Wives Who Want More Sex. And Aren’t Getting It.

Posted on Monday, October 4th, 2010

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Are you a wife who wants sex more than your husband?   This can feel so isolating. Not only are you not getting your sexual intimacy and emotional desires met, you also may feel incredibly alone among most or all of your women friends.  Their husbands, it seems, want sex all the time, right?

When a casual conversation about sex comes up at a gathering of your gal friends, they more than likely are lamenting about their husbands who constantly want to have sex.  Meanwhile, you try to fake a smile, as if to convey, "Yeah, I know what you mean."

In reality, though, you don't know what they mean. You silently are suffocating beneath unbearable pain, unable to share about the circumstances in your own home.  You want to have sex with your husband. You really want to. And it's not just about sex. It's about wanting to feel emotionally and physically close to the man you married.  It's the whole one-flesh dynamic.

Try as we may to say it's really no big deal, it really is.  Sex matters.  And your husband seems either indifferent or downright resistant.  The anguish and confusion leave you feeling sad and frustrated. Maybe even steaming mad.

And the pain can be quite spiraling.  You begin to wonder, "Why doesn't my husband desire me?  What is wrong with me? What is wrong with him? What is wrong with our marriage?"

If you find yourself swimming in this murky pattern of thinking, take heart.  First, receive some affirmation from me, another Chrisitan wife who cares deeply about your circumstances and who also happens to really appreciate sex as well.

1.  It is not wrong to desire your husband sexually. Contrary to some false myths that have been perpetuated among Chrisitan circles, it is not lustful or promiscuous for a wife to desire her husband sexually.  1 Corinthians 7 clearly conveys that God's intention for sexual intimacy within a marriage is that neither a husband nor a wife would withhold their body.  Desiring sex is part of God's design for marriage.  I know that you may already know this, but I wanted to say it anyway.  You wanting sex is a good thing. You initiating sex with your husband is a good thing.

2. God cares about your pain. You may be rolling your eyes right now because the last thing you want is some pat answer about God being acquainted with your pain (about sexual intimacy nonetheless).  But it's true.  And it doesn't hurt to hear it again -- that you can pour your pain out to Him and know that He too is grieved about your husband's indifference.  We all need allies in our worst struggles, and God is definitely your ally. Sex was His idea, after all.

3. The "reasons" why your husband doesn't want to have sex likely don't have to do with you. Let's chat more about this.

As much as society wants to portray men as these simple creatures who need nothing other than a yummy cheeseburger, a TV remote, and ample sex, the truth is that they (like us) are more complex.  Obviously, I don't know your husband, but here are some possible reasons "why" your husband is not showing interest in sex:

1. He's stressed and tired. If he is feeling overwhelmed or is questioning his ability as a provider, husband or father, then his interest in sex may be on the back burner.  Or not even on the stove.  Or maybe not even within the vicinity of the house.  You get the picture.  If he is stressed out and tired, he is likely consumed with thoughts of responsibilities rather than thoughts of pleasure. And it's real easy to get in a rut with this.  One week of no sex turns into one month turns into several months and so on.

2. His testosterone is low. Testosterone is the hormone responsible for libido (sex drive).  Both women and men have it, and if it it takes a plunge, an obvious result is that interest in sex takes a dive as well.  Fortunately, a doctor can check testosterone levels and offer a prescription to raise these levels.

3. He is afraid he won't be able to get or maintain an erection. If he has struggled with impotency even once or if he is concerned about the effects of aging on his ability to get an erection, then he may simply avoid intimacy all together.  Yes, I know, it's a weak reaction.  Honestly, though, we all have found ourselves reacting in poor ways when we are afraid.

If we take to heart that our battles are spiritual ones, we know that Satan delights in lying to us -- partnering with us in our fears, to the point that we feel paralyzed to walk a different path.  Add to this the fact that Satan really doesn't want you enjoying sex with your husband, and wow -- lots of variables are playing into the scenario.

If your husband is questioning his ability "as a man," then he is likely feeling incredibly vulnerable and afraid.  What do we do when we are afraid?  Sadly, we often retreat, rather than turning to our spouse for comfort and reassurance.

4. He has medical conditions that can affect sexual intimacy. If your husband is overweight or struggles with diabetes, cardiovascular issues, breathing problems, mobility, etc., then it could be his health that is taking a toll on your sexual intimacy.  Again, this is an important reason to visit a doctor.

5. He has unresolved issues either from his past or within your marriage. Again, I know we like to think that things just don't get to men the way they get to women. A better approach, though, is to recognize that possibly there are relational issues that are rooted in pain he hasn't shared with you.  Instead of opening up, he is withdrawing.

6. He is wrestling with sin. I share this with a word of caution, because obviously the last thing I want to do is add to your anxiety.  But I'm all about being real, and the reality is that some people (men and women) withdraw from sexual intimacy with their spouse because they are seeking sexual release elsewhere.  The most obvious situations are infidelity and/or pornography.  Certainly, I would encourage you to explore all other possibilities before considering this possibility, especially if you have no reason to suspect such circumstances.

