“I’m Not Physically Attracted to My Husband…”

Close up of couple's feet while relaxing in their bedThere was a time long ago when you were attracted to your husband, right?

But now?

Not so much.

Occasionally, women will admit this to me. Anonymously. In comments on my blog.

I know that for every one who admits it, even anonymously, there are countless others who feel it, but would never admit it.

If you are no longer attracted to your husband, this is undoubtedly taking a toll on your relationship overall, not to mention your sexual intimacy specifically.

Not only do you not crave being sexual with him, you go to great lengths to avoid it.

If you are no longer attracted to your husband, here are a few things to consider:

First let’s start with more serious causes of what may be causing you to no longer be attracted to him.

From a physical standpoint, if your husband has horrible hygiene, refusing to shower regularly, brush his teeth, wash his hair and so forth, is it because of laziness or is there something more serious going on?

Is he depressed?

I know that you likely can’t diagnose this yourself, but you’ve been with the man a long time. You more than anyone probably have good intuition on life circumstances or other things that could be causing him to be depressed.

It is not unusual for someone who is struggling with depression to not be as conscientious of their personal hygiene and overall health.  Compounding this could be that his  attitude and outlook on life may be quite negative, which also can be a big turn off.

If you are concerned about his mental health, express your concerns and explore options for him to get help from a professional counselor.

Be honest about how his poor hygiene and/or poor attitude is affecting your desire to be close to him, but that more importantly, you want him to be healthy for his own sake and the sake of you and your family.

What if you simply aren’t attracted to him because he’s put on some weight or just “doesn’t seem to be the same guy” you married?

Here are 3 tips:

1. Embrace realistic expectations.

The truth is he probably isn’t the same guy you married, physically or emotionally, because we all change over the years.

Physically, from the moment we are born, our earthly bodies are beginning to fade away.

It seems weird to think of it that way, but imagine  how soft a newborn baby’s skin and hair are.  Now look at that same kiddo when he is 6.  His skin is no longer baby soft and his hair likely is coarser.

Yup, we are all on a path of decay, and our bodies will eventually fail completely in this earthly realm.

Sometimes, I wish I had the body I had when I was 20.  I know, though, that age, hormones, life stresses, life choices, etc., are constantly impacting my physical well-being.

Be realistic about how the years have possibly impacted your husband physically.

Ironically, we as women tend to be annoyed at the airbrushed images of women on magazine covers, knowing we can’t possibly replicate such perfection with our own bodies.

Yet, at the same time, we can hold our husbands to similar unrealistic standards.  Isn’t that crazy?

If you want the two of you to exercise more and eat better, that’s one thing.  And you can share this with him — not with a tone of criticism, but rather with a heart’s motive to genuinely get healthier.

2. Speaking of the heart, have you wrestled with God on this matter of not feeling attracted to your husband?

I’m not saying your lack of sexual interest is not real.  What I’m saying is that God is a redemptive God and the covenant of marriage was His idea.

That being the case, ask Him to soften and teach your heart on ways to be more loving and affectionate to the man you chose to share your life with.  Humble yourself before the Lord and ask Him to reveal to you where you have been harsh and critical — even if you have not spoken such harshness out loud.

When we take our vows and get to the part of “in sickness and in health,” we tend to view it all in extremes.

Yes, the promise applies to things like serious health conditions, but I think the underlying tone of the vows also is saying, “Will you grow old with me? Will you love me when my hair turns gray, my muscles lose their tone, my strength begins to fade?  Will you long to be near me even if I put on some weight?  Will you still hold me close when my skin is wrinkled and my hands are frail?”

2.  Nurture your friendship with your husband.

As much as the world would like to tell us that sex appeal is all about flat stomachs and flawless features, the truth is that the world has nothing on what authentic friendship can do for sexiness.

If you are struggling feeling attracted to your husband, it could be because of too much distance in your relationship.   Find ways to strengthen your companionship.  Sure, date nights are great, but you don’t have to wait for special dates.

Here are few ideas:

Take walks with each other.

Find a new activity to try.

Talk more.

Ask his opinion on something you saw in the news. 

Work on a project together around the house.

Volunteer together.

Cook a meal together.

Watch a funny movie. 

Try a new restaurant.

Ask him how you can pray for him.

Ask him about his day at work.

Tell him you want to spend more time with him and ask him for suggestions on what he would like to do.

More than likely, friendship drew you together before you got married — to the point that you were convinced in your heart he was the man you wanted to have by your side as a spouse, right?

Sadly, friendship is one of the most neglected aspects of marriage.  Yet, it is what is most needed and it is vitally important to sexual attraction.  I know that finding the time, energy and effort to re-build, repair and rejuvenate friendship with your husband is not easy.

But few things worth having are easy.

Look deeply at why you are not physically attracted to your husband, and therein you will likely find the solutions you desire.

Copyright 2013, Julie Sibert, Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

41 thoughts on ““I’m Not Physically Attracted to My Husband…”

  1. Greg says:

    I think (at least in part) this is a reflection of the scientific differences between men and women’s views of physicality; more specifically, the way our brains are wired. Not always a bad thing per se, seeing as there is great benefit to valuing character and relationships more; but medically, there’s plenty of evidence that backs this up (Daniel G. Amen is one such research specialist who has done work in this area).

