5 Things You MUST Know if You Are Denying Your Husband Sex

Disclaimer: This post is directed at marriages where abuse is not occurring. I realize without this disclaimer, some people could assume I am saying that a wife in an abusive situation has no reason to deny sex.

If you are in a physically or emotionally abusive situation, I encourage you to find at least one safe confidante who will help you strategize on how to protect yourself and any children from the abuse.

Also, I recognize that some marriages are dealing with physical or mental illnesses that make sex difficult or impossible for a wide variety of reasons.  This post is not written for those situations either.

My humble hope is that this post speaks to wives who possibly have been sexually denying their husbands, treating sex as something inconsequential and don’t realize the toll that could be taking on their marriage.

Recently I received another comment.

From another frustrated husband whose wife has been denying him sex. I get these regularly, so one would think I’m numb to them all. But I’m not. I’m grieved every time.

Because not long ago, in my first marriage, I was the wife doing the denying. I was the wife who thought it was “no big deal” that we rarely had sex and I was the one who thought that “someday” we would get around to figuring out our struggles.

Well, “someday” showed up in the form of divorce papers and another woman. If you are denying your husband sex, I humbly ask you to listen to me.  One wife to another.

I want to share with you 5 things you MUST know:

1. If you deny your husband sex, you are missing out on what God has in store for YOU sexually.

I could start  rambling endlessly about all that your husband is missing because of your sexual denial, but I want to first focus on you. Here’s the deal—the Cliff’s Notes version you might say—sexual pleasure is God’s idea for both a wife and a husband.

Orgasm, passion, foreplay, being turned-on, soul bonding—all that physical, emotional and spiritual stuff—those elements are all part of God’s plan for sex. And nowhere in His Word does He say he did all that just for husbands.

Nope.

His Word is clear that sex is a gift to both a husband and a wife. God wants you both to experience all the benefits of sexual connection. Orgasm feels good, and as I have often said, there is no other purpose of the clitoris except sexual pleasure in a woman.

Consistent and nurtured sexual intimacy endears you to one another, making it easier to extend each other grace. It has so much potential to be a place of tenderness, passion, fun and even stress relief! I wish I would have known all of this in my first marriage.

2. If you deny your husband sex, you are breaking God’s heart.

Okay, I get that you and your husband have issues.  At least I’m guessing that’s the reason behind all the non-existent sex. Or possibly you are the one with big issues that you have been unwilling to address.

Those could be physical issues with hormones, depression or poor health. They could be emotional issues, such as past betrayals, sadnesses, family of origin struggles, or sexual abuse from which you haven’t sought healing. Or maybe they are mis-information issues.  You were always told sex was “dirty” or “obligation” or “wrong.”

Whatever the issues, whether they are within your marriage or within your own journey, if they are negatively impacting your sexual desire for your husband, stop pretending like they will resolve themselves.

Do something.

Pray and read God’s Word about marriage and sex. Have a heart-to-heart talk with your husband. Go to counseling. Read a Christian marriage book. Stop staying stuck in stagnant status quo.

I know that marriage is complex, and in some marriages, the struggles are deeply shattering.  I also know, though, that as long as you are married, you are in a place where God implores you to do what you can to nurture the relationship.

3. If you deny your husband sex, you are handing Satan the keys to your marriage.

Oh it sounds so harsh to say it this way, but it tragically is true. Satan is hell bent on destroying marriages because marriage is a covenant relationship God created. And division is Satan’s go-to tactic. (Divide husbands and wives. Divide families. Divide communities. Divide friends. You get the point.)

That being the case, why on earth would you give Satan any more opportunity to sabotage your marriage than he is already taking all on his own? When you regularly deny sex to your husband—or when you half-heartedly go through the motions sexually—you are opening your marriage up to unfathomable attack. 

You are making it easier for your husband to fall into temptation and sin with pornography and adultery. You are watering the breeding ground of resentment and bitterness. In no way am I removing a husband’s accountability to obey God, remain faithful to his marriage vows and steer clear of sexual temptation. I’m just saying that if a man is starving, he will be drawn to any food within his reach, even if it is food that is dreadfully bad for him.