Okay, that's a lot of info.  Take a deep breath.

So what should you do with all this information?

First, pray. Bathe everything in prayer (obviously a good rule in general, but particularly with regard to marriage struggles). Second, try to talk to him when you both are well-rested and have some time to really talk.  I would not initiate such a conversation in a sexual setting, such as right as you are going to bed or right as you are at odds about whether you should have sex in that moment.   Tone means a lot, so as with any difficult conversation in marriage, approach with a tone of compassion, respect and patience.

Here are some conversation initiators:

"I know our intimacy has been a struggle.  I just want you to know that I desire you.  Can we talk about this?"

"I realize that you have a lot on your mind and this could be why we haven't had sex much lately. I want you to know that I am here to listen.  You don't have to keep your concerns to yourself."

"I don't have all the answers as to why we don't have sex as much as we used to.  But I want you to know I love you and I am committed to us together working through this."

"Please share with me why you think sex is a struggle for us."

The key to all of this is staying in a place of not getting defensive.  If you have said and/or implied that you are "a safe person" with whom he can bare his soul, then you need to strive to really hear him and ask calmly for him to receive you as well.

"So," you may be thinking, "what if all that doesn't work?"

My deep heartfelt encouragement is this... that you continue to seek the Lord, pray, rely on His Word and find at least one woman Christian confidante who will genuinely listen.

Some of the difficulties of marriage are not easily resolved. They are not wrapped up in a neat package, like a one-hour talk show.  Sometimes, marriage feels a lot more like a pile of loose ends rather than a neatly-woven tapestry.  This sucks.  I know.  In the valley of struggles, it can help to have a good female friend to lean upon -- someone who will listen even when solutions seem few or non-existent.

The optimist in me leans toward hope, though.  I lean toward healthy changes and renewed possibilities. I have spoken to women who have found themselves hungering for more sexual intimacy with their husbands, and over time and with concerted effort, have seen their husbands become more responsive.

If you are a wife who has wanted more sex, what advice would you give other wives?  If you don't want to post a comment, email me at julie@intimacyinmarriage.com and I will compile the comments anonymously and post them on the blog.  Thank you...

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34 Responses to
“Wives Who Want More Sex. And Aren’t Getting It.”

  • Brent says: October 4th, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    I am hearing from a growing population of women who right in the middle of this very thing. They feel alone. Way to address it and champion the cause.

  • JulieSibert says: October 4th, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    thanks Brent! Appreciate your input and your willingness to share the post! You're a champion too -- for speaking so encouragingly about marriage.

  • Cheri says: October 4th, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    I suffered with this for 23 years. Never had an answer. After 22 years, he finally agreed to testing and found out he had the testosterone of a 101 year old man. Even with hormones, though, things did not improve greatly.

    Just found out 6 weeks ago he has Aspergers. Bingo. I'm fairly devastated but trying to process it all.

    If any women here have husbands who don't have any other "excuse" have them look in to Adult Aspergers and just see. I hope they don't find their husbands have this, but you never know. I sure didn't.

  • John the Baptist says: October 5th, 2010 at 10:51 am

    I would add to your first point that we are not only not to withhold our bodies, but our spirits as well. I'm a husband who wants more sex. I occasionally get offered the use of my wife's anatomy in place of real intimacy where we are both emotionally present and engaged. If I partake of the anatomy without the connection, it's not a very satisfying experience and it leaves me wanting more because I didn't get what I really needed. What ends up happening in our case is my wife's effort is wasted and she reaps more frustration that, despite having just had sex, I want sex (again) much sooner than she does. Sex is a full person experience that requires the mind, body, and spirit.

  • JulieSibert says: October 5th, 2010 at 10:58 am

    Thank you "John the Baptist" for the comment. You have spoken truth so well and shed light on a big disconnect between many husbands and wives. Some wives think that if they just "give in" and offer their bodies, that's enough. They see it simply as an act to check off their list, rather than an opportunity to intimately connect and be vulnerable with their husband (and him with her).

    Thank you for speaking so clearly on this... I'm saddened by your experience, as I know similar circumstances play themselves out in countless bedrooms.

  • Pete says: October 5th, 2010 at 11:57 am

    I wish I could cite the source, but it's been researched recently that although many of the reasons that are listed as your indicators for why men lose interest in sex the main reason is simply that they have lost their physical attraction to their mate. Now this may seem very cruel and selfish, but it doesn't change the fact that this is what occurs for many men. Another reason I know this is that I was one of these men.

    Shortly after my marriage I lost my physical attraction to my wife and would withold intimacy and sex from her. This completely devestated my wife and for a long time would make her feel very lonely and confused. The strange thing is that I was physically attracted to my wife before we were married and I had a very high interest in sex, not a very healthy one, but a high one. Not only that, but she is a very attractive woman from a physical standpoint. In my opinion, I believe what changed for me was that I had "got the girl" and so now I was purposely trying to find little flaws that made her seem less attractive in my mind (Very and selfish and cruel I know, but stay with me on this).

