When Your Spouse Isn’t Interested in Sex: Communicating Your Needs

When Your Husband Doesn't Want to Have Sex: how to talk to him about it.
Last month, in my 29 Days to Great Sex series, I was talking about how to make sex great: how to want it, how to be enthusiastic, how to make it fun. But then the emails started to arrive: what do I do if my husband doesn’t want to have sex? What do I do if my wife won’t read this series with me? What do I do when my spouse just doesn’t think sex is important? We’ve been looking for the last two days at some reasons that men may not want sex.

Today I want to offer my thoughts on what you can do–whether you’re a husband or a wife–and you’re married to someone who just isn’t interested in sex. On Monday a woman left this comment on my blog, and it pretty much sums up what many of the spouses who email me are feeling:

My husband has low testosterone and it is a huge struggle for us, even though he is being treated for it. The biggest thing is that he just doesn’t really see sex as an issue at all; it’s as if he wants a complete marriage, but if there was no sex, he’d be fine with that. :(

I am a Christian and love my God. However, at this time, I am struggling with being very angry with God because I am a “good girl,” raised in a Christian home and although I dated a lot before marriage (and fooled around), I saved myself for marriage and for my husband. Now I feel like I’ve been cheated or robbed. I know life’s not fair, and that there are worse things people are dealing with, but for me, I feel lonely, rejected, and bitter. He is a fabulous man, father, and husband, but it breaks my heart that he doesn’t see any need for sex in marriage. He’s not into porn, addicted to anything, etc….just apathetic towards sex. :( In a way, it’s worse, because there’s no “addiction” to stop, no “sin” to confess, nothing that can be “fixed.” Even with his testosterone levels raised to where they should be, he doesn’t really care about sex at all.

He still makes love to me because he knows it’s something I need, but I wish it was something HE actually needed, too.

She’s a little more fortunate, because at least her husband does acknowledge his wife’s need for sex and tries to meet it. Many people who wrote me don’t even have that. Their spouses have basically checked out. Tomorrow we’ll look at what to do when your spouse has decided to withhold sex, almost permanently.

But today let’s deal with this problem: how do you help a spouse who does not have a drive for sex or an understanding that sex is important understand what your needs are? How do you talk to a spouse who doesn’t seem to want to have sex at all? Here are some thoughts:

1. Get Your Heart Right

Don’t enter a conversation angry or bitter. If your spouse has wronged you, go to God with that anger and ask Him to help you forgive. You need to have a conversation where you pursue what is best for you as a couple. Having a conversation where you’re trying to get him or her to acknowledge how much they’ve hurt you won’t necessarily help your relationship. There is a time to bring this up, once things are looking better, but if the desire is to move your relationship towards greater intimacy, that is what you should be focusing on, not vengeance. God calls us to love our spouses wholeheartedly, even if they don’t meet our needs.

2. Focus on Intimacy, not Sexual Release

Your spouse has an issue with sex. Chances are they find it a somewhat distasteful–if not very distasteful–obligation. It could be because they have really negative attitudes about sex; or it could simply be because they’re tired, they’re sick of having things on their to-do list, and they don’t want to have to do something energetic that they have to “get in the mood” for.

If you talk about your sexual needs, chances are this is what your spouse will hear:

“I have sexual needs because I have never really developed self-control the way you have. I am a slave to my body, unlike you, who is able to focus on the important things in life. And now, because of my desire and lack of self-control, I want you, who are already busy, to get energetic and to pretend that you actually want sex so that I can get some release.”

Not exactly a very attractive proposition, is it? Obviously that’s not what you mean, but even if you simply said something like this:

I desire you. I find you so attractive. You excite me. I want us to experience this together. I want to feel loved.

Your spouse will hear the first bit, especially if this has become a big area of conflict in your relationship.

So what should you do instead? Focus on the real issue–the one that both of you share. You want more intimacy, and sex is a doorway into intimacy. I would say something like this:

I really believe that God created us to long for each other and to be able to experience major depths of love and intimacy. I believe that God wants us to feel passionate about each other, close to each other, and truly intimate, so that we know that we’re not walking through life alone. I want us to feel so madly in love, and I want you to feel how much I love you. I want us to feel like we’re totally one, and I believe that the way that God made us to express that is through sex.

I know sex can be difficult for you, and I know you’re tired a lot of the time. I know you feel like you don’t have a lot of desire. But I’m worried that our lack of intimacy is actually partly the cause of some of that exhaustion. If we could really feel passion and really feel as if we were truly connected, perhaps much of the angst that we have both been feeling lately would evaporate.

I think God wants you to live such a big life. God wants you to enjoy everything that He created you for, and I think that we’re robbing each other of the gift of passion that God put in us. Do you think that we could try to rediscover passion together? I know it’s not easy, because you feel like you don’t have a sex drive. But it’s not just about sex; it’s about feeling so close to each other. That’s what I really want. Can we talk about how we can feel that intimacy, that passion, that closeness? And how we can make it easier for you to feel it? Because that’s what I think our marriage needs.

In other words, you’re focusing on intimacy and love, and not on release. The conversation doesn’t become about sex, or what you do in bed, or how often is enough. It focuses on how we can feel love for each other and how we can really experience passion.

