Husbands Who Deny Sex and the Wives Who Suffer

sexually denied wives

sexually denied wives

Occasionally, people think I land too much on the side of husbands when it comes to denial of sex.

Many of my posts do indeed encourage wives to be more sexually available and interested.

I do have a page on my site, though, devoted to Wives Who Want More Sex and Aren’t Getting It.

Maybe a page isn’t enough, and I should write more often on this topic on the blog. I am sensitive to the pain many women are suffering when their husbands reject them sexually.

Today I want to hopefully give some insights to men on what happens when a wife wants more sex and her husband is either carelessly indifferent or blatantly antagonistic about such desires.

If you are a husband who denies your wife sex, have you considered the toll this is taking on your wife and your marriage?

The pain is compounded by the fact that a wife in this scenario feels incredibly isolated and alone among her peers.  After all, every time she is in a gathering of women and the topic of sex comes up, the majority of the gals in the room are likely commiserating (eye rolls included) that they can’t keep their husbands off them.  Their husbands want sex a lot.

A husband who wants sex a lot?  That’s foreign territory to her. So she offers up a half-hearted laugh to give the impression she can relate.

But she can’t relate.

Her closest friends likely have no clue and she is hesitant to let them in on her struggle, because she doubts they would have any consolation to offer.  Plus, she’s possibly embarrassed and riddled with self doubt.

While I know that husbands also experience self-doubt when rejected, for a sexually rejected wife the circumstances are tainted by the huge emphasis our society puts on women’s physical beauty.

Even with a boatload of common sense rationale, we women can easily slip into a mode of comparing ourselves against some completely unrealistic standard.

Weight, physique, hair color, hair style, clothing, breast size, muscle tone, complexion, make-up, eye color, and so forth… advertisers and entertainment seem to have an eagle’s eye on how to capitalize on a women’s insecurities when it comes to her degree of “sexiness.”

But nothing stings more than to have the very man she married not desire her sexually.

A husband may think that sex “is no big deal” to a wife, especially if he has believed wholeheartedly everything his friends and evening sitcoms have told him.   He may even think he is doing his wife a favor by not expressing interest in her sexually.

For the wife who does want sexual connection with her husband, his indifference or unwillingness to address the topic is particularly baffling and exasperating.

She wants you.  And she wants you to want her.

If you as a husband are struggling with issues that make sex difficult, please invest in your marriage and address these issues.

Is there a physical issue that could be contributing to your low desire?

Physical issues can range from low hormonal levels to the effects of aging to the use of various medications.  Are you concerned about your ability to get and maintain an erection?  Do you think avoiding sex all together will make this matter less taxing on your relationship? It won’t.

If there is a physical cause (or if you don’t know), visit your health care professional.  Don’t be embarrassed. Be honest.  Doctors are trained and are more well-versed than many of us realize on what could be going on inside the human body.

If your doctor does not seem to understand the depth of your concern and is offering no valuable insights, get another opinion.  With regard to medications, certainly do not begin or stop any medications, prescription or otherwise, without consulting a doctor.

Are there emotional scars causing your lack of sexual interest in your wife?

If you were ever sexually abused and have never sought counsel and healing for this tragedy committed against you, I implore you to find healing.  Many, many men have been sexually abused, yet some still feel hesitant to talk about this pain.  But for the health of your marriage, you owe it to yourself and your wife to gain a right perspective on sexual intimacy and to heal from any past pain.

Are you struggling with pornography or sexual indiscretion?

Again, these are not insurmountable obstacles on the road toward healthy sexual intimacy with your wife — but, you have to be willing to walk in the direction of repentance and health.

Are you depressed? Overwhelmed? Stressed out about work?

Whatever is causing your sexual dis-interest, stop ignoring it.  Start dealing with it.

To sexually-refused wives, I’m saddened by your pain.  If you haven’t already, I encourage you to express to your husband (either verbally or through a letter or both) that you love him and are committed to the two of you working on strengthening all aspects of intimacy in the marriage.

Tell him it’s not just about the sex, but about feeling deeply connected with him.

If he is resistant to addressing the matter, go to counseling, even if you have to go on your own.  It will likely give you some unbiased insights and will at the same time demonstrate to your husband that you are doing all you can to bring healing to the marriage.

Pray for your marriage, including sex, and find at least 2 other mature Christian women who will pray with you.  These should be women who will not bash your husband and will keep all conversations in confidence.

The longer I speak and write about sexual intimacy in marriage, the more aware I am of what a sensitive area of marriage sex is.  It can be the source of profound connection and understanding and safety — and a place of deep chasm and discord and miscommunication.

Whether you are a husband or a wife, if sex in your marriage is not a mutually-vauled and nurtured aspect of your marriage, consider what would happen if it was.  I know that some of you reading this may think I place too much value on what sex means to a marriage.

I would argue that too many marriages place too little value on it.

Copyright 2013, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

140 thoughts on “Husbands Who Deny Sex and the Wives Who Suffer

  1. brian says:

    hi im very glad you have put you exspeirence to help others like me,,so i have been married for 3 years to philipine lady,and in all that time we have never had sex,not once,,a few years ago i hd a double hernia op,and since then i can not keep an erection enough to get my penis in to my wife,i can mtabate in front of her she likes that,but i want the real thing,doctor won’t give my viacra,nothing wrong with my heart,i did have blood pressure,im am at my wits end ,luckly we are still happy,but if i can’t meet my ifes desire what sort of man am i,i feel usless,can you please help,i/ took tablets from a chines shop but they dont give anyting thanks for listening,GOD bless brian

  2. brian says:

    yes as i said we have been marrie for 3 years and had no sex,i can’t maintain an erection,
    is there anything i can do,i need viagra,but doctor wont give them to me,im frustrated as well as my wife,we can only get workd up if i rub myself off in front of my wife.yes it turns her on,but that is not solustion can you help,this has started affecting our marriage,urgent, tthank you.

