Has Your Husband Stopped Initiating Sex?


It wasn’t until he stopped initiating that it occurred to her something could be wrong.

And it wasn’t that she was necessarily concerned he was “getting it elsewhere” (although, she knew that wasn’t such a far-fetched possibility, if statistics told her anything.)

Even so, him no longer initiating sex did have her thinking.  Wondering if indeed her marriage was what she had always envisioned a marriage to be.

Wondering if it was what he envisioned it would be.

Anyway. He had stopped initiating sex with her.

And now she began to recall all those times she avoided sex.  Came up with excuses as to why they couldn’t make love.  Made him feel guilty for even attempting.

All those times she pulled away from his touch when he crawled in bed. And the times she even snapped at him when he wanted to get in the shower with her.  Convinced herself that he was selfish and insensitive for ever wanting it in the first place.

And what about those times she was too tired for sex?  Yes, there were times she was exhausted. No doubt about it.

But she was often plenty awake to tend to the kids’ needs, church activities and her favorite TV shows.  She vaguely remembers him pointing that out.  Something about him always being last (or never) on her “list.”

Yes, him not initiating anymore really had her thinking now.

She almost cried when she considered the irony.

Him no longer initiating meant she had arrived at what she implied she wanted — no more sex.  But she felt anything but victorious.

She felt empty.

There was a chasm between them that she couldn’t quite name. Couldn’t quite put her finger on.  But it stirred just beneath the surface nonetheless.

They did life.  They exchanged pleasantries. They moved through their own agendas and managed to keep things functioning.

Kids got fed.  Bills got paid. Birthdays got planned.  Lawns got mowed.

If there was tension — and in moments of brutal honesty, she could not deny there was — she simply rationalized it away.

“We’re tired.”

“We’re busy.”

“This is what happens to all married couples.”

It had been a long time — a long time since he last initiated.  So long that she couldn’t recall with any clarity the last time they made love.   It was hazy at best.  And “going through the motions” for sure.

She recalled feeling relieved at first when he stopped initiating. She finally could stop feeling anxious about sex.

But now.  Now she started to wonder.

Did she have a hand in the collateral damage in their relationship?  Were they really as close as everyone else viewed them to be?

It felt like forever since they had done anything alone together.

He stopped initiating sex. And in a way, they both stopped initiating everything.

He stopped initiating sex.

And now? She felt anything but victorious.

Copyright 2014, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.

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153 thoughts on “Has Your Husband Stopped Initiating Sex?

  1. Jay says:

    “Once every 2 months”??!!
    My ex (yes, that’s right) put literally EVERYTHING before me, and also threw in the “too tired”, “not feeling well”. To the point I perhaps made love to her once every 6 months.
    It cost us our marriage. And cost her the ability to trust any man ever again. We were always the couple others pointed to as “the couple with the indestructible marriage”.

    When a spouse continually shows the other they are not the priority in marriage there can be no good to come of it.

    Making a spouse nearly BEG to be intimate is offensive and abusive.
    It denigrates the marriage and tells the spouse they are inadequate and/or undesirable and incapable of satisfying the other as a lover.

    Doing this can drive anyone away. Resent soon follows, and then nothing can fix it.

  2. Maribel Penalver says:

    I am going through the same thing except my husband cheated with the same woman of 10 years and when i ask what do you want from me why do you stay. His answer is your the love of my life? what form of bull is that am i dum or what !!! love do not intentionaly hurt you.or do it ?

  3. Mike Cook says:

    We stop trying because we can tell when someone is just going through the motions. Same positions no new attempts at new things (positions) nothing degrading. Oral sex stopped years ago, because that’s what young couples do, not 30 to 40 year olds. There is your answer right there! I would rather watch TV or go to a ball game now than to have sex.

  4. Andy says:

    I’m so confused. I can think of so many possible reasons why I’m in this position. I would list them out but find that not just one of them could be the problem. Some of them have to do with being busy, birth controll, disrespect, bored ect. She blocks me off. Guards her self pulls away. She feels bad and tells me she doesn’t understand why she does it. Our sex life was 3 times a week then once a month now once a year maybe. The last time really blew. I don’t think she enjoys sex. She doesn’t seem into me either. We are great friends but not husband and wife. She just started helping out with the cleaning again. She knows I’m unhappy with her. It hurts me to be cold but I’m so up set. I have never been a burden on her. I open doors for her take her out to dinner but I’m so sad with things. I want to talk to her about it but I have tried before and I feel like an ass. I haven’t been talking to her as much in fact I’m quiet around her. That hurts. All that is on my mind is this problem. We have talked about possible solutions or I should say I have. She sits with a blank look. Makes me feel terrible for even bringing it up. I feel like a typicle man needing sex. So shallow I feel. At the same time no love. I know she doesn’t like it either. She has told me she feels bad that we have a sex less mariage. Her biggest worry is that I will look else where. I’m super horny. I jerk off every day some times up to five times a day. I’m fit at 6ft tall 145lbs in great shape. I keep my self clean groomed and ready for her. I lose sleep and time waiting for her. I always fall sucker thinking she might be in the mood. Save my self for her but end up taking care of my self. I really don’t know what to do. Ever day that goes by with out love is killing me.

  5. Shelly T says:

    I really feel for you. I can tell you are a very good and sincere person and that you are deeply troubled with the state of your marriage relationship and especially sexual intimacy, specifically the lack thereof.
    You are not alone. In many marriage relationships there is a sex imbalance. In some cases more severe than others.
    Very few marriages have that perfect balance of sexual frequency where both partners are on the very same page. Maybe they agree to have sex, and be present, seven days a week. Maybe their mutual need is only once a week. And in some cases they might only have sexual relations every six months or so. And they are both fine with the arrangement.
    But in your case, it’s almost exactly the same as my case. I am the low desire partner though. While my husband could enjoy sex on a daily basis, my needs are much less. In fact, I have such a low sex drive that if I never had sex again I would be just fine.
    My physical need for sex is very low. I like sex, I know sex is a gift from God, I know that sex within the bonds of marriage is a wonderful thing, but it’s always been just something that is low on my list of priorities.
    Until about a year ago. That’s when everything changed for me.
    When I finally began to understand that my priority as a wife should be focused on helping my husband to be happy, and specifically helping my husband to enjoy being a man, then it all began to change.
    We live in such a feminist world anymore. Men are being made fun of for their sexual drive. Movies and sitcoms make man out to be a sex crazed horn dogs who’s only value is to donate sperm and pay all the bills.
    Within the last year I have come to the realization that it’s a wonderful thing to have my husband sexually attracted to me. It’s a wonderful thing for him to give me sexual advances. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. That’s the way that God designed us.
    It’s kind of a funny thing, but one day I was watching our dog in the backyard. I began to think about how dependent on us our dog is.
    He barks when he wants or needs something. When he barks should I put a muzzle on him? When he tries to dig under the fence should we put a shock collar on him? When he’s hungry or thirsty, or wants to go for a walk should I give him the silent treatment?
    I then realized that if our dogs needs were not taken care of by us then his only other choice was to go somewhere else.
    Do I really want my husband to go somewhere else? Even if he wants sex much more often than I do, is it too much for him to ask? I realized I can do more to show my appreciation and love and respect for my good husband. The man who loves me and the man who wants to be with me.
    About a year ago it finally occurred to me that my husband has physical, sexual, intimate needs that only I should be providing. The biggest realization that I had is that when he wants to have sex he is REALLY wanting to be close to me.
    Andy, when you desire to have sex with your wife, it’s not that you have an uncontrollable sexual desire. You are simply wanting to be CLOSE to her. And it’s hard to get any closer to someone than when you are literally connected together, as one, the way God intended, with your penis inside her. And you’ve both had wonderful orgasms and you fall asleep in each others arms.
    I finally realized in my own marriage that one of my functions, my most important duty, was to do my best to help my husband to be happy.
    Not that my husband is a dog in any way, using the dog story as an analogy, I am the one who God intended to show up and be present for my husband’s sexual needs. My body is his. It’s my responsibility to see that he’s cared for, and take him on walks as often as HE would like.
    Once I realized these important truths my life and my husband’s life are so much better. He wants to be close to me and I appreciate that. He wants to be loyal to me and I appreciate that. He wants to satisfy me sexually and I also appreciate that.
    We are husband and wife and we are finally one. I am so grateful that he stuck around during the hard times, the difficult times.
    I appreciate him so much and I am sorry that I didn’t come to these realizations sooner. It could have saved a lot of tears, heart ache, and pain.
    Andy, If you will realize that your wife doesn’t have the same physical, sexual chemistry that you have, you will begin to understand that she has no “need” for sex, as you do.
    And if your wife will realize what an important role she plays in your happiness, and that you need to feel close to her in order to be happy, which means she needs to provide sex and to be “present” for the experience, only then will your marriage begin to move in the right direction. The direction God intends for a marriage relationship. One of the ultimate gifts God has shared with his children.
    For the record, when I finally realized the changes I needed to make, my husband and I made love twice a day for the next month, then once a day for another month. Now we have sex whenever either of us want it, which is about three or four times a week.
    I know my husband has needs and I now enjoy taking care of them. And I also know that he finally enjoys being a man. Things were good before but now they are great. He’s a better father, provider, handyman, and communicator. I guess you could say that now he hangs the moon for me.
    I wish you the very best in this most difficult time in your life.