  2. Pingback: Yes, I'm Still Out There Talking About Sex. | Intimacy in Marriage

  3. WH says:

    What’s the matter with telling the hubby to hit the gym? Or do some procedures that improve his appearance (dental work, eye surgery, hair transplants)? Keeping one’s self attractive is a matter of respect for their partner, don’t you think…?

  4. Big D says:

    My experience is this: In warfare, the goal is to destroy the enemy OR his will to fight. No one knows a mans weaknesses greater then his wife and usually the wounds received by a wife are not always let I known, because that too is a sign of weakness. I’ve experienced wounds myself, un intended wounds mind you, but wounds nonetheless.

    Give a man something to fight for, and he will. When a man surrenders, his dignity is lost. He stops caring. What’s could be more unattractive than a man who stops caring? The answer is a wife who offers nothing worth fighting for.

  5. Heather says:

    What makes the biggest difference for me is how I view my husband. Is he acting like a loser or a winner? Is he acting manly or weak? Does he act like a verile man or a neuter? I think there are many men these days who need to take a course in how to not be a wuss.

  6. w says:

    This is my wife. This is at the core of why our marriage is on the brink. When we met, we were both physically fit, both in the military. We married, started having kids and both gained weight. There were two challenges though. I was inexperienced when our marriage started, she is the only woman I have done anything with beyond kissing. She had experience. She had several partners between the ages of 17 and 19 and then felt convicted about being sexually active outside of marriage and made a commitment to wait for marriage for any more sexual activity. We met nearly three years later and were married about 6 months after we met. Because she knew I was inexperienced, she took the lead. She has always dictated the physical part of our relationship, when, how, and how often. She wants me as the husband to lead but at the same time, is too controlling to be led. She is critical of me in this area, and has been since the beginning and as a consequence anxiety makes it worse. As we gained weight and had kids in the home, sexual intimacy disappeared. We have had sex once in the past two years, and averaged less than two or three times a year since 2002, when we got out of the Navy. She blames me for this. All I know of sex, I learned from her, but she has given up that I will ever satisfy her. As we have aged over 16 years of marriage, we both gained weight. I still found her attractive, but she does not have any physical attraction left for me. We are in marriage counseling, and she has hope of other things improving but says she sees no hope of sex ever getting better, so she doesn’t see a point in trying on that part of the marriage. I am trying to lose weight, but even when I lose it, I will still be the man that failed to live up to her sexual expectations. I don’t want a divorce, but I am beaten and emasculated and don’t know how to fix it.

  7. mel says:

    i dont see what the big deal is with keeping up your appearance. Getting older is not an excuse to gain weight it just means you have to work harder at it. but if you let yourself go then thats the lack of effort that you are putting into your relationship…there is no excuse for knowing knowing what turns her on or keeps her sexually interested and failing to do that.

  8. Ashton says:

    I could deal with my husband gaining weight but my husband is lazy. He won’t even get up and fix himself something to eat and sits in a recliner all day and screams out orders to me and my 2 year old. Even when we go places he won’t go in he sits in the car & rushes me the whole time. I do a lot of things a guy should be doing in my perspective but I try to just tell myself I’m being independent and it will do me good in the long run. He is always throwing sexual gestures at me like that’s all I’m for I feel like. All it does is gross me out! How can I be attracted to someone who does NOTHING?

  9. JoJo says:

    Physical beauty is both subjective & fleeting, the real issue in my situation isn’t the number on the scale, hours spent working out or six pack abs; it’s about how can you be/stay attracted to someone who has proven to be untrustworthy & whom you’ve lost ALL respect for? I don’t initiate but I’m not exactly throwing up in my mouth either. Maybe too many tears, years, lies & other women have pushed me into indifference…I realize feelings can change. I realize people can and do change, I just don’t believe he can go from liar, manipulator, narcissist guy to compassionate, understanding, empathetic guy at the drop of a hat. I regret getting married not just because of the mess I’m in but because it’s the mess I’m in that’s made me realize I was SOOOOOO not ready. I wasn’t the type of partner that I needed (going with like attracts like) & I only saw what I wanted to see (not to mention what ever he wanted me to see). My therapist asked if I’d choose him all over again….nope. That’s my final answer.

  10. Mr M. says:

    Like JoJo above says, it’s hard to be attracted to someone that you don’t respect or doesn’t respect you. I am on the flip side of this. I am a man who barely finds his wife attractive. She gained weight with our first child and has never got back to her original weight. She lost some once, and then gained it all back, and then some. She is about a hundred pounds overweight. But the worst part of it is that her weight is not the reason I am barely attracted to her. I once told her, during an argument where she mentioned her weight, that her physical appearance is the least of the problems in our marriage. My problem is I feel emotionally divorced from her, due to the many issues in our marriage. When I realized this, is when the physical things started to bother me. The rose covered glasses fell off. I knew she was overweight, but my love helped me gloss over that with the hope that things would be better if I kept trying. Now I look at her and and I barely want to be with her, to the point that I rarely initiate sex, which we have rarely anyway. I think I am only attracted to her now because we have kids and history together. She makes no effort, none, to lose weight, eats unhealthy things, but complains about her weight. Is it wrong for a man to want a healthy attractive spouse? Is it wrong to wonder “Is this it? Will I never get to have sex with a skinny, healthy lady again?” And yet, I would happily accept here as she is, if she could only be pleasant to be around, and care enough about our marriage to try and make things better emotionally.