  3. juju says:

    Brian lack of penetration does not mean u cannot have a healthy sex life. I know that this is difficult for the both of you. But it is not something you can take fault in and it appears she has accepted you in this state which is beautiful. Intimacy is connection. Explore out of the box. Penetrate with toys, strap ons, fingers, orally, and if you haven’t let her maturbate you instead of yourself. See if the extra stimulation from her helps to reinforce your erection. Most importantly try wearing a cockring also. It is also an added tool for men who ejaculate too quick. You and your wife should pick it out together as they come in a variety of styles that also stimulate her at the same time. But for you the cockring adds stimulus pressure to the main vein of the penis allowing the erection to retain longer. I hope this helps the two of you.

  4. Renee says:

    I have been struggling with this issue for about two and a half years with my boyfriend whom i love and desire very much. As time goes on it is getting worse and worse. There is a bit of a twist in my situation. It’s not his sex drive that is the problem. He has a very healthy sex drive. The problem is that he only wants a blow job (sorry for my crudeness) or just to masterbate alone. He never wants to have intercourse or take care of me in other ways. We often go two or three months without having intercourse. When we do there isnt any foreplay…none. it feels like he is throwing me a bone, checking it off his list. It is obvious that his mind isn’t present. And, to add to the emotional pain he doesnt get very hard durring intercourse. When I’m taking care of him he is completly hard. He has told me that he just doesnt care for intercourse very much and he could go the rest of his life without it. I don’t doubt how much he loves me. He shows me in other ways. Im just not sure how much i can go on feeling like this. It causes me to feel bitter, angry, sad, depressed, insecure, lonely, pathetic, rejected, etc. I feel like there isn’t a resolution. When we do have sex i feel just as pathetic because i know hes only doing it out of obligation. Who wants mercy sex? In some ways it makes me feel even worse than going without.
    And then there are his blow jobs, leaving me feeling used and uncared for. I have drastically reduced giving them to him for the last 6 months(ish) i explained that it isnt punisment. That he is taking the fun out of giving them to him. That he is the only one having sex in this relationship and i feel used. Plus, its hard on me to start the engine but not take the car out for a drive. I am left feeling very sexually frusterated and emotionally hurt. He has been surprising me lately with a lot of comments and jabs about him being neglected. Acting like a victim. I dont want any bashing on him but i would love thoughts and advice. Can this be fixed?

    Feeling heartbroken and desperate.

  5. BT says:

    “After all, every time she is in a gathering of women and the topic of sex comes up, the majority of the gals in the room are likely commiserating (eye rolls included) that they can’t keep their husbands off them. Their husbands want sex a lot.”

    My question is why the wifely commiserating? As a man that sort of girl chatter is demeaning, and makes us feel like underfed dogs. So you complain if I want you or if I don’t want you? It appears that wives need to stop sending mixed signals, and say what they mean.

  6. peaches says:

    Hey what can i do when my husband is not having sex with me because when we were boyfriend and girlfriend I told him that i wanted to stop having sex because I renewed my relationship with the Lord and wanted to start living holy. Now that we are married he doesn’t want to have sex because he said that he lost interest when we became abstinent. I told him that now that we are married it It’s not a sin to have sex but he is not as religious as I am so he doesn’t understand. What would you advise in this situation? Thanks

  7. Julie Sibert says:

    @peaches… If your husband is not willing to recognize what is unhealthy about his denial of sex, then I would suggest you go to counseling. If he won’t go to marriage counseling together, then I suggest you go on your own. Not only will you get the insights of a professional, but you also will demonstrate to your husband that how things are right now are frustrating and discouraging and that you are willing to do whatever you can to strengthen the relationship.

    I just don’t understand your husband’s logic. It sounds like he is punishing you or being manipulative, which I don’t know why he would want to do that to someone he claims he loves.

    I’m so sorry for what you are going through.

  8. peaches says:

    Thank you Julie for your response. I do agree that we do need counselling and since he won’t go, I might have to see about it myself. God bless.

  9. Sara1014 says:

    I’m not sure how I’ve never come across this before, but I wish I could say it’s comforting knowing I’m not alone; I simply can’t. Being denied over and over again by your husband is too painful an experience that I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy, so I’m sorry for everyone else here too. I’ve been with my husband almost 12 years, married over 9, and saw this coming since before our wedding-things already changing. We didn’t even have sex on our wedding night. Over the years, it’s gotten to the point-after doctors (and hormones, and Cialis, etc.), two therapists- all of which I set up at MY insistence, MANY pleas and letters and tears- to where we haven’t had sex in months. I am outright ignored and now even blamed; everything has to be perfect and happy and I have to be this-sort-of-person if he is to even THINK about it, he says. I call BS on that and say it’s emotional manipulation, and say it will strengthen our marriage and is part of our foundation; if we don’t have that, when the bigger problems hit, which they have- and I’m fed up- we may not be able to withstand them. This is simply the saddest time of my life because aside from this issue- but a HUGE one it is- he is a good man. Mostly. Lot easier for those not close to him than those who are, strangely, though. I’m not sure anyone can help. Lord knows I’ve prayed. Thanks.

  10. Amy says:

    Married for 47 years and only had sex once or twice, he hated sex and intimacy and wanted nothing to do with it or any one else. He went to work midnight shift so not to be home with me, plus he purposely never went to any family functions. And worked as many weekends and holidays as he could. On top of that he lived in our basment where it’s quiet. We never communicate at all, he ignores me like I don’t exsist. In our late 60s and really to old to care any more. I think I stayed for the money and benefits.

  11. Mary Brown says:

    My grandchildren ( his step-grandchildren) were going to be placed in foster care if I didn’t take them. He said “No”, but I couldn’t have lived with myself if I let this happen, so I took them in. He treats them good, but for my punishment he moved out of our bedroom. He said it was them or me, so you have them! It’s been about 10 years! I sacrifice for the same of the children, but it’s been a very sad life. The last one is graduating and moving this summer. I’ve considered doing the same.

