My Spouse Has Little or No Sexual Desire

spouse has no desire for sex - Adobe StockIn our culture, with all the emphasis on sex, you wouldn’t think the matter of lacking sexual desire would be a big issue. And yet it is. However, no one wants to talk about it. Except, of course, the spouse who is having to beg for sexual intimacy with their low drive spouse. So, what do you do when your spouse has little or no sexual desire?

This is a very difficult and embarrassing issue for the both partners. Add to that the hurt feelings and misunderstandings that often accompany the tension. As a result, these marriages are heading for disaster. That is, unless something is done about it.

My husband Tom has always said that our sexual relationship isn’t the most important aspect of US. But it is a barometer that reveals how our marriage is doing. If you and your spouse are struggling in regards to physical intimacy, whether it’s lack of time, fatigue, desire or any number of other reasons, please know that you both have work to do. And what’s great about this is that it’s for the good of your marriage. The additional good news is that there is much help available.

Bloggers Address This Issue on Sexual Desire

We are part of a larger community of marriage bloggers called the CMBA (Christian Marriage Bloggers Association). Many of these bloggers have become our dear and trusted friends. They have been writing excellent posts about all sorts of things regarding sexual desire and intimacy in marriage. We believe you will find them helpful to read. That is why we want to recommend a directory of their posts that you can scroll through to see if there are any that speak to your particular challenge. [Marriage Missions Note: There are a few additional posts added for your benefit, as well.]

It’s important to know that God created marriage. And it’s also important to know that sex was His idea. For this reason, we don’t want to make it more than it is intended to be. But we don’t want to sideline it either. Finding the balance where you and your spouse can express your uninhibited love with each other in this way, does more to strengthen your vows to stay committed for a lifetime than anything else can.

No one else can meet your spouse’s sexual needs. Additionally, no one else is able to encourage him or her to such a depth. What a privilege that we have been chosen to love our spouse in such a way.

Let’s not let the enemy of marriage find a single victory in our relationships.


Wife Who Feels Unloved

Husband Who Feels Unloved

Low Drive Husband, High Drive Wife

Low Drive Wife, High Drive Husband

Sexless Marriages

Topics About Sex You Have Trouble Talking About

Some Causes Of Low Or No Sexual Desire

  • Parasites To Marriage, by Marriage Missions International
  • Forbidden Fruit, by Marriage Missions International
  • Porn, by The Generous Husband (this is a combination of a series of posts on the subject of Pornography and the harmful effects it has on marriage. Make sure you read it in its entirety.)

Debi Walter of wrote this blog.

If you have additional tips to help others, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.

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26 responses to “My Spouse Has Little or No Sexual Desire

  1. This is an area that men don’t talk about. Women more than men talk about marriage problems and especially if there is sexual problems. Now, the issues raised could be social issues and medical issues that need to be addressed.

  2. There is no question that in many Christian marriages there is sexual suffering. In some cases it’s because of foolish religious & social taboos, which are not based in scripture.

  3. I’ve been married 46 years and only once had sex and any kind of intimacy in all these years. He hasn’t slept, had dinner, talked or associated with me in all this time. He hated sex, and couldn’t understand how two people could possibly do something so depressing, and vile. When we had sex he threw up all over and said that never again did he want to experience sex again. That was it, no more. He has eaten and slept in the basement or just recently moved into his heated, air conditioned loft in the garage. I guess he can’t stand me; he won’t even park his car in the same garage as mine. If I come out in the yard while he’s working out there he goes in his garage. I would guess him and I don’t care any more we’re getting too old to care.

    1. Amy, I would encourage you to find a good Christian counselor and talk this over with him. I think I responded to a similar comment of yours on another article thread here. But it seems to me that you have been abandoned on every level, and seems like your husband has basically broken your marriage vows. Please seek help.

      1. Its been awhile since I’ve been here but nothing has changed. I don’t remember if I said before he won’t talk to me and hasn’t for years! We only communicate by sticky notes. And the only time I use them is when some thing doesn’t work upstairs, like a water faucet leaks or something needs fixing. He’s a great handy man but refuses to talk to me.

        Now he’s retired and lives in his newly constructed garage out in the corner of our 2 acres. I guess it has sleeping quarters and bathroom. He no longer eats or sleeps in the house. Previously he had built an apartment type thing in our basement and he was living there.

        I’m getting too old to really care any more, counseling is way out of the question. Our lives are much shorter now and my hopes and dreams are all gone except I do have a great shrink and anti depressant pills. The doctor and my pills are my help plus just being positive about myself. There is nothing more for me to do.
        Thanks for writing.

  4. Me and my husband have been married 3 going on 4 years. We have never consummated our marriage. I’m hurt, confused, tired and lonley. This has hurt me so much mentally. I want to be intimate with my husband. I’m in my late 30s and waited to get married and this is what I get!!

    We both are Christians and did not have sex before marriage. I have told him how I feel and even told him we could go to counseling. Every year goes by he says it will happen. It never does, I dont want to force my husband to be with me. I want him to want me. He chooses not to do anything and I remain hurt in this sexless marraige. I can’t take this much longer. I have to be at peace in my mind and heart. I love my husband but this is not fair to me. I KNOW THIS IS NOT HOW GOD INTENDED MARRIAGE TO BE.

