Decreased Sexual Desire in a Husband or Wife

Photo credit: "Couple had Lovers Tiff" by Ambro
Photo credit: Ambro of

If decreased desire in a husband or wife becomes a problem, couples need to begin the solution by having a heart-to-heart talk outside of the marriage bed. Some feel they are wrong to expect their marriage partners to have sex with them. Yet 1 Corinthians 7:3 makes it clear that the husband and wife have a responsibility to meet each other’s sexual needs. If your partner lacks interest, begin by praying for help in having a difficult but necessary conversation. Then together explore the possible cause or causes.

Ask your spouse, “Is there anything I can do to help you be in the mood more often?” Perhaps he’s bored with the routine. Perhaps she needs help with the kids. Consider together together whether lack of interest in sex is a new problem, or if it’s been this way since day one. Is he getting his needs met elsewhere? Does she seem to have no desire at any time? Is work particularly stressful lately? A man will often avoid sex because he’s having potency problems and is afraid of risking failure. This is why it’s so important to discuss his lack of interest in a supportive and loving way.

Seek medical help if the lack of desire is not a temporary difficulty. Physical reasons for low sexual interest in men include conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, extreme stress, and a history of alcohol abuse. Often the medication history can give clues, as a variety of drugs can impact libido and function. Anti-hypertensive medicines, medications used for migraines, and most of the SSRIs (Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft), so useful for certain anxiety and depressive disorders, can dramatically lower libido. If brain serotonin levels are relatively high —as is true for many patients on antidepressants —sexual dysfunction may occur.

People with high-stress jobs or very physical jobs can, indeed, be physically tired. A phenomenon that appears unique to men, though, and that seems similar to a general depression, involves an unsatisfying work experience, or a sense of “failure to accomplish” something significant in a lifespan. For many men, job performance and sexual prowess are tightly linked. In addition, failure to perform up to his own “standards” can begin a downward spiral of ongoing failure. If a man tries to have sex when tired or distracted by job or other concerns and can’t maintain a satisfactory erection or reach ejaculation, it can plant deadly seeds of doubt in his mind. These can be powerful enough to cause him to prefer not trying rather than trying and failing. Encouragement, support, and “another time, another place, another try” without pressure may resolve the issue.

A husband who experiences these episodes is hardly alone. The e-waves and airwaves are inundated with advertisements for erectile dysfunction aids —both prescription and non-prescription approaches. This change in publicity is striking. Erectile dysfunction has, in fact, surfaced as a major male issue and is frequently followed by seeming lack of interest in sexual expression. Erectile dysfunction along with premature ejaculation cause considerable male sexual difficulties. However, there are may successful therapies ranging from biblical counseling to specific medications for particular patients.

Hormonal issues can play a role for both men and women. As a man ages, the testosterone slowly decreases which may cause a noticeable change in libido, size and firmness of the erection, as well as force of ejaculation. For the man who has been able to perform “on demand,” these changes can be anxiety-producing, even frightening aspects of the normal aging process.

For aging women, besides the hormonal effects, body image seems to play an enormous role. As a woman feels less attractive and less secure, she may resist advances and be more reluctant to initiate sexual expression. So we find husbands with failing confidence in their ability and wives that are insecure in their appearance —a recipe for decrease in the number of intimate encounters.

For men, obesity may also be a factor. In a study of nearly 2,000 men at the Harvard School of Public Health, “those with 42-inch waists or larger were twice as likely to have problems getting an erection as those with 32-inch waists. Researchers suspect that’s because they had risk factors for heart disease —high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and inactivity —which compromise not only blood flow to the heart, but also to the genitals. The solution? Frequent work-outs and low-fat diet.”

Seek competent counseling. One woman wrote, “When my husband takes his arousal pills —about four times a month —we have great sex. But I’m angry at his need to take ‘something’ to have sex with me.” Her words demonstrate how easy it is to take his low desire personally, but if he needs medication to achieve an erection, his lack of drive is probably out of his control. The available medications increase blood flow to the pelvis, and perhaps boost his confidence. Her anger would seem to be misplaced in this situation. This couple could probably benefit from a third party to help them have some difficult conversations in a supportive atmosphere. It’s not easy to talk with someone else about your love life, but sometimes a neutral party can help a lot.

Many counselors and most pastoral counselors, however, have no experience in sex therapy or dealing with these intimate issues. So try to find someone with training and expertise in treating sexual problems. Checking with your physician might be a good first place to start.

When the wife has a lower sex drive than her husband, she can still usually help him experience sexual release in a relatively brief time. Providing sexual release is more complex, however, when the one with the lower libido is the husband. Because sexual satisfaction for her generally takes longer, requires more concentration and ambiance, and is a reflection of the intensity of her feelings toward her man, the uninterested husband must involve himself for much longer to satisfy his wife. And her partner’s enthusiasm is more closely linked to her ability even to experience orgasm than it would be for many men with less interested wives. Nevertheless, it’s still worthwhile to have intimate contact, if only to assure her of his love, affection, and concern for her welfare.

Bear in mind that there are alternate ways to achieve orgasm even when the husband suffers from erectile dysfunction. Couples should feel free to explore and experiment in these areas. Perhaps once the husband is successful in these ways, his lagging libido will be less of an issue.

Some husbands are trying to be sensitive, but they often find themselves having painful conversations that go something like this:

HIM: “Do you need me to meet your needs tonight, sweetheart?”
HER: “It would be nice if you actually wanted me.”
HIM: “Hey, I’m doing the best I can.”
HER: “I don’t want some sort of sympathy session —doing it because you have to. You’d just be pretending.”
HIM: “Then what do you expect me to do? Lie and tell you I can’t wait? I’m willing to meet your needs. That’s the best I can do right now.”