  6. Larry B says:

    @ Shelly T:

    “When I finally began to understand that my priority as a wife should be focused on helping my husband to be happy, and specifically helping my husband to enjoy being a man, then it all began to change.”

    You have some very insightful and helpful ideas in your comment.

    When a man receives true, loving emotional support and loving sexual fulfillment from his wife, he can be and likely will be a better husband, better father, better overall man and person. (I say “likely” because there are always exceptions to the rule.)

    I would say that men have been harmed over the past 50 years since feminism was hijacked in the 1960s by women who held extreme views. It is not easy being a husband and a father these days.

  7. e2 says:

    Shelly T,

    That was one of the most beautiful things I’ve read on this blog. I confess that my first reactions were (a) I envy your husband and (b) how can I get my wife to read this. But, then I realized I was missing the importance of what you wrote. Like many on this forum, I have been trying to change my wife. You have reminded me that I can only change myself as you have worked hard to change yourself. So, my focus is changing. Instead of thinking how I can make my wife make me feel more loved, I want to focus more on making her feel loved. I have no illusions that this will result in any change in her, but that’s no longer my concern. Thank you for your inspiration.

  8. Kevin says:

    Shirley T,

    your post made my so moved.
    Your husband is such a lucky guy.

    God bless you two.

    A struggled husband

  9. Sarah says:

    Andy, if you are still on this post…is there any possibility that neither of you had much “experience” prior to marriage? If true, I can identify with your wife. We were virgins. I seriously didn’t know what it really took for someone ELSE to get me going, he had so little understanding of what I needed, he finished before I had a chance…for 15 YEARS! My suggestion is read read read! The Internet is so full of garbage porn, don’t try that junk on your wife, she is not a piece of meat without a heart or mind of her own…she may feel as though she is! Tell her what she, as a person, means to you. Learn that foreplay can start the day before! Anticipation, relaxation, emotional comfort and acceptance/understanding. Communicate about likes and dislikes…and if you are driven to the point of cheating…tell her straightforwardly that you are worried for your MARRIAGE, that you need love and comfort in return but you may have to dish out plenty of the same before she gets it. Tell her you want to experience your love life, together! Also, if kids are the issue…Make a date night weekly and hire a babysitter, and do not stop dating! Those kids will grow and leave…Lasting Relationships take work forever, she’s never just in your pocket! Oh lastly…Stop it! It’s extremely important that you understand that you can and many have, developed E.D. Because of masturbation!!! It desensitizes you so that it is more difficult to stay…um, turned on.

  10. B says:

    Shelly, yes, your post is beautiful. I am incredibly envious of you. I am the wife, and my entire married life I have longed for my husband to love me the way yours obviously loves you. What a blessing! I have the higher drive, which is crazy hard, especially being a woman. I’d be happy if my husband wanted to have sex with me more than once a week. It makes me sad that my husband doesn’t have the need for connection with me, the way other men do with their wives. It’s been hard for me, to realize how unattractive my husband finds me, and to make peace with the fact that I am simply not desireable to him. I get frustrated with wives who complain that their husbands want them “too much”, so it is refreshing to read a post by a wife who realizes how blessed she is.

  11. SorryItsPrivate says:

    I quit initiating sex with my wife six weeks ago and guess what; we haven’t had sex in six weeks. That is the sad truth of it. I want her badly, but it appears as if she doesn’t want me anymore. (And no I haven’t let myself go, I am in good shape and an attractive man) We have been married for 23 years and during the entire marriage she has never initiated. I have talked to her about it, given her ample opportunity to initiate, and even spoke to a counselor about it to no avail. I have felt undesired for several years now and have made every attempt to communicate my feelings to her with no luck. I decided six weeks ago that I wouldn’t initiate at all and see how long it takes for her to come around. All I can say at this point is now I am beginning to worry about my fidelity to the marriage. At this point it wouldn’t take much attention from another woman to send me over the edge into an affair. I have been complementary, patient, giving, romantic, thoughtful, appreciative, etc.. for years and now I think it may be time for me to be a little selfish. I want to be wanted and desired in the worst way. I am very sad.

  12. Ben says:

    After reading these comments, I realise I can relate to so many. I’m in a sexless marriage, I’ve been with my wife 9 years, and in that time sex has become less and less frequent, and it occurred to me that in the 9 years I can only remember twice that my wife has initiated sex. A little while ago I got fed up with always initiating, so I thought I would stop and see how long it would take for her to initiate, and nothing, absolutely nothing. I feel like when I want sex it’s almost forcing her to do it, as for oral, well to be honest I’ve forgotten what that is! I have tried talking to her about the lack of intimacy, but she goes into her shell and gets the hump that I brought it up. I pay the bills, keep my body in shape, take her out and treat her well, what do I get, sexual frustration. It’s so hard not to look elsewhere when your own wife doesn’t even want you sexually, I’ve been trying to figure out what else I can do, you women are mysterious beings.


  13. Helen says:

    If I may, I am going to offer some unsolicited advice.

    I find it interesting that many of the “My wife doesn’t have sex with me.” comments point to not understanding it because of either what the husband does for her or what he looks like. Comment after comment seems to bring this up.

    When I have not wanted sex with my husband, neither of those were a factor. It was something much more basic.

    We were no longer acting like friends. Our emotional connection was broken. He was hurting me emotionally. He wasn’t having deep, true conversation with me. He was harsh, short-tempered or critical and seemed to expect me to get over it within minutes when one sharp criticism may cause me such pain that it took weeks to get over and killed my sex drive for a month or longer, despite my trying to make myself recover from it or agreeing to have sex while I felt like crying instead.