    After our first child together things began to change. My wife naturally began to put all of her energy, passion, and interest in our children. She still indicated that she loved me, but in essence she had given up on trying to please me, especially from a sexual standpoint. One day I realized this change. I began to see my wife had other passions in her life and that I wasn't the center of her world anymore. Of course, as a selfish person I didn't appreciate this much. Things then began to reverse course. My attraction to her came rushing back. It was me who wanted her and it was me who would always initiate sex with her.

    What I found, however, was that it was too late. The damage had been done. Her trust in me was gone and looking back I certainly couldn't blame her. We have been married for 19 years. Much of the last 15 years of our marriage the roles have been completely reversed and I have been left feeling sexually frustrated and isolated - Serves me right, right? Actually wrong. We both of course have lost through this process. Both of us have lost out on the truly wonderful oneness that sex brings to a marriage when it is unselfish. I understand this now, and I have been slowly drawing trust back from my wife again. We are slowly growing closer sexually and giving to each other mutually and more freely over the last year.

    My point is this, a man will be physically attracted to his wife (this is a big reason why he marries her), but can at some point lose his physical attraction for her and will stop intiating intimacy and sex with her. My suggestion to all the women who are in this situation is to take the focus off of him. Live your life and be happy and confident with yourself. Stop being needy and become the person God wants you to be. If your husband is anything like me they will notice the change and will be drawn to your beauty again when the focus isn't all about him. I'm not advocating that you stop loving him, or that you begin to try holding all the power in the marriage after he realizes he's no longer the center of your world, but that the two of you unselfishly give to each other. Realize that when he changes direction and that he begins to chase you that you don't use this as an opportunity to withold sex from him (really this could happen too!)

    If you feel like your man has stopped seeing you as physically attractive you can certainly change this. You can't change him, but you can begin to change yourself. Love him, seduce him, and respect him, but if he doesn't respond to this go on living your life to the fullest. When you live out the life that God has fully intended for you, your husband will at some point take notice again.

  • Michael Wong says: October 7th, 2010 at 1:35 am

    I try but I can't relate to these men who do not desire sex from their wives. My wife and I fall into the more stereotypical camp where the man has a higher sex drive than the woman.

    Still, either way, people need to understand that sexual rejection is a grievous insult, and can do great damage to one's self esteem. People who think that demands for sex are nothing more than carnal selfishness are doing far more damage than they realize. They are denying a part of their partner's self-image, and if they keep doing it over time, they will seriously damage that self-image.

  • Hurt1 says: October 7th, 2010 at 9:20 am

    I burst into tears before I got even half way through your post. My husband is addicted to pornography, which I did not find out about until we had been married about 7 months. We have now been married 3 years and the last time we were intimate was over 2 months ago.

    As any wife who loves and desires her husband, it leaves me feeling sad, empty and emotionally distrought to know that my husband is happy and content to frequentlly satisfy himself, whether that be through the use of pornography, visits to a porno cinema or by going to prostitutes.
    I feel as though I can't bear to live my husband or the thoughts of the constant lies and deceit for another moment, but feel that God wants me to stay. I fear punishment and suffering as a result if I leave - yet I AM suffering every day already.

    My soul is screaming HELP and although I know God hears me, I am not hearing a reply :-(

  • JulieSibert says: October 8th, 2010 at 11:30 am

    Dear Hurt1 -- Thank you for your honest comment. I am sad with you on so many levels. I am wondering what, if any, resources you have sought as you are in the midst of this journey. I would recommend http://www.route1520.com and http://www.prodigalsonline.org. There are other resources as well. I can definitely understand why your soul is screaming for help. Sexual betrayal is devastating. I can assure you, though, that there are other wives who can relate. Possibly the resources I mentioned would be helpful...

  • spring says: October 8th, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    Cheri-
    My husband also has AS. When we first married I was so excited about being able to be with my husband anytime....and without sin! I was so shocked on our honeymoon to find that he really didn't want sex more then once or twice and the rest of the time it was forced. I ended up sleeping on the sofa. Sex also went from 15 minutes to under 10, to eventually less the 5 minutes by the time we'd been married a few months. Two years later, I caught him looking at porn during the night and was absolutely devastated.... I got sex seldom enough as it was!

    His mom was eventually diagnosed with autism, and my oldest was diagnosed with AS, so it now made sense that he is the way he is. It's not just the porn (that just made it worse.)

    Back to AS, there's a yahoo support group for wives of AS husbands, you might look into it. One of the members said her husband lives in the basement. No kidding. Most adults with AS I know are not married/have difficulty maintaining relationships. Some are married, but really struggle. In our situation, I also have AS, so that probably helps!!! It doesn't affect us in the same way, but it does help us to understand each other better.

