SEX: When A Wife Doesn’t Want to Make Love

“I have already gotten settled in bed, wearing my flannel nightgown and reading my book. Now that you’re in the mood, I’m not sure I want to go to all the trouble…” (A paraphrase of Song of Songs 5:3, 6)

Photo by David Castillo Dominici, courtesy of
Photo by David Castillo Dominici, of

Sometimes the well-worn excuse, “I’ve got a headache, honey,” is actually true. Just the thought of having sex makes your head hurt, and maybe your heart as well. It’s hard to feel amorous when you’re angry or disappointed, and it’s equally difficult to desire your husband sexually if you’re not attracted to him.

Many women in difficult marriages lack a desire for sexual intimacy with their mates —and you don’t have to look far to understand why, at least in part. We’re all aware that women are wired differently than men when it comes to sex. While men often times are aroused by physical and visual stimuli, women usually need to feel affection and trust in order to be responsive to a man’s sexual advances. When a wife receives her husband during intercourse, she is, in a sense, allowing herself to be invaded by him —not just physically, but on emotional and spiritual levels, as well.

Wives who feel loved and secure can welcome this invasion as an opportunity to experience intense intimacy and pleasure with their husbands. But wives who lack sexual desire or who feel animosity toward their husbands often experience sex as a violation rather than as loving communion.

Many women in difficult marriages find sex undesirable. So, if you have problems in this area, know that you’re in good company —and that you can take steps to have a more satisfying and healthy sexual relationship.

You may be surprised to learn that Scripture can shed some insight into why [wives] may be feeling resistant or resentful when it comes to lovemaking. In a well-known but often misrepresented passage about marriage, Paul writes, ‘The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife’ (1 Corinthians 7:3-4).

These verses have been used to browbeat wives into feeling guilty for not wanting to have sex or for avoiding it. But notice that Paul doesn’t say a wife’s body belongs only to her spouse. It says it belongs also to her spouse. As ‘one flesh,’ a wife shares her body with her husband. Bible commentaries also point out that when Paul says we ‘belong’ to one another, he’s not just emphasizing our ownership rights over one another, but he’s also clarifying that our exclusive conjugal rights belong to each other —no outsiders allowed.

This passage does not teach that a wife (or husband, for that matter) should submit to sex whenever, wherever, and however our partner demands it, no matter how we feel. Rather, it teaches that since my husband’s body belongs to me, I should care about it enough to give it pleasure whenever I possibly can, and he likewise with my body. In the same way, since my husband’s body belongs to me, I should also be understanding and generous when it’s not “in the mood,” and he likewise with my body. The emphasis is on mutuality, not selfishness.

At first reading, this passage may also seem to teach that sex is a duty, a required act. But duty is better translated as sacred responsibility. Paul is advising couples to continue to have sex on a regular basis because sex is at the heart of our sacred oneness and helps to protect our fidelity. The intent of this duty isn’t that a wife complies with a husband’s selfish appetite for sex on demand or vice versa, but to fulfill her sacred obligation to meet her husband’s sexual needs, keep the marriage bed pure, and keep each other free of sexual temptation.

Let’s look at another passage. In Ephesians, husbands are told to love their wives “as their own bodies” (Ephesians 5:28). “After all, no one ever hated his own body,” Paul writes, “but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church” (v.29). God describes a husband who loves his wife so much that he puts her needs as high on the chart as his own bodily needs! In regard to sex then, if a husband loves his wife this way, there’s no danger that he’ll mistreat her or take sexual advantage of her, because that would be like hating his own body.

In God’s ideal picture of marriage, if a wife wasn’t feeling up to sex, for whatever reason, the husband would honor and respect her feelings as if it were himself who wasn’t in the mood. If a husband doesn’t love his wife this way, he —not she —is sinning when he expects his wife to be available for intercourse on demand and without regard to her feelings.

Okay, so now we see that God didn’t intend for a wife to be a slave to her husband’s sexual needs. However, on the other extreme —saying that a wife has no responsibility or can shirk her obligation to nurture a healthy, ongoing sexual relationship —is equally wrong and unbiblical. A wife who regularly refuses to have sex or is only willing to be intimate with her husband on her terms is also acting selfishly. If you consistently rebuff your husband’s sexual advances and resent intercourse, you need to take active, positive steps toward restoring consistent and mutually satisfying lovemaking to your marriage.

Here are some suggestions to start you on the path to discovery and change. For starters:

Tell your husband that you want to improve your lovemaking and you’re actively pursuing positive changes. Assure him that you understand that you have a part in the sexual problems in your marriage. Be sure he knows that your goal is for both of you to be sexually satisfied.

Take a “time out” from sex. Paul said not to deny each other except for a time of prayer (1 Corinthians 7:5). The reason for a sexual hiatus isn’t to avoid sex —it’s to pray and take active steps to bring about change. It’s not to stop resentment from building; it’s to bring healing so that resentment is no longer an issue. Talk about this with your husband. Tell him what you’re doing and why. If he knows the goal isn’t less sex, but more and better sex, he’ll likely feel less threatened by a time out and be more willing to see a counselor together, read books together, or otherwise, explore the problem. If he gets angry or refuses to respect your wishes, talk with a counselor in order to gain wisdom and support for what you can do.

Educate yourself. There’s not enough room here to address the myriad of emotional and physical aspects of sexual dysfunction, and there are plenty of good books available. One or both of you may have grown up with ideas or teachings about sex that are inhibiting you now. Some good Christian books include:

• Restoring the Pleasure by Clifford L. Penner and Joyce J. Penner

• Intimate Issues by Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pintus

• Intended for Pleasure by Ed Wheat.

Check your history. Could it be that past sexual relationships are interfering in your present one? Were you involved in sexual activities earlier in life that you left feeling resentful and used? If you have a history of any kind of abuse, chances are great that you need healing from these hurtful experiences before you will begin to have a healthy attitude about lovemaking. Since this is a complex issue, you should seek help form a professional as soon as possible.

Rule out physical problems. Sometimes physical problems, such as hormone imbalances, inhibit a woman’s desire for sex. If your troubles have more to do with a lack of physical responsiveness than with emotional resistance, see a physician who specializes in sexual dysfunction and explore possible cause and solutions. You should also visit your doctor if you don’t experience orgasms, if you lack lubrication, if you find intercourse painful, or if you are on medications that might be interfering with your sexual drive.

Experiment with being the initiator. In most cases where a wife is reluctant to have sex, the husband is the designated initiator, which can lead to an unhelpful pattern in which the problem only gets worse. Authors Clifford and Joyce Penner point out:

Because the wife doesn’t show her interest in being together sexually, the husband begins to believe she has no interest in him sexually. His insecurity is triggered by her apparent lack of interest, so he anxiously begins to initiate sex more often than he would want it if he were feeling sure of himself in relation to her. She feels pressured by his initiation, so she begins to avoid him or pull away sexually. The more he approaches, the more consistent is her avoidance. The more frequent her avoidance, the more anxious is his approach. It becomes a negative spiral.

Talk with your husband about waiting for sex until you approach him. Many men, once assured that sex will take place, aren’t put off at all by waiting for the wives to signal their readiness. If you are the initiator it may remove some of the feelings of pressure and duty you experience. Instead, it becomes something you are giving, versus something he is always approaching you to take.

Spell it out for him! “If she [a wife] feels uncared for, she may believe the only interest her husband has in her is sex,” write the Penners. “He comes home from work, turns on the television, sits quietly at dinner, and watches television after dinner. Then at bedtime he becomes friendly —and her anger sizzles.”

Sound familiar? Tell your husband exactly what it takes to please you in bed and to make you feel happy to be invited there. You’d be amazed how many men just don’t realize that a wife needs to be courted during the day, instead of only five minutes before lovemaking. And chances are, it probably doesn’t take that much: a midday phone call, kisses on the way out the door, a long hug when he gets home. Be specific about what you’d enjoy and list for him several small things he could do to help you be in the mood more often.

Consider sexual therapy. For some couples, the road to a healthy sex life may require outside help. Often sexual therapy involves literally starting all over again with a clean slate. Couples typically follow a program that begin with nonsexual touching; over the course of weeks, homework assignments build back up to intercourse (Restoring the Pleasure contains a step-by-step program). If your husband is unwilling to see a counselor with you, consider seeking help alone. You’d be surprised how much progress you can make this way. A therapist may not only be able to help you deal with your own issues pertaining to sex, but may also help you find non-threatening ways to talk about them with your husband.

Be honest about turnoffs. It’s important to find a way to let your husband know what dampens your mood. For years, Catherine’s husband Jason had no idea that his wife was repelled by the smell of a prescription lotion. When she finally mentioned it one night, he was hurt that she’d never been honest before. Now he never applies his bedtime dose of lotion until he’s sure that they won’t be making love.

If it’s something he can change, let your husband know that while you accept and love him as he is, you’d think he were sexier if he could deal with this particular problem. If it’s not something he can change, the problem then becomes yours. In truth, your sexual responsiveness to your husband, if all else is well, shouldn’t be dampened by baldness, graying, or wrinkled skin. If they trouble you, you need to deal with your own thought patterns and values and try not to let them detract from lovemaking.

Making changes in your sex life won’t necessarily come easily. Some changes might not come at all. However, never give up or relegate sex to the old days. A healthy sex life is foundational to every marriage. The Penners put it this way: “How important is sex in marriage? A simple answer is that when sex is compared to an automobile, sex is to the marriage what the oil is to the combustion engine. At least a little oil necessary to keep the engine running —without sex, one’s marriage will eventually break down.”

Dear Lord,
Thank You for the gift of sex! I want to become more and more grateful for this miracle of oneness You created. Help me, I pray; to do everything in my power to make my love life with the husband You gave me all that You would have it be. Restore our passion, revive our affections, and fill us with mercy and grace for one another. Amen.

