so surprising. Remember all the books talking about how important respect is to a guy? Even more important than love? A man needs to feel like we are glad we married him not because we love him, but because we’ve looked around, and we’ve honestly concluded that he is the perfect one for us. We appreciate who he is and what he does.

Tied up in all of that is his sexuality.

It’s hard for him to believe that you’re proud of him, and that you’re happy to be married to him, if you don’t also want him sexually–if you never initiate sex.

If you don’t want him like that, then you really don’t think he can take on the world. You really don’t think he’s a capable guy, a strong guy, an amazing guy. You just want to be married to somebody, but you don’t actually respect him anymore.

It’s men’s ultimate self-esteem issue. And the best way to address it is if we, every now and then, actually initiate.

That may be the last thing you want to do, for a host of reasons. You may be tired. You may be angry at him because he doesn’t really pay attention to you, so why should you pay attention to him? You may be tired of sex because it just doesn’t work well for you, and he gets all the fun.

Let me suggest that if you start initiating sex, a lot of those issues will diminish in importance.

Let’s take just one: whether or not it feels good for you. The nice thing is that if you initiate making love, you get to set the tone and the direction for what you do! Perhaps one of the reasons it hasn’t felt that good is because he’s been rushing things. If you initiate, you can figure out what you want him to do. You can do it yourself! You can control things a little better. So why not jump in with the express purpose of figuring out what’s nice for you?

Or, conversely, if you’re tired of the stress of making sure that sex is nice for you (because many couples get locked into this quest to make sure that she reaches orgasm, for instance, and then it becomes too goal oriented for you to enjoy), you can initiate sex so that he can feel good. You can throw yourself into making sure that he enjoys it and giving him a gift. And he’ll feel ten feet tall. When sex becomes about him feeling good, but you’re the one who initiated it, it’s okay. When he initiates sex and you don’t enjoy it as much, he can feel like a failure. It’s just a different dynamic.

What about the other problems? Let’s say that you feel as if he is distant, and you’re a little ticked at him.

Part of the reason that he might feel distant, though, is because he feels as if you don’t want him sexually.

Truly, we need to understand how important this is to most men. They marry thinking that we will want them all the time, and when real life intrudes and it doesn’t work out that way, they have nowhere to go but to retreat. I’m not saying it’s right; I’m just saying that’s what a lot of men do. So if you’re feeling distant, why not take that first step to repairing the rift?

Men really don’t want to be married to someone who will comply when they suggest sex. They want to be married to someone who is actually enthusiastic about it. I know it’s hard to be enthusiastic sometimes, but I think we can talk ourselves into it. Make it a priority to think about sex in a positive light throughout the day. Try to figure out what you’d enjoy doing. Touch him throughout the day. And then, when the kids are in bed, you be the one to lead him to the bedroom.

Try to remember the last five times you made love.

If you didn’t initiate sex at least one of the last five times you made love, you’ve likely got a problem.

So why not rectify that by deciding that tonight is going to be different? Just try for a month being the one to initiate every now and then, and see if, at the end of that month, you both feel differently about the relationship. I’m pretty sure you’ll both have a lot more goodwill towards the marriage, and things will be better!

UPDATE: Now, one caveat: I know a lot of women who would actually love to have this problem. They DO initiate, but their husbands reject them (Like the first commenter!). You’ve got a slightly different problem: your husband doesn’t have a high libido. For various reasons, men’s libidos are diminishing in our society. In many marriages it’s actually HER who has the higher sex drive. If that’s the case, then excuse this post and my emphasis on women in a different situation than the one you find yourselves in. And read this one instead!

Do you have trouble initiating? Why? Leave a comment (anonymously if you want to), and let’s talk about it!

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Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    >I'll be honest- I don't initiate often. I've only been married a few years, but I've found that my husband only seems to want sex once or twice a week. When I try to initiate, I'm usually rejected. It doesn't feel very good… I know I should initiate, but I just feel like I'm bugging him when I try to do little things (kissing/touching, ect) that could lead to sex later.

    We're both Christians and have an otherwise healthy relationship. It's not really like there are a lot of complicated factors here. I kind of feel like your husband did in your first few years of marriage- I want to be wanted.

    Thank you for giving me the freedom to post this anonymously. :)

    • anonymous 2 says:

      It amazes me of how a wife can be offended forever if she is rebuffed one time when she initiates and will never do it again, while it’s ok for her to reject her husband over and over again just because she doesn’t “feel” like doing anything. Women have no idea how much that constant rejection deflates her supposed true love, then they wonder why he has no fire to do anything else in life.

      • Anonymous says:

        Each person can only speak to their own specific situation. But for the first 5 years of my marriage it was him rejecting me, so for us it wasn’t just that one time. And you can count on one hand the times I have told him no. I did stop initiating due to the rejections. Eventually he began to initiate and we’ve worked through some of it.

        • Totally agree here…in my relationship, I am 99% the ‘aggressor’ and have lived with the rejections during our 22 years of marriage. When that 1% of the times hit, it is usually when I am distant and reject her to ‘make my point’, which 99% of the time is lost upon her.

          Quite frankly…once a week is fine for me, but a second time is not out of the question! So I don’t feel like I put undue pressure on her, but we go a month…maybe two…before we have sex again. I’m sorry…but it makes me feel like a ‘perv’ when I have to ‘ask’ and then be rejected and that is just a big turn-off for me.

          We’ve talked about this in the past…seems to get better, then back to the same…so I’ve stopped talking. And now I am distant…discouraged…sometimes short with her…angry that I cant share sex with her. It seems like a waste…47yo w/ 4 kids, certainly many lives affected with a divorce, so not a consideration for me.

          An affair? Find a FWB who has the same issue? Honestly not the right solution, but certainly an option. Give the affection and sexual contact to someone who needs / wants it? Cant believe it has to be this hard….

          • I’m a couple of years older than you and have only been married 15 yrs with two children. Otherwise, we live in parallel universes. I think about this issue constantly and search everywhere looking for answers. When I do find something, like this post, it’s both a comfort and frustration. When I’ve brought up what I’ve found with my wife in the past I feel again like the “perv” you refer to, or feel like I’m pointing out that she is somehow “broken”. Consequentially, when I do come across information, I simply store it in my memory and go back to the frustration of my life. I just have such a hard time understanding why a wife would find initiating intimacy with the man she is supposed to love so unimportant. And that’s how she makes me feel.

          • Hi Mark,

            I do feel for you. Most of the husbands on this site are so….sad. I’m sure your wives have no idea how sad you really are. I’m sure you’re saying “I’ve told her…how could she NOT know?” But I betcha she doesn’t. I’m saying this from personal experience. No matter what my husband said about wanting to be wanted it didn’t make any sense to me. Why would I marry someone I didn’t want? Of course I want him! I’m going to list some reasons your wife doesn’t get it, which may help you…..

            1.”Men marry wives not whores”. See men decided that marriage wasn’t supposed to be fun. It’s supposed to be like prison. I mean, you guys have to give up SOOOO much. Mainly having multiple sex partners. So some man or men somewhere decided that he’d have FUN with ‘loose’ women before he got married. And he’d LIVE with a “saint of a woman”.Thus “good girl” “bad girl” was born. And only “bad girls” WANT sex.

            2. Biology. The experts told us that men & women are wired differently. Especially when it comes to sex. Men have millions of “seeds” and women have these single drop eggs. That subconsciously women have to be more “protective” and that causes some of the sexual hesitation…..

            3. Turn on factors. Either she’s turned her sexality off and or nothing is turning her on. Might sound like a myth, but I turned mine off from 15-21. That’s how I prevented being a teen mom. I had enough reasons NOT to have sex. So I didn’t. #1 reason? The men that approached me were losers. Dreamers. Liars. Average.

            4. She’s disappointed. If you sold her a bunch of dreams at the beginning and they haven’t come true….she may never say it but she’s disappointed in her choice of a mate. Or worse, she had some dreams that she hasn’t accomplished.and as she’s getting closer & closer to the grave, life is looking dull and stupid.

            5. She doesn’t like her body. It matters that you’re “ok” with the changes….but not more than her opinion of herself. And if she doesn’t like looking at herself she certainly doesn’t want anyone else looking.

            6.competition. she’s in competition with your fantasies. And she doesn’t think she can win. Even if your fantasies are about her and the great intimacy you’d have..she doesn’t want to look the fool so she won’t try…for a woman it’s very scary. Because pleasing you is so important.

            I could come up with more. It’s probably not just one thing either.Most likely a combination of things I’ve listed & others that I didn’t. Until she deals with what’s going on mentally & emotionally you won’t connect sexually. And prodding won’t help. It will make things worse. If she has to hear “why don’t you want me” or any phrases akin to it she’s gonna burst.

            My husband saying stuff like that to me only made me dig my heels in more. I didn’t initiate when we were dating…ever. Now all of a sudden he’s complaining like something has changed. What? Sounds like he’s been watching too much porn and basing his wants off some chick…who is WORKING. Its a performance….anyway.

            I got tired of hearing his mouth. So I dealt with the situation. We had lots of frustrating talks. But I understand him. Just like I want him to “surprise me” he wants the same thing. The more research i did the more I found that men & women are the the same. We’ve been made different through gender expectations. And when a person finds the truth they are free to do anything….including express how much they love, need & WANT their mate!

            Good luck!

          • Wow.. I’ve felt so alone on this issue till now. I know this is sad, but it’s a relief to know I’m not alone.
            After 14 years of marriage and constantly being told “stop it”, “Just stop” or plain “no” or other phrases to that effect, I’m quite literally over it all. I haven’t initiated anything in months now, just to see what the reaction is. And well there isn’t one. Nothing. I’m dumbfounded. I have accepted that it’s a marriage in name only. Oh occasionally I’ll get the odd “I love you”, but I have gotten to the point where I don’t believe it. I’ve even thought about the fact that there is ‘someone else’, and even that strikes no reaction in me. I couldn’t care if she was or wasn’t. I’ve thought about the affair thing too, to share a moment with someone who actually wants me like that. But honestly the hassle and trouble of it all isn’t worth it.
            I look forward to working, and take on more overtime than I probably should. I dread the weekends and coming home is now the worst part of my day. Coming home to someone I truly love, but deep down know it’s a one way street – or at least it seems that way – is depressing. Literally. I don’t sleep, I’m irritable, short with the kids at times, forget things “I should have done”, really am lost in a murky cloud of constant negativity. If I knew that this kind of rejection was so common, I’d still be single today.

          • Hey there friend.. I have been married 16 years and know how you feel. My wife has improved over time with me initiating sex, BUT only 1 time has she ever attacked me… I has been bothering me for a long time and have tried to address this as well.. She just apologizes and says I will try to do better… In conversations I have expressed how important this area is to me to feel loved, accepted, wanted, and then some. I even asked her what was her 1 need? and if I listed to her tell me how important that was to her and I never did a thing about it how would that make our marriage and connection? She began to cry. Well things still have not improved much in that area of her taking the lead and I find more and more with others that is quite normal for a woman. Sex is NOT a #1 priority for 90% of women. SO I began to chase her heart NOT her body. As I entered into her emotionally by being more concerned about what is YOUR #1 need and expectations and such things changed recently. We are connected on a deeper level and SEX is the expression. ONE thing I have learned now. If she is not connected to you emotionally then FORGET IT MAN- Nothing will work? No $$- Flowers- gifts- ect. I tried it- BUT what I did not try was to always put her above my needs– when I did- BOOM– That is the match that lights the flame. Things are much better now these days. It took 16 years and I think we are closer than ever in our marriage. She sees how much of an impact she has to make or break a man…. To all the women out there–What are your thoughts and feedback?

          • That’s really great, Darren! An amazing insight. And I think women need to understand the flipside. We think that if we do the laundry, keep a nice house, tell him we love him, etc., that will make him feel close. But we have to look at his #1 need, too, and that is for closeness the way that he experiences it. So true!

          • Just stressed says:

            Thank you for posting this! You are 100% accurate and you are truly a great man for digging in and figuring out how you can make a difference in your relationship.

    • As a man i can tell you your husband wants sex more than once or twice a week.

      • Todd, that isn’t necessarily true. In about 25% of Christian marriages the woman has the higher sex drive–and the man seems content with very little sex. There are a number of factors in this, the foremost being pornography, but many women are living in marriages where it’s the husband who won’t have sex, not the wife. And that’s really hard, too.

        • I’m hoping I speak for many poor boy hubby’s. In my married life experience, I agree with the afformentioned 25% but there’s a reason why this 25% is there. We have been rejected, mostly im-politely, but it still takes an ill-effect on our mind. Therefore, I am apprehensive of initiating because of the constant rejections. I have no self-esteem even though I’m pretty fair build for my age, and very athletic. I’m sorry but each rejection after 10 years, just puts another axe wound in the tree that’s getting ready to fall.

          • anon-chick says:

            @roughy, this is very much NOT true in my marriage. I have only been married a few months, but I have never ever told my husband no. He rejects me almost nightly. Like the first poster said, I try cuddling or kissing (and lingerie and outright asking) to try to get him in the mood, but he’d rather watch TV (without me) and won’t even come in the bedroom until I fall asleep. He has told me he felt under too much pressure, that he was stressed out, that he’s tired, that he just doesn’t have any honeymoon feelings for me and he thinks at our ages (39 and 33), that once a week (or two) is enough.

            I love my husband, and I think he really loves me, and (besides), marriage is a covenant. It just hurts.

    • The guy could have a low libido, but a likely thing is that if you pull the old switcharoo on him mid-stream (never initiate and then start trying to initiate) he could’ve already handled his own duties in some other way earlier in the day in the anticipation that he had zero chances of initiation happening. Make it more frequent and if it still doesn’t work…maybe his libido really is low, or he’s cheating on you….or you two shouldn’t really be together.

    • After reading the posts here, I can only say I wish I had your problems. I have been married 8 years, I am not the initiator of sex anymore. The reason I don’t initiate anymore is that every single time I have and its been many times, I have been rejected, he even fell asleep while I was doing it. I must have been exceptionally bad at it is all I can say…. If that’s not an insult than I don’t know what is. The strange thing is that he has a very high sex drive and I don’t, but I understand the need for both to initiate sex but how many times can someone be rejected before they decide its enough. The worst is that he then complains that I don’t initiate sex and that he wants me to do it more, but how can I when I am so scared I will be rejected again.