Don’t argue about sexual release. Don’t argue about sexual needs. Don’t bring up 1 Corinthians 7:5, about how your spouse’s body belongs to you. That will not likely help the situation (even if it is true). Instead, bring up your desire for intimacy–an intimacy that will empower you both, energize you both, and equip you both to deal with the world together. When a couple is really experiencing that, they can take on the world.

Then the discussion can turn more to overcoming roadblocks for sex, like I’m just too tired, or I don’t really enjoy it, and you can start looking at how you can address these things to make intimacy easier. If your spouse is nervous about it, you can talk about it in a loving way, saying something like,

“I understand you’re tired, but I want so much more for you. God created you to live a big life, and I think He put me here to help you do that. Can we talk about how we can break through some of these issues?”

The point is to make the topic of the discussion that you love your spouse and you don’t want them to miss out on intimacy–it isn’t only about your sexual needs. It’s about your needs as a couple.

Now, some people are bound to chime in and say that I’m being too easy on the spouse. If they’re not meeting needs, they’re sinning and they need to be told to shape up. In an ideal world we could just say to someone, “you’re doing wrong”, and they would cease. But I have very rarely seen that happen in real life. What I am proposing is to talk about it in a way that is more likely to get your spouse to understand your heart, and more likely to get your spouse involved in seeking a solution. And to me, that is more important than telling your spouse that he or she is wrong and you are right. If you’re not at the point where you can do that, and if you’re still too angry, then I’d suggest you work on your anger before you bring any of this up with your spouse.

3. Focus on Intimacy in Other Ways

Intimacy should be the main focus of your conversation with your spouse, because as your spouse recognizes a deeper need for intimacy, he or she will likely recognize more of a need for sex.

But intimacy is deeper than just sex, and if you work on building intimacy in other areas of your life, you may very well also fuel your spouse’s desire for sex.

So work on your friendship. Spend time together. Develop hobbies together. Take an interest in what your spouse is doing. If your wife is overburdened with the house or with kids, start helping her more so she can relax. If your husband is overburdened with work, do what you can to help him. Help each other calm down, de-stress, and spend time together.

And then work on your spiritual intimacy. Our spiritual health is very related to our sexual health. When we feel close to God, we’ll simultaneously feel more like reaching out to our spouses. When I had dinner a while ago with Bill and Pam Farrel, of Men are Like Waffles, Women are Like Spaghetti fame, they told me that the couples with the best sex lives tend to be those in ministry. As you serve God and worship God more, you tend to reach out for your spouse more.

I have found that in my own life, too. When my husband and I read Psalms before we go to bed, or pray together before we go to bed, I’m always more ready to jump him! So work on developing spiritual disciplines together. Go to church together. Read the Bible together. If you’re uncomfortable praying out loud, get a book of prayers and read those (that really is allowed). In many ways, sex is a picture of our longing for God; our longing to be deeply connected and deeply known. As we open ourselves up to spiritual passion, we’re more likely to feel other kinds of passion.

Pursue intimacy in all areas of your life: physical, relational, and spiritual. And then talk to your spouse about how God wants you to live lives of passion and intimacy. That is His desire. If we as a couple aren’t experiencing that, we’re missing out on something beautiful. So do we want to live small lives, or big lives? And what can we do to work towards that big life?

Good Girl's Guide to Great SexWill framing the conversation like this work? No, not necessarily. You can never change another person; you can only change yourself. However, I do believe that this is the best option you have.

Great Sex Challenge: Pursue Intimacy. Pray and get rid of anger or bitterness in your heart towards your spouse. Pursue friendship and spiritual intimacy, with no strings attached. Then talk to your spouse about your desire for deeper intimacy, and about God’s plan for passion and intimacy. Ask what you can do as a couple to pursue that.

My new book, The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, is now shipping from Amazon! And they still have it at 30% off! In the book, I deal with how to boost your libido (if you’re a woman), how to pursue intimacy as a couple, and how to deal with a man who doesn’t want sex.


  1. Intimacy in all forms is such a precious gift. I hope your emails can help many couples find that in their marriage.
    Audra Marie recently posted…Scripture Photo – Luke 9:23-24My Profile

  2. Thank you for doing a series on this. I know there are women who are dealing with this, and have probably felt alone. Thank you for giving them ideas of what they can do to help the overall feel of their marriages.
    Megan Elzey recently posted…To move a mountainMy Profile

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’m posting as Anonymous today because I don’t want these details to be connected with my husband.

    I hope to encourage some of you out there today. Although my husband didn’t have a complete lack of desire for sex the first many years of our marriage, he did have a lower sex drive than I and this was a huge battle for me. For many of those years he was on a cocktail mix of medicines for anxiety, depression and ADD. The latter of which I shoved him out the door to confirm his symptoms.

    During that time I cried, fought, prayed, begged the Lord . . . and as many of you have probably discovered, this only pushed my husband away further. Nothing seemed to work. Eventually I came to the end of myself and realized I’d better surrender this to the Lord or it would swallow me up. The Lord spoke to me various ways. I remember a series from Focus on the Family then playing on the radio. I took in what I heard. I remember a discussion during this series on groveling. What the Lord showed me was that when I went to my husband, often times I would end up groveling. At times I was angry. But as many of you may relate, a woman will sometimes resort to crying and pleading and asking what she is doing wrong. Groveling. The definition of grovel was given over the radio. I encourage you to look it up. We, as humans, cannot respect anyone that grovels. It goes against the nature God put within us.