The neglected wife will probably feel insecurities such as, “If only I were more beautiful” or “If only I were more sexy.” Even if doctors can identify a medical cause for the husband’s seeming indifference, these feelings are difficult for her to overcome. Yet it’s important for her to remind herself that God created her in His very image, so she is a beautiful creature, fully desirable, despite her husband’s medical or emotional issues.

Because a spouse’s lack of interest usually brings feelings of rejection and even insecurity for the more interested partner, he or she may be especially vulnerable. 1 Corinthians 7:5 gives the clear command not to deprive each other for this very reason —because it leaves one’s spouse more vulnerable to sexual temptation. If your spouse refuses to or can’t help you achieve sexual release, you as the deprived spouse must recognize the additional moral vigilance that must accompany such difficulties in your life.

The way your spouse decides to respond to your need, though, is largely out of control. If he or she ignores your pleas despite attempts at communication and intervention, seek the help of a third party. If your spouse remains unresponsive, you must live with the devastating realty of life as a celibate married person. The ongoing support of a trusted friend will be essential to helping you deal with such a loss.

In this case our Savior’s submission to the Father serves as a source of enablement and encouragement: “When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:23 NIV). That is not to say you silently bear it, opting never to bring it up. Periodically express your ongoing desire for marital oneness. Yet recognize that if your spouse fails to respond, it’s out of your control.

For many women, their husbands’ lack of interest is a source of ongoing grief, as sexual oneness was created as an essential piece in the marriage equation. If this is true for you, express your emotion to God, knowing He will honor your for exhibiting a quality that reflects the heart of God Himself —loyal, faithful love that cares for those who cannot reciprocate.

This can go both ways. Many wives are no longer available to their husbands after the kids are grown and gone. A man in such a situation must learn to live godly in the midst of her selfish approach, as well.

Jesus Christ understand the difficulties of the celibate life. In Ronald Rolheiser’s book The Holy Longing, he notes, “When Christ went to bed alone at night, he was in real solidarity with the many persons who, not by choice but by circumstance, sleep alone. And there is a real poverty, a painful searing one, in this kind of aloneness. The poor are not just those who are more manifestly victimized by poverty, violence, war, and unjust economic systems. There are other less obvious manifestations of poverty, violence, and injustice. Celibacy by conscription is one of them.”

As we’ve said before, the number-one sexual difficulty couples experience is the inability to talk about it. This appears to be a pattern that continues through the years unless couples make a specific effort to communicate about their intimate lives. Physicians estimate that nearly half of their menopausal patients suffer from a loss of sexual desire or satisfaction. And while approximately two-thirds of the men have noticed a decrease in sexual activity since their partners entered menopause, only half of the couples have discussed these changes together.

So the first line of defense of communication. The second is knowing what to expect. The third is knowing to seek help any time you experience discomfort or ongoing anxiety. Finally, focus on benefits of loving well at each age. In their time of youth, couples experience new, exciting sensations, and awaken to worlds of self-discovery. With maturity comes skill, confidence, and deepening intimacy. In old age, couples bring to each other the wisdom and joy of love learned over a lifetime. As the authors of Love and Sex After Forty remind us, “Love and sex are twin arts, requiring effort and knowledge. Only in fairy tales do people live happily ever after without working at it …but sex does not merely exist after the middle and later years; it holds the possibility of becoming greater than it ever was.”

Like the bride in Song of Solomon who felt free to say, “Dark am I, yet lovely” (Song of Solomon 1:5 NIV), we face growing old together by working to create a secure atmosphere to reach other. In that place, loving eyes look beyond physical imperfections and exclaim, “This is my lover, this my friend” (Song 5:16 NIV).

The above article came from the book Sexual Intimacy in Marriage, written by William Cutrer, MD and Sandra Glahn, published by Kregel Publications. There is even more in this particular chapter, that we weren’t able to include in this article, so for this reason and because it’s a good book, we hope you can find a way to obtain it. “This easy-to-read book has blended the glory of sex with the realities of life. It addresses real people in a real world without compromising God’s wonderful design and purpose for His gift of sex.” It “holds in highest esteem the institution of marriage, and the sexual relationship is given its proper place within the context of marriage.

— ALSO —

A few additional articles on this marriage issue, which you may find helpful to read, are written by Sheila Wray Gregoire:



WHAT DOES 1 COR. 7:5 —Do Not Deprive Each Other —Really Mean?

DO NOT DEPRIVE EACH OTHER – Part 2: What is Regular Sex? 



Filed under: Sexual Issues

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117 responses to “Decreased Sexual Desire in a Husband or Wife

  1. (USA)  My wife and I got married young at 20 years old in 2007 and the sex wasn’t even brought on by me 75% of the time.There were times I was woken up at 3 in the morning.

    In 2009 we had our son who is awesome in every way. The sex slowed for obvious reasons her body had to be tired right? Well it’s 2011 now and I’m lucky to get it once a week. -I have talked to her about it and she tells me I need to stop being about me all the time (I have needs) -I have suggested pills (she found very insulting. I bring the subject up almost monthly and just gets more annoyed with me. HELP!

    1. My husband gets annoyed with me too when I ask him about every 3 months why he’s not interested anymore. It just hurts!

  2. (NIGERIA)  I love my husband and want to stay in my marriage till the end. This is our 3rd year of my marriage. The problem I have is that my husband has refused to make love with me and he is not giving me a reason. He does not want to talk about it. He treats me like a slave. I don’t have a job. He does not take care of my needs and does not care how they are met.

    I have no kids yet. We want children but he will ask me to let him know when I’m ovulating so he can have sex with me. When I do, he’ll tell me it’s a lie and refuse to make love. It went from twice in a month to none. Anything I say makes him angry. I can’t even hug or kiss my husband for fear of being pushed away. I’m so confused. Please help me.