    • Very true. And how long can this rejection go on without taking a huge toll. In a few days I will have been married 36 years. Sometime about 6 or 8 years ago it all hit the fan. One more rejection pretty much ended it all for me. I have felt like there is NO hope of EVER having a “marriage” and after that one time I finally didn’t even care anymore. I didn’t care if I had a marriage or not, and I didn’t even care to have sex anymore. And my physical ability to perform took a huge drop instantly, I still didn’t really care. That is improving a little but I’m getting too old for it to matter much anyway.

  2. Anonymous says:

    >I don't really initiate either. Because sex hurts for me. Even when we were doing it more often it still hurt. Thankfully my huusband is very understanding but I still know that he would like it more often.
    That being said, I'm trying to make time for just the two of us (with no children around) so that we can actually have some ALONE TIME to work on our sex life. It's always been a struggle, since the day we got married but we both want to work on it. The only problem is that our ideas of "working on it" are different.
    Things have been getting better but we both just need to make it more of a priority I guess. Because it should be a priority! It's just hard to get back into the swing of things when you've been out of it for so long.

  3. >No trouble at all initiating…although I wish he'd initiate more. I think my depression has affected him in that manner, he can't read me anymore or is scared to read me, therefore it's ALWAYS up to me right now and THAT'S frustrating.

    But I will say this, in the early days it felt "dirty" to initiate. Like nice girls don't initiate. It took a long long time to get past that.

  4. >Sheri raises an interesting point–I think many men stop initiating because they're afraid of being shot down, and then they leave it up to us to initiate all the time (which is no fun for us, either). There really needs to be a balance.

    Second Anonymous: I TOTALLY hear you. When we were first married, sex hurt for me like crazy. In fact, it hurt really until after my second child was born. I tried all kinds of exercises and relaxation techniques and everything, but it was awful. Maybe I'll write a post about that sometime, because I think it's a more common problem than we know! But if I can give you any encouragement, I'm totally better now!

  5. thetravelwife says:

    >I, too, had pain during sex for the first few years of marriage. It got much better after birthing children. AFter 40, it became enjoyable.
    I tried to be "actively" submissive or initiate for years. Finally, I gave it up to God, yes, I asked, "increase my passion for him!" Only when I let the Holy Spirit take over and remake my sex drive did it happen. Now I naturally have the hots for my husband and he enjoys pleasing me. It may not be a "woman" issue, it may be a spirit issue…

  6. Anonymous says:

    >Dear Shila, I love your blog so much! It is so usefull for me! I do not initiate too often because I am tired, and don't feel so good in my skin (due to some minor health issues – that I am pretty guilty myself…)… but I do want to be loving wife. So now I go tell bedtime story, and enjoy with hubby. Thank you! I need constant support, though, so you please keep up the good work here!
    I must grow in this area, really! Poor guy! He married to a normal woman, and he has now some stone besides him!

  7. Anonymous says:

    >i feel like i always initiate and recently it's become a problem. i never used to mind it until i started "comparing" how often he initiates compared to how often i initiate. we have a perfectly healthy sex life it just has a few problems at the onset. after that, it's fantastic. any suggestions? should i just let it go and continue to initiate? i guess another problem is usually by the time he does initiate, i am well on my way to being fast asleep.

  8. >Anonymous #3,

    I hear what you're saying about him not initiating enough. Can you talk to him about it? How often does he want to make love? Are there reasons that he's not that interested?

    I think it's good that you're intiating, but if you're feeling hurt that he's not, then I would work on spending more time with him in general and getting your friendship/relationship really, really strong. Then just talk to him about it.

    I hope that helps! I know it's not much to go with!

  9. >I totally agree!!! I just initiated mid day with our boys in the other room playing in a tent. Hubby was very happy and on top of the world. After he said how much he needs me to want him. How important it is to him. He often says he doesn't need presents he just wants me. Just the other day I asked him what that meant. I don't recall a coherent answer. But me wanting him may truly be the answer. Thank you!!

    • anonymous 2 says:

      Of course that’s what he wants! When he married you he committed his entire person to you — all of his goals, desires, hopes — are all rolled into one now as his focus is on pleasing you. Women don’t understand how their response can totally wreck a man’s world. What I’ve read here is absolutely true. When a man is rejected, ignored or treated like a child by his wife, not much else in his life has a whole lot of value or meaning. Women need to understand that most men have focused all that they are in one direction…their wife! He wants to please you, to honor you, to make you happy and for you to respond in kind. And when you reject or ignore what he needs as a husband and a man, he has very little to inspire him in life, because his biggest inspiration is no longer his biggest fan.

  10. >I am like the first poster, I have a higher sex drive most the time than my husband, plus he also needs Viagra because of his medications causing problems in that area.

    Early on in our marriage before kids and illness etc, I used to initiate more often. I would dress up, put on romantic music, and wait for him to get home from work. I also found adult toys can help you know what feels good to you, so in turn you can teach your husband how to please you as well. Feel free to explore your body, God gave us the gift of sexual pleasure, we can't expect our husbands to please us if we don't know what we like.

  11. Anonymous says:

    >I think it depends on the people. In my first marriage I would try to initiate and be "shot down" — there are a million things that I'd rather do than have sex with you (I'd be told!) … finally it would happen maybe once every three months… and sometimes he'd change his mind midstream, leaving me frustrated…. this partially may have been due to medications he had to take but I think there was a lot of mental stuff going on that affected things because initially our sex life was very fulfilling and fun and then (after 13 years) dwindled to next to nothing….

    Now, remarried… and in a new relationship for almost four years, hubby is totally different… no, not a sex-crazed dirty old man but he laughs and says that you should "always leave a woman wanting more" — and I guess that's why, when he kisses me good-bye in the morning, that he might sneak in a little caress brushing by the breast or putting "just a little bit of passion" into the good-bye peck, or little suggestive remarks on the mike phone prior to returning home. Having two kids (mine) and working around them and truck driving hours, it is not always possible to be spontaneous, but after a while you begin to find that 4 in the morning works just as well as 10:30 at night! I know you shouldn't "compare" lovers but in this case, there is nothing to compare!!!!

    I think it is all about feeling truly and unconditionally loved and cared for — if that's in place, the sparks will fly in the bedroom!!

    And if it hurts THAT MUCH definitely go see a medical doctor for an examination. Perhaps there is something that can be done or maybe hubby needs to learn new techniques or a new position or more foreplay so it is "better" for you….

    Another Anon poster (for obvious reasons!) – but I do think you are right about men "needing you to want them").

    Would you believe my verification word is "SHEER SIN??!"

  12. Greta, Lilly Noelle says:

    >My husband and I, only married since July, have recently been dealing with this issue as well. Like some of the previous commenters, I have become the initiator. I bought lingerie and was shot down, I felt like a fool. I'll never try to put on a sexy outfit again. I talked to him about it, trying to be delicate and unaccusing. He seemed to brush it off at the time but I have noticed him giving me more attention the way we've learned that I need. I think it stems back to the 5 love languages. Mine is definitely physical touch but I think his is words of encouragement. Not that there is anything wrong with either, just something we are learning about each other.

  13. >This has been a very helpful discussion. When we first married, I didn't want it a lot (sexually abused as a child and an adult) and would push him away a lot, which made him feel rejected. But he constantly wanted me, he was all over me. I've gained a LOT of weight through the years & so has he, plus he's on a lot of medications now. I've wondered if it's my weight – that he's just not attracted to me anymore and it turns him off. He's also bitter at me about things in our marriage & won't let it go so that is part of it. He now withholds love, conversation, affection & sex from me, despite my attempts daily to honor and love him. We go literally months without sex now and I am extremely frustrated. I am very uncomfortable initiating sex and he says all I have to do is initiate. Even when I've gotten in bed with no clothes at all which is a blatant hint (I ALWAYS wear pj's!), he just lays there and refuses to touch me. We've had a lot of conversations about this and he now says he isn't going to be "used" for sex and that I should just initiate and he won't refuse. Otherwise, he has no desire and isn't even going to try anymore. Where is he getting satisfied? I don't believe he's having an affair or into porn, but don't understand why he has no sexual desire at all anymore. He's only in his mid 40's and from what I understand, even people in their 80's can and do still enjoy sex! When I pointed out that he used to initiate all the time, he said, "Yes, and you told me to get off you." Basically he's punishing me for the past and he knows now my sex drive has increased & I now want it, so he is withholding it. Not sure what the answer is other than initiating it myself but initiating is extremely difficult for me.

  14. >I have been married for almost 12 years and I have trouble initiating, and my husband has been asking me to for years. Like Sheri said, it "feels dirty" to me to initiate. I totally have bought into the notion that "nice girls/good girls don't initiate". We also had 3 kids in our first 5 years of marriage and I went through menopause. I've been so tired and moody… it's been hard to think about passion with my husband.

    I love him dearly, but I had some work to do with me, first. It took three years to get on track with my health and making sure I took care of me (because no one else was going to, and if I wasn't happy NOBODY was happy). Now, what thetravelwife said resonates with me: I am focusing more on my relationship with my husband (the kids can be so consuming, but they have to come after God, my health and my relationship with hubby) and I need to pray that the Holy Spirit remake my sex drive. I agree, it may not be a woman issue, it may be a spirit issue. But I'm curious, Sheri –– how did you get over the "dirty" feeling about initiating?

    • Ok Shine, I was only going to be short and to the point and I didn’t want it to sound like one of those Just Do It phrases so it got longer. Now I promise you that I’m not bragging because I have a great marriage because my mom taught me many things and seeing my mom and dad do things made it easier for me when I got married.
      I know because I’m a guy women tend to not hear what we say for advice and I’m only relaying something my mom told me. I was raised Baptist and she told me that society has so many things backward such as this good girl thing you talked about. She was told by her mom the same thing because only bad girls ask for sex and you don’t want to be one of those bad girls. She told me that when you are married you are now one with your mate so there is no bad girl, good girl, bad boy, good boy, because being married we need to work as a team and when one of us needs something and the other should help for the benefit of the team. Now for my wife and I anyone who knows us will say that I give more than she does because she was never taught to cook clean and other things because it was her mom her older sister and her so it was her job to mow the lawn take out the trash and the things the sons would of done. My mom taught me how to cook clean and everything she could think of so I would not marry the first girl to do things like this for me, not knowing I would fall in love with my wife. Now we are a car family so we work on our cars and such so I say my wife and I are two gears and with all the things I can do like the house kids and such I have let’s say 20 teeth in my gear and she has 5 teeth in her gear and my teeth fill the gaps that she has and her 5 teeth fills my gaps and I can tell you that those 5 teeth make my life so much fun to be in and we have just had our 23rd anniversary and I feel like I did when we dated in high school! I pray for the best for you and your husband.

  15. >in our pre-marital counselling, initiating was brought up… we both agreed that it is okay for the wife to initiate…
    … my husband has a low sex drive.. porn issues.. (doesn't even see problem with Sports Ill swim suit issue… cause they have clothes on)
    After we had kids it was almost always me who initiated.. and got shot down many many times… I kept trying .. month after month…it's so hard to be rejected. Long story short, we haven't had sex in 2 years. he told me straight out that he doesn't want sex anymore and that he doesn't love me anymore.
    … for many reasons, including reading this post today, I feel God telling me it's time to "step up and try"… so for Christmas I am going to give him a box of condoms and a "sex for a year card"…valid anytime, as many times as he wants from now till Christmas 2011.
    I have to trust God in that if my husband refuses me that God will honour my efforts, and I will not appear too disappointed. Praying for you ladies…

  16. Anonymous says:

    >As a single man, I painfully, painfully learned a fundamental rule in dating, and once I embraced it, it served me well: "If she's not interested enough to make the first move, she's not interested at all."

    Too bad it took me til 36 to figure it out. Think how much rejection I could have spared myself.

    At 38 I finally married (we met on the net, she emailed first!), and lost my much hated virginity on the wedding night. After 8 years and 3 kids I've learned a thing or 2 about sex. In those 8 years, the number of times my attempts at initiation, have led to sex, can be counted on one hand. For all practical purposes, my old dating rule applies perfectly in this new context: "If she's not interested enough to make the first move, she's not interested at all!!!"

    Fortunately, she initiates fairly regularly. Go thou and do likewise, ladies!

    • anonymous says:

      Nice quote. Totally true. Some women seem to like the “idea” of having a regular fun sex life more than the actual HAVING of the fun regular sex life. They like the “idea” of having a wonderful marriage, but don’t want to put in the work.

      I’m at the stage of refusing to initiate even though I’m the high-drive partner who would have sex ever day if I could. Enough rejections make you simply think “If I initiated again, she’d turn me down again.” So I wait for her to initiate. . . . and i wait. . . and I wait. . . . . and yeah, the waiting has showed me. . . she’s just not interested in sex.

      I want t

    • anonymous says:

      Meant to say “I want to have at least one more kid, and I’ll have sex with my wife until that happens, after that, I’ll refuse her quarterly initiations and after 20 years she might have an idea of what constant rejection feels like.

      • That sounds like a horrible plan. I’ve been without it for a little overa a month or so and it’s killing me already. No way in hell I would do that to myself for 20 years just to “show her”. Gotta figure out a way to fix things.

  17. Ok lets see…. In my first marriage my husband was all about respect. If u didnt give him the respect in the way and form he thought he should get it, then it was battle time. No where did it seem that sex had any part to play in that. When it comes to making love that was my deal. I am the one who wanted and wanted to feel needed. I am the one who would initiate and get turned down. So for men who want what this action i can definately tell you that its very important to initiate if ur the one that isnt as intuned to sex. Because knowing ur spouse wants you in that way is so gratifying. It doesnt matter how good u think u are at it. Its the gesture of it. Ladies, want ur man cause he is worth it. Sorry for text lingo doing this on my phone puts my mind in text mode.

    • Absolutely! Both men and women need to initiate. In many marriages, the man has the higher sex drive. But if you’re a guy reading this and your wife has the higher sex drive, you need to initiate sometimes, too, just to help her feel needed and wanted and loved. Great point, Kori!

  18. Ok…I’m a dude and I am married to an amazing woman…she lives me and I love her deeply. We used to have amazing sex, she would initiate, I would initiate…it was great. It was during the day time, at night & in the morning. For whatever reason, over the past 6 months or so, she hasn’t been interested. I try to initiate and she just lays there. When she doesn’t show any sort of interest, I stop. When I stop she gets mad cause I stopped. It’s like a catch 22…damned if I do, damned if I don’t. I try to talk to her about it but she says that just puts pressure on her and makes sex feel like a chore. She says it’s cause I’m not confident. That may be true, but it’s only cause she doesn’t seem to want me. If she seemed interested, I would feel more confident. What’s a dude to do?