  11. Rico says:

    Is it wrong for a man to want a healthy attractive spouse? Is it wrong to wonder “Is this it? Will I never get to have sex with a skinny, healthy lady again?”

    No, it’s not wrong for anyone to want their spouse to maintain a certain level of weight/attractiveness. While love may be a choice, attraction is not.

  12. HopefullyHelpful says:

    @Mr. M: When your wife is ready, she will start to lose the weight. How can you help her to do so? You need to start addressing all those problems you say you have.
    Make a comprehensive list. Write it down. Start looking at it objectively to see what areas you yourself need to improve upon (and there will be many) without a “I would do this if she did that” attitude–your target is to unconditionally become a better husband. As you do this, realize your wife has her own list, but unlike men, she is constantly reviewing it and adding the fact every day that you are not “fixing things”. Pray for insight into these issues and your wife. Take up reading the Scriptures. Start with Proverbs and contemplate the truths behind those sayings.

    Your wife’s eating habits and weight (barring true medical conditions easy enough to check) are not the problem, just symptoms of *her list*, and the fact that she is complaining about them is a cry for *your* help. So definitely get your mind off any thoughts about “sex with a skinny, healthy lady”. There is nothing wrong with wanting a fit, healthy spouse, who could otherwise die a horrible, lingering death from all the complications of obesity. To focus on this just for sex is kinda, well, no polite terms come to mind.

    When you have a list you can start working on (things you can change about yourself, since you cannot change your wife), pick a few items you know you can improve on, then discuss with your wife:
    “Honey, I have been doing some thinking, and I realize I have not been doing very well with ____. I want us to be happy together, and I am hoping you can bear with me a little longer while I try to improve.”
    This should start a dialogue. Always be positive, build up and not tear down, be humble and not defensive, and keep in mind she is the most beautiful woman in the world. Be a good listener and know she might want to vent out some feelings, so keep a thick skin.
    I cannot guess what the response will be. There are too many possibilities from nothing to hostility to heartbreak. You know your wife best, or at least you should, so you will have to decide how best to handle the aftermath. Keep your cool, say a prayer before you start.
    Make changes in yourself, starting with those first couple of items and keep working down the list.
    This will be a work in progress. Ask Jehovah for his help constantly and from the heart, and be patient.

    My prayers go with you.

  13. Reba says:

    @Mr M I don’t know your wife’s full situation, but I relate as one who gained 80 pounds in 30 years of marriage. I agree with HH when he says your wife’s weight is a symptom of “her list.” My overeating was a way of self medicating and putting up a wall of protection. I figured the more emotional distance between me and my husband, the safer I was. I needed the help of a skilled therapist to uncover and face my fears.

    I encourage you to pray for her and look for the Holy Spirit to provide opportunities for conversation when she can share her heart. Underneath all that weight and behind that wall is the woman you desire.

  14. Mr M says:

    @Reba: it has been many days since I have had a chance to come back here and read responses. What you state is what I hope for; that the girl I married is in there somewhere. That is just about the only thing keeping me going. The emotional problems between us have been so bad over the years, that I felt/still feel like you; that if I pulled away enough emotionally it would keep my heart safe from hurt.

    @Hopefully : Man, I hear you about addressing things and making a list and talking, etc. All of those bases have been covered. Counseling, self help, asking what I can do to encourage and help her. I had to threaten leaving to get her to attend counseling. I have had lots of patience, been kind, and way more forgiving than most men. But since this article is about attraction, I am focusing this writing about the physical stuff. You may have no polite words for focusing on the sex, but let me tell you fella, that is what it is about. I have friends to discuss politics with. I have friends to talk about cars, sports and hunting with. I don’t need another friend. I would very much like another friend, but I don’t need one. God gave us sexual attractions so that we would pair up with someone that is a great friend and have sex with them in the confines of a hopefully wonderful marriage. Without the sex you might as well be living with your college buddies.

  15. NK says:

    @Mr M
    i have been married for seven years, and from the first time my husband took off his shirt, i disliked his body. i have coped with my lack of desire for him by knowing that HE has coped with my imperfections. apart from the lack of desire, he is on the lazy, bossy side, and at times it has been difficult to love him. but early on i learnt that the devil is against our happiness, and all our quarells are demon inspired. so i learned to cast out the devil from our midst (under my breath, with my back turned to him, of course, and if possible, in another room) whenever little disagreements started to go out lf hand. when they did go out of hand, i turned to God and adked him to ‘unravel the knot’. i have had several instant turn arounds in our disagreements.

    you need to know that marriage is for life, no marriage is perfect, your problems are not bigger than you and YOU ARE A MAN. with the power of God, you can do anything, including save your marriage. what if you had married a lady like me? i am fun to be with, i am not vindictive, i love to laugh, i am adventurous, ive gained weight in ‘all the right places’ since i married, i have no problem maintaining a healthy weight, i’m slim, curvy, men find me sexy… and ive almost reduced my husband to poverty because of my medical issues. i have not been able to have children, and i fear nothing as much as my husband trying to kiss me (i dont like it) i pretend to enjoy sex (and i think he knows it).

    every one has problems. but God has not let any temptation come upon you that you cannot overcome. i know you have tried, but try, try, try and try again. if a man sows, he will reap. sow love and you will reap love one day. maybe in your case love is not a rose bush, maybe its bamboo. it takes about 3 years before it sprouts above ground, and while it may not have a nice perfume, it is the most versatile, useful plant on earth. your wife will respond to love eventually because she loves you. if she didnt, she wouldnt have gone to the counsellor with you.

    keep praying, and please understand that your role is to love her, not to have her love you. loving the unlovable is difficult, its true, but its what God does every day.