  12. PrayingWife says:

    @BT – as a woman I agree with you.. I don’t feel comfortable talking about that stuff with anyone really… Sex comes up once in a blue moon but I try to change the subject or ignore it.. Never heard complaining but even bragging is weird to me… I think it’s weird to share my married sex life with anyone.. Idk just me.. I’d rather keep it between me, my husband, and God.. Prayer is my answer I don’t trust my marital problems with other people.. That tends to only make more problems eventually..

  13. Robert says:

    Wow. The double standard applied to this issue never ceases to amaze me. A man denies his wife sexually and he’s not investing in his marriage, not fulfilling his responsibility, etc. A woman denies her husband sexually… well, she’s probably just stressed and tired, dealing with body image issues or maybe he didn’t do enough to woo her and oh! how dare he expect sex from her anyway – she’s a human being not his plaything. It’s simply amazing how other women will justify it when a woman complains about not getting enough sex and how they embrace the idea that it is a husband’s duty to consider his wife’s sexual needs, but if a man expects the same from his wife then he’s objectifying her and being selfish and inconsiderate of her struggles. Wow. Just wow.

  14. K.S. says:

    My current struggle is not that he refuses sex, but that– while he is never hesitant to request (demand) sexual attention– if I ever make a request in bed I am categorically denied. Right now I’m in pain, not only emotionally but physically (to use a crass term, if I were a guy, I would be suffering from “blue balls”), due to repeatedly being aroused through sex, and then being cut short without being allowed any form of release. Emotionally, I feel ignored and even worthless- because it seems like, no matter what I do or say, my value only lies in what I can do FOR him, including in bed. I can truthfully say that, up to this point, I’ve NEVER refused anything sexual he’s requested/demanded– even the things that give my conscience pause. (Which, honestly, in the past two weeks I’ve come to the decision to change that– I can no longer just go along with something that is clearly wrong and violates my conscience– but since then he miraculously hasn’t brought any of that up YET, probably because I’ve been astutely avoiding the subject) Yet I can’t ask for anything– or even hint (this applies in the bedroom and outside of it). If I come out and ask for him to touch me in a certain way or place (doing my best to ask in a way that doesn’t imply he’s not already doing a good job), he shuts down,or at best, reluctantly performs the requested action for a brief bit (making it clear that “this was not my idea, so I’m not really enjoying it”) before abruptly withdrawing. If instead of asking, I hint (by gently moving his hand to a certain place, or even moving my body against his in a way that implies I’d like anything particular, like for him to touch me “down there”), he ignores me, or tells me, “I don’t need instructions.” I can’t even ask (verbally or by actions) for a simple kiss– whether outside the bedroom or in! If he gives one, I love and wholeheartedly enjoy it, but if I dare to make a move to kiss him, he deflects it on his cheek, or ignores me altogether (I guess because it’s pleasurable for me, and not purely for him).

    Add to that the fact that, while we have sex pretty much every night, 99% of the time I’m the one that does the initiating. (It’s become basically a “bedtime routine” that he can’t go to sleep without) Every night it’s pretty much the same… either I start “the sex process” by touching him and getting him aroused (ending either in oral or manual sex for him, or if I’m lucky, intercourse), or if I’m extra tired that night, he’ll just kind of “nudge” or jostle me impatiently to keep me awake until I start touching him sexually. And as I said before, he has no problem putting in his “request”– “you should _______________”. But woe is to me if I request something that either does not directly benefit him, or isn’t what he’s already doing. (e.g. If I tell him I want to ride him, great. If I tell him I’d love it if he touched me like I’m touching him, not great.)

    In ten years of marriage, I’ve only ever orgasmed either from intercourse (usually after a long buildup of several times in a row that leave me so desperately super-charged that it just finally “comes out”) or from self-stimulation (his idea of “giving me” an orgasm is by telling me to either “finish myself” after he comes, while he watches, or telling me to “do it by myself” after he leaves the next morning). And in all honesty, for a while that became my habit, as not only was it a sure way to “please him” and turn him on, but I also got the stimulation I craved… until it started involving more and more fantasy (TMI/honesty moment here– for self-pleasure to be enjoyable on a routine basis, it inevitably will involve some sort of imagined sex scenario). And I “woke up” not long ago, and realized that 99.9% of the times we have sex now involve some sort of fantasy– either utilizing “toys” to simulate a third party, and/or me or both of us “gender-swapping” (remember, the “conscience-bothering stuff” that I went along with?)– and the real me, and my female body, isn’t even in the picture anymore. And that somehow along the way over the past years, “making love” has just turned into “having sex/getting off”– no intimacy required.

    Combine these with the fact that, for the last probably 6-7 years, it has seemed more and more like the bedroom is the only place where I can actually please him and make him happy (as soon as we get out of bed, kindness goes by the wayside and I’m treated just like an employee– “do this”, “do that”, “you didn’t do this or that”)… and I am left feeling like an unpaid prostitute.

    Until recently I’ve felt (and been made to feel) that, not only am I selfish for requesting pleasure for myself, but that my only options as a “submissive wife” are to shut up and pray that God will somehow work in his heart. But (thanks to other situations that have arisen in our marriage) I am learning that I can’t just shut my mouth and sit silently, and then blame my husband for not giving something I’ve never even come out and expressed that I needed. So I know I need to speak up about my desperate need to share true intimacy (I don’t want it to be one-sided toward me either, but I’d sure like to at least feel like my needs and desires are cared for, and that he not only loves my body for the sexual pleasure it gives him, but wants to give himself for my pleasure as well). But how? If he won’t listen to a hint, or a gentle request, for something small (like a kiss), how can I come to him with this major need? How do I approach a man who not only refuses to admit that he’s wrong in any area, but refuses to even acknowledge that there’s any room for improvement in anything he does? How do I break the habit of ten years of “putting up” in silence, and tell him that I’m miserable and feeling neglected– and have been for a very long time?