    I think that husbands don’t realize that the off-hand stuff they do that is so insignificant to them can be huge to the wives. And when she seems “distant” or “unreasonable”, she’s probably really just hurting, but not about to come to you for help because you might tell her “to get over it” or tell her “You should do this.” before a lecture on what she should or shouldn’t have done or that she “shouldn’t get so much upset over nothing and stop being so sensitive.” These are pretty common male things to do, but what they are really saying is “Stop being a woman.” That’s not going to happen. And this response comes across to many woman as so hurtful, you may be better off saying, “I really don’t love you.” Your love can change and be restored, but if you want her very nature to be different, there’s nothing she can do about it. It’s a rejection at the most intensely personal level. She will come to the conclusion that you hate her and have no respect for her. Many women in that situation will leave, but if she is a Christian, she may just consider her life her cross to bear (ie living with a harsh, demanding, unkind, rough husband) when in reality, her husband is none of those things. And when this ‘evil man’ that she’s married to wants sex, all she hears is, “I hate you. I think everything you do is wrong. I have no respect for you. I openly mock and criticize you and hurt you every day. Stop being unreasonable and come let me use your body now that I’m doing beating up your soul.”

    Like I said, it’s NOT true and unless you are jerk, NOT how you feel about your wife nor what you intended to do at all, but your wife’s emotional state is a reality and is true to her. She will believe how she feels and how you act much more than what you say.

    She couldn’t care less probably if you are built like an Apollo and keep her in a new car and a 3,500 square foot house with premier decorating and wash the dishes every night, if she feels unloved by your words and treatment. Buying her things, doing things for her, etc. may not be her ‘love language’ anyway and may just seem like bargaining chips, “I do the dishes. You give me sex.” What does that sound like to you?

    To a wife in this situation, it sounds, looks and feels like what it is – prostitution. I worked around the house, Wife, now pay up. This is no different than what those other guys that you had no respect for did when dating. “I bought you an expensive dinner, now pay up.” You have NO intention of doing this or even thinking this way, I’m sure, but many women will bitterly tell each other, “I’m not sleeping with Frank. He’s gotten into this habit of washing the dishes every night and telling me that since he helped me, I need to do something for him. What does he think I am?”

    My best advice is to think about how to show her love without any expectation of something in return like sex. Not what you decide to do and expect her to appreciate nor what you think she should appreciate the most because it’s hardest for you or requires the most sacrifice on your part, but what is most important TO HER.

    Tell her flat out, “I think that I have failed to show you how deeply I love you. I think that I have been focused on my own sexual frustration. And I am very sexually frustrated. However, I have come to realize that you are probably just as frustrated emotionally. Don’t have sex with me. I’m not asking for it, but will you come sit with on the couch and let me hold you while you talk to me? Tell me how I’ve hurt you and what is wrong. I want to be a better husband. What do you need from me? How should I change? I’ve become very concerned that I’m hurting you and don’t even know it. I want us to be friends and close like we used to be. I miss you, NAME.”

    And then listen. WITHOUT COMMENT. When she’s done, say, “Thank you, Sweetheart. I appreciate your telling me. I can see how I’ve hurt you.” NOT “I don’t do that.” or “That’s not what happened.” or “That’s not what I meant.” or “Well, if you would just do ____, that wouldn’t be a problem.” NO arguing. Just affection and listening.

    Then ponder what she’s said for a few days and pick the one that she seemed the most hurt by or told you she was the most hurt by to work on for the next month.

    Unless your wife is a witch or just evil, you will probably be surprised as how much she changes towards you.

    But only do this if you are most concerned about having a happy marriage and healing your wife’s hurt heart, not so that you can have as much sex as possible. Otherwise, this could be the last straw and hurt your wife so deeply if she believes you are acting out of love, but she finds out it that it’s out of selfishness, that she will leave you.

  14. Sola says:

    Great forum and great minds here. I have been married for 20years and have always initiated sex but I am about to stop initiating sex or have sex with my wife for as long as it takes because she would not stop her communications with at least 2 of her ex boyfriends after so much talks and fights. I want to do this in order to drive home a point. Any advice will be appreciated.

  15. Larry B says:

    There is a difference of opinion about which comes first or which is more helpful to the strength of the marriage. Does working at being good, best friends help the married couple’s sex life, or does having good sex help them to be better friends and more concerned and generous with each other?

    I think both play a role in the success and happiness of the marriage. Don’t wait until you are better friends to have sex. Make love frequently even while you work at being better friends to each other.

    What happens in too many marriages these days is that both spouses are so busy with their careers and the demands (time, energy) of raising their children that they can and do forget to put effort into their relationship with their spouse. They begin to take each other “for granted”. Be careful not to fall into this trap. Consciously put the effort in each day to show your spouse you care about him/her.

  16. Louise says:

    Thanks for your comment Larry, coming from a man it gives me a great boost as to what I know I should do regarding my spouse, it’s really, really hard for me being married to a man who doesn’t find me stimulating anymore. I’d say for women it’s double hard because we think on both sides of our brain at once!! When we encounter this kind of problem and the mind does double time it’s just almost impossible to get ourselves going!! We’d rather just crawl into a cave and die!! Especially if you cannot see yourself being with another man!! Only God can help us!!! And that’s what I am going to do now-just learning to cast my burdens unto him (Jesus) who is more than able to do exceedingly and abundantly and take those little steps you mentioned.

  17. A says:

    I would like to add my comments to all of the above.

    Both Helen and Shirley make great comments and it does give me a small glimmer of hope.

    We are just coming up to our sixth wedding anniversary and we are in a sexless marriage, in fact one where the word love has not been said in over 6 months.

    Last year I did everything that Helen said, took an active interest in what my wife was doing asking her how her day was and telling she looked good and that I loved her. What I got in reply to the I love you was just a grunt, every time I asked to intimate I was told no. I also noticed that she had social media accounts that I did not know about, when I asked her about them I got told to stop stalking her. So I stopped asking her how her day was going and what she had been up to as I don’t want to be accused of stalking my own wife again.

    I have also put a promise to myself, which is very hard, to not say I love you until I hear her say it. Needless to say I have not said those words since January. I have been celibate since January too as I have stopped initiating anything.

    The only way I stay sane is to workout and do my best for my children, to be strong for my family and to provide for them. I have become deeply suspicious of my wife, and that hurts me.

    I do housework every day when I get home from work, I help the kids with their homework, I play games with the kids and ask them how their day was and I read to them at bedtime.

    I have to believe that one day my wife will tell me that she loves me.

    Sorry for the long ramble, I have days where this is harder to cope with.

  18. M says:


    I feel your pain, having been there myself in a previous marriage. So, I can totally relate.

    However, I want to ask you to reconsider the plan that you have. Why do you think that “one day my wife will tell me that she loves me”? Her actions seem to indicate that she is pulling back from your marriage relationship. If you pull back also when you choose to “not say I love you until I hear her say it”, she will likely interpret that in a way that will cause her to pull back even more. If she does that, then your marriage will be even more strained.

    As painful as it is, try to “step into” the relationship more closely. Discover her “love language” (words of affirmation, acts of service, physical touch, quality time, or receiving gifts) and try to serve/interact with her in that language.

    In my experience, whenever we are struggling, the more that I can step into my marriage relationship, the more that my wife steps into it also and the closer our relationship becomes. Whenever I pull back, she tends to pull back also, as a means of protecting herself emotionally, and causing even more distance between us.

    I will be praying for you and your wife and your marriage.

  19. H says:

    I can’t force myself to initiate anymore. I no longer feel any emotional connection to my wife. It has been so long since I’ve felt loved or valued for more than my paycheck that the desire to connect has died in me. She has told me one excuse after another for our lack of intimacy and every time I tried to fix whatever the issue was, she came up with another new excuse. The rejection is too much to bear. The neverending string of hoops to jump through is no longer worth the effort. I have been sleeping in another room for over a week now and I have slept better than I have in years. She doesn’t even realize that she has already lost me. This is probably what she wants anyway. It has been weeks since I have even had a sexual thought about her. The thought that I was once completely devoted to her fills me with an overwhelming sadness for the life I could have had. When I got married, I never imagined that “till death do us part” was a goal. We have no children so now I’m just waiting to die so I can be released from this empty existence devoid of love. Praying for some health issues that are fast and terminal.