  3. (USA)  I have read through the article and have found a lot of helpful suggestions and guidance. My spouse and I are not married but we have been together for almost 7 years now. We have both been thru divorce, addiction, incarceration, etc… but we have stuck it out and recovered well together, thru the grace of God and a lot of therapy. Although, we very rarely have sexual relations with each other, we still find each other very attractive. We are both in our early forties and the time between our encounters seem longer than that! I hope the info I have gathered from you article will help. Anymore help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

  4. (USA)  I’m a 45 year old healthy female. My husband is 50 years old. We’ve been together for 22+ years. I’ve always had a much higher sex drive than my husband, even at 45 I’d have sex every day if it were possible. In the last 10 years my husband’s sex drive has been non-existent. I cry myself to sleep almost every night because my husband no longer wants me. He’s not out getting it anywhere else either and it’s not that he’s addicted to porn. He says it’s just because of his age, yada yada, I can’t stand it.

    I have no problem pleasuring myself but that’s not what I need, I miss the touching, the intimacy. A sexless marriage is horribly lonely. I love my husband, we’ve raised 2 children and I can’t imagine my life without him, but I can’t imagine my life without intimacy either.

    1. I am in a similar situation, my husband has gotten very grumpy yells a lot, and there is no intimacy and it does hurt. I’m not sure what the right answer is after spending so much of your life with someone and then to wind up like this is misery. If you find a solution, please share.

      1. I highly recommend that your husband goes and gets his testosterone, estradiol (estrogen) and vitamin D3 levels checked. I had similar issues for years and having sufficient levels of testosterone and vitamin D has been a life changer. Men who typically have this issue will have low testosterone levels and high estrogen levels. He needs to go to hormone replacement doctor who knows what they are doing. My family doctor told me for years that my testosterone levels were “normal” only to find that they would be considered normal if I was 95 years old. I was 30 years old at that time. TRT has changed my life, my mood and my family. I will be praying for you and your husband.

      2. I know the feeling. My husband no longer has the desire either and I keep thinking how can I continue my marriage without the affection? So sad!

  5. (USA)  I’ve read a lot of the comments and basically it boils down to the same thing I am having a problem with. I believe my case is beyond repair. We have had sexual problems for about 5 to 6 years, maybe longer. Years ago, when we started having problems, my husband could not maintain an erection, at all. He would watch porn and he says he gets satisfaction from it. I used to feel jealous but I just let it go at that. He used to be loving to me, massage me; it would really make me feel the need for sexual pleasure and it worked for a while. Then nothing.

    We have been married for 47 years, daughters are grown, we are both retired. Everyone thinks we are so blessed and happy, but that is not the case. I have not had actual sexual satisfaction for years, yet I refuse to go outside my marriage for sex. My husband recently discovered he had prostate cancer. The doctor says he will probably have a problem having sex, but my husband didn’t tell him he has had a problem for years so this prostate thing gives him another reason to not be sexual with me.

    I went on line and found this website, just out of frustration and embarrassment. I thought I could find someone who could satisfy my needs without having a relationship with them or even wondering if such a place, or person exists for women. It makes me think of a man who goes to a whore house to satisfy his needs. I love my husband and I would hate to do something like that behind his back. We don’t talk about sexual anything. Please help me.

    I am also a Christian. I am a servant of the Lord. I play the piano for my church. I’ve prayed for a long time. Several men have approached me but it makes me sick to think that they could even have the nerve to approach me in that manner. Please help me. I am so emotional right now. I feel as though I have opened up something inside me that nobody but me and the Lord knows about. I hope I am doing the right thing asking for help.

  6. (USA)  My husband is not interested in me or sex. Really, the last time we were intimate, affectionate or had sex was on or wedding night. Mind you we have been married 40 plus years. Right ater the “I Dos” and the wedding night it was all over. From then on my husband moved all his things down to the lower level of our house, and thats where he lived all these years.

    He even worked nights for 40 years to be away from me. He must be lonely he has no phone or computer, goes no where, hasn’t any friends. Very few people actually know I’m married. After all these years of hoping things might change, I’ve finally accepted my life as it is. I would dream that if there is another life for me to live it would be filled with love and affection, and strong hands and arms to hold me and protect me.

  7. (USA)  I have been married over 25 years we have 3 grown children. My wife was open to sex when we were dating and first married. Then when our first child was borne she was only interested in sex when she wants something.

    I have openly talked about my wants and needs and she seems so disinterested, until she wants something. I cook, I clean, I shop for the food, I work full time. Yes, she works and also does hosework but has a lack of interest in my needs. I don’t force anything. After dinner tonight I spent a few hours watching TV with her and I asked, do you want to go to bed with me, only to hear again, I’m too tired for that, maybe tomorrow. You can only guess what won’t happen tomorrow.

    I am so tired of it. I think though, I know it will be hard to work out. I think it’s best if I give up trying to please her and look for a outlet elsewhere. Most times I can’t even get a real hug out of her. I will never be able to figure out what makes a woman happy. Tired of bending, changing with no results.

    1. It’s not you. I have the same problem with my husband! I want out but he doesn’t. I just don’t know how much longer I can stick in there! Help

  8. (US)  Wow all these Christian women are being neglected by their husbands. Guess what? I am a Christian man married 22 years to a Jewish woman, who has accepted Christ. I have been neglected by my Christian wife for the better part of that time. Seems to me that a lot of us made the wrong choice. Very sad for us.

    1. Good for you and knowing how to treat your woman! There is one life we get to live and we should not have to spend it that unhappy.

      1. I agree, but what can we do! I have 2 grand babies and just don’t know anymore about anything. I’m so unhappy 😞!

  9. (UNITED STATES)  I have a friend whose husband could have sex more than 3 times a day. Both of them are in their 50’s and she feels guilty if she doesn’t accommodate him. She enjoys the sex but he is getting lazy and not satisfying her each time. Because she has a demanding job she would really like to cut down on the sex for more rest. His sex drive is very high and she doesn’t believe he should masturbate. Is there a supplement he could take which will curb his desires a bit?

