When You Don’t Want Sex With Your Husband

Wife doesn't want sex - Adobe Stock When you don’t want to have sex with your husband, what do you do? Maybe you can relate to the wife’s thoughts expressed below.

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…(This is a paraphrase of Song of Songs 5:3,6)

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.

When You Don’t Want Sex

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.

Feelings Make a Difference When You Don’t Want Sex

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. Also know 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).

What These Verses Do and Don’t Mean

These verses have been used to browbeat wives into feeling guilty when they don’t want sex or avoid 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. 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 a husband) should submit to sex whenever, wherever, and however our partner demands it. Rather, it teaches that since my husband’s body belongs to me I should care enough to give it pleasure whenever I possibly can. And he is to do likewise with my body. In the same way, my husband’s body belongs to me. I should also be understanding and generous when it’s not “in the mood.” And he is to do 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. That is because sex is at the heart of our sacred oneness. It 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. The intent is for her to fulfill her sacred obligation to meet her husband’s sexual needs. It is to keep the marriage bed pure, and keep each other free of sexual temptation.

Another Passage

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, 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.

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.

Suggestions When You Don’t Want Sex:

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.

Make sure he knows 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. Additionally, 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. He may also be more willing to see a counselor together, read books together, or explore the problem. If he gets angry or refuses to respect your wishes, talk with a counselor. You need 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. There are plenty of good books available, however. 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. Explore the possible causes and solutions. You should also visit your doctor if you don’t experience orgasms, or if you lack lubrication. Also visit a doctor 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. This 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 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 [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. That causes her anger to sizzle.”

Sound familiar? Tell your husband exactly what it takes to please you in bed. Let him know what makes you feel happy to be invited there. You’d be amazed how many men don’t realize that a wife needs to be courted during the day. She needs more interaction than giving it only five minutes before lovemaking. And chances are, it probably doesn’t take that much.

It could be as simple as 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. List for him several small things he could do to help you be in the mood more often.

• Consider Sexual Therapy If You Continually Don’t Want Sex.

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 she was repelled by the smell of a prescription lotion. When she mentioned it, he was hurt that she’d never been honest before. Now he never applies his bedtime dose of lotion until he’s sure 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, 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. Do what you can to try not to let them detract from lovemaking.

Never Give Up

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? Here’s a simple answer. When sex is compared to an automobile, sex is to marriage what 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.”

Here is a prayer you can use as an outline:

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.

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. Others are: Willard Harley Jr., Steve and Annie Chapman, and Bob and Yvonne Turnbull.


Paul Byerly, from The-generous-husband.com web site gives insightful information for you to read:

SEX FOR HER —When She Resists or Limits Sex

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Filed under: Sexual Issues

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372 responses to “When You Don’t Want Sex With Your Husband

  1. At one time my wife had zero sex drive. Time passed, perimenopausal, then menopause, painful sex. Now she is on HRT, including testosterone; she wants it more now than when we were 1st married!

  2. I love my husband!!! I want to make that perfectly clear. We have been married for 40 years. The last 20 years have been difficult for me in the bedroom. I have not wanted to have sex for many of these years. I have also been ill for part of this time. But I have restored my health through diet, proper nutrition, exercise and vitamin and natural hormone replacement supplements/creams. In short I have scratched my way back to health through sheer determination and I have prevailed.

    I have recovered my sexual ability but not my desire. I’m having longer and better orgasms than I had in my 20’s. But I am not attracted to my husband physically anymore. I am in no way interested in pursuing others…I am only interested in my husband. The problem is that he is at least 50 to 60 pounds overweight (6’4 and 270 lbs.). I am probably 10 to 15 lbs. underweight (5’11 and 125 lbs.) I feel really mean and guilty for feeling this way.

    What should I do? We’ve had several talks over the years about what he might do but he is not the least bit interested. He says that then he would not be able to eat what he wants to eat and he continues to have two desserts whenever the opportunity arises. I am fed up with waiting for him to take action. I am very worried about his health!!!

    What should we do? His doctor has said he needs to lose weight but my husband does not listen. Yesterday I told him he is cut off until he loses at least 20 lbs. Now I feel even more guilty and mean. Please give me some feedback.