    I know this sounds awful, but sometimes I feel that, because we came into marriage not only as virgins, but having never even kissed or held hands, we somehow skipped the whole “art of foreplay” thing. That because we came from total sexual fasting, and went “straight for the main course” on our wedding night, it had the unintentional result of making sex solely into a physical thing, and so we’ve missed out on the emotional and spiritual part of sex. That maybe the fantasies have arisen primarily because of that unbalanced focus on the physical side of intimacy– after all, if he really realized that sex was about the bonding of our souls and spirits, not just our bodies, would he be so desperate to bring different entities into our marriage bed? But how can I go about changing that, when he is so resistant to any form of, or even suggestion of, change? (Needless to say, any form of counseling is considered wayyyyyy out of the question, and he considers it betrayal if I say anything to anyone about our marriage, let alone specifics about our sex life!)

    Someday I hope to be able to look back and laugh/weep over the state of my life (and marriage) now in comparison to how wonderful it will have become. But at the moment that’s hard to grasp. </3

  15. F.L. says:

    I don’t think it is a double standard to expect a husband to fulfill his wife’s needs. I have never, not once, rejected my husband on the very rare occasion he has made advances. However, he has been rejecting me since our honeymoon. I told him with his chronic exhaustion, headache, and/or stomach ache he should see a doctor – that was 5 years ago. For the last two years, I have tried talking. I have gone all out trying to be more attractive to him. I am not fat and other men have eyed me many times.

    What kills me is that he told me that during his first marriage, his wife was never interested and how that was for him. Knowing that kind of pain, how can he turn around and do the same to somebody else? I tried extra hard to make him feel loved and attractive for just that reason, but I am quite certain now that the lack of sex was his decision. We talked about having a baby some years ago, and our sex life all but disappeared. He would not admit he never wanted kids until I said it. It was devastating as I was very up front about that before the marriage. That still hurts me.

    After 11 years of this, I gave up. I don’t think he even noticed, or if he did, he never cared enough to say anything. At night, he goes to his bed and I go to mine. We have been in separate rooms for a few months now. I don’t know if we have reached the point of no return yet but we are living as friends.

    He is a wonderful man, and I often wonder if he feels that he settled or something. I really have no idea. There is no affair going on and no porn (I log internet traffic due to having a teenager daughter – he is her step father).

    I felt so lucky to be marrying this great guy and had so many dreams for a happy marriage and to have his children. I wasn’t so naive as to never expect problems – I just never thought the problem would be this.

  16. Jimmy J says:

    “After all, every time she is in a gathering of women and the topic of sex comes up, the majority of the gals in the room are likely commiserating (eye rolls included) that they can’t keep their husbands off them. Their husbands want sex a lot.”

    My question is why the wifely commiserating? As a man that sort of girl chatter is demeaning, and makes us feel like underfed dogs. So you complain if I want you or if I don’t want you? It appears that wives need to stop sending mixed signals, and say what they mean.

    Good point BT, it seems like women either can’t make up their minds or are always trying to have it both ways. I would submit however, that any woman who “complains” of her man’s strong desire is not actually complaining but is instead bragging under the guise of complaining, especially when she does so around other women. Outright bragging is frowned upon in polite company, but if you can brag in such a way as to appear like you are complaining, then it becomes more acceptable. Women who outwardly feign irritation about being desired my men are almost always secretly, inwardly elated by it. But they won’t admit this because women never want to appear overeager or desperate. They would rather play it cool and nonchalant, and pretend they are making big sacrifices by yielding to the advances of men.

    So when women get together and the topic of sex comes up it kind of becomes a bragging contest (under the guise of complaining) to see which one of them has to fight off men the most. This is done out of vanity and/or to make the other women jealous. They are basically saying “I’m so sexy and desirable that men can’t resist my feminine allure” without actually coming out and saying it, because saying it directly would be crass and arrogant. And people who brag also tend to embellish, so many of these women are undoubtedly exaggerating, fibbing, or lying through their teeth. After all, sex is one of the easiest things to lie about because it takes place in private, so it’s not like there are any independent witnesses to confirm or deny these women‘s claims.

    Here’s a simple way to look at it:

    Male style bravado is when a bunch of men get together and start making grandiose claims of insatiable desires that they have for women, desperately hoping to impress the other guys.

    Female style bravado is a when a bunch of women get together and start making grandiose claims of insatiable desires that men have for them, desperately hoping to impress the other ladies.

    And in both cases it’s more about bombastic self-aggrandizement than honest reality.

  17. Michael says:

    Oh my! The pain expressed by wives here is so incredibly sad… makes my heart break for all of them. Our world is SO fallen… and our relationships are under such strong attack from the evil one. The marriage relationship is designed by Our Creator to be the most intimate of all relationships… two become one… so it is no wonder that it is the number 1 target for destruction. We must be praying continually… for our spouses… for discernment… for more grace and love… for others whose marriages are struggling… for more of Jesus in our lives.

    May our God bless you all in a special way today!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Hi my husbabd had lost interest in sex too it looked like he would avoid being alone with me, well he still does he’s always wanting people over or wanting us to go with other people and things like that. I recently asked him why it seems like he was avoiding “it” he gave me the whole “there you go again making everything into a big deal” we argued that night and a couple of days later he started showing more interest but it seem like he was just doing it to shut me up or to avoid having the argument again. The thing is we have only been married for almost one year I would think sex as a newly married couple would be more that he would me happier.

  19. Linda says:

    To Amy from Dec. 27, 2015 post: I read your post and I feel so very sorry for you. I am in the same scenario but only in my late 40s. I think that you should get out of this abusive relationship as quickly as you can. Yes, it is abusive. There are many man that will love you. I cry with you but I also have hope that you will be happy. With all my love to you.

