When You Don’t Want Sex With Your Husband

Wife doesn't want to make love, is sad - 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 to Have 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

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 for not wanting 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.

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, 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 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; 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, 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. 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 —and her anger sizzles.”

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.

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.”

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


Paul Byerly, from The-generous-husband.com web site gives additional insightful information you might find helpful as you read:

SEX FOR HER —When She Resists or Limits Sex

Print Post

Filed under: Sexual Issues

Join the Discussion

Please observe the following guidelines:

  • Try to be as positive as possible when you make a comment.
  • If there is name-calling, or profane language, it will be deleted.
  • The same goes with hurtful comments targeted at belittling others; we won't post them.
  • Recommendations for people to divorce will be edited out–that's a decision between them and God, not us.
  • If you have a criticism, please make it constructive.
  • Be mindful that this is an international ministry where cultural differences need to be considered.
  • Please honor the fact this is a Christ-centered web site.

We review all comments before posting them to reduce spam and offensive content.


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

  1. 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?

  2. 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

      1. Hi… I am 50. I have a son almost 30 yrs old. My husband & I also have 2 sons, ages 8 yrs old and a 6 yr old. My husband & I had a great sex life before we got married in 2005. I did go through 4 IVF cycles. 2 cycles took and 2 didn’t. I want nothing more than to get my love life/sex life with my husband back. I still find him a turn on and handsome and love him dearly. I need to know where to start to help me/us.

        1. Hi Alisa, You will see several suggestions within this article as far as where you can go and what to do “to start” to get things started in the right direction. There are other articles in the “Sexual Issues” topic that you may find helpful to read and apply, as well. There are articles posted in that topic for your husband if he doesn’t have the desire. I hope they help.

          1. I am in my mid 40s and married for the last 13 years and we have 2 kids. I am a devoted husband and I love my wife a lot (maybe too much). I can also feel she loves me a lot.

            After we had our last kid 9 years ago she lost the sex appetite. I always think it is the new pregnancy pills she started taking after our last kid was born 9 years ago. And I have told her to please go to the Dr. and look for help as I still want to have sex with her at least once per week. But she keeps rejecting with all the excuses. Masturbation helped me for a while but I got tired of it. And She does not want to get any help at all.

            We have sex 2 times per month after begging a lot … and she does it only to keep me happy, but she is not happy doing it. She does not like it any more. When she started agreeing to have sex with me even with no desire, I was good with that to satisfy my sexual desires. But I love her a lot and I do not want her to do something she does not want. I got tired of begging for sex. She still does not like it. I feel like I am torturing her every time we have sex or even when just trying to talk about it.

            So I stopped 1 month ago; I decided to have a timeout without sex temporarily or even permanently. We cuddle in bed and give affection to each other but without sex. Because I stopped asking/begging, she asked me last week if I wanted sex and I said no. She asked me again yesterday and I said no again; She asked me why and I just said that I do not want to talk about it (to avoid painful repeated conversations) and I said I feel we are good but I just do not want sex. I love her that much that I stopped all sex together so she does not have to do something she does not like. I am not even masturbating at all.

            This is the first time in 13 years of marriage that I am behaving like this, hopefully my sexual appetite is gone like hers so we can live happy, or my behavior makes her change and look for more sex. “The truth is that for now I feel much much better knowing that I am not going to have any sex than being rejected.”

          2. John, Thanks for sharing your story. I know many who read this particular blog can relate. Overall you have handled this the best possible way you can given that your wife won’t go to see her doctor and try and find a medical solution – if there is one. The only thing I disagree with is that when she approached you not only did you turn her down but you also didn’t even communicate with her. I’m not saying by doing so it would definitely have turned out positive, but had you talked it out with her upon her initiation it just “might” have turned out better than you thought. I know it’s hard to imagine that possible scenario after all of the rejection you’ve endured; and like most people you don’t want to intentionally get into an area that could result in further pain. I think the key for you is that if you enter into a conversation in the future with no expectations of a great result for you, you can minimize the possible pain again. If you believe the best outcome is that you’ve been able to share your heart and your feelings and that you aren’t trying to “pay her back,” that could be the beginning of a resolution. At least I’d like to believe that could happen. It’s up to you. I just wanted to share my thoughts with you.

            I also want you to know I admire you for the fact that you never went to the “If I ain’t gettin’ any at home, I’ll get it elsewhere” card like I hear from so many men who leave comments here. You are honoring your marriage vows by giving up what is most important for you to honor your wife’s desires, even though they may be unreasonable. I don’t think you are loving her too much. I think you are loving her exactly how God wants you to. Blessings!