You give your marriage a much better fighting chance if you stop leaving so many doors open to Satan.  Having and enjoying sex with your husband helps keep the doors from flying wide open.

4. If you deny your husband sex, you are setting a crappy example for your kids.

If you have kids, they are looking at you and your husband and constantly picking up insights about marriage. This isn’t about giving your kids the impression that marriage is always perfect, because let’s face it, it’s not. But I can only imagine that your heart’s cry is to give them the truth, and the truth is that marriage is a sacred union that is worth tending to.

“But my kids don’t even know what goes on with us sexually,” you may say. Sure, your kids are not privy to the details of your sexual intimacy, but I will bet my last dollar that they sense whether mom and dad genuinely care about each other.

They pay close attention to how you interact and how you show respect and affection. They get things that we don’t think they get. If you intend on training children up in the way they shall go, then don’t forget to live and breath what God says about marriage and sex.

5. If you deny your husband sex, you are hurting the man you love.

I don’t know your back story, but unless you are in an arranged marriage, the man who is your husband is someone you loved enough to actually marry. Yes, this is the guy who you entrusted with your heart and life. When you deny sex to him, suggesting with your actions or words that he is an insensitive animal because he wants to make love to his wife, you are hurting him. Why would you want to hurt the person you love?

If you are denying your husband sex, my heart goes out to you and him.  Your actions are robbing you both of something profound. For more reading on this, check out my post What Sex-Starved Husbands Tell Me.

For more reading, you can cruise through my list of past posts, as well as my page with a bunch of posts on orgasm.

And I have a 5-video series available on building better sex in your marriage. Great way to invest in your marriage!  You can find out all about it at this link:  Better Sex in Your Christian Marriage.

Copyright 2012, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.

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325 thoughts on “5 Things You MUST Know if You Are Denying Your Husband Sex

  1. Indian says:

    Hi i am also going through the same situation. My wife always give excuses. Always dening sex. Because of this i am getting emotionally and mentally sick. She is always saying she dont feel like to to do with me…not sure some time i am having thoughts of suicide..really its getting beyong imagination…..

  2. Sad Husband says:

    I have been married for over 13 years now. We had very little sex the first 3 years, probably 10 or 15 times total, and no sex the past 10 years. We are both Christians. I am a good husband and I love my wife, but she has no interest in sex and has refused my advances and requests for sex hundreds of times the past ten years. I have heard every excuse possible. We are good friends and companions, but I long for intimacy and affection. I feel sad that my wife doesn’t want me sexually, and it certainly affects my self esteem too. I have said many prayers for God’s help but so far things seem hopeless. Our church talks about sexual immorality and porn but never talks about spouses refusing their mates. I will remain faithful, despite temptation to meet someone outside of marriage. To deny your marriage partner sex and intimacy is very cruel and goes against God.

  3. John says:

    Okay, I am a male and I have been married for over 22 years. My spouse and I never had what I would call a great deal of sex, mostly in the first 6-7 years of marriage, and of course 3 years of dating. After my wife had our first and only child, my daughter, she developed severe postpartum depression and always had some lighter degree of depression and OCD. She is now pretty much Bi Polar, and her mental state has gotten worse. She is on medication and such, which I know kills desire, but I think it also goes further than that. I am now in a position where we have not had sex for almost 4 years ,and I am starved for affection and lonely within my own marriage. Divorce is out of the question, as #1, my daughter would suffer in many ways,and is very sensitive and dependent on her parents as an only child. She would be devastated. I would also be devastated financially as I would lose half my pension that I worked my life for. I certainly do not have the fortitude ,or desire to start my life over at my age. I am a christian and as all Christians, I struggle to do the right thing on a daily basis.I am seriously contemplating adultery, which I know is deeply against God’s wishes, but I feel I have no place else to turn. I am sure he feels my sadness and despair. Any feedback would be appreciated.

