What Sex-Starved Husbands Tell Me

Your husband is not an “animal” for wanting to have sex.

He is not being unreasonably demanding.

And he is not a selfish pig.

He is a normal guy who has an appropriate expectation that his desire and need for sexual intimacy be met with the woman he married and loves.

That’s you.

Yes, I know that some marriages are in the midst of incredibly painful circumstances, wrought with betrayal, horrendous miscommunication and deep unresolved woundedness. The lack of sex is not an insurmountable matter, but I get that it is complicated.

I also know there are many marriages that don’t fit that bill. Many.

For the most part, they are relationships that move along just fine, with the exception of this discord in sexual intimacy.


Sex-starved husband.

Enter stage right.

If you have been regularly denying your husband (and yourself) sex — if this is the “norm” in your marriage — then I humbly encourage you to stop lying to yourself.

Stop telling yourself “it is no big deal” that you and your husband rarely or never have sex.

It is a big deal.

Now, I could tell you to “just have more sex.”

But that advice would be drenched in short-sightedness and surfacey platitudes.


If ever there was a place for short-sightedness and surfacey platitudes, I guarantee it is not marriage.  When have quick fixes or token efforts ever led to any kind of authentic and long-lasting depth in a marriage? Don’t answer that. We all know the answer.

What I would compassionately tell you is to figure out why you have allowed and/or purposely chosen that sex become non-existent in your bed.

Here are some possibilities (and some solutions):

Are you punishing him for a past hurt that the two of you haven’t worked through?

Do the courageous thing. Bring the issue out in the light and commit to reaching a place of forgiveness, healing and strengthened resolve to treat one another better.

If you need help from a counselor, get it.

I don’t know your situation and I certainly would never minimize how badly he hurt you, but give yourself permission to stand back and take an objective look.

Is it worth it — is it really worth it — to withhold sex from him as a way to punish him?  My guess is the feeling of victory is not quite as prevalent as the quicksand of bitterness.

Have you not sought healing for past sexual pain, such as sexual abuse, sexual promiscuity, rape, abortion, so forth?

If you were violated sexually in the past — or if your own sexual promiscuity has left you wrestling in isolation with shame and pain — then I implore you to seek help.

For the sake of yourself and for your marriage, please do not deny yourself the healing you need.  That healing will help you embrace a right and good and holy perspective on sex with the man you married.

Are you not experiencing pleasure?

Learn about your body and educate your husband.  Talk during foreplay and sex to specifically tell him what feels good.


Spend more time making love.

Allow yourself to embrace sexual pleasure, which was designed by God.  I know this is obvious, but God designed your entire body, including your clitoris. Yes! The clitoris was God’s idea.  Kudos to Him on that one.  Seriously, that little part of your anatomy serves no other purpose but intense sexual pleasure.

Like I always say, orgasm isn’t everything. But it is a very strong something.

Are you still believing lies that sex is dirty, wrong, gross, only for procreation?

Enough already, okay.  Enough.

God designed sex to endear a husband and wife to each other, to protect them from temptation, and to give them a glimpse of His intense love. (Sure, He designed it to make babies too, but the vast majority of sex in marriage isn’t for procreation).

Whatever you’ve been told (maybe even by Christians) that paints marital sex in a bad or “obligatory-only” light is a bold-faced slam against the Word of God.  Stop trivializing the truth of what God says about sex. Think I’m looney for saying any of this? Seek His Word and then let’s have a friendly heart-to-heart chat.

God is such a sexy God. I’m just saying.

Do your own struggles with body image inhibit you to the point that you have convinced yourself “there’s no way he would want to have sex with me”?

How I wish that this body image issue didn’t wreak such havoc on marriage beds.

This might be a shocker to you, but the standards doled out in media and entertainment on what constitutes “beautiful” and “sexy” are completely inaccurate. (Creating counterfeit images is kind of their gig. It’s called “make believe” for a reason. We are “made” to “believe” something that isn’t quite what they portray it to be).

If you want to get physically healthier, by all means, please do.

But if you are holding your marriage hostage until you lose the baby fat or get back to your age-20 body, pa-leaseeee — stop it.  Express to your husband your struggles and ask him to be more affirming.  Then do your part by growing in your sexual confidence and enjoying sex with the man you married.