  20. Charm says:

    I’m the wife that always initiate. I decided to stop to see how long it will take for my husband to initiate and guess what..It’s been a 2 week.

  21. AG says:

    “But she was often plenty awake to tend to the kids’ needs, church activities and her favorite TV shows. She vaguely remembers him pointing that out. Something about him always being last (or never) on her “list.”

    This is such a painful thought to deal with. So many nights I wondered why is TV, the house, laundry all more important than I? This caused so much hurt and anger that I literally didn’t want to live.

    Then it dawned on me that I could either be above this all and give her the loving and support she needs and hope that she comes around(I did try this approach several times), or I could pull back and do the minimal, like she was doing for me in our sex life. I decided to take the minimal path. I didn’t do this because I wanted revenge or to cause her pain as much as I wanted her to understand that it’s not fair she gets a husband and I get a roommate. This went on for years, but I think she might have come to a realization which made her see that not only was she depriving me, but she was missing out on the relationship she always wanted.

    Fast forward to present day, and I can say that our sex life is moving towards a much better place. We’re not there of course(which is why I found this site) and there is still work to be done, but I’m not falling asleep angry like I did before. In short, we’re trending in the right direction. We still have our droughts and there are things that are still frustrating to me, but it’s night and day comparing to then and now. I have a lot of wounds that need to heal and get over some psychological trauma this near sexless marriage cause me, but I’m hopeful.

    Now I’m not advocating for people to be mean or jerks to their spouse. Still love them, but don’t simply just take it either. Demand more and let them know that their actions are keeping you from being the h/w you want to be. Simply take a look and explore all the options you have to deal with this. To me, being above it all typically gives the refusing spouse what they want: not being bothered for sex. Yes that might come to bother people like the one mentioned in the story, but from the 100’s of stories I’ve read about people living in this type of situation, I have rarely seen this work. You can either stay and take this treatment, leave, or take a proactive measure to make the point that you are not living like this.

  22. Lori says:

    Iam feeling unloved, my husband doesn’t want to make love to me anymore, and the last time that he did , he only wanted me to take care of him! I afraid that he’s not Into me anymore. When I try to talk to him about it he gets defensive about me wanting to be loved and he says don’t I do enough for you, cuz I’m not working and he is paying the bills. I need to know am I asking to much from him?

  23. D says:

    I initiate with my husband 90% of the time.
    I appreciate this article. I did finally decide to separate. The kids are gone and activity I bring up to do he doesn’t want to. He sits and plays computer games. So. Things what 26 yrs have come too. We had an active sex life. Three times a week. Guess who started it? Me. We’ve been separated two weeks now. In the same house just different rooms. He doesn’t initiate at conversation either.
    Sometimes even while being married a person can feel alone.

  24. D says:


    Thank you for sharing your feelings. I know that can be hard. I hope someone with more wisdom than I can help. I’m not a counselor, just a normal woman and it hurts to feel unloved. Have you thought about a counselor for yourself to help walk you through these feelings? Not because you’re the problem but because you’re human and you matter.

  25. Nathan says:

    I’m a 47 year old man. Fit , strong , self employed and 2 wonderful kids
    Married for 14 years and i masturbate every day. I stopped asking for sex about 4 years ago. We still have it sometimes , but I’ve stopped caring. 4 years ago I also started having an affair with a stunning woman. She’s also married and in a sexless marriage. Like mine.
    She worships me , tells me I satisfy her like no one ever before and she gives me the best sex of my life …she gives me the best oral sex of my life and I treat her like gold.
    We will always remain married to our partners , but we are sexually fulfilled like never before and meet at least 3 times a week for wild stunning sex.
    Her husband doesn’t care about sex and my wife doesn’t seem to notice that I don’t care about sex with her either.
    I stay in the marriage because of my kids … I’m an exceptional provider and give my family everything they want.
    I’m sure there will be plenty of angry woman out there telling me I’m scum for cheating …. it’s her fault I cheat … not mine … if she gave me what this other lady gives me , I’d never leave home …
    so … here’s a warning to the ladies … pay attention … it’s very easy for a fit successful guy to get what he wants elsewhere … if he stops asking for it … wake up … he WILL get it somewhere else … and you are mostly to blame ..

  26. E says:

    Mine is the other way around. It’s the wife that doesn’t want or initiate, except maybe 3 times a year. I voiced my opinion about the situation a few months ago and she still gives me the “I’m tired” or “I have indigestion” or some other excuse as to why she doesn’t want anything. And then she doesn’t help keep our three year old out of our room and in her bed. I am the one that always has to initiate but always get an excuse as to why she is not interested, which is quite a bit. We are lucky if we do anything once, maybe twice a month.

    A couple of nights ago we were interrupted by our child and she told me that she was hurting, so I told her we could stop. She orgasmed, I didn’t. She said that we could try the next night.

    Jump to last night and once I tried initiating it, I was told “Not tonight”. It did upset me and of course when I voiced my opinion about it, she got mad at me and just told me to do it. By that time there was no point in doing anything as she ruined the moment.

    Maybe it’s just me and I want it too much.

  27. jk says:

    I note that the woman in the article notices the lack of intimacy, but does nothing about it. Wives seem to set out to emasculate husbands, and then STILL pretend they are the victim.

    It just doesn’t fly. My belief is that women marry with the express intent to destroy a man they find attractive.

    Whether or not that is the true intent, the constant rejection, or worsee, bored acquiescence, achieves this.

    My wife has achieved her goal. We have sex about 12 times a year, her terms only. I have stopped trying. I am obviously unattractive. I work 10 hours a day and do the majority of the housework. After years of this, I am fully aware it will not change. Since I stopped initiating, now she flirts with me. Or more correctly, at me, because that sick game will not work anymore. I will now give her what she wants: a worker bee. I will help raise the children, keep the house clean, earn a living, pay the bills and have neither friends nor hobbies. When the children are grown and gone, I will kill myself. I doubt very much that I will be missed.

  28. Julie Sibert says:

    @jk … I am sorry for the pain in your marriage and that your wife has been so careless. I pray that you do not kill yourself. If you have not already shared with your wife the depth of your pain and anguish, I hope you will. I also encourage you to seek counseling. There are great counselors out there who have the professional training and years of wisdom to encourage people on ways to bring about positive change in their circumstances. Killing yourself is not the answer.

  29. Mike says:

    I am sick and tired of reading the same thing over and over again. My conclusion is that women simply lose interest in sex once they hit the 40 mark, give or take. At that point it becomes a drag for them. Some women are able to make it their duty to pretend they remain on board (like feeling they need approval from a “god” or whatnot).
    Men are totally different. We want sex. We love it. Any time any place. We’re raring to go. There is no pretending there is no making it up, there is no drag. It’s a real drive.
    And, we get fed up with rejection. Being rejected over and over and over again.
    I am sick and tired of the stories of having to get all sucky with the taking out to dinner, doing lots of nice things in the hopes that maybe maybe there might be sex at the end of it. As if showing you’re really genuine is the only thing that gets a woman going. I don’t see it that way. I see it as sex then, being just an obligation. Like “oh, I don’t really want to make you feel bad now that you did all that, ok then, let’s do it, fine, get it over with, are we done yet?”.
    It’s all much much simpler than that. Biologically, the sex drive diminishes in women once they hit around the 40 mark. Plain and simple. Women can easily do without, and it won’t make a darn difference. Perhaps there is guilt, like not getting the attention or whatnot, and that is what this article is about. But purely wanting sex just because of, well, just sex. Noway. That is purely a mens’ thing. I do not believe for a split second when some women come up with stories how it doesn’t apply to them. It’s proven to me, that it is a biological and very unfortunately barrier. A limitation. A genetic kind of thing.
    I for one, am absolutely sick and tired of the excuses, stories, rejection, just going through the motions, and all the rest of it. I stopped trying. No more rejection. No more being turned down. I’ll help myself thank you very much. Without the internet, I would have divorced at this point. Sorry, but that’s the reality of things.

