Wives Who Are Sexually Refused

I’m humbly blessed to have Kentucky Colonel of A Grown Up Marriage posting today, looking closer at something that isn’t discussed often — wives who are sexually refused.

Even if that doesn’t apply to you, I implore you to read this post for its tremendous wisdom about maturity in marriage.

Sexual refusal is a huge issue in many marriages.

I read a lot about it in blogs online.  In the vast majority of these articles, the refused is the husband and the wife is encouraged to meet her husband’s sexual needs.

This post, however, is about the other spouse — the one you don’t hear much about. This post is about wives who are sexually refused.

A female friend of mine once told me, “My former pastor looked me in the eye and said, ‘No man turns down sex from his wife,’ as if I was doing something wrong and that it was my fault [that my husband didn’t want to have sex].”

Such implication is just wrong.

One of the things that I am certain of is that there are two sinners in marriage. No more. No less.

That selfishness is a human sin condition, NOT a gender condition. What the pastor said shouldn’t have been spoken and the attitude shouldn’t be tolerated anywhere that Truth is valued.

The problem is that, for too many, this pastor’s comments are perceived as true.

For a number of years, I count myself among those who was deluded to believe that lie because it was outside of my experience (for more on a defining truth through our experience, read That’s Not My Preference).

As I matured, I learned that my experience wasn’t always the barometer of truth that I thought it was. I even began to quit using the stereotypical higher-drive husband and lower-drive wife examples.

Instead, I began using more generically labeled examples.  Instead of refused husband, it’s now a refused higher-drive spouse.

How important are these distinctions? Important enough and uncommon enough to draw a comment from one of my readers.

As I learned more, I found that these sexually-refused women were having the notion that husbands don’t refuse sex.

Even worse, the wives would believe what many marriage books imply — that simply being more submissive, wearing lingerie, cooking better meals, keeping the house cleaner or being sexier are the keys to their husband’s sexual desire.

Frankly, it isn’t much different than telling a husband to help more around the house, give his wife a break with the kids or be more emotionally attentive.

In my experience, which isn’t comprehensive truth by any means, these things — wearing lingerie or being more emotionally attentive — might help in some rare cases, but they aren’t the cure-all they are peddled to be.

Scripture doesn’t make a distinction between male and female sexual drives.

“The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife.” 1 Corinthians 7:3-4.

There is no distinction between the genders in this regard. Both husbands and wives have responsibilities and obligations.

Chronic sexual refusal in marriage is a symptom of much deeper issues — usually issues we’d rather not face, because they are hard truths for us.

Typically, they boil down to spouses in the marriage being Stubborn, Immature, Selfish Jerks.

We don’t like to think of ourselves or our spouses in this maanner, but honestly, we’ve all been there and it’s usually our own anxieties and insecurities that drive us there.

Not being a sexually refused wife myself, I decided to go to a place where I knew they existed and even congregated — The Marriage Bed Forums.  I asked questions, got input and here’s what I found out.

I found that a lack of desire from their husbands made them more susceptiable to temptation (1 Corinthians 7:5).

Usually the temptation for a refused husband is to ogle women.

The temptation for many of the women I heard from is a temptation to be noticed and ogled by men other than their husbands.

They want to feel pretty and have their desirability affirmed.

I asked about how their spouse’s refusal affects their body image, and a few women said that a lack of sexual desire from their husbands only reinforced what they already [wrongly] believed about their bodies (See Julie’s post The Secret to the Stopping the Body Image War).

The other thing I asked about was the stereotypes that are accepted as the norm — a horny husband and a less-than-enthusiastic wife.

Basically, the feeling is that these stereotypes are hurtful for those who don’t fit them. They can actually lead women to skipping out on ministry opportunities because they do not fit the stereoptypes, which are just not scriptural.

The stereotypes also reinforce the notion that there is something wrong with the wives or their husband.

It’s not that these women don’t understand that refusal is an issue for husbands as well.  They do.

As one friend put it, “I do feel there is still a need for Christian women to be challenged to please their husbands more and not to refuse or avoid, as outlined in the Bible in Corinthians. However, I think this should always be accompanied by a nod to us women out there who feel alone and ashamed. We need to be thrown the lifeline that we actually are not alone. There are others who suffer in silence — quietly crying at night, unnoticed in their sexy lingerie while their husband simply turns over and goes to sleep.”

I want to point out that Julie is very good about recognizing this. As she’s pointed out, she hears from more men, but she acknowledges the wives out there who are suffering.

Another wife says, “I would one day like the opportunity to tell the wives that refuse their husbands how it feels to be refused. I honestly think that women who truly love their husbands would never refuse them if they really understood how refusal feels. I always thought that maybe if these women could hear what refusal feels like from a woman’s point of view, maybe they would understand better what they are doing to their husbands.”

These wives obviously understand the feelings of being refused. It is sad that often they also feel marginalized by their brothers and sisters in Christ.

My thanks to the brave ladies of The Marriage Bed Forums for their help in writing this post.

Kentucky Colonel blogs regularly about marriage at A Grown Up Marriage. This blog and many others are striving to give applicable insights on ways married couples can strengthen their relationship.

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60 thoughts on “Wives Who Are Sexually Refused

  1. MrsR says:

    I totally get it. I have felt completely confused when nothing the books say seems to work (lingerie, being suggestive/sexier, etc.). We continue to work together on this. However, the biggest thing I relate to in the article is a desire to tell women just how terrible (I imagine, based on my experience) their husbands feel when they are regularly unresponsive.