    So what was I to do? I prayed and prayed some more and definitely pulled back on not just groveling but also discussion on the topic for a while. I wanted to hear what the Lord had to say. The lack of grovelling in itself helped but I knew there were still some issues.

    LADIES, even if it seems there is no apparent reason–medication, porn addiction, etc–I can assure you that sometimes something underlying is likely going on. God did NOT create man to willingly withdraw from sex for no reason. Low testosterone is something I am sure is a huge problem often. GOD CAN STILL HEAL THIS!!! But first, seek Him. Ask Him to open YOUR eyes. Is not this the way He works with any other issue? He wants us to pour our needs, hurts and even anger to Him. HE can handle it. However, His principles and laws in His Word will always have us reflecting inwardly.

    Let me fast forward my story a bit . . .

    Eventually my husband decided to come off of most of the meds he was on and this was a tremendous answer to prayer. Some time later {maybe a few years} we had a blow up that ended up with an eye opening revelation for me. I had been disrespectful in so many ways. He had had enough. His actual all out SCREAM of this information hit me to the core of my being. I KNEW it was true. I excused it most of the time. Many times I would be “venting” to him and felt he took it personally but I also knew, KNEW that I had been consistently disrespectful in many ways with MY MOUTH.

    It was an ugly truth that I needed to see. It took prayer and repentance and surrendering to the Lord but I knew I had to change this. We are to respect our men. SIMPLY PUT! I had done the complete opposite in many ways. Later, I would find that this affected him and his desire for sex. UNDERSTANDABLY. This truth came out after another eye opening realization coming in a second. And when it did, I could look back and see the truth of what he said. I could see how since that blow up and my desire to change, sex had gotten much better. Even in the early years when we had it, it was good most of the times but things were definitely better. Still, at times they were off.

    Within the past year I have been made aware an addiction to porn that my husband had since basically {sadly} childhood. It’s amazing what praying for freedom can do! This has been tremendously difficult! At the same time, very freeing especially for him! It is a problem that is so rampant, the least likely of people have it. He had always prided himself on not ever walking through the doors of Hooters. He would not go places friends would go. I NEVER would’ve imagined he had this problem. While he was not among the men who will readily admit their desire and indulgence in this sin, he would willingly go behind closed doors. Smart phones feed this much!!!

    And what is a crazy realization to this problem, is that they will want sex LESS. It can seem a little crazy in that you’d think it would feed them to want it more from their wives. However, they are getting their needs met via the addiction.

    Since the discovery, his repentance and newfound freedom, things have changed dramatically. It has been a battle, of course. But it is nothing short of amazing the beauty God can and DOES bring through deliverance and restoration. And that includes your sex life.

    Know that while I do not want to imply that your husbands are likely into porn in spite of the fact that it seems impossible to be true, I do pray that you will sincerely seek the Lord for Him to open, FIRST, your eyes.

    How we treat our men matters!!! We are not given an out because of our own hurts. We are accountable for our responses and our own actions. My heart hurts for women who struggle in this area. I know what it’s like to feel unwanted, rejected, in despair. BUT, HE alone is the lifter of our heads. Find your strength, your peace, WHO you are in Him. Lift up your heads and don’t grovel. EVER. It is NOT effective. Ask God to bring freedom to your husbands in ALL areas. And trust Him to bring clarity. He is faithful.

    If it’s nothing else but low testosterone, let’s pray together for God to heal this. He not only can but I believe He will!!!

    • Beautiful of you to share this. I am sure it will help many women!
      Megan Elzey recently posted…To move a mountainMy Profile

    • Wonderful comment, and I think what you shared is that quite often there is a whole lot of factors. It isn’t just one. Your husband had low testosterone, an addiction to porn, and a wife who often put him down. I think that’s quite common, where it’s multifaceted. I’m so glad you listened when God spoke to you, and isn’t that wonderful that God also spoke to your husband and that you’re able to rebuild now!

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you so much !!!! I am really feeling boosted in Lord on seeing these posts!!!!

      I would also like to share my situation as a prayer point.

      We are married for the past 9 months…….My husband didn’t initiate sex on our first night…..it went on for 4 days….And on the second day of our honeymoon I asked him(by crying)…..why we aren’t having sex……he then initiated hurriedly(I wasn’t exceited and I felt that he was also not interested…..just as I asked he initiated)…….but he did not get his erections….next day also he didn’t get his erections……Then he didn’t initiate sex for nearly 3 months……

      Then somehow I talked to him and took him to a doctor……The doctor just treated him for his erections……Now, if he takes medicine his erection is better(but when when he comes inside me it goes off)……but his sexual desire is still low……We tested for testosterone and it was low…..so the doctor injected a dose of testosterone…….but still he is having low sexual desire and Erectile dysfunction……He hasn’t ejaculated inside me even once…..

      I am also not much excited when we try to have sex(I do not know whether it is a problem with me or him)…..so my vaginal fluid is secreted very less…..