The above part of this article came from the book, Lovers for Life: Strengthening and Preserving Your Marriage, published by Christian Publications, Inc. This book is a compilation of writings from over 30 different authors on the subject of marriage. Kenneth Musko is the compiler and Janet Dixon is the editor. Some of the contributing authors include: Gary Chapman, Kevin Leman, Cheri Fuller, Willard Harley Jr., Steve and Annie Chapman, and Bob and Yvonne Turnbull.


Paul Byerly, from web site gives additional insightful information you might find helpful as you read:

SEX FOR HER —When She Resists or Limits Sex


Filed under: Sexual Issues

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271 responses to “SEX: When A Wife Doesn’t Want to Make Love

  1. The article doesn’t represent what the true husband is experiencing. My wife has denied me sex for 20 years. I’ve taken extremely good care of her including washing dishes, laundry, pay all of bills. If a wife doesn’t want to have sex simply tell him, verses lying or giving excuses. Let her be the one that allows open and honest communication.

    Many websites and articles blame the husband about not getting her in the emotional state to have sex. It’s sad when those writing articles truly haven’t experienced what they wrote about. I’ve prayed so many times for Jesus to help my marriage. I’m a great husband and father. It’s time for some writers to stop being politically correct and allow some blame to go on the wife.

    1. I was faithfully married for 15 years, and she had sex with me once, on my wedding night. From then on, it was absolutely nothing. Essentially, once we got married, she did it so that she could say that she consummated the deal, but her ‘obligation’ was done, in her own words.

      How ironic to discover that after divorcing her I found out that she was in a relationship with someone else the whole time, and this is why she wouldn’t do anything with me. I was the the provider, that other guy was her affair. Women cheat, too.

      1. Wow, she is a total hypocrite and you’re so much better off finding someone else as I’m in the same boat as you. I’m going to confront my wife tomorrow night as I know she’s doing the exact same thing as you’ve mentioned below. I’m sorry for your position but please know posting your experience has given the courage to someone else to say something to their spouse before it’s too late!!!!

    2. Why do you oppose a husband giving love to his wife before expecting sex? The Bible is fairly cut and dry on the issue. I’m a little confused as to why you would complain about her not meeting your needs, when you’ve openly said that a husband shouldn’t have to care about his wife’s needs.

      1. My sex life changed the moment we moved in together. We lived in different cities and had seen each other on the weekends and once maybe during the week. We had sex over and over countless times when we saw each other. We went to nice dinners, I gave her flowers, basically I treated her with love and respect! Royalty if you ask me, even till this day! Her excuses has been I’m tired, my hormones, I’m not attracted to you anymore ect.

        Needless to say I cheated on her after 6 years of it and felt so guilty I had to tell her. I’ve given her material things, pleasure in bed, vacation trips, if she wanted it she’s gotten it. I will do anything for my wife except to continue living like this with no intimacy! If I’m not who or what she wants, I need to know because I’m ready to end it! No man/woman should endure emptiness from their soul mate. I pray that I find happiness whether it’s with her or not!

    3. My Brother, you are absolutely correct. The majority of these articles always put the blame on the husband, even if they make some passing comment about what the wife should do. In most cases those who post these articles have not a clue how to address the issue from all sides.

    4. ZZ, Your comment seems to mirror the feelings currently experienced by a friend of mine. To make matters worse, my friend is reluctant to seek counseling because A. he is no longer attracted to his wife since she gained over 100 pounds, and B. He feels too humiliated about his sex life to share it with a professional or anyone else from the church and C. He is getting to an age and it has been so long since he had sex that he doesn’t even know if he can have sex. The saddest part he experiences with this is the loneliness and the lack of intimacy in his life, the lack of romance–something he has never truly experienced. He wonders if it is just too late for him now, and regrets not being more assertive in his marriage years ago when he could have made a difference.

      My advice to you and to him is that it’s never too late to truly live. Biblically, it’s the husband’s role to lead the marriage, although is only affective if the husband is close with the Lord. After exhausting your efforts to show her love and support in every Christian way that you can, why not begin by having a better social life and opening up your home to Christian friends, where their association may rub off on her? Invite church members over for parties where your wife has to participate in socializing to ease some of your loneliness, whether she protests or not. Seek counseling, despite the humility of it, and with much prayer.

      There is always a solution or a miracle when it comes to God, and sometimes it’s an escape, and you must be proactive so he can work in your life. The Lord did not want you to be miserable in this marriage, and created sex for all of mankind to enjoy. If your “wife” continues to refuse to act like your wife, consider yourself betrayed and make steps with your pastor from this point so she can take some accountability. Most relationship problems (not all, but most) involve two people. In your heart, you know what you need to do because the LORD speaks to you. Listen to Him. Just make sure that each and every step of the way you consult the LORD. This will protect you and bless your path, whether this path involves her or not.

      1. Megan, my experience mirrors your friend’s almost exactly; now at 49 after years of rejection and the health issues that often arise at middle age, chances are good that my window of opportunity for physical intimacy is closed for good, and all for nothing. What a waste of my life.

  2. Why is all the blame on husbands? I have a beautiful, sexy, desirable wife of 25 years. But for the past 10 years or so she has steadily rejecting me in the bedroom. All the advice I’ve read on the MANY websites I’ve tried. I consider myself a very good communicator. I do dishes, clean the house, laundry, you name it. I praise her for looking beautiful on a daily basis. I’m sympathetic to her needs, and always made sure she organisms before me. Sometimes multiple times.

    I recognize that she may be going through life changes. But when this subject comes up she gets mad at me and shuts down even further. She refuses to go see any doctor for help or advice because she feels nothing is wrong. She was sexually abused by her dad and brothers at a very young age and I am very understanding and sympathetic towards that as well. But again, she refuses to seek counseling for that as well and tells me that is not an underlying cause.

    I recognize this is an issue but again, she will not seek help!! And furthermore, I knew this before we were married and for 15 years that never seemed an issue in the bedroom. We went from making love 2 or three times a week to may be once every three months! I married a very sexual active woman 25 years ago. She sleeps on the couch every night! The excuse I get is that I toss, turn and snore so she can’t get any sleep.

    So what do I do? I go get help. I’m an meds, and wear a very uncomfortable CPAP Machine. Every excuse she gives, I try and rectify the problem. I asked if we could go to counseling, she says nothing’s wrong! I ask if it’s me, she says she loves me with all her heart! I go to prayer, but when it comes to the “sex” subject, I go to prayer alone! Again, she says and thinks nothing’s wrong and makes me feel like a sexual pervert or a sex maniac. Which always makes me feel like there’s something wrong with me. I’ve tried everything!

    So many websites give advice from a woman’s perspective. I’ve tried ALL!!! I gave space, I’ve mentioned counseling, I do house chores (all time), I try and open conversations about sex, I constantly tell her she looks beautiful and sexy, I pray about it every day!! Sex is a very important part of a marriage. She knew this 25 years ago. But now she no longer thinks so. We go to church and are both very active in the church. She can live without sex and tells me so. But I can’t and I tell her that!

    She is not who I married when it comes to sex. The first 15 years of marriage she initiated sex as much as I did. We are roommates and are bonded by marriage of convenience!! I don’t believe in divorce in a biblical sense. And honestly the only reason I stay in this marriage is because I am a Christian and hope and pray that one day God will give my wife back!!!

    1. If the sexual abuse was not an issue from the beginning, then the sexual abuse is not the issue at all. She didn’t get re-sick. You say you do dishes, cleaning, etc. You didn’t mention anything about giving love to your wife. Is that something you won’t do?

      1. Lily, I’m sorry, but the response you just gave to Richard shows the completely biased and insensitive viewpoint that you have. This woman is putting this poor guy through hell, and you still have the guts to chastise him! I can understand exactly what he’s going through because I’m in the same boat. I treat my wife with great love, affection and care, and she returns it by becoming more and more entitled, and less and less interested in meeting my needs, as I am with hers. I am convinced that the more a man does for his wife, it just becomes her “new normal” and has no impact on her reciprocation.

    2. In reply to the man with the wife that has gotten to the point of not wanting sex. Well, this is life. We have so many problems. This situation is tough. I have a wife just like your wife in regards to sex. I have come to the conclusion that you either live with it or divorce her and find another wife. But, you still will not be happy. Another woman will have some other kind of problem that will drive you up the wall. Whatever the case, you are in the same boat as I am. You agreed to stay married until death. No sex but go to Heaven is a small price to pay. Don’t you think? Most people don’t know Christ. You evidently do and we know where Christians go.

      A divorce will just destroy people all around you. We don’t live on this earth to ourselves. So, I have prayed and studied also. I even thought about castration. That just creates more problems. So, I have found that to release your sex drive, you have to do it yourself even if the Church says that it is wrong to do so.

      Next, I have a friend that does not want to have sex with his wife. He just can’t perform anymore nor does he have the desire and he is a good Christian man. I guess some women have the same problem as you and I do.

      In summary, I had my hand get burned real bad. The Doctor said I was lucky to have my hand. Now, this was back in 1950. They could not do anything about burns like they can today. I still have the scar and it cause me a lot of stares because it was burned so bad. I finally came to the conclusion that I was the one worried about the scar, not others. Even if they made fun of me as a kid which no one did, people still don’t care. I have learned to live with it and I have learned to live with a lot of things. This is life and life is not always fair. Actually, life is not fair a lot of time. But, we accept it and go on. And that is what I have come to the conclusion. I’ll just live with it… even though I fight with lust. Everyone does. We’re made to want a woman intimately.

      I had a Pastor tell me that he stayed faithful while his wife laid in bed dying. She died after about 15 years. He then got remarried and had a sex life. He told me he or any man can just make up his mind to live without sex. So, like I said in summary, live with it. It’s a small price to have a good wife and then go to Heaven when we die.

      1. Richard- your wife may need deliverance. Demons are real and they torment married Christians. Pray about this, have faith and the son of man will answer you.