  10. (PAKISTAN)  Hi, its been almost 2 years since we got married. It was a love marriage. We have a baby boy too. My husband has been involved in many relationships before and after marriage. Then we left the country.

    But it has not stopped there. After catching him many times red-handed, talking to those ladies, he promised me that he will not do it again.

    Its been 3-4 months that nothing like those affiars come across my eyes but now he has lost his urge for sex with me. He loves me and cares about me and our baby all the time. But sex is missing. I am getting very frustrated with this situation.

    P.S. I’m 25 and he is 28 years old. Please help me. How can I make him come back to me? I miss it.

  11. (USA)  Oh my God! I am so glad I am not alone. I have been married for 24 years. I love my husband but at this moment there is no intimacy, and I’m not attracted to him. Yes he is overweight, but I believe my lack of desire stems from the fact that he will not take care of himself. He has diabetes and it is believed that this is the reason for his ED.

    You would have thought he would make an attempt to lose weight, eat healthier, but no, he eats all day long. I even stopped buying junk food in the house and replaced it with foods which were healthier that I knew he would enjoy. I even would eat the same food as to not make him feel bad. He continues to eat the same, buying for himself what I won’t.

    Our sex life is gone, because of his ED, he does not even get a partial erection. That didn’t stop me. I tried other things, tried to encourage him to please me in other ways, no luck. He dresses like a slob. Instead of complaining I bought him nice clothes to wear when we go out. He would rather ask me to lunch in dirty, greasy clothes with stains, hain uncombed, ughh, so I skip the lunch.

    If I can work on this marriage; he should too. I have never even left my house without being well groomed. Other men notice, make comments, ask me out knowing I’m married, but my husband is just not making the effort. Now I am tired and don’t care anymore. Our children are grown and I thought at this point we would be like little rabbits in the house. He’s only 55. I love him, he loves me, but I’m not happy. I enjoy sex and want it, but can’t get it. And if we do attempt it, he is finished before I can recall we started, and I am more angry and frustrated.

    So here we are, he won’t talk about it. I tried, and I don’t say much because I am always worried about making him feel less than a man. WHAT TO DO?

  12. (UNITED STATES)  My husband has problems with his penis from having hypospadius repairs as a little boy. He has so much scar tissue he barely has feeling. We originally had a strong desire, still, for each other but we waited for marriage and I was so hurt when he couldn’t perform on our honeymoon. I had no idea he couldn’t orgasm inside me. He managed with a lot of work to have 2 babies who are now grown and married but over the years we’ve lost interest.

    Now I’m using bioidentical prog. and estrogen and feel good about my body from working out, etc. I’m also nearly 8 years younger than him. I get a lot of attention but not from my husband. I’m really struggling. He is going to get his testosterone checked but I am so frustrated because I have a drive. In the past it was the other way around for a while. But sometimes I get so frustrated I can’t stand it and to be honest, would like a new partner.

    I found an old friend through Facebook who always had feelings for me. I love my husband but it feels like we’re buddies and not lovers. I long for a normal sex life which I’ve never really had. Wondering if it is part of my test in life. I’m trying to be faithful and AM being faithful but my husband won’t try to satisfy me. He seems uncomfortable with the female body. I’ve been realizing this is not usual.

    Maybe the media is confusing me but a friend told me (and she is obese) that her husband makes sure she orgasms through other forms of stimulation. I actually had my husband try to touch me and FEEL where a woman’s “parts” are and he didn’t actually know. I’ve think he has asperger’s, too. He doesn’t seem to care how I feel. It’s all about him. (Everything is…). He loves me but we don’t look in each other’s eyes… I don’t like kissing him (didn’t from the start). He has given me a good life overall but I’m so very lonely. I needed to blow off… I know I’m being awful but so frustrated.

    1. Dear Lauren, Your frustration is very real and very understandable. But it’s like what one man shared in the book, “Unfaithful… Hope and Healing After Infidelity.” He said, “My biggest mistake was to believe the lie that because I hurt so badly, sinful solutions were acceptable.” And also what Chuck Swindoll said one time, “Whenever God is knocked out, sin is minimized.” “When we do wrong, we set in motion a cycle of complications.”

      I can well sympathize, as most anyone reading your comment would and could. But this husband who has given you “a good life overall,” and this husband, who you say, “loves me,” is not a throw away.

      In your frustration, and especially upon finding an “old friend” on Facebook (which feeds all the more, your discontent) …I believe you are headed in a dream-oriented direction, which will cause more grief than you realize. Yes, you may find a temporary fix in some way. But afterward, you will be left with the reality of the complications your choices will deliver –one of them being character issues.

      I’m wondering what your grown “babies,” and if you have grandchildren, what they will think of your choice to have a new lover because of your husband’s penis issues. Please know, I’m not minimizing the difficulty this situation brings, but you aren’t an island onto yourself. Others are also aware of the life choices you make. You don’t mention God in your comment, but I have to say that whatever we do, we drag God into it, as well –especially those of us who profess to be followers of Christ (if you are).

      Lauren, what I’ve learned is that whatever we put our focus upon, THAT becomes something that can grow bigger than life. I’m not saying that you are intentionally doing this, but it happens (like a sore leg, that is throbbing). I’m not sure if by your leaving a comment, you’re asking for advice, but I’ll say something in case. What I’ve found in life is when I’m faced with pain of any type, I have choices to make. If I can do something to bring healthy healing, I will go for it. But when that choice presents itself in a way that threatens my character –who I am when everyone and when no one (but God) is looking, I try to choose solutions, which will not complicate matters all the more and compromise my integrity. It’s difficult to do, but it’s also difficult to try to hit “rewind” on a situation, which goes in a very bad direction afterward.