  20. Meagan says:

    My husand has told me before that he would rather masterbated to porn than to have sex with me. After five years of arguing about sex and telling him to notice me, and telling him how hurtful it is that he refuses to have sex with me i give up. It obvious that he doesnt care that he hurts my self estme and tells me I’m undesirable by refusing me over and over again, or that we will never have a family because of this. all of this has made me seriously doubt my sexuality and religion and sexuality

  21. Nick says:

    I’m in a similar situation with my wife. We been married for 10 years. the first first three and years of our marriage I spent deployed to Iraqi and Afghanistan. Our sex life was great those first years even though I was deployed so much. However, after this period of our marriage the sexual intimacy became sporadic we maybe had sex one every two months. She attributed it medical issues she was having. She made so many excuses over the years every time I attempted to initiate and when we do have sex it only when she wants it. Over the last year she’s started going to the gym with me and has had a couple of cosmetic surgeries so she says “so I can look good for you”. However, after years of rejection on this issue I don’t feel the same way anymore and I don’t want to have sex with her now that she is starting to come on to me more often. She tried dressing sexy for me and I’m not interested. I know it’s not a physical issue with me I’m in great shape I workout five days a week and run everyday. I still love me wife but I don’t really want to have sex with her. I’m tired of having a inconsistent sex life with my wife when she only wants it or is in the mood. I’m not an animal but marriage is a two way street not a one way road.

  22. Webe says:

    Agree strongly with Robert, the double standard is tremendous. In my case, my lack of interest in sex and physical touching is what is called operant conditioning. How many times can you deal with a No, or worse, lying about rescheduling, before you just lose interest?

  23. Joe says:

    I’m 70, with health issues and an aching body from years of physical work. I’ve told her I just hurt and want to rest. Isn’t it OK when we get older to just say no, I don’t want to have sex anymore?

  24. cp says:

    So Webe and Nick are resentful that their wives rejected them in the past and are rejecting their wives now that their wives have realised that they need to be more willing and more intimate…. ? Messed up. That’s why forgiveness is important in marriage. why not just divorce the woman then, because you certainly have no intention on forgiving her and meeting her half way now that she has become aware of how important intimacy is or she has managed to deal with whatever issue was holding her back in the past (self image issues, fear of failing in the bedroom blah blah blah) you probably don’t even know what her inner issue was and yet are resentful towards her noe that she has found her way through it and trying to find her way back to you with love and intimacy. You guys actually suck! As a wife with a husband who has rejected me for many years all while watching porn, having affairs, going to strip clubs while i was pregnant and making me feel worthless (no i am not unattractive, he suffered with insecurity. I am attractive and have a good figure and I am a caring, kind, forgiving, giving, self sacrificing person… in others words I am very nice and people like me a lot) If I took your approach of resentment, then we wouldn’t still be married today. We have gone through counselling, loads of issues which we have worked through and found ourselves a stronger couple on the other end of all of it. But sex remains an issue. He just doesn’t he as high a drive as me anymore (work stress is his sex killer) and it makes it difficult and frustrating for me. But if I resent him then all hope of ever overcoming this issue would be lost and then I might as well file for divorce now. So stop messing around and either divorce your wives and mive on, allowing her the same right or forgive and make an effort to make your marriage beautiful.

  25. Barbara says:

    It was actually hard to find an article about this. Everything I found was about why women shouldn’t deny men sex, not the other way around.
    I have to confess that the whole thing makes me not only feel insecure, but also terribly embarrassed.
    It’s a deep pain… Not being desired by the man you love. I am and have always been faithful and loyal. I’m not at all boring or selfish in the bedroom. I seek to serve as a way of expressing my love.
    But even with all that…. I’m rejected ? It hurts, deeply. It’s leaving scars he can’t or won’t see.

  26. Ammu says:

    Same situation barbara, i dont know what to do,being denied by him over and over again makes me feeling lost.i am insecure, feeling inferior .

  27. Del says:

    I have been married 3.5 years and I’m at my wits end, I am in my late 40’s, I need intimacy, he rejects me constantly, I have to admit after reading all the articles of a healthy sex life, I have to ask myself what is wrong here? I stopped the one sided pleasure, I told him it’s not fair to leave me hanging, I don’t have an issue telling him what I need, he just doesn’t seem to care, he calls me a sex addict, I told him it’s not about the sex, it’s about closeness, I don’t even need the actual act, just some caressing would be nice. He denies me constantly, I never deny him, I’d be nuts to, I waited so long to feel close to him, sex is great when we have it maybe once a month. I am a person that needs intimacy, I feel like I’m dieing inside without it, it rejuvenates me, makes me feel whole and a full filled woman. I love him dearly, but intimacy is a breaker for me, just touching, holding there is none, before we were married he would even dance in the kitchen with me, now he just watches TV and plays computer games. I have been married twice before and have had long term relationships, I know what healthy intimacy is and what just sex is, sex was never the issue in my previous relationships. It was substance abuse for the 1st marriage, 2nd marriage he couldn’t handle my children, and in that relationship we didn’t have sex (health issues) but we had intimacy and it was good. I don’t want to compare him and I dont, I just listen to my body, it’s just one of my needs. The other night he said you know it doesn’t just work on demand, yea ok, it did, but it’s just like wambam not even a thank you mam. Intimacy once a week would do wonders for our marriage, it is all about uniting, coming together as one, feeling whole, feeling as one and content. I know a lot of woman stay for financial reasons, I am the one that supports the home, I support him, he doesn’t work, for the past 3.5 years, first it was he needed a green card, well he has had that for 2 years now, he’s from the UK, maybe men in the UK are different when it comes to intimacy, but I haven’t read anything to make me think that. His permanent residence restrictions come off this year, I’m seriously thinking of just tossing it. I only have one life I want to be happy and content, I know what that is because I have had it. Yes, we did try marriage counseling, it didn’t work and he hated it, that’s one thing the English font believe in, or at least his family is marriage counseling. As for the woman staying for financial reasons, don’t you will regret it, who knows, if you do take a break he may wake up. Yes, I know, I starting to resent him. Crazy as it sounds, I really reply want my marriage to work, I have tried everything, watching porn with him, adult stores, counseling, talking, playing, flirting, holding hands, verbally expressing my feelings and self, nothing has worked, I fear I am going to turn into a bitter old woman argh.