  2. Pingback: Guest Post at Intimacy In Marriage | A Grown Up Marriage

  3. J (Anonymous) says:

    This is the secret out there that some wives are refused by their husbands. And these women often feel they have nowhere to turn because so few resources even recognize that the problem exists. Thanks for bringing light to it. There may be emotional or physiological issues at play in a spouse’s low sex drive, but genuine love dictates that the issue be addressed by both partners so that godly sexuality can take its rightful place in marriage.

  4. Gina Parris says:

    Yay! This subject is thankfully getting alot of attention lately. I am convinced that the low desire spouse is 50% of the time, the male – not the .5% of the time that we’re led to believe.
    I am not convinced however that the problem always boils down to “selfish jerkery.” 🙂 The root issues are more complicated, including baffling drive and performance issues that can be related to stress, depression, depression medication, a myriad of treatments that we give for the most prevalent sicknesses, lack of fitness, resentment, shame and embarrassment over it all, not to mention pornography issues. (also usually a symptom of a deeper issue)
    One important message to get across is that it is not the husband’s “problem,” It’s a couple’s problem and they can together find a solution and build a love life that is more satisfying than ever.
    Nice post.

  5. Kentucky Colonel says:

    @Gina Parris,

    You’ll notice that “selfish jerky” comment was in relation to CHRONIC refusal.

    It seems to me, once we know that refusal is hurting our spouse and our marriage, to choose not address the more complicated issues you point out is acting like a stubborn, immature, selfish jerk. The reasonable, mature and selfless thing to do is to find the help need to address these more complicated issues. Much too often that is avoided by the refusing spouse.

    I hope that clarifies the point better.

    Blessings!

  6. cori says:

    Thank you for bringing this up, Colonel! People don’t believe that a husband might actually refuse his wife, but the first 13 years of our marriage, that’s exactly what happened to me. I blamed myself (of course, I’m a self-blamer), not realizing that there was far more going on underneath the surface of my husband than what I knew. The damage was definitely done to my self-image and self-worth – if your HUSBAND refuses you, how awful must you really be? 🙁

    We go through cycles now – some are really good for me (I’m definitely a HD kind of girl), some are really bad for me (we’re currently in a refusal cycle). But the emotions expressed by the women on TMB are right on the money in my experience. I’m praying for an end to our drought – and praying for other refused women at the same time.

  7. RPretty says:

    I am actually in my second marriage and can say that I thought men refusing women was rare. We did not have sex before we were married and it was really his idea. We were going to church together though and wanted to do things better than we had the first time. This all sounded great and we did talk about what we expected sexually after we were married. HOWEVER, a regular sex life is NOT what I got. I would say we may have a successful encounter about every 8 to 10 weeks. I had told him before we were married that I was good with about twice a week. He had agreed.
    It’s all very confusing really. He talks like he would like to have sex and he tells me I’m beautiful and sexy. But he does not initiate it and I have stopped because the rejection is painful. He doesn’t seem to notice my lack of initiation or if he does, doesn’t mind.
    It becomes hard not to be bitter. I want the closeness and for him to tell me I am sexy, seems… I don’t know the words for it….. almost like a slap. It’s not like we are having sex, so why is he telling me that? It’s just odd. Also a blog I read recently said sex is the only thing that you do with your husband that you cannot do with someone else. I think that’s it. We are missing this big chunk of our relationship that is supposed to be just for us. To bring us closer.
    We’ve talked about it a lot and I try very, very hard not to say anything mean. We have also had heart tests and tried ED pills. This doesn’t matter. I am beginning to believe that is has to be psychological, but he won’t “go there.”
    I feel ugly, non-gendered, like I’m living with a friend (he’s a very good husband besides this, that’s what makes it so hard.)
    I pray for me and for all of you suffering this. It’s very hard on the self esteem.

  8. RPretty says:

    Forgot to mention, I’m not even 40 yet. I thought those were supposed to be my sexually prime years! He is only 41. 🙁 Can I do this for another 40 years?

  9. JulieSibert says:

    Thank you for your comments RPretty. I’m sad about your situation.

    When you and your husband talk about the lack of sexual intimacy, what does he say? I know recommending counseling is not always well-received, but I’m wondering if a counselor could help generate some conversation or peel back the layers to any root issues?!

    I’m wondering too if you express to him how painful it is that he is not interested in you sexually, possibly he would better understand? Sometimes people don’t realize how painful their actions are.

    I can see why it’s hard to not be bitter. I am sad about what you are going through and I know other women experience what you are facing.

    You ARE PRETTY. I pray you hear that. (Although I know you really want to not only hear it from your husband, but have him really act upon it as well).

  10. AY says:

    Sex-deprived Ladies, GET OUT of this relationship NOW!

    Lack of sex will kill you, age you, cause emotional and psychological damage to your emotions. Men who have sex issues have untreated sexually violation issues, been taught by religion that sex is “dirty”, are confused repressed homosexuals or simply asexual.

    I was with a sweet, caring man for 5 years who lacked any sexual intiative. The same behavioral patterns: He would say I was pretty, sexy, etc…but never acted on it. These men often seek out sexual women to overcompensate for their shortcomings. His mother also had a firm grip on his identity which impacted how comfortable he felt with a woman.

    I am sorry but counseling, prayer, etc DOES NOT work. The only thing that works is for you to find a spiritual God-fearing man who has the same level of sexual compatibility is comfortable with sex. I struggled and experienced so much sadness. NEVER AGAIN. But now I have a spiritual man who respects my body but pleases me at the same time.
    Don’t settle or suffer!