  5. Hi There, My wife and I have been together for almost 8 years. Everything was okay for the first 6 years of our marriage and then suddenly everything fell apart: I lost my father, we moved to a new province, we started our own business, which lasted 4 years and finally lost everything with the failing economy 2 years ago. Still we stuck together and went back to corporate life to start over with our careers.

    About a year ago, she made friends with someone at work and kept the friendship a secret from me. I felt neglected. I discovered this friendship in the following way: she’s always on her phone. Wherever she went, no matter if it was the bathroom or whatever, the phone went with. So one day the phone was just laying somewhere and she was busy outside. I looked at her phone and saw that this person was everywhere on her contact list (whatsapp, Facebook, BBM etc). She sent a picture of a drink she was having to this person. After this, I didn’t trust her on her phone anymore and became suspicious every time messages came through or she was working late. We had an huge argument and finally she admitted she handled the friendship wrong and shouldn’t have kept it secret from me.

    We put that in the past and behind us so we could just move on. At that stage I was very unhappy at work (the environment was very negative) and as it goes, one does not always leave work related problems at work when you get home.

    Our relationship changed. I still love her tremendously but she says we have grown apart and she loves me but is not in love with me anymore. Those few words took my breath away because I was feeling anxious, sad and very alone all at once. I didn’t know how to respond.

    Now I must add that she has been depressed from the moment I met her and has been diagnosed with bipolar since the beginning of this year. That is putting even more pressure on our marriage because I never know what to expect when I see her. She takes her medicine as prescribed but I don’t feel this can carry on any longer. She told me 4 times in the past year that I must look for someone else because maybe she’s not the right partner for me. I told her all 4 times that I disagree because we can fix this.

    We also almost never have sex. She says she has no interest in it and that she doesn’t want it (hence the “you must look for someone else” scenario). I’m to a point that when she utters those words again, I would say “okay, you can move out tomorrow”.

    We don’t have kids. We have 4-legged ones who gets way more attention and love from her than I do and that causes some envy from my side. The same with her parents. She tells them every day that she loves them but doesn’t say that to me anymore. I say it but she always replies with “I love you too”. She never says it out on her own.

    What am I to do here? How can I solve this problem and make it go away? I feel like a neglected, abused child. The more I’m neglected the more I want attention. Best regards, Danny

    1. Hi Danny, I’m so sorry for what you’re going through. Sometimes people who have depression are dealing with unresolved issues and may not be fully aware of what they are or sure about what they’re feeling or thinking. Ask her what it is she is really feeling. Be open and gentle about it, but direct. Sometimes what may happen is that people form a bond with someone outside the marriage. They’re insecure about situations, life, themselves. Even if it isn’t a sexual affair, he or she is relying on that person emotionally and would be considered emotional infidelity.

      The upside of this type of situation is that most often than not it is one-sided. We don’t know what is really transpiring… Do they just talk? What do they talk about? She might feel good when she talks to him. Give an illusion and confusion of feelings. “This makes me feel good… this is what infatuation feels like.”

      You and I know it’s not real, but sometimes people who are in experiencing traumatic or stressful situations feel or think that they’ve found the answer in said individual because they feel or think that they are understood. Like an escape from reality of the hard times she and you are dealing with.

      The dangerous part is that it can and often will “mis” lead them in to a false sense of security and false feeling of love. That is when people have affairs. The other guy involved may or not know this about her. Chances are he knows too much about the situation.

      What do you do? It is your right as a husband to talk to her and if you don’t mind the friendship to meet him. It’s almost with a guarantee that he won’t respond. Nothing that is right is done in secret, especially from your spouse. He may want to just use her. Maybe he is not planning on doing so. Protect her and your hearts. Do not use anger when confronting her it will only make her run the other way.

      Try to make her feel secure in your life together. Pay extra attention to her. Give her all the feel good feelings she thinks she needs. She may feel conflicted, you will see it if she is. This will also tell you whether or not she is relying on the other person. But remain loving, pray for her. Go to church and stand for your marriage. If the other guy is only in it for his selfish needs, he won’t want her problems. Only husbands love and nurse their wives through tough times. Pray.

  6. We have very different sex drives, she wants it every few days and I can go weeks. We “solved” the problem by doing “30 days to better sex” at a web site. We each filled out a questionnaire and agreed to do whatever was scheduled each day. Some days nothing, some days masturbation, some days a certain position. We have to do it every few months, but it gets us going and on track for a while.

    1. I am a lot like David, but even more in the camp of not into sex. I’m in my 50’s and have tried testosterone replacement gels and shots with no effect. They did nothing to boost my levels. I’ve been as low at 80. When you are like this, sex is not only *not* on my mind, but it is an extreme turn off. Seeing it on TV is even disturbing. The thought of “doing” it is not only not appealing, it is repulsive…”why would ANYBODY want to do that?”

