“I’m Not Physically Attracted to My Husband…”
There was a time long ago when you were attracted to your husband, right?
Not so much.
Occasionally, women will admit this to me. Anonymously. In comments on my blog.
I know that for every one who admits it, even anonymously, there are countless others who feel it, but would never admit it.
If you are no longer attracted to your husband, this is undoubtedly taking a toll on your relationship overall, not to mention your sexual intimacy specifically.
Not only do you not crave being sexual with him, you go to great lengths to avoid it.
If you are no longer attracted to your husband, here are a few things to consider:
First let's start with more serious causes of what may be causing you to no longer be attracted to him.
From a physical standpoint, if your husband has horrible hygiene, refusing to shower regularly, brush his teeth, wash his hair and so forth, is it because of laziness or is there something more serious going on?
Is he depressed?
I know that you likely can't diagnose this yourself, but you've been with the man a long time. You more than anyone probably have good intuition on life circumstances or other things that could be causing him to be depressed.
It is not unusual for someone who is struggling with depression to not be as conscientious of their personal hygiene and overall health. Compounding this could be that his attitude and outlook on life may be quite negative, which also can be a big turn off.
If you are concerned about his mental health, express your concerns and explore options for him to get help from a professional counselor.
Be honest about how his poor hygiene and/or poor attitude is affecting your desire to be close to him, but that more importantly, you want him to be healthy for his own sake and the sake of you and your family.
What if you simply aren't attracted to him because he's put on some weight or just "doesn't seem to be the same guy" you married?
Here are 3 tips:
1. Embrace realistic expectations.
The truth is he probably isn't the same guy you married, physically or emotionally, because we all change over the years.
Physically, from the moment we are born, our earthly bodies are beginning to fade away.
It seems weird to think of it that way, but imagine how soft a newborn baby's skin and hair are. Now look at that same kiddo when he is 6. His skin is no longer baby soft and his hair likely is coarser.
Yup, we are all on a path of decay, and our bodies will eventually fail completely in this earthly realm.
Sometimes, I wish I had the body I had when I was 20. I know, though, that age, hormones, life stresses, life choices, etc., are constantly impacting my physical well-being.
Be realistic about how the years have possibly impacted your husband physically.
Ironically, we as women tend to be annoyed at the airbrushed images of women on magazine covers, knowing we can't possibly replicate such perfection with our own bodies.
Yet, at the same time, we can hold our husbands to similar unrealistic standards. Isn't that crazy?
If you want the two of you to exercise more and eat better, that's one thing. And you can share this with him -- not with a tone of criticism, but rather with a heart's motive to genuinely get healthier.
2. Speaking of the heart, have you wrestled with God on this matter of not feeling attracted to your husband?
I'm not saying your lack of sexual interest is not real. What I'm saying is that God is a redemptive God and the covenant of marriage was His idea.
That being the case, ask Him to soften and teach your heart on ways to be more loving and affectionate to the man you chose to share your life with. Humble yourself before the Lord and ask Him to reveal to you where you have been harsh and critical -- even if you have not spoken such harshness out loud.
When we take our vows and get to the part of "in sickness and in health," we tend to view it all in extremes.
Yes, the promise applies to things like serious health conditions, but I think the underlying tone of the vows also is saying, "Will you grow old with me? Will you love me when my hair turns gray, my muscles lose their tone, my strength begins to fade? Will you long to be near me even if I put on some weight? Will you still hold me close when my skin is wrinkled and my hands are frail?"
2. Nurture your friendship with your husband.
As much as the world would like to tell us that sex appeal is all about flat stomachs and flawless features, the truth is that the world has nothing on what authentic friendship can do for sexiness.
If you are struggling feeling attracted to your husband, it could be because of too much distance in your relationship. Find ways to strengthen your companionship. Sure, date nights are great, but you don't have to wait for special dates.
Here are few ideas:
Take walks with each other.
Find a new activity to try.
Ask his opinion on something you saw in the news.
Work on a project together around the house.
Cook a meal together.
Watch a funny movie.
Try a new restaurant.
Ask him how you can pray for him.
Ask him about his day at work.
Tell him you want to spend more time with him and ask him for suggestions on what he would like to do.
More than likely, friendship drew you together before you got married -- to the point that you were convinced in your heart he was the man you wanted to have by your side as a spouse, right?
Sadly, friendship is one of the most neglected aspects of marriage. Yet, it is what is most needed and it is vitally important to sexual attraction. I know that finding the time, energy and effort to re-build, repair and rejuvenate friendship with your husband is not easy.
But few things worth having are easy.
Look deeply at why you are not physically attracted to your husband, and therein you will likely find the solutions you desire.
Copyright 2013, Julie Sibert, Intimacy in Marriage Blog.
P.S. Nurtured friendship is one of the things I talk about in the new eBook I coauthored. Pursuit of Passion: Discovering True Intimacy in Your Marriage.