    1. Joan, I’ve been thinking about and praying about what to answer you concerning your plea for feedback. Needless to say, this is no “easy” problem to get beyond. It appears that your husband is either depressed, addicted to unhealthy eating–especially sugar, and/or is the type of person who has a type of Phlegmatic personality where he doesn’t see the same necessities for change like someone with a type 1 or Choleric personality type. I could be wrong here because I haven’t talked with him or with you. But whatever his reasonings, he is obviously not interested at this time in losing weight, or he sees it as too difficult a mountain to climb. There could be a whole lot of reasonings behind this. I’m not sure what they are.

      But whatever they are, I really don’t think that cutting him off from having sex with you is really going to work in the long run. First off, his losing 20 pounds could take months. That is a HUGE goal for someone who gets his continual comfort and/or pure enjoyment from food. It will seem too unattainable whenever his cravings nag at him. Plus, it’s not like quitting smoking. He has to eat, so it will be many, many times a day throughout the day, every day that he will be facing his cravings to fight against eating too much. Quitting eating too much and quitting having sex with our spouse are like comparing apples and oranges. They are completely different types of cravings. He will probably eventually resort to having sex with his hand, and/or getting into porn. Those “options” may seem more plausible than breaking his addiction to food. And then where will your attraction for him go from there? I think it will only get worse. So we go from not being attracted to him physically, to not being attracted to him physically or emotionally. I believe you would be causing more cracks (and even more serious ones) in the foundation of your marriage by trying to withhold sex from him as a “motivator” for his losing weight. It would hurt him and you and seriously hurt your relationship–maybe permanently.

      And then I have to say this. You don’t mention where you and your husband are spiritually, but this is a Christian web site, so I would be remiss if I didn’t point out the scripture in 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 where we’re told: “The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and like-wise 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. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” God has very good reasons for that, which He tells us to do, and not do. He knows the pull of this type of temptation and warns us to put each other in that place. It may make sense to us, but we’re playing with fire by going against what God tells us. Truthfully, I wouldn’t go there. I’d back up away from this one. I think you would damage your relationship too severely by sticking with this mandate.

      So what should you and your husband do? Well, one thing… first realize that he is not you. I greatly admire you for what you did in getting yourself healthy. I think it is GREAT that you did what you did! I’m thinking he admires you for this too. But that doesn’t mean that he has the same determinable spirit as you. The mountain he sees and the one he saw you just climb over just don’t look the same to him. He obviously needs to get motivated. His health (and your view of his appearance, and your sexual desire for him) depends upon it. But he just doesn’t have that gut-motivating determination to do what it takes to get to that healthier place at this point. And you can’t give that to him. Only HE can get himself to that place. Withholding sex for something like his losing weight (especially 20 pounds) will only heap more problems on top of the original problem you have at this point in time. That is my honest, prayerful opinion. I wouldn’t stick to that threat.

      I would work on my own outlook on this whole thing. I would purely approach it from a “concern for your health” standpoint. I wouldn’t feed or allow myself to entertain thoughts about how I am not attracted to him because of his outside appearance. I believe this will only chip away at your relationship more and more. I’d keep focusing on his inward qualities and when I start going there in how my eyes view him… I’d shut that down. I’d put my mind on other, more positive things. And then, when the lights are off, I’d concentrate on making love to, and pleasing my husband–the man I love, rather than the outward image of him. As you do so, as you said, you would find pleasure too because of your longer, better orgasms.

      I’ve heard it said that “whenever we make orgasm the goal of sex, we fail to experience godly sex. The ‘big O’ is not orgasm. The ‘big O’ is ONENESS. It’s not how great the bodies, or how great the orgasm. It’s that a loving experience you share with each other.” The orgasm and the euphoric feeling that accompanies it is a wonderful bonus. Don’t get me wrong. It’s GREAT! But don’t make that the most important focus of making love with your husband. Aim for oneness wherever you can in your marital relationship.