    2. I hear you brother Matthew. Once complacent, they switch off and it is virtually a lost cause. You are the man (as am I and not in an arrogant way here) of women’s dreams (millions of them). BUT yours has all she needs and you’ve become almost pathetic in her eyes -always trying to please her and make her happy all the time. I/ we’ve all been there.

      I heard nothing here that says she does anything for you. You are an indentured servant, I have lived, studied and witnessed this situation for years. I am 48 – the only thing that will initiate sex from her end is when you tell her how you feel -worthless to “her” but in some bizarre twist not to the carnal world at large. Then continue with how you can no longer share intimate space with someone who cannot be intimate with you. Your love is still there but since the rules have been changed, for my own survival and mental well being, I have moved into the other bedroom.

      Keep this short, stay on point (the refused know how to turn everything back to you and how you are at fault or are too needy-do not engage!). To engage in too much talk gives her power and you’ll be in same spot a year from now and every year thereafter. I am a Christian, I know what God intended marriage to be (American laws have created what it is though). While I appreciate Corwin’s comments here, he is missing something huge and does not fully understand the marriage relationship. You’ll never die to self in this matter.

      I would venture to say that your household, your schedules, the furnishings are all her. She IS a controller. She will not change without real action. We all have to become men again and take back our homes and our manliness. FOR THE RECORD, I HAVE LEARNED THERE ARE MANY HUSBAND REFUSERS AS WELL TORTURING THEIR WIVES IN THE EXACT SAME WAY.

      Just to reiterate, you must take a real action and do not threat -do it! Let her plead with you to move back to the bedroom. You have to turn the tables on this situation lest you die from heartache and loneliness. Plan, execute and just let the chips fall and you’ll learn soon how she feels. There is not a single other way to effect change -Status quo is your only alternative – year after year after year. And soon you’ll be writing how you’ve lost your love for her.

  3. 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

  4. “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: http://marriagemissions.com/jesus-do-you-see-him/. 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.

        1. Update: Three days ago my wife and I had to go to my daughter’s college after she suffered a major depressive episode; she has failed 2 classes and had to postpone her finals until she returns (if she returns) in January. My background is in psychology and I never saw it coming. What a great father I turned out to be. The one success in my life shot to H-LL. My failure is now complete.

  5. There are wives who have refused sex for years. Is it possible for her to remain without it, especially when she was real horny a few years back? Or is she having an affair with someone else?

  6. The number one problem is enthusiasm. If guys don’t see any resemblance displayed outwardly toward them then it makes guys question their wife’s interest toward them. My wife just lays there when we FINALLY have sex at all. She just absorbs the moment and has fun while I do all the work. I’ve read many times that women want the guy to charm her all day long. Give her things, time, conversation, interaction, and basically con her into believing he is a good mating partner. AHHAHAHAHAHA!!!

    Do we ALL have to work that hard every time??!! What about the women? Tell me why women demand romance yet very, very few of them are romantic at all??!! Why isn’t my wife trying to charm me? Why isn’t my wife trying to do things for me? Why isn’t my wife displaying ANY affections toward me at all??

    It is the responsibility of each person to DECIDE and make a CHOICE to be loving. The Bible clearly reads that sure, it’s great you have there wonderful gifts but the greatest of these is love.
    So I ask, where is the love? Why can’t I get attention from my wife. Other men’s wives seem to stare at me and give me attention yet my own wife… not at all. It’s been this way since our first year of marriage; back when she began being controlling, angry all the time, clearly NOT affectionate, abusive.

    Now she acts like I’m a pervert because I wished to be with her and have her actually do more than simply lie there like a blow up doll. I’m a pervert for wanting something other than missionary and her do NOTHING. Is this how shallow marriage help is? I’m not interested in just sex. I’m interested in the behavior toward me! I’m interested in affection, nice words, confirmation, love being lavished on me!

    What in the heck is wrong with people?! What is wrong with the fact that guys want to be loved first and foremost over sex and then have their wife physically show desire and interest? Abstinence doesn’t go hand-in-hand with a healthy marriage. YOU’RE causing the pain in the household. You’re causing the abuse. YOU are the abuser.

    1. You asked why she does this, so I’ll give you the honest truth. She knows you don’t love her. Its as simple as that. She’s unenthusiastic about being used for sex, why would she be? Are you enthusiastic about giving love and affection? The words you just spoke indicate a big, resounding NO. You feign affection for her to buy sex, and she knows it. I don’t say this to be harsh with you. You are the leader, appointed by God himself. Be the leader. Pray that you can find some love in your heart for your wife, and give it with enthusiasm. Lead her in a love relationship with you, and she will be drawn to you sexually. This happens naturally when a woman is loved. Do you really have to work for it? Well, I won’t answer that question. Instead, I’ll ask you a question…aren’t you expecting her to work hard for your pleasure and satisfaction? So why would you be exempt from the same?