      Lauren, I hope you can find other ways to keep putting your focus upon the good in your husband, and other areas that can use your attention. And as you do that, you will hopefully inspire your husband to be a better man and husband, as well. I’ve found this happens quite often. It doesn’t always. But even in the process, you can gain more than you would have otherwise because you have lived out the principles of Philippians 4:8-9. “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable —if anything is excellent or praiseworthy —think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me —put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” I pray you can find that peace and make wise choices. I hope the best for you. I also pray God infuses hope into your heart that you will eventually experience better days –ones that will bring a smile to your heart.

  13. (USA)  So I just came across this website and I do like what it has to say. My husband and I have been together for 4 years but we are only coming up on are 1 year of being married. In the past month we have started to bring God to the front of our marriage. This article hits home for me cause it is me that have no desire, but I want to. He gets upset that we don’t do it more often and I want to.

    I just have a hard time. It doesn’t last long and I dont get any pleasure out of it. He tells my I act like it’s a chore to do so. We try to talk about it but it always turns into an agruement. I sometimes just want to get into bed and say fine have me so that he won’t turn somewhere else. I don’t know what to do; I’m only 26 and he is 29 so we should not have this problem already.

    Can anyone help me? What do I do? Do I be sexual with him when it does nothing for me? Do I just do it so he stays in our bed and because it is my duty as a wife?

  14. (MEXICO)  I have been with my wife for more than 12 yrs. Sex was great and very often for over 5 to 6 years. Later, we had our first born, then everything changed, no more sex only if I really instigated real hard, almost to the point of telling her that I will take it slow because she was not in the mood. I had to really get her in the mood.

    At times I really had to give up and not have sex with her. We have our 3rd baby and he is now almost 2 yrs old. For the last 5 yrs it has been like, she is not in the mood. She never instigates. She does not touch me. I touch her all the time and she says she enjoys that. But if she enjoys it why not touch me so I can touch her back?

    I have to really all the time tell her… ok my love, I will take you tonight. She usually lets me but that is not what I want, just have sex with her anytime I want. Why not have sex when she wants? To me, it’s that she never wants it, and she pleases me just because we are married.

    Well, I can tell you that I can have sex with a prostitude the same way I have sex with my wife. The diference is that I don’t pay my wife, and I’m disease free. I truly love my wife, but it has gotten to the point that I really don’t care anymore. I dont touch her any more and we go throughout our day, like we have to be there, but we don’t have to have any affection or sex. I really don’t know my wife any more. Before she used to tell me that she wanted to have sex every day, every hour and we did. Please help!!!!

  15. (USA)  I pray for God to help me not leave my husband. He is a hard worker and a good father but he has NO sex drive. I am constantly annoyed by this. He is very unhealthy and all he likes to do is eat good food. I don’t want to just eat good food. I want to be desired. I am extremely annoyed. Please help me.

  16. (U.S.A.)  Interesting article, I have been married for 6 years and during that time seemed everything was just fine, my husband was caring, responsible we had great sex and life seemed to be great!!! Recently though, we came to know Christ and it was life changing, though during that process he confessed to me that he had cheated on me with several different women and that was devastating for me. It felt so unreal! It never crossed my mind that he had done such a thing, he had always been such a good husband and I just never imagined it. It was hard but I forgave him with Gods help!

    My issue now is that I have no desire for him sexually. I feel so bad because I love him so much but feel sick when he touches me or wants anything with me. I have to pretend, I am enjoying it but I am really not. I don’t know what to do about this…

  17. (USA)  I can’t say my husband has decreased sexual desire when it was never there in the first place. Married 45 years and since our wedding night we’ve had sex once. That was the first and last time. Before we were married we never had sex in fact he never touched me intimately, I never really thought about it. Maybe this was my first clue as to my future.

    Then he spent a two year stint in the military and was in Viet Nam. When he came home he didn’t seem happy and was very quiet. He was changed and I could never pinpoint it. He got a job and went on the midnight shift, and his first day was the day after our wedding day. He worked midnights for 40+ years. Also he moved all his things to the basement where he lives.

    I’ve been lonely, depressed, unloved all these years. I try to stay away from the house as much as possible. He never misses me, I go on vacation with friends and he never knows I’m gone. It’s a horrible way to live but I do have a roof over my head, I want for nothing, we have great benefits.

    1. Have you considered the possibility that your husband might be repressing his homosexual desire, and by doing so has cut himself off from the world?

      1. Lila: Thanks for your comment and for writing! At first I thought he was gay or had a little sweetie on the side, but I’ve spent a lot of money over the years having him followed, and everything has come up empty. After all these years if he was gay or something I would know he loves some one.

        I would be horribly crushed if that was what was going on. But no, he is considered boring. He just wants to be in his little world whatever that is, with his ugly, long, straggly beard and hair, dressed like some old hippy or looking like a homeless person living down town under a bridge.

        At this stage of my life I’ve given up trying to figure him out; he’ll never change. I just try to be myself and do what feels right for me. It’s a terrible way to go through life, but it seems to work for me.

    2. Amy, the first thought that leapt at me was PTSD from his stint in Vietnam. Did you and your husband ever explore that possibility?

  18. (SOUTH AFRICA)  I am also in the same situation. I am 39 and my husband is 41. We are almost 9 years in marriage. We have 3 kids; one is 10 months old. We were fine before I had the baby but things started changing when I got pregnant. To think that I did not even want to have another baby but he wanted one.

    He is not interested in me sexually. We only kiss when he says goodbye and that is only a peck on the lips nothing sexual. I told him I am going to get myself a vibrator and he was not impressed with me but he still does not do anything to correct the situation.

    1. (USA) That sounds like the “disorder” that Elvis developed. If you’re not familiar with him, he was a star here in the US and very handsome. Married a beautiful woman and everything was great until their child was born.