    Our sex has gotten MUCH better in the last few years. The diagnosis helped!! We've been through loss of a child, he's had a cancer diagnosis and surgery and chemotherapy. I think that the tragedy and trials we've been through have helped to strengthen our relationship. I also spend a lot of time talking with him about his interests. When a man feels honored and respected and interesting and intelligent...when he knows his woman is wowed by him, it's a major turn on. :)

    Aspies are very intelligent and like to talk about their special interests, so if you are able to discuss with him those things it might help! I know it does in our relationship. He can talk for hours about Linux and programming and the history of hacking (all computer related) or about Bible translations or about the Renaissance period. I've been able to incorporate his special interests into our interactions as well as encourage him to help in educating our children. There are also relationship books about AS, although I haven't found anything like it that is Christian

    http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&tag=mozilla-20&index=blended&link_code=qs&field-keywords=asperger%20syndrome%20sex&sourceid=Mozilla-search

    I will pray that God guides you!

  • The social science of “Be ye in the word, but not of it.”+ says: October 10th, 2010 at 12:05 am

    [...] Wives Who Want More Sex. And Aren’t Getting It.: This is a woman’s point of view on wanting sex and being refused. Might be just the thing if your bride is refusing you. On the other hand, if you are a husband who says no to sex – STOP IT! Battling Body Image? Read “Unsqueezed”: Are there any women who are NOT dealing with this issue? Julie says “…many women confide in me that ‘body image’ is what often sabotages sexual intimacy in their marriage”, so this is a major issue in which every husband should take interestet. Point your bride to this, or buy her the book. [...]

  • Kate says: October 10th, 2010 at 10:14 am

    I will add my story to those already here. My husband and I started having sex before we were married. It was great! We saw each other on weekends and we had sex...lots of it!

    We got married 3 years after we started having sex and I was shocked to find that sex only on weekends was good enough for him! I wanted every single day. He was content with just the weekends and I could not wrap my brain around that. I would try to initiate, in a very obvious way, and he would push me away or say he was too tired.

    After nearly 20 years of marriage and lots of talking about sex the last 3 years things are finally improving for us. He realizes that he does have a responsibility towards me and I'm not some kind of crazy nympho!

  • sailorman says: October 24th, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    Interesting that for years I was rejected far too many times until one time it all ended. From that one time several years ago I almost completely lost any physical attraction and desire for my wife. Now she tries to initiate and I sometimes respond; not to get revenge ( I am not a vengeful person at all ) but I don't even really care about it anymore. This of course has made any semblance of a marriage ( meaning my own) seem like a joke to me. All this to be a warning that going on too long in wrong habits can come back to bite you.

  • jane says: January 20th, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    It was really disappointing when you hear stories like that. I have the same problem too. I noticed from the beginning I love sex more than my husband do. Many times I am rejected and pushed away and find myself in tears when he do that. We been married 16 years and find it difficult to stay this way..Im just worried about our kids. It ended up cheating him when I met someone here on net..I find myself more satisfied to be with this man..My problem now is im longing for the other man than my husband..I feel more beautiful and sexy when I am with this man....What will I do?

  • Nat says: February 22nd, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    I was never really interested in sex, and being a guy I'm suppose to be hotwired for sex. WRONG. My wife and I have been married 43 years and the last 30 without sex, intimacy or love. I consider our togetherness as a friendship. When first married we maybe had sex a dozen or so in our first 10 years. After that I totally stopped having sex and all that closeness stuff. The wife was really upset and still is.
    She wanted kids and I told her not with me shes not. For years she has been depressed, lonely and not wanted. And I won't deal with her emotions. She takes some pretty good anti-depressant meds, and that calms her down.

  • lonely&married says: April 25th, 2011 at 10:32 am

    For 'Nat'- How can you hurt your wife, the one you call a 'friend' like this?? Is this really how any man should treat someone he 'loves'??? I'm speaking for your wife here. Let her go find someone who really loves her. You DON'T! You only love YOU! You are so selfish!
    Want to know how I know? You sound just like my husband. And right now I almost hate him for it. And yet I struggle with the question of What does God think? Is it really going to matter in enternity that my marriage was simply one made because we have a piece of paper that says we're married and we share a house? Thing is, we do have kids. I can't hurt them just because I'm selfish and want my husband to love me, to desire me, to be affectionate and to have sex with me. So I'm just as stuck as your wife is. And probably just about as lonely and depressed. Maybe you could introduce us so we could have each other's support.
    And to 'Jane'- I'm sorry your marriage has worked this way for you. I too am so tempted to find someone else who will actually love me enough to meet my needs and not push me away.

  • Lost&Alone says: May 22nd, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    As soon as I started reading this I began to cry. I have known my husband since we were 16, we have been married almost 5 years now (I'm 26 now). We used to have what I thought was a good sex life; however for the last 3 years I find my self practically begging him to be intimate with me. When I ask for more, or for us to get help he always makes comments like "sorry I'm not good enough for you". This just leaves me feeling more depressed and alone. He also now works a minimum 10 hour day. I'm left by myself wondering what is wrong with me? Why am I not good enough? I don't have anyone to talk to, no one to confide in. My best friend is now the source or my and self doubt. It is sad yet comforting to know that I am not the only one.