  28. Alan says:

    This is EXACTLY why, even as a Christian, I NO LONGER BELIEVE IN MARRIAGE- it’s true re the double standard-been rejected by my wife-for whom I “saved myself ” (what a joke!) since Day One of our marriage. Now, 23 years later, at 49, my window of opportunity is closing, if not already shut and locked, due to health issues AND the psychological damage of constant rejection. I could forgive her, sure-and have-many times over the years for other issues (lying to me about MAJOR issues, not just little white lies. I’m not sorry I waited; I’m just sorry I waited for HER. No, come to think of it, I AM sorry I waited at all.

  29. Jack Mehoff says:

    There is no mystery to this. Women who deny their husbands become “wallpaper”. Wallpaper is decorative but not memorable. By denying your husband sex, you become another woman he has to “deal with”. You are no longer special or unique from all the other women he encounters in his day. When he comes home and decides he would rather watch TV or have a beer than be intimate with you, ask yourself:

    Have I used sex as a weapon?

    Do I deny my husband sex?

    If so, he has probably tired of you and moved on. If you are still married and he is still paying the bills, consider yourself lucky!

  30. Kim says:

    Thank you for doing a blog on this topic. This is a situation that I have privately cried about for many years. I do not feel that my husband desires me or let alone wants anything to do with me. There have been times that I have cried and pleaded for him to make love to me; he pushes me away. We are intimate once a month; I only know this because I have started tracking it on my phone. After that I can dismiss any thoughts of him touching me or showing any signs of intimacy. I have started to shut down and not care. I will not lie; I have entertained the thought of affairs and divorce. Neither is an option because I do love him and we have children. I have never used sex as a weapon and I feel like “wallpaper”. We no longer speak to one another and have become like two ships passing. He fondles me in the middle of the night when he wants some and after that I am of no use. I blocked it out for so long that I did not realize that I built up a wall around my heart. Now, through counseling, I am expected to tear this wall down. I am afraid of getting hurt and therefore I do not want to tear this wall down. It is embarrassing listening to women speak about how their husbands can’t keep their hands off of them or to see the love and admiration that a husband has for his wife and know that mine can’t and won’t show that towards me. Almost as if I am not worthy of it.

  31. loonieblue says:

    My husband refuses to have sex with me because he doesn’t want anymore kids. He says the only 100% proven way to prevent that is total abstinence. I have told him how I feel rejected and unloved but it’s no use. He will not budge on this issue. It’s been about a year and a half since we had sex. We have been married for 13 years. I really don’t know what to do at this point. My prayers have not been answered. As I write this I am crying in the bathroom. It’s the only room I have privacy in.

  32. Julie Sibert says:

    @loonieblue… thanks for the comment and for sharing so vulnerably. I’m so sorry to hear how your husband is rejecting you. I don’t know your husband, but my guess is there is a different issue that is the root of his insistence on abstinence, and he is being unfair in not talking with you. Stopping sex completely simply because he doesn’t want any more kids is not a reasonable argument. There are other ways to prevent pregnancy and still maintain a healthy sex life. Suggest to him that the two of you go to counseling. If he won’t go, then go on your own if possible. I don’t have easy answers if he is not willing to work on the marriage.

  33. Casper says:


    There is a lot of research on Narcissistic- Psychopaths and personality disorders the area of sex control and rejection. It is worth browsing the internet and reading the articles..Educate yourself so that you become aware that it is not you. And then set about repairing your self esteem in a healthy way.

    Good Luck

  34. Phill says:


    Hey, great topic and here’s my ten cents. My wife and I have been married for 15 years. We were together from school. Both from a solid christian backround and sex was not on the menu until marriage. I expected that we would have a great sexual time once married. After marriage, sex was still VERY infrequent. Virtually non-available. I was pretty hurt and angry about this and built up resentment over the years. Now, many many many years later, lol, I’m in pretty much a sexless marriage. We go years without sex. The difference now though is that I’m as much to blame as she is. If she were to initate sex, I’m likely to withold on the basis of “why should I give it when I never got it” kidna basis. Its reconisably childish but grown over years of reinforcement. Reality is, she’s a fantastic woman, mother and wife. We’re great in every aspect except sex. Both of us are non-confrontational, respectful people and don’t like to fight about stuff. This makes resolving or engaging on the problem really difficult and we only do it if we hit crisis levels. We’ve been there and got the counselling badge to prove it. Yet down the slipperly slope we have fallen again. Sexual desire is a real and powerful force and I’m a weak guy. I’ve had sex with escorts and used our broken sexual relationship as an excuse to do this. The fact is that sex outside of intimacy has proved to be empty, shallow and pretty much unfulfilling in every way. I’m way too “risk conscious” to consider opportunistic sex (with someone at work or friends etc) when this could come back to hurt my wife or family. Quite frankly I’m better off taking care of myself ;). I do miss the physical contact with another person and I’m really not sure what the future holds for us but for now I guess we go on in the same way we have for the past 15 years. Good luck to all here, hope you find the courage to fix your problems and be happy.