  11. JulieSibert says:

    Thank you AY for your comment… I can hear the pain in what you are saying.

    I realize each situation is different, but I really encourage anyone to seriously consider whether divorce is the best option. Sometimes prayer and counseling do work, so to say a blanket statement that “counseling, prayer, etc. DOES NOT work” isn’t accurate. Sometimes they do work. Sometimes marriages are restored. Sometimes people who have walked unhealthy patterns decide to change those patterns and walk in a healthier direction in their marriage.

    I recently came across this video that addresses this issue of sexual refusal in a marriage and is that grounds to get out. This comes at it from the standpoint of the wife is the one sexually refusing, but I think there are insights that are universal regardless of which spouse is sexually refusing.

    http://smalleycenter.com/qa-how-can-we-overcome-sexual-intimacy-fear

    I’m sorry for the pain you experienced.

  12. Ann Parks says:

    I have been sexually refused for almost 30 years, along with little communication, intimacy and just plain nothing. To my husband I’m a guest in our house or better yet a neighbor in an apartment building.
    I’ve been lonely,depressed, unwanted for so long that I’ve forgotten what intimacy was like. I’ll probably just hang in here for the next 30 years, I have no where to go or anyone to be with. In my mid 60s and on a fixed income. Just stuck and unwanted!

  13. JulieSibert says:

    Thank you for your comment Ann…. my heart grieves with you over what you have experienced. I am so sad and sorry for what your husband has done. I know this is of little comfort, but someday he will have to give an account for the way he has lived.

    I encourage you to find support and interests and friends with whom you can spend time. And certainly still press into the Lord and lean on him for comfort… he sees every tear and he knows the pain you are enduring.

  14. Amy says:

    We have been married 45 years and the last time we had sex or any kind of intimacy was on our wedding night, Nothing since then. He has live all these years in our walk out basement, also he has worked the midnight shift for 40 years. All he’s ever done was eat, sleep, and work, he never took any of his vacation in all those years. He lives like a hermit no phone,tv or computer and no friends. I know what hate, anger, frustration,depression being unwanted, unloved is all about. He does make good money and has a great retirement and benefits plan. I’m in my mid 60s now and accepted that our marriage is not a marriage, just two people who are millions of miles apart, Never talking and unaware of each other.

  15. Tracie says:

    We have been married 19 years, my hubby is paralyzed from the stomach down and sex has always been a major problem in our relationship. It has come to the point that I have to please myself and try an imagine him with me sexually. To be fair to him he takes lots of meds for pain makes him have NO sexual drive and I am in OVERDRIVE. We have only been with eachother sexually approx 8 times. I would love to be able to just pounce on my hubby when he doesn’t expect it but I only get rejected and laughed at. I think having problems in the bedroom really deadens communication in the marriage. I pray for a romantic intimate filled marrage, but I am slowly dying inside. I have tried communicating with him my needs and he gets upset and complains that is always come down to this. And that I should realize that he doesn’t/can’t do it. I have tried doing devotional books ith him to help build a marriage but no response. I have asked him to get his testostrone tested and see if he can take anything to counteract the meds he is taking, he seems to always forget and procrastinate it. Recently I tried emailing him so he could have some time to think about his answers but he never responded at all. He is a great husband and father to our kids and I would never leave him because I value the vows we took, but it is getting extremely more difficult. Thanks for letting me vent doesn’t change anything but it is comforting that others are suffering too. I wish and pray that we all wouldn’t have to though.

  16. q. banks says:

    congrats to you AY. ive been through the prayer, counseling and stuff too and nothing worked.It’s HIS inadequacies and unhealthy ways that make him not want sex with me. I applaud you for seeking someone compatible for you, bc i dont think we’re meant to be here to be unsatisfied. God told us how to live in a marriage and when we dont do it, we suffer. I want to know when one spouse doesnt give it up, what do they expect or what do they want their spouse to do? we should both put the shoes on the other foot. I say its a terrible thing for a couple to be sexless. ive been contemplating divorce for 5 yrs now…it’s time to make a move!

  17. Connie says:

    I was hoping that somehow I would find comfort or solutions from other women who are refused by their husbands, but I find it just makes me feel more discouraged. I feel like I had a major bait and switch. I would never have married my husband if I’d known that I would have a life completely devoid of physical or emotional intimacy, with complete refusal to get any help… being told that I’m selfish to want to have sex, that it’s not necessary because he doesnt want it. But he sure does want me to work less hours, and cook dinner for him… and I’m a believer and I want more than anything to be a faithful wife to him, but it’s been 8 years now, and I want to just say “I guess you dont need me to come home or cook for you because I dont want to” but I know that he would just get defensive and not get it. He’s already shown me that its not important enough for him to fight for our marriage. I read an article about people who are “asexual” meaning they just dont care about it one way or the other. But I’m sorry, there is just no substitute for intimacy, for feeling “known” and cherished. Instead I feel disliked, tolerated and ugly. I pray every day for God to show me what this is supposed to mean, because it’s clear that this is not a thorn that is going to be removed.

  18. JulieSibert says:

    I’m sorry Connie for the pain you are going through. Your husband certainly is not honoring God and he will have to give account to God for the way he has treated you (Hebrews 4:13).