  30. Joe says:

    Mike: Making a generalization that all men want sex at any age and all women stop wanting at 40 is not true. I’ve posted my story here many times. I’m 50ish, battling low T, meds have not brought that up. Also can’t maintain an erection, so even drugs like Viagra do not work. In fact, I have found Viagra is very dangerous. It messed with my blood pressure so much that I now have vision issues.

    For the last 5 years I really could not care less about sex. It’s just too much work and effort for a few minutes of pleasure. Now, I refuse to put myself through more medical uncertainty. All these drugs have caused me some serious life-long issues now.

    I’ve never felt an emotional bond through the physical act. I don’t see it as a religious experience. It was a physical act that felt good, but never great.

    Again, I look at all the time and energy waisted by society in pursuit of sex. What a waist of so much energy.

  31. Tired says:

    I can relate to the rejection that the men are exspericing. When I was 17 I got my high school girlfriend pregnant and we decided to get married. Fast forward 20 years and I can say our sex life is awful. We have sex about once or twice a month and its killing me. My buddies say twice a month is good but I disagree because that leaves me desiring for sex nearly two to four weeks or longer sometimes and it’s destroying me. My wife just doesn’t seem to care and I have to literally bug her to even have sex. I’ve tried all the suggestions except the just give up trying. So starting today I will no longer try to initiate or even flirt with her. I will not be hateful towards her or disrespect her but I just won’t try. At least if your not trying them your not getting rejected. It is a horrible feeling going to bed after being rejected every night for weeks. I can remember when we were dating it was sex every day and then on our honeymoon it slowed way down but I thought that was normal because she was pregnant. It never picked back up and has ever gotten slower over the years. It makes me wonder just how long we will go until she realizes that I haven’t even tried to initiate. In the original story of these comments I want to know how the husband was able just to completely give up and even when she tried to advance towards him he said no. How did that happen? Affair maybe? What was his secret?

  32. Frank says:

    Thankfully I’m not alone. I have been married for 9 years and my wife is 6 years older than me. I am 40 and she is 46 and we barely have sex. I have told her multiple times over the years that she should initiate sex sometimes. She tells me she wasn’t raised that way, that the man should always make the first move. Regardless of how I tell I feel, there’s no motivation.

    I have told her that men enjoy being desired as well. If I don’t initiate, we can go more than 2 to 3 months without sex. It has become mechanical when we do have sex and the passion is gone. I’m sick of having the same conversation about the subject and seeing nothing change. She sees certain things about sex as dirty. I see it as changing the routine. I’m not suggesting crazy threesomes or introducing sex toys, just different moves and places to make it somewhat interesting.

    Makes me wonder if she is having an affair and that’s not healthy. I don’t want to stray because I feel if it gets to infidelity, might as well just end it. We have a seven year old and lately, he is the only thing keeping us together. I live in the most magical place on Earth but the magic left my marriage and bedroom a long time ago.

  33. Somewhat sad when I think about it too much says:

    Married 41 years. At year 18 I finally started coming to terms with the fact that she hated sex and never got any pleasure from it. I needed her to need me. She never would. I took “need love” out and “killed it”. Later I read a book by Christian counselors that had a quote from a woman “It makes us angry when you say you need us.” I wonder who she wants her husband to say that to?
    At any rate, I quit initiating about 10 years ago and took a job out of town. She finally figured it out and came around and tried to do better. however I had quit initiating because over half the time when I asked I got anger or even worse, rage. I have a personal commitment to the teachings of Christ so adultery is not on the table. I just wait for her to get around to it. Maybe every 2 or every 3 weeks. We went to a counselor about 2004 that had said there is a category of mental health issues – the personality disorders and introduced me to them. Said she had one and I should be like the spouse of an alcoholic – take the good times and not dwell on the bad.

  34. D says:

    Oh how I can relate, it’s coming up on 8 years without sex, she doesn’t want to, I haven’t cheated, I’m not obese, they say I’m handsome, I pay bills, rent, do dishes, yard work, take her to movies, dinners, road trips, we have been married over 30 yrs , I feel alone, I always thought being former Marine I’d be able to take mostly anything but this loneliness, and no intimacy is soo hard, dr says I’m depressed am now on meds, I hate it, sometimes I feel I just want to go for a long drive somewhere and wouldn’t it be something if I met someone who would want to be with me n even hold my hand, wow that’s a nice thought anyway I’m just thinking out loud, well God Bless you all and please keep your faith…D

  35. The ayatollah of rock and rolla. says:

    Well here’s a little advice. My wife and I never really set the world on fire when it came to sex, in thirty years I can’t remember her initiating once. Often when I tried she would fall asleep before anything even started. In the end I used to think I’m obviously not real good at this and so suck it up and move on.We got on fine, most people would say we were a great couple, but it just got to tne point where I stopped trying. I remember laying in bed one night a few years ago with tears running down my cheeks while she slept next to me. I remember thinking I just wanted to be in love again.
    Then it happened. A friend I had known since I was 18 came into my life, her story was similar, and we became closer and closer and we fell in love. My wife is devastated, as is the the husband of my new partner. I hate that I have caused so much pain, but at the same time love my new life. My wife is a good person and didn’t deserve this, but I cant go back. I just want her to be as happy as i am now.
    I could go on, but I guess the mesage is don’t give up on sex.
    If your partner has stopped asking it probably doesn’t mean they don’t want it. Also, it may not be a big deal to you, but it might be to your partner.
    I note this is a christian website, I’m not religious, if I was I may well of stuck around and wondered what I was missing for the rest of my days, but its my life, and love is love, which I now have in abundance. I regret I’ve hurt people, but not moving on with my life.

  36. Somewhat sad when I think about it too much says:

    One other think – I told her a couple of months back that I was praying that she would take great delight in my lovemaking. She reacted positively to that.

  37. Love lost says:

    Glad I am not alone here, not that I’m happy we are all going thru this but……. anyway. Been married for 11 years now with 2 amazing kids and like almost every marriage, the intimacy/ sex has stalled. I’ve done all of the above , husband duties: lawn work, paying bills, football practice /games , car maintenance, vacations, dining, etc…. I can’t remember the last time she initiated sex, I can probably count on one hand the times she has since we’ve been married. We are about once every 2 weeks with sex and honestly feel like I force her or like if it’s a chore for her. When I try something new, she assumes I’ve been watching porn or says whatever to try and get out of it. What am I doing wrong? I have a super high drive for a mid 30′ male. I’m fit, workout daily and take care of my body. I have tried multiple times to stop asking or begging for sex cause that’s what it feels like I’m doing but my drive always takes over and I give in. I’m attempting this time around to see how long I can last and to see how she will react. At this point I’m done,. I’ve never cheated but if the right woman that wants what I want, to be loved and touched… comes along….I can’t say I will resist. Oh! And Oral…. ha! Haven’t seen that since right before I got married.

