What Do I Do If My Spouse Won’t Have Sex?

What do you do when your spouse won’t have sex with you? Husbands and wives are puzzled, hurt, and frustrated because their spouse either refuses sex or will have sex only on rare occasions. If you have worked hard to be understanding, kind, clean, attractive, affectionate, an initiator, etc., and your spouse still won’t have sex with you, this blog is for you.

Scripture is clear that it is wrong to consistently deprive your spouse of sex:

“The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs. The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife. Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 (NLT)

The Message paraphrases (and illuminates) 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 as:

“Sexual drives are strong, but marriage is strong enough to contain them and provide for a balanced and fulfilling sexual life in a world of sexual disorder. The marriage bed must be a place of mutuality—the husband seeking to satisfy his wife, the wife seeking to satisfy her husband. Marriage is not a place to “stand up for your rights.” Marriage is a decision to serve the other, whether in bed or out. Abstaining from sex is permissible for a period of time if you both agree to it, and if it’s for the purposes of prayer and fasting—but only for such times. Then come back together again. Satan has an ingenious way of tempting us when we least expect it. I’m not, understand, commanding these periods of abstinence—only providing my best counsel if you should choose them.”

I do not interpret this Scripture to mean that you should never turn your spouse down when s/he asks you for sex because sometimes we have legitimate reasons for not wanting physical intimacy at a particular time. I do interpret this Scripture to mean that you should not turn your spouse down frequently and certainly not for months or years (I’m not talking about situations where a spouse is verbally/physically abusive or demands sexual activity that feels wrong or is physically painful).

Despite this clear biblical teaching, many Christian wives and husbands avoid or refuse sex. Why? Because of selfishness.

It’s human nature to avoid pain. If we think something will be unpleasant, we tend to avoid it, even if avoiding that thing will cause someone else pain or unpleasantness. For example, kids typically don’t want to do chores. They seem like unpleasant tasks, so kids avoid chores even if that means that their parents will be upset or left to pick up the slack. It takes years to train children to see past their selfish impulses to the bigger picture of “we all live in this house so we must all cooperate to keep it running well.”

Likewise, sex can feel like an unpleasant chore, something to be avoided because it can bring up unresolved emotional or relationship issues, requires vulnerability, takes time and effort, involves nudity, has a performance component, etc. So, spouses avoid sex even if that means their spouse will be upset or left to struggle with unmet physical intimacy needs. In effect, they are saying, “I would rather you be in pain than me. I would rather you suffer than me having to do the challenging work of overcoming:

  • My negative body image.
  • My sexual difficulties, such as premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, or orgasmic inhibition.
  • My sexual history, including childhood abuse.
  • My lack of interest and energy for sex.
  • My fears of being seen as sexually inadequate.
  • My habit of devaluing sex.
  • My anger toward you.
  • My confused sexual identity or same-sex attraction.
  • My hang-ups about seeing a therapist or paying for treatment.”

This is a hard truth. It hurts to realize that your spouse isn’t willing to face necessary emotional, mental, physical, spiritual, or financial pain so the two of you can create a vibrant sex life.

If this is your situation, my heart hurts for you. I’m so sorry you are faced with this.

Here’s another hard truth: Failure to confront is permission to continue. If you won’t lovingly but firmly confront your spouse about your unmet sexual needs, then you are giving your spouse permission to continue to avoid sex.

If you have lovingly confronted your spouse several times, and s/he refuses to discuss the matter or even consider treatment, then your spouse is letting you know “This is what marriage to me looks like. I may meet all your other needs, but I’m not meeting your physical intimacy needs.”

You then have hard decisions to make. Your spouse wants all the advantages of marriage without the sexual responsibilities. Can you agree to that for the rest of your life? Please don’t misunderstand me—I am NOT saying that you should immediately file for divorce. I am saying that if you don’t change something, your sex life is unlikely to improve.