(By the way, if you want to read a couple of fabulous posts on body image, I particularly like this recent one by Lori Byerly, as well as this one by Mrs. Hot Holy Humorous.)

Is his hygiene (or lack thereof) offensive to you?

I know this can be a sensitive issue, but if your husband paying closer attention to his hygiene would help improve your sexual intimacy, then by all means, you have to tell him.  Speak with a tone of love, but speak it.

And for you husbands reading this, trust me — most women like a guy who smells clean.  Better yet, a guy who is clean.  Shower before you head to bed. (Wives, why not suggest you and your husband shower together before sex?  Just an idea. Hmmm.  Wonder how I came up with that one?!)

I could go on and on, but my point is that a long-term solution is not simply “going through the motions” when it comes to sex (or, sadly, not going through any motions).

Do you want to know what some of the sex-starved husbands who contact me say?

Some say they wish they weren’t Christians so that it would be easier to “just leave.”

Some say they feel rejected to the point that they think their wives don’t even love them.

Some say they are tempted to look at porn, but they resist.  It is extremely difficult though.

Some say they do look at porn, but would rather  be having sex with their wives.

Some say they completely understand the appeal of having an affair.

Some say they stay in the marriage because of the kids.

Some say they are angry at their wives for being so careless with their marriage vows.

Some say they feel worse after receiving “obligation” sex.

Do you want to know what all of them say?

All of them say they hunger for sex that is characterized by deep love and oneness with the woman they married.

Call me crazy, but I just don’t think a selfish pig would say something like that.

Copyright 2011, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

270 thoughts on “What Sex-Starved Husbands Tell Me

  1. Esther says:

    If you’re serious with making Godly changes and getting healing within your marriage read Gary Thomas Sacred Marriage (individually or as couples book study) and Sacred Influence (female version) and then find a Christ center marriage counselor or pastor to get your marriage and friendship back on course. God wants our marriages to prosper and our marriages should reflect Gods love to one another and to others. The church should be godly examples of prosperous marriages. So take the first step.

  2. AJ says:

    Just another husband of 25+ years in a “happy marriage” with the woman I love, who is satisfied with sex maybe once a month. It’s killing me. We talk, and it is typically construed as accusatory or begging. Every blue moon, my voice is heard, and there is usually some apology involved … but the sentiment does not last, and life reverts back to the status quo.

    I love my wife. She is my person. And because of my love, I will absolutely accept whatever comes “with her.” But it’s hard.

    I am trying to learn to be less romantic, less passionate, less interested in physical love and touching, but it is completely against my nature. The stress and anxiety and loneliness are just overwhelming at times, which sometimes leads to pornography and masturbation (and that does nothing than more than turn my stress and loneliness into shame and humiliation).

    I do not have any answers. Just adding another voice to the choir here, of people struggling with the same issues.

  3. AC Slayter says:

    My wife loves to play little games when it comes to sex. And no… not the fun “kinky” type of games. For example, she will be on her period but won’t mention it to me, even when it’s obvious to her that I’m becoming sexually frustrated. She says she’s not obligated to tell me, and she’s right, but it would be nice if she had enough courtesy and respect to let me know that’s why she isn’t acting interested, so I’m not sitting here fuming for nights in a row, wondering what her deal is.

    Another example, we work from home together 1 day per week, and her schedule is very relaxed, and I mentioned once that we should take breaks from work and have some hot mid-afternoon sex sometimes when we’re here together. Her response was that I shouldn’t be expecting it every week, and I said I understand that, but it would be nice occasionally. So now when we’re home together and she’s working in the living room, she will do everything in her power to avoid looking at me when I walk past her, it’s like she won’t acknowledge that I even exist when she’s afraid that I might be in the mood for sex. Also when she showers at night, if she comes out of the bathroom wearing her glasses (which is most nights), I instantly know that we aren’t having sex.