  38. Empty Soul says:

    I’ve known for a long time I wasn’t alone in this situation. My W and I have been together for about 15 years now but married for 7. We did the highschool sweet heart thing and now have a 4 yr old. Since our little guys has come along naturally things in the bedroom have changed. We can’t medically have anymore children so I opted for a vasectomy at 27. We used to be fairly healthy in our bed life, once to twice a week. Within the last 2 years it’s all but dried up. Once every 2 months and that’s after I’ve pretty much shut down on her. I’ve stopped advances a long while ago and told her as such. I know she loves me but her level of intimacy is incredibly low. Usually after a heated argument about our lack of a sex life and other life issues we might make love the next week, makeup sex doesn’t exhist in my life. It just feels like it’s a pity f*** or to shut me up and sate me. Then nothing….it dried up as fast as it showed up for yet another couple months. We’ve tried scheduled one night a week as our work schedules are hectic and spontaneous moments are rare. Those scheduled moments lasted for a month before the excuses became the norm to tell me not tonight. A couple more months pass and yet another blow up argument followed by shut up already sex. Its seems to be the norm. Our communication has been good, I try to be attentive to her needs, give her non sexual affection, listen to her, do more around the house, keep in good shape, surprise gifts/dates, fill her gas tank, etc. I do it because I love her and want to be close to her. I know with communication and if her emotional needs are met, sex follows. This last week I’ve finally had enough. I emotionally shut down on her. I don’t want to be touched, kisses, or hugged. I can barely even tolerate myself telling her that I love her too when hanging up the phone. I’ve never cheated on her until recently. It’s not a physical relationship because of distance but if we were within quick reach of each other I would guarantee it would be. We have had phone sex if that counts. This woman is in a way filling those needs, is supportive of me, isnt belittling, talks to me like a person instead of a manservamt that brings home a paycheck. I have created and exit plan for legal separation but dont want to destroy my young family. Like I said my W. loves me and it’s undeniable. I’ve never shut myself off emotionally like this before. I’m so empty, and devoid of feeling. My only satisfaction is taking care of my son and enjoying my time with him and my work as a Patrol Officer. It’s one thing to be constantly hated and rejected just on what I do for a living but to get it at home…i can’t take it anymore.

  39. Pingback: Is it Biblical for the Wife to Initiate Sex? | Intimacy in Marriage

  40. John says:

    Show me a husband who stops initiating sex, and I’ll show you a wife who started that behavior first. Every. Single. Time. When the woman does it, it’s a power move. When a man does it, same thing. When both parties are in a power struggle, they will both lose. The marriage will end. And like I said, the woman typically starts the power struggle. If you do this and your marriage ends, don’t say you weren’t warned. And when the marriage ends, the man will be kicking himself that he didn’t stop initiating sooner. It is indeed better to be single than be with women who are like this.

  41. Dontaye says:

    Hello I’m a 39 year old male. My wife is 40 we have been married about 7 years. Been together 10 years. Since day 1 she never really initiated sex unless she was drunk but over the years I would tell her. Hey it’s ok to tell me what you want and when you want it. She would always say. She would tell me. So months and years go by pretty much nothing on her end! She is always up for sex. Never tells me no but if I don’t initiate sex for 2 weeks then we don’t have sex for 2 weeks. So I introduce toys into our sex life. She has always had a vibrator but I have bought her new ones because I like when she used them when we have sex. It’s how she gets off! Which is fine for me! So being the observing husband I notice her vibrator moves about 3-4 times a week so I know she has a sex drive when me and the kids aren’t home. Which is fine BUT she still never initiates that she is in the mood with me and it hurts so I’m done initiating Sex

  42. Just taking up space until I’m not says:

    Why do wives sometimes say “He might get lucky tonight”? I guess that means she will get unlucky because she has to give in and be made love to by a man she thought she loved enough to marry him. I’ve never heard a wife say she might get lucky. Can’t the wife ever get lucky? Tired of waiting to “get lucky”. I gave up a long time ago and haven’t had sex in so long I can’t remember the last time.

  43. Justntime says:

    Well I’ve been married for 12 years and my wife and I just got into an argument about if I’m circumcised or not!!! Enough said!!!

  44. Joe says:

    And therein lies the rub. My wife and I have had a far from ideal marriage and I have accepted responsibility for a lot of the problems we have. I am far from perfect, very far.
    We both come from abusive childhoods and I believe that has contributed to our dysfunctional marriage.

    Our sex life started crashing and burning years ago. We would have years when we would be intimate two or three times and then there were times when we would have sex three times a week.

    In the past year my wife decided that her libido was low and probably going to stay that way and she started rejecting me consistently so I ceased initiating any physical contact with her, and she seems fine with that. We live together. We raise our children together. We go out as a couple, but we never touch each other. I figured if she didn’t want me to touch her I would give her that. I now live in a house with my wife but feel very lonely.
    I hope she is happy because she is getting what she desired.
    I know I am not happy

  45. Kevin says:

    To the wives who are online complaining that their husbands no longer want or initiate sex.

    I want to have contempt for you. But it’s really just sad for both sides. You see, I am that husband. It took my wife a decade to train me to be like this, but it worked. We are stubborn and competitive creatures, we men, but we can be taught.

    I’m going to describe your situation. You are not going to like it. But I will bet that I will be accurate, at least 80 percent of the time. The other 20 percent will be physical problems, or mental health issues. Which your husband may or may not talk about. Another thing that women never seem to understand. A lot of who we perceive ourselves to be is tied up in our ability to function as males. If the equipment fails, we take it personally, and see it as a personal failure. Even when it’s a one off thing, it can be scary. But that is not the main point of this missive.

    The more usual scenario, my own case and what I have heard from many men, often with a mix of anger, shame, embarassment, and pain, is what I’m going to illustrate.

    At first, you want sex with us. You make that clear, even if you don’t initiate. You’re enthusiastic, definitely in to us, not just the sex, and it’s fantastic!

    Then, you get a ring on your finger. Everything changes. Sometimes right away, other times, like in my case, it takes a little longer. Now, all at once in your husband’s eyes, you don’t want him anymore. Oh, you want him to do your ever expanding “honey do” list, and you make noises about what a great guy he is (at first), but if he even looks like he wants sex with you, the disapproval, passive aggression, and outright rejection start.

    Now at this point, you’re not being consistent with this. There are still times when it seems like you still find your husband attractive. But it’s your way, on your schedule, or no way at all. And he dare not EVER not be in the mood himself. (more on this anon).

    So, he’s getting the mixed signals and trying very hard to interpret them. Most of us interpret it as some sort of personal failure. Clearly, you are not terribly attracted to us any more. So, we double down. Do more tasks and chores for you. Become attentive to your needs and wants to a ridiculous level. Drop our friends, our hobbies, everything to try to please you and make you find us attractive again.

    For about a week, it works. Then the cold shoulder starts again, and this time it’s more pointed. “maybe” becomes a hard no. When you do have sex with us, it’s obvious, often stated, that you just want to get it over with.

    Because men are wired to physically connect with their wives, we keep trying. Trust me, we got the message, but it takes a while to set in.

    Before long, though, everything starts to suffer. We now KNOW that you no longer find us attractive, and we start to think that you don’t love us at all. That all we are is the guy who pays bills and does stuff around the house. A servant. No, more correctly, a slave, because servants get paid. This builds a lot of resentment, but also fear, shame, depression, and sadness.

    After a long time of this state of affairs, with you rejecting us, or, worse, acquiescing and making it obvious, we stop initiating. At first, you either don’t notice or don’t care. Then a few months go by, and we have about lost our ability to control our words. At this point, just about always, a fight ensues over sex. You, the woman, almost always will say “it hasn’t been that long”… meanwhile it’s been half a year, a year, two years…

    In that time, we have been, by necessity if we are honorable men, learning to control and suppress our sexual desire for you. And along with it, most other desire for you, because it’s frankly evil to demand that somebody just stop being a sexual being.