You might make the following changes:

  • Buy a Christian sex book, such as Restoring the Pleasure, and ask your spouse if you can read it aloud to each other in bed. Work through the sexual retraining exercises together.
  • Listen together to audio recordings on sex by Christian sex educators, such as Kevin Leman’s Turn Up the Heat: A Couples Guide to Sexual Intimacy (available on Amazon), or my presentations “Passionate Intimacy” and “Understanding and Enhancing Your Sexuality for Women” (available in the Store at www.jenniferdegler.com).
  • Go to see your pastor or a Christian therapist by yourself (assuming your spouse won’t come too) to discuss your marriage and to obtain extra support and guidance.
  • Pray fervently.

If your spouse continues to avoid sex for many, many months, and it’s becoming painfully clear that s/he will not do anything to work on the situation, you may need to consider a separation. People don’t change when they see the light, they change when they feel the heat. Your spouse may need to feel the painful heat of temporarily losing the advantages of marriage in order for him/her to finally be willing to work on your sex life.

I don’t make this recommendation lightly. It’s truly a last resort. However, your spouse may be refusing to work on sex because s/he suspects that you would never separate over lack of sex. Separation is your last card to play, and s/he knows that you won’t play it because of your children/finances/reputation/genuine love/commitment to your vows; thus, your spouse knows s/he can get away with avoiding sex. You might complain, pout, withdraw, or get angry, but that’s a small price for your spouse to pay compared to temporarily losing the advantages of marriage.

This has been a difficult blog to write. It’s hard to look at the uglier side of the human heart.

What do you think?

Comments 41

  1. Stephanie Nichols
    October 13, 2012

    I needed this article. I have been dealing with this for years and felt like I had no options. Thanks for the good information.

  2. Lesley B
    January 8, 2013

    I needed to hear this, too. But how can you make a sex-avoiding spouse hear this message?

    For years I have cycled through breakdowns, begging for intimacy in our marriage, and then waiting, hopeful for change…only to be disappointed when nothing changed.

    We are now seeing a counsellor, but what if he is just wired to not want sex? You ask the question I’ve been asking myself for months…”can I live like this for the rest of my life?”…my painfully sad but truthful answer is “No”.

    But I still love him SO much…

    1. Erin
      January 12, 2013

      I wouldn’t say that a man is ever “wired to not want sex”. It could be depression or low testosterone or stress if it’s that physiologic with him. Will he talk to a doctor at all?? Don’t give up and best of luck with counseling!

    2. February 15, 2013

      Good for you for getting into counseling! Yes, it is possible for men to have a naturally low sex drive. But even if a husband or wife are wired for less-than-average interest in sex, does that give them the right to refuse sexual intimacy for months and months? God created our bodies to be able to give and receive sexual pleasure in a variety of ways. Sex is more than intercourse. A husband who isn’t particularly interested in sex can still provide pleasure to his wife because he sees how important sex is to her and to their relationship. For example, sometimes I’m not particularly hungry at dinner time, but I still prepare a meal for my husband and sit with him while he eats because it’s not all about me in this marriage. I’m not feeling the need for food in the moment, but meeting his need for food and companionship is important for the long-term success of our marriage.

    3. Jill
      October 29, 2015

      went through the same thing for years. Initially robust sex lift to zero. Talked, begged, ? Health , stress…. He “just didn’t know”? Turned out his sex drive was fine — just with porn, masterbation & whores. Read about sexual/intimacy anorexia.

  3. Mike
    January 25, 2013

    I am a husband who basically refuses to have sex. I have been married almost 39 years and my wife is well into menopause. She complains now that we never have sex but yet never starts anything. She wants everyone when we are in public to think that we have a great marriage hanging all over me but that quickly changes once we are alone.She is a complaining, sarcastic, controlling, gripping female who wants everything her way and she is always right about everything. We are both first children, both strong willed, both Christians. With her traits she has driven me away. As a younger man my sex drive was very high and and I endured all the criticism and all but begged for sex as she has had little desire but yet now complains to others “we don’t do it”. She has always been very inhibited with most things about sex being “nasty”. We tried counseling early but she got made when the counselor made suggestions she didn’t like so I gave up.
    I have prayed, sought advice from other ministers, counseled other men in the same situation so I have researched this subject what I think to be very well. Her mother and sister have the exact same traits. I have prayed for 35 years for God to change me every where I need changing, I have prayed for God to take away my need for sex.
    All I ask is that you not be quick to condem those of us who refuse to have a sexual relationship with our spouse whether male or female. There can be and are other reasons as to why. A change of attitude would help but would take a long time to prove to me as she has “changed” a couple of times when she thought I had found someone else but it was only for a short while and she reverted back even worse every time.