        Robert- you are correct sir, and I needed to hear that. AGAPE LOVE is more then physical pleasure. Satan will use resentment but the Lord overcomes. A SMALL PRICE FOR HEAVEN.

      2. I can’t understand what you are saying. Is the price for going to heaven when we die living without sex? Is the gospel of salvation about how good we are at conquering lust and putting up with not getting what God made us to want? Or is the gospel of salvation something to do with the earth of the Son of God on the Cross to pay the price of sin for those unable to conquer sin?

        I don’t think you should equate living with a bad marriage with earning salvation, as that is not something any of us can ever do, bad marriage or not. The gospel is not about our merit but about Christ’s, not about us succeeding or failing, but about him overcoming evil. If we stray from that, then no one will achieve heaven, and we will have re-encumbered many with difficult marriages with a burden of guilt that Christ had already lifted from their shoulders.

    3. Richard, I don’t know how else to put this and it is not an insult, but you need to man up. You’re ‘too nice.’ No, that should not change but it’s unbalanced in your life. Most advice out there is bull. She is your wife. You need to take her and make love to her whether she likes it or not. Be the man. She will probably resist you, but it’s all part of the game. Yes, it’s a game. She wants you to be a man and not let her get her way. :O This doesn’t just apply to sex, but other areas of your life. How often do you give in to her for whatever reason? This is the Achilles heal of being a ‘nice guy’ that you have to, must, and without exception overcome. Best of success to you!

      1. Do you realize that you are telling him to rape? I’m a Christian woman with health problems, past abuse, and a difficult marriage. You make me sick to my stomach.

        1. Dear God why even marry anymore? This guy is talking about CASTRATION before getting a divorce! That is the only sick part about this comment thread. Denial of sex is on par with adultery and is a very legitimate reason for divorce. Sex seals the covenant between a man and wife so when sex is denied continually on end for years…you are breaking the covenant and making it null.

  3. This is the reason for the prevalence of extramarital affairs and thriving of prostitution. Indeed, some men would still have mistresses but the numbers would likely be very low if they were largely satisfied at home. I am shocked that some men continue in their marriages for all that long without intimacy. I am pretty sure on occasion they would do something else where. I don’t blame them at all. Again I would not condone it but what can they do? Masturbate? That would never be like real sex.

    It is in everyone’s interests to understand the importance of sex in marriage. Any spouse who continuously refuses their partner sex should expect that they can get it from somewhere either on occasion or on a regular basis. That should obviously not be a good thing but the cause should be acknowledged.

    1. I agree that a spouse denying the other to make love to him or her (because sometimes it is the husband who is denying his wife) is absolutely wrong. It sets in motion all types of problems. The denying spouse is turning her (or his back) on scriptural principles laid out in 1 Corinthians 7 where spouses should not deny each other “except by mutual consent for a time.” But please don’t allow yourself to believe the lie that because you hurt so badly, solutions to cheat and do that which you should not, are acceptable. Wrong is still wrong even if your spouse is doing something wrong to you. Violating God’s principles of cheating on a spouse is wrong no matter what the reason.

      In 1 Corinthians 7 we’re told to “flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? Yu are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” I don’t see an exception clause in this where we’re told that it’s okay to act out in sexually immoral ways if our spouse denies us. Again, yes… that denying spouse is wrong, but two wrongs committed against each other does not cancel each other out to make something that was wrong right. We are held accountable for what we do that is wrong, and cheating is wrong, no matter what the circumstances. It’s a tough place to be, but it’s the truth.

      Something that Gary Thomas (the author of “Sacred Marriage”) wrote applies here: “Your greatest temptation to sin is when someone sins against you. But THEIR sin never justifies YOUR sin. Fighting your mate’s irresponsibility [or sinful actions] with irresponsibility of your own is like pouring gasoline on a fire; it just makes things that much more explosive, that much worse. The Bible recommends a different approach: let love conquer evil; let responsibility shame irresponsibility.

      “It’s a spiritual fact that kindness kills wickedness far more effectively than nagging, complaining, or disrespect. Remember, God won us with grace when we were His rebellious enemies. He doesn’t ask anything of you that He hasn’t already done for Himself. And this same God says that we are responsible to love, even in the face of another’s irresponsibility.

      “Peter wrote, ‘Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing’ (1 Peter 3:9). Did you catch that? We’re called to respond to evil with blessing. It’s not human nature to be sinned against and think, ‘How can I bless this person who is hurting me?’ But such a spiritually powerful practice yields every effective results. Regardless of how anyone else acts, we’re still accountable before God for our responses.” So Bido, while I agree with the horrible place this puts the denied spouse into, when another spouse won’t make love to them, I have to go with God’s principles. When things get tough, we go God’s way regardless, otherwise we are denying what God tells us to do. We are not to live as the world lives –we go God’s way no matter what.

      1. When a wife refuses to submit to her husband’s sexual advances without good cause – menstruating, recovering from childbirth, infection, other physical problems, she is unfaithful to him and to God. Many wives will have relations only when they want to. Some of these insist that the husband must respond when she wants him to. Many imagine themselves “good Christians” and convince themselves that nothing, nothing at all, is wrong. If she refuses him for a week, a month, a year, three years, ten years, she can see no problem.

        When apostle Paul counseled people to marry to avoid fornication, he did not mean the legal agreement of marriage but to be married. To be married means to have sex together whenever either spouse so desires, subject to reasonableness as the examples above. Hopefully having sex is making love but just plain sex satisfies the minimum marital duty and honors God Who created man and the woman to be his suitable help.

        Men also refuse their wives and it isn’t always porn that gets in the way. Perhaps the wife has let herself go. Flabby, overweight, unkempt, just plain unattractive. Crabby. Bossy, determined to be the “man of the house” (used to be called “wears the pants” but that has lost its meaning). Gets angry when she doesn’t get her way. So maybe he has become unable to be aroused by her. Husbands should also keep themselves up. While women are not affected as much by the husband’s physical appearance, they are not oblivious either. Somewhere sexual refusal becomes sin. No one can fix an exact point in time but it’s there.

        1. I appreciate all the comments on this forum! You guys are sincere and that is wonderful!! I have the same issue and many of you are struggling with. It’s tough when sex isn’t there in marriage. One thing that comes to mind is that as Christian men, we can be boring and our wives are no longer turned on and have lost appreciation for us. In addition, women are sinners, just like us and at times disobey God’s word. I believe faithfulness to Jesus is the answer! There’s no problem too big that He can’t fix…A wife’s rebellious heart isn’t easy, but it can be done!! Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you!!

      2. If your spouse is a sociopath or a NPD/BPD, let me assure you that NO amount of kindness/generosity/patience/longsuffering will change them; they will continue to take and take and take your “kindness”‘and generosity until you are drained and spent, then berate you for not doing more. Any kindness you show him/her will be seen as weakness and they will lose whatever respect they had for you (which was almost nil to begin with) and feel justified in doing so. There is no bottom with these people.

    2. True. And a partner who continuously withholds love will drive his partner out of the sexual relationship. So, if you refuse to give love, then just know your marriage will be sexless. Don’t get married or have a relationship.

      1. “Don’t get married or have a relationship?” That’s what I’ve been saying for years now.

  4. Martin from UK, for what it’s worth, have you ever asked your wife if she was was sexually abused? How should one feel when the wife abides by her vows and proceeds to agree with sex even when she does not want to? Whenever I ask her 99% of the time now the response is “I guess” or it’s “whatever” or it’s “fine, whatever”. I know when she is really excited when she answers “OK”, and not an enthusiastic one at that. Just kidding but that is one of her answers.

    The cause: 10 years of chronic pain with failed back surgeries and she with past childhood abuse really put us up against some horrible obsticals to overcome. We are active and in our church and I deferred to the scripture previously discussed about we “own” each other’s bodies. So, now she does not say “no” so much. It’s just too bad there is nothing in the Bible that the responses to your desires need to be said with any sort of enthusiasm, is there?

    1. When a person has been in chronic pain for 10+ years physically and emotionally, I think you should be happy with any response you would get. If she’s still doing it with you, despite her pain, then you don’t have much to gripe about… you are still getting physically satisfied while she is having to calm herself down afterward emotionally and physically from the pain that this has stirred up within her.

      Life is tough, and deals us some tough stuff. And yes, it would be nice if she could be enthusiastic, but at least she is doing what she can physically for you, despite her pain. The question is, what are YOU doing to help her in her pain, after she has helped you be physically satisfied? That might help her in a lot of ways to know that you realize this is painful for her and you care.

      Yes, we all want to be wanted. I get that. And yes, many men really, really need the physical satisfaction of sex. I get that too. It’s not only a physical release but an emotional one. But when a person is in ongoing chronic pain, it takes a toll on them physically and emotionally to the point that it’s difficult to react as loving and enthusiastic as they may have been otherwise.

      Here are some scriptures that I challenge you to prayerfully consider –there are many, many more, but these are a few (I would give her different ones if she asked… but you’re the one asking): “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” (1 Peter 3:7) “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” (Ephesians 5:25) “In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.” (Ephesians 5:28) I hope these will help your relationship in some way.

      1. All I keep hearing is what about the pain the wife might be in, what about if the wife might not feel right, what if your wife was abused… what about the wife, wife, wife? How about the wife take her share of the responsibility and start addressing some of her issues? Should a wife simply let her abusers continue to abuse her and rob her and her husband of a satisfying sex life? Get some freaking help for crying out loud STOP making excuses and start making some changes.

        1. I agree Brian, and we state so in other articles posted on this web site (this is not an “all inclusive” article, otherwise the length could get ridiculous and hardly anyone would read it). This is just an article to make some men aware of SOME of the reasons, and that’s important. But you’re right… a line can be crossed when the wife needs to get help so the husband doesn’t become another victim to the original abuser. To expect him to live within the marriage as a eunuch is totally unreasonable. She doesn’t want him to cheat, but she doesn’t want to make love to him, as it’s normal to do within marriage. He’s not an unreasonable freak if he wants to make love to his wife.