    On a good week we might be intimate twice, but she also tries to plan things to intentionally derail this. One example is when she knows she’s going to start her period, she will have sex with me a good 4-5 days before she starts, so she can avoid me for the next 12-14 days (she likes to wait 3-4 days after she’s “normal” again). It’s like she’s doing whatever she can to minimize the number of times we have sex between her periods. She told me recently that she would prefer sex only once every 2 weeks, and 1x per week is pushing it for her. My sex drive is through the freaking roof and I’d prefer 3-4 times per week honestly. What drives me crazy is that there was a time a few years ago when she randomly decided that she wanted sex nearly every day. It was so amazing but admittedly I couldn’t even keep up! So I know she’s capable of having a more frequent/active sex life with me. She’s just decided that she doesn’t want it. I’m so sick of masturbating but I always feel like I’m going to completely lose my mind if I don’t get some type of sexual release. I’d really just prefer if my smoking hot wife was the one “releasing” me!!

    We’ve been married for almost 15 years and she’s more attractive now than she’s ever been. She goes to the gym a lot (which she didn’t do much in the past) and her body is looking amazing. I’m still in pretty good shape myself and always get told I look at least 10 years younger than I am now (we are both 36). Not trying to be cocky but I know I’m good looking, I perform well in bed, she definitely enjoys sex when we have it… Plus I treat her well, she gets basically everything she wants, and we have a loving relationship. I just have a hard time controlling my urges for her and love everything about her body, and always have… I think it’s sad that I spend all day fantasizing about my own wife!! I wish more than anything that she would be attracted to me in the same way. I want to make her horny, but she fights it for whatever reason. Healthy marriages shouldn’t be like this!

  4. Mary says:

    My heart aches for you, AJ. I see a lot of myself in you.

    I too love and feel deeply, and it was an almost unhealable wound, finding out that my husband (now ex) didn’t want to share with me the God-given gift of lovemaking. I wanted so much to share with him the joy that I felt taking him deeply into my body and my heart while making love, but for whatever reason it just didnt happen. I tried my hardest to understand, to love more deeply, and to treat him in the tender, romantic way that I was so hungry to experience again. But not sharing this precious part of our lives, eventually led to us being nothing more than married roommates. When nothing seemed to help either of us, not the talking, not the marriage counseling, and not prayers, it just seemed best for me to quietly go my separate way.

    I won’t pretend to understand the depth of your hurt at not having the emotional and physical connection of love to your spouse, but do keep trying. I will say that I am lonely without a best friend, a lover, a husband to be one with. I hope to find it again someday. God willing.

    I hope that the Lord will heal your marriage and bring you closer to His blessed side.

  5. D says:

    Wow once a month! I’ll take that all day long at least you’re with your wife, try none at all in at least 7-10 years I can’t even remember, she says because she had been abused as a child, and I sympathize and go to counciling with her , but nothing changes! As a matter of fact it’s been over a year now that she has asked me to leave the bedroom so that she can sleep by herself says she’s uncomfortable with me (her husband of over 30yrs) so I e been sleeping on couch or other bedroom, I just want to make love to my wife, I want to hear her breath heavy n moan like the old days but it has been soo long I hardly remember, but why didn’t she tell me about her issues before we got married she told me about 6 years into the marriage it’s not fair, and what’s wierd is that she can’t have sex , but yet I can hear her in our bedroom relieving herself it’s not fair, I’m starving for intamacy I’m to the point that if a woman offered me intamacy I might actually say YES! But warn her it’s been a long time so don’t expect much lol well thank you for listening and hopefully I can receive advice God Bless

  6. Doug says:

    I am a Christian husband whose wife has denied him sexual fulfillment of any kind going on 3 years now. I feel like I’m dying inside. I love her and want sexual intimacy that can only be experienced between me and my wife, but her excuses for denying me any sex are that I don’t love her enough. I provide security, a home, food, she doesn’t have to work, I’ve given her 2 beautiful kids, yet despite her so-called “love” for Christ, she still feels it’s okay to disobey God regarding I Cor. 7:2-5, and other verses because her needs, which are really hard to pin down despite ongoing biblical counseling sessions, apparently just not being met enough and are more important as well. I miss my wife, but I believe that she is putting our marriage in danger of satanic attack through consistently and knowingly walking in sin. For instance, I’ve not had a problem before this but now I’m finding myself fantasizing about other women, and although I have avoided porn, the temptation to look is stronger the longer she pushes me away. I love only her and desperately need intimacy with her, and the odd thing is that she says she loves me, but with the same breath she says she’s not interested when I attempt to be intimate with her. In fact she’s content to never even bring the subject up or discuss it. There’s a lot of issues, such as sleeping with our small children when she puts them down at night, and staying in their bed rather than sleeping in our bed. Despite my protests, she stubbornly refuses to change, except on occasion where she will wake up at 1 or 2 am, goes to our bed, and falls to sleep. She will not let me touch her as she says she’s too tired. I pray about it, but I’m going crazy, and now I’m considering a separation. It’s our kids I’m worried about though, so I’m hesitant to follow through on this, otherwise I would have been gone a long time ago. I really don’t like to air my dirty laundry for all to see, but maybe another Christian husband is going through what I am and can be comforted by my message. My only hope is in Christ. I’ve found I am powerless to convince my wife to change, and that what she is doing to me/us is hurting the children as well.