    1. February 15, 2013

      Thank you for sharing your perspective on a very difficult situation.

  4. Desperate Housewife
    January 29, 2013

    I’m a thirty year old housewife (just turned) who is in a desperate situation. My husband, and I have been married for almost four years, and we’ve hardly had sex at all. He always says he’s tired or he’s too stressed out. He is thirty one years old. I have tried almost everything to get him interested or “in the mood” but he just doesn’t seem to respond. If and when we are intimate we wont do anything again for months and months at a time. Last year, we probably had sex 3 times, 4 at most. I am frustrated, and don’t know what to do. Sometimes he does or says things that make me question his sexuality and since we are both Christian, this is hard for me to a wrap my head around. I would like to start a family someday and I would also like a husband that is able to satisfy me. I love him, but I’m miserable. I need an intimate connection and its just not there. I regularly see a counselor about this, and my husband agreed to see someone months ago, but still has not talked to anyone. I feel like it’s just not important to him. I don’t know how much longer I can stay in the marriage and I’m brokenhearted.

    1. wordster1
      February 14, 2013

      Many men suffer from low testosterone, regardless of his age. Urge your husband to be checked by his doctor. My husband found his body did not “retain” testosterone; he now takes weekly injections to combat this problem. BTW a hormone imbalance affects mood, cognition, bone density, and a host of other things besides sexual drive.

      1. February 15, 2013

        Great suggestion! Thanks for sharing your experience.

    2. February 15, 2013

      I’m so sorry you are going through this confusing, heartbreaking experience. It sounds like you are at the point I described in the above blog. You’ve tried for years to get your husband to address the situation, and while he agreed to see a counselor, he didn’t follow through. Change is unlikely unless you take more drastic steps. Pray for courage.

  5. Debbie
    February 14, 2013

    Ever since my hysterectomy, my sex drive is zero. It is very rare for me to feel aroused or interested in sex. This frustrates and discourages both me and my husband. However, after watching Mark Gungor’s series “Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage”, I realized I can’t wait to “feel it” before getting the ball rolling. I encourage my husband to initiate when he feels like it, and we trust that, even if I don’t feel aroused, we can still enjoy the experience together. It helps that here are many expressions of sex. The most important thing is to TALK to each other. Not complain or demand or blame, but share what you’re feeling and brainstorm options to try. And pray a lot. 🙂

    1. February 15, 2013

      Thanks, Debbie, for sharing your insight and experience. You might also consider talking to your doctor about a low dose of hormones.

  6. Discouraged Husband
    March 15, 2013

    Thank you so much for sharing this perspective. My wife and I are followers of Jesus & have been married for 5 years. We have 2 wonderful young boys. Needless to say, by the time they are asleep each day, we both are pretty exhausted- especially my wife. It has felt like connecting physically is the absolute last thing my wife wants to do. In the last year the frequency of sex in our marriage has gone down from maybe once a week to once or twice a month.

    But maybe worse than the rarity of our sex is the feeling that it’s been a total lose-lose proposition even when we do have sex! Here’s what I mean: if I initiate physical intimacy and she doesn’t want to, I’m left to deal with my feelings of rejection and resentment (with God’s help I’ve made progress in doing this in healthy ways) and she feels guilty. On the occasions when we do have sex, she feels used and I feel guilty because it’s pretty clear that she isn’t into it & is just “giving in” with a “Fine, do-what-you-must” attitude. That’s not what I want. I want it to be a mutual act of love and giving. But based on where we’re at currently, that seems all but impossible.