    I know that is little consolation now. I do have a page on my site with posts, etc. on wives who want sex and aren’t getting it. I recognize though that this may not really give you answers or relieve the heartbreak. Just wanted to make you aware of it though… https://intimacyinmarriage.com/resources/blogs-and-websites/wives-who-want-more-sex-and-arent-getting-it/

    I’m sad with you… I’m so sorry for what you are going through…

  19. Ferris says:

    Reading some of these posts has me in tears. Thank you to all who have commented. This is the first blog I’ve read where women are like me. I’ve mostly suffered in silence. Not feeling comfortable to share what I’m really going though with anyone.
    I have been married for 16 years. I have a VERY high sex drive and my husband has a VERY low sex drive. It’s hard to put into words the level of frustration I’ve felt in my marriage. It’s not just long periods with no sex, it’s being hugged like I’m his sister (no passion), occasional peck kisses like I’m his aunt. I could drop hints or try and initiate but when you know sex isn’t going to follow you stop because the frustration is unbearable. I’ve cried many of nights over it. He can go weeks without any physical touch. I just can’t understand it. We’ve had many conversations about it and for a short period things might get a little better. About 12 or 13 years ago I made him get his testosterone levels checked. They were in the normal range, closer to the lower end. Not low enough to need medication.
    He is a good father and mostly a good husband. He sincerely listens when I express how I feel about this but it doesn’t seem to registrar how much of a problem this is, what I’m really going through. Thank God I have NEVER thought I was the problem. I had an EXTREMELY active sex life and dated many men before I was married so I know it’s not me. Not trying to sound big headed, but I’m a well built, beautiful woman. I receive a lot of attention/comments from men, daily, which adds to my frustration, because the one mans attention I want I’m not getting. The frustration plays out as anger in my case (my husband sees me as easily angered). The root of the anger is hurt. I’ve explained this to my husband.
    Earlier this year my husband was diagnosed with Aspergers. Getting this diagnoses has been huge for me. He has talked about it very little, but I’ve been reading about it on some blogs. One common thing is low/no sex drive. Reading some of the wives comments brought me to tears. Many sound like the women here. They had been suffering, like me, some for 30/40 plus years. I would strongly encourage wives who have husbands with no/low sex drive to look into this. Aspergers is a spectrum disorder, meaning it can effect people very differently. I think Steven Spielberg has it. Many people work, have families, and are very successful, but do have Aspergers, so you may never think anything is wrong.
    I would also encourage more counselors to look into and be aware of Aspergers having an effect of sex drive.

  20. tom says:

    I tried to love my wife for 10 yrs. Her anger from a bad first marriage and a poor childhood finally wore me down. I finally decided that it was too hard to try to love her. Her cruel words broke my spirit. I have refused to initiate sex for 9 months now. My anger is hidden deep within me. Her punishment from me is that I will never again tell her my true feelings. I long to escape this woman who everyone else thinks is wonderful. I am destroyed inside yet I someday hope to give my love to a gentle woman. God help me.

  21. Minny says:

    I suppose I should have realised by the age of 67 that there were going to be many sexles marriages like the one I’ve been in for over 40 years.
    I did actually leave, but was persuaded back after a mutual friend said my husband really had changed.
    After the first 6 months apart he visited me, and was making a point of being loving, caring and even cuddling. He visited twice more and we got on well, including sharing some passion.
    The I made the mistake of agreeing to buy a new property together and now a year later things are back to merely sharing a house again.
    I’m fed up of being second to the TV, radio and computer, and being shunned physically for any reason he can think of – ‘too hot’ in bed, not appropriate, too uncomfortable on settee – didn’t bother him on visit though!
    Now at 67 and with no independent means I’m not in a financial position to start again, nor at the moment do I have the energy.
    Thanks for a place to have a rant………… and to see that I’m not alone.
    M

  22. Michelle says:

    Thank you so much for your honesty and for sharing I have lived with a husband, whom I love deeply, for 10 years, our sex life deminsihed after 1 year but I beleived that to be normal due to our age and that he had been ill for a while. I have been councilling for 6 years to sort my issues out and enable me to understand and stay, as I have not wanted to really leave as he is a good husband and caring in so many other ways. But to know he would rather watch porn and pleasure himself has torn me in two for many years. We have a 14 year old son and I am now 44, I feel too old for another life or lover…. and my son is so precious and doing well in life that I feel if I leave now I will damage my son – I see it in so many of the pupils I teach. I go round and round in circles with whether to leave or stay but we have just become friends, frends who care and take care when ill,if the situation arises. I am slowly coming to the terms that I need to find my own life, before my son leaves our home and set the foundations for me to walk out when he goes, but it is having the courage and confidence I once had to do these things and not become lazy or so wrapped up in the fact of how I feel, unwanted, unloved, ugly and not sexy. Or that I will be 48/50 with no life or home. I try sometimes to believe that my patience and wanting to sort out issues by going councilling will one day lead me to a better life for God knows what is happening what I have done on my part to make things better, and maybe just maybe he will one day send me the right man, the man who loves life and sex the way I do and is happy to be emotional, open and honest. Love to one all x

  23. Lucy Jones says:

    I really appreciate your posts. I am not Christian, but very religious in another realm. I believe in monogamy, loyalty and the sweet and joyful sexual bond between a man and wife. My husband refuses me regularly. We have been married 8 months and have probably made love 12 times if that.

    My husband has never seen me naked. He closes his eyes, does not kiss (likely cultural – he is African). He prefers to sleep apart from me so no natural romance or physicdluzstion of love can occur. I am so sad.

  24. Jessica says:

    This was very helpful to read. When my husband refuses sex with me I definitely blame myself. He usually supplies a believable excuse, but it still feels like a rejection to me. I question my appearance, my behaviors, his faithfulness to me… In my situation it unfortunately came to light that he was involved with pornography. This article still made me feel better.