  35. TJ says:

    Wow. I had no idea so many were dealing with the same pain and rejection that I am. 30 years next month, and I think I’m done. It’s now been 4 years since any kind of sexual contact at all. I usually get a little peck of a kiss in the morning as he leaves for work, and maybe, if I’m lucky, another one before he goes to bed, very tight-lipped as if kissing a friend only, certainly no passion at all. I’ve been pushed away for the last time. I even told him a few weeks ago, that I wouldn’t just keep on bothering him and that he knew where I was if he wanted me. Nothing has changed, and really nothing is very different from how it’s been in the past. Maybe sex was a little more frequent, but then the space in between started stretching longer and longer until now it’s non-existent. I think I’m just done. Now, an amazing man has come in to my life who wants to be with me, love me, hold me…all the things a real husband should do. I’m seriously considering leaving. Advice please!!

  36. Confused says:

    Amazing this happens to women; I thought I was the only one. For five years I’ve dealt with rejection. Went though all protocols. Took him to a medical doctor, gave him natural herbs, changed my weight, my hair color, my dress style, my hair cut, my makeup etc. over and over with no results (as women tend to self inflect when emotionally abused) I went to counseling for the latter two and a half years of the five. Eventually he began setting me up for failure along with destroying my self confidence. I begged him to tell me what I needed to do (as if his deep seated personal issues were somehow mine to correct). I took on all the blame for his rejections and his using passive agressive behavior to control me. He pushed me out the door then when I was at the end of my rope he walks out on me saying I failed him. I’m still at a loss of how he can just do this and really think that he has done nothing wrong and everything is dropped in my lap.

  37. kay says:

    I’m sorry so many women are struggling with this too. My husband hasn’t touched me in almost 6 years. I pretty much have given up. I know he looks at porn any chance he gets, he can’t wait for me to leave the house. He’s used sex as a weapon in the past. He would flat out deny me only to go on his computer and get off. He is much older than I am, by 17 years. In the beginning he wasn’t like this. Then when he’d get angry with me he wouldn’t touch me, as if to punish me.I’m so disgusted. I don’t understand why he’s doing this to me. I’ve tried talking to him, but then he blames me and says all I care about is sex. That’s not true! I have never denied him. I’ve never cheated on him, but have thought about it. Have considered divorce, but have no where to go. I am presently unemployed.I’m 46 years old, whatever life I have left I don’t want to live it this way. It’s not fair.

  38. Ms. Sharma says:

    I am married for 3 years now. My husband wants to have sex all the time and he loves me going down on him but I don’t enjoy with him. He tries to finger me but I cannot get an orgasm and I fake it. I have expressed my desire of oral sex to him 2 years after our marriage but he has always ignored it. Once during sex when I asked for it he did it for just a second and then i asked for more and he fought over it. He spoilt the entire vacation after that and was not ready to talk about it. He gave the reason of fight as some past incidents which had nothing to do with sex. He is hesitant to do oral to me but likes me to do it. When he is inside me he comes out very soon which is again a turn off as I cannot orgasm. I got flavoured lubes so he can apply and do oral to me in case it tasted bad but nothing has worked. It rather spoilt the sex between us. I desire for oral to but he doesn’t respect that. I told him I don’t like going down either but I still do it. He still doesn’t care and ignores this topic when I bring it up. He always complained of a poor sex life between us and I tried to express my desires to him so we could improve on it but things have gone the other way. I don’t feel like talking to him anymore after he spoilt the vacation for this petty reason. I feel disgusted and refused. I had many other men in my life who loved fulfilling my desires and sadly my husband turned out to be like this. I have no clue what to do next. I thought he would realize it but he doesn’t. It’s very frustrating.

  39. Danny says:

    Oh my goodness ladies I don’t want to sound like a perv but I’ve been in the desart for a long time my wife just will not be intamate with me I’ve been told I’m handsome and I try to look good for her, I clean n washdishes, do yard work , work anything to get her attention but it doesn’t work, it’s been years now, so please excuse me when I read your stories and your husbands won’t please you I just don’t know what to say except WOW! … They just don’t know!!!

  40. Danny says:

    My sweetheart seldom spends time with me , she leaves as early as she can to work while I’m waking up in my own bed as you see we sleep in separate beds she doesn’t want me there, I’m not a bad looking guy , I help around the house , wash dishes, fold clothes, hardworking ,and yardwork, well then she comes home then on the phone then there she goes again picking someone up doesn’t get back till later, I don’t know how to get her attention I feel left behind all the time, I feel like I need to kiss her but to get attention and of course there’s NO intamacy 7 yrs straight, I’m SOO tired I think I’m depressed I want to leave put gas in my truck get my dog in leave I sure could use some advise we been married 36yrs and I’m soo tired I’m tired of trying

  41. Kathryn says:

    I am separated from my husband fro the past 3 years and 4 months, and he would never understand how I felt about having sex. I wanted it everyday, if I could, to please him and me, but he rejected me tons of time. I still feel heart broken. I haven’t gotten into any other relationships. I’m afraid. I still miss my husband. I loved him deeply. Word of advice: Never reject a woman to make love, or to be love. Be honest, show respect. If you really like a girl, tell her, have sex, but if you don’t, there is no need to hurt our feelings. Worst if you made her fall in love. I wish I can erase my memories. It still feels like yesterday when he use to push his shoulder away or get angry and insult me. Please don’t do that to a person.

  42. forever loving says:

    So sad the stories I read here.

    You guys ever had of intimacy anorexia? It kind of explains this whole phenomenon.

    Lots of counselling is critical and support groups for wives with chronic deprivation

    May God comfort all who feel lost


  43. Anonymous says:

    I can’t describe the hurt from being rejected so often. Not only does my husband deny me sex but he won’t have any physical contact with me at all. It hurts so bad that I cry almost every night even though it’s been years. I still try….I try put my leg against his in bed and he usually kicks me away or just tells me to move. I feel so ugly. In public I won’t even try hold his hand or anything because he has no issue publicly rejecting me and it can be so embarrassing. I’ve lost weight thinking that was the issue but no still nothing. I’m so self conscious that I won’t even undress in front of him because I’m convinced he thinks I’m disgusting. I’ve no confidence what so ever. I’ve told him how I feel and what it’s doing to me but he just doesn’t seem to care. I get nothing out of my marriage….He doesn’t even talk to me only if it’s got to do with our work rotas or what I haven’t done properly. Crying typing this. I feel so worthless.