  • Rob says: May 23rd, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    L&A - it's not you, it's him. He's shutting down conversation because he's afraid to deal with whatever it is. You're going to have a push and disturb the peace a little because it's important. Just don't buy into the lie that something wrong with you. Invest in yourself with hobbies, friends, exercise, etc. Whether or not he figures out what he's missing with you, you'll be better off. Good luck!

  • Annie says: May 25th, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    Well, I'm glad to see that there's at least one guy willing to man up and admit that guys just lose attraction for their wives. That has happened in my case; my husband admitted it to me last year.
    And it's not because I've rejected him, or ignored his needs, or haven't communicated with him. And it's not because I've "let myself go" physically either. I get plenty of compliments from others, including other men.
    Yes, I've done what Pete has suggested and pursue my own interests. My passion just happens to be kickboxing. I train with mostly men. Men who are very willing to partner up with me for sparring. Men who tell me I look great. Men who look at me with a twinkle in their eyes that is missing from my own husband's eyes. And these men are physically fit to boot.

  • Danielle C says: July 13th, 2011 at 12:06 am

    WOW. I also thought I was the only one- that is, until my friends started telling me how THEY thought they were they only ones. Interesting statements from a couple of women on here....husbands with Asperger's Syndrome. My husband most likely has it, he was dx w/Tourette's syndrome and is in the military. If he gets one more dx like that...he's out. But reading about AS and fidelity and stuff totally makes sense. It's too bad he decided to pick up strangers for nearly 11 years. I finally decided that it's a pattern, sick sick denial, and I need to make sure it doesn't follow me to our son, who has been dx w/TS and AS.

  • Anna says: November 3rd, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    My husband has refused sex and intimacy with me for 30 years. I want for nothing except sex and intimacy. I got a part time job at a health club, I work on the front desk. I see lots of hunky guys and attractive ladies. I have also followed my own interests and this has made my life a whole lot better. Husband doesn't care what I do, as he says as long as your happy. And I tell you I'm happy.

  • Sunshine1971 says: December 24th, 2011 at 11:51 am

    @Anna oh I am on 10 years and going looney how are you managing on 30 years? This is the most frustrating of things a wife should encounter. Merry Christmas people....I know what you all want for Christmas!

  • CM says: February 3rd, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    I am adding my story because it is similar and because I can also vent a little bit.
    Next month my husband and I will have been married for 2 years. 8 years ago, when we started dating, we spent the first (little over a) year sleeping together, and quite frequently at that. Near the end of that first year, the sex started tapering off, and eventually we finally faced the conviction that we were living outside of God's will for our lives. Over the years, we struggled and "messed up" several times. We even got comfortable being in the same bed but not having sex. Sometimes we were naked around each other and nothing. Not that the temptation and the kindling weren't there, because they were- abundantly. We stupidly allowed it none-the-less.

    The year and change before our wedding we finally had gotten to a place where we had better boundaries in place. The couple of weeks leading up to the wedding and even a few days before the expectations and, consequently, the desire was strong.

    Then we got married. Our wedding day was stressful for me (I tried being the woman who had to be and do everything and knew better but still did it). Our wedding night I was so excited to put the rest of it behind me and jump into marriage. I knew we were tired but I expected affection and intimacy. I knew we may or may not have sex but those other two were a must for me. I was so disappointed.

    Our best friends dropped me off at the hotel and drove him over to the church to get his car. The church was 3 streets away. He didn't come back for about an hour and a half. Come to find out- he says he dropped his ring in the parking lot and had to find it. Okay. Why didn't he call at least? Than he tells me that his parents called him for help and he went to their hotel room to help and ended up talking for a while. Really?! I mean, Really?! And, of course, he still didn't call to tell me anything. I was beyond disappointed but nipped it in the bud and barely said anything about it. And went on to have a mediocre time opening wedding cards and checking out the loot.

    I had left my wedding dress on, because my mom told me to give him the chance to take it off of me. He barely touched me. I barely even got kissed. Just a light kiss. Then I actually nearly begged for sex. We did it. It was perfunctory at best. The next morning the phone rang, and it was his parents waking us up and asking him for help. He didn't ask me if I was okay with but just got up and got dressed and left. What?!

    That next day we went on our honeymoon. I figured, "Okay, we're out of the state now and totally alone and all the stress is behind us and it should be just fine now." I should have known better, but hope springs eternal, you know?

    That night we had sex, which I mostly initiated. Than he turned over and went to sleep. No affection. No gentle, loving, reassuring words. We had very little sex after that. It became the precursor to nearly two years with hardly any sex.

    I think we have maybe done it around 2 dozen times. And little of it was more than just a decent (sorry for this) f%$!. We have fallen into this roommate routine. We are roommates who get to see each other naked. We are friends, yes. We watch tv and movies together. I even learned how to play his favorite video games. We have never sat down and really hashed out specifics like finances, etc. I have pleaded with him. I have gone to him in sincerity of heart. I have been gentle and caring. And even though I still love him, I left cold and indifferent by so much of our relationship.