  25. Lardi says:

    My husband has for sometime now wanted a divorce which I was not in agreement. Through the process of going to court to get a divorce which he initiated I got pregnant. After I had the baby I went to live with my mum and stayed for almost two years and he was actually ok with it. I thought I was giving him time to think this whole thing over while I prayed but he seemed to have been enjoying my absence. I one day decided to return to the house and he wont have any of that. he changed the lock when I went out and I broke into the house. since then, he will not talk to me, not eat my food, will not let me see his nakedness and no sex. I pray each day for God to take control of the whole situation and restore my marriage.

  26. HL says:

    I thought I was alone. It feels like sometimes, her puts everyone else’s needs before ours. He’ll go out of his way to do things for friends, but at the end of the day “he’s just too tired” for me. I try kissing on him and cuddling and expressing I’d like to go to bed earlier just so he won’t tell me he’s tired, but it’s always “it’s too early to go to bed, let’s watch one more show, I’m not tired yet I don’t want to go to the bedroom” then he falls asleep within the next 15 minutes. I feel less important than the tv.

    Also, I just feel like he’s plain not uninterested anymore. When we first got married we were having sex at least once a day, now I’m lucky for one every two weeks. I know part of it is the 4 days I work, he is already asleep before I get home because he works first shot and I work until midnight. The thing is though, to me, the days I have, I want to make love to him everyday because I miss him. the responses I usually get is what I’ve already started.

    I know that I have gained almost 40lbs in two years because I have thyroid issues. I feel disgusting to start with, and when I express top him how his lack of interest makes me feel, he brushes it off. He tells me I’m beautiful, but won’t tell what about me he really enjoys. I feel ugly and disgusting and as if there is something wrong with me.

    It truly breaks my heart to know other women go through it as well, but it is also comforting knowing I’m not alone. I wish the men who rejected their wives, just like wove who reject their husbands, really understand what it does to them.

    Oh, also, I eat support healthy and take care if myself. I went as far as getting a personal trainer because I truly believed that my physical body was making him not want me, and he got so upset. To him, it’s as if they is nothing more important than money. I work a job I hate because it lasts twice as much as his current one and he won’t look for better work. I’m pregnant and he is convinced adoption is three only solution because he thinks we don’t have the money. He gets mad at me for all my doctors appointment and special diet I need (because of my 7 food allergies) because it cost too much money. I’m at a loss.

    Sorry for the rant. I just don’t know what to do.

  27. shiro says:

    I am 32 years and my husband is 25 . We have 1 baby who is 10 months old. Our sex life before the baby was great and we could not seem to get enough of each other . However after i got the baby our sex life has never been the same . The only time we have sex is when i beg and beg and beg for it .

    I just cant take it anymore …i love my husband so much but i just can’t go through this everyday of my life.

  28. Kimberli A says:

    I have been in tears for most the day, I to have a husband who does not want to have sex with me. We have been married 25 years, and for 23 it has been feast or famine. His tactics when I bring this subject up is to get angry. He calls me controlling and just today told me he will not have sex with me. I can see by all the comments that I am not alone in this struggle. On one of the comments the woman said he has already checked out of the marriage. That is my situation also. I would rather end the marriage so that I can at least grieve the loss of it. But little sparks of hope keep me here.. Matthew 6: 34 says So do not worry about tomorrow; it will have enough worries of its own. There is no need to add to the troubles each day brings. I don’t want to be in my 50, 60, and 70, and still have no intimacy with my husband.

  29. Tjm says:

    What do think about the concept of emasculation? I have often heard women blamed for their husband’ slack of sex drive – suggesting that strong women with a HD somehow cause the problems in the relationship.

  30. JulieSibert says:

    @Tjm… When I think of emasculation, I think of it from a standpoint of disrespect. So, if a wife is disrespecting her husband in this way… meaning, taking shots at his manhood (either directly or indirectly), then obviously that would likely affect his attraction to her.

    I don’t think high sex drive in a woman equates to emasculation. They are different things.

  31. drc says:

    God has blessed me finding this. I really needed to hear this. My first husband was my best friend and everything was wonderful until health issues then what I didn’t recognize as depression stopped our sex life that had been slipping. I had decided even God could not fix but I did and we were more loving and passionate than when we married 20 years earlier. When he passed and I remarried I discussed the importance of intimacy, he was romantic and passionate, frequent sex, and had stopped talking to women online he expressed desires and complimented them me some but not much. He lied. He is uncomfortable giving compliments, often too tired, almost never initiates, doesn’t want different positions or locations in the house, lacks foreplay, receives but almost never gives oral pleasure, big one for me kisses are just pecks, gets angry doesn’t understand the problem. He tells me he loves me all the time, but often refuses and makes me feel uncomfortable and threatens to leave make me leave etc. ugly you always you never fighting. Recently I found out he has gone back onto Facebook etc. talking to younger women and asking for pictures. He gave up his phone and his Facebook, but I have such trust issues. I know that I can have issues with self esteem and need building up with words and romance and the lack of that with the lack of sexual intimacy is awful. I had issues with my first husband and had given up on the marriage and was going to marry a friend who’s marriage was ending and we had always said we should have married the others partners jokingly over the years. I know if you don’t communicate the problems it can lead you down the wrong road. I also had the added issue my first husband was the pastor and I the pastors wife. I am clear in desires and communication and do compromise but if not fighting about it would have been cuddling and asleep earlier so the I have to sleep becomes routinely bandied about. The biggest thing is when there is a problem the ugly fighting. I went to our pastor who suggested we find another Christian couple and talk to them. He is still lying/denying the problems even with proof to the pastors face. I have worked with special needs students while teaching and have a daughter with autism spectrum disorder, and know my husband doesn’t have social skills (brings phone into bathroom when someone calls, so excited when someone calls answers eager to please always responds yes to others, has problem with eye contact, has issues not understanding the response and emotional abuse in a situation is the problem and gets angry because he doesn’t “get” what the problem is.) I lost it when I found out about the cheating with the women and when he gave them accolades I smacked him. He left and we almost didn’t save the marriage when he came back. Finally got him to “counseling” which had rejected but pastor didn’t help or deal with at all. Now I am asking one for prayer for the situation, and God’s direction on how to ask him to get tested for asphergers and get him into a counseling that is biblical yet addresses the real issues you are addressing. I have no clue how to find a good counselor (experience of bad couselors have me cautious. If you have any advice on how to find and evaluate help. I would appreciate it. I am committed to making our marriage work. He has never been in a Christian marriage and had been away from God/church since starting work and married twice before and they both cheated on him. He has rededicated his life to God, is serving in the church, making aquaintance/friendship with other Christians, and doing couple devotions so has grown. Please pray for us and if any advice I would appreciate it.