      But the things which I have noted in him was
      1) He is much addicted to sports
      2) He hasn’t masturbated for the past 10 years
      3) He doesn’t has the habit of taking alcohol
      4) He is not addicted to Porn

      We are also praying and believing on God alone…..Kindly uphold us in your prayers. I am much stressed(but beliveing on God alone)…..no words to describe my situation…..I feel myself very unlucky……Please pray that we must have a happy and satisfied life together till our death……please pray for us……

      Note : The E-mail ID which I had mentioned(donotwantoreveal@gmail.com) is an active one…..

  4. Sheila,
    Thanks for tackling a difficult topic! All too often it is taboo to discuss such intimate issues/struggles that Christian men/women are having within their marriage. You are making an impact for the Lord as a result. Keep up the good work!
    ~jolene engle
    The Alabaster Jar recently posted…The Good Samaritan Wife and a Marital Oneness Monday Link UpMy Profile

  5. Sheila,

    I agree completely with you about focusing first and foremost on intimacy. What’s more, I have never known any spouse to get more sex by dragging out 1 Cor 7.

    That said (and I know you know this) some men and women are fine with any and all intimacy as long as there is no sex. When that happens, one is forced to deal with sex directly.

    Waiting for your next post! 😉
    Paul Byerly recently posted…Romance: I prefer youMy Profile

    • So true, Paul! So when you talk about intimacy, you must say that God’s design for intimacy is that it is also expressed in sex. Excellent point.

  6. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
    Matt 6:33

    Shelia, I’m loving the post especially as a woman who wants it more. At least right now… In our marriage it has gone back and forth at times.. But, I may be jumping the gun on you but I think you are missing one point. We need to seek God above all else! Including intamcy with our husbands. If your husband will seek God with you all the better. But some of us have husbands that have fallen away from the Lord, in that situation you have to seek God on your own… The amazing thing is God does answer prayer. When you take the focus off how hurt you are by the rejection and truly give it to God and seek him first and foremost, things happen in other areas of your life. Your relationship with God is a barometer for all other relationships you have. Especially, your spouse. If your relationship with your spouse isn’t going good and isn’t getting better you need to look to God and see how that relationship is. Truly seek God with all your heart. God will as the other lady said open your eyes to the truth! Only God can bring about change in your spouse you can do nothing but pray for them and control how you behave. Seeking God wil give you peace beyond understanding (phil 4:7) that will enable you to serve your spouse despite the hurt.

    • Jenny, I do totally agree with you. Sometimes, actually, this is one of the beautiful things that come out of a lonely marriage–you learn how to rely on God. And you CAN’T change a spouse.

      Nevertheless, I do think that if there is a legitimate issue in a marriage you need to be able to talk about it. Yes, we should take it to God, and yes, we should find our peace in God. But I also think it’s good to try to build a fabulous relationship, the kind that God wants. And that often includes confronting your spouse on something that is wrong in the relationship.

      So thank you for adding that perspective! But I also just do want to say that if you are walking through this with your spouse, it is perfectly okay to talk about it with your spouse!

  7. The woman you quoted at the beginning said she wished her husband needed sex in the same way she does. Well, I have to say, as a spouse who simply doesn’t need sex in the same way my husband does – I have, in fact, often said that I’d have made a good nun if I were Catholic! – that the wish is normal, as long as that does not become a demand. Whether it’s a husband or wife, if the personal need is not there, it’s just not there – and there may be nothing wrong (physically or emotionally) with that person at all. It could just be how that person is wired, and it would be extremely unfair and unloving (not to mention completely unrealistic) to demand the spouse try to change his/her needs. Which doesn’t mean they shouldn’t also work to meet the needs of the spouse who wants/needs more sex – though there is a balance, as you have said several times over the past month. In fact, if a person’s personal need for sex is not very high but they do their best to meet their spouse’s needs despite that, the efforts should be appreciated, not diminished. I would even go so far as to say that a person who doesn’t have much need for sex but who does their best – even if it’s not “perfect” according to the more “needy” spouse – is very loving indeed because we’re really going out of our own comfort zone on a regular basis for our spouse. It’s really tiresome to continuously hear that those of us who are simply wired differently are somehow wrong or sick…and that we need to try to force ourselves to be what we are not. If we still – out of love – do our best by our spouse’s even when it’s not about ourselves, that should be applauded, not demeaned.
    Tina H. recently posted…Living Well Blog Hop: Week 31My Profile

    • I would agree, Tina. I think what the woman was expressing was that she wished that her spouse experienced real intimacy during sex, and that’s what I’m hoping to stir up here and in the 29 day series. I know some people will never have the same physical drive, and it’s a rare couple indeed who are totally compatible on that level. But I do think that God made us to experience love and intimacy during sex, and that’s what I think many spouses really yearn for. I’ve had people say to me, “I could live without the freqency, but I just want to have it be something that brings us closer together.” I think if you really love your spouse, and you’re doing your best to “step out of your comfort zone” and make love, that’s wonderful, and that’s part of expressing love for someone. My prayer would be that one day those spouses who do have the lower sex drive would also be able to EXPERIENCE sex as love, and not just express it as love, if that makes any sense, because that’s such a tremendous thing. And that’s really the best gift that God gave us.