    So I feel stuck, and have struggled to not let my feelings of rejection in this area grow into overall bitterness towards my wife. In your blog, you talk about lovingly confronting our spouse who consistently withholds sexual intimacy. We’ve definitely talked about this area & I’ve tried to convey that this is an important part of our relationship and that it’s hurtful when she consistently avoids it. I’ve brought up the 1 Cor 7 passage but nothing has changed. I’ve tried to do this in a loving way but I know my wife just feels condemned and judged by me any time I bring it up. She has shared that she needs to learn how to give in this area & probably she needs to learn how to receive as well (since she acts like she has no sexual needs at all). I know I have plenty of areas to grow & mature as well and I am praying for humility and Spirit-empowered love for my wife. I do want to grow to focus more on giving than receiving in our relationship.

    I guess I’ll see if my wife is willing to read one of the books you mentioned & continue to address the issue with her counselor. And as simple as it sounds, I know I do need to pray more for our marriage- not just in this area but overall.

    Thanks for affirming that it’s not crazy or sinful to desire a meaningful sex life in marriage!

    Jennifer or others, any thoughts or words of advice for my situation?

    1. Newwife13
      March 22, 2013

      Your wife may consider having her hormones tested. When women have low testosterone levels (and many unknowingly do), it will cause low energy and sex drive. If this is the problem, compounding pharmacies can make a lotion she can apply to her legs (so that it doesn’t get washed off during the day) that will help her to feel better. Good luck to the both of you!

      1. April 17, 2013

        thanks for this good suggestion!

        Blessings,
        Jennifer

    2. Miranda
      July 10, 2013

      This sounds so much like my situation. I’ve been married for 2 years, and my husband has never been very interested in sex. For awhile it was once a week, but halfway through my pregnancy (miracle that happened since we never have sex)he didn’t want to at all. By the time I was healed up it was over 6 months of no sex. He talked like he would want to have sex more often afterwards, but he doesn’t. Now it’s more like twice a month. I don’t get it. We have fun most of the time when it happens. I’m almost always the initiator, and even then, I have to work and work, and he’s usually reluctant, so by the time he gets worked up, I’m depressed that he’s being forced into it. And when he tells me no, which is what usually happens, I cry and feel rejected and he’s upset that I’m upset, which just makes me more upset. I try to talk about it, but he gets mad because we have the same argument over and over. He has “issues”, he doesn’t want to, and I always cry about it. I can’t seem to convince him how important it is to our relationship. He may view it as an activity we can do every once in awhile, but I NEED it. I need it to feel like everything is okay with us, to feel beautiful and ultimately loved, to feel that connection it makes with me and my spouse. I need the intimacy. He also doesn’t like to make out or do more than a quick kiss. It hurts. It hurts so much, and I feel stuck, like he will never get it. Thank you for the article. And thank you for a space to vent. It’s an embarrassing problem, when sex is what you and your husband fight about the most. And you can’t talk to anyone about it.

      1. Brad
        December 5, 2013

        Miranda, I’ve been married for almost 25 years and my wife is just the same. She never wants to have sex and will not even kiss me when we do have sex. To her, it is just a duty to get done. I try to kiss her during the day, and all she will do is barely give me a peck. It is strange. I don’t understand the resistance to affection? I also suffer in a sexless marriage. I just keep praying, but become very frustrated and sometimes depressed.

  7. Rachel
    March 20, 2013

    All I can say is to want your husband more than he wants you is completely humiliating.

    1. Tracy
      October 2, 2015

      I agree. Feels so lonely and agonizing. I am definitely the HD spouse in my marriage and my husband has rejected me so many times I am surprised that I have not cheated on him . Funny thing is that he cheated on me…..shock. I have never said no, NEVER. Yet he cheated because of my past. Yes I have one but quite honestly I wish I didn’t but I can’t change that. The only man I want to be with is him and he just said to me that he could take or leave sex. I feel like he is pushing me to seek it somewhere else. The temptation is becoming almost too strong to resist. Please pray for me and him. For him to see what he has in front of him…..a woman who has forgiven him and is willing all the time and for me to see that he does want me.