      1. V is NOT saying he does not want to reciprocate “charm, etc.” But when have you ever heard of a women being mocked for not romancing her husband?!! He is so right that guys are always looked at as the ones who need to be romantic, plan everything, always be in charm mode …on top of all the responsibilities that fall exclusively on a man like maintaining a business/job to support the family.

        V likely realizes that he does and has done all these things responsible men “should” YET HE GETS LITTLE to NO HELP! Lily, I think I can speak for him that WE WANT TO PURSUE AND BE ROMANTIC and we have for years BUT there is NO RECIPROCATION!!!!! We just work, provide, be good guys, put on a front that we’re happy but she won’t even wake up in the morning to see him off to work with a cup of coffee, leave him a note letting him know how grateful she is for …. well for anything, for just being her husband! No signs of affection unless for the kids. No spontaneity, just avoidance. She never initiates anything and by way of action and inaction says “whatever” do your thing if you have to!

        Lily, I do not believe you understand men as well as you think and I would venture here that you are a refuser. Being ignored and refused becomes a tortuous situation for men. V is correct, we want to be pursued as well but to make us “earn” sexual fulfillment by constant, active “romance” is total crap and a cop out for a refusing wife. Refusers (men and women I realize) spend more time creating situations to avoid intimacy and close quarters that may lead to sex that they do planning how to make a good marriage. Refusers become masters of distractions, evasion, preemptive refusals (oh I’ve got a list). It is a martial rip-off for the refused. A bait and switch. Women DO need to step up to the plate of pro-active romance. 99% of men will realize they are loved and will, almost by nature, reciprocate.

      2. Lily, he is not asking to be exempt from the same! He is saying that for all he does, she never romances him as is often the case. Men get mocked for not being romantic, women never do though. He is just sick and tired of being a “good guy” doing all the responsible things he does and YES, including being romantic but never with the reciprocation he deserves! He is saying that it is a ONE WAY STREET! He is frustrated beyond belief but she will not even wake up early to see him off to work with a cup of coffee or a note letting him now her appreciation for who he is and what he does for the family, no affection, rather just avoidance and “keep the peace” sex. She is a refuser and he is the bad guy if he leaves – it’s wrong.

    2. V, YOU ARE RIGHT!!!!! When is a woman ever mocked for not romancing her husband? I replied to Lily’s comments and should post soon. For all men do as husbands, fathers, providers, fun-creators, domestic duties, etc. yet we STILL HAVE TO BE the romancers all the time to have a serious need met? It is a load of &$^%! And for any refusers out there who want to challenge V on this, know that what you are forfeiting by not romancing your husbands is the most valuable connection that God has created and endorsed! You have smothered your own fulfillment and happiness made possible by loving and romancing your husband. And the root of it is pride, arrogance and some sense that now that you have your security with a home, marriage and kids, he can just be your indentured servant. Marriage is designed for regular sex, regular “oneness”. Women need to look for reasons to have it not for reasons to avoid it!

  7. I have been married twelve years. We had kids right away, four daughters before we were married five years! It took a huge toll on us. He became angry, possessive and even abusive the first 7 years. So in response to this, I became resentful, and completely emotionally detached from him. Plus I was exhausted by the end of the day…all I wanted was sleep! He didn’t and still doesn’t put my needs above his own. Though he isn’t physically abusive or controlling me anymore, it has had a lasting impact on me.

    Typical for him, he is always grabbing my breasts or acting in a sexual way towards me, and I have let him know this is NOT a turn on for me. It just makes me feel like a slab of meat or a plaything. I need emotional connection. And I need him to not be sexually selfish. But for years now I can’t talk to him. The years of abuse and neglect have made me hide everything I feel from him. In bed he will not give me as much fore play as I need, which hurts me to the core because after just ONE orgasm he climbs on top and does his thing, and gets angry if I don’t act like I like it.

    How in the world is this ever going to get better? I am afraid to talk to him. I have told him some of what I want but he gives excuses. But mostly I just don’t feel emotionally connected to him anymore, and I don’t feel sexually attracted to him either. But it’s due to his behavior. He acts immature, and is very easily angered. I’ve prayed to God lots of times but nothing helps. I have begun to accept this as our life and that maybe this is the one area I need to let go of. We need serious help. I feel like all he wants from me is sex, any other time he spends his time selfishly, never wanting to know me.

    1. I am sorry for your situation and it appears you have a husband with stunted emotional health. I am sure that there is so much more I know you could say in all of this and having 4 kids so quickly is a tough adventure. If he is a provider and overall responsible father, you do owe it to yourself to get the help. You have to find the strength with another person you trust to let him know that you are too valuable to be mistreated and you will not be that woman who looks back in 5 or 10 years wishing she had forced a change or just left.