    • That’s a really, really common scenario, and one that I’ll be addressing in my February posts, 29 Days to Great Sex. Let me just say that it sounds like the two of you really need to reconnect on all kinds of levels–sexually, but also just emotionally. It sounds like she’s hurt you, but she likely also feels a little ticked like she’s obligated, and maybe really tired. So what I would suggest (and I know this sounds trite) is really working on your friendship. Make sure that you can laugh together, because if you can laugh, you can usually handle anything else. Then send her to read this post: http://tolovehonorandvacuum.com/2012/01/why-your-husband-wants-you-to-read-this-marriage-blog/ and work through the 29 Days to Great Sex together, if she’s up for it. I hope that helps!

      • Wow…that was a fast reply…thank you! I will be following your 29 days blog…the only worry I have about asking my wife to read along too, is that she doesn’t seem to think there is an issue. She says she’s happy with our marriage/sex life/connection. So how do I go about saying to her, “I think we are lacking the depth of connection we should have, so go read this blog”? I don’t know…I am just a husband who is so rediculously attracted to his beautiful amazing wife and wants her much more than she seems to want me but doesn’t know what to do. Your advice is much appreciated, ad well as any other Christian women out there who may have gone through the same thing…just seeking advice here.

        • I’d say have her read that post I linked to in my other comment–it’s specifically intended for your situation, where the husband thinks there’s a problem but the wife doesn’t. Then you can ask her to follow along with the 29 Days. But read that post first, pray about it, and then ask her to read it with you. And I hope it helps!

        • anonymous says:

          Yeah its really hard to hear your wife go on and on about how wonderful her marriage is, how awesome her husband is, and how lucky she is that everything in her life is just perfect, while you’re dying inside feeling completely overlooked and unwanted. Its hard to want to unload that on her and destroy her “perfect” fantasy.

          I tried not to spoil it for her, but ended up acting out in much more improper ways. You have to let it out eventually, or it will make you explode and you might not like what you do when you explode.

  19. I know this post is older, but it is something I needed to read. My husband has often tried to explain to me how he *needs* me to want him. Like you, I want to make him happy. I want to satisfy him. But I don’t always show the desire for him. This definitely gave me food for thought.

  20. Welp here I am on valentines night, my wife asleep on the couch with no effort to be romantic with me. I spent the week surprising her with all kinds of sweet things. Needless to say, I feel completely rejected and I am here on this site alone and way bummed. Pretty sure my wife is bored with me after only a couple years of marriage. Sweet.

    • I’m so sorry that you feel so rejected. That’s really rough.

      The best advice I can give you is to keep working on your friendship. If you can build a lot of goodwill in your marriage so that you enjoy spending time together, then it’s easier to talk about some of these things. I hope that you’re able to rebuild some real intimacy.

  21. This hit spot on with me! I really do need to initiate more. haha, but sometimes I feel like my husband wants it so much that he doesn’t even give me the chance to initiate. Does that nake sense?
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  22. I will be honest here. I don’t initiate. I never even realized it was a problem. My husband lately has been soooo insecure. It really hurts me to see him hurt. I don’t initiate because I feel fat, I don’t feel sexy…it’s hard to initiate when you feel gross. We have 2 kids and I went from 108 lbs when we first got together to 140 lbs now and stuck. I don’t know what to do about it.

    • Hi Paula, I understand what you say that you gained weight and you feel gross because when my wife and I dated in high school she was fit because she was a gymnast and was at 120. We have just hit our 23rd anniversary and 6 months ago was up to 215 and she felt bad about herself and could not understand why I would even want to be with her. We have had 3 kids and the last 3 years her job was very stressful and I know that is where she gained the most. You need to remember like I tell my wife I fell in love with the girl she is and that is the same girl I’m in love with today. Its not the size or shape her body is that makes her who she, the girl I dated is the same girl that makes me so happy to be married to her. You said you don’t know what to do about it to get back to what you want, we started working out together 5 months ago and she has lost 32lbs and she loves working out as a team because when she is getting tired that’s when I’m telling her ok we are almost done or say the clock says only 1 more min or keep going your doing great! When we started working out she wanted to just loose some of the weight however now she thinks she can get back to or close to what she was when we were dating. She picked out the workout and we have some hard days too however we find ourselves looking forward to doing the next days workout and she has already picked out the next set of workouts that we will be starting in a few months. Oh and these workouts we do are at home and I really love the look she has on her face when we finish each day because she is so excited to be doing this together and she feels so much better about herself that she initiates much more now. I cant say I felt insecure like you said your husband does however working out with my wife has me feeling very much confidant like I did when I was in high school and at 43 now that is awesome for us! I pray you and your husband find peace and overcome any bumps in the road.

  23. DedicatedWife says:

    Paula, my husband and I went thru the same thing. I love him so much, but I wasn’t giving him what he needed. I went from 120 lbs to 190 lbs after 3 kids and I felt like a cow!!! But I took this articles advice and just went for it. Now, 6 months later our relationship has never been better. He feels more attractive because I initiate at least twice a week. I’d do it more, but sometimes it doesn’t occur to me to do it. But I actually feel sexier too. It’s almost feels like dating again, because I hit on him like I used to when we first got together, and it feels just as good as it did back then for him be happy I’m coming on to him. GO FOR IT GIRL!!

  24. So, for me our relationship has just crumbled. We met, and fell in love, then married very quickly. At first, I tried to slow it down, but he persisted. How I was treated during our first year of marriage while I was pregnant was horrific. The jealousy, insecurity, accusations, violent anger all affected me deeply. I totally withdrew from our sexual life. I have read your book “Good Girls Guide to Great Sex”. I’m working through it. Although his violent anger is not what it used to be, it has changed to a more controlling nature….every facet of my life. Our friendship is gone, speaking kind and respectfully is gone. It is horrible when our 4yr old expects there to be arguing and asks us to stop!
    We are extremely strapped for money, so going out for date night is difficult. Even if we choose something inexpensive to do, the babysitter is expensive and we don’t have friends or family near to exchange babysitting with.
    I don’t feel connected in any facet of our relationship anymore. He acts and speaks as if we fix what’s wrong in the bedroom all will be dandy. I’ve expressed that if I don’t feel safe/secure and happy outside the bedroom, it’s very difficult for me to put my head into it in the bedroom.

    When I do initiate (not often)…I get frustrated when during our lovemaking he is asking if we can “go again” or “do it multiple times tonight” or “tomorrow night…”….I just want to shout “hey!!! I’m here NOW!!! could we enjoy NOW, NOW? and worry about later….LATER?” And this happens almost EVERY time we have sex!

    uuuggghhhh… sad and frustrated

    • Miche, I am so sorry that you’re experiencing such frustration in your marriage, especially with a small child. I know many marriages go through difficult periods, but I’m concerned by some of the things you’ve written. You’ve mentioned that your husband has violent anger, that your child is seeing and hearing this, and that your husband is very controlling. I don’t know you, and I can’t give you specific advice on what you should do. But I do think having someone to talk to about this who could guide you through would be a good idea. Do you go to church? Is there a woman there that you can talk to, to ask to be your mentor? I think you need someone to talk to about some of the dynamics in your house, and it would likely be a good idea for someone to sit down with you and your husband together to talk about how you handle anger. I have just said a prayer that God will bring someone to you to help mentor and guide you, because I am concerned about your safety. Blessings and prayers,
      Sheila

  25. Great post, Sheila! A husband will feel very wanted when his wife becomes the initiator! Thanks for sharing.
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  26. Hi,
    I know you’re right. But, initiating is hard when I am afraid of pregnancy, and as a Catholic, we do not use contraception. Besides, my husband understands that contraception is, in essence, my disappointing with him as a father and husband in early kid years. He was awful and I am sure I wouldn’t be able to have another kid, I’d love to, but knowing that I am all alone in that makes me being real – I have two kids, job, house to take care. He is trying to become better, but in slow pace, so I just don’t want to disturb relative peace and balance in family… So, we don’t make love, and our marriage is in danger… but I know that it would be the same in situation with another kid, possible pregnancy complications (and I must have c section in every pregnancy)… I do know about natural method, but even possibility of pregnancy is ruining slight possibility of me relaxing… I even think about divorcing, because this leads nowhere… What to do?

    • Okay, let’s talk this through for a minute. You don’t want to use contraception because you feel God is against that. Totally get that, and respect that. But God doesn’t say two contradictory things: He also says in 1 Corinthians 7:5 Do not deprive each other. If you’re not using contraception because you believe that you should trust God with your fertility, then you need to trust Him! If you’re saying, I won’t use contraception because God doesn’t want me to, so that means I can’t have sex (even though God wants me to). God doesn’t work that way.

      I think you really need to pray this through, because you know that God also disapproves of and hates divorce. If your stance on contraception is making divorce seem imminent, then you have some real issues you need to work through with your husband. And maybe some of those likely include asking him to help out more at home.

      I’d also contact christianfamilyplanning.net, because they really do have some great resources that show you that you can keep track of your body and figure out what the 5 “bad” days of the month are, and what the safe days are. You really can’t get pregnant the week after your period, for instance. If you have some of their info, maybe you’d feel less anxious.

      But it sounds like your issue is one of trust in God (if you’re going to trust Him with your fertility, you have to actually trust Him! Not just say “no”!), and then working through with your husband what a healthy marriage is. I’d advise working on building your friendship and having fun together again, and then trying to talk some of these issues through. It’s very unlikely that a man who is not getting sex is going to feel happy towards his wife, so you really need to think about this!

  27. We also went through a time in our marriage where I was very frustrated because I felt like I was always initiating. We had a great heart to heart about it, and it turns out that he was only reluctant to initiate because I have some serious health issues and he didn’t want to pressure me. Once we cleared that up, things have been much, much better, and I try to initiate whenever I’m able. Communication was definitely the key.

    • That’s such a good point! Often it’s so hard to communicate about sex because it’s so intensely personal. But unless we do we could just be fuelling misunderstandings.

  28. I just cannot wrap my mind about this. Why would I throw myself at a man like a woman of ill repute? A Christian woman initiating sex seems to be just wrong. My husband and I had a very active sex life before we became Christians. Now, I cannot even think of intercourse on church days or if a bible is on the night stand.
    All the things I have done before were wrong. Including the sexual relationship I had with my husband before we were married. I cannot seperate then from now. It has been about 10 years of this, but we seem to make it through. That is just the way we are.
    I know some people will laugh or judge me. And yes I have gone to counseling.

    • Shannon, with all due respect, I think you’re confusing sexual activity and sexual relationship. They are not the same thing. Context is everything. So the same thing can be both holy and obscene, depending upon the context.

      To throw yourself at your husband is not acting like a woman of ill repute; to throw yourself at someone who isn’t your husband is. In fact, in Song of Solomon, which is part of Scripture, the Shulamite definitely seduces Solomon.

      Sex is not a shameful thing; it is a beautiful thing that is supposed to reflect the passion that God feels for us. If we hold back on passion in our marriage, it’s almost like holding back the passion that God gave us. And that’s just saying, “I know that God meant for me to have an abundant life, but I’m going to say, no thanks.” God knows best! And God wants you to have a great relationship with your HUSBAND. In marriage, sex is blessed. Outside of marriage, it isn’t. And let’s not call evil what God has called blessed.

  29. I am really lost and don’t know what to do. My husband and I have been married for almost 7 years now. During our first couple years of marriage sex died down a lot – work hours were long and stressful and I just couldnt do it with someone that didnt satisfy me emotionally and my husband thought I was a light switch. My husband has mentioned many times over the last few years that I dont initiate sex enough. I know I dont but I feel awkward, embarrassed and some anxiety just thinking about initiating it. We are going around in an ugly circle – my husband doesnt initiate it anymore because I dont and has withdrawn from me because we dont have sex, I dont want to have sex because my husband feels like a roommate to me. Frankly I just dont feel like doing it, there is no desire anymore and it doesnt do anything for me – I have made an appointment with my health care provider to see if there is a physical or possible depression issue that is affecting my libido. He wont work on the friendship if I dont work on the sex and I am afraid that if I start making myself do it, my attitude towards it will worsen and I might start feeling resentment.
    My mother told me when I was younger that men give attention for sex and women give sex for attention and to her sex is just another chore. I said that I will never be like that and it is exactly where I am now. I love my husband and he love me and to him sex is an important part of our relationship and I think he will move on if our issues dont get resolved.

  30. damon burro says:

    I loved your article. Love the comments and your responses. You have wise ,spiritual, thoughful, nd logical advise. I wish wife would initiate. Hasn’t happened for years. I love her more and more, but it kills my confidence. I feel defensive and want to retract. And I’ve discussed this openly with her.it’s only gotten worse. I feel like my attraction and desire for her is just a burden to her.I guess the moral of the story is you can’t change anyone. They have to want it…our maybe the y just neverwill want it. Oh well. It doesn’t matter what I do. We’re busy. We have five kids, four in school. But even with a night out, good sleep, chores done and stresses gone,no initiation. I’m writing early in the morning, lonely and feeling rejected which has become a common feeling. She gets exited about things in life, but not in me. And she only seems bugged that I’m excited about her. I’ll be the first to admit, and acknowledge I understand this follows nature.but it stillhurts. She thinks cleaning, cooking, etc its how I should feel loved. I tell her that’s not what works for me, but no change. She wants to be treated with kindness and told dinner is great, etc…and I do that for her.sge gets what she wants, but it’s alnost like me wanting contact makes her hate it more.YET, if I don’t iniate, ther’s no way she’s thinking of it…so it probsnly just makes her life better if it’s all ignored.sorry for typos. On phone late at night. Ps. I don’t dabble in porn, I love my kids, I work hard, help, stay fit, and support my family. I’m not perfect….I just want her to want me :(

    • anonymous 2 says:

      I feel your pain.

    • just out of curiosity, have you ever look at possible reason why your wife may not want initiate?

      you see the thing, in western society, obesity and being overweight is a problem, and not trying to bash anyone with it, because I struggle with it myself.

      but the fact is physical attraction do play a part in terms of sexual desire, at least for most. And I think if this apply to you, maybe you should consider bit the bullet and get into shape, it will good for your health and may help your wife from wanting you?

      also another thing I think when you get married for a long time is that you get casual with your partner, where in your dating days you would always make sure one have minty breath etc

      what I am saying is instead expecting your wife to just turn it on, help her by doing things you can do.