      He was very much a mama’s boy and that’s great (I have one of those, my son. They do love their wives) but he said once his wife had a child he saw her as something sacred and she was but it made it hard for him to have sex with her. I’m sure in his lifestyle he had many women which cheapened the whole thing somewhere in his mind.

      I would recommend a Christian Counselor and lots of prayers. I do pray it works out for you. Marriage/Family is so precious.

  19. (USA)  Married 40 years at age 22. My wife went thru menopause at age 42-44. She told me she had lost all interest in sex. Frankly, she never really tried very hard at sex. It was just on her monthly “to do” list. Two face-to face positions only. 10-12 times a year. Even in our 20’s and 30’s. And “please hurry up” “Eww its so messy”. So after 15 years of no fondling, kissing, even incidental touching in bed (you’re too cold, you’re too hot, you need a shave) I realized I love my wife so much that I would never again ask her to do something against her will again. I mean, she never cooks liver and onions for me, so why would I impose myself upon her? I work in sales. I deal with rejection everyday. But rejection turns to resentment. Everything else is great. We have one daughter 32, that has never left the home.

    I realize that my sex life is my problem. So I get what I need from lonely wives whose husbands have abandoned them. Just like my wife has abandoned me.
    Its not ideal, but it allows me to enjoy the other parts of my marriage. At age 62, time is short.

    1. (USA) If you are doing with others what God intended just for your wife, you have allowed the devil in and whether you realize it or not, it is breaking you both down. It is the worst sin, God lists it with murder and blasphemy.

      We were in the same boat. My husband had “put me away” and would not divorce me which God only allows in the case of Adultery but I had spent 22 years in a loveless marriage. Sex to please him and he cared nothing of my needs but had the nerve to cheat on me. I have been 9.2 years without enjoying it at all but he didn’t care. He treated me like garbage all the time.

      When we marry, we are one flesh. We belong to God first then each other and are supposed to be in submission one to another. I know that resentment is strong but have you ever tried sharing with her that you love her(?) Desire her, want to please her and show her God’s perfect love, the way he meant?

      You are in a very dangerous place right now. Prayers for you.

  20. (USA) Our God is a wonderful God. This morning I was trying to find a Christian website that my friend referred me to and ended up here. I am so glad to see that I am not the only person experiencing such difficulties. It is also great to have the male perspective and the cultural perspective. I thought I was losing my mind.

    About three years ago I met and married a man of God from Nigeria. He insisted there be no premarital sex. That concept was difficult for me as I was not that far along in my Christain walk at the time. We’re both in our 60’s but I have never had a problem with sex or intimacy and usually partnered with men who were younger than me. Indeed, he is the oldest. There was affection between us and we were looking forward to being married so that we could have fun with each other in the right way; or so I thought.

    On our wedding night he came to bed with sweat pants and a teeshirt on; I came to bed with a beautiful gown chosen especially for that special night. To my surprise, he placed pillows between us and refused to touch me or allow me to touch him. From that day to this, we still have never had sex. He had been widowed for many years before our marriage so I thought he just needed some time but nothing has changed. He had two physicals and has no health problems. He was prescribed Viagra and Cialis but said they caused his back to hurt so he wouldn’t take them.

    I became angry that he used the word of God to cover up the fact that he cannot perform sexually. But we discussed it and I forgave him. However, we also discussed other ways that we could be intimate and he refuses to try anything, saying he will not do anything perverse to God. There is no intimacy between us. I am so frustrated and am becoming fearful because I do not want to commit adultery. From many of the comments I have read, it seems that I have no choice but to resign myself to a life of celibacy. Meanwhile, my body aches to be held and touched and kissed by my husband?

    1. Genny, I have never recommended this before, but you may want to pray about and then possibly look into an annulment, because your marriage has never been consummated, and because you were deceived by this man. He obviously has some real problems emotionally, as well as physically, if he thinks it’s ok to do what he did. He also has spiritual problems. This is not God’s design for a marriage. A man of God wouldn’t do that. If you HAD consummated the marriage, I wouldn’t write this to you, but since you have not been together as husband and wife in that way (and I wouldn’t until you make your decision), I think this may be a possibility. Just Google “annulment in USA” and you will find links to explain a bit about it.

      But pray about this… don’t take my recommendation without taking it to God (and other trusted spiritual people). Apply James 1 –asking for wisdom. But when you believe you have received that wisdom, go with it the whole way –don’t change your mind about it –doing the shifting sand thing. I wish you well.

      1. (USA) Thank you so much Cindy. I will continue to pray to God for the right resolution to this problem as well as the courage to be obedient. I appreciate the scripture.

      2. (USA) Please do not think I am being rude or sarcastic but I cannot find Annulment anywhere in my KJV. If there is something I’ve missed, I welcome the education :)

        1. God’s word says clearly a man is to provide food, clothing and intimacy. If he doesn’t provide any of these she is free to leave and remarry. It was given back in the Old Testament. Stop being victims. God gives grace to stay in certain situations and doesn’t in others. In my marriage we had a difficult time for 10 years. I felt to stay however when I read this scripture. I told my husband he needed to step up or I was leaving. I knew it was sinful what he was doing to us.

          Abandonment in marriage is the first step to adultery the word says it opens us up to attacks of the enemy. There are many consequences for staying if it’s not God’s will. Anyone can find scriptures – the law has many for right conduct. Yes, God hates divorce he also hates a mans violence toward a woman. In Malachi it tells us so. We are joint heirs with Christ together in this life and should be treated as women loved without spot or blemish.

          Think on the word and it’s not hard to know what to do; it’s called self respect. Annulment is difficult but I don’t agree in holding onto something that clearly is not yours. Better to cry yourself to sleep and grieve once and for all than grieving your life away. God won’t go against anyone’s will he has a free will and can choose how he is and I reckon men know what they are doing. One word – Narcissism. Read on their behaviour it may help.