  8. Fighting Temptation
    May 3, 2013

    My wife refuses to sleep with me its been 3 months with not so much as a hug or kiss. Zhe constantly picks fights and yells. Doesnt want me sleeping in the bed with her at night. I am being faithful, but now it like temptation is becoming the stronger mind set as woman I know, and women I see in passing are becoming more attractive
    I dont want to set out and I have tried talking to her, but shegives me the I dont care attitude, what should I do

    1. george
      June 10, 2013

      Keep me in prayer folks… wife and I married for 2.5 years and we never consummated our marriage. Been through pastors, therapists and books but she just ain’t into it. I’ve done all i can and haven’t fallen but being 26 and having this issue aint easy. Good blog, thanks.

      1. ed
        June 17, 2013

        I feel your pain george, my wife is not sexual with me either. I know how hard this must be being a man and all. I will pray for you and for everyone who posted going through this. find strenth in our lord jesus christ to be faithful to your wife though she neglects your needs as a man. dont neglect her needs as a woman and God in his own time will bless you.

      2. lucy
        July 2, 2013

        George — I’m so sorry for what you’re going through. I can relate and want to let you know you’re not alone. My husband and I didn’t consummate our marriage for 7 YEARS. Once we finally did, we discovered there were fertility issues and were unable to have children. It’s devastating. Now, 15 years into our marriage, he never wants sex. I’m being quite honest when I say we’ve had sex twice in the last year, both initiated by me. His testosterone levels are normal. I don’t want to sound immodest, but I’m considered a beautiful woman by many people’s standards and get hit on by men all the time. The temptation for me to look for fulfillment elsewhere is strong. I’ve tried and tried talking to him about this. He has issues with ED and did get a prescription for Cialis, but that was a year and a half ago. He never did get it filled before it expired. I don’t have much advice to offer, I guess, except to pray, pray, pray. I’m beginning to think that my husband is simply asexual. Not gay, but just asexual. Perhaps your wife suffers from a similar problem. The issue then becomes whether you can life with that your entire life. I like my husband quite a bit and he’s a good companion and friend for the most part. I’ve learned that there is not much *I* can do to change him. Only the Holy Spirit can. I pray for all the people here that He will intervene and bring healing where it is desperately needed.

      3. PleaseThinkStraight
        August 30, 2013

        If the marriage has not been consummated, get a divorce immediately. Don’t be a chump. You are confusing being a christian with being a pushover. It’s not the same. You are waaaaay too young to be in a sexless marriage. GET OUT NOW.

        Your DAD

  9. desperate housewife
    June 15, 2013

    Is masturbation considered a sin? As a young married woman, sexually deprived on a regular basis, it is enormously frustrating. The need for a release has been affecting me physically and emotionally. Is it considered a sin to pleasure oneself while thinking of your husband? I was told by my husband that masturbation IS considered a sin. But if he wont pleasure me, how else am I supposed to function as a normal woman?! I refuse to cheat on him, and I refuse to lust. I have held out for so long but feel like something’s got to give! How long can I live without sexual satisfaction at 30 years old, or any age for that matter?! I would appreciate some Christian guidance and sound advice!

    1. Philip
      August 14, 2013

      I am in a sexless marriage. I never masturbated until I was in my late 30s. I though like you did that it was a sin. Where in the Bible does it say it is a sin? The only example that I can think of is man that refused to give his sister-in-law children. His sin was not taking care of his sister-in-law.

      Masturbation will help for a while but you will still feel lonely. I wish I could be more helpful.

      Alone Too

  10. Stephanie
    July 21, 2013

    I don’t know what to do anymore. I love my husband and will never cheat on him but things are just getting worse and worse. He neves touches me or even looks at me. If I want to get intimate with him I always have to make the move and most of the time is not completely into it. Never kisses me, other than the normal goodbye going to work kiss. What hurts is that he won’t be with me but he will go into the bathroom and watch porn. I just don’t think there is anything left in our marriage. Any advice would be great!