  31. damon burro says:

    Ps. The rejection I feel goes beyond just intimacy. She hates anything I spend time on, even if it’s good constructive stuff. I almost think she’s bored of her life. I’ve tried to encourage hobbies for her. She won’t take them up. Always finds an excuse. I offer time and help, and it just seems like she thinks it’s a waste. She’s not lazy. But it’s almost like a complete denial of passion. She used to play violin. She’s talented and funny. But just kinda grumpy now. I know kids are stressful. They never listen. But even with kids in bed on time etc…nothing. she may just have a general rejection of everything. She typically finds something wrong with friends and decides keeping friends it’s too tedious.I understand three sentiment Rio some degree, but her passion for life I think suffers because ofit.

    • anonymous 2 says:

      Damon, one thing you need to understand is that she has poured herself completely into those kids and your household, she’s a mom and that’s what she feels the need to do and knows no other way to do it. The house and home are a reflection of her, and that’s of huge importance even though men can rarely understand. Once the kids are to bed and so is she, she needs that time to unwind her day and her thoughts in her head and just relax, and until that happens there is no way she is going to be able to do you justice in bed. Try talking to her about the day, about her struggles in dealing with the kids and supper and laundry and bedtime…those are all things that will be helpful to her in locking down the day and leaving it all behind. Then she may or may not be ready for you. But certainly don’t do it just with that in mind, do it because you love her and she needs you to do it, and she needs to be able to relax and let the day go for yet another night.

      Sooner or later that will enable her to love you in ways you hope, but a woman needs to unwind before she can be wound up again in other ways!

    • anonymous says:

      Damon..has she looked into depression ? I am a therapist and I also suffer from mild depression..I am married and have 5 kids!! I also trust in my lord and savior…..Its not fun having depression :( But if properly treated with prayer along side … can make HUGE miracles!! !!

  32. I’m a bloke and I feel the author is totally correct.
    33, married 11, 32 year old wife, 13 year old daughter.
    I’ve done all I can to get my wife to initiate with me to the point where I’ve now decided to give up.
    She does TRY and initiate after I’ve stopped for a while but its always subtle and I know that after I act on it, it’ll be down to me to do all the work. So I ignore it…….
    We have spoke about it numerous times but I’m just fed up of repeating myself every couple of months.
    All I want is for her to show me shes really horny and wants to feel me inside her. To catch me unaware and grab me downstairs, work me up kissing me all over and rub herself against me, and then allowing me to ravage her against the kitchen wall or something.
    Not just twitching as I stroke her back, which is one of her ways of letting me know. Usually in bed…..
    She tells me she enjoys what I can do for her when we do the do, but she just doesn’t get the urge like I do. She needs to be worked up to it.
    I’d like to be worked up to it too every now and again.
    My concern is that if she doesn’t step her game up after all the times I’ve expressed myself and now ignore her “ahem”, advances, then I may forget how much I love and lust for her and may end up just being her “friend”.

    • What if I told you she doesn’t get those urges because she is a women. Most women do not get those strong urges in the way men do.I will bet that once she is aroused she is as horny as hell. Some women do especially early in a relationship but most don’t. You are also expecting her to mind read. Why don’t you just tell her sometime what you would like to do to her. The dirty talk may get her going.

  33. Just stressed says:

    I’d really love to initiate but I’m super stressed all of the time. I am the breadwinner of my family so I’m out of the home 10-11 hours a day and quite frankly my husband does most of the vacuuming. Any suggestions for those of us that have a non-traditional situation?

  34. Matt Donningly says:

    Not making a real attempt to have a continuing healthy sexual relationship in a marriage is just as bad as cheating.

    Sex is healthy, fun, and it feels great and it is free.

    The excuse that is the most common and also the biggest load of bull is I don’t have time or its corollary I am too tired. Unless you work 16 hour days, or have a disorder which requires you to sleep more than the average human being you have just prioritized it out of your life. The children excuse is just an offshoot of both of those excuses and also does not hold weight. A couple could have sex in the morning, for morning shower time, immediately after work, immediately after dinner, immediately before bed, at numerous times on the weekends. You could cut your work outs shorter, make dinner 15 minutes less, watch less TV, read less, text less, go on the internet less, shop less, watch sports less. It is just a matter of making it a priority. When one partner makes it clear that they have have dropped it so far down the list of priorities that they have left it off that list it becomes part of a betrayal. A betrayal that is just as bad as cheating.

    • UK Rejected says:

      This made me laugh out loud, but only from the comedy of recognition. I am not perfect but my long term girlfriend (with which we have 2 kids – 6 and 10 – and a great life in all ways bar sex) has never initiated and seems to be happy with me never initiating. I too gave up for years and basically she initiated once – when I was unsure about having a second child and not having sex. I felt insulted that she never admitted that this initiation was purely to hurry up the process of having our second child. EIther way, she has prioritized sex out of her life – exactly as described above. It’s enough to bring me down at those points when the sexdrive builds up too much (I can go without for a week before either having to masturbate or it just ‘happening’ naturally during the night). The idea the she ‘agrees’ to have sex if I initiate (as long as it’s the right time, there is a window of about 1 hour each weekend, only in the morning etc.) is a turn-off … it’s like ‘agreeing’ to do something you don’t want to do and get nothing from just because some part of your super-ego tell you that it’s the ‘done’ thing. Giving up will make me not want to be friends and subsequently the relationship will unravel. I’d like to hear the stories of people who have had this situation and how it ended up – either broken or repaired.

      • I was married for 32 years and I only initiated sex when his libido was lower than mine which wasn’t often. My husbands sex drive was always much higher than mine except when I was pregnant and then mine was higher than his.
        I never felt the need to initiate sex because he initiated so often. I rejected him a lot but had no idea that it made him feel so bad. I rejected him because his endless demands and nagging used to really put me off so there would be times when we would go for ages without sex.
        During the dry spells he didn’t initiate because he was scared of rejection and I didn’t initiate because I didn’t want to wake up a beast that was never satisfied.
        When I first got married I felt completely overwhelmed by my husband’s sex drive. He was a 3-4 times a day person and I was more once or twice a week. Every time we had sex I loved it but then I would be nagged morning, noon and night for more with ‘but you loved it this morning what is the matter with you now’. To be honest his high sex drive made me feel inadequate and unsexy which did not help my sex drive. We divorced when I went through the menopause and I went off sex completely for about a year. I wish we could have communicated more about our different needs. I think we could have reached a compromise but we never did.

  35. I look back on my relationship of almost 3 years and see my partner has only ever I initiated intimacy a handful of times while the rest has been me starting it.

    But lately I have tried to initiate sex – 14th feb, couple weeks ago, last week, last night and this morning … and all times he’s either said “not today…” or he’s fell asleep.
    I know he works hard and long hours but I don’t feel wanted – now he wonders what’s wrong but for egos sake I’ve not had the heart to tell him that he’s doing nothing and it’s getting me down.
    I can see it is a vicious cycle but I now just feel why should I bother when he can’t be bothered?

  36. The sad husband says:

    Hi,
    I found your blog a life saver this evening. My wife and I have been married for 11 years and have 3 children. My wife has always been the breadwinner and I have done my best to be a great dad and supportive husband. We have never really had a crazy sex life – essentially it’s been a very typical sex life – which has been ok. My wife has maybe instigated sex 10 times since we got married – even when I have tried to talk to her about it she either said that I shouldn’t talk and just jump her if I wanted to have sex – other times she has said – I just don’t initiate sex. In beginning I convinced myself that I just had to accept it, but over the course of time it’s made bitter, angry and a lot less self secure. Today it’s an evil spiral and where she is turned of by my bitterness and sly comments and I’m turned off by her always winning every argument and making me feel like I’m a sex addict and not satisfying her mentally. I have stopped instigating to see how long we are going without sex – so far we are on month 4 and she hasn’t done anything. I’m very sad about this situation – I’m NOT a sex addict – I just miss to be loved. What is wrong with that? And by the way – I also tried to be the “strong” guy taking control of the situation – but after numerous rejections it backfired on me and my self confidence went totally South…..
    I appreciate all off you women sharing your insights – helping me to understand, as a man, that I’m not crazy or a sex addict – that I actually have a pretty normal mind and that it takes two to tango in every relationship. Should I just email this article to my wife and ask her to read it? Or do you think it would push further away from me….which obviously will make me consider divorce…..

    • Hi there,

      I’m so sorry that you and your wife are feeling this distance. I’m sure it’s really hard for both of you.

      I can’t really suggest what you should do since I don’t know the whole story, but I did write an article for men to show their wives if they want an intro into conversation. You can find it here. Again, I can’t tell you if that’s the right thing, but I do think it’s likely a more helpful article to send her than this one.

      I also wrote a book called 31 Days to Great Sex which helps you talk more and communicate more about this, which may be a good second or third step (definitely not a first).

      I hope that article helps!
      Sheila.

  37. Nichole Smith says:

    WOW, this really hits home for me – I have alwasy been a very sexual person – but I was told that initiating sex was wrong for a woman and have a hard time bringing myself to do it – my husband is getting frustrated and would like me to nitiate more – once in a whiel like maybe 3 times lol in our 6 years together have I initiated – I keep trying to work myself up to it and I back down – there has been 1 or 2 times when I have tried and was shot down though – and that didn’t feel good – I just feel awkward and don’t know what to do – my husband hates kissing – except a peck. His sex drive was a lot lower than mine in the beginning however I am now on the same level and not really as sexual as I used to be – but I want to please him, I want to make him happy but can’t seem to get over my shyness/previous experiences etc.

  38. Ok I have never liked sex due to emotional up bringing. But i have been through a lot of crap with my husband and stood by him. I have expressed my dislike of it and still run into these issues I do climax I don’t have problems there. We have 4 children and my husband has a clinically diagnosed mental disorder and its very hard to live with but I ignore bringing up those issues cause it’s never going to go away so yea I’m not too interested by the endof the day

  39. Sparkie says:

    Expressed they way have been feing in over 7 years…. And continue to, everything the subject is approached, the further I get pushed away and into depression.
    Thus causing me to act in such a way at home I can’t risk getting closer to my wife, controlling the want for her so I do not get excited if i do it results in me being rejected, falling into a dark place.
    If anyone understands the relationship circle, then they will know that men and women enter it differently. I have tried this and worked once, however unless the partner knows that cycle profile, it becomes a one way street.
    The advice in this article is sound and a very true explanation if how I have been feeling for many years.
    It’s not all one sided though, I have taken the blame for I have had ADHD, diagnosed at 40years of age. Even through change and now taking medication we/I go with out intimacy. Our relationship is much better, interaction and married expectations on my wife’s mind is great, there is just this one part that is missed. Our love life.

  40. Wow! I just onto this blog as I lay in bed wondering why my wife of 20+ yrs shows hardly an desire for me. I’ve talked with her about how I feel, and how it seems I must be the person the who drives the sex in our relationship. Since our second child almost 5 years ago things have deteriorated and its seemingly a vicious cycle of her complaining about me, and vice versa. It seems she withholds sex from me to punish me and has no desire for me…yet she emphatically says she loves me and wants to be with me.

    You can literally count on one hand how many times she’s come over and laid on me and showed desire to being with me. I tried to let her know how that makes me feel and she says she holds things I may have said or done from years past against me to keep resenting me and never let’s anything be bygones. Thing is she’s able to forgive any/everyone around her with issues but not me no matter how silly the issue may seem. With this in mind I’ve tried new ways of reaching out to her lately…I even got my motorcycle license (at 42 thats something I said I’d never do) and purchased a bike so we can ride together.

    While our 2 girls were away to grandmas house for a month (summer break), we did some riding trips…I even booked a cabin for us to ride to and stay overnight to surprise her. Still even with the kids gone she only came over and laid on top me once to start things up which I was totally excited about, unfortunately it seems like that is the one and only time for this year. We did have sexy regularly, but still there’s a sense of no desire for me, that its sex to please me. Now, here’s where I really begin to be puzzled.

    She’ll hit me on my side or arm and say “If you wanna do it come over here”…thats her foreplay. Trying to kiss her passionately don’t work, she’ll turn her head so I just wined up hitting her check or neck most times. Then the other day I found that she watched lesbian porn during the mid-day and got off to it…now here it is 3 nights later and she has showed no desire for sex with me. As I lay here confused, I searched for answers and came up with this great blog. A big question, why would someone enjoy getting off by themselves (which to me means they have a sex drive) yet show no desire to be with me? You’d think after 20+yrs of marriage people would figure things out, but to the contrary…it appears it continually gets worse. So off to sleep I go, her lying beside me sleeping while I wonder what’s next and what can I do to help this…if things continue this way the rift between us is just getting larger…

  41. I came across this post today while trying to figure out a way to help my marriage. I’ve been so stressed lately because I don’t feel like he is trying hard enough to help support our family. In the 3 years we’ve been married he’s only had a seasonal/part time job, while I’ve had the same full time job for years. Our sex life used to be great in the beginning of our marriage. Even though I never (and still don’t) initiate. It just became a routine, he initiated, I went along because I knew it’s what he wanted. He has brought up many, many times that he wished I was more interested and would make the first move so he didn’t always have to. In my mind, I would just think, “well if you’re initiating and still getting what you want, what is the problem?” After reading your article, I realize that it is a bigger issue. That he needs to feel needed. But now with twins on the way and him not putting effort into finding something to help us financially, I can’t help but be angry and too stressed to even think about wanting sex. He says he is thinking of what he can do for a job, but so far the only thing he has put an application in for was a job I found for him that he is qualified for and I had to beg him to just get it filled out and turned in. How can I help with with his need to feel loved, wanted, and respected when he doesn’t show that he is willing to do whatever it takes to help support his family?