      My husband is a Type 1 diabetic (and has been for over 45 years). For several years he didn’t take good care of himself, as far as this was concerned. It was a constant struggle that caused problems in our marriage. I kept emphasizing how concerned I was for his health. We had young children. Plus, I didn’t want to lose him and I knew and know the problems that diabetes can bring–especially when it isn’t being handled in the way it should. Diabetes can get away from you really quickly, even if you do all the right things, let alone doing what you shouldn’t.

      I just kept emphasizing how much I love him and how his taking care of himself was a love gift back to me. I did (and still do) what I could (and can) to not bring things into the house that he shouldn’t eat–that, which would tempt him. It was healthier eating for all of us. Our meals were (and still are) nutritional and balanced. Exercise and healthy living is something that I made sure I brought into and modeled in our home. Plus, I prayed and prayed and prayed. I have continually worked on my own attitude on this. Eventually, Steve got it. Like a lightbulb was switched on, he started taking control of his own health. Since that point, he has been doing great on all aspects of his health. I am his partner in all of this, not the one who drags him into doing what he needs to do to be as healthy as a Type 1 diabetic can be. (Dragging doesn’t work… it just frustrates.) Sometimes I point out better eating choices, and I’m still careful in what I bring into the house, but I work not to shame, blame, and get too negative about it.

      Again, it comes down to the fact that we can’t change our husbands. They have to do the changing. We can encourage, pray for, support, do our part in partnering with them and keeping our own eating and health habits in line, but we can’t drag them into changing. And again, do what you can to NOT feed how you view your spouse’s outward appearance. Keep the lights off and don’t touch his stomach or other areas of his body that can turn you off mentally. But make love to your husband as the man you love for who he is inside. Perhaps, eventually, he will work on the outside. I hope he does for both of your sakes. But that’s the best advice I believe I can give you. Don’t throw out a good man because he is heavier in weight than he should be. You’ll both lose, if your relationship is reduced to outward appearances.

  3. Respectfully, you twisted the Bible verse you quoted. A happy marriage is not based on the husband ignoring his sexual needs because the wife doesn’t feel into sex. The Bible says husband and wife are not to deprive each other. You clearly take the low desire position while ignoring the equally valid high drive position. Sex holds a marriage together. It is God’s gift to married couples. If you won’t meet your spouse’s sexual needs, don’t get married.

    1. Bill, Amen to that, brother; that needs to be one of the MAIN topics of pre-marital counseling. Hash that out and come to agreement WELL BEFORE the ceremony or don’t tie the knot to begin with.

      Of course you could still wind up chained to a wife who deceived you from the get-go like mine did — wait and save yourself for marriage and then find out she never intended to live up to her end of the bargain.

    2. Yup. Why do women get married if they don’t want sex or see it as part of the equation? God gave men the sex drive. To pretend that the one that doesn’t have the sex drive should be the final arbiter is simple misanthropic. Seriously, someone said, “I didn’t see that in the contract or vows?” Really. What if the wife bought a car.” But, she had no other means of filling the tank up unless he took it to the station. But he just didn’t feel like doing it. His car ran fine. He didn’t need her car to go anywhere. How would she feel about the car he brought? I counsel people, this is the garbage I deal with in a disturbing amount of women.

      It’s not, hey, I’m not into it as much as him. I do want to meet his needs, so we need to work on this. No, if a woman doesn’t need it, then he doesn’t either in their minds. That’s sick and twisted. Then they get mad if the guy gets a girlfriend, goes to bars or the internet. I’m not justifying any of that as a “good” thing, but as a “natural” result. People are sexual beings. The marriage covenant, just like a car needs gas, has sex as one of the fuels on which it runs.

      1. Do you just get in your car and start it up and take off or do you allow the car to warm up? Because it sounds to me, that you expect your woman to be ready when you enter the room and take off your trousers!

        It’s evident you did not read the entire article that women need to be courted throughout the day, not just when your feeling extra frisky; get with the program and listen up, or else your car ain’t going to start ever again if you take it out of the garage. That means using abuse such as saying things like and I quote from you, “Then they get mad if the guy gets a girlfriend, goes to bars or the internet. I’m not justifying any of that as a “good” thing, but as a ‘natural’ result. People are sexual beings.”