    A few weeks ago we had a huge blow out because I made a true statement that he didn't like. After 3 days of silence we finally sat down and talked. We really laid it all on the line. I told him how susceptible I am right now to having an affair (mostly emotional). I told him I find more pleasure in sex scenes in a book than I in our marriage. I told him all kinds of things. He told me all kinds of things. We agreed that it was time to really work on our marriage- every day. And has that happened at all? Nope. Same as usual.

    I know my husband loves me. Thing is, I'm pretty sure he fell in love with the woman who helped him through some of the worst times of his life, the woman who enabled him negatively for far too long, the woman who nurtured him more like a mother hen than a girlfriend, the girl who lost all sense of excitement about 7 years ago.

    I am no where near perfect. I can be downright lazy sometimes. I am not likely to be found in the kitchen, and if I am found there, I'm really not loving it (unless baking for someone or something). I love to read and can easily caught up in books for hours on end. I have a crazy sleep schedule, bad sleep habits, etc that have been issues for half my life. I am over weight (have always been and it never seemed to be a problem). I have been unemployed for nearly 3 years, I can sometimes give into the discouragement of that situation and in turn not care about looking for another job. Our finances are horrible. We haven't paid a bill outside of our rent and utilities and phone in well over a year. I have become indifferent so often, there are times I could care less if he has to cook his own meal or clean up after himself or myself, whatever. (All fairness- he is a really good cook and likes his own food more than mine.) I have lost the motivation I used to have to get and stay healthy. I have definitely gained more weight. It's all sad and pathetic.

    He doesn't know that there are times, when looking for some kind of sexual gratification, I will look for erotic stories online or get a book from the library specifically for its erotic stories. I have browsed a couple of porn sites, but that really doesn't appeal to me. Sometimes I do like looking at sex type pictures. And even though sometimes this hasn't really gotten me turned on, I always feel disgusting afterwards. Than last week I read an erotic story that was so long and really, absolutely disgusting. I haven't read an erotic thing since than, because I so disgusted myself. I know it will still be a struggle sometimes, but that was such a wake up call for me. I know God has better for me. And I know that things as they are, are not how God designed them to be.

    Apparently his doctor told him he has low testosterone, but since we are so bad financially he can't afford to get whatever medication. It took him until 2 months ago to even ask the doctor. Although, sometimes I don't think he really has spoken to his doctor.

    I look back on our relationship and realize that it was normally me who initiated sex between us; however he was never sexually absent. Not until we said "I do."

    Lately, God has used 3 women in life to teach me more about trusting God and not in my husband or myself. These 3 are my mom, my best friend and another very good friend. It has been encouraging. These 2 friends and I are all felt led to read "The Power of a Praying Wife" by Stormie Omartion. The prologue in itself is personal and on point and powerful. The first chapter is just as. This next week is chapter 2.

    Our life isn't horrible. It just lacks any intimacy and oneness and sex. It also lacks the true combining of our lives. And he is still learning how to be a good leader in our marriage and in our home. But he isn't a horrible, heartless man. In fact, he is intelligent and kind, caring and patient. He loves God. He doesn't do unacceptable things in other areas of his life. He is a good leader at work.

    I want our marriage to be good. I want sex. I want intimacy and oneness. I want affection, gentleness and romance. I want us to be spiritual leaders, not deviants, in our circles of influence and in the world around us. I want us to be happy. I want to have children one day. I want to get it together.

    The potential for greatness in each of us, individually and as a single unit in covenant with each other, is very much here. Can't wait to see it come to its fruition. Until then, I will keep throwing it all on the Lord and deal with myself.

    Good thing for all of us to remember- two (or, let's be honest, more) wrongs do Not and never will make a right.

    God bless you all!

  • Leigh says: February 8th, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    I am married to a man who claims he isn't a christian - he believes, but doesn't live it. I'm trying to live my faith, but not doing too well at it.

    We've been married 17 years; for the last 5 my husband hasn't had much interest in sex. He has low testosterone, low vitamin D, ADHD, sleep apnea and is rather overweight. He isn't interested in doing anything about any of those - it took 3 years before he went for a sleep study! And he refuses to follow treatment. He says "this is just how I am".

    When we do make love, it's painful for me (absolutely no foreplay; he enters me dry) and difficult to breathe (as he is rather heavy). He's only interested in man-on-top missionary position (believe me, I've tried), but at least it only lasts 3 or 4 minutes. When he's finished, he rolls over and goes to sleep.

    And I learned years ago not to try to initiate - he (figurative speaking) pats me on the head, like a child who's learned a new trick and is all cute, and then ignores me. I've never - not once - initiated sex that actually led to sex.

    After so many years of trying in so many ways to ask for, or show him what I want/need, or talk about the problems in our sex life, I've come to the conclusion that this is what I have. It's to going to change, so I need to change so I can be happy with what I have.