  42. There’s tons of reasons I don’t initiate: 1. I’m not that sexual. Didn’t start having sex until I was 22 and even then I didn’t want to be labeled a hoe. I met my (now) husband the January before I turned 25….by then I’d had 6 partners and sex 20-25 times. Not enough to get good. Which leads to 2. Lack of expertise. He’s had lots of sex. And sex with women who made it their priority to learn it (1 was giving oral at 14…I was still playing with Barbies) 3.being compared to these women. “She did this” “this one did that” ” how come you don’t” “you have the body of a porn star…but you don’t act like one” which leads to 4…not feeling good enough. 5. Not feeling sexy. He likes ‘thick’ women…when he met me I was a sz 4-6 (34B-26-36) now 2 kids later I’m (38c-39-45)and he loves it….I hate my stomach, he loves grabbing it and laying on it…uggh! 6. He’s been diagnosed with epilepsy-I’m the only one who’s seen him have them. He used to have them every 15 days. His body would hurt so bad that I could barely touch him…so instead of cheat and getting my feelings hurt by him not being able to have sex…I cut my sexual side off. I’ve been his nurse for the past 3 years. 7. He’s not fun anymore. He’s always worried about “what if something happens to me…” 8. Because of the tonic-clonic seizures he lost muscle mass. I’d rather have a linebacker than a point guard. And with 2 kids (3yrs & 4 months), helping run the business, a dog and cat, an inherited house that’s constantly falling apart….none of my friends are married, there’s no one around to relate to. I no longer go out. We just stay in the house. I’m a Leo and he’s a cancer. I’m the eldest of 15, two parent house hold he’s an only child of divorced parents. He went away to college I took 7yrs to earn an associates….I could go on, but those are the reasons I don’t initiate…

  43. For the first 12 years of our marriage, we had a fabulous sex life. Sex was my favorite past time and who initiated wasn’t really an issue. But I found out very early in our marriage there was an issue with porn. Then there was an issue with a few ladies. I knew some things weren’t right but chose to ignore all the red flags. My husband was leading a double life. When he finally admitted to an affair, everything went haywire. He refused to get any help or counseling except for one “deliverance” session. That was almost 17 years ago. Though we have still been having sex once or twice a week, it is mechanical. Because of his anger toward me, (for my lack of interest) he has put the burden of initiating on me, 100%. He is withdrawn emotionally, never says he loves me, but expects me to be all hot and bothered.
    Recently, a few things have happened to move things in a postive direction. I had brain surgery. Even though he still didn’t tell me he loves me, he was visibly upset at the prospect of losing me. He gave me great care following the surgery. But I am a counselor of sorts for an organization dealing with infidelity. Every time I go over the material that talks about the necessity for complete disclosure for reconciliation, I approach him again about coming clean with everything. He gets very defensive. Recently, much to both of our surprise, I slapped him across the face. We have this undertone of anger on both of our sides that never goes away. After that, we had crazy sex. I told him I think the underlying anger keeps me from really wanting him.
    I am a committed Christian. He is a Sunday Christian. Recently, I heard on a Christian radio station that reading the word once, twice, or three times a week, does nothing. It has to be read at least four times a week. I asked him to do a 30 day seven minute devotional for couples. He agreed. One night we each made a list of things we need and one that he put on his list is love. I realized I really do need to love him, in spite of all he is or isn’t, and in spite of his unwillingness to come clean.
    The devotional is rather simplistic, but I am trusting God in this and hoping he will be willing to move on to another when this one is finished. In the meantime, I saw on tv the idea of scheduling sex. It sounds dry and boring, but she explained that knowing ahead when we are having it, helps our bodies to prepare. It also takes the pressure off of me to initiate. This is working for us, thus far. Also, I email him everyday letting him know of something I have done “for him”, such as using the core ball for exercising. After many children, my core can definitely use some strengthening. I said I thought it would help in some of our “activities”. Today, I just emailed him to tell him how fabulous sex was last night.
    After many false starts, I think we are moving in a positive direction. I am hoping “I love you” comes soon.

  44. I have the same experience. My husband doesn’t initiate sex, and the reason is that he satisfies his sexual urges through pornography and flirting. Having a good sex life in marriage has more to do with desiring the right person–the spouse, than with libido.

  45. I never initiate with my husband mainly because I don’t like sex. I am grossed out by it. I really hate being touched in a sexual way and have even got to the point where I hate being touched at all in fear that it will turn sexual. My husband likes to french kiss which just makes me gag. He does things to turn me on but they do the opposite. What am I supposed to do to keep him happy sexually when it all repulses me?

  46. This post really hit home for me. In 10 years of marriage, I cannot remember a single time when I did not initiate sex, and I cannot remember the last time we had sex (I assume it is when my youngest daughter was conceived or not long after). I get the fact that pregnancy may cause hardships in sexual feelings as well as after the birth (3 months ago). I am not concerned with the short term issues. I am taking a long term view. Whether or not my wife truly loves me or truely does want sex, which she swears she does, does not matter. I cannot believe her because sex, in general, is so rare and when it does happen, it is because I initiated and her reaction to it seems fairly lukewarm. I just feel as though I don’t want to initiate anymore because I don’t care to have sex with someone who doesn’t want sex with me (even when she swears she does). Clearly, she can go without it. It’s been a year now.

    She has recently started wondering why I am upset and depressed, and this is why. I feel unloved and uncared about because of this. I don’t know how to tell her. I feel as though, if I do so, there could be two reactions. The first reaction is that nothing would change. This is a problem because it would be a strong rejection and confirmation of my feeling that she doesn’t really care for my feelings. I have hinted strongly at it, and nothing has changed, so I have reasons to believe that this would be the outcome, even if the reason is something else (maybe she didn’t get it, or maybe she doesn’t know what to do). I can tell myself that, but my mind can only translate it as rejection.

    The second possible reaction is actually trying this and (technically) getting what I asked for. That seems great, but I cannot fool myself. I know that once I broach the subject frankly, any reaction is there only to make me happy and has nothing to do with any attaction to me. Essentially, I would have been the one initiating it, regardless of what the immediate decision is. The reason is that I want it, not that she wants it.

    So now I am stuck in this circle. I don’t want my current situation, but any attempt to change it can only make it worse at very best and certainly can’t solve it. I am honestly unsure what to do at this point.

    • JustMe,

      I know exactly how you feel. I’ve been with my girlfriend almost 4 years now. To put it lightly, I’ve done more than my fair share to make her happy but I am constantly fighting with this feeling inside that although she says she loves me, and sometimes I feel it, I don’t really believe it. I often resent her and her touch, as well-meaning and affectionate as it may be, irritates me.

      I often initiate but its rare that I could count on her to do the same. It makes me feel very undesirable. At this point, if she initiates, I do not believe its genuine. It puts so much doubt in my mind: Am I good enough? Am I not successful enough? I have switched jobs to something with more potential growth with the hopes that the more successful I am the better she will treat me. Now that I am in the middle of this endeavor I am feeling that she may be unworthy of any success I may gain. I am feeling unloved…why should I make her life more comfortable. I spoke to her about it today and she was completely confused. I’ve spoken a few times with little to no change. I guess its just not in her, but I cannot live like this. She speaks of marriage but there’s no guarantee she will give me what I need then.

      C.M.

  47. Just stressed says:

    Just me- get the book. His Needs Her Needs. Read it together

  48. This describes me to a T. Right now I am ridiculously frustrated with this. I have been married for two years and I am almost always the one who initiates sex. I am currently on strike (I refuse to initiate sex). I don’t think my wife has noticed. Honestly, I don’t know how to attack the problem. She asks me just the other night what was wrong, she said she could see something in my eyes but I couldn’t bring it up. I wish I wasn’t always the one who initiated. Ladies, this really is important to us men.

  49. Just stressed says:

    Don’t go on strike! She can’t read your mind. Instead of being passive aggressive- talk to her. Initiating is hard for women. Plus, we really only think about sex around ovulation. Blame God, hormones, whatever you want. It’s just how it is.

    • I don’t see why it matters, if it rarely happens anyways. I tried talking to her and simply got the “I don’t have much of a sex drive”. It simply makes us as men feel rejected.

  50. it's hard says:

    its not that I don’t like it when it happens and it’s not that I’m not attracted to my husband. I think he is very attractive and I do desire him the problem is that My Sex Drive is super low I never am turned on and I don’t know why it takes him initiating it for me to get into the mooD. ever since I had my first child I just can’t get into it mentally I can’t make myself turned on and it’s obvious to my husband I know he is emotionally and mentally hurting because I never initiate it but I don’t really know what else to do when he initiates it I do it but other than that Its not really happening on my end

  51. Just stressed says:

    I really get that. I promise that it’s not because wives aren’t attracted to their husbands or that we don’t want it. Here’s how a woman’s brain works: imagine a browser with many different open windows (like 12 or more) – she goes through her day reviewing the windows that are priority – kids, work, house, bills, dinner- etc. one of those windows is sex- but because she can’t act on that window until sometime later in the day- there’s no reason to open it up. By the time she can act on that window – she’s exhausted and whether right of wrong the window doesn’t get open much. That’s why when you initiate- you force her to visit that window –were she alone- she could go happily without sex for white some time. There are very few women in the world who have sex as a need – but it is a physical need for men just like food or water. You wouldn’t stop eating if someone fed you – so don’t stop trying to have sex with your wife. – she needs it emotionally but as women we suck at taking care if our own emotional needs. Hang in there – in know it’s frustrating. My poor husband has to put up with the same from me. I am trying because I understand his perspective. I’m really glad he didnt give up on me.

    • I know this is old but I found your post interesting. Although I appreciate your comment and feelings I was struck by your “priority windows”. Accordingly, you don’t seem to list your husband as one of those priorities. You seem to equate him to sex on some back burner. Perhaps if you, and so many other wives (and husbands to be fair) out there, understood that although sex is the tool, it’s the man you love that you’re neglecting. To use your food analogy, if your child were hungry would you not feed him or her? Well your husband is starving for your affection. Unfortunately, he’s been relegated to some afterthought and placed last on your list. Of the billions of people on this planet, God gave each of you one person to experiance intimacy with and all he can do for his part is wait until you have time to “get to his window”.

      • Just stressed says:

        Mark. If my child were hungry of course I would feed him or her. Husbands are not children. They are supposed to be partners, supporters. The point of my post was to help men understand that women need to be prodded in some fashion about sex usually because we don’t think about it in general. I think about my husband all of the time, but it’s more about how much I love him and less about how I can’t wait to have sex with him. It’s just our brain. God designed is differently for a reason. We should understand those differences and help each other.

        • I’ve been reading about this subject for months and years and find the two responses ironic and typical. Just stressed provides the analogy of not being a man refusing food that is being offered, and when corrected by Mark to let her know that it’s more a situation of a child who’s starving for food whose cries are going unanswered for many men, she dismisses or discounts his analogy, effectively putting it to the “back burner”. Why is it that so many married couples go through this painful game of cat and mouse to the point of insanity, misery and often divorce? The husband spells out in plain English what it is he needs, never receiving it or only receiving just enough “water” to handle another 40 days in the desert (or 60, 120, 365…pick your number!), only when she thinks it’s reached a crisis point and not before, and all the while the husband in many cases is left banging his head against the wall trying to figure out what else he can do to make her happy and want to reciprocate. And in most cases when you try to talk about it more, wives feel more pressured and the chasm becomes even bigger and bigger until finally it’s a canyon that nobody wants to cross and either the marriage crumbles or an affair begins. (And when you don’t talk about it, or say “I’ll show her” by not approaching her for sex for 3-4 months, she’s happy as a kitten with the situation, though upset with you for being so withdrawn – though hopefully hasn’t been approached by a nice guy at work during such time). To the wives who read this and want a happy marriage, stop with the power struggle, I beseech you, please! Don’t initiate out of pity or because you don’t want to argue or listen to any of his complaining. Do it because you love him! Whether it be devoted love, compassionate love, sexual love…whatever the love, do it for those reasons. I’m sure your husband is expecting or seeking a lot less sex than he would like to actually have. I am far from being a perfect husband, and life’s stresses blind all of us, but if my wife told me one thing I did/could do that she was missing for one, two, five, ten years that would make her happy that I used to do, I would happily do it – and have tried. But to expect that it be all one sided is simply unfair, and to expect a man whom you had sex with frequently before marriage to simply accept that it is no longer the case is just as unfair. After many, many arguments and little change, I have asked my wife if this it, if this is the best it will be (we are currently having sex an average of once a month – which she considers to be good though I have said a minimum of 2x per week – after two one year periods of not having sex over the last five years after our two children arrived, putting our average over the last five years close to five or eight times a year). It seems to have sunk in (I told her this before going in for a vasectomy about a week ago for fear of cutting off my nose to spite my face with the procedure), but I’m not sure if things will change. Time will tell I guess. I have told her what I need and how often I need it to be happy (at a minimum) I’ve asked her what she needs in order to be able to reciprocate and be happy. If things don’t change, I will need to decide whether to just accept it and remain miserable or do something about it, outside of the marriage or by ending it. To the wives reading this, stop discounting your husband’s needs. I love my children and my wife and don’t want to hurt anyone, but why should my hurting be acceptable? Because it’s been going on for years and has become the norm?! We’ve done counselling and retreats but it always feels as though the efforts have been one sided. If you want to make him feel loved, initiate and say yes to advances. Say “yes” to your marriage! And hopefully if he gives you a minimum to keep him happy, every once in a while you’ll go double that minimum because you are demonstrating an act of love, not compliance. (and I hope that he reciprocates with what your needs are). If you want to make him feel like a leper, loser, failure, keep telling him you’re tired or have a headache and continue arguing about it until such time as you lose all respect for him either as a result of the arguing or by him finally giving up on it and where finally one (or both) of you goes outside the marriage.

          Sorry for the rant-like post. I just hope it helps save a few couples from the (unnecessary) hardship of a sexless marriage that leaves one or both unfulfilled and miserable.

          • Just stressed says:

            For the record, my husband and I have sex an average of three times a week. And the only time he hears no is when I’m really sick- running a fever. So, to clarify, my point was for the men to put themselves in their wives shoes for once. Quit assuming that she’s not initiating because she doesn’t love or card about you and recognize that perhaps she has a different way of showing love and care. Maybe if both sexes see this topic from each other’s point of view, many marriages will be happier.