      One thing that I have found is a spouse who behaves badly only changes their behaviors when the spouse demonstrates a plan to leave and he/she knows it is for real. A 3rd party will help with what specifics he can do and you as well, to turn this around. But do not wait – it never gets better. If he is abusive, all the more reason to effect change now, he will not get better with status-quo here. Plan, be smart and DO NOT GET GUILTED BY ANYTHING HE SAYS. Lastly, I’ll add, we all try to “let go of this area” to keep our sanity when we are refused intimacy but rarely is it actually possible. It’s why even after kids, years of marriage, a house, financial successes, etc. we are here writing to each other due to the loneliness we still feel.It is real because God created something good that Satan has corrupted. But it is another miracle to watch a spouse get serious when the neglected says “I feel dead to you and I’m leaving”.

  8. My hubby courted me with large amounts if affection and passion, which is what attracted me to him. From the moment we were married it all ended. No affection unless he’s looking for his quick 4min sex to achieve orgasm and I feel raped after no foreplay and no sexual gratification.

    We’ve now been married almost for 4 years. Due to his one daughter breaking my foot to the dregree that I can no longer support myself and my son financially, I want out so bad that as soon as my son finishes in 6 yrs and he can support himself. I want to take my own life. My husband refuses to talk about our problems and walks out the room. When I tried writing a letter he read it and the reply I got was a sms saying I love u As far as he is concerned we are happily married. I do not want to live like this anymore.

    If not for my son needing me right now I should take my own life now. Don’t get me wrong he’s generally a good man, but does not seem to know how to love…and not willing to try either. Bottom line I want out. What do I do?

  9. This is my first time doing this. I love my husband, however I am not attracted to him physically especially his body, so it’s hard for me to be intimate. How can I overcome this? I want us to have a healthy sex life I know how important it is. Also when we do make love, he is so turned on quickly that he can’t even get it fully in and go for awhile before he is going to have an orgasm, so I don’t have a chance to enjoy intimancy with him, and I have told him this, so if anyone has any suggestions please I would appreciate it, because I want to honor God in our marriage.

  10. Hello all, Sex is important to us women as well. I have been married to my husband for 5 years now and for 4 years we have been trying to conceive our first child and have so far been unsuccessful. My test results have indicated that my system and everything else is fine and that I can conceive. My husband’s first analysis indicated all was ok but the 2nd test indicated poor motility though he claims the doctor says he can conceive. What followed were 4 long hellish years of emotionally abusive blame and finger pointing from him at what he deemed my failure to conceive and convincing himself that I must be doing something to prevent us getting pregnant even though I tried to get him to understand that I too wanted a child. He would not listen and would go as far as to criticise me in bed by comparing me to his first girlfriend. He is my first, but I know myself to be adventurous in bed as long as it does not go against scripture and at first we used to be hot for one another in the first year. I used to enjoy sex and desired him a lot and initiated quite frequently but most of the time you get rejected and so stopped initiating altogether. When he did initiate I would respond but not with the same enthusiasm as I used to because it feels like it is always on his terms and how he wants it.

    The last year before he asked me to for a “divorce” since he felt I couldn’t give him a child and therefore had no future with him was hell for me whenever he touched me I felt disgusted by him even though I tried my best not to show it. I feel he wasn’t faithful and may have tried to father a child somewhere else. Sometimes we women begin to hate sex depending on how our husbands handle us. I am now focused on improving myself and am wondering how can I get back my positive attitude for sex as I would like to one day still have children and a relationship. We have been separated for the past 3 months and since it was a Catholic marriage there is no divorce. This man led to me losing my job and he has begun pestering me again. I am working on getting my job back and I think a year away from him will help me get better perspective on what to do with this situation.

  11. Women go through different phases, while men’s sexuality is a bit logarithmic. In youth, just like men, women want it too. But after they’ve had their fill in marriage or maybe had children, they seem to care less and less because their hormones change. Important to note: hormonal change doesn’t mean you have no sexual response. Just because you’re “Not in the mood” doesn’t mean you can’t let your husband “Get you in the mood”. But most women don’t want to. If they are in the mood and want it, then their husband better be ready to go. But vice versa, it’s a double standard. Then, when they reach their 30’s and 40’s, all of a sudden they get sex cravings and go crazy and want sex all the time. While a man’s sex drive is high in his teens and steadily declines at a predictable rate, his desire for sex is curving down at the time that his wife’s desire is likely curving up. Which means that the shoe’s now on the other foot. She wants sex and he doesn’t care as much. So what happens? She ends up having an affair, while he was expected to remain loyal all those years. That’s why most divorces are filed by women now these days because it’s socially acceptable to dump your husband for a more attentive man and get to keep your kids and house and whatever else.