          It’s important for the wife to get help if she can’t resolve these matters herself. I had to do that. For years I was clueless to the fact that I was prolonging my own hurt, and I was heaping hurt upon my husband who was not the least bit abusive. The victimization needed to stop. I finally woke up and got the help I needed — we needed. We are doing SO great now, as a result.

        2. When the sexual abuse is IN the marriage, there is little she can do about that. I don’t know why this issue is so hard to comprehend. You want sex, give love to your wife. Be loving during the act of sex. It’s not realistic, or loving. So many men brutalize their wife during sex, and then wonder why she doesn’t like to have sex with him. Yes, the Bible says she must submit. Yes, the Bible says you must not take her in the manner of a heathen who does not know God. There are, and have always been, two parts to this story. You own your part, she will own hers.

    2. Better than nothing, brother. If your wife suffers actual physical pain that is not psychosomatic, such as vaginismus, take it easy and find a position that causes her the least pain or discomfort, even if it’s not what you (or she) prefer.
      Circumcised men tend to pump with long strokes to get enough stimulation. Try slowly going in a little at a time, then doing little short strokes. If she has a shortage of lubrication, the littlest short strokes may help. If necessary an appropriate lubricant can be used.

  5. My husband stopped going to church, hasn’t gotten a job that I find acceptable, and has become completely boring. I’m sorry if I’m so turned off by the thought of sex with him that it literally hurts like labor pains. Maybe I’m unreasonable but then again he knew I was demanding since we first met.

    1. Ummmmm ummmmm, going to church may be pointless if you’re not actually learning, or living by the teachings. He hasn’t found a job to your liking? Has he found a job to HIS liking? Isn’t his happiness important to you? It should be if you expect your happiness to matter to him. He is boring? It takes two to he boring. Reading your comment, I don’t get the impression that you’re filling the home with laughter.

      My sweety gets a bit dull when he is tired, but it’s nothing a tickle fight won’t cure. When he isn’t watching, I will run across the room and pounce on him, sometimes knocking him to the floor. That gets the laughter flowing (and usually ends up with nudity). Be light hearted, your grumpiness is probably bringing him way down.

      1. I agree totally; problem is, SHE will be the “betrayed spouse” the victim and will get ALL the sympathy, along with the house, the kids, etc, etc.

  6. Well one thing is for sure, there are no success stories here. Just bantering about the topic of sexless marriages. Stay or leave is the only question for all to answer in their own time. My wife tells me to jokingly “get a girlfriend” when she consistently rebuffs my approaches. She knows I wouldn’t do that, nor seek a divorce. Sure I could easily absolve myself of infidelity and would take full blame. That does seem to be the crutch on this post site –jockeying for placing blame on the spouse. I’ll gladly take all the blame, if I fail to find a solution where none may exist. Taking blame is the least I could do to save my spouse the embarrassment of a divorce. But I’ll never judge others for their own decisions to stay in a sexless marriage or split.

    1. Gunny, that’s not true about there being “no success stories here.” Ours is buried a bit, but ours has been a success story. For years and years I just didn’t get it as far as the importance of making love to my husband. Because of past sexual abuse, I eventually withdrew from my husband Steve and denied him. It’s like I kept him as a sexual hostage — but without sex. I didn’t want him to cheat on me; if he would have turned to masturbation I would have lost respect for him (because I didn’t see the strong sexual urge he had), and yet I denied him the one who he COULD make love to –the one he WANTED to make love to… me. All I saw was my pain, my not wanting to have sex, my side of things. I just kept going on denying him… not getting the help I needed to get past my issues. I don’t know why I thought this was okay, but it wasn’t. Thank God I woke up –for my husband’s sake, my sake, and for the sake of our marriage.

      Several years back I read a book by Linda Dillow titled Intimate Issues: Twenty-One Questions Christian Women Ask About Sex and something went off in my spirit. I had an “ah hah moment.” All of a sudden I realized how different my husband and I approached making love. I also realized that I needed to get help for my issues. It wasn’t fair to allow my victimization to spill over into victimizing my husband. The power those abusers had over me because of past abuse had to stop.

      Eventually, I prayed, found good help and God helped me to learn how to love my husband in intimate ways, like I should. It didn’t happen overnight, but I can tell you that our marriage multiplied in how good it has gotten since then. My husband and I are close in so many ways. I was clueless before, but not any more. Thank you Lord!

      So yes, Gunny, there are a lot of bad endings, but there ARE some good ones. And I work hard to try to help other women see what I’ve seen… and Steve is helping other men –to help them with their issues. We can’t help all, but the ones we have helped are more than grateful.

      1. Hi Cindy, I just ran across your very encouraging and well written text here above. Thank you! Yes, your and Steve’s site here has been a blessing to more people than you know… WP (Work in Progress)

        1. Thanks so much WP. It means a lot to me/us for these kind words. We really appreciate it and are thankful for the ways you encourage others, as well. May God be glorified in all we do :)

          1. Hi Cindy and Steve, You are more than welcome… Yes, May God be recognized as the origin of this site and may He guide all the responses herein. :) WP (Work in Progress)

    2. Neither of those is a crutch. The fact is, it takes two to make a relationship succeed, and it takes two to make it fail. Men do cause their wives to leave the sexual relationship. This is fact. Women do lash out in very unhelpful ways. This is fact.

      Nothing will ever get better until BOTH people accept and own their part. Being honest about this isn’t a crutch. Men do more to push their wives away from sex than they do to attempt to connect with her emotionally. You’re not gonna get the sex you want without giving the love she wants. This is common sense.

  7. Exercising one’s right with force cannot be called rape by any sense of human imagination. If a wife is not happy with the sexual behaviour of husband she can take divorce and move out of the relationship. But it is wrong to criminalise marriages and calling your husbands rapists just because they wanted some happiness out of their lives.

    1. You don’t have any rights. Please read your Bible. You have responsibilities! The Bible does not say “you can use your wife for sex whenever and however you want, and you don’t ever have to give love or treat her like a person.”

    2. Sex without consent of the other party is rape. Legally and morally. End of story.

  8. We are we so adamant about avoiding the truth in this matter? Let’s just say it. Wives need to feel loved by their husband, sexually women need to feel safe having sex with this man. The two things she needs most to have a connected relationship are the two things he refuses to give. It’s him, not her, that’s withholding love. He feels that sex is owed to him; he disregards his sacred responsibility to love his wife. Give her love, she will give you sex. Do not betray her safety during sex. “Be not immoral in your sexuality. Be giving of yourself in love to your wife. Do not take her in the manner of a heathen who does not know God.”

    When you choke her, hit her, sodomize her, brutalize her… it’s YOU who have violated the safety and trust of the relationship. YOU communicated two things to your wife. 1) you hate her 2) you enjoy making her suffer. After all of this, ask yourself, why would she have sex with you? The Bible says she must submit to her husband. The Bible also says you must love her. YOU are the head of the relationship. YOU lead the family into contempt and disconnect. By refusing you she is submitting to your leadership. This article questions about sexual abuse in the past, when it should be asking about sexual abuse in the marriage. I don’t know why we are so reluctant to address the truth.

  9. I’m a female and got married to a wonderful guy a little over a year ago. We had a great relationship prior to marriage and sex was great! Once we got married, I changed only in the sexual area, as I can count on one hand how many times I made love to my husband. My husband’s good looking, smart, funny at times and very loving. There are few things we do not see eye to eye on and that is a problem for me which makes me reject him in bed.

    When he drinks, he says means things but states he’s joking when he’s confronted or denies he even said that. He takes his families side over mine etc. There are other small little things but it all adds up. When I talk to him about it, he plays reverse psychology and makes me feel like it’s my problem for upsetting / hurting him, so I just keep quiet as I don’t want the issue to escalate, but there are times my mouth has run.

    Anyway, the point is, regardless how good looking a guy is, how sweet/caring he is, how buff he is, how educated or rich he is, if you and your wife are not able to communicated about the small issues, it will build up and the wife will resent you by not giving you what you desire; sex. Being a female I feel like this is the only way I can get back at my husband for making me feel bad when he plays reverse psychology. I’ve been called selfish, and told that I’ve forced him into celibacy etc. My response, “you are free to go find someone else”. My girlfriend says, I’m not in love with him which is why I don’t make love to him. This may be true…as your wife may be in the same boat as me.

    ” I didn’t lose you, you lost me. You’ll search for me in everyone you’re with, but I won’t be found”.

    1. My husband left because I didn’t have sex for the last three years of our marriage. Like your situation, when he was drunk he was nasty. His family ran me down and he never took my side, never protected me; it was the same way for all of our marriage. I thought after 15 years and 6 children he would love me more than anyone. He broke my spirit and made me feel totally worthless. I dreaded sex with him and just felt like a prostitute.

    2. I know what you are talking about. When a man is mean and rude a woman will withdraw naturally. It just happens. Me and my ex ended up in separate rooms because of it. I finally left because we were like roomates. I felt verbally abused for 5 years. I began getting panic attacks. He kept asking me to leave. I finally did because I could not take the stress and abuse anymore.

      It’s called abuse and if you let it keep going on it will never stop. It’s like a man who beats his wife and promises to never do it again. Yes he will do it again because he has a problem, he can’t control his words and actions. People told me to stay with him. I did for a long time and tried counseling. It got worse and worse. Finally I knew I could not change him. I had to protect myself from abuse. No one could do it but me. Sometimes it’s the best way.

    3. If you ever told me I was “free to go find someone else” (a lie, since you would take the house, the kids etc., but just for the sake of the argument) I’d take you up on it and be out the door in a hot second.