  52. I feel so awkward like he won’t like it or something . I don’t know what to do to initiate it . I feel weird and just ahhh

  53. My husband just asked me to read this post. I know he’s angry and frustrated because I NEVER initiate, but him being angry is one of the reasons I never do. He has a very hard and stressful job, working crazy hrs and will bring the stress of the day home. Another big reason is I’m a stay at home mom to three crazy, loving, sometimes out of control toddlers ( but doesn’t that describe them all ?). I won’t list all the things I do in a day, but those of you with children will understand, add on to that lack of sleep ( at random times in the night one of the three finds their way into my bed usually wide awake, then starts screaming bloody murder when I take them back to their room). I sleep about 2 hrs a night and this has been going on for yrs! Another thing that stops me from initiating is weight. I’m not the 110lb girl he married. I have had three very complicated pregnancies each having to take meds that made me gain weight. He says he loves me how I am and I’m sexy but then we go out somewhere and I catch him starring at all these pretty thin girls and it knocks me down. I hate how I look and that’s a big setback. Lastly he always gets angry at me during sex. My usual response is I’m not a porn star so stop trying to put me in a position that I can’t get into! Then it’s a fight and there goes that. He tells me where is that sexy girl I married. I tell him she’s back in 2007, about 60 lbs lighter and minus three kids. I know I have to do a better job, I love him and I know he needs to feel wanted, but how do I get it through his head that I’m not a porn star! I don’t want to act like those girls. I’m just Cristina, and I am tired and completely insecure.

  54. Just stressed says:

    As a wife, mom of 5 and a career woman- I can relate to your lack of sleep and weight gain. First, the weight gain, guys (most if them) really don’t care so you should quit letting yourself feel bad about it. Sleep- try bartering- initiate sex and let him know he’ll need to get up with the kids. :)

  55. I would like to know where I screwed up then? my wife has maybe initiated sex 3 times in the last year. I try to do all the romantic stuff and its still like pulling teeth!!! in the morning I rub and tickle her back, kiss her neck and ear’s and try to be sensual then after 20 minutes of her snoring I give up. I have reached a point of total and complete turn off just thinking about having sex anymore. She said that women don’t need it that often, im thinking “yeah NEVER” Ugh!!!

  56. Just stressed says:

    We really don’t! Only around ovulation each month- unless we’re on birth control and then really- never- it’s a big libido killer! Are you guys getting along in other areas? I know it’s difficult for me to have sex with my hubby if we are fighting or just not connected.

  57. my husband and i have been having problems with me being the one not initiating for a while now…the times i have done it he either doesn”t climax or he doesn’t even act like he is in the mood and i guess its happen so many times i have just given up on trying…but i see its affecting him to where he feels like i don’t want him and even him thinking that i might be cheating on him(which is not the case) i don’t know where to begin to repair what has happened but i know i am tired of it being a problem for us…………

  58. Hello Ladies & gents!!! I’m back!!! About 3 mo ago I posted all the EXCUSES I didn’t initiate…I wasn’t a size 6 anymore, I wasn’t sexually active as a teen, I’m not a porn star…yep! I want to encourage all the ppl who aren’t initiating to ask themselves these questions : do you want your mate to SHOW they love you, want to be w/with you, and after all this time still prefer you to all?

    I married my husband to his companionship, friendship, all that….I really married him cause he’s attractive, his get lost me brown eyes, his high sex drive- and I don’t want to share…so why not let him know that I’m attracted to his mind…as well as his body…

    Now I don’t “jump” him often, but I have worked on seduction…he loves it! I thought it was silly to do those things, and I’m not silly. But he loves it! So what the hey-why not!

    Doesn’t matter that I want my belly to be tight…he loves it loose, doesn’t matter if I don’t have a lot if energy…if I seduce throughout the day…a quickie feels great!….

    It’s easy to be selfish & self-centered especially when they give verbal/non-verbal cues that hurt…like looking around the room…I say get a good girdle..a v-neck that shows cleavage & some tight jeans…won’t matter that he’s looking at skinny….excuse yourself to the restroom…give him bedroom eyes, get up slowly, drop your cell phone…butt in the air to reach and get it and say “I’ll be right back” they LOVE stuff like that…

    And if you’ve rejected him he’s not gonna respond right away…he’s trying to ignore you so he won’t get worked up and won’t be able to release. So after doing little things for a few days do something big…whatever that means for you guys….he’ll be amazed! When I first started my finish would be rubbing his shoulders, then sitting next to him, then performing oral..another time we were arguing over something stupid and I started taking my clothes of piece by piece walked over and gave him kisses…yes ladies all the things you have in your head to do he wants to see. Enjoy the journey back to love!

  59. I have issues with iniating it and its been a fight with my husband this past year and I don’t know what to do because I don’t like starting it.

  60. I initiate a lot. but its never enough for my husband of 14 years. some days I spend all day texting him dirty sending pics kissing him passionately grabbing him then when it comes time he lays down and wants me to take care of him but doesnt give back. its very hard to be the initiator all the time… women want to feel wanted too…

  61. It’s often difficult when both spouses are on medications and have medical issues that quell their sex drive, for either party to initiate. Then, you throw in years of painful “baggage” and hurts that seem resolved, but hang just below the surface, for anyone to have a healthy life of sexual – or any intimacy – for that matter. As the wife, I had the problems years ago, but in recent years it has been my husband. He currently admits he has no sex drive at all, so for me to initiate puts me at a huge place of vulnerability for rejection. With the experiences of the last several years, I find it almost impossible to open myself up to that. He knows I have a drive & am attracted to him and says he feels badly for not having any drive, but doesn’t do anything to try to promote any sort of intimacy. What are you supposed to do with a no-drive, medically affected/restricted spouse? Will my “instigating” give him any sort of drive or just lead to rejection?

  62. I don’t really initiate sex and I will admit that my sex drive is low, however his is the equivalency of a 12 year old that just figured out how great masturbation is. I know his drive is high and between work and school I try to find a balance but its difficult with our drives being so distant. Then he says he feels like he’s begging me, but it isn’t that. I really just don’t initiate sex that much. I let my mind get in the way most of the time I will admit that, but then when he doesn’t get it he has this all mighty attitude that you can see in his face and he gets sarcastic about sex which is a definite turn off. I don’t know what to do.

  63. IsThisTheEnd? says:

    My husband sent me a link to this article during one of the many fights we have had about sex. I used to think I was being fair because even though I hardly ever initiated sex, I very rarely, if ever, rejected him. I do see that I need to initiate sex more. He has definitely initiated way more than me. I know I need to initiate even when I’m not in the mood to begin with, and I may get into the mood during. Now he says I have to show I am committed to initiating sex. He has always had a higher libido than me and wants sex more often than me. Now he says I need to initiate 100% of the time until he sees that I am committed. When I go two days in a row without initiating sex, he gets very angry. He has given me an ultimatum that if I don’t “meet his needs” he will have sex with other women and “get his needs met elsewhere.” In the past he had gotten me to agree to be in an open marriage. We were in an open marriage for 3 years. I even acted on it once. Ultimately I got jealous and thought he was getting out of control with his behavior. He seemed to be putting more energy into seeking out other women than our marriage. I asked him to stop over a year ago now. I can’t be sure if he did actually stop or if he is cheating. Yesterday we had our 3rd fight in 12 days after he sent me to this article and gave me the ultimatum. We have been married a long time but this has always been an issue for us. He said in the past he used to not initiate sex at all to see how long it would be before I initiated and it would be over a month. I don’t ever remember it being that long, but if it was, it was probably when the children were babies. It seems like I can go a few days initiating sex often after a fight but then I slip up and let two days go by with doing nothing and we end up fighting again. I end up resenting him because I feel like now I have to initiate when I don’t even want sex just so he won’t cheat on me. Divorce is not my first option because we have two children, so I will be affecting other peoples lives, not just my own. Divorce would be very hard but, I know it is not good for the children to hear us fight all the time either. When fighting, my husband is very loud yelling, throwing things sometimes, etc. He refuses to go to counseling or get help. I agreed to try again to initiate sex often enough to satisfy him, but I feel that this time next week we will be fighting yet again.
    I think I am more liberal than the tone of this site. I never had a problem with my husband watching porn. But maybe that was where I made my first mistake. I am not religious. Nothing against anyone who is, I just think faith is one of those things you either have or don’t. But now it’s like I don’t even have faith in love. Any advice you have for my situation would be helpful. Thanks.

    • Hi there,

      I’m so sorry that you’re going through this, but it really doesn’t sound like initiating sex is your problem. It sounds like commitment to the marriage is the problem. If you’ve permitted porn use and affairs in the past, that’s really, really devastating. Sex is supposed to be something with is intimate, which makes you feel like one, but when all of these other things come in sex becomes only about the body, like you’re using each other.

      You can’t have an intimate marriage or real love unless you first have commitment and faithfulness. If he is threatening you with affairs, then that needs to be dealt with first, in my opinion. True intimacy is absolutely irreplaceable, and perhaps you both have never really experienced that. That’s heartbreaking. So I would talk to him about what sex is supposed to be, and what marriage is supposed to be. Sex and marriage are not just about orgasm; and orgasm is so much more intense if there is true intimacy there, too.

      I do hope you get through this, and prayers for you,
      Sheila.

  64. Love this post! This topic, and really our sex life in general, has been an issue for me for such a long time. It probably sounds really odd, but I even went so far as to create a spreadsheet to track this and make sure I wasn’t just imagining things. Since Jan 2011 we’ve had sex 65 times, which in itself is sad, but to stick with this post she has only initiated sex 11 times in those 3+ years. Interestingly, as she has sought to be “more willing” and our sexual activity has slightly increased, which didn’t take much, her willingness to initiate sex has decreased, not that it was ever something she was comfortable doing. Because our sex life has been such an issue (we even sought counseling for various issues at one point) it’s very hard for me to bring information like this post to her. She gets that “here we go again, what are you reading now” attitude and feels like I’m implying she’s some how broken and needs fixing. On the one hand I don’t want to take away from her willingness to improve our sex lives but on the other, and as I’ve tried to no avail to explain to her, it’s very deflating to know the only way we’ll ever have sex is if I “beg” for it.

    I just don’t know how to get across to her that I feel so terribly unwanted and unimportant by her unwillingness to even try. Although she has said in the past she enjoys sex, and she does appear to, and thinks about it frequently she just doesn’t follow that with action. I made the point once that if she were hungry and thought about eating she would eat. So to say she enjoys sex and thinks about it but never pursues it seems a bit disingenuous.

    It’s a very difficult position for a spouse (husband or wife) to have to “fight” for the one and only thing God saves for a spouse. We can get anyone to clean our homes, fix our cars, or raise our children, but sex and intimacy can (or should) only come from that one person God gives us for this, our spouses. There is nothing I wouldn’t do to make my wife happy, nothing. There is nothing she wouldn’t do for our kids. If one of them was sick or hungry and she was dog tired, she would take care of that child’s needs without question or encouragement. In fact, they wouldn’t even have to say anything; she would be able to sense and/or understand their pain. I on the other hand have to crawl to her for my needs, at least that’s how I feel. Will she fulfill those needs? “I guess so” or “why not”, ugh! I have no illusions that anything will come from my posting this other than my ability to vent, but at least I know I’m not alone in this pain.

    If you’re reading this and question whether initiating sex with your spouse is important, I can tell you it is, very. Your requirement, implied as it might be, that they should always seek your affection WILL erode their self-confidence and make him/her question your desire for and commitment to them. Read 1 Corinthians 7:3-5. You and your spouse are to be one. More importantly however (or maybe not), you should WANT to fulfill your spouse’s needs. They don’t want someone else, they want you. It should be one of the highlights of your marriage. By doing so you will find, especially in men, a more confident, self-assured, and committed partner. I think about our sex life and her clear detachment from it all the time. How much more time I could give to my wife and family if I didn’t have to. If wanting and seeking to pleasure your spouse, God’s gift to you, isn’t a priority in your marriage, you need to ask yourself why.

  65. IsThisTheEnd? says:

    So we didn’t even make it a week without fighting again. I initiated sex Friday Saturday Sunday but not Monday or Tuesday. Now Wednesday morning he is angry and texting me that I don’t meet his needs and threatening to have sex with hookers again. I don’t know how I am supposed to make someone like that see that he is supposed to be committed to me. He knows it hurt me very much to know he has paid for sex during our marriage especially since I have not denied him sex when he wanted it. It makes me feel completely worthless as a person. When he treats me this way I feel so hurt and it zaps all my energy and all I want to do is cry. I made a mistake by agreeing to an open marriage 4 years ago. One year ago I asked to be monogamous again. I had only acted on the open marriage once and thought after I had told him what I did and asked him to stop he would. He didn’t. I went through his phone and email one year ago shortly after asking him to be monogamous and saw he had been recently having sex with someone else and had had sex with hookers in the past. I went though his things because I thought he was still having a sexual relationship with his employee. When I first found out he had sex with his employee, I asked to be monogamous again and he refused.

    I am 33 years old been married almost 15 years and have two children. I don’t know how to get my husband to respect me or better yet I don’t know how to respect myself enough to see I don’t deserve this and get out of this marriage. I made a mistake getting married. I see that now. I married my first boyfriend. We were too young. We didn’t even really plan on getting married. No wedding no honeymoon. We weren’t even officially engaged. He didn’t even really propose with a ring and everything. We went to the courthouse one day and just got married. I don’t even know why now. I wasn’t pregnant or anything. We bought rings afterwards at Walmart. I still have the same $100 ring from Walmart 15 years ago. He never bought me a better one. But apparently he has money for hookers. I have never even been through a break-up. I don’t think I can deal with the fact I’ve let myself be used my whole adult life. It would be easier just to live in denial and lie to myself and tell myself he loves me.

    Sex has always been an issue with us. He was always saying I didn’t want him. I should have initiated sex more often a long time ago. I’ve been trying now, but I think it’s too late. The relationship is too broken. When me not initiating sex two days in a row leads to him getting mad saying I’m not meeting his needs and he is going to have sex with hookers AGAIN, how can I fix that?

    • You can’t fix that. You really can’t. The best book for something like this that I’ve seen is Love Must Be Tough, which teaches you how to set boundaries and show your spouse the consequences of his actions.

      I’d really recommend that you find a good social circle who can support you in this and show you that you aren’t worthless, and who can help you navigate these waters. Maybe find a church near you that has a counseling ministry so you can go in and talk to someone? Maybe join a women’s Bible study? But I really think you need people around you to support you and help you see that you are precious, and that you do deserve faithfulness

      I’ll say a prayer for you!