      But I absolutely agree that if you are doing your best to show love to your spouse, that is a good thing. And I absolutely commend you for it. Your heart is definitely in the right place!

  8. My husband never had any interest in me or sex. I’ve been such a fool living with this horrible person for 45 years. But I do believe in death do us part of our wedding vows. We only had sex,intimacy, togetherness once in all these years. He decided that sex and intimacy were meaningless, he disliked it thought it really a waste of time, was disgusting and totally messy. So he said there will be no sex, love, sleeping together wasn’t in the cards. He move to the basement and built a kitchen, bedroom thing down there away from me. I was told never to bother him except when something is broke or needs replacing. Leave a POST IT on the wall. He lives like a hermit, no phone,TV, radio, dresses like a slob, no haircut just plain unkept. I thought he might be gay but no he goes only where its necessary for him to go. Plus I’ve hired people to follow him and nothing has been found. Its been my own fault for staying with him, the heart ache and depression, lonelyness is terrible. I wish I could find some one with a willing shoulder I could cry on. I have accepted my life for what it is.

    • Amy, I’m so sorry for your situation. It sounds like your husband has completely checked out of the relationship, and based on other comments, did so on his wedding night. I hope that you can find a good church where you can tell people what you’re going through and get their support, because God never meant for you to live alone like this. I pray that you can find some peace in God, and some good friends and some help after all these years.

    • I should also say that it sounds like your husband has already separated from you, and did so long ago. He chose to live completely separately, and to not communicate. I understand that you believe in til death do us part, but I think your husband has already left. It would be good for you to find a mentor couple who knows you in real life to talk to about this and to discuss what the proper options and actions are now.

    • JulieAnne McKinney says:

      Have you considered developmental disorders. Aspergers? This sounds so out of the range of normal. I am married to someone who has this and some behaviors have left me standing in a state of shock. This is a form of Autisum. Just a suggestion to think outside normal. Although this happens in marriages this sounds extreme and that alerts me to something outside of normal. It has taken us 10 years to peel back symptoms to find a diagnosis that explains the journey we hav e been on.

  9. I too am in a similar situation. My husband is a diabetic and has been since 2002. His health has gradually gotten worse because he doesn’t take care of himself. He takes his medicine but doesn’t watch what he eats. Things also got even worse when they put him on Metformin. I feel like he went through a bad bit of depression, but wouldn’t admit it. We had a rough summer of me doing “stupid” things that aggrevated him and since then he has “checked out” emotionally, spiritually and physically. I’ve been crying out to the Lord, hard since October of last year. He has fallen away from the Lord and says that he is closer to Him than ever. He was always an affectionate man. He would hold my hand, look at me lovingly, play with my hair, touch my body to let me know that he wanted me. That has now ALL stopped. Back in the fall I started gently asking him questions and his answer was “I don’t know”. He is distant, non affectionate and seems to not care what happens to me. The Lord has shown me little glimpses of hope, but this hurts so bad and I’m so lonely that I have thoughts of finding someone to just hold me. I’m trying to be strong and not come across as needy and pothetic, but it is so hard. I’ve started counseling and am thinking about antidepressants because I feel like I’m in mourning over our relationship. I was always taught that if a husband and wife are close to the Lord…then they will grow closer together., but he has no interest in doing that. He did a study with me in Aug and Sept. and said he was disappointed because I seemed to get nothing out of it. I tried to help him understand that I have ADD issues and some parts of it didn’t sink in, but that seemed to make him more disgusted. He told me “I give up”, “I’m done”. Our marriage was never perfect, but I know we loved each other and we use to have a great physical and affectionate marriage and now that is all gone. He has had problems with porn in the past and made a covenant with me and God years ago to stay away from that, but I fear that it’s back. I don’t know what to do but WAIT…my Psalm that I’m living by right now is Psalm 40…waiting for the Lord to bring me out of the ‘horrible pit”, out of the “miry clay” and “set my feet upon a rock”. But it is so hard to wait and I want my marriage partner back.

  10. When I was “working in the church” it was sad how many who came to me with these struggles. Even now I still know couples who struggle! I even know couples at least married 6-13 years no sex at all! Your post was very well written! I loved it. I have it marked and will reference it next time approach. Most know I’m am not shy talking about sex-so many come to me. (you do better though!:)) God’s gave us this gift-the world is tearing it apart! Someone has got to talk about it the way it was intended for!:).

  11. some very wise advice, especially about opening our own eyes as women. interestingly some women in the world are more savvy when it comes to things like this, many of them see how hardness in their character and personalities can turn a man off sexually. totally. So the message is, in a word: soften. Women need to be, well yes, penetrable, and if we have a hard shell and hard core which comes our mouths it is like throwing a bucket of iced water over him, no wonder then men might find it hard to get turned on sexually when their spouse is hardened toward them.

  12. ButterflyWings says:

    ” If you talk about your sexual needs, chances are this is what your spouse will hear:

    “I have sexual needs because I have never really developed self-control the way you have. I am a slave to my body, unlike you, who is able to focus on the important things in life. And now, because of my desire and lack of self-control, I want you, who are already busy, to get energetic and to pretend that you actually want sex so that I can get some release.” ”

    While that may be the case for SOME couples, to say it is the case for all couples in this situation is short sighted.