  21. (USA) I have been with my husband for 17 years, he is 45 and I am 35 years old. Our sex life was fine until about 2 years ago, nothing specific happened that I am aware of and I don’t think he is cheating. He is always at work or home. He just gradually stop wanting sex.

    I am at a loss. I look pretty much the same as I did when we first met. After 5 kids I give thanks for my moms awesome genes, nothing sags nothings loose, I am still pretty with a nice body.

    But, It feels like I have to force him to have sex and I can only get that pity play about once a month! I have a very high sex drive and I simply can’t take it anymore. He says he has stress and possibly “ED” but it works fine so I am not sure I believe that. He is attentive, compliments me and I don’t doubt he loves me. We have wonderful conversations and are like best friends. But NO SEX.

    I love him, I want to have intimacy with him. The idea of cheating is so sad to me. But lately I have been thinking maybe I should bring up the conversation of an open relationship. I want to be desired. I need a sexual connection with another human being. I prefer it be him but he doesn’t want that. I am not sure if I should bring this up or not. And I really don’t want him to see someone else when I am ready and willing to provide for his needs. Any advice?

  22. (US) My wife and I had met in the military way back when, and got married. We went to Germany where she only worked for a year. She got pregnant and stopped working and we were struggling to pay bills and to be able to buy pampers, and milk. So I stopped all funds on everything that I could to make sure I could take care of us… this included her tithes. She was upset about this but I was raised to believe that God knows your heart and I wasn’t out partying or drinking. I used every bit of money I had to take care of my family and my responsibilities.

    Well anyway, to get back at me, she decided to take some important things from me… sex, affection and communication. This hurt us dearly and I begged her for years to stop doing this. Eventually after I sent her home from Europe, I fell. I had been overwhelmed by the lack of affection and connection to a woman in my life. Well, eventually she found out and then she used that against me of course. She knew the biggest thing to kill me with was the lack of affection because I used to be a very affectionate person.

    Well we never got back right…we are like roommates… but we are good parents. She does not work nor drive. I do everything. You would think that at the very least I could get the bare minimum of what a good husband is supposed to get. I take care of my family very well. I have been a good father… but inside it feels like I am dying from a lack of love and affection in my life. I have made the mistake of going out there to get what I wasn’t getting at home several times. But that seems to be the only way that I will get any affection in my life. I am tired of getting rejected and begging for what should be natural in a relationship.

    I don’t want to do wrong but every time I attempt to talk to her about anything she shuts communication down. It seems as though she has no desire to make things better. We have 3 children, one of which is autistic. I love her and I love my children and I don’t want to leave… But I hurt almost everyday and it even affects me at work sometimes. What am I supposed to do to get through this and through to her if she never wants to talk???

  23. (NIGERIA) I have a question. If your spouse is distancing herself because you have been away for some time, hiding things from you like answering phone calls in separate bedroom, avoiding sex with behavioural changes like talking back at you without respect, please, I would love to know if it is because she is having an extramarital affair or is she satisfying herself by herself? Or is she a lesbian? I would love to know. Thanks. I’m concerned as a Christian brother.

    1. Kan, It’s likely that some type of cheating is going on. Someone who is married shouldn’t be hiding anything unless she or he decides to break the sanctity of “cleaving together” and being “one” as the Bible tells us to do as married couples. I’m thinking she is breaking this sacred covenant with some type of deception that she doesn’t want to bring out into the light. This is troublesome behavior, to say the least. I can’t tell you exactly what’s going on, but you can prayerfully guess. Ask God to reveal truth somehow and also ask Him what part you should play in bringing this truth out into the light. That which is done in the darkness of secrecy can bring GREAT problems into a marriage. May God lead you and may she stop doing that which is wrong. That is my prayer.

  24. I have no desire to have sex with my husband. I’m 33 and he’s 46. We’ve been married 3 yrs. It’s so bad we can go a month without sex. I have valid reasons for not desiring my husband. I found out my husband was cheating several days after we got married. Unfortunately that wasn’t the only time he has been unfaithful. How can you have sex with a spouse you are afraid will give you a deadly disease? I’ve never felt the true deep love from my husband, only pain and now that has turned into anger. I feel there is no hope for my situation. I don’t even know if I love the man even though I loved him deeply before.

  25. Hi, I am 28 and my wife is 25. We both are Christians. I’m a part time missionary too. We are married for the last 2 years. Sorry to say, but I had several affairs before marriage. During our first months of marriage, we enjoyed sex. Later it became so casual. I am just trying to satisfy her. Now we have a baby. During her pregnancy time, I was away from my wife. I got closer to a colleague of mine. I knew that it’s wrong. Still I continued. Many a time I tried to stop. But later I again returned to this extra marital affair. I never had sexual intercourse with my colleague, but still we had physically intimate times. I tried many times to stop this but it’s still going on. Even I am not interested in sex with my wife these days. I ask for your prayers and suggestions.

    1. Maybe ask God for forgiveness. I reckon it’s sad to see you totally don’t see this as wrong. Ask yourself this: how would you feel if the shoe were on the other foot? You made a covenant with your wife but it seems you are serving yourself sexually even though you’re playing the martyr in your marriage. For her, you don’t need prayer; you need to pray, you need to make some choices as you have a free will. You said you have tried to stop but it’s still going on. Well that says you don’t want to stop it.

      No one is making you have this affair – you are choosing it. This may seem tough but it is truth; you are a man who can choose anytime to say no. How? You have the same spirit living in you. We all do called the Holy Spirit and he is our helper. In Revelation it talks about many things that are our rewards when we overcome in this life. It’s your choice to seek God and overcome. I don’t believe God’s grace covers our deliberate choice to sin. That is when we do something we know is wrong. If you love your wife, be her husband only.