  66. anonymous says:

    I’m always the one who initiate and end up i got back is a totally rejection. She would always tell me she is tired. We just have a baby in dec last year. Everytime when i initiate she would tell me that she is tired. Its totally understandable if its just 1 or 2 times. But out of 10 time. The result will always be no. She have maternity leave for 16 weeks. Which mean she doesnt even need to work. And all she does is stay home and watch over the baby. And when i initiate she would say she is tired and right now she have started her work. And chances of making love with her is even more harder because she would say she is tired after the work. And last night i told her about it. Well when u r not working u always say u r tired because u gotta takecare of our baby. And right now u start to go back to work. And u say that u r tired because of working. So since u r not working or u r working u always say u r tired which mean we totally dont need to make love for our entire lives ahead. I’m really very frustrated about this issue. I cant possible fool around outside with others female as i got a family now. And she say its just normal for having sex one time every 2 – 3 months. I have my need too seriously. I feel that without making out with each other my feeling for her is slowly fading away and we cant really communicate well like those days in the past. Im married for 3 years now. Thats y i’m here to seek some help and advices. Thanks .

  67. It’s almost 2 am, my heart is heavy, my eyes half welled in a mix of anger and sorrow and I can’t sleep from the resentment I’m holding against my wife who I love so dearly. Her lack of initiating sex has been talked about openly and dealt with in the past and yet here we go again back to square one.

    I just want her to want me like I do for her. I’m incredibly attracted to her, our sex life is regular, but it comes at the cost of me doing the reminding and the asking which now after 7 years and two children had worn me down to where I am right now.

    I feel broken.

    I just want to feel wanted, desired, longed for. My god, just thinking about and writing this down burns a hole in my chest.

    What makes this so hard is we really do love each other, but sex just gets to be a chore for her, and she makes it known. Which just cuts me up even deeper.

    She will drop a hint during the day telling me that I’m gonna get lucky tonight, and by the end of the day when nothing happens my frustration and resentment kicks in, she notices the change in my behavior but fails to even remember the “promise” she offered in the first place.

    This only leaves me gutted, am I that forgettable? How can anticipated sex just disappear, every time! It’s just a circle, it’s got to the point I can seriously predict it!

    She has initiated in the past, but only through long sessions of our own DIY marriage counselling chats.

    But it always comes back around.

    I fear constant rejection, but if I don’t then I don’t get any sex.

    I masturbate more now then I ever have, and sometimes I cry afterwards because I just wished it was with her instead.

    I can seriously feel resentment in my heart, it goes away and we have lovely days together and I start to think I’m stupid for feeling like I did because it seems like there is no issue on those days, but it always comes back.

    She is my best friend. I can’t live without her and I adore her, and I know she loves me too, she loves to hug, snuggle and kiss, but transferring that to the bedroom is not on the cards for her.

    I have tried being an alpha male, stopping myself from asking her constantly, romanticising her, more around the house, but it just ends up the same way every time. If I don’t ask, I don’t get.

    I’m sick of asking, sick of it!

  68. jessica northcutt says:

    Ok I have a beast of a different nature. My husband and I have been together on and off again over the past 8 years, just resently got married this past December and we have a 5yr old and a 1yr old. He drives a truck for a living so he is only home about 6 days out of the month. We talk everyday tho its mainly thru text. It seems sex is on his mind at ALL times, no joke. When he is home I have no problem with sex, no im not the best at being one to start things I can admit that and understand that needs work. My problem comes in when as I said before its always about sex with him. He thinks that in every married couple out there the wife will send text dirty talking through out the day everyday so he may plessure himself and thinks I should do this every day whenever he wishes. In the past he has gotten upset if I am busy taking care of things I need to be here at home snd cant give him this attention. Am I lost on this? Is this truely how most couples are? Most of his text is him trying to start things (sexual) and if im busy then thats the end of the conversation, like if we cant talk about sex he dont want to talk at all. I am really lost in this. I do everything a wife so do for her husband but I am in a tight spot with this one. I know man tend to be very sexual but im not sure if this is just over the top or is there somthing wrong with me

    • Hi Jessica!

      I don’t think it’s odd for couples to send racy messages if they’re away from each other, but those messages need to be when both people are comfortable and can think about it. If you’re with little ones that’s likely not a good time, and I think it’s perfectly okay to say, “I’ll get back to you when the kids are napping” or “I’ll get back to you when I’m alone tonight”, in the same way that if he were standing there with you you would wait until a better time. So you can say, “not now, but later”, and that’s really okay.

      I do think that self-control is an important issue, and if he is wanting to objectify you or use you, that’s a little concerning and likely requires a conversation, even if it’s difficult.

    • No every marriage doesn’t have “movie sex” you know where everything beginning to end is perfect. However if you can neglect the chores for a bit text with your hubby and see what happens. Best wishes!

  69. Charles says:

    What a great article. I’m divorced and my girlfriend of 2 1/2 years never initiates though mentions she did with other boyfriends. Hearing that for a guy or at least this guy is a “kill shot”. Great article and good to know I have kindred brothers! AND many understanding women.

  70. My wife and I have been married for 7 years. We have 3 kids and our third was born just over a month ago. We have a lot of stress in our lives because our three kids are all under the age of 2.(our first 2 are twins). It is amazing to read the comments on this page. My wife and I have been together for 10 years total and I can honestly say that she has never initiated sex. We have had our problems with sex and I think I kidded myself into believing that kids would somehow change my her sex drive. I thought that by trying to get pregnant I would see a new woman and she would initiate sex because we had a new reason to make love but it ended up being more calculated and cold then it ever was before. We initially had a hard time getting pregnant with the twins and had to seek the help of a fertility specialist and what should have been a time to just relax and enjoy each other turned into a scheduled event that became more and more stressful. We eventually had to use in vitro to have the twins and we were blessed with two healthy babies. We never thought we could get pregnant on our own and hence we now have a third. Our lives have been very stressful over the past few years which has only added to our issues with sex. I can tell you that the last time my wife and I had sex was when we conceived our latest child and she has had no desire for sex since then. Understandingly so due to having 3 small children but our problems came way before children and now I feel that they will only increase. I find myself asking the same questions a lot of you have probably asked yourself but may not admit: Am I attractive enough?, Am I big enough?, Am I a perv? Do I have aright to want sex?

    My wife comes from a very messed up family. Her mom and dad are still married but should have divorced over 30 years ago. They have lived in separate bedrooms for as long as my wife can remember and are basically roommates that despise each other. My fear is that my wife thinks this is normal and we are heading towards being like her parents. I only wish my wife knew/cared how much her unwillingness to work on this part of our relationship has cut me. I want to scream out and sometimes I do which leads to a fight that never gets resolved. I wonder sometimes if my wife thinks I will be willing to relive her parents miserable lives. I hope for my kids sake my wife wakes up and realizes that I am good enough and attractive enough and if she is not willing to work with me I will find someone that is!

    • Kelly-Covington says:

      So sorry to hear that. I’ve been the wife who never initiated. The worst thing you can say to her is, “don’t you want me?” She wouldn’t be with you if she didn’t.

      I don’t know if she’ll ever initiate, but I can tell you a bit of the journey my husband and I have had.

      I was raised to be a good girl. Keep it in my pants until marriage . that only whores went after boys & men never respected, loved or married those type. After going through my teens being ignored by guys because I wouldn’t put out, I gave in. I had sex with guys not because I liked it,(which I do) but rather because I was tired of being ignored. Which tragically landed me in a date rape situation.

      My husband started having sex in high school. His parents didn’t talk to him at all about sex. Actually it was the only activity he had that wasn’t chosen by an overprotective mother. It was how he expressed his individuality.

      So we came to the table with much different sexual backgrounds. Changes? Yes.
      Him?
      He started respecting me as an individual. Stopped comparing me to other women (to my face and in his head).He stopped saying hurtful side remarks that made me feel bad for having not been a whore(thus having a lot of experience). He gave me the time to catch up. He could have sex 2-4 times daily. And although I usually don’t say no. I could have sex 3-4 times weekly.

      Me?
      I was able to start healing from the emotional abuse. I took the time to initiate conversations about his sexual needs. I made small plans to “surprise” him….

      What was interesting about our case is that when we were dating I would initiate sometimes. And it was nice. But he was also dating other women who did much more pornagraphic things. As he began to move towards monogamy he became more demanding sexually which turned everything into a chore. Also he started having tonic – clonic seizures & was diagnosed with adult onset epilepsy. Being his nurse didn’t help either.

      So…I said all that to say. I wish you and your wife the best life. That we all come to the table with ‘history’ and also unspoken expectations. That medical issues take a huge toll on women’s sex drive (in my experience it seemed to increase my husband’s – like he didn’t want to die without having as much sex as possible) and if you stop resenting her (she can feel it even when you don’t say it) perhaps she’ll see that she misses the fun and youthful abandon.

  71. ABalsama says:

    I don’t initiate because I’m tired, sometimes flat out exhausted, and not just from my job. It’s literally all I can do to get home, in the door, deal with the laundry and the dogs and the pets, and find dinner. The decompression sometimes (not all the time) takes a few hours, and then it’s time to get some sleep. I don’t sleep well, much, so it’s critical to get to bed as early as possible, during the school year. Then, when we’re not having sex, it seems like that is all my husband talks about, all the time. I can’t talk to him much at all about the challenges I am trying to sort out at my workplace, even if I am feeling like I could use his insight. I have been told I am boring, that he’s just not interested. So, even if the challenges are good challenges, and I am doing some very important work to solve them AND am proud of what I’m doing (most of it stuff I’ve never done before in my life, and have had to be resourceful in figuring out) I can’t share any of it with him. If there’s a challenge in my work life, or with my own family, or I am worried about something, he tells me I worry too much, or gets really defensive and ticked off, asking me what I want HIM to do about it. Nothing! It’s just that I need his listening ears – and maybe just some straightforward reassurance and encouragement (sincere encouragement – not the patting on the shoulder everything is going to be alright platitudes). There are times I don’t initiate (which is – sadly – just about all the time) because I’m feeling resentful, or overwhelmed, and lost. There were times when I learned – back in the early years – that the kids would ALWAYS take first place, even when they were fine, doing okay. Last, I guess, is just that I’m so much more than a boring person, and SO MUCH MORE than someone who wants to just sit and listen AGAIN to an analysis of what’s wrong with me. I don’t want to always hear about sex – really. And, I don’t want him to purchase any more sex gadgets for me – I can pick out my own, thanks. (I will admit, though, that given my track record with interest in sex (I have little to NO libido, a consequence of medication I have been on for the last 20 years), it’s likely that I wouldn’t ever really initiate going into a sex gadget store anyway, much less purchase any gadgets for myself). I’m so frustrated at not being the person he wants and needs. It’s just such a disappointment for him, I’m sure.

  72. Frustrated Husband says:

    Wow, just came across this web site and am really impressed w/the comments. Its great to read the honesty of all these ladies and men. I have been married over 30 years, and have a great marriage except for the sex. When we were first married ,our sex life was awesome! My wife wanted sex every night and sometimes more than once a day. After 10 years and especially now, our sex has become “boaring” and routine, once or twice a week doing the same thing in the same place. I like oral sex and she does not although she participates reluctently. She does not like foreplay,seemingly wanting to get the whole thing over with. She nevers shows any emotion or comments on,” that is great or Hon, that feels good” etc, even though I try to communicate w/her during and after sex. I feel like when she does initiate sex, its for her feeling obligated to do so. I know there is an issue , as in some of the earlier blogs above, that she has this “dirty ” issue taught to her when she was young and trying new things or positions or new places is so called “Dirty” and don’t do them. After all these years ,I still have a strong labido and my desire for her is strong. But as many articles I read say, when your married this long you need to spice up things or your sex life will die. At this point in time it looks like she will not change and I have to fantasize of the times when she was younger when we have sex now. I want sex with her because she wants me not because she feels obligated to give it to me.

  73. Been with my wife for a little over 11 years, been martied for 10.

    I want to mention first that I love her very much, and care about her emencly. And she says the same about me.

    My problem has to do with her lack of initiation as well, but what really confuses me is that for the first 7 years of our relationship, she would initiate all the time, perhaps 75% of the time. In fact, I would sometimes wake up to her touching me and helping me get aroused. Sometimes she would just give me oral, sometimes I would wake up to her on top of me with me inside her. It was really awesome, and something that was very new to me (my ex wife apparently hated sex, so this was a complete but pleasant shock to me) I have to admit that sometimes I would turn her down because it was too much at times. (Now I wish I hadn’t because I’m wishing it would go back to the way it was)

    So yeah, my problem fits the topic of her not initiating, but I’m confused because I know she is able to do it, and apparently enjoyed it because it happened for the first 7 or so years.

    Since then I pretty much have to initiate around 75% of the time. She is always willing, but now it feels like she is just doing it out of obligation. I would like it to be at least 50/50, but over the last couple of months it’s been 100% me doing the initiating. And now, out of feeling frustrated, and like she no longer desires me, I have not been initiating either, in the hopes that she will initiate. I’ve tried to explain to her that I feel like it’s important for her to initiate once in a while because it makes me feel like she wants me. She doesn’t seem to get it, she says “of course I desire you, that is just silly” I ask her what changed, why she quit initiating after doing it for so long? and she eludes to something along the lines of that it never was like that. Well it was! And I’m so very very frustrated! Why doesn’t she understand that the simple act of her initiating would make me feel like she desires me?

    EDIT: just wanted to add here reluctantly, that I am now having problems keeping erect during sex, I’m pretty sure it is most likely all in my head and not a physical health issue. But it feels like this stretch of not feeling desired is making me also have performance anxiety. There have been other times when I’ve had this problem, and I’ve shared my concern with her about it. And she would help me by saying it’s just in my head, and then she would touch me and get me arroused which would lead to sex. And then she would say “see it’s all in your head” which would instantly make me quit worrying that something might be “broken” down there. Now it’s getting worse, and she won’t help me by “fixing” it like she used too. So now my mind keeps telling me that I really am having an actual health issue.

    At first she was saying that she wanted to lose weight first (which I kinda understand) because she said she didn’t feel sexy anymore, I told her that didn’t matter, but I think she finds that hard to believe. Honestly, it doesn’t matter to me, I love and desire her no matter what her weight is. And I often tell her she looks nice and/or hot/sexy, when I see her with a new outfit on, or just whenever I think she looks nice/hot/sexy, because I really do :). Anyway, lately she has lost a lot of weight, and she is looking good as ever, do I thought that maybe her initiating would start up again soon, but it hasn’t :(. And I still keep commenting on how nice she looks, and that I’ve noticed she has lost weight. So there is something else that has changed. Maybe she is tired of me? I don’t know what it is, but it is starting to make me completly shut down in the sex department, I’ve even had thoughts of cheating so that I can feel desired again. (I don’t want to cheat, and I’m not out looking per se, but the thought does cross my mind occasionally when I’m trying to sort things out in my mind whike I’m feeling frustrated), where as before, it NEVER even crossed my mind at all because I was feeling more than desired by her.