    It assumes that the spouse wanting sex is only saying they have sexual needs for physical needs – it ignores the couple where they know that the spouse saying it because of a need for their relationship to deepen and this can’t be done when one person constantly rejects the other.

    And more importantly, it bizarrely assumes that the spouse rejecting sex considers themselves to be focussed on important things (or is busy). I know several lovely, heartbroken women who are facing this situation.

    It has nothing to do with physical release on their side of things – they just want to bond with their husbands. Their husbands KNOW they are not busy and especially know they are NOT focussed on important things.

    For example, two of them have husbands who are addicted to World of Warcraft and another has a husband who is addicted to going to the gym. It is their husbands who have no self control (and two out of three acknowledge this), it is their husbands who are not focussed on the important things in life, and is their husbands who have no legitimate “busyness” – other than part time work and their addiction, they have no life, while their poor wives are working, taking care of the household, two of the three have kids (it only takes once to get pregnant) and are doing 100% of the childrearing.

    Yet despite the fact that it’s the woman who is totally exhausted from true busyness – financially supporting the family, doing all the housework, raising the kids etc – they still want to spend a little bit of time occasionally being intimate with their husbands because they know it will improve the bond between them – for their husband’s sake more than their own.

    It is their husband’s who have no self control – they are out pleasuring themself constantly with computer games and working out and give no thought at all to having any self control over their pleasure seeking activities. It is their husbands who are not the slightest bit busy apart from their self pleasuring activities.

    These are men who don’t want sex because they are getting their pleasure elsewhere. It may not be sexual pleasure, but it is self pleasure none the less.

    So how on earth do you deal with men like that? Telling them “I desire you. I find you so attractive. You excite me. I want us to experience this together. I want to feel loved.” means nothing to them. You can tell it to them a thousand times. It doesn’t get them off their computer games.

    • Butterfly Wings, you’re right, increasingly this is a huge problem in marriage. I’m actually starting a series in January when I’m going to talk about all of these issues: video games, television, a lack of discipline, a lack of regular sleep, a lack of “adult” behaviour. And how can we reclaim that? How can we reclaim family time and couple time when we have video games issues or we stay up until 3:00 on the computer?

      So I don’t have a quick answer, but I will be expanding on all of these issues soon.

  13. I’m going to book mark this. And read it un till i get it right. I need intimacy not sex. You opened my eyes.

  14. Nathan Stice says:

    I am a guy and I need to make a comment here. First of all NEVER tell some one or pressure someone to go off their ADD or othe meds…it’s not your choice or life it’s his. The commen made earlier abou how anonymous made her hub go off all his meds..wow…selfish! Secondly, maybe the fact is that a man likes to feel sexually powerful and in control but he also wants to be respected. When my wife is rude or disrespecfiul to me I def don’t feel sexually attracts to her. There is all on here about how to approach your man and “change him” classic female mistake but maybe you need to look at yourselves first, the only person you can change is yourself ladies.

    • ButterflyWings says:

      Totally agree it’s dangerous, reckless and selfish to demand any person go off psychotropic medication. This is a decision to be made with a doctor and should be done only under a doctor’s care. Taking some off psych meds , including ADHD meds,without monitoring by a doctor can lead to horrific consequences.

  15. Name Withheld says:

    Awesome series of posts!!! I’ve been looking for answers regarding my husbands decreased sexual drive. My search yielded results for how to dress sexier, tricks to try in bed or worst of all, concluded that he was cheating. I was so thankful when I found this site. My husband is a good man and father. I know he’s been under more stress recently and I can now see how I may have compounded the issue. I look forward to putting into practice some of the suggestions and hopefully getting a positive response.

  16. I stumbled across this post and I have to say I am so in the same boat. My husband and I have been married almost 14 yrs and the last few have gotten worse. We started out making love every day. Then it diminished after maybe the 5th year. After that it was in spurts. But that was because we had financial difficulties and he was stressed…..which is what I thought. We have a great relationship over all else. We have 2 children and our lives are surrounded by our family time, but when the kids go to sleep, how I long and wish for intimacy. I’ve had several talks with him about this. He’d give me an excuse why. He’s either stressed or tired or he doesn’t want to wake me because I’m tired….etc. I am in tears and have fell at a weak moment a couple years ago. I have since repented but never told anyone but the Lord. But again…I ask my husband what’s wrong…he says.. nothing is wrong. I want him but I can’t lie, lately I kind of don’t because I know if we do it, it’s because he’s doing it out of his “duty”. I had a hysterectomy in April, have been cleared by my Dr. For 2 weeks still nothing… we haven’t made love since February or March sometime. I touch him but he doesn’t “bite it” so to speak. He’s talked to the Dr and urologist, nothing. Not only am I hurt to my guts sometimes but yes I totally feel intimately lonely and starved. I even think sometimes something is wrong with ME mentally. But I feel robbed of all my 20s and almost my 30s!!!