    So, my question is - how do I stop wanting sex? How do I give up my needs and desires? He is a very good man in so many ways, why can't I just be satisfied with the good man I have? I know he loves me - he says and shows it a lot! - and he's always telling me how beautiful I am, or how lucky he is to be married to me. How do I stop wanting what I'll never have and just be happy with what I do have?

  • JulieSibert says: February 8th, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    Thank you CM and Leigh for your comments. I'm sorry for what you both are experiencing in your marriages.

    I think both of you have valid desires and needs -- it is a very reasonable expectation that marriage will include intimacy (emotional, physical, etc.)

    It saddens me that you both have tried to talk to your husbands, and that this hasn't resulted in positive growth.

    I don't have easy answers and I don't in any way want to suggest that navigating what you are facing isn't difficult.

    I encourage you to continue to press into the Lord, to try to continue to generate conversation, to get support for yourself (Christian counseling and the support of female Christian friends, not who will bash your husband, but will listen to you, pray with you and allow you to "think out loud" about how to live within a marriage that lacks sexual intimacy). CM, it sounds like you do have some friends along these lines, which is encouraging.

    Leigh... I think you have definitely identified that some of your husband's health issues likely are contributing to his lack of desire.

    I don't think there is a way to stop wanting sex, because God wired us to want sex -- it is an important component of marriage.

    It sounds like you both are ladies who have gone to great lengths to communicate the depth of your pain.

    Eventually, if your husbands don't change their ways, they will have to answer to the Lord on how careless they were with intimacy in their marriages.

    I realize this is little condolence right now. I'm so sorry...

  • jubilee says: June 30th, 2012 at 1:50 am

    I may be wrong on this one BUT i've heard that THC could cause Low-T in men. People who smoke pot could have an erection problem later--also the porn/masterbation problem, a guy is usually 'ready' every 72 hours, if hes not, get him checked out. His heart, blood pressure, diet, everything

  • SadBride says: July 4th, 2012 at 1:04 am

    Well it's sad to see so many people going through this. My husband and I started experiencing this since day one of our marriage and it's torn me up ever since (2 yrs later). I've cried, we've talked, we have screamed, we have had counseling... Still I'm not seeing any change. A year ago we found out he had extremely low-t. On a scale of like 0-1100 my husband is a 114 in his mid thirties. The dr however didn't think this was a big deal and told me that sex isn't that important in a marriage so he wasn't going to worry about that just yet. We have sense seen a new dr but no results just yet.

    For the rest of you who feel trapped and like you HAVE to stay in a near sexless marriage because God hates divorce, you absolutely do not. 1 Coronthians 7:2-5. Your husband is supposed to give you his body and vice versa. This lack of sexual intimacy destroys us and allows the devil in. I read this article:
    http://joebeam.com/blog/2011/does-bible-say-i-have-to-stay-in-sexless-marriage/

    Don't hang around and suffer for your kids. Your marriage sets up the example your kids will look to for how marriage should function. My baby is both why I want to leave and why I want to stay. We will be doing everything we can to get him healthy. After that if there is no improvement I have to go. There is nothing that can keep me faking my happiness any further. I'm tired of dying on the inside and feeling like I'm going to bed with my brother. Sex is so important to a good marriage. I refuse to spend the next 30 years in a crappy one.

    I hope any of you suffering, including you men who just found your mates unattractive, go get yourselves tested for low-t. It's way more common than you think and it's an easy fix. And if it's not and it can't be fixed, then please don't condemn yourselves ladies for leaving. Set an example for your children of a woman seeking a safe and loving marriage. Not one that has you crying yourself to sleep. Kids know.

    I hope we all get the break throughs we need...

  • JulieSibert says: July 4th, 2012 at 8:29 am

    SadBride... Thank you for your comments. I think you touch on something that is definitely a question that those of us who blog about sex face regularly... should someone stay in a sexless marriage.

    I had not read the Joe Beam article you referenced, so thank you for sharing that. The article and the comments (more of a debate) really are worth the read.

    Obviously each situation is unique with varying factors (like what constitutes "sexless"... I once had a woman write that she and her husband were only having sex once or twice a MONTH, but she considered this "sexless." I would argue otherwise on that one, but it goes to show how everyone's perception is different).

    I think Matthew 18:15-17 is a valid step before divorce as well... that the wife would go to elders or leaders in her church and ask for support in confronting her husband with his sin.

    Some would argue that if a spouse outright refuses to ever have sex, the spouse has already in essence "left the marriage" and the spouse who is left would be free to move on.

    At any rate, it is an excruciating situation. I'm always amazed when I hear some people argue that "sex is no big deal in a marriage," when in reality, all practical daily evidence tells us otherwise. Marriage just isn't what God intended it to be if one or both spouses are not intentionally and regularly nurturing their sexual intimacy.