  16. Christian Husband of 38 yrs says:

    I know that physical attractiveness is mostly subjective, but to the extent that it – or more accurately, the things that tend to go into it, like facial symmetry, physical fitness, etc. – can be quantified, the hard reality is that the human population (and all large subsets therein) will fall on a normal distribution. In other words, about half of us will be below average on the physical traits that tend to be associated with subjective assessments of “attractiveness”.

    Obviously, that isn’t good news for a lot of people. There probably are a lot of marriages – maybe even most of them – where at least one of the partners is below average in attractiveness.

    The good news is that there ARE a lot of marriages where at least one of the partners is below average in attractiveness. Apparently a lot of people manage to get together and even stay together, even though they are not both all that attractive.

    I do suspect though, that the getting together and staying together doesn’t just happen. It takes a lot of effort, including probably a conscious and intense effort on the part of the partner who is not well-endowed to make up for it in other ways.

  17. Mr M says:

    @NK – I think I would be blessed to be with someone like you. You, at least, seem to have a much better attitude about life. My wife also has lots of medical issues and related bills. Her medical issues do give her some defense on losing weight, but that excuse only goes so far. I am fairly fit for my age (about 13 pounds overweight, but I work out some, so I have some muscle tone), and I do not understand why she will not at least try to get healthy and put forth a little effort. She talks about it all the time, but no action. Cokes everyday, two bowls of ice cream instead of supper the other night. Lots of cheese, breads, etc. I eat a lot of salads, chicken, etc. I do not understand why she can’t try. Am I just not important enough to her to try? Because that is how I feel. But again, if she were to turn back into the friendly, loving woman she used to be, and show that respects and loves me, I would gladly put the rose colored glasses back on.

  18. Nik says:

    I love my husband but I’m not attracted to his over weight body. He has a great personality and is very intelligent. We were friends for a long time before we had any sexual contact. I feel he loves me to a certain point because he is not working toward staying alive. I buy healthy foods and cook them for him. He won’t eat it, he would rather eat the bad foods forcing his belly to look like he is overdue with triplets. Other personal parts have shrunken away. His knees are bad now, his back hurts all the time, his feet aches the list of problems goes on and on. He is physically not healthy anymore. He is not that old and he complains like he is 80years old. I would love to go to the gym and workout together. Nope not happening. We fight over me not bringing cookies and cakes from the store. I’m still young and attractive. Is my sex life over? I’m thinking it is.

  19. Me says:

    We have been together for 18 years. He works a lot hours and we never spent time together. The only day off is Sunday, and I like going to church. He does goes to church with me but instead of going out and have some fun, he hurry back to drink and cook. He loves eating and drinking and He is so controling. Over the years I have asked him to take care of himself, things like brush your teeth, wash your hands before dinner, don’t leave your shoes by the door…little things that we teach in early age. But he is 58 and he doesn’t do it. And gets angry when asked to do so. He loves movies with naked women and intimacy for us is down to nothing. I told him I like foreplay and places I like to be touched. He doesn’t care, it all has to be the way he wants. So, I just shut myself off. We have not been intimate for 16 months now. And he is demanding sex and I keep begging for time together and his attitude keep pushing me away. I trust God’s plans and I didn’t get married to live unhappy!

  20. Lori says:

    I’m at a loss…been together 6yrs, married 3. I am attracted to my husband and I thought I was doing everything to express that…massages, surprises, intimacy anytime he wants, “romantic” nights, love notes, love texts throughout the day…and he still feels that I am not attracted to him. So my question is to men out there…is initiating sex how a man defines that his partner is attracted to him? All other ways don’t mean to much???

  21. Dee says:

    I am a Christian wife. Married for 3 years. I am desperately trying to recover feelings I had for my husband when we first met. When we met he was a personal trainer, lean and healthy. I found him very attractive yet our sex life was never hot and as passionate as it has been in previous relationships. I was experienced with men in the past that were very kinky and were obsessed with me sexually. At the time, I felt that I needed more substance in a relationship and found that with my spouse. Sex has always been vanilla with him. He was gun shy in the beginning which made sex awkward and not enjoyable because we didn’t know if he could perform when it came to. Since then we have found each other and it’s much better, however he has never fully recovered. There are times even now we cannot be spontaneous because it’s almost like he has to mentally prepare to be intimate. Anyway, I stayed with him because his heart was so good and I felt safe. Today, the lack of intimacy is my fault. I admit a lot of it has to do with the lack of respect and the way he fails to control his emotions so much that I do not feel safe with him. I feel a veil has been lifted and in just the short years we have been together his body composition has changed completely, overweight, lost muscle tone. I dot not desire him at all, especially when he is naked. I do compare him to other men as I compare myself. I am petite and body has been unaffected be having children. Men always find me attractive and stare even going to great lengths to talk to me even while I’m with my husband. Any way, I just want to be attracted to my spouse again, emotionally and physically but i am lost on how to accomplish a pure uninhibited desire for my spouse.