  7. RG says:

    Sometimes I just want to physically hurt myself because of the rejection and lack of understanding. I would kill myself were it not for the impact it would have on my family.

  8. G says:

    Hi I need to ask you all a question, I’m G and I’ve been on this site before so I hope you all know my story, well again it’s been over 7 years since my wife has allowed me to touch her or sleep in the same bed, I have recently discovered she relieves herself when she thinks I’m asleep in front room, my question is do you think I should also relieve myself from time to time, it’s not like I never have its just that I feel guilty afterwards, I guess what I’m asking is should I feel guilty? I’m so to the point of feeling resentment towards her, I don’t think it’s fair and the thing that makes it worse is I’m old now so I don’t think that I can start over, nor would I even know how to, I know what a stupid question right. I have feelings or suspicious nature about her sometimes she doesn’t allow me to use her phone and she always volunteers for overtime it’s like I’m feel so unimportant to her and when she can’t work on Saturday she always finds a reason to get to the store or somewhere, my marriage is lonely, and again just to be fair her story is that she was abbused as a child and we have been going to counciling for several years but it hasn’t gotten any better if anything it’s worse, I do love and miss her soo much I miss intamacy I miss someone who would sit with me maybe just talk to me, we live like roommates when she’s mad at me we can go threw the whole day without talking partly because she’s not home, I pray that my God would Bless her and she would like me, I don’t think that I can remember one time she initiated intamacy with me, sometimes I think that the only reason she wanted to marry me was so that she can leave that house, I know it’s hard for her to be intamate because of her past and so I never push her or even talk about sex cuz she will get mad, I was never aware that she was abbused until about 6 years into our marriage and that explained a lot, but I wish she would’ve told me up front instead she told me that she was a virgin, I don’t know if it would’ve changed anything like I said I do love her very much but I’m just getting so tired of waiting I feel like I bother her, if I want a hug or a kiss , ahh I’m sorry people I’m just venting and am lonely ?

  9. Man of dark needs says:

    I hear you AJ. I love my wife and want her, but she states that she would rather choose sleep than sex. And other times so will perform her wifely duties and have sex, but it’s pretty much passionless. I enjoy making love to my wife than she does to me. That’s a fact. I will please her in every way but IMO she doesn’t keep up her end like she needs to. We’ve been openly discussing this issue for about 5-7 years now, but it hasn’t gotten any better. To be honest my eye has started to wander a little. I work around some very attractive women and they can be very friendly at times. I haven’t persuded any type of extra relationships but I’d be lying if I’d say I wasn’t tempted. My wife even bought up the having an open marriage, but I’m torn because I call myself a follower of Christ and that’s one of the most unchrist behaviors out there. I’m having a real hard time with this. Please pray for me!

  10. Teresa Anderson says:

    Your husband will cheat and go find someone else the bible doesn’t say he has to wait on her to have sex with you I’d wouldn’t put up with that all this stupid advice to go and read thousands of books to force to have sex with you, Pretty soon give it sometime I’d file for a divorce this shouldve been discussed before marriage!

  11. Teresa Anderson says:

    Sex once a month is a sin and who wants to put up with that your husband will go out there and cheat on you!Smh!