  4. Sean says:

    My wife rarely wants to have sex and she NEVER initiates sex. It’s either too late, she’s not feeling well or she wants to wait til her tv show is off. Even when I do successfully get her to have sex then she mostly wants me to “hurry” and get it over with. This has effectively led me to just take care of my own sexual needs because it beats the rejection. It also DOES lead me to desire other women. Interestingly enough when I desire other women it is not sex I desire, it is the thought of just being desired in return that I miss most. My advice to ALL women. When your husband desires sex…..give it to him, every time, unless, of course you are truly ill or something. Otherwise, he will eventually lose desire for you and seek fulfillment elsewhere. We are, after all human.

  5. Bob says:

    PS I’ve been waiting for the last 8 years for regular sex and before that, it was limited once a week or less – and we have been in counseling 8 years. Never been unfaithful, I have been critical at times – some about how little sex there is and that only makes it worse – but am getting better, but it’s hard when I’m so frustrated physically all the time and bombarded with temptation, why?

  6. Nancy says:

    I am reading posts about women denying sexual access in a marriage. I am a young woman. I have been married for 13 years. My husband kicked me out of his room after 2 years of marriage because he didn’t want to sleep with me anymore. Out of 13 years of marriage I have been sleeping in a separate room for 11 years. I have gone through hell. I recently filed for divorce, wish I had divorced him before. So it is not always women who deny sex, there are plenty of men out there who withhold sex in a marriage. He was into porn and God knows what else, but never approached me all these years. I felt like I was living with a school classmate. There are so many things in the article above that don’t make sense. By the way intimacy in a marriage has nothing to do with religion. What I would tell you, whether you are a man or a woman – if you live in a sexless marriage, get out before it kills your soul.

  7. Moose says:

    I wish I had never got married! Been married 38 years and have had sex once in the last 5 years. I should have divorced her 20 years ago when she cheated on me.
    Twenty years ago and I still think of it every day. Should have divorced her and kept my best friend. Over the past few years I’ve reached a point where I despise most all women now. Nothing changes.
    Oh, when she cheated on me, the marriage counselor somehow convinced me it was my fault. Sad thing is, I believed him!

  8. MUDENDA says:

    It breaks my heart hearing what others are going through in their marriages. One thing we must establish strongly is that marriage is a gift from God almighty and so is everything that goes with it.Gen 2:18,each shall leave his/her parents and cleave to their spouse and the two become one. Sex is the only way we become one, this then means that every time sex is denied, the oneness is under attack. I went through it at some point in my marriage but I had enough courage to tell my friend how much her behaviour was affecting me and went ahead to report her to her elder sister who sat her down and after that there has been great change. We’re now ten years in marriage but we love and enjoy each other as if we’re newly weds. So I encourage everyone starving sexually to discuss it with the spouse and also bring people they respect on board to help. Also remember to always pray for your marriage and your sexual life in particular as a couple. God bless you.

  9. William says:

    This article is spot on….wish my wife would read it. Thank you for your understanding article….at least I am not the only one that has this same experience. It is heartbreaking to be rejected time and time again. If you can believe this, every time I am rejected it hurts more than the time before……

  10. Lynn says:

    been married 43years and haven’t had sex
    with my wife in last 20 years. got fed up
    with being rejected and went on the web and
    found a site where I engaged in oral sex with
    men for 14years, since I thought it was not
    a sin. with feeling so much guilt told my
    wife I was bi and she went nuts and this
    happened 5 months ago and my life is
    a living mess. she thinks so has nothing
    wrong and it is all my fault. we are both
    into the word, and she told me that she plans on spending four hours of the
    day learning about the bible and my
    prayer to GOD is she gets the message
    and our sex life is reborn so we can
    fully enjoy the time we have left .I am
    78 and she is 74.