  22. Celeste says:

    My husband refuses to shower on a daily basis. Once a week is what he does but the hygiene is horrible! He has a beard and he has a sub conscience habit of sticking his tongue out when doing something. When he does that, he drools and the stink of the saliva is in his beard. He will wipe his hands on his mouth and now the stink is on his hands. When he goes to the bathroom to take a crap sometimes it gets on his hands when he wipes himself and he then wipes it on the wall and does NOT wash his hands even though he says he does. He used to be a cop and I understand that sometimes intense jobs can cause depression, but it was back then (around 2000) that I noticed the hygiene change.

    He would go days without showering and when I FINALLY said something to him in the gentlest way (I enjoyed the intimacy but not when he stank), he decided to stay stinky even more, sometimes a month would go by before he would shower. He also pretended to have an affair to pray on my emotional state so that I would have sex with him. I would do it out of fear of losing him, but would end up sick to my stomach from the stench and the sweat. He even went so far as to drive me to therapy for marriage counseling knowing the whole time that he did not have an affair. I mean, what women in her right mind would want to sleep with a guy who stank so bad and teeth is covered in plaque?

    He is overweight; at 6 feet tall he is over 300 pounds and keeps saying the reason he sweats so much is because he has always had heavy perspiration. Being in the car smelling his body order is horrible. I purchased one of those scent vent things and it helped for a short while. At home I spray constantly and burn incense and he knows why I do it but refuses to get up and shower. Last night I could not take it anymore and told him that he needs to shower. He says that he knows the he is the reason why I burn so many incense and spray air spray and that he knows he needs to shower, but he refused to get up and take one. He has skin tags, and developed a rash under his arm that stinks, and he refuses to go to the doctor. He said that he will shower today, this morning, but from experience I know that when it happens it will not till much later.

    I have not kissed him for YEARS and we just don’t have intimacy for reasons including the hygiene habit due to his obesity. I just don’t know what to do anymore, it is disgusting. He is NOT depressed, just lazy and even though I keep myself clean and told him that I do it not just for myself but for him and because I don’t want to stink at all, but he does not seem to care about how he smells around me. His hair looks greasy, when he sleeps his breath is so bad that it smells up the entire room and hallway. I have not slept in the same bed with him for years, besides the bad hygiene he snores very loudy.

    He has refused to go to therapy, he does not socialize except once in a while going to get something to eat with his brother, who does not speak to him about his hygiene. I tried to talk to his brother about it among other things and he told me to to try therapy. Well, that’s not going to happen, already tried it. I’ve talked to him about his hygiene with love, with the direct approach, with the whole “lets take a shower together” attempt…nothing works.

    I just don’t know what to do anymore. I could use a man’s input as well but all I know is that I’ve tried everything, even prayer. I’ve talked to male friends who are followers of Jesus, I’ve talked to women who are married and have been for years. I know that no one is perfect especially me and that people do change over the years, but this???? How can anyone know that they stink and be around the one the ALLEGEDLY say they love but don’t try to maintain personal hygiene? It is so offensive and I am so frustrated sometimes I just end up crying and or screaming. His stench makes me sick to my stomach, and is now giving me headaches. I am not in a financial position to divorce him, I am ill and cannot work and cannot get disability or get on public assistance. I just feel so depressed and just want to give up.

  23. Julie Sibert says:

    @Celeste… Thank you for taking the time to comment. I’m so sorry for your situation, as it does sound exhausting and overwhelming.

    You say that your husband is not depressed, but I wonder if that’s true. What he is exhibiting is not normal behavior by any means, especially for someone who has access to ways to maintain good hygiene. But whether he is depressed or not, he would have to be willing to admit that and walk in the direction of getting some help. Doesn’t sound like he is open to that.

    Do you have any mature Christian women you could confide in and pray with? They may be able to offer some solutions/ideas on how to approach your husband more directly about the problems his lack of hygiene is causing in the marriage. Also, have you considered writing him a letter, detailing what this is doing to you, but simultaneously also saying that you want the two of you to work together toward a solution and better intimacy (not just physical, but all intimacy).

    I question whether he really understands the depth of the pain he is causing and the toll this is taking on your marriage.

    At any rate, I strongly encourage you to find 2-3 other Christian women who can be good support for you, even just to listen and pray with you.