  10. I have been married for almost 3yrs. My wife doesn’t want to have sex on a regular basis and always coming with the excuse that she is tired. There was a time she wasn’t working for about a year and still comes with the “being tired excuse”. Note, She doesn’t have any health problems. We normally have sex only once a month now if I am lucky; twice a month and I am always the one to initiate it. She only likes to cuddle. Note, we never had sex before marriage but I noticed the red flag 1-2 months after marriage when we would fight alot about me not getting enough sex.

    We are still a very happy couple except for this side of sex. I help her with house chores as well and we pray together everyday as Christians. We do not have kids yet but I foresee troubled times ahead after we start having kids soon that our sex life might die completely. I have a very high sex drive and its killing me. I am thinking of calling off the marriage even though I love her but I am not sure I would like to stay like this 10, 15 yrs, 30yrs down the road. Before you ask me to talk with her one on one…We have gone through this round and round. She promised to change in the first year but no improvement and it’s getting worse. Now I dread the lonely night time. I know she loves me and her life might never be the same again if we divorce. For me I will move on with my life as we don’t have children yet.

    1. Sounds like your wife might have a thyroid problem. It makes a woman have no sex drive. I know. It also makes a woman get very tired from only a little activity. This goes highly undetected by doctors. If not, maybe mornings are better for her, where she will have more energy. I am sorry for you my friend. I understand.

      1. Oh boy-the “thyroid problem” excuse-doesn’t keep my wife from running 5/10K’s, Vacation Bible School, AWANA, school/community activities, etc. She’s got plenty of energy for what she wants to do-just no energy (or time) for me. She ought to have plenty of energy with all the work I save her doing laundry, dishes, etc. so let me spare you the trouble of suggesting that I help out more.

  11. I have lost all interest in sex. We’ve been married for almost 5 years and have 3 children. I believe it’s because I feel completely taken advantage of. I do everything in the house. The cleaning, cooking, laundry, yard work, on top of the children. I am very exhausted by the end of the day and sex is the last thing on my mind, but my husband demands it of me and gets furious when I decline.

    There is no romance. I also get no time to myself whatsoever to refresh my mind and body. It’s the same thing day in and day out. He works, I get it. But he believes that exempts him from lifting a finger at the house when it comes to anything, even the kids. I’ve begged, cried, and pleaded for his help and he will help me for a couple of days, then it goes back to the same thing. I just have learned not to expect anything from him so I don’t feel disappointed. I’m just mentally and physically drained. I have been forced to spread myself so thin and pick up his slack. I get no help from him at all, he won’t even change a diaper. He doesn’t believe that he should have to.

    Why would I want to have sex with someone who demands it of me but doesn’t seem to care about my needs? I can’t even get 5 minutes of “me” time to gather my thoughts. The only alone time I get is when I go grocery shopping. He won’t babysit for me at all. Our marriage is on rocks. I’ve tried to tell him how I feel but I’m wrong to feel that way, according to him.

    1. To all: Notwithstanding there are 3 sides to every story. Your perception, their perception and the truth. Now then, you seem as though you’re beating around the bush. If your story is fact, you are a victim of a husband adept at Pride, ego and hubris. Basically, you feel he is a jerk. And, staying together for the children is a myth. Google Maslow and modeling. I hear your main concern is your husband. Please evolve beyond that. Your children, every minute of every day are learning EXACTLY what it’s like to have and when they’re grown, they will seek out only what they know– another dysfunctional partner. Now that you know, its on you. Sounds like tough love, because it is. All The best.

    2. “The cleaning, cooking, laundry, yard work, on top of the children. I am very exhausted by the end of the day and sex is the last thing on my mind.” Perhaps those things are more important to you than your relationship with your husband?

      “There is no romance.” Are you expecting to be the recipient of romance, or a partner in creating romance?

      “I also get no time to myself whatsoever to refresh my mind and body. It’s the same thing day in and day out.” When does your husband get time to himself to refresh mind and body? For him, refreshing mind and body may include making love with his wife.

      “He works, I get it. But he believes that exempts him from lifting a finger at the house when it comes to anything, even the kids.” If you also work outside the home during the day then your husband really must share household and childcare tasks equally with you. But if his contribution is breadwinning and yours is homemaking then don’t devalue his contribution, as he is probably also tired in the evenings. One job is not easier than the other just because it takes place out of your sight.

      1. That is so wrong. I have raised 6 children and then worked full time once my youngest turned 5. Staying home with little ones is so much harder. There is no rest; it totally drains you. Besides why should her husband’s day end at around 5pm when hers ends when she falls into bed and then apparently she still isn’t done?

  12. Being proclaimed highly educated by many, especially a Federal Judge that has been making decisions about one’s intelligence and myriad other qualitative opinions for over 20 years has finally made a believer of me. Growing up with the tacit and overt understanding from my parents and older sibling that my intelligence was the reason that college would be a big waste of money. And, by the time I was a teenager, not only was being the POTUS a pipe dream, but my stupidity left me with the trades. Something, I believed was very unfair. I wasn’t interested in any of the trades I knew of.

    Everything I thought would be exciting required an education. And, at 15 I was uneducated (stupid) and ignorant. With, that egregious “foundation” surely mine, allowed the snowballing of low self-esteem, anger and confusion about how my world, my goals and dreams were circling the toilet. Hence, at first my subconscious and later, perhaps @ 15 years young, if education wasn’t for me then being a tough guy was the only way to get respect. And, being able to out perform everyone who ran in my circles would be how I would be king. And, I was a king. I worked out to get huge muscles and ran 10ks in under 42 minutes. This life during the day left me a star in the gym and a god, fueled with more cocaine, benzodiazapines and pounds of Maryjane had most woman wanting me.

    All those aforementioned self loathing feelings about me were successfully buried. Those truths would not see the light of day for decades. And, until they started to resurface, I enjoyed every day. However, my “recreational” “partying” had built a tolerance with virtually any mind altering substance that could be found. Men and women alike wanted to share time with me. And, even after the beginning of the fifth decade of my life, after spending over $300,000 on the best education money could buy. And for eight and a half years at a private university, referred to by the pundits as “The Harvard of The South” including 3 years at Life Chiropractic in Marietta Georgia, invariably I achieved the best grades more often than anyone else in my class.

    Sometimes, BC I always went to the professors office hours to glean as much as I possibly could. I actually knew what many of the younger students would never know–how exciting, challenging and rewarding the entire process was. Sometimes I was so jacked up after one of hundreds of brilliantly delivered speeches, I would at least call Kelly, my girl back then, and just be bursting with enthusiasm of this feeling of personal growth. No longer was I completely “unscathed by education.” I conquered, I thought, my need for drugs (including alcohol and dip). But had I actually internalized a self image that was positive? Would I shed any abuse of everything and adhere to my most treasured attribute–discipline?

    Lamentably, my upbringing and the “choices” or inevitabilites would leave me something I’ve never even considered before my Child Psychology Degree. Thus, it wasn’t long before the fact I was not being recreational. And, due to the complete lack of coping skills, i was far from discipline, moderation and true self love. Christ, now I embarked on tackling this disability. And, then, my girl of well over a decade had decided to all but eliminate making love. Oh, the first 2-3 years, we had sex daily and she made my day even though I couldn’t make hers for a few days. After all, we would be together forever and her love to me might not have been communicated verbally, but behaviorally she loved me very much. Until she stopped showing me. And, its of great import to note that even nearing forty (as well as being 53 years young today) all I required was 3-15 min max is all I required. In other words instead of cuming 3 or 4 times as an activity or sport when both she and I could perform. When, in the rare occasion she would account for my NEEDS, I would knock one out in 5 to 10 minutes 90+% of the time.

    I carried guilt until I realized with much work, psychologists and all, that in fact by never wanting to be intimate with me, the die was cast that we would never last. Not being with someone who was never used to rejection created a world of hurt for me that stripped me, thus far, of my dream of having a family. And, it wasn’t until recently that two healthcare professionals and a pastor, finally allowed me to be honest and admit that my girl, who promised as I to stay together through sickness and in health…etc. I know now, as certain as I knew for the last 20+ years that Kelly, the only true love of my life, by not loving me physically and, then the worst feeling of all to not love me spiritually. If anyone had something like this happen to them, regardless of gender please reply. Thanks. Cheers

  13. After being married for over 20 years and struggling with intimacy with my wife, we recently had a conversation that caught me off guard. I expressed that I desire her heart, soul and body. That I’d like to be in her head. I want closeness with her. When I asked her why she doesn’t want that with me, she said “Don’t be upset, but I don’t know.” When I asked her if she had ever had a desire for physicalness in any relationship she had, even as a teenager… She said “No”.

    She knew before we were married that being connected on all levels was important to me… And I feel betrayed and lied to. She has always been thankful that I have been patient with her. I always thought it was because I had gained a few pounds… or that it is because she is overwhelmed at home. So I’ve always been a great help around the house… doing almost all the cooking and helping regularly with laundry and cleaning bathrooms, bathing our three boys, etc… While also allowing her to work part time, while I work full time and do all of the man stuff /maintenance in our home. I asked my wife if this is something that her mom struggled with… And she said, “Yes.”

    So I realize that the chances of having my desires for intimacy met are pretty much non-existent unless my wife is willing to do something about it. After years of asking her to get counselling and see a doctor to seek help, I’m just tired of going in circles. I have no hope that my desires for intimacy with her will ever be a reality.

    1. You feel betrayed and lied to because you WERE. I wish I could give you a more optimistic scenario, but I’m going to tell you what I wish someone had told me years ago instead of mouthing platitudes, and that is: give it up – she’s not going to go to counseling; she sees no problem in the current situation. And on the off chance she does go, the minute she gets in the hot seat and realizes she’s not going to be held blameless? That will be her last session. Guaranteed. I’m sorry to sound heartless and cold, but as I said, I wish someone would have told me this about 20 years ago, when there was still time to (maybe) make a life with someone who wanted me. Peace to you, brother.