  32. drc says:

    I rambled this is hard for me. I will say when we have sex he enjoys it, but it no longer involves much foreplay, almost no kissing, he hits a certain position and it is over in mere minutes. He has gotten better at recognizing my need for some release, but at the beginning it was building multiple orgasms for me. He also has to jump up and get cleaned up right away afterwards so almost no afterplay. He was not like this initially, but romantic and passionate liked that I told him exactly what I wanted. He will not tell me what he want, likes, or enjoys. Its now whatever I like it all or it doesn’t matter. He also said he couldn’t “feel anything” with condoms so he wasn’t getting any pleasure so why bother. (after 20 year after losing child after my daughter and told should not have conceived her, God allowed miracles and I was pregnant twice although one did not develop and one died and was delivered at home so for a long time wearing condoms was necessary to heal. Still odds are in the million but putting in Gods hand and realizing that may be affecting also. I have tried lingerie, sexy messages and phone conversations, trying to change positions and locations (though he now thanks me for the different positions even though dragged out of him) cant tell me what he wants or likes and after tearing me down, doesn’t seem to be able to compliment and build up to show I am valued. I felt like bait and switch, then trying to be patient but with cheating talking to women online I feel like we have taken steps backward. It really is a blessing being able to express my pain and have others who understand. Thank You.

  33. JulieSibert says:

    @drc… thank you for sharing so vulnerably. I’m sorry for the many struggles and discouragement you are facing in your marriage.

    If you are concerned that your husband may have asperger’s, possibly you can contact a group that is equipped to give you good insights, resources, etc. You may want to try the US autism and asperger’s association at http://www.usautism.org.

    I encourage you also to find good support for yourself. If your husband is resistant to any counseling and/or mentoring, I encourage you to still find 2-3 mature Christian women with whom you can confide, pray, and seek godly direction. These would be women who would not bash your husband, but would pray with you for your marriage and for you, would keep conversations in confidence, and would simply listen without judging. Your church may be able to connect with women who would be able to give you this support.

  34. Priscilla Pamela says:

    I have been married a year and a half , I love him and I know he loves me , but when it comes to sex I am left with only meeting his needs not mine . He tells me let him be the one to approach me , but I find myself waiting and waiting and waiting for his moves . If I make the move , he says that I am aggressive , maybe I am because I am starving for his affection and sex , he tells me its lust and I say its love , I am left with his refusing me and I am left with such sadness that I have been sick , not sleeping and crying because I feel so confused that I don’t know what to do with myself. this is my second marriage and it was supposed to be it , but I realize that he married me as a rebound and having a sexual addiction that I haven’t a chance , I am suffering much more that before with my depression and we did talk and he even admitted that he does not desire , I feel like the most unwanted ugly women in the world . I read this page and can relate to all of you ! I feel that I am dying and will not recover from this feeling and needs that was put in me as God created me , I don’t know what will become of me and will I servive

  35. Reba Bush says:

    Sad to hear you married women talking about physical intimacy, when the answer is emotional and spiritual intimacy with your spouse. I’m a wife with lower sex drive. Now my husband turns the table after many years. He wants it only once or twice a week. I want more. However, there has to be a compromise.
    When he is fasting, no sex. I can deal with that. Sometimes he goes on a 21-day fasting.
    Then we use some romantic stories in bed to get us both excited after some lows.
    May even go the unconventional to use non-nude tapes designed for married couples to spice us excitement. At times the sexual desire burns low after many years of doing the same person. This is normal. But, we continue to find different ways to get excited together without involving anybody else.
    He doesn’t mind me getting a massage. Actually he encourages it because it get me hot and ready. have had a couple of home massages and also in hotels. he is always there to be sure nothing goes wrong. That’s love! That tends to help and wake my body up. We talk. share fantasies and joke about sex together. He’s mu husband and I’m his wife.
    Our best sex is intimate conversations, not even physical that follows. Try the process of cerebral sex together.

    Getting angry and calling your spouse names only expresses frustration. So many things can be done to spice romance in many nice ways. After 30 years marriage sex still satisfies. When you care about a person, you show it by passion, not by ignoring them. Intimate sex starts from outside the bedroom. Both of you can engage brain sex together prior to coming into the bedroom. All I’ve heard is about physical sex, no wonder many of you wives are suffering. Start with emotional intimacy with your spouse and see how far it goes. You talk about other things, why not open up about sex.