  24. Marriage in my Future says:

    My question is not from the perspective of being within marriage but considering the prospect of marriage with someone. My boyfriend and I have been together for two years and plan to get married soon. I love him dearly and I know that he loves me. We have been through some serious trials together (death of close loved ones, etc) and have maintained a great relationship (even as a long distance one- we currently live in different states but can drive to one another so we are together most weekends). He is my best friend and aside from my parents, I’ve never been able to be myself fully and completely with anyone the way I can with him. He is just a great person! We are also both Christians and share our faith in God (which is invaluable to me). The one area that concerns me is physical attraction. To be honest, my boyfriend is actually very handsome in the sense that he has great features in my opinion (thick dark hair, big brown eyes, perfectly shaped lips, can grow a ridiculously perfect mustache and beard which I love, is normal to tall in height, extremely intelligent, compassionate, romantic and gentle). The problem is that he struggles with his weight and has since high school (we are both approaching our 30s now). At this point he is in the obesity category. Well we want to get married soon and this issue has me kind of scared. To be fair, he has lost over 100 lbs in the past and seems somewhat motivated to do it again (I’m being as supportive as I can to help in his weight loss journey) but I am really concerned about our intimacy and marriage bed if he does not. I am very petite curvy but still within a healthy weight range. People often tell me I’m beautiful, I would say I’m decent/fairly good looking. Also my boyfriend and I do not have sex. That’s not to say we have not pushed the envelope in the past (kissing and heavy petting which we did some serious repenting for) but we have never had the experience of intercourse together and don’t plan to until we’re married. So I have no idea what to expect when the day comes that we will be sharing the full experience of physical intimacy. I guess I’m just scared that this could doom our marriage. The world tells us what “sexual passion” should look like and it’s always between to outrageously gorgeous people with perfect bodies and lives. Well I’m experienced and mature enough to know that is not realistic. The one I’m with does not have to be a GQ model, I just want us to be enough for each other. We’ve waited this long to experience sexual intimacy which is already weird by the worlds standards. I just want us to have a healthy and sexually satisfying sex life and marriage. From reading other people’s experiences I fear that this issue could be a stumbling block for us and I’m scared (not to mention the health implications that I didn’t even touch on). Is this really as big of a deal as it seems? Am I over reacting? Is it shallow to want to be physically attracted to your mate, especially in the “newly wed” stage? Any advice from married folks (or anyone with thoughtful and biblical feedback) would really be appreciated!

  25. Bright Star says:

    I do understand your concern. Its not wrong to desire physical attraction, and it is great that you are considering the subject before you are married. From what you have described about your relationship, I think you have almost everything that counts for marriage. You however have to decide if you can do without physical attraction or not. You are the only one that can answer that question. For me, emotional connection is more important than physical attraction, but then that is Me. You are different and you know yourself better than anyone else.
    You should also speak with God about issues bothering you. All the best as you make your decision.

  26. Daisy says:

    Women fake orgasm because men fake foreplay!
    My husband is still a really handsome man. He brews beer and has a gross beer gut,bad breath because he has a node or something in his nose and won’t get it taken out. His nose hairs gag me,. But,by far am I close to perfect. A little bit of good hygiene goes a long way.
    To the guy with the wife that eats two bowls of ice cream,instead of dinner,she sounds very depressed. Then again a women with body issues will most certainly keep a man away? Maybe she hides behind the extra weight to keep you away, because she hates sex?
    Marriage counselors are in order here!

  27. Daisy says:

    Celeste,My thought is,he must be depressed.I know this forum seems to except that after the marriage, you except and stay married. I am sorry,I would find a friend and go fast to stay for a week or more. Let him deal with himself. See if he will miss you enough, to try and clean up! My husband has bad breath due to his cartridge in his nose that is deviated. I think that is it,He won’t do a thing to fix it,he is chicken! That means I have not and cannot kiss him passionately. He bathes thank goodness.
    When he grows his beard every Oct, it is disgusting .Grows unruly,never trims it I can’t stand it..With your spouse knowing you find this awful,the smell in your home is telling me that he doesn’t care about himself enough to clean up.Or,he is doing it to spite you. I’d make an offer to go to counseling ,if he refuses you go. They might give you some positive way to deal with this.

  28. Jeremy says:

    I’d love some advice from a man’s point of view. The story is very long, but I’ll do my best to sum it up. Overall, my wife says that she has never been physically attracted to me and felt pressured to marry me 11 years ago. She says I am/was her best friend, but there is no physical attraction there and never has been. She says she’s only stayed in the marriage this far because of our 5 year old daughter. She suffers from depression and it has gotten worse since we lost two babies around 2 years ago (one still-born at 22 weeks due to premature water break and one miscarriage at 16 weeks). She had a fling with another man right before we got married and said that she fell in love with him and wanted to marry him instead of me. We went to counseling in the past for that issue. She says she’s no longer in love with him, but she still says to this day that she gave him up for me, and that she thinks she would have been happier with him because there was physical attraction there. My wife is a.l very beautiful woman. I always have been told that I’m a handsome man, although I’m begging for to question that! I’m almost 6’1, dark eyes/hair. I only gain weight in my mid section and I’m very slim everywhere else.

    I have my faults in this as well. I have a very demanding job and haven’t always given her the attention she needs. I’ve made promises to her that I’ve not been able to keep. I have also struggled with my weight since right before we got married. I had a severe heart arrhythmia and was put on high doses of beta-blockers which caused me to gain 90+ pounds in only a 6 month period. I have struggled for more than 10 years to get the weight off. I’ve lost a lot of it, but still need to lose 45 pounds or so. She says this weight is a main issue, but she’s now afraid that even if I lose the weight, she still won’t be attracted to me. She is very angry and has said there are things about me that I can’t change that she doesn’t like (various physical attributes). I am also upset that she doesn’t want to try to have anymore children, and that has created issues as well.

    She basically feels as though we are done. She says she feels absolutely nothing for me and she says she knows it won’t get better. She doesn’t want to go to counseling because we’ve tried it in the past and she says it hasn’t helped. She is ready for a divorce. Any advice/help is appreciated.