  14. A wife wants affection, a husband wants sex. So you might say, simple solution, giving affection will lead to sex? But not always, here’s why.

    I believe for a husband to give affection there has to be a reason. Remember the husband-wife relationship is unique, it’s the only relationship that is permitted on a sexual level, you don’t hug your siblings or relatives from the same place as you do your spouse, they are blood relatives where the affection is through kinship. The husband-wife relationship has a sexual element, stay with me on this.

    Men are visual creatures, stimulated sexually in different ways to women and it is this sexual stimulation that ultimately leads to affection to the woman from the man. Before complaining about lack of affection a wife needs to take a long hard look at herself and her efforts to stimulate this sexual element in her husband.

    The idea that the affection should just be there anyway is false. Because as I said earlier the affection between a husband and wife comes from a sexual place. When you first got together, a large part of it had to be sexual chemistry, remember the root of affection between husband and wife is not the same affection as between mother and daughter or brother and sister, there is within the marriage relationship a unique sexual element that underpins affection.

    “But he still has sex with me once in a while but still doesn’t show affection”. If this is happening to you then you should be worried because now his sexual activity is coming from the need to relieve himself out of desperation; he is probably not far from looking elsewhere for satisfaction. There is a difference between relief and satisfaction, one is on a simply physical level while the other has both physical and emotional levels.

    So what’s the solution? A woman by her nature is a sexual and sensual being, that is the attraction to men and what helps bring about relationships between men and women. If a woman is no longer projecting to her husband her sexuality then the mans attraction and affection towards her will fade. I’m sorry to say but the ball in this case is in the wife’s court. It is up the wife to actively work on her husband’s attraction, giving him the desire to want her sexually and this will in turn NATURALLY lead to an increase in his affection towards her. It doesn’t in my 30 years of experience work the other way around.

    I’m going to make an analogy, it’s crass and not one I like to make but it may give women out there an insight into the basic mind set of men.

    Have you ever seen men with a nice car, maybe a top of the range BMW ,a Porsche or something similar. Watch how he looks after it, buys the best fuel, hand washes it, spends hours polishing it, looking at it, spending hours on forums looking at how to spend on it to make it even better, maybe showing off photos of it…look at the affection he has for it, but how much does he actually really drive it? (Sexual metaphor here folks ;)) Not a lot,it’s mostly parked up looking good but when he does drive it he gets satisfaction and his affection increases even more.

    As I said this is a crass analogy but an insightful look into a mans brain, see how his affection is stoked through both the Beauty of his car and satisfaction of the driving. Now back to the real world, if a wife looks good, makes a real effort to be pleasing to her mans eye, and at night offers the man a reason to come running to the bedroom and satisfies him in the bedroom, don’t you think he will be longing for her, wanting to spend time with her, thinking about her all day long, coming home from work and kissing her, hugging her giving her what? AFFECTION!

    Remember ladies, affection in a marriage comes from a sexual source, if that source is lost then the affection will fade; that’s the nature of the relationship. In time as couples grow older a different affection will take hold, but that’s probably in the age range closer to 60’s. Until then treat affection as you would a diet or a fitness program, know that just as your weight decreases through managing your diet or your fitness increases by managing your exercise, so too will the affection from your husband increase by managing your husbands sexual attraction towards you.

    As a final point, for husbands. Don’t feel guilty about talking to your wife about this and be honest. Admit you are what you are – a being created to be sexually attracted to women and you need sexual stimulation for your wife in your life in order to show affection. But do remember once you get that stimulation to follow through with the affection, in my experience if a husband is being sexually stimulated in the right way then giving affection to a wife is never an issue it will come naturally.

    Tips for wives: Look a little more attractive at home then you would normally, put on a bit of makeup wear something a little sexier. Drop hints you want some sex later in the evening. Initiate sex, even during the day. Give him a sex session that he remembers. Dress up in lingerie
    Stimulate the mans sexual instincts until he can’t think of anything but you.

    Tips for men: Respond to the wife’s efforts. Tell her she looks sexy. Touch her when you can. Kiss her when you can. Show her affection outside of the bedroom. Tell her you want her. Show her affection after sex. Show her affection in bed those nights there is no sex. Tell her you want her to look sexy. Spend on her to look sexy. Reward her with affection so she will continue to satisfy you.

    1. Hello, I’ve never posted on a site before about my marriage. I’m scared my wife would find out. I’m in the same boat as a lot of you guys.

      I love my wife and treat her with total respect and loyalty. I do EVERYTHING in the house. Cook, clean, laundry, shopping and she just watches Netflix and snapchats. I ask her every day how she is doing but she hasn’t asked me about how my day has been going on for about 2 years. I’m simply the live-in help. She is bossy and critical of all my work. If I fight back she threatens divorce. I love her and her family so divorce breaks my heart just thinking of it. We have sex whenever she wants it, which is about once every 4 months. I’d rather have it at least once a week. I haven’t had oral in over 3 years but perform oral on her at least 2 times a month. I always ask to be reciprocated; she laughs and says why do I go down on her when I should know I’m not getting anything. I tell her because I love her and I’m unselfish to her needs.

      She uses sex as punishment. Once Chiptole gave her the wrong beans; I put in the order. My punishment was no sex for a few months. She wasn’t like this when dating, but she promised me it was because she was scared of getting pregnant but promised me that she would be my “bad girl” forever during marriage. She lied. Instead I cry myself to sleep knowing that I can’t do anything because of my beliefs in marriage. It just hurts so much.

      This morning I tried to cuddle and she pushed me and said it’s 8 am and “we” need breakfast. So I got up and cooked now she has me laying floor then I go grocery shopping. I’m here hiding in the restroom just crying. I would never cheat on her but sometimes I wish I could. I miss feeling loved or at least appreciated. FML

      1. I’m so sorry to hear your struggle. One good thing is at least every 4 months, some get nothing for years. I think you need to establish some boundaries between you and your wife. She is walking all over you and that is a form of abuse. Women are sinners just like men. They are capable of doing ugly things, just like men. Society paints a false picture of women as being perfect. Some are wonderful and some are awful. But some women are in between. Stand up to her, but do it with love and respect. Go on Google and research getting along with a selfish spouse! That will give you some ideas on how to deal better and fix your marriage. God bless you and be strong!!

      2. Brother, your wife has no respect for you and you let her treat you like a doormat. You are supplicating yourself and that is not attractive. There are so many resources out there. Try “No More Mr. Nice guy” and “Married Man sex life Primer”. Simply put, women are attracted to strength and they respect strength. You can be very strong and kind and loving as the Bible commands; but you can’t be a doormat. Do you lift weights? Do you have a driving purpose in life? Do live in such a way that you project strength and purpose and don’t need anybody to “make” you happy? Do you wine, complain or bring you problems to your wife? You are being abused. You can change, but you can’t negotiate attraction, and you can’t do enough housework to be attractive. Everything you were ever told by your Mom and Aunts was wrong. “Just be yourself” “The right girl will eventually come along”, “Do the dishes and she will want you.” What utter self-serving feminist drivel. Do the dishes because you love her and wish so serve the Lord by serving others, but never do something to get something. That kind of quid-pro-quo is worthless. It may be a long road, but women are created to responds to a man. It sucks, but you are the reason she is acting this way. Act like a leader and a strong man and she will respond. It has worked for me and I used to be in your position.
        Best, Steve

  15. Married over 45 years and really never had a sex life. I thought I married for love, as for my husband I really don’t know why. It wasn’t love, that’s for sure. We’ve never slept with each other, we never talk or do other married stuff. He has no interest in other people, wants to be totally on his own and alone

  16. My husband has been sick since February. He is fully recovered now but he doesn’t want to have sex with me. I’ve tried all I know but to no avail. I’m missing him. I want to have him but he is avoiding me. What can I do? I love him. I can’t cheat on him.

  17. You must not like sex or do it very long. I’m not being satisfied if I did what you said to do, that is, act likes it’s me not wanting sex. We would never have sex, maybe once a month. Men must have sex; it’s one of the things that makes us feel like a man. When my wife tells me no, it’s rejection it’s not “oh ok, I’ll act like it’s me not wanting sex.” Really, when a man gets an erection he is ready. Woman don’t know that feeling. Have you ever wondered why so many men had concubines? Come on men must have sex like food and water.

    1. This is simply not true. The Bible talks about trusting in the flesh. This is like selling your birthright for beans. Sexual arousal is inevitable, to give in to it is not. How hungry did Jesus get after 40 days in the wilderness?

      The need for love is equally painful. A deep sad longing that makes you almost choke to death from grief. But I’m not dead yet. I can’t force anyone to love me.

      When men say this I get angry. Like the feeling of arrousal is a demand that must be met at ALL costs.

      It is trusting in the flesh. No sexually immoral person will inherit the kingdom of God. This includes sinning against women because of a feeling in your pants.

  18. I wanted to come back and post some thoughts. Today we all want to dumb down men and everyone wants to not offend or say something to offend. I’m a man, when I need sex from my wife I expect that to happen, just like if she isn’t hungry she can still make me something to eat. Men cheat because they are not being taken care of from the wife. It’s like pulling teeth to get my wife to have sex. She should realize what what a blessing it is to have a husband still desire her going on 13 years. The Bible is clear not to withhold sex, period. If we said not to withhold food and we did, everyone that read this would be sending bad notes to the person that is withholding. You get my point. Men feel rejected when a wife says “No” we feel kicked to the curb. Sex is so awesome and is actually very good for both. Maybe some men don’t do it well or lack of communication. I know this, men must have sex. Woman must understand that period.

    1. Not true. Still hearing this over and over again in these posts: I must have sex, I just must have it. What if your wife became injured and you had to go without it for the next 20 years?

      Do you demand your wife buy you a new car when she has no money?

      Demands are selfish, self serving and sinful.