  11. Shah says:

    Been married for 19 year next week. It was an arranged marriage. Long story short: wife dont care for sex. I have spoken with here thousands of time how important it is to me. I sometimes stay awake over half the night in sexual frustration and it is hurting my professional career. I started visit prostitutes which she found out of and threten to tell my family of it if I continue and feels she now has a genuine excuse not to have sex. By the way, I just visited a prostitute and I feel EXTREMEY bad about it (as I do every time). We have children.

  12. Emily says:

    Tired of being told how we have to give them sex to make them happy when they don’t do anything besides request sex. Perhaps more women would be less distant if their husbands spent the time respecting them and romancing them they way they did when they were courting them.

    It seems once men get married their effort to make women feel cherished goes out the door. We become maids, nannies and councelors for our husbands and children. Often with zero thanks. If you want sex, don’t make it feel like a chore. We invite you into our bodies. We aren’t obligated to share that with people who expect us to do so or they will break their vows. Step up as a man, lover and husband, then it will come naturally.

  13. Michael says:

    Sex is just one type of intimacy and should be a display of your love for each other. It seems when the sex goes so does all other forms of intimacy. And what type of a marriage is one with no intimacy? If one partner holds intimacy off then there must be a whole lot of unforgiveness buried within. The happy marriages that I know of that last, listen to each other, show understanding and willingness to learn from one another, forgive each other, and have make up sex.

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  15. Jeffrey says:

    Hello, my name is Jeffrey. My wife and I have been together for a year now. In our first months, we had sex every day, multiple times per day. I knew that would slow down. I go to work every day, she stays at home. I make sure that she is well provided for. I come home and take out the trash. I do the dishes. I even wash the laundry. Lately, she has been pushing for less and less sex. First it was a couple of days a week. I was ok with that. I want her to feel respected and cherished just as I want to. Then it was we can only have sex every two days. I didn’t necessarily like it, but I still dealt with it. This is where my resentment started with her. It’s now once every 4 days. I have tried and tried to talk to her about it. She says things like all I care about is sex. I don’t even watch pornography. I won’t bring myself to. I only want to be intimate with her. I’m very much in love with my wife. I don’t know what to do. I have tried explaining to her that it’s not about me (getting my jollies) as she likes to put it, its about the bond and connection that I crave. I know that it’s not a complete refusal or anything, but I do see where this is going. I will not get a divorce. I love her unconditionally. So that’s not what I am saying. I see this going into a very one sided relationship. I am really feeling used. Nothing that I say is having any effect. I have sought out counselors. I just want someone other than me to say something about this. Sex is literally the only problem in our relationship. She will even say that. Someone, please help. If I am in the wrong, then I really want someone to tell me that. If anyone has any opinions I definitely want to hear them. I want to hear from men and women alike. If I have a problem I want to know. I will fix it. Please… Any advice will help. Thanks.

  16. Tom says:

    Jeffrey, you are not wrong. It’s a very common issue (the wife drip-feeding sex), but that doesn’t make it right.

    From what it sounds like, you are carrying all the load in the house – you are the sole source of income, do the dishes and laundry, take out the trash, etc. You didn’t mention kids, so I assume you don’t have any.

    So what exactly does she contribute to the marriage? It sounds like she doesn’t have to lift a finger. She’s fully in the driver’s seat, you’re her chump – which leads to resentment. She’s not attracted to you due to that.

  17. Frank says:

    They stop having sex because they believe they can do so without negative consequences to themselves. If you do not clearly tel them its a deal breaker and there will be negative consequences, and follow through with the negative comsequences, they will keep doing what works for them.

    They do not view you as someone they need to respect regarding this issue, and probably most other big decisions in your relationship.

  18. Tony and Kath says:

    I have read this post before and I still don’t know why I need to ask in a foreign forum about the same thing over and over again. I do know she is going through the woman thing but she is not trying at all.