  29. momma j says:

    I have been with my husband for thirty years we’ve been married for twenty four years. He has always been a big flirt when a woman was around. I’ve told him he was to much of a Mr.nice guy. I grew up with all brothers and I find it easier to get alone with men than women. I worked in the construction field with all men and can associate with men. I do have a few female friends but have over the years realized that some of the women I thought was my friend were not . They were my husband’s friends. I have caught him messing around on me so many times, I’ve lost count. But yet I still love him. I think, I do I can’t imagine myself being without him. It’s not that I’m financially insecure. I worked full time until I had my house built and my property paid off. I had everything I want and then some. I quit the hard labor job in construction and started working as a meter reader for the small town I live in and I took custody of my 2 small grandchildren. The new local job gave me more time with them. When they started school I took on another job cooking breakfast and lunch buffet at a local diner. Which I did to have the extra money for the kids. As they grew and started sports I became their teeball coach. With two jobs raising two grandchildren a coaching teeball, plus catering parties on the weekends with my husband. I had taken on to much and I had a mild stroke. The doctors told me it was a warning stroke that I had to slow down. My husband told me if I would quit work and stay home with the kids he would take care of us. I then had more time on my hand and could see what was going on around me. I caught my husband having affairs one after another. And I blamed myself, because he said I had neglected him sexually. That he had needs, that I wasn’t taking care of so he went elsewhere. It broke my heart but I swollered my pride and I forgave him time after time. I would make him wait up to a year and have std test done before have sex with him. And now I don’t feel like I’m really the one he wants. I don’t feel sexy, he keeps trying to make advances towards me. And it more of a turn off than a turn on. I still can’t see myself being divorced from him or trying to start a new life with someone else at 56 years of age. I would like to know if there’s a chance the way I feel can ever change. Or if I should divorce him and set him free so he can find someone to fill his needs as a man. Because I have no desire.

  30. Julie Sibert says:

    @momma j — My hope would be that you wouldn’t give up on your marriage, and that together you and your husband would work toward building something strong and secure.

    For that to work, in my opinion, you both have to be open to change. He has to be willing to turn from his adulterous ways and truly commit to being with you only. And you have to be willing to nurture the relationship, including receiving his advances.

    I get that it is not easy. You have a lot of history between the two of you, and much of it sounds like living separate independent lives, as opposed to a strong relationship built together. BUT, i am always in the camp that as long as you are still married and there is at least some willingness from both of you, then there is something there to work on.

    The past doesn’t have to determine the future. Start by working on your friendship together — spend time together, find activities you’d both like to do, etc. What attracted you to each other in the beginning? Try to understand where things got off track so that you can take baby steps toward each other.

    Not easy. But worth it. I believe anyone can change, but we have to be willing to do things differently if we want that to happen.

  31. Michael says:

    Well said Julie!

    We all need to remember, from time to time, that our God is a God of miracles! He is fully capable of bringing restoration to ANY broken relationship in the blink of an eye!

  32. Stuck in a rut says:

    Help wanted

    I have been with my husband for 10 years, married for 9. We have 3 beautiful kids together. I have struggled with weight problems my entire life and he loves me no matter what size I am. I gain then lose.. It’s a viscous cycle but no matter how down and depressed I get, his love and attraction to me never wavers. He’s always said “I didn’t marry a stick, and I don’t want a stick. I like curves” I KNOW he wants me and often tries to initiate sex. Somehow though, I am the one who turns sex down! There are days where I am so ready for sex but he’s at work.. Then by the time he gets home, I don’t want it anymore. I’m seriously thinking I may hv a hormone imbalance or something.. It hurts his feelings when I kindly turn down sex, and I hate myself for doing it (later when he tells me he felt rejected) What is wrong with me?? He does drink a lot of coffee and has sinus issues that give him horrible breath, so it makes kissing just gross me out :/ I try to overlook it and hold my breath, but any time of French kissing at all makes me wanna throw up 🙁 He gets mad whenever I ask if he will just brush his teeth before bed but when he wont do it, I am literally so turned off by his breath that the thought of sex just makes me shudder (there’s always kissing involved and I can’t just hold my breath the whole time)

    I feel like a failure as a wife because I don’t initiate sex hardly ever.. And sometimes turn it down simply because I don’t want to.. Then when I feel the distance between us and we talk about it, it’s inevitably because I turned down sex and he doesn’t think I’m still attracted to him. I love him with all my soul and can’t imagine my life without him. He is very attractive to me, and I love to just look at him. I’m honestly not sure what’s wrong with me and why I don’t get butterflies and just want sex all the time. But there’s obvs something wrong with me to subconsciously reject someone so awesome, who has loved me even when I didn’t love myself, and has never ever made me think I was unattractive to him (no matter my weight gain or such) Someone please help me. Am I letting something as petty as bad breath ruin my entire marriage? We have a great relationship, talk about everything and anything, tell each other our dreams and fantasies, nothing is off-limits to talk about, we never judge each other, have amazing communication, we are literally each other’s best friend, yet sometimes I simply don’t want to have sex and he takes it as a sign of rejection.. I honestly don’t WANT to not want him, but sometimes that’s how it appears :/ What can I do to boost my desire to actually want to be intimate with him? Cuz I’m seriously at a loss..

  33. RG says:

    I’m no longer sexually attracted to my girlfriend of 4 years, however, I cannot function without her. I need to hear her voice every day, kiss her forehead, and eat something she cooked. I plan to marry her end of this year.