        The marriage covenant, just like a car needs gas and has sex as one of the fuels on which it runs. People need to try harder and men need to stop being lazy, not only in bed but throughout the courtship and the marriage. Just because you are married doesnt mean the romance and courtship ends and dies too; if it does then your sex life dies. So, man up!

  4. My wife won’t accept any help. She does acknowledge that she doesn’t want sex, but says she loves me so I get ‘pity sex’ when she says its ok (always knocks me back if I ask). Our relationship is suffering in more ways. I have spoiled her with gifts, flowers, dinners, romantic getaways, spend time with her, give her space and I am lost…I’m searching for help.

    1. Anonymous, I’m not sure if you’ve already read through the many comments that have been posted on this topic to see what others have said that may have helped them, but I’d suggest digging a little deeper on this topic to see if there’s anything you can glean. There are more than 350 comments but if you even went through 25 or so you might find a common theme and some posts that have offered some credible ideas. You are in a tough situation because your wife is resistant to getting help; and from what you shared it’s pretty obvious you’ve knocked yourself out trying to “romance her.”

      There’s no doubt that this isn’t fair. When you got married you weren’t thinking it would turn into a sexless marriage. We do have another article that may shed some more light on your problem: https://marriagemissions.com/wife-does-not-want-sex/. In this article there are also links to other articles that may help you as well.

      Here’s another resource we talk about on our web site that “might” be helpful: Sexymarriageradio.com “So what is Sexy Marriage Radio all about? Put simply … sex. There are many resources across the Web about sex. But many (if not most) are not healthy, or appropriate. Sexy Marriage Radio is straight-forward talk about sex and marriage. New shows air each Wednesday. And you don’t even have to visit this web site to listen. You can subscribe for free on iTunes, Blackberry, and Zune.”

      This is a free resource and you can listen anywhere in the world.

      One more thing: you didn’t say that you were in your post, Anonymous, but if you are a Christ-follower your primary responsibility is to follow the Apostle Paul’s admonition, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” (Ephesians 5:25) This is rarely “easy to do,” and for some, like you, it can be extremely difficult to follow through. So, instead of trying to wow or win her with gifts, just shower her her with your love – regardless what she does, or doesn’t do. That’s what Jesus did for us. Those are my thoughts. Hope they help.

      1. So we are a month later from when I posted last. I have done less spoiling, but not to be noticed or be noticeable. I have continued with spending time, trying to balance this by not over doing it. But most importantly, spoken clearly my needs and my love to my wife.

        While she still is not ‘into’ sex at the moment, we have covered some huge ground over discussing how her body is ‘going through some stuff’ and possibly pre menopause stuff. BUT we have agreed to have and have been having sex 2 times a week and she is making a huge effort and not making me feel guilty for wanting sex. The other point was that she doesn’t want to talk about it at the moment, just have sex 2 times per week on the same days and we will review it again in a month or 2. So, I call this major progress and I thank you for the input and the comments I have read about others in this situation. I’ll keep you posted :)

  5. My husband had a cocaine addiction earlier in our marriage and I think I still hold resentment because of the many ways he hurt us! He was ugly to me and said many hurtful words then. We never got counseling but he got thru his addiction! I’m 62 and he is 5 years younger. I have no interest in sex and it is painful too.

    However I feel I’ve neglected my husband. I don’t like for him to touch me and he feels like he is repulsive to me. That is not the case but I have no desire of any kind. I know we all need to be held and cuddled, but I am fine without that. I feel like any touch will lead to sex and I don’t want it. I however would like to rekindle that part of our relationship.

    1. My wife started hormone replacement therapy. Did wonders for sex drive and painful sex. You need to change your thought patterns concerning your husband if you want to rekindle that part of your relationship.

      1. The talk of BHRT seems to be an answer for those of us without libido. However there are health concerns with BHRT. No matter what the doctors may say we really do not know the long term effect of women having high hormone levels into her old age. Breast cancer is one concern. I then feel resentful that I must do expensive and perhaps not so safe treatment to regain a libido that left at menopause. What a dilemma.