  12. Debra says:

    As a Christian woman how do you cope with a impotent husband ,I have been married for 10 years and my man is no longer able to Keep it up for the last 7 years I have been frustrated

  13. Stress Wife says:

    I just happened to stumble upon this site. It’s been almost 2/yrs since I have had sex with my husband. We I want to say are both Christians, but there has been so much emotional damage from him where just to have sex with him caused me to have anxiety and stress, as I would have to pray just to be intimate. Emotionally I’m drained, whenever there is an issue with us instead of discussing the issue he finds it easier not to speak to me, at times his silence has gone from one day to 2/wks without speaking to me and he won’t go to church. Once I just wanted to see how long it would take for him to speak to me and the longest was a month. I am now used to the silence and feel how can I give myself to him whole-heartily when it’s easy for him to dismiss me as if I don’t exist, I felt if he can walk around the house, leave when he wants and say nothing to me then where is the Love in this marriage. My husband is the kind of man that will not apologize to me for any hurt, he will just go on as if he does not care, my husband does not do, Mother’s day, Birthdays, Christmas or Valentines Day, there is definitely no, no, romance, he even speaks to me as if I’m less than. To be honest I am glad not to have sex with him because it stresses me out, I have not stepped outside of my marriage and really have no intentions. I have told him the only reason he is still in the house is because he won’t leave, if he did leave today, I would be happy. Stressed Wife

  14. Jay says:

    I wish I could say it were only 2yr. It’s been longer than that for us and even before that, my wife would actually berate me *during* sex because she didn’t want to be there. I too have never cheated, but have to admit, I don’t think I would be able to turn someone down if it came up.

  15. Thomas says:

    I’d say “I’m a man and men need sex. If you don’t want to have sex with me and we’re married, what do you expect to happen”

    hopefully you married somebody intelligent/rational(yes, ik)enough to understand this as if it makes her mad she’s a self immolater and you’d better start paying down joint debt and overpaying the irs and collecting login data and credit card rewards

    Tell her a story: woman won’t f*** and husband has an affair or goes to an Asian massage parlor. Woman gets mad and divorces man then tries to take kids, legal battle/drama ensues, man f**** around, wife finds a man and has 100x the sex, man gets to work and is on his feet again, then the woman’s life is sh** because she took the kids and when they turn 18 she ends up working at Albertsons.

  16. Rick D says:

    After 15 years of marriage and 10 years of her being “not in the mood” sex has become nonexistent in my life! I literally prayed for my desire to die so we could keep our relationship! How pathetic am I?

  17. Chad says:

    Im a 50 year male, have not had sex with my wife in 4 years. but got lucky the other night….wow! I forget what it was like. Im hoping its not another 4 years. I feel like it happened to just shut me up. She never instigates any sex, and i have a drive like a 16 year old. I resorted to porn and am now just conflicted with it being a form of fornification but im depressed and confused because i have been abandonded in my marrige bed. Im miserable and making God angry each time. So conflicted. Sometimes I wish I was never born.

  18. Dalin Dorrid says:

    I’m 38. I was raised in church. I accepted Jesus Christ to be my Lord and Savior at a young age. Growing up there were Christian girls in my life but not very many. I never dated in my school years. I became older and after high school my daily circles became even smaller and there was literally no single Christian women in any of my circles and to this day it has not changed. I discovered that if I found women who even darkened the door of a church it was only because that church was more of a social club than a church! Anyway I started trying to find women on dating APS which is how I found my ex wife. I never should have married her as in my heart of hearts I knew she was not a true believer, had no polar issues along with a slew of either legitimate medical issues or issues she made up. Our first year of marriage as newly weds I could count the times we had sex on one hand. I’d say at best we had sex 1 a month. Any way she was controlling and when I stopped it and refused to let her control me she couldn’t handle it and divorced me after 3 years, probably a blessing she did. However, I’m left burning with desire for sex and I’ve gone 2 years almost since my divorce and my situation is the same that it was before I got married. There doesn’t seem to be any real genuinely save Christian women who are single and serving the lord at lest in the greater Phoenix area!

  19. Rick says:

    I’m a Christian man with “physical touch” as a primary love language who hasen’t had physical intimacy with his wife in eight years! What complicates matters is she was abused as a child, and she had an emotional affair (for which I have forgiven her). We have talked about it, more than once, but nothing changes. I will NOT force the issue! I love her very much, but it has been awful! I just don’t know what to do anymore. I’m struggling and conflicted!

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