    Then, there is the day that we reject you. Probably due to being over tired, frustrated, or just plain can’t take the drama and game anymore. This is the point where your true colors peek out, because WITHOUT FAIL, the first words out of your mouth will be “You don’t love me anymore”.

    Now in truth, at least up to that point, we have mostly been blaming ourselves. We are convinced that the problem lies with us. But then you say that.

    In my case, I rejected my wife’s advances 3 times, total, prior to about six months ago. We’ve been together for 15 years. Two of those three times, I was sick. Like wanting to die sick. Had zero to do with her, I couldn’t get it up with drugs. Yet that was the first words out of her mouth. Being in love, and thick headed, I missed the message. If you don’t want to make love to your spouse, you don’t love them. That IS what women think. Men, we are usually up for it, and we are somewhat used to occasional rejection. With women, it’s JUST ONCE. So obviously, this is your mindset. The message gets through, ladies.

    but, we swore an oath. So we deal with it. Not necessarily very well.

    But I can tell you from experience, as strong as the male libido is, a man can will it away for the most part. The unfortunate side effect of willing away a large part of who you are and what you feel is that you start to be a shell of a man and don’t really feel much at all. This comes out as anger, frequently, but that is more a cry in the darkness than any well thought out or principled anger. It’s more anguish. Anguish over the now known fact that your wife no longer loves you, finds you unattractive, and won’t make love to you. Or, again, worse, will, but only once in a great while and clearly with great disdain.

    This is the point where men give up. We quit trying, and we start giving you your own game. We know, beyond any doubt, that you find us unattractive, and pretty much that you don’t love us. So, we do life. We take care of the kids. We take care of the bills. We do your damn list. We know there will be no reward, and that the criticism will be ongoing, increasing, and unceasing. But we do it anyway. We swore an oath. That oath said forsaking all OTHERS, but you took it as forsaking all. We’re stuck. We either become oath breakers, which despite feminist rhetoric is something that is anathema to most men, or we suck it up and deal with the fact that from here on out, our marriage is essentially only about running a household.

    After a while of this, our libido tanks. The equipment works just fine, we’ll have the occasional time where we’re horny. This causes us deep shame, because we now understand that you will never see us that way, and that you in fact find sex and even sexual attraction to be disgusting. It hurts so deep, that we become ashamed of having ever had desire for you. Or any other woman. We come to feel that women, or you at least if your man isn’t the sort to extrapolate, only use sex as a currency. That you never really wanted us, but were a good actress in the early days to get what you did want. A slave.

    Since you made it VERY OBVIOUS that you do not ever want sex or even sexual notice, we suppress it. We go through the motions, becoming more depressed, more out of focus, and less an less of a man. Eventually, your program of emasculation is complete, and we literally cannot stand the idea of sex anymore. Yes, the physical urges are still infrequently there, but the lust for you? The desire to be close to you? No. You killed it. Worse, you did it on purpose. And we know it. We begin to hate you for it.

    This is the stage where wives decide to flip the script, then go running to anyone who will listen and scream that her husband won’t have sex with her.

    Frankly, shove it. You did it on purpose. You WANTED this, and you made it very clear.

    To those of you who come on with the “but I didn’t know”, I am calling you out, right here, right now. You are lying. And what’s more, you know it.

    Either that or your mentally deficient. There really is no other alternative. A very deliberate course of action with a very predictable outcome is not EVER an accident. Further, your own words damn you. ONE rejection, even when your man is sick, and your VERY FIRST THOUGHT is that your husband don’t love you anymore. Men don’t think like that until about the five hundredth rejection. With you, it only takes one. Don’t think we don’t notice. We do.

    From my observations over a fairly long life, this seems to be the usual pattern for women who marry. Women who actually like sex, frankly, don’t seem interested in marrying. If that’s true, and I have no hard data to prove it, then marriage itself is a very bad institution. If, on the other hand, you didn’t go into marriage with the desire to wreck it, then you have some SERIOUS explaining to do, as a sex. Frankly, by the time this point is reached, it is highly unlikely that it can be fixed for your marriage. Unlike women, it is very difficult for a man to turn off his libido. It’s not a matter of choice to be attracted or aroused by the woman we love, and when the only choice is to suppress it, it eventually is dead. Like not coming back, probably ever.

    This is where I’m at now. I have kids. I love my children, and I will stay for their sake. But a rather large part of me is waiting for death, because then this nightmare will be over.

    Oh, and just like most of you, my wife has now sort of flipped the script. Once a month, just after her period, she is horny. I know, now, after years of rejection, that it’s just a physical urge. She don’t want me. Don’t know if she ever did, but she stopped acting years ago. But now she tries to get me to have sex, once or twice a month.

    I just can’t. And talking about it is pointless, because I already know she will only hear what she wants to hear.

    For the past year, when she has needed me to be her dildo, I’ve given in to it. I felt disgusted every time, but also it was physically nice to have sex. These past few months, I can’t even go that far. For the week following her period, I will work late, start a fight, whatever it takes to make her urge pass. Now, SHE’s wanting sex.

    Too late. That ship sunk. She torpedoed it, and then depth charged the shipwreck.

    My youngest child will be 18 in 13 years. I hope I live to see her grow up. After that? I have no idea. I know I’m done with love and sex. I don’t know if anything will make life worth living after my kids are grown. I can’t really think of anything.

  46. Jeff says:

    This story is complete fantasy. No woman …after years of turning down the man she says she loves…would ever consider that she had any role in the mess the marriage turned into.

  47. Mark says:

    @Kevin, that was powerful, thank you for writing that. I saw a lot of my own situation in your words.

    When my future wife and I were dating the sex was spontaneous and great. She would sneak into my room at university and wake me with oral sex. But it all changed after seven years of dating when we got married, in fact it changed on our honeymoon, like a light switch. Honeymoon sex was her going through the motions, “just get it done and leave me alone” sex. And it just went downhill from there, with sex becoming perhaps once or twice a month, she never initiating and yelling at me to leave her alone. Finally, after about five or six years of this, my breaking point, me, a grown man with a successful life and career bawling in tears, asking her what’s wrong with me, why is this happening? Of course I get the, “it’s not you it’s me” speech. BS, I say. But I made her a promise that day, standing in the kitchen, wiping away my tears that one day, one day my libido will vanish, my physical desire and need for her will leave me, and I predicted I would feel relief and real calm and freedom. Well, I’m almost 50 now, married over 20 years with two kids, and I’m there.

    Oh, I still have sexual desire and things still work, but I mostly watch porn for a sexual experience and for female company I talk to my female co-workers, neigbours and friends. No, not cheating, I’m a child of divorce and won’t do that to either my kids or even my wife, but when I want to laugh and feel happy in the completely platonic company of women, I seek them out. My wife jokes that I’m always friends with my female colleagues, but somehow she doesn’t ask why is that?

    My wife used to be my confidant and best friend, but without the sexual connection, there’s little emotional connection. Now we’re housemates or project partners, raising these kids, running a home, etc. Without this connection, other things bother me, like the home being filled with clutter. She interrupts me, and always contradicts or disagrees with me on trivial things. But I’m a man, and we’re the best at compartmentalizing. So, I stopped spontaneous conversation and never give a suggestion or opinion, and have one room in the house as a den that has zero clutter.

    I am a good man, I work hard, make a solid income, am dedicated to my family, have no bad habits (gambling, additions, drinking, etc.) and consider myself a good looking chap and keep in shape with weights and cycling. I vacuum, I sweep, I empty the dishwasher, make my share of meals and grocery shopping.