  44. Faith S says:

    My husband rarely wants to have sex. He often denies me and when we do have sex he always wants to do things that I find uncomfortable. He likes me to tell him I fantasize about other men
    He also gets turned on when I tell him things like he is small down there or that he’s not a real man like my previous lovers.
    While he isn’t quite average (3 inches ) I find it weird to tell him that whether or not it’s true
    He doesn’t give me orgasms except for with oral and I’m so frustrated and tired of being denied.

  45. Anonymous says:

    It’s reassuring and heartbreaking at the same time reading these comments. It’s hard living in isolation and not feeling like other women. I read about husbands rejecting their wives after having children or years later.. but rarely do you hear about couples in their early 20s not having sex at all. People say “me and my spouse rarely have sex. . Maybe once a month” try being 24 and going without it for several months to years! Yes years.. we’re only 24 and 25. We been to doctors and nothing is wrong medically. It’s mentally scarred me as I’m seeing a psychiatrist and counselor by myself. I’m disgusted looking at myself naked. I wonder if I physically appeared more attractive maybe he would want me. I used to wear pretty lingerie around the house hoping to catch him at least taking a glimpse but it never happened and I gave up. I never felt that kind of hurt. I’ve contemplated divorce but as a Christian I keep staying hoping we can work through it.. it’s exhausting. One minute he’s on fire to get help then it slowly fades and we’re right back where we were. We’ve been together 4 years. The excuses are old. None of my friends understand what I go though and most people just don’t know as it’s not something I can talk about easily because it just looks as if there must be a problem with me and not him. I dream of having children and stay depressed about it because that’s not a discussion my husband likes having.. because having children would require sex. I feel like he’s my best friend but not my husband, there’s no passion or intamacy that signifies he’s my husband and not just my friend. The only thing that makes us feel like husband and wife is the marriage certificate. He’s an overall good husband everyone loves and adores him but no one knows “our” secret. I tell him I’m 24 year old living the life of an 80 year old. The first year of marriage is supposed to be filled with sex and not getting enough of one another.. I feel as if all that was taken away from me & I must have done something not to deserve it. I’ve tried everything.. I have never made any negative comments about performance or size and would always try to build him up but it never helped. So I guess I’ll continue to live this way until my death as I see no way out or no hope of change..

  46. Wounded says:

    It is very painful to read all these comments knowing that I have shared the same fate. We’ve been married for almost 15 years now and have three kids. My husband refused to have sex with me for 4 years between the time i fell pregnant with the second and the third child, who i fell pregnant with the first time we had sex after this time. Its hard and painful to recall these. But it was not just missing sex, he became cild and withdrawn. So i went four years without even a hug or a pat on the shoulder.

    During this time I prayed for him everyday and supported him as much as I could. He acted like nothing was wrong for years and i dont know how i stayed strong but last year I threatened to divorce him and he has changed somewhat in that I can see that he is trying. Its not perfect but I appreciate the efforts. He still doesnt initiate often but in all other ways he has gotten his act together or is trying hard. The thing is that i now feel like a hypocrite. He is trying 100% but i feel scared and scarred.

    Im really writing this because as good as that may sound I realise I have a different problem now. The years of low self esteem and depression are etched within me and I am afraid to trust him again. I want to but I just dont know how to. In my head I want to believe but my heart is still sore. When i spoke to him last time about lack of intimacy he told me i had gotten fat and let myself go and he found me repulsive. I knew he was just blaming me for his problems but it hurt deep down. I am not a very fat lady. I am 148 lbs and 5 feet 3 inches so i am chubby but i am almost the same size as i was before. Its not that I dont believe him I do, I just dont know how to get rid of the hurt inside. How do i come out of the shell.

    Dont feel comfortable seeing a counsellor so just praying that God will help me heal. For any man reading this please try to understand that sexual rejection wounds run deep. I am a shadow of my former self. I am a successful woman at work and driven and motivated but Im now sorrowful shameful and sometimes depressed and I dont know how to get rid of it.

  47. G says:

    Wounded I’m so sorry about how your hurt, I’m sure you’re beautiful and pleasent to talk to, I can relate to you and most people here except I’m the husband who’s not even allowed to sleep in my own bed with her she doesn’t want me that way, I know how hard it is and I just want you to know that you’re story touched my heart and I feel the need to apologize on behalf of your husband, please don’t lose your faith, I wish I had more words of encouragement for you, please accept this and know that you are beautiful ?

  48. Mrc says:

    Very interesting and enlightening article and responses, but I have another variable to throw in. Granted, I am divorced, single for three years, no relationships whatsoever in that time. To the latter, besides ‘finding myself’ and beginning a new career (my true longtime passion in life), I realized I did not, would not – allow sex to drive me, control me, basically have anything to do with my needs and/or happiness. With that ability to ‘deny’ sexuality of any kind, it also didn’t exactly go over well with the ladies. That in turn, irritated me to no end – this ‘entitlement’ people seem to have that they are owed sex or sexual satisfaction. I ask… says who? I wasn’t out to ‘hurt’ anyone, and I’m a social person, but because I realized my life was more productive and successful in the two to three years I was non-sexual, well, of course I think it was incredible. Maybe I can turn off the ‘desire’ more easily than most people, or maybe I’m nuts, I don’t know. But again the point is – I don’t understand this ‘happiness requires sex’ concept, nor society’s perceived entitlement to it. I am not owed sex, nor do I owe anyone sex

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