  19. James says:

    Yea do stuff around the house , be a man , do what u are supposed to but still wives give up a lay off sex ? They’ve their rights to it but how long can he stay if sex is a mandatory piece of the relationship ?? Something that must be ?? Guys if it’s destroying the relationship a driving u away from her do the right thing a leave

  20. Okay says:

    Good Ave been married for 6 yrs, we had good sex at the early stage, but gradually it waned down. My wife thinks am sexually over active and am likely to get the fix somewhere else. Every discussion she sees with the opposite sex has been classified as a sex talk or appointment for sex.Ave defended myself over and over but it’s not working. The accusations are making me think along side what am accused of. Am afraid of falling into adultery and I believe it’s coming because she has decided to totally deny me sex. Reason, I may go and get it outside and save her from being infected. Ave had series of complicated STD before we got married which relasped after marriage. We ave gone for treatment but it keeps failing.
    I sexual healing fast.

  21. Zack says:

    Most of the time it is an hostage situation. They will use the woman against man card and make you think you are a monster and she is just an object. My wife doesn’t want to have sex but doesn’t want to divorce as well. She is extremely jalouse. Even woman in her on family are attracted to me and few times were inappropriate. The will find all kind of exercises until I learned that her mom was the same way to her father. He divorced and of course he is the bad guy.

    Most women are manipulative when it comes to sex anyway. They make kids and then you know that it will be more expensive to leave than to stay.

  22. Angela says:

    I was that woman but after reading this I became “not that woman” . We don’t realize the major effects this has on a relationship. Show her this forum

  23. Ellie says:

    I think the painful truth that some men need to realise is that not all women marry for love. I say this as someone that grew up in a culture of women that target either religious or ‘giver’ type men because they know they are easy to manipulate and guilt-trip. Not all of them deliberately wanted to hurt men. Most simply either didn’t care or just lacked the empathy to see things from the man’s perspective as they grew up with parents in this arrangement and that was ‘normal’.

    Many just wanted a nice lifestyle, a home, and/or a father to their kids and were willing to do whatever it took to get that. They didn’t choose someone based on whether they were attracted to him as a human being. They just wanted to tick a number of lifegoals boxes. So years into the marriage, when they feel as though they have the man tied down and can ‘safely’ pull back, of course they will. It doesn’t mean all of them will cheat. Some are happy with little or no sex life at all, so it is a non issue. They know the man will feel obligated to stay married to them regardless and at worst will just complain every so often. From their perspective, why on earth should they change?

    If you are a man in this situation (which only you will know), you have a choice. Either accept that you married a ‘nice’ gold-digger (they don’t all have tans, botox and live in the gym) and deal with a sexless marriage for the rest of your life. Or leave and find someone that loves you and not your bank account. It really is that simple. You may get a kick out of feeling morally superior in keeping your vows, but when she clearly doesn’t put value in them then what’s the point. That’s an example of what the Bible refers to as being unequally yoked. One of you is doing the work and the other is sitting back and just benefiting from it.

    There are plenty of other women out there who have a strong sex drive that gets stronger with age, and who genuinely love and need to have regular sex with their partner in order to feel connected. I’m one of those women. I would struggle to be with a man who wasn’t willing to do some sort of sexual activity every day, even if it was a quick half asleep thing! I’m a very touchy-feely-huggy type of person and need sex to feel wanted, desired and valued by him. I imagine most men feel the same way. Although unlike many husbands I hear complaining about a dead bedroom, I have ended relationships that did not give me what I needed. I would rather be single than having to beg my partner for sex.

    If they have flu or their nan just died or there is some clear and obvious reason why they can’t do it that day, of course I am understanding. But those are rare and temporary moments. If it is an ongoing issue that they have no real desire to fix then I am honest and open about it once and then if nothing changes I leave. I don’t give second chances, as I know if people truly want to change something then they do it of their own accord. Most men, if they have a problem that results in being unable to perform, will be seeking a solution before I even mention it. If your wife doesn’t react the same way, then sorry to be brutally honest but it’s because she has no interest in having sex with you and doesn’t view it as a problem. The problem to her is that you still ask for it in return for the nice lifestyle she gets out of you.

    I really think people should include a promise of regular sex in their wedding vows. It might make gold-diggers think a bit harder about what they are doing.

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