    I tell her that I am looking for joy in this life, more than just working, chores and kids. real joy. Women, when you turn off the sex you turn on a sequence of events that eventually destroy the man you chose.

  48. Rob says:

    After the magical wedding, she just would not initiate intimacy – it would be lucky to have been more than 10 times in 28 years, mostly before we were married.I fell for the knight-in-shining-armor BS. Work hard and raise a family like a REAL MAN does.

    Going back to before marriage when we were only going our, I bought my first house. She actually complained about it because ‘we should have done that together’ – we weren’t living together or engaged. Years later I realised ‘together’ would have meant that would still pay for it, not her. I bought a house close to my work so I could minimise travel as I worked rotating shifts in IT, including nights. Unbelievably, she complained and said she wished I didn’t earn so much because it made me independent.

    She didn’t earn a lot of money, not because she didn’t work, but wouldn’t work full-time in her chosen nursing career because the shift work is ‘too hard’. Said her Mom used to look after everything for her when she was on night-shift living at home. These were warning bells I foolishly ignored because I was a real man

    She still walked into the house without putting in a single cent……suck it up and be a real man and knight in shining armour. She had to change the hospital she worked at, but it was far easier than me having to change my job and she still determined the days she would work.- what a luxury I didn’t have. I earned four times what she did, so for me to change jobs and travel more after night shifts – risky – made no sense especially when she never worked full time.

    18 months later & we are married. A couple of weeks after getting back from the honeymoon, she announces she’s taking a ‘few months off’ to tidy up the house. I’m actually a neat freak – I take pride in making the bed, having a clean kitchen and sinks, clean bathrooms, fresh towels, swept floors, a mowed lawn and flowering plants, so it didn’t need tidying up. I should have told her there and then I’m not an ATM and expect her to work too, but no I was a knight in shining armour. She didn’t even have the decency to tell me directly – it was only because family was visiting and somehow the subject of her time off came up. It was an established house – no work to do – but she wanted to change the curtains and needed a lot of time off to do things like that.

    She started to regularly say her sacrifice was her family was on the other side of town – a 30 to 45 minute drive that she could do anytime – however I would do most of the driving for her to help her keep in touch. It didn’t matter that her family regularly came over to us too – it was just never enough for her and she was just about giving up everything. My family lived 1 and a 1/2 hours away………………..

    Several times I asked her to initiate sex, because I like that too. No weird or strange sex – I would just be happy to be shown I was desired. The answer – oh but, but she likes romance! Sure, I said I do too, but was getting of sick of being the one that had to put the effort in all the time and try to keep it fun too. For years I bent over backwards to make sure she was satisfied when we had sex. Intimacy starts dying slowly, but believe me it does start when the effort is going one way. That conversation was had literally just a few months after the honeymoon.

    She took 10 years off to raise kids – it was good time for the family, however during this time I sacrificed significant career progression and longer-term job security. I was offered a Director role – no interview required. They thought highly of me and wanted me in the role. At the time I put her being able to resume her career and our kids first and said no – wow was that a mistake when I look back. Being a real man was just helping her avoid the effort work requires, but she was happy to reap the rewards I earned. Oh, but her sacrifice was always so much more………be a real man!

    She has the same nursing job today as when we married. She constantly complains about how hard it is – I’m not exaggerating – they are rare days she says work was good. I studied, did most of running the household – cleaning, gardening, building, repairs, cars, paying all the bills, driving her just about everywhere, while working full time and was able to change my career path for the betterment of a secure family home life. Do you think she would change a job she hates so much, even after I said she has my support to study? Nope because she’s married to a real man.

    I started becoming angry after that and said things I regret, but looking back, I kept my chin up because I’m a REAL MAN. I stupidly believed the fairy tale nonsense of ‘happy wife happy life’ and doubled down – worked my backside off outside and inside the house, the finances, did lots of fun things that she liked too – dinners, travel – having a great lifestyle – all paid for by me and rarely contributed to by her.

    At one stage she said her friends husband treats her friend better in their marriage. I was completely flabbergasted but stayed calm. I so wanted to say to her after she said that to me that her friend had (a) said to my wife when she met her now husband that she had finally found another me (referencing me as a husband & family man) (b) bought her own house before getting married (c) worked full time and had a great career because she works at it (d) openly said she and her hubby were happy in the sack and she would initiate it – so of course he ‘treated her better’/sarc – he had far less stress on him! He has a wife that doesn’t have a sense of entitlement. 

    Sorry I’m coming across as angry and sarcastic –  it is very hard to keep my behaviour ‘above the line’ and not respond the way she behaves. I just need to vent.

     I got to the point where I felt dirty – unclean – even hugging her. I worked hard to suppress my urge for intimacy with her, the woman I was raising a family with, but eventually I got to the point where I was so angry it was affecting my health.

    There was an occasion where she was going to get into the shower with me (an extremely rare thing). I took great delight in saying I was just about finished so she could have it all to herself. The look on her face was a drop in the ocean to the humiliation I’d been putting up with for years – mean – yes – but it empowered me. After that moment I knew I was now in control of myself and had overcome a desire for intimacy with her. I wasn’t going to feel dirty anymore.

    Life goes on – raising kids, work, house, etc. For over a year she said she was going to take me out for dinner at a great restaurant her sister and her Dad regularly go out to. This would be an extremely rare thing because it was always me that had to ‘take care of that’. She finally did it after I reminded her, for a third time in a year, that she said she was going to take me to dinner – and she only did because she felt guilty.

    Since that episode I have been slowly, ever so slowly over several years, been pulling back on spending effort, time and spare money on her. I’m timing shutting her out completely once my youngest child settles into University. That’s about a year away now.  I’m sick of being a wallet, gardener, housekeeper, driver and having to put up with her victim and entitlement attitude.

    She constantly talks about how many vacations her friends have with their husbands and how they don’t have to work and their husbands make so much money that her friends can have private tennis lessons. It’s just never enough for her. 

    Over the years she kept saying she must be depressed, so I suggested she see a psychologist. The doctor and psychologist shot her depression theory down pretty quick smart. I don’t want to sound obnoxious, but having known people that really did have problems, I knew she was looking for excuses for her poor behaviour and it didn’t work out. She tried this depression path three times with the same result each time.

    I’ve been working out the best and cheapest way to get out of a dead marriage. My son is in his second year of University and my daughter the last year of high school. I’ll make sure she has a car and settles into Uni, then I’ll get serious about getting out.

    I will never marry again. I tell young guys in my circle of friends the days of being the white knight are over – just google it. If she doesn’t have the same ambition and drive to build a secure life for herself, like the young guys I know are doing, then stay away from her. Find someone worth the effort because if you ask most married men, it’s quite likely intimacy will disappear, so you better be able to leave and stay intact financially rather than working yourself to ill health supporting a lazy partner.

    Don’t get sucked into how ‘nice’ and ‘caring’ she is – it’s just manipulation masked as love. Funny how the older guys around when I say that nod their heads in agreement.


  49. John says:

    Kevin and Rob,
    Wow. So much similarity between your experiences and mine in my 30 year relationship and marriage. I don’t even have the desire to write my whole story down, and I am a writer. I realize that I’m hollowed out and suppressing hurt and frustration to the point where I’m no longer the same guy. I’ve given up my “assumption of positive outcome” view of life and now I just assume that there will be some outcome and accept that I may well not like it. She actually told ME that she wondered if I loved her and if I’ve just been saying the right things over the years to keep us together. I’m the breadwinner and I can do my own laundry-why would I go through the motions? Certainly not for the physical expression of love. I stopped initiating sex 18 months ago and we have had sex when booze was involved 4 times since then. I’m tired of it eating at me and I’m working on letting it go. If we split then we split.

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