  19. I love her with all of my heart, she’s the one, the only one, and she knows it, there’s nothing I refuse to do for this women. We’ve been together for 16 and married for 5 years, everything was perfectly until we got married.
    NOW she starting deny me and avoiding sex, I’m tired of being reject by the women I love, it’s killing me. She says she loves me and wants sex but only one time on a week. She says, I’m not in the mood right now, I’m not feeling good, my belly is hurting, I have a headache, when I want sex.
    SHE controls me! I can’t even talk with female friends because of her and she denies me in bed. I don’t want a divorce, we have 3 kids together and I love this women, but I can’t handle this anymore. I respect her and I would do everything to save this relationship, but she is pushing me away. What men do when his wife refuses to having sex with him for no reason?
    Now I’m going to cheat, stoping help her, and not give her love, that’s what I’m going to do. I don’t want to do this but I can’t take anymore.

    1. Hi Sanches, I know this reply is much later… but we both know the outcome if you go down the path you describe in the last line of your message here above. Are you sure you want to do these things?

      I am a husband married 36 years with 2 adult children and 3 grandchildren. Have you told her in a tactful but in a firm way, what you have written here? Your wife needs to know in no uncertain terms that you are very unhappy and that you need a change! Perhaps these sites will help you?

      I very much hope these comments help… WP (Work in Progress)

  20. This is a helpful article, probably one of the most helpful I’ve read in the last 6 months on the topic. However it does approach from the point of view of a wife who recognises a problem and wants to do something about it. This is often not the case.

    In my case, and several others I’ve read, my wife does not see zero intimacy as a problem. She says we should just focus on trying to ‘be happy’ rather than let problems get us down. She actually told me that she doesn’t want to have sex ever again. For me that is hard to deal with. I don’t know how I’m supposed to respond as a Christian man. Individually I am learning how to cope with this long term, but I very much sense that there is a lack of true closeness and sharing, which gets worse as the months and years go by. I don’t demand sex from my wife, and in the past if there was any inclination that my wife didnt want to I simply couldn’t and wouldn’t do it.

    Ladies, please understand that when my wife tries to cut out all intimacy from our marriage, I feel that she does not want me as a soul mate in her life. It is as simple as that. Intimacy and sex is a way of declaring that you personally accept and want someone, without it, doubts creep in. Maybe that’s just how my brain is wired, but that’s how it feels to me. She has issues of abuse from her past which are never discussed. That I can understand, and I’m longing to patiently walk by her side as she deals with them or we deal with them as a couple. However, when she lets these things come between us long term it is evident that the inconvenience or hurt of working through them is more significant than her feelings for me and our relationship.

    Without her actually telling me anything about what she’s feeling, I have to draw my own conclusions. In this situation the only thing that makes sense is that she simply doesn’t like me that much any more; she doesn’t want a divorce, but doesn’t want a marriage. At one point she said she thinks getting married was a mistake.

    On the outside we are a loving family with beautiful children. On the inside our marriage is empty and I feel extremely lonely. My biggest concern is not the sex, it’s the lack of oneness that this signals. We set a poor example for our children, we are less effective for God, and I fear that our relationship is not robust to last.

    I would never consider cheating but I have seriously considered suicide on several occasions. We don’t have any addiction, infidelity, violence, or money issues, certainly as far as I can tell.

    Sorry for the long rambling post. Happy to take advice.

    1. I may as well give you more details of our situation. I suppose it’s a brain dump of my feelings in the hope that someone will take compassion and respond with some ideas.

      The sex is gone but worse now is that I don’t feel loved.

      Simple physical gestures like holding hands on a walk or at an anniversary meal get rejected with “I don’t want to hold your hand”

      She told me she sometimes regrets marrying me

      She said she never wants to have sex again

      Genuine efforts of support and positive communication are met with antagonistic responses followed by anger that we have stressful conversations. I feel trapped by this problem because not talking is not an option either.

      I need practical steps I can take that will be taken positively because all the feedback I’m getting is that our relationship is unwanted. If this were to happen while we were dating it I would take it as a clear sign to stop.

      I don’t think I have the emotional strength to pretend like things are ok.

      I’m trying to change my behaviour so that she might love me again. I don’t know if this is the right approach but I’m trying and failing and will keep trying for as long as I can.

  21. This is a difficult article for me to read and respond to. I understand how important sex is for men, in our society, and in our culture. But honestly it has got to be viewed as a FALLEN objective, tainted, marred, warped, skewed. Many of these men on here are blinded by fleshly desire. This desire is called lust and they’ve never attacked it head on. Instead they’ve stayed immature and pitiful, demanding something that isn’t a “right” or a “need”. It is a want. A very strong biological want, that has been messed up like EVERYTHING else on this sad planet.

    When you are terribly angry do you hit, scream, kill? No you wait for the urgency of the feeling to pass. The loss of sex in marriage might be tragic, hurtful, it might feel empty, but it’s just a loss. Like the loss of a child or a burnt down home. It is no different than a loss of respect, love, trust, honor, etc.

    Sex is something that is gifted to you. And a sinful person can take it away. Or a person who can’t give it, can’t give it.

    Grieve, love harder, press in to the Saviour. Deny yourself and take up your cross. If you would shed your blood for your wife, would you not also shed your sex?

  22. Hello all, I have found the article as well as most of the comments very insightful. I’ve been with my wife for ten years now and have been married for seven. In the beginning we were animalistic in our desire for each other. But over the past three years my wife’s desire for me has slowly drained away to the point where we may have sex once a month or once every six months. She has no history of abuse and I am not an abusive spouse. I help around the house and take care of all of the outside duties as well as take over with the kids as soon as I get home from work.

    I try to show my appreciation for her on a daily basis but it is getting harder and harder as I am starting to feel like she doesn’t want me anymore. It feels like she is just complacent. I give her hour long back massages every other night even though I work 50+ hours a week and on the weekends I cook dinner and let her sleep in. I’ve told her countless times over the past few years about having a problem with not having sex. She claims she is still attracted to me and that she just doesn’t have a sex drive but refuses to talk to a doctor about it.

    I compliment her on her appearance, her mothering abilities, and numerous other things on a daily basis never receiving any compliments or appreciation in return. Affection from her is a thing of the past yet I cuddle her and love on her (in a non sexual way) almost every night when we go to bed even after staying up past midnight massaging her! I hug her and kiss her first thing when I get home from work because I am genuinely happy to be around her.

    She is the love of my life and I hate to even think of a life without her in it but my pleas and problems are just being ignored. I have gotten to the point to where I feel basically worthless to my wife because I never get that affection, desire, or appreciation from her. It is so tiring to be the unselfish one for so long.

    1. I get bio identical progesterone from Amazon. That, 10,000 iu’s of VitD 3 and thyroid treatment has brought me back to my husband. Cost $26 a month. Best $ ever spent. Mostly after bearing children we become estrogen dominate. Ask her to try it. 1/4 teaspoon of cream put on where blood vessels are most apparent. I put on shins and rotate to forearms weekly. Skip first 4 days of menstral cycle. This will help. I now want sex more than he does. This was a relief after 10 years of suffering low libido. And Doctors don’t help! Trust me. Took an expensive integrative Doctor to fill me in. Check out YouTube videos too about bioidentical progesterone replacement

  23. When I was a youth, I heard The Talk many times where I was told to save sex for marriage. As a dutiful Christian (and shy guy who didn’t date much) I complied. Though it was 15 years from when I first became sexually mature and when I got married at 28, I felt it was worth the wait. My wife and I had glorious sex and had four children.

    Over time however, our marriage became strained. I take some responsibility for this, as I spent a lot of time at my work but it still did not bring in enough income. I became emotionally distant from my prickly (critical, ungracious) wife. Like many of the commenters here, I have taken measures to try and do due diligence in repairing the marriage. But it’s never enough and my wife basically says it’s all my fault. Needless to say our sex life has suffered (only been intimate once in the last four years). While I have no desire to have an affair, I completely understand why some guys do. I’m every bit as horny as I was 28 years ago when I got married.

    Masturbation might temporarily take away the gnawing hunger, but it still leaves an emotional emptiness. So what would the counselors of my youth say NOW? Sorry, bud, tough luck. You might have to wait 15 years till your sexual desires subside, but … (wait for it) IT’LL BE WORTH THE WAIT! I am tempted to say like Asaph “Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure …” (Psalm 73:13). Just put it on my tombstone: “Still Waiting”

    1. Kevin, Yes, it’s not fair that you find yourself in this place. And I admire you for not being willing to succumb to the temptation to find what you so desperately need outside of your marriage. You’re right, that Asaph reached the point of frustration watching evil people around him seemingly succeed and he questioned God’s plan, too. But as you read further in this Psalm he came to realize that he was looking at the problems through his eyes and not God’s and he came to the place where he surrendered his will/desires/hopes where in verse 28 he says, “But as for me, it is good to be near to God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge.” I hope that you will get to that same place and make the Sovereign Lord your refuge in this matter. Blessings! ~Steve Wright

      1. All, Like many folks posting on this page, I also am having a VERY difficult time with intimacy issues with my wife, and ended up here based on my current difficulties. My heart and prayers are with all who are suffering from lack of marital intimacy.

        However, I think that Steve’s post here is very insightful, in needing to make the Lord our refuge. Similarly there are scriptures that talk about delighting in the Lord and seeking after Him diligently, and He will give us the desires of our hearts. In reflecting on this, I have to challenge myself and others suffering if we are truly and diligently seeking Him first. Or, since we are virtually always falling short, maybe a better way to put it is, what are one or 2 key areas where I need to pursue Him more deeply with the help of the Holy Spirit?

        For suffering husbands, one other thought comes to mind, and has been on my heart for a number of months now, and which have made some progress, albeit slow: in seeking to serve the Lord, am I fulfilling my role as head of my wife (Eph 5:23, etc), in helping/encouraging her in her walk with our Lord? Many sexual/intimacy issues seem to stem from issues that can be overcome and dealt with, but if the wife doesn’t see a need to engage and deal with them, maybe there is an issue with her walk with the Lord, and in desiring to please Him through the way she treats you?