  26. Hi, I am an indian and am also facing the same problem although I am working and got married last year. We did have intercourse hardly 12 to 15 times. I’m not able to find out what is the reason behind the disinterest now. Ours is an arranged marriage. I am very tense. Please help me to get out of this situation.

  27. Before I reveal my problems, to introduce myself, I’m a 39 years old woman, married with 33 years old man and have two kids. I married in the age of 35 and have a baby in the same year and again after 1½ years I gave a birth to another baby. We four of us are living together.

    My Husband is very sexy and has a high sexual desires, he always wants to have sex with me -three to four times a day, where I’m not interested and he always masturbates -three to four times a day. I’m not at all interested in having sex with him and he gets annoyed and masturbates then and there in front of me.

    The problem with me is that I don’t want to have sex. My sexual desire is very low and it does not at all arise within me. Please advise me with the possible solutions to increase my sexual desire and make my Hubby happy. With regards

    1. Three or four times a day seems unreasonable at this stage in your relationship. I think demanding that much sexual gratification indicates a selfish and childish nature. No sex is selfish, and demanding sex multiple times a day is selfish. God teaches balance.

  28. Hello to all, I will keep this brief. My wife and I absolutely love each other and the only area lacking in our marriage at the moment is our intimacy. She doesnt get aroused by anything I do and the frustration prevents me from approaching her. The Lord spoke to my heart one night to let me know it was not our fault and what is responsible for lack of desire is a demonic spiritual INFLUENCE (not possesion) that we have somehow allowed into our marriage.

    You see, before marriage, the devil wants us to commit all sorts of fornication that breaks God’s heart, but now once we are married and playing it by God’s rules, he wants to break up our sexual encounters with our spouses (which also breaks God’s heart) that will lead to many of the stories found here. The devil and his demons are very cunning and operate behind the curtains where we cant see them or sense them. They want us to believe something is wrong with us when it is their doing.

    Remember that our fight is not against flesh and blood but against evil spirits in the heavenly realm. We have given the enemy a foothold somehow someway in this area and we have to take it back. The Lord has told me (and now I tell you) that this can only be returned to us through PRAYER and FASTING. Repent of your sins and break all soul ties with previous sexual partners you might have had before your marriage. Do all this in Jesus’ name and for his glory and you will see victory in your Christian marriage.

  29. What about when a wife has an incurable cancer and multiple disfiguring surgeries and is in constant pain? We are going through a dry spell due to those things right now and I’m constantly being told I’m ‘withholding sex,’ when I’m physically or emotionally unable too much of the time. I DO try and meet his needs at least every couple weeks (despite paying for it, physically, every time) and I feel like my efforts don’t count since they’re still not every day, which I simply cannot possibly commit to. I don’t like feeling like a bad wife because my best isn’t good enough right now, and I don’t want to feel guilty for however many years I have left.

  30. Marriage is just vanity… you give your all to someone who doesn’t even appreciate it. And now you are tied up with them… just withdrawn to himself. Sex is such effort if at all, no relationship with the kids. It’s frustrating. He won’t even share with me very crucial happenings in his life. In fact I have quit praying for him and about him. I will just concentrate on God, myself and the kids. Life is too short to keep trying to seek approval. If it works out, let it be God’s will but I am done praying about it. If only I knew this is how lonely marriage would become!!

  31. My husband doesn’t understand why I don’t have the urge to have sex. He makes it seem like such a chore. Especially when he counts the days that he hasn’t had it. He gets really angry towards me to the point where I give him what he wants and then I rush into the bathroom cause I feel awful afterwards.

    1. OK, do you understand why it’s so important to him? I believe you when you say he doesn’t understand why it’s not that important to you. What I’m not certain about is if you understand how important it is to him?

      You have to find a way to understand each other and try to meet each others needs. That probably means accepting that it’s perfectly normal for him to desire sex with you and that he’s not an animal or somehow less developed emotionally for wanting sex with his wife. He will need to change his approach as well. But if you both keep viewing the other as defective for their level of desire, nothing will get resolved and resentment will rise.

      If what he’s doing takes you out of the mood, you need to teach him what he can do to RELIABLY get you into the mood. At the same time, you may need to step up the frequency so he doesn’t feel like he’s starving for what is likely his top emotional need.

      Starving him doesn’t make him love you more. Him acting like a starving man begging for his next meal is unlikely to increase your libido.

      Sex is the only emotional need that can only be legitimately met by your spouse. If you’re not meeting that need, he has no where else to go to have that need met. Any other need, conversation, companionship, financial support, domestic support and others can be met by friends. But sexual fulfillment is designed by God to be met ONLY in marriage.

  32. My husband has a demanding job. We’ve been married for 36 years. We’ve always had children in our life. But now I’m 58 and he is 64 and I have more of a sex drive then he does. My health prevents me from driving and working so he works in Theatre and I feel like his job comes first. His job has always come first but before I had my children to raise.

    Now we moved to a new area for his job. Sometimes he’s so romantic then I think it will be like this everyday
    but it’s not. Once I wanted to make love but he said really. That hurt my feelings so much. I’ve talked to him about it and told him how I felt. He said he doesn’t know if he can handle my sex drive. He’s talking a pill to enhance himself, but what hurts more is he never tells work No. But he does me.

  33. I am a husband with a lovely adorable wife, married happily. However, I’ve always struggled to understand the role and importance of sex. I think Paul’s admonitions in the Bible were purely his opinion.

    I have a lower sex drive and my career is demanding. She is very understanding and I think she understands. In fact, I really enjoy travel as I don’t have to think about sex -basically enjoy my space.

    I believe I’m speaking for many men here. We don’t always think about sex all the time especially when we’re focused on achieving a target – and anyway, there is always a tomorrow…she’s your wife, isn’t she? Blessings