  34. Mrs. X says:

    I am no longer attracted to my husband because we are never on the same page with our conversations. I say exactly what’s on my mind and he gets very offensive. I’m not sure how to tell him how much I’m not attracted to him sexually anymore especially when he ask for sex instead of mentally stimulate me to want it. I don’t want to hurt his feelings but I’m at the point where I’m ready to walk out of this relationship so he can become happy sexually with someone else. I don’t think counseling will work. I wish I could say it was a physical I attraction but it’s more mental. Extremely frustrated

  35. H says:

    Last night I heard the most heartbreaking words from my wife. She had agreed to have sex but when we got into bed and started, she said that nothing I do puts her in the mood. She seemed turned off when I wanted to look into her eyes and share in the experience of lovemaking. She turned off all the lights. She asked me to put on some porn for her to get turned on to. I, as a husband, have never felt so unattractive. Then she told me that the reason we only ever use one position is that I’m not long enough to please her in other positions. This was the first time I have ever felt that sex was purely physical between us because I can’t call what we did making love. I don’t think I can ever be intimate with her again. It will be me giving the begrudging duty sex because I will never initiate again. When I look at our wedding pictures, I don’t think I have changed much. I may have gained a few pounds over the years but am by no means obese. I always shower before bed and am meticulous about being clean for her. I wonder if she was ever turned on by me. I wonder if anyone would ever find me attractive. That’s probably why she wants the lights off and will shut her eyes tightly if even a small night light is on. She can’t get in the mood for sex when she has to look at my hideous ugliness. I just want to feel desired by the woman I married. I saved myself for her. She was my first and not until after we married. I don’t know if I can live with this for the rest of my life. I have not even reached midlife yet so unless I get that fatal bus accident I have been hoping for, I’m looking forward to at least another 50-60 years of feeling undesired, unattractive, unimportant, unmasculine, and most of all unloved. The thought of that is just unbearable. I’m glad we have no children to grow up watching their father slowly die inside.

  36. Helen says:

    @H I am no expert but it certainly sounds like classic porn addiction to me. Do you know how much she watches? My completely uneducated guess is that it has nothing to do with you. I am currently looking into marriage helper 911 which sounds like it might help you too. There are also free podcasts from Joe Beam about spouses with addictions, etc.

  37. H says:

    @Helen She doesn’t watch it at all. We are together almost all the time when we are not working so it’s not like she could hide it. That is what makes it so much more likely that she means exactly what she said. It was so out of the blue that I can’t find any other reason than I really must profoundly turn her off. If I even suspected that addiction were possible, I would agree with you. It was as if she has been going through the motions for our whole marriage and now finally couldn’t fake interest in me anymore.

  38. Karen Reeves says:

    Been married 35 years. I knew when walking down the aisle I wasn’t in love but he was a rebound and good to me so I thought I could love him later. That’s what happened with previous boyfriend I didn’t love him until a year later. Anyway it never happened. We now have a lot of resentment built up, He is not a leader. Doesn’t make much money. Drives a mustang because of money I made and has never been there for me through family or pet deaths. Only went to church if I did and now doesn’t go at all. I’m tired of being the leader, independent, always alone. He’s embarrassing in public. Doesn’t talk, is a picky eater we go everywhere separately. I hate sex and even during the vow stage I wanted to run but always tried to do the proper thing. When I tried to break up with him he would cry so I just stayed and thought later I’ll be in love. I’m just ready to leave now. He says its all up to me I have to be nice. He also never does anything for me or trying to make it work.

  39. L says:

    This is happening to me right now, it’s been going on for a year. My husband is a great father and husband we are best friends but there seems to be a turned off feeling when we are intimate. We’ve tried spicing it up but it makes it worse. I’m 29 and he’s 42 my health is great his isn’t. He quite work a month after our first was born and its been 3 years since he’s had a job. He suffers from psoriasis, and PA. I’ve been the sole bread winner, I have my own client based cleaning business and I work everyday, I’m care giver, bread winner, I pay every bill. And it’s emotionally and physically draining. I didn’t marry my husband for a paycheck but it’s nice to have financial stability and to feel secure. I love my husband and honor our vows but anymore I feel as I’m not his wife I’m his caregiver, and his paycheck. I think the problem is I’m mad that I do everything, and the stress can be overwhelming. I in some ways maybe see him as less of a man. All he wants to do is sit at home and I’m physically fit healthy young, I feel as if I’m holding myself back. But I don’t want a divorce, but I’m also miserable. Anytime I bring up something I’m stressed about he lays a guilt trip same with intimacy. I feel guilty into it. I’m need help and advice.

  40. Melissa Attaway says:


    My husband and I have bee married for about four years now. We were high school sweet hearts and the good Lord brought us back together again after 30 years of being apart. I am post menopausal and he has some health issues that has caused him to have a semi soft penis and not able to obtain a full erection. This is also due to age. We both decided to lose weight because we were both terribly overweight. The weight loss was actually triggered because of both of our health issues. In the beginning, it was hard to feel my husband’s penetration which I thought was from both of our stomachs; but now, we both have lost close to 100 pounds together, and I still can’t feel him and mainly due to a semi-soft penis. I also work at night and he works days. I have found another job where I will have regular work hours. Anyway, I am not attracted to him physically. He is a beautiful man inside and out. I love kissing him. But sexually, I am just not satisfied. I feel like I do harm in the bedroom because I fake orgasms. So, with that, I do not initiate and I make excuses to not have sex. I finally came forth and told him the truth, and now he feels I do not love him. I do love him, and I don’t like not wanting him sexually. I don’t know what to do now. He won’t hardly even speak to me.

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