    2. Rosie, There is hardly a spouse alive who wouldn’t understand why you feel resentment towards your husband because of his past actions towards you when he was addicted to cocaine. We can only imagine how painful this was for you. But Rosie, the question is… how is that working for you by holding onto this resentment? And if you want to “rekindle” the sexual part of your relationship how will this bitterness help you to do so?

      As I said before, most anyone of any compassion would understand why you would be bitter over all of your husband’s past actions. But your resentment over the past is poisoning your present and future relationship with your husband. Somehow you need to let the past stay in the past and work instead on what is, and what you want to happen in the future in your marriage relationship. I know this is easier said than done. I’ve been there in holding onto resentments towards abusers from my past. If I told you what they did to me, you and others would absolutely understand my bitterness towards them. It was so extremely difficult to let go of the resentment I felt. But holding onto these humanly “justified” feelings only discolored and poisoned my life all the more. They added nothing positive in any way. The same is true with you. It will just add more and more darkness and destruction.

      I came to the place where I asked God to help me to release these toxic feelings. I pleaded with Him, crying out over and over again to help me. And then at one point, I just knew that God was going to help me. I realized at that point that God knew that I would do ANYTHING to get beyond those past nightmares, bitterness, and unforgiveness. And that is true. I couldn’t go on living that way. God let me know that I needed to keep my eyes open and look for His promptings on how to surrender that, which was hurting me more and more each day, and embrace a healthier lifestyle.

      So I read everything that I believe He sent my way so I could give eventually give forgiveness and release resentment. God worked through all of it to help me to let go, and let God lead me to a better way of living. It has been so freeing to let go of the past (and yet being smart to always keep my eyes open to any present or future abuse possibilities). I pray that for you.

      Rosie, you have two issues here. First, you need to let go of the past. Be smart and make sure you still keep your eyes open to not allow yourself to live in that type of situation again. But don’t put too much energy into it and also, let go of past hurts, surrendering them to God. You may need to go to a counselor to be able to get to this place — particularly a counselor who understand addictive issues. But do what you can to release yourself and your husband. Thankfully, he has broken free of living in that addictive lifestyle. But he will still need help to continue to do so. Do what you can to encourage him to keep living clean. He needs the encouragement of those around him–especially you… the one he would value encouragement from the most. Be his cheerleader in this. This can help him to reach forward to a healthier lifestyle with you and for you.

      One thing that can help you with this is to read (and watch) a lot of what we have posted on this web site. I recommend you go to the Bitterness and Forgiveness topic where you will find a lot of different articles, testimonies, quotes, and recommended resources listed. You can find it at: https://marriagemissions.com/category/bitterness-and-forgiveness/. I recommend you start with the Quotes. I believe they will show you how releasing resentment will help YOU more than anyone else. That would be a good starting place for this journey towards freedom. And then go on from there.

      And then second, you need to work on your sexual issues with your husband. I believe that as you release resentment, it will be easier to be open to express yourself in making love to your husband. Again, you may need a marriage-friendly counselor to help you with this. We have some articles and also some recommended web site ministries listed in the Sexual Issues topic. You can find these at: https://marriagemissions.com/category/sexual-issues/. Go in and look around (although you really need to work on the resentment issues first). Go into the “Links and Recommended Resources” part of it. And then visit web sites that deal with marital sexual issues. Write to them. They deal with this type of thing quite a bit. They may be able to give you some positive tips and advice to help you. I hope so and pray for you as you do so.

      Rosie, I’m so sorry that you lived through what you did. It was certainly unfair and horrible, I’m sure. But I hope you can draw a line in the sand and declare that you will not be a prisoner of past behaviors and will instead reach out, along with your husband, to learn to live in your marriage in healthier, more loving ways. Work toward tearing down separating walls, and build bridges towards walking forward together in whatever ways you can show love and receive it from each other. I pray God’s blessing upon you as you reach out to God to help you to do this.

    3. Thank you for your honesty. If you want to rekindle your love life and your sex life, talk about it. Start simple and set some boundaries that your comfortable with. Tell him what your goal is, but also tell him that it will take time and not to push it.