  • Danica Lafortune says: July 7th, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Thanksfor this post...it really helped! Bottom line...continue to pray! Didn't really think that God really cared about my pain in this area...thanks for shedding the light :-)

  • Now What? Day 31 and Beyond | Becoming His Eve says: November 30th, 2013 at 2:02 am

    […] Wives Who Want More Sex and Aren’t Getting It from Julie Sibert on Intimacy in Marriage […]

  • Lauren says: January 29th, 2014 at 11:46 am

    Hi I have never written into one of these and this will be my first...i have recently married my husband may 25, 2013 and our sex lives were wonderful however he really did control when we had sex and he still does but when we were just married we had sex about once a week witch im fine with that however at first we were married it was still once a week on the weekend only i wish i could underline the ONLY. then it started to be once every two weeks only on the weekends IN the MORNING ONLY. then it was once a month on one of the weekends ONLY and now it is once every two months. we are young we are not an old couple I have talked to a good friend and she says she is worried...and to make matters worse we had sex last night witch was out of the ordinary but in the middle of it i wanted to stop and it was like i didnt feel anything.... i love my husband but what does these mean? i can't give up this early in our marriage and i dont know what to do i have tried to talk to him and he says yes i promise i will try harder to have sex more often but it is baloney he doesn't at all..... i just dont know what to do....I feel like when we do have sex it is just to make me happy and that makes it even worse.

    He thinks that cuddling for 2 min every night should be enough for me. I dont want to be selfish and i really dont think i am.... when we have sex it only lasts for about 5 min usually. i know he loves me. but it makes me suspect that he may be cheating on me. he is manager at a vet clinic and i am very proud of him because he is succeeding however he has only hired girls the only men that work there are my brother on weekend and the selling vet who is there only for about an hr each day. this not having sex is really messing with me to the point that i notice that he only works with girls, some nights he comes home very late.... ( he says that he was helping with an emergency) he has also gotten a part time job that goes along with his job that he has but it is mostly with females and yes they will be travailing together.

    I feel so unwanted at times but then others i feel loved.i have been told by a councilor friend, that the first year of the marriage is the hardest, but is it really suppose to be this way??

  • KC says: June 3rd, 2014 at 7:13 am

    I would like to offer some suggestions to the women who have good husbands but not enough intamacy. A good book that I read was called Created to be a Helpmeet. It helped me understand my husbands personality better. Also, a book that helped was The Rules by Fein and Schneider. It is very difficult to feel unwanted by your spouse. At one point I asked The Lord to take away my desire because it hurt and I didn't want to be ungrateful in the marriage The Lord had given me. The Lord blessed me and I can say its been easier. As soon as I became content and started focusing on enjoying The Lord and all the other blessings he has put in my life, suddenly my husband started desiring intimacy more than me. I'm not saying its all perfect now, but my heart is right. I'm not focused on what Im am or am not getting, but on The Lord and leaving fixing my husband completely up to him. I had to accept that The Lord was using this to root out self desire and focus in me. I am Not saying my husband was right to refuse me, but that I can now see how it has been used to improve my character.
    One last thing... My grandmother had told me once that like Paul in the bible she had learned to be content in all things. Paul was content in some pretty bad situations,things that weren't fair to him at all. It all boils down to 'is Christ enough for you?'

  • Happyground says: August 1st, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    Wow, seems alot of people men and women included are very affected by this situation. I myself ( married man for 6 years) went through it. There was a period of time, when we were having children that I just did not find my wife sexually attractive. I was using pornography as a crutch. It went on for about a year and a half before we both knew something had to change. The key word was CHANGE!

    We both started working out and getting fit. We cut down on alcohol. She changed her hair color. We changed our style of clothes. Suddenly it was all fresh and new again!

    The biggest thing that makes me not want to take my hands off her is the confidence she exudes, and I think its from her getting fit. Her perception of her own appearance is super positive now and its such a turn on to hear her joke about the attention she gets.

    Ladies, gentlemen, your marriage can be awesome again.

    My advise for guys:

    Do Not Use Porn! Save your desire up for your precious wife! Understand that even though she may not ever leave you, she may be thinking about what it would be like to have another man. When you started courting your wife, you made damn sure that she knew you were trying to impress her. Well guess what, you should never stop trying to impress her, you may be in for a good suprise :)

    For Ladies:

    Try something different! A new hair color. A new style of clothes. Get fit and show your husband you care about yourself. Your self confidence, is one of the sexiest signals your husband can receive. Those sort of things will make him feel like he is the lucky man to have gotten you (he is very lucky to have you but may have forgotten it!).

    I hope this helps. Id be happy to offer my personal experience/advice to any man or woman who is experiencing these issues.

  • Demaroge says: August 4th, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    Sometimes medications can cause 'sexual side effects.' Anti-depressants can cause LOW libido or reduce the ability to climax. Other medications can make it difficult for men to attain or sustain an erection. AND there are people who take multiple medications that cause sexual side effects but it isn't a known combination or can be unique to the person. If you or your partner are taking medications or multiple medications .. please talk to your doctor.

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