  11. Depraved
    July 24, 2013

    I can certainly empathize with everybody else here who feels deprived of physical intimacy from their spouses. I’ve been married for 12 years now, and I find it increasingly difficult to cope in a healthy Christian manner when I’m denied sex by my wife. I try my best to understand her that she’s tired and all that, but then sometimes It takes around 2 months before I get the chance to be permitted to have sex with her. I really pray that I get a definite answer regarding how to cope with this using practical strategies (with the exception of pleasuring myself). When I read a few of the posts here that says their husbands have low testosterone levels, I do wish I was the same so that I could come to terms with my situation without difficulty. At least that way I would be in the same page as my wife is. To anyone who reads this, please do pray for me.

  12. concerned
    July 25, 2013

    My ex boyfriend and now my “just friends” friend has expressed to me that he is in a sexless marriage. He confided to me that he and his wife have not had sex for a very long time (not sure exactly how long but at least a year). Based on his communication with me, I can tell that he is hurt, rejected and unappreciated. He is a well rounded person who will clean the house, cook dinner to carpooling their child to school and mowing the lawn. He often, in anger, will tell me that he feels she is wrapped up in her own world and that “she is the center of it with no room for me (him).” He continues, that she doesn’t support him in his work or other day to day issues. She does not like him to see friends or have other activities away from her or home. He is my friend, so naturally I will support him and defend him and take him at his word that all this is true. To play devil’s advocate, I asked him if he has told her how he feels, what he wants and why she rejects him. I said yes, all the time, but that she doesn’t give him a reason or explanation of any kind. So he just lives with it as being a fact of the marriage. He tells me that he self-gratifies just to be “happy.” I feel really bad that he feels this way and as his friend I want to understand why a wife can’t or won’t confide to her husband. I have read all the reasons why it might be, but with all do respect, I don’t think it applies to this husband. If he does his share around the house and more, is the one who mostly cares for their special needs child while she is playing Queen, then what other possible reasons are for her to constantly dismiss him?

  13. Alone
    August 7, 2013

    My wife and I have been married for 16 years.
    In the last 6 years, we have had sex 18x. In 2013,
    we have had sex once (6 months ago). She hasn’t kissed
    me in over 2 years and refused any sexual contact
    daily from me. I am at my wits end I am so alone…

  14. Ellen
    August 13, 2013

    I am going through this now. My husband never wants sex and since we have been married it almost seems as if he is repulsed by it. If I try to initiate something he will start an arguement , he would never go to a dr for something like (testosterone levels, ED) that, and, more so than not, he won’t even sleep in our bed. We have probably had sex 5 time in the last seven years. I had to threaten to leave to get him to go to a councilor. He doesn’t want to put any effort in to anything that involves “us”. We have been married for ten years and have a lot of problems, but four beautiful kids. I keep trying but it feels like I’m the only one. He says its my fault, food not to his liking, house not clean enough, etc. but it feels like to me that he is demanding perfection. He is very controling down to wanting me to make an accounting of every penny i spend, and no i dont have problems with spending/gambling ot anything of the like. I would like to start a saving, but he doesn’t. He wasn’ t like this before we got married, it was very pleasent we did almost everything together, within a month of marriage it began to change for the worse. The more I pray about it the angrier he gets. Sometimes it feels like he never wanted to be married in the first place. I’m at my wits end and feel like my only option is to leave at this point. Any advice would be helpful. It certainly can’t hurt.

    1. Philip
      August 14, 2013

      Ellen and Alone,

      I feel your pain as I am in a similar situation. It may not help but you are not alone. I am there too.

      Alone Too

  15. Erik
    August 29, 2013

    All too true for my marriage as well. When we were dating, it was always a joke that neither one of us would ever need a gym membership because we’d be too busy burning off calories with sex. And for the first few years it was great. Since kids came along, my wife’s drive went lower and lower, until just prior to conceiving our 3rd child it had been 6 long months with zero intimacy. We joke that she was a child certainly by God’s will, because it just so happened that my wife has forgotten to take her pills for a couple of days, then we had this one romantic evening and POOF, instant conception.