  36. Paula says:

    Reading all these comments made me shiver. I’m an unmarried woman in her early twenties who is engaged to be married to a sweet man (who’s same age as me).
    I understand that many of these sex-refusing husbands did not start out that way- were mostly sweet, tender and had the hots for their wives.
    Is there a trend to look out for? A pattern to establish? A way to know a man might become averse to sexual relations with his wife in the future?
    My confession though: I have not received the spirit of fear…(saying it over and over to myself)

  37. Blessing says:

    I am currently married, our love Is not as strong as it were before.I have a full time job with 3kids. At the other hand, my husband has a part~ time job as well. Frankly speaking, I do all the house work alone including daily vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms, dish cleaning, laundry, shopping, cooking, screaming to the kids and taking them out to playground, cleaning the car, running errands, picking and dropping off the kids and following up all the appointments. My husband doesn’t do much in the house. He has this African mentality and brought up that women are meant to do all house work while men go to hurt for money.In this case, I work 45hrs a week. If I don’t remind him what to do, he will basically will not come up with his initiative to do it. Sometimes, I will need to repeat my self severally before he can do it. Most of the time, he will come up to say that Iam nagging. we have sat down severally to talk over it. He will change for that day after having sex, the next few days he will go back to his regular behavior of cutting himself off from the activities that are going on in his house. His actions always shows that nothing borders him. He always engage himself with Facebook chatting or sitting on the couch watching TV while all the house chorse are all waiting for me alone. For example, I have always told him severally about helping out with laundry (I do laundry daily) He helps for the few days. When I tell him about vacuuming, he runs it for few days. He text me severally a week telling me that he loves me but doesn’t give me maximum support as a way to proof his love. For all these reasons, I get mad and tired after dealing with daily work and house chores alone and as a result I refuse him sex. I totally see him not considering the stress Iam getting daily. Please, Iam seriously in need on how to handle this.
    Thanks for your quick rescue and response.

  38. Pingback: Sexually Refused Wives - A Grown Up Marriage

  39. david says:

    Julie you make it seem as if the husband is going to hell or. Hell be seen unfavorably in the lords eyes for one aspect or fallacy in his life or in this case his marriage. The lord says all sins are equal that includes the ones in marriage no disrespect just something to pomder

  40. julie says:

    Wow I was sadly shocked with all these stories. I guess churches have to tackle this subject (and men) more because it is always addressing women! Divorce is NOT an option! I’m recently married but we discovered that my husband has a heart condition and is often to tired for anything. I’ve been frustrated at most, yet even before our intimacy we pray. I believe putting Spiritual matters before sexual matters will do wonders. God is powerful enough to change the heart of men and why wouldn’t He help us with this difficult issue? Let us also check our hearts to see if our lives is where God wants it to be so we can please God first rather than first seeking our sexual desires…
    God bless!

  41. A says:

    Is there any hope? Almost six years. Two kids. No sex. Begging. Do I leave him within biblical context on grounds of emotional and physical abandonment? I feel used. He’s brought children into this world on purpose the only time he would actively seek me. My children’s future I feel is at risk of a broken home. Btw, my husband is tall dark and handsome , great job,takes care of the kids and helps around the house, hilarious and charismatic. But I’m dead inside. I need someone to love. I ran into my ex after ten years of a breakup this weekend. No nothing happened. But it took one look and a couple giggles and we both knew there was trouble. I left early after a serious heart to heart closure talk. I left him. And I go back to this. I came home in need of my husband. He blew me off again. …. I must say, I sought this thread for encouragement, but I see nothing. But pain. No answers. No direction of hope or actions. I just want him to go away and practice living without him for a bit. I can fake it forever or test the water without him– and seek an emotionally fulfilling life. Ive prayed for God to take this pain. It is testing my faith.

  42. Sad and Lonely says:

    How do I make my husband see that chronic refusal is a sin? We have sex once every two months at best now. Even on our honeymoon, it was only once a week.

    Sexual refusal is not our only marriage problem and is not even the most serious one anymore, but it was the first problem in our marriage, with me crying myself to sleep every night on our honeymoon when he would spend all day playing computer games on his laptop and refusing to spend any time with me, and after me waiting up for him to finally come to bed, only to have him tell me he wasn’t interested in sex either.

    Things have only got worse with him refusing to talk to me, refusing to look at me, putting his hands over his ears if I try to make conversation with him, him choosing to sleep with his computer instead of in our bed, him speaking to me with utter contempt (when he speaks at all, usually I only get grunts from him), he refuses to do anything with me, and the only thing he’ll do with the kids is play computer games with the oldest and very occasionally take the youngest for a short walk.

    I have tried everything but he has no respect or love for me at all. We tried marriage counselling and I did everything he demanded in counselling and while he was happy for that time, he continued to treat me even worse, and the kids and I just became more and more miserable. He is only happy when he gets to skip work, plays computer games 16 hours a day completely undisturbed, and doesn’t spend any time with the kids and I – even when I’m working more than him, I’m still the one exepcted to look after the kids and do the housework even though I have serious health problems.

    Eventually things got so bad tht I could no longer stay silent, and went back to approaching him gently about the horrible way he was treating me and the kids – doing exactly the way the marriage counsellor said, that he claimed he wanted issues raised, but each time I tried to raise an issue, he would either do something spiteful passively aggressively, or he’d do something abusive aggressively. Staying silent just means things deteriorate for me and our kids, but even the most respectful gentle speaking up sees him become abusive.