  17. This is for more advice. Around 2003 my husband started to become lazy in our sexual life. It was like he was forcing himself to be intimate . I would not say anything but cry after the 5 minute of sex. Very so after he stopped. At that time his Crohn’s disease was really acting up. 2005 he had a small part of his large, and small intestine removed. They did remove his entire Ileium. So he must take B12 injections every week the rest of his life. This is when things between us really chained. He was gaining weight, excercizing and for the first time in his life was able to gain muscle mass. He look great. Then I had a gut feeling, his behavior changed, routines changed, everything changed. Plus his angry was through the roof. Well he had been having an affair with a married woman at work. I found out by going through his e-mail. He was very angry with me with what I said to the woman. When he arrived home from work. He insisted that I call her to apologies to her. Every since he will not touch me. It’s been 8 yrs. I was the aggressor to be intimate with him. I know he did not enjoy. I still try but always refuses. He says all the I love you stuff but no nothing going on in bedroom . I’m hurt, I have so many feelings going on and want to hear from his lips the reason why he will not touch me. I’m wanting a divorce more and more. I want to be loved not be his mother. In the begginging we had a wonderful marriage. Can so one tell me why this is happening….. Eileen

  18. I am the one withholding sex from my husband. Years ago, I was 7 months pregnant with our son and we were living together, yet not married. I caught him cheating on me. We got married 5 months later had since moved on from his indiscretion and just recently had our 3rd child. Right before I went back to work from maternity leave, in confessed to be that 8 years ago, only 6 months after we got married, he cheated on me again with a different (married) woman. This time the planned it so they wouldn’t get caught and I have never suspected. I want to trust him again. I want to be intimate with him again. I miss him! How do I move pass this? I have only had sex with my husband and he has had many partners. I do I accept all of this and get our relationship back? I am desperate. I love him so much, but I don’t feel connected anymore.

    • Corey, I’m so sorry! That’s so difficult to take. Can you guys talk to a third party, like a counselor, to help see you through this? That can be so helpful in a situation like this.

      I do see something hopeful in your letter: he confessed, which often means that he’s trying to build greater intimacy and he wants to be closer to you. I hope that you can work through this with him, but I think getting a counselor or talking to a pastor is a really good next step.

  19. A New wife really struggling to understand why? says:

    I just got married in April 2014 and my husband has already lost his desire for sex.. We go quite sometime without sex and it tears me up inside.. I’m constant asking why he married me if he’s not physically attracted to me.. I don’t seem to do anything for him anymore…This makes me really sad and frustrated and wondering why he is not attracted to me anymore or if he really ever was.. I know I need to pray but instead I project my anger towards him… He is always telling me he’s still attracted to me and loves me even more than the day we met.. He tells me to pray everyday to God that hell help us get through these struggles and that he will help him to be less tired and that things get better for us.. I know that’s what I should and need to do but I just break down and get so angry at God and myself, and my husband. I want things to change and that’s why I know I need to rely on God to help things get better…….

  20. I am 32 years old. I have been with my husband for 13 years. I feel as though I have always initiated any kind of sexual interaction with my husband but lately things have taken a frustrating turn. I can’t even look him in the eyes anymore. He comes home from work and immediately retreats to the bedroom to watch tv. After reading the posts above, I realized I was groveling with him for the past year. It makes me feel pathetic. There seems to be no interest whatsoever. We have had a lot of financial troubles in the past several weeks but I really think he is not in love with me anymore.I am too embarrassed to talk to anymore even though I feel like my heart is broken. I have 2 young children and worry what will happen next. I have tried to confront him, he says “its me, not you” but I think thats just an excuse. I honestly just needed to get this off of my chest. These posts have made me feel like I am not the only one who’s world is turned upside down. I am not a very religious person but I have been praying for to God for strength.

  21. The exact words that I want to tell to my husband I found in here..Thanks shiela. I have the same story as like you guys. I am 37 years old my husband is 55 an been married for almost 10 years. During our honeymoon, no sex happened to us until after 3 years and that’s the time we involved in sex. He said he has no erections. I am attractive person and he said that also. Make the short story short . I encourage him to see a doctor and he did after of many times I am pushing him to go. And had many arguments and turned into fights. He went. The doctor prescribed him a medicine. We had our sex, though I am not that satisfied cause it is to quick and he’s done. But I did not say anything not to discourage him. But we have sex only after many months and then I have to asked him if he wants to have sex..he did not say no but asking me is it we can do it in your next day off. I feel like why my husband seems not interested on me? I feel that i have my needs now and you ask me to do it in next time. But i tried to understand him but it was keep repeating stories. He wanted to have sex because of my needs not because he feel that we need it in our marriage. It turns me into disappointment. I feel bitter and easy to get annoyed and get mad at him because i feel that I have no much value. I ended up sometimes to divorce him. But i don’t believe in divorce because sex problem. Until feel i ignore him and show that i am not interested anymore in our marriage. But every time i think about it i am hurt and angry towards him. Seems our marriage never grow and no intimacy..I am longing to have an intimate to my husband not only in sex but i am wishing that he will cuddle each other and just talk even to sex. I am good with that. But the problem is i don’t know how to say it with no anger in my voice. It is the reason also my husband doesn’t want to talk to me cause he said i am easily get upset and very sensitive. I agree cause I am in sensitive situation and he i feel that he don’t even see it.
    I am glad that the words that i am looking for , I found in your blog… I am thinking to share it to my husband. Maybe it helps in our relationship. Actualy it really enlightens me that I have lots of mistakes also why my husband seems not interested to have intimacy with me. By Gods grace. I am willing to give a try to follow and start a new years of marriage again. If he doesn’t like to start I will start!
    LOve this: Perfect words for me to say to my husband:
    I really believe that God created us to long for each other and to be able to experience major depths of love and intimacy. I believe that God wants us to feel passionate about each other, close to each other, and truly intimate, so that we know that we’re not walking through life alone. I want us to feel so madly in love, and I want you to feel how much I love you. I want us to feel like we’re totally one, and I believe that the way that God made us to express that is through sex.