    Since then…maybe once every several months. I can’t remember the last time, it’s been so long.

    My question, and the one that seems to pop up here and on other blogs frequently, is after the talking, the listening, the counseling, the praying , the (you fill in the blank, we’ve tried it) you still get almost ZERO interest from your spouse…what then?

    Answers I’ve received vary from “grit your teeth and bear it” to “separation.” Yet Scripture is clear that unless there is marital unfaithfulness, a man who divorces his wife causes her to become an adulterer. I don’t want to divorce my wife, but that’s where the talk of “separation” ultimately leads if nothing changes. And “grit your teeth and bear it” is about as useful…that is to say, it’s NOT useful.

    I wish I were more Christ-like. He gave up everything to become nothing for his bride, the church, and he did so without complaint. If anyone ever had a right to complain, he did. If anyone ever had a right to full and utter adoration, he did. And yet he got it worse than anyone else ever did. So while I pray to be more like him (self-sacrificing love), knowing that I WILL FAIL constantly is horrible. As others have said, “no escape, no way out, trapped, catch-22”.

    She’s gone to a doctor…at my urging. Nothing wrong.

    We’ve talked to our pastor…at my insistence. He suggested counseling.

    I said, “Let’s work on our marriage. We can learn to love and serve each other better.” Barely a whiff of interest.

    I can see why Paul advised people who weren’t married to avoid it. Seriously, the “burning” would be easier to bear if it were outside a relationship that appears to have zero chance of improvement. I know, I know…maybe someday…I guess that goes back to “grit your teeth and bear it.” At this point, that’s the only option.

  16. Amy
    November 20, 2013

    There are a lot of unhappy people on this thread! I for one is one of millions out there that’s depressed, confused, angry and just given up on my life. We have been married 45+ years and we only had sex, intimacy once and that was on our wedding night and nothing since then. I haven’t cheated but I was tempted many times. I can honestly say I have no idea what sex is, intimacy and what a loving partner is like. Since day one husband hated sex and what it was all about, to him it was disgusting, messy, smelly, had no meaning, waste of sleep time and he couldn’t understand what people saw in sex. To him it was inhuman to do something like sex to another human. Day after wedding my life went down hill and off the grid. He packed up his things and moved to our basement. For months he slept on an old cot and made his dinners in a microwave. He also started our marriage by working on the midnight shift and asked to work weekends, holidays, and all his vacation.He finished our basement into a small apartment and I was told to not bother him, don’t talk and be quiet. This has been my life unwanted, unloved its been terrible. He is not gay, all he does is work, not into porn he has no tv, radio, phone, computer, doesn’t read, has no friends totally disconnected with the outside world. Any way I can’t see what any one would see in him, long unkept ugly long gray hair and scraggly beard, plus he still wears his 60’s polyester clothes hes a horrible looking person.

  17. Ben S
    December 20, 2013

    I am a husband who is on the side of not wanting his wife. Let me say this- I am not perfect. But I think a different persepective could be helpful here because it seems to be a bit slanted in the other direction. My wife has complained to me about this and I have explained to her how I feel. Yet she still does not take responsibility for her actions. She has emasculated me and compared me to other men. From the early days of our marriage she would openly/publicly defer to other men over me. I would bring it up and she would blow me off. She has chosen her family over me time and time again, as well as others. I come last. I travel for work and she does not care if I am home or gone. She is a closed off person. We have seen two marriage counselors and even they told her she had a hard exterior.
    How am I supposed to feel towards her after almost 18 years of this. She sees it as my fault I am not attracted to her. Would any of you be interested sexually in someone who beleives that you are to blame for all of their marital issues. Someone who has to have their way no matter what on every major marital decision, and then denies that you told them you were against the decision from the beginning. Now I do not have any desire for her at all. I do have a drive, but its as if she has done everything she can to extinguish it where she is concerned.
    When she has brought up that I dont seem interested in her sexually she does it in the most accusing way. We are in counseling currently and I am hoping that one day she will accept her part in our problems.