    So anyway, that’s my vent for the day, I look forward to any feedback / responses. And just want to say that after reading most of this thread. It’s nice to know that there are others with similer stories.

  74. There is a difference between rejection and having to initiate. But both hurt like hell. One must make you question if you are loved, but the other just makes you feel frustrated and exasperated. I’m in the exasperated camp, exasperated that whilst you “get” sex (way less than you would like) you never feel wanted or desired. Then the excuses, “you don’t love me right” or “it just doesn’t feel natural”. She will be at the Fifty Shades of Grey film though and has the book. All over Facebook with her pals discussing how good it looks. Just once or twice a month. It’s really, really not asking too much

  75. frustrated says:

    My turn to vent…
    My wife and I are both 32 years old with a 1 year old son. Our sex life has never been too crazy although it has slowed considerably since we got married 3 years ago and especially during/after the pregnancy. I don’t really remember if she initiated sex when we were dating but I can say that since the pregnancy she has maybe initiated sex 2 or 3 times in the past two years and I would say, on average, we have sex maybe 1/2 times per month. I have always felt like she isn’t a very sexual person but over the past two years I have grown more and more resentful of the fact that we don’t have sex very much and that she doesn’t ever seem to actually want it. It always feels like she is just throwing a dog a bone. I have tried to talk about it with her a few times but it always ends up in an argument in which I feel like I lost. I try to make her understand that I really really want to have sex with my wife and that I need to feel like she wants me. It seems to get better but then after a week or two it’s back to normal. I have read a lot of other peoples posts and followed some suggestions about doing more around the house and make her feel more wanted but it does not seem to help. I work long long hours especially during the summer months but when I get home I make a conscious effort to help. From the time I get home until the time she goes to bed I am actively cooking, cleaning and helping withour son. I will not sit down on the couch before her and I will not go to bed before she does in an effort to show her that I am trying to help. But in the end it seems to makes no difference.

    For a while I would initiate sex and she would not turn me down very often but after a while her lack of initiation slowly crept into my head. I now feel so unwanted that I have stopped trying and I am begining to withdraw from her. She can tell that something is wrong and when I do get up the courage to talk about it it always ends in an arguement. She says she will try harder even saying that she will make an effort to have sex 2/3 times per week. The latest talk was a week ago and no sex since. Now I feel that even if she did initiate it I would ultimately be the reason she is making an effort and that it is not a genuin interest in being with me. I can’t stand the fact that I love my wife as much as I do and she has no desire to be with me.

    Whether or not it’s my fault, both of ours, or hers alone that it has gotten to this point I blame her. It pisses me off that she let it get to this point when all she had to do was atleast act like she wanted to be with me. If she would have made an effort a long time ago then there wouldn’t be this resentment towards her. Then I wouldn’t think that the only reason she is having sex with me is because I finally said something about it. Maybe I am wrong to blame her. I don’t know. I don’t see how things can change if they haven’t already so I guess i’m just venting.

    I work hard to provide for my family. I make 3 times the amount of money she does and with that money I have bought her a new car/house/vacations, paid off all her debt, and I have even mentioned that if she wants to she can quit her job. And all I want is for my wife to want me! I don’t want to ask for it. I want her desire to be genuin. I know she loves me but I just don’t feel the passion.

    • A log time ago in a far away land, someone or a group of somebodies separated women into 2 groups. Women could not be both. They had to choose. Be a wife who is loving, supportive, forgiving, trusting, hard working, great homemakers, and wonderful mothers. Or, they could be whores. Sexually salacious, provocative dressers, seductive, playful, etc.

      In a society that told women that “wife” was the best & highest status a woman could have, better for her & her children, women who wanted a better life chose “wife.”

      Now, hundreds of years later, men are wanting their wives to be both. Whore & housewife. Lady in the streets, freak in the sheets. There is an attitude that comes with sex. One that is hard to control. For women, naturally, we must protector eggs.

      A husband saying, ” I want you to want me” sounds stupid to a wife. If she didn’t want you, she wouldn’t have married you. She is offended & perplexed by that statement. It sounds like you’re picking on her. She will not respond the way you hope.

      Men are simple conversationalist. Women are complicated conversationalist. All the men who have taken the time, ( and it will take time) to explain to their wives what they want & need have been successful. Great job guys & spread the word.

      A wife needs to know that you’ll still respect her as your wife after she gives in to her sexuality. A wife needs to know that she’s not going to be a whore to you. She needs to know it’s okay to let loose.

      I was raised to be a ” good girl ” and no matter what sexual thoughts you have in your head, you were taught you’ll go to hell, or he won’t marry you, or that those thoughts are nasty & dirty. You can’t turn off that programming without love, patience and support.

      • Not “hundreds of years later”…since the dawn of time. When a man says” I want you to want me” what he is really saying, and this is just one mans opinion is this: I need to connect with you physically and I need you to show me, by initiating this physical intimate time.

        Men are by definition physical in nature. We just are…the ones who have not been feminized anyway…It is thru physical interactions on an intimate level that men connect with you women emotionally. You know, the way you want to be connected to us by, emotionally…soul mates…the universe aligned for us to be together…he really cares about ME…

        For men, being physical with and being intimate with a woman is very powerful, heady stuff. We feel empowered and energized when our wife chases after us, seduces us and is confident in herself enough to tell us and show us. Not tell the world or her girlfriends or her sister or her mother…us, the man in her life.

        By a show of hands, men, how many of you would be jacked up ready to run thru a brick wall, ready to listen to your wife endlessly yammer on about her book club book for three hours and actually be engaged in the conversation, would gladly pick up your clothes, grab the kids from school, send a little love note in her work bag or otherwise bend over backward for your wife if she did the following: One night after dinner, you are doing the dishes, she is getting the kids lined up for homework, the dogs are out, you are chatting about your respective days, blah blah blah…and she sneeks up behind you, grabs your crotch and whispers in your ear, “baby, on Friday when the kids are my moms, I am going to &*&*****… and then she just turns and walks away…

        I know, if anyone finds out she said this, she would be labeled a slut and whore…exactly!!! a slut and a whore for her HUSBAND- oh the horror of that…Dang Marge, did you hear what Stacy told her husband the other night??? She is such the little slut, initiating sex with her husband like that…I guess he doesn’t care that is 50 pounds over her playing weight, and hasn’t bough a new set of clothes in forever…

        Seems women are more concerned about what other women or society thinks about them than what their own husband might think about them… And I know I cant speak for 100% of the husbands out there, but if my wife said that to me, well, I would be totally fine with that and I would respect her in the morning…

  76. I have had this problem with my wife for 2 years now and its getting to the point to where i dont feel wanted by her. i know she has orgasm well a few of them every time we make love but she refuses to be the one to start it. I have tried to talk to her about it but its like it goes in one ear and out the other and she will just lay there with no response and we had this talk or should i say i have talked to her about this several times. Some times i feel she cheating on me or she just dosnt love me. i dont know what to do.
    Joe recently posted…My Blind Spot of Shame: Admitting Your MistakesMy Profile

  77. 18 yrs married. I shared the following with my wife who only initiated maybe three times in 18 years. “You don’t understand me.” then “Do you want to understand me?” she did. ” I am simple, I need 3 things. Food, … I couldn’t remember the second… and lovin/sex” I started crying as I explained that it was such a hangup in our marriage for me to feel one with her without her recognizing and acting on my needs.

    I’m a good husband. I needed her to need me for more than Shelter, protection, Food, money, social status, a daddy, sperm donor etc.

    “I just need you to show an interest in me.” “other women wear less in public than what you show me in the bedroom” She always was ok being naked, but never in something seductive. I never bought trashy lingerie, but she would never wear it.

    I know she liked sex because she would get into it after I initiated (when she was not too tired) and so I always had hope.

    “I am tired of you being tired” “I need you to initiate sex”

    Anyway, she took it to heart.

    We have had the most wonderful couple of months, we have had a home honeymoon. She budgeted $750 for lingerie, some flavored lubes and we even got a vibrator. She has initiated sex almost every night for the last 2 months.

    She doesn’t know that she saved her marriage. I have always been faithful, but I was rapidly falling out of love. We were likely heading for separate lives, not divorce, but just not connected.

    I am more productive at work. I never now speak ill of my wife, before it was easier to tease her about stuff. I am a better man. I am happier around the kids, my daughter noticed that we are more flirtatious with each other.

    I look forward to seeing her. We kiss with a touch of passion before I go to work.

    I am not tempted to look at other women, or be jealous/envious of other men.

    I am way more helpful around the house. I tackled a big cleaning project and actually finished it. I took several trips to the dump.

    Women want their husbands to change from being overgrown boys and be a man.

    Start treating your man like a lover rather than a roomate, or paycheque, and you will see immediate change. For us after 3 days I forgot how our marriage was, and am into how it is.

    God blessed us with us and now we are looking after each other’s needs unselfishly.

  78. Ive been with my wife 12 years married 7 and have a 4 year old son. I thought i was alone in my situation but take slight comfort from these posts. Im 33 my wife likewise, our sex life was good to start but i can almost gaurantee i have always initiated sex, i get frustrated because were both still young and are very active n healthy, and often wonder how bad itll be in 10 years time. At the moment we probably have sex once or twice a month which for me is nowhere near the amount my sex drive needs. I have mentioned it to her before but it falls on deaf ears. I can only see this problem getting worse and eventually tear us apart. I dont want sext to be such an issue it should be fun for both and exciting, id appreciate just every now and again for her to decide she wants me before i want her, im still deeply attracted to my wife but intamacy as always been an issue for her. And having these feelings makes me colder to her inturn making her want me less!!! I just wish i could see a way to make this better but i only see one outcome, we both seperate and find someone who doesnt need to work at something which should could natural.

  79. I am a shy person by nature. I guess one would say I’m introverted. I have been with my husband, married, for 25 years..known him for 28. Maybe I’ve initiated sex twice. I just can’t bring myself to do it. I know it bothers him. And it bothers me that it bothers him.
    I just don’t know how.

  80. I have been married to my husband for 5 years now. We have 2 wonderful kids together and I am very happy. He on the other hand has expressed discontent in the bedroom. Our baby girl is 8 months, I am still breast feeding and I still feel self conscious about my body. I am guilty of not initiating. Not because I’m not attracted to him (like he believes), but because I just don’t think about it. I don’t want sex as often as he does. When he initiates I try not to deny him, but he wants me to initiate and now that he has brought it to my attention … He feels that when I do, it is out of pity. Which isn’t entirely wrong. I don’t know what to do about becoming more interested in sex. Even before babies … I’ve just never really been interested in sex.

    It’s just so frustrating!

  81. I bravely showed this article to my other half as we have been having this argument for years. She totally understands my point of view now as i could never have explained it to her in a way which didnt seem like i was nagging. She frequently initiates now and i find muself wanting to inotiate more. Our relationship has generally improved in all areas and we are so much happier.

  82. I have been in a relationship with a beautiful woman – 8 years my junior – for 6 years, and married to her 2 of them. We just welcomed our baby boy into the world 7 months ago. She’s busy with school and work, and I work out of the house while raising him so we don’t have to do daycare. I am not the best housekeeper, but I try. I try to cook, and I run out to accomplish all the honey-do tasks. Apparently, donning the apron isn’t the hot commodity some magazines make it out to be.

    I am very close to filing divorce papers. Really, the only thing that keeps me from doing so is my son. I look at him and burst into tears thinking about doing that to him – all over sex. In all 6 years of our relationship, my wife has never once initiated sex. I’ve had conversations with her about our inimate life numerous times, and nothing has ever changed. She stopped french kissing me after the first year and a half of our relationship. She’s very much like a guy – wham, bam, get ‘er done. You’d think we guys would like that – but I don’t. I like foreplay, and the intimate connection that comes with it. We have none. I’ve experienced her sighing in the middle of sex and say, “Is this going to end anytime soon? Let’s get the show on the road.” So I lose interest, and she gets offended. I wonder why I’d lose any interest when she starts complaining in the middle of what is supposed to be love making? I’m pretty sure we haven’t made love, as I’d see it, in over 4 years – including our wedding night.

    She’s very good at making me feel sorry for her – she’s very busy, working fulltime and going to school fulltime, but our intimate life is at the bottom of her priority list. I’ve told her she’s losing me, but she manages to always tell me that she’s the one who’s suffering. I’m at my wit’s end. I don’t know what to do.

    [Editor’s note: just editing some more intimate details out]

  83. Hi there.
    I am struggling with this problem. My husband seems to base his self worth on me initiating sex. I just can’t. I love my husband dearly and we have been married going on 15 years but the last 5 years or so he has stopped initiating sex and expects me too. If we go two or three days without it he gets all pouty and tantrumy (serious turn off). I am a mother of his 4 children. I work full time. I love sex when he initiates and acts masculine but this whiney stuff just turns me off and I don’t want to initiate. It has become a chore and he has become more and more distant. I feel it is a catch 22. I don’t want to fake interest but I feel like I have to because if I don’t he will start with his “you don’t love me”, “you don’t show me you love me” and it goes on and on. I feel like I am failing him as a wife because I have NO interest in initiating. He wants me to put on a sexy act (but he wants it to be real). Everything else in our marriage is great but this has me angry, resentful and bored. What do you suggest I do?

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  1. […] I want to talk to the women out there who find initiating sex, or even thinking about sex, hard because of guilt from their pasts. Photo by Faithful […]

  2. […] positive way, where you’re “flipping the switch”, so to speak. Anticipate it. Enjoy it. Even initiate!  Think about how great it’s going to be to be with your husband tonight. Don’t just get in […]

  3. […] A great sex life means that you give in to those feelings. You embrace your sexual side. You realize that this is who you were made to be–with your husband. And this is a good thing! You can fuel those feelings with some texts to him during the day, or some nibbles on his ear after dinner, or whispers to him. You can flirt. You can tease him. You can even initiate! […]

  4. […] recently too . and its just about sex ultimately. Read this , its what I want to send to my wife. Why It's Important to Husbands that Wives Initiate Sex! Why Your Husband Wants You to Read this Marriage Blog – To Love, Honor and Vacuum Maybe it […]

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