        This may be an area to start spending time with her and encouraging her on, and praying for the Holy Spirit to convict her heart (not just with respect to marital relations, but in every aspect of her life, e.g. daily scripture reading, prayer, trying to hear His commands and obey them, etc.)?

        Further, it seems that there are a number of situations where the wife says she loves the husband, but doesn’t feel like having sex. I would encourage couples in those situations to take a closer look at the concept of love in scriptures, in that it is probably more defined by how we act toward one-another than the emotions we feel.

        Lastly, like many of you, I am suffering greatly with frequent feelings of despair, but despite our feelings, we need to dig deep and have confidence/faith in God’s Word in Rom 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” and in Php 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.

        He has a perfect plan for our lives, including our marital trials, and often, as the scripture shows again and again, His purpose in allowing our suffering is to draw us closer to Him, and having Him become the ultimate Treasure of our hearts. When I’m going through this fire, I will try to remember all who are posting/reading here in my prayers – please do the same for me. God Bless!

        1. TJ, Thanks for adding this powerful insight on this topic. I’ve been a Christ-follower for almost 42 years. It took me a LONG time to realize that God uses the painful things in our life to refine us and build us into the people that most reflect His son. One book that helped me the most is Max Lucado’s On the Anvil I consider it a must read – especially for men. Blessings to you, my friend, in your persevering through your trials.I believe you’ve encouraged thousands today by sharing your thoughts. I hope you post again on our web site.

    1. SB, We have no problems (here in the U.S.) linking to any of them. The Internet Provider server that you are using is what’s blocking access. Their filtering software is super sensitive to picking up words when it scans the site(s) and flags them as potentially pornographic. I wish I could tell you a work-around, but I’m not “techie” enough. If you have a friend or family member who is a techie they can help you. We hope you can find a way to them. ~Steve Wright, Marriage Missions International

  24. “RESTORING The Pleasure?” That would assume there ever was any to begin with, which in my case, there NEVER WAS, from my wedding night (for which I “saved myself-how stupid and pathetic was that?) to this day.

    1. Alan, you aren’t “stupid or pathetic” –you did what was right and from what I can tell (from the other comments you left within other articles), you are still trying to do right. You’re just beside yourself in being fed up. You feel like you don’t matter because she puts everyone and everything else in front of you, and you feel minimized. That is absolutely understandable, given the circumstances. But doing right, even when everyone else is doing wrong, is still the right thing to do. Look at Noah. He looked absolutely stupid to those all around him (and I’m thinking that even he had to have his doubts at times). But he faithfully did things God’s way, even when it all “appeared” and he probably felt it to be stupid and wrong –from man’s perspective. And yet I’m sure when the rains started and God closed the door of the ark that Noah built by faith, he and his family were pretty happy he did things God’s way.

      You may or may not see any reward on this side of heaven for the sacrifices you are making. I don’t know. But when God says to you, “well done good and faithful servant” I’m thinking you will be glad you went the way that looks “stupid and pathetic.” And seeing your children grow up with a dad and a home in tact –giving the best start in their lives… there has to be some rewards in that.

      Also, I want you to realize that miracles still do happen. I was one of those wives who denied my husband for years. I was so messed up in my thinking –thinking I had it all together, and yet I didn’t. A big part of it was the effects of past sexual abuse. But there comes a time when we need to quit leaning on that same excuse and “get it fixed” –get help. I did. I also woke up to realizing that although sex wasn’t important to me, it was important to my husband, which made it VERY important in the whole scheme of things. God worked in a series of ways to wake me up to that fact. Thankfully, my faithful, loving husband gritted it all out through those years of that intimacy famine, and eventually I was given the opportunity to make it up to him. We have a GREAT marriage now –very loving, and intimately fulfilling in ways I can’t explain.

      What I’m trying to say in all of this is that there IS hope. God still works miracles one way or another. (He did for my husband and for me, and I’ve seen Him do this for others.) Please hang on. Pray, grit it out, live your life as the good man you were created to be, and try to hang onto the faith that God is at work and will help you in some way or another. I don’t know if it will be in your way, or not, but it will be in the wisest way. Here’s a link to an article I wrote that may help you during this “doubt storm” time as you read it: I hope for you Alan; I hope for you that are able to hang on, do the right thing even when it looks wrong and love Jesus more than anything else. I pray strength for you.

      Sometimes God allows us to run right up to the barrier of belief where we could easily fall. It’s almost like Jesus is saying (as he essentially said to Peter), “do you love me more than anything or anyone else?” Peter said yes. It didn’t go easy on him after that. But it was the right answer and I’m sure he’s SO glad now that he said that and eventually lived it.

      I pray strength for you to do so also. I pray for God to talk to your wife to wake her up. She is SO disillusioned right now. She thinks she’s right, but she isn’t. I know; I’ve been there. I’m SO glad God helped me to wake up and I responded as I should. I pray for the other good husbands, like you, that are trying to do the right thing even when it isn’t recognized by another human being… yet. Who knows what the future may bring, but God? You are my heroes for hanging in there and doing the right thing, despite the hurt and physical and emotional pressure inside, not to mention the temptation otherwise. These words seem inadequate to express my sentiments, but I’ll say them anyway… May God bless you in ways you never thought possible.

      1. Thanks Cindy for the comments – I realize you were trying to be helpful, and I really do appreciate it, but I have pretty much given up on this situation ever getting better. You are correct in that chances are at this point in my life I won’t see any of the rewards this side of Heaven; and yes, hearing the Master’s “well done” will be worth it – I guess-assuming I even hear it; knowing my luck I went through my whole life thinking I was doing the right thing only to find out it was not “His will” for my life after all. Wouldn’t be the first time I have been blindsided like that. Besides, for the here and now all I really want to hear is a loving, responsive partner’s sounds of pleasure and delight, but then that’s not likely to happen either; as I mentioned, due to some long-standing health issues I am unable to satisfy a woman in that manner, and even if it were possible, there’s no one that would even WANT it from me; they never have, and why should I believe they will now, especially now that I am nearly 50 and useless?

        Most women my age that I know have no desire for it and to chase 21 year olds, even if it were possible, would make me look every bit the cliche of a desperate midlife crisis male. No thanks, I’ve got enough people laughing at me behind my back already. I lost one of a handful of people who believed in me no matter what; my mother passed away on May 29th of this year and the loss is absolutely palpable; my daughter, who is my world, is leaving for college in less than a month and even though I am excited for her to be getting to get out on her own and start a life for herself, I can’t imagine life here at my house without her around; she is one of a handful of things I have done right in my life; it’s been made obvious over the years what a failure and a disappointment I’ve been as a husband, employee, coworker, Christian etc. but at least I was a good dad; now I’m not even sure of that; you mentioned raising children in an intact home – not sure if I/we did her any favors by staying together since there was so much conflict between her mother and I. At least (on my part) I can say that none of it was ever directed at her. I look forward to going down to see her and going to football games, but I honestly couldn’t blame her if she never wanted to come back again, although I pray that’s not the case.

        We have just returned from a vacation, and I feel like I ruined everyone’s time. After days of my wife nagging and undermining me I blew up and had it out with her in front of my daughter and my two nieces. My daughter understands because she gets the same treatment from my wife that I do, but I’m sure that my nieces are going to go home and tell their parents that “Uncle Al griped and cussed a lot.” And I’m sure based on that incident it would seem that way; they don’t realize how badly it grates on you to put up with constant criticism and disrespect and undermining day after day. Add to that the fact that I have a bulging disk pressing on my spine and bone spurs in 2 of my cervical vertebrae and I am in CONSTANT pain, and have been for several weeks. I tried my best to not let it ruin our trip but it was excruciating a good deal of the time and it’s hard to be pleasant under those circumstances. Thankfully I’m back at work tonight; I’m probably the weakest member of the team but at least I do enjoy my job and it pays well; I’m finally the provider I always wanted to be; I wish it could have happened sooner in life, if for no other reason than maybe I could have bought a house that my daughter would not be ashamed to bring friends over. But in my defense it’s hard to get ahead and your spouse runs up huge credit card debt and lies to you about it, and you are gullible enough to believe her until it’s nearly too late and the bank begins foreclosure and the auto finance company repos your car in the middle of the night and you’re getting calls from creditors at work constantly before you finally wake up and realize what a fool you have been. It’s human nature to trust your partner and think the best of them; well let that be a lesson to me-never again.

        I miss my mother terribly and haven’t had a chance to really process my grief yet; a friend (and former co-worker on a previous job) runs a grief support group but my schedule up to now conflicts; I’m grateful that we were so close and that we told each other “I love you” so much over the years-it at least gives me a measure of comfort;
        I’m glad she got to see me be semi-successful at my career and my house and that I was able to provide. I wish my father could have; I can’t help but feel he would be disappointed in me for letting myself be made such a fool of.

        I’m struggling to come to terms with the loss of any chance for an intimate relationship (and by intimate I also refer to the emotional/spiritual aspect, before anyone accuses me of “just wanting sex;” I could have had the physical release on my own, or with some girl/woman who would sleep with anyone. That would probably be about the only way it would happen for me, although there have been a handful of occasions where I would like to believe I was genuinely desired; I hold on to that fallacy if that’s what it is (and probably is-wishful thinking on my part). I wish I’d had the gumption at the time to take them up on it when I had the chance.

        As I said, it’s a struggle coming to terms with that aspect of my life being over, the regret over chances missed. Some days I’m almost OK with it, mostly not. No choice, I realize, but oh God some days it hits me that all other things being equal I have another 20-25 years left to live. If this is as good as it is going to be, I’d just as soon not.

        I cannot imagine being this lonely and unfulfilled and useless for that long.