    I know sex can be difficult for you, and I know you’re tired a lot of the time. I know you feel like you don’t have a lot of desire. But I’m worried that our lack of intimacy is actually partly the cause of some of that exhaustion. If we could really feel passion and really feel as if we were truly connected, perhaps much of the angst that we have both been feeling lately would evaporate.

    I think God wants you to live such a big life. God wants you to enjoy everything that He created you for, and I think that we’re robbing each other of the gift of passion that God put in us. Do you think that we could try to rediscover passion together? I know it’s not easy, because you feel like you don’t have a sex drive. But it’s not just about sex; it’s about feeling so close to each other. That’s what I really want. Can we talk about how we can feel that intimacy, that passion, that closeness? And how we can make it easier for you to feel it? Because that’s what I think our marriage needs.
    Thank you thank you….

  22. I am just now seeing this blog. I have been needing this for a while. My husband and I have been married for 15 years and have 4 children. We have sex on average about once a month. Sometimes we go longer. He says he has a low libido, but I know that he will masturbate in the shower on a more regular basis. I have expressed my thoughts about maybe that’s why he doesn’t want sex, but he assures me that masturbating feels different and has nothing to do with him not desiring sex. I disagree. I feel like if he would not masturbate, then the desire would build up and he would want ME to fulfill his needs and not himself. How do I explain my feelings about this without causing a fight?

  23. There have been many times that I felt like I was the only wife having this problem with her husband. I am not happy that there are other women facing this because I know how hurtful this can be and I wouldn’t want anyone else to feel this way. Sometimes its hard to read the articles on the different marriage websites i go to because we are so different then everyone else and I feel like there must be something really wrong with me. My husband and I have always had an active sex life until this past year. It started off slowly becoming loner and longer in between times until this past 6 months and now its only occasionally, maybe once a month or every 6 weeks. And from everything I’ve read i sounds like its Low T, which is a pretty easy diagnosis and fix with some medicine. So why hasnt he taken care of it. Its not a big deal and wont take alot of time or money to find out. If this situation were reversed I would never just ignore the problem and just expect him to deal with it. I havent really told him how much this is bothering me, or how important it is to me that we get this fixed or how desperate I am to feel desired by him. I am so afraid that when I try to tell him these things that it will come out wrong and I will end up making him feel bad and I dont want that.

    • Butterflywings says:

      Shawn, while I don’t understand it myself, my husband sounds very similar to yours. I did speak up and his response was to say that saying he had low testosterone was an “insult to his manhood”. I tried putting it to him that it’s no different from me having an underactive thyroid – it’s just a hormone, it’s a medical problem not a character deficiency or anything like that. But whatever reason, that I just don’t understand, it seems like a lot of men are sensitive about anything related to sexuality. Or maybe it’s just medical stuff in general – I know I’m big on getting medical issues fixed asap, while the majority of men seem to bury their head in the sand until things have got so bad they can’t be ignored anymore. Sadly I see this a lot in my work (I’m a nurse). Women generally have no hang ups about getting medical help, but men generally seem to take asking for medical help as some kind of character “weakness”. Maybe it’s the way society has brought up men and women, but to me, it just seems silly – it’s not weakness to ask for help, nor is it tough to not ask for help when needed.

      All I can think of is to suggest bringing it up with your hubby and pointing out to him that it’s not a sexual issue, it’s a medical issue, and if that doesn’t work, get a man he respects to talk to him about how it’s not masculine to be too stubborn to ask for medical help.

  24. My husband has no desire for sex. We have children, our youngest is over a year and we have not had sex since he was born. Before that we hadn’t had it since he was conceived. This has been a problem in our marriage ever since the beginning. We’ve been married over 10 years. I truly think we’ve had sex less than 65 times in all those years. We have been to counseling- for years: marriage & sex therapy. Nothing changes. He refuses to take care of his oral hygiene, and I cannot remember the last time we kissed.
    It is horrible. I used to cry about it, but now I don’t anymore. I do resent him, have worked on acceptance, etc. in counseling, but the fact is it is horribleto be in a sexless marriage. There are only two reasons I haven’t left him: my children, and I made a commitment to God when we married.
    I know things will not change- because we have talked it to death already with counsellors, etc. there is nothing I can do differently- I’ve tried it all. Literally: sex therapy, testosterone, acting sweet, being nice, sexy clothes the whole gambit. It is exhausting to think about everything we have tried. I guess I’m just at the point where this is it. I don’t have a sex life, and I am stuck in a relationship with my husband, that will not change.
    Gotta tell you, it really stinks.

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