      Until my wife and I had a clear conversation about sex I was lost. We have worked through so much and are still going. We’re not there yet having passionate sex but we are making progress all because we finally talked. She talked and I listened. I talked she listened. Each step is huge but I can tell you from feeling like my wife was repulsed by me made me feel horrible and I was trying so hard. All my effort was in vain until we talked.
      She told me she hated sex. After we talked we came up with an agreement on sex that I was happy with and she was happy with. (This took some flexibility on both sides.)

      This has been going on for a long time. I have respected what she talked about; my wife has respected me. She has gone out of her comfort zone and so have I.

      A week ago (first time in over 3 years) she actually enjoyed sex. We are not all the same, different things work for different people. I’ll say this though. When we spoke about our sex life problems we had more respect for each other’s needs. We have never held hands so much as we do now. We kiss everyday, nothing heavy just connecting. We hug and cuddle regularly. All this took time, but now it had become bonding without effort. Intimacy starts with acknowledgement.

      My wife is not a touching person, quite often sitting on the lounge she will ask me to give her space, which I do. 5 minutes later now, she is reaching out for my hand. Time, time, time. Tell your husband that you love him and sirens the rest of your time living each other.

  6. I am a Christian and love this article and truly believe the things it has to say. Sadly, I’ve tried everyone of these suggestions and more to NO avail. He could care less about what I want or need. He actually argues with me about what I need and what I want. What hurts what feels good, what isnt attractive etc. I’m at my wits end and seriously DONT WANT him to touch me.

  7. UGH and yet again the responsibility falls squarely on the woman to fix this. Nope. I’ll tell you what OK, guys, brush and floss your teeth, get your nails and skin fixed up, smile at your wife, tell her some fun stories or jokes. Don’t complain or whine or want to go to 0-60. ask if you can give her a big hug because you just miss it. Then stop. Hand her her magazine/book/wine. Next night do the same, have a great joke ready. Do this every other night. On about the 6th night, smell great, but not too strong. Tell her, I’m at your service. Anything your heart desires forever, how long…. I bet you’ll see an uptick in sex.

  8. I am a victim of being rejected by my wife when it comes to sex. But after reading your article I now realize that I have a greater role to play. Please support me in prayer.

  9. I am in peri-menopause at age 49. Ever since this hormonal change my libido is almost non-existent. I don’t FEEL turned on. There is zero sexual arousal present. I plain don’t get horny. I have intimacy with my husband as far as throughout the day we hug, touch, kiss, cuddle. But I don’t even think about sex. Of course this has been a huge strain in our 2 year marriage. I have sex for my husband but I get little out of it. In addition to this physical challenge.

    Mentally I am disconnected because of the way my husband likes to have sex. We have discussed this part. Due to a porn addiction, he has sex with me like porn. I don’t feel chemistry, closeness or even like his wife. I feel like a “whore” because there is no foreplay or “loving sex”. He likes to talk dirty perverted fantasies during the whole process, call me names and basically just screw me (that’s how I feel).

    I played along during our entire relationship and marriage but it really is not a turn on for me. It’s his way of having sex. He has gained weight so physically it’s been challenging. All of these factors push against our sex life and we have talked and talked and talked about what we can do. I even expressed to him that I prefer making love and I need foreplay. He has never come my direction. I’ve always done it his way. Then he gets an attitude because he thinks if I love him I should have no problem in pleasing him.

    I think all these factors in my mind causes my body to shut down too. When we talk about it, then he starts staying things like “If I don’t desire him, I must be desiring someone else”. As a man he doesn’t get the fact that hormonally I don’t desire sex – period. I don’t desire anyone else. I have learned to cherish our intimate moments throughout the day and truthfully I am good.

    I am more bothered at his level of frustration with our sex life because he NEEDS sex. I don’t want him to cheat or start looking away so I do what he wants and be done with it. But he says he doesn’t want me to do it and not want it. So I fake it. I really want to fix this but I am so discouraged. I don’t know what to do any more. I just want us to be ok in this area.

    1. My 56 yr old wife felt like you do about sex drive. She started HRT. I almost can’t keep up. The porn issue is a tough one. Does he still look at it? He needs a recovery group for that. Gaining weight? He needs to lose weight. Does he need sex? Yes, it helps us guys keep our eyes & thoughts at home.