    1. Mike o
      January 5, 2014

      I am sorry for what you have experienced over time. I do feel men in the Christian church today often experience a feeling of having their manhood attacked. I have been there and heard things like “why can’t you do things men can do?” This in response to my being unable to repair something at home. To be honest my wife was feeling the burden at times when I don’t experience anxiety and was lashing out. Nevertheless, she can not take your manhood away and your work should still involve trying to find an attraction towards her. Likewise, God has lessons we still need to learn through all of this. He wants us to remold ourselves to be more like Him. God loves me and you in spite of ourselves. He continues to pursue us. Your mission may be to live this way . I hope you find the attraction because all women deserve this. I pray for a healing in you and that you can experience comfort related to this issue.

  18. scott
    July 10, 2014

    I see that I am not alone in struggling with no meaningful physical intimacy for decades with my wife despite all the counselors, mentors, pastors, books, etc, But God is sovereign and Romans 8:28 is as true as all of His word. Jesus Christ is always unyielding to my claim to my right to myself. The one essential element in all our Lord’s teaching about discipleship is abandon, no calculation, no trace of self-interest. I have to pray and pray for His will and not mine, focusing on the sufferings of this world can not compare to His glory to he revealed (Romans 8:18). He is worth even this agonizing struggle. I know you are all special to Him and He loves you beyond our imagining. Thank you for sharing so honestly about the frustration I also feel so deeply as I pray for all of us to receive the persevering power of the Holy Spirit and the accompanying joy that surpasses understanding.

  19. Brad
    July 25, 2014

    It all sounds so familiar. After the first year of marriage our sex life decreased. We finally got pregnant after 10 years if marriage, something my wife blames on her body but i belive was because of lack of sex. Since thw burth of our son my wife has developed a hatred and bittereness toward me. We have had sex probably only 4 or 5 times in yhe last 5 years, she refuses to talk about it and says she has no desire to work on our marriage. I am really just treading water and trying to hang on to support her and my son. So discouraged and realont see ant hope or solutions.

  20. Rivkah
    August 2, 2014

    When you are raised with a religious viewpoint then you are taught sex is for marriage and to wait. So you dream and wait for this wonderful prince charming to come sweep you off your feet and once he gets the ring on your finger and you into his bed he turns into a big frog. I have a very low self esteem from the fact that my husband will not have sex with me. You can talk about it and he will commit to ideas but never follow through. So Adultery is sin, to lust after someone else is sin and to divorce is sin. So I feel its like pick your poison. No matter what I do I can’t win. I was informed by a counselor we are not promised a happy life by God. Again I am defeated and beaten up by the God who created love in sex. Sad fact is there are no easy answers when you do not wish to divorce by sleeping next to someone who never shows affection for you creates a whole new set of issues and resentments inside ones self. After all it was supposed to be one of the HUGE perks of getting married in the first place. Frustration, aggravation, and loneliness all mixed with famous Biblical view of guilt and duty.

  21. Luke
    November 16, 2015

    I am praying for everyone here and I would appreciate anyone’s prayers for me.

    I can relate to all the posts here. I’ve been married for 7 years. The first few years sex was not as frequent as I would have liked and it was usually akward. Then my wife’s grandmother passed away and we went 2 years without having sex. She started taking natural antidepressants and that improved our relationship a little. In the past two years we have had sex about 5 times. My wifre doesn’t like touching in general so I rarly even get to hug her and she will never snuggle up with me. That’s very difficult for me because touch is my primary love language. She refuses to go to councelling. I’ve gone by myself but that really doesn’t help much.

    I also feel the frustration of feeling like I am in a lose-lose situation between staying or leaving. I struggle with the feeling of: is she being selfish for not wanting sex or am I being selfish for wanting sex? I also struggle with what is God’s will for this relationship? What am I supposed to be learning from this?

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