    He is only getting worse no matter what I do, our marriage counsellor has given up and just said to leave him, and things are so bad that I would like a temporary separation because at least then I don’t have to face having him unremorsefully watch me cry myself to sleep every night from the hurtful things he has done – or more precisely him just happily, unremorsefully going to sleep knowing I will be up all night crying myself to sleep on the lucky nights I get any sleep.

    The problem is, with no support from family or friends or our church, and in a situation where I can’t get any kind of welfare support or spousal support (and child support is literally only a few dollars a week on his income), I have no money to leave.

    Doesn’t matter, I should go and try to get some sleep amongst the tears before the kids wake up soon.

  43. anonymous123 says:

    It is very hurtful for me when my husband turns me down for sex. I have been married for over 22 years and it took me 21 years to work on my shyness and actually begin to initiate sex on a regular basis. It was very rare for me before to do this. I find my libido has increased because our 3 kids do not require as much attention as they have gotten older and I no longer have the fear of an unplanned pregnancy. When my husband rejects me, I feel so unwanted and unloved. It often makes me cry.l and Ibfeel so sad. I think I’m just going to go back to just waiting for him to make his move. I have a desire and passion for my husband, but I dont think he feels the same way about me. It makes me so sad and feel so sexually frustrated. When he rejects me I feel so stupid and like a freak for wanting to have sex with my husband.

  44. Sad and desparate says:

    I am 33 with 3 kids. I can count how many times we have been intimate. Each time i bring the issue to my husband; he usually shut me down with his anger. He would rather jack off on himself watching porn than having sex with me. I tried to talk to him about counseling; he gets more mad than ever. After 6 years like this, i am done. I prayed, cried and talked nothing. I hate to leave my husband because of sex, but i can’t live my life this way hoping anymore…

  45. Leigh Dawson says:

    I dearly love my husband. While dating, I viewed his lack of interest as respect for me as a single mom that fostered an environment that was suitable for my children. After we married, his lack of interest left me greatly perplexed. We had many discussions involving our situation and he would always promise to try harder and that he was well aware that his drive did not match mine. He is perfect in every other way and is loved by all of our friends and family. Because of that, I have discussed this matter with anyone. Twenty-five years have passed and the only thing I know for sure is I don’t want a divorce. I have come to believe he is asexual and that he isn’t even aware of it himself. We still have discussions and I believe he really just doesn’t know what to do about the matter himself. I have come to believe that he thinks I may leave if he admits he has no desire for sex and just wants to remain celibate. I have reassured him I will not leave and even asked if we could have an open marriage where this issue is concerned. Absolutely not! I feel an integral part of me is being denied and is dying. I have even considered finding a FWB but we have never kept secrets from one another. The humorous part is that everyone thinks we have a vibrant sex life because we both look much younger than our age. The irony of it all, at times, makes me laugh but does nothing to appease the yearning that my physical side so desperately needs.

  46. Daniel says:

    To DRC you are not ugly I feel you, and by experience I can tell you that you are not ugly you are beautiful, I sometimes feel like you except I’m the husband, I’ve been told that I’m handsome but sometimes I feel soo ugly because she won’t be intamate with me and like you she gives pecks but on my cheek, so I think I know how you feel, and to Leigh I too have actually thought of maybe someone would be interested in being a FWB with me but I don’t think that is our answer we all know the answer which is Christ it’s just difficult for us to be in this situation in which we give but don’t get, please pray about your issues and infact all our same issues he will send us the answers we need and deserve, and please hear me DRC you ARE BEAUTIFUL and amazing… GodBless you all and I pray God helps us all

  47. Daniel says:

    Sad and lonely, I’m So sorry we men sometimes need a good kick in the ass for us to realize how much we have but don’t see, he has You and I’m sure you’re a beautiful and good wife I want you to know that you’re post has touched my heart and I feel compelled to apologize to you for your husband, please pray about this ask God for his wisdom and guidance, you need his help, man I wish I could help you, I’m praying for you and you deserve better please take care and pray he will answer you, he will and I’m praying for you n your kids again please take care oh I forgot to say my name it’s Daniel. God Bless you young lady, and remember it’s not over,

  48. Given Up says:

    We haven’t done anything in almost 3 years. He is punishing me for not being the kind of wife he wants me to be. He says I am “mean” to him. He trots his behind to church every Sunday believing he is just SO Christian. Tries to get me to go with him. I refuse since I know just what a crock it is. Doesn’t think he is doing anything strange or wrong. Goes to a “Christian” therapist every other week. Says she doesn’t condone what he is doing (or not doing). She gives him marital advice and he ignores it. In the meantime, I am paying for his sessions. He is now what I suspect he has always wanted to be: a celibate who can give his entire life to God. He is Eleanor of Aquitaine’s first husband, King Louis. He refused to bang his wife also; he was just so holy. I am rapidly approaching the point where I wouldn’t screw him even if he wanted to.

  49. Completely at a loss says:

    I was married in 12/2000; my husband stopped having sex with me 6/2006. There is always an different excuse when I asked him about it. For a long time I thought it was me, but I realized after a couple of years that it wasn’t. He has refused counseling, stating there is nothing wrong. There has to be something mentally wrong with him because I know he is not seeing anyone else. If I even touch him, he flips out. I don’t have any friends nor can I talk to anyone about it; there answer is leave him; church family says he has not committed adultery so you can’t leave. I don’t even look at him that way anymore. I feel trapped and getting very bitter. I don’t know what to do.

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