      The body gets old. I do not believe our body was ever intended to live as long as it does in our modern times. Eventually it is time to hang up the football cleats, the baseball glove, etc. It’s also time to give up the idea of sex.

      At a certain age, sex is not only not appealing, but it is undignified. I’m not really interested in seeing my wonderful wife in an advanced age shaking uncontrollably from the act or the exchange of body fluids. I really want somebody to tell me what is beautiful about either of those acts? The last time we did it I practically ran to the bathroom to get cleaned up.

      Now I must admit that I’ve never been that into it. When I was younger it was strictly the need of the body. I’ve never felt a “two become one” feeling or a merging of the souls, etc. It was a physical need of the body, that is it and nothing more. Now that the body is shutting down this area, it’s not only not a need, it’s a *can’t* and the doctors can not turn it back on.

  7. Sometimes it seems like a chore that’s always the same. We did scripted sex at My Partner And I and that helped us both put effort back into having fun when we got naked.

    1. Scripted sex? Is that like play acting or role playing? I barely got through speech class in college :) Don’t think I could ever do something like that and have it do anything other than make me want to go watch reruns.

      I tend to agree with Alexander. I’m also nearing 60 and have been diagnosed low T. T replacement does not work. I got a quick bump but then nothing. Most of my friends have been diagnosed with this and even guys I know that are only mid 30’s. I’m starting to think it’s not a real science or issue. We had fun when younger, but that ship has sailed a long, long time ago.

      Why am I on this site if I have this opinion? Because I keep getting told by the TV that I’m broken and society is telling me I’m broken, so I started researching. Thing is… I don’t feel broken. I just feel 60! I still am active, still work, still volunteer, but my joints are starting to hurt a little and things take longer to heal. It’s called aging and is natural. I can’t turn back time.

      The more I research, the more I realize I’m not broken. This world is too obsessed with sex. I could not believe how many Christian sex sites I found in my Google searches. Put that energy into something useful… please.

      1. There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as your wife is okay with it. If she is feeling deprived, then it could be very problematic –the same would be the case if it was the wife who had issues but didn’t feel it was important. If her spouse is having problems with it and something can be done, then it’s a problem. If both are in agreement, then there’s no problem, as far as I can see.

      2. Could not agree more!!! I wrestled with my personal sin of sexual uncleanness and pornography almost all my young adult life /falling and repenting every 5-8 weeks/ until I got married to the love of my life after which overnight everything just ceased and I am content with getting affectionate maybe twice a week as opposed to falling into sexual uncleanness twice every day. God instituted marriage to join one man and one woman in an inseparable unit to carry out His plan and purpose here on earth, and sex is but the result of the love they receive from God through His Holy Spirit and the deep uniting knowledge of each other, not the purpose of marriage.

        As opposed to the destructive heresies of some of today’s self-appointed “ministers” – marriage is not a legalized sexual relationship! We are not called to have great sex and marriage was never intended by God to revolve around sex. Some extortioners preach today, because whatever other subject they would “preach” on, just hangs out of their mouth “like the legs of the lame that hang limp” because there is either no true repentance and authentic life behind it, or they got deceived, complacent and corrupted, whichever way. This is why they allure gullible believers with this topic /sex/ to show how “free” and unreligious they are, twisting God’s Word, proclaiming “don’t deprive one another” out of context, when Paul clearly states in the very next verse that he didn’t receive this from the Lord Jesus Christ as a commandment but as a concession and that he wishes that every beliver would be like him – himself being unmarried, taking care of God’s business before anything else.

        The most outrageous sites I came across was “Christian Nymphos” and “Swingers for Jesus”. These people are everything else but Christians /Christ-like/ persons and if they refuse to repent from all their heart, are for sure subject to God’s judgment for subverting believers who truly escaped the corruptions of this world – Jude, 2Peter…May God have mercy on them and give them the grace to awake from the snares of the devil – Revelations 3:5!

      3. I actually have found a mix of meds that has raised my T levels to around 600 or more. I’m feeling a lot better, no fatigue, etc but it has zero affect on the libido. The entire idea is still very unappealing. I love, and respect my wife but have absolutely no sex drive and no desire. I don’t look at other women with desire. It’s simply not there. Since I was always on the low drive side I think this is just normal for me, a normal part of my body aging. It may not be normal for you or some others, but I’ve talked to enough people to realize this is normal for a lot of people. We all have different levels of desire, different needs for affection. I’m simply not interested in exploring somebody else’s body and I really do not want somebody exploring mine. I treasure my privacy and modesty. I don’t even want to be at the beach without a T shirt on.

        I do feel a calling to be vocal on this. I’m getting weary of people saying people like me are broken and need fixed. Not all of us think about sex 24/7. Yes it’s part of life, but it’s only 1 part of a million and its main purpose is to have kids. The two become one….to make a family. After that… eh.

        1. Alexander, As long as your wife doesn’t feel deprived, and you both are on the same page on this, then there’s nothing wrong with this. If she feels left out in the cold on this, then there is a problem. If not, there’s no problem. It’s not what happens in other people’s marriages that matter, but in your own. If your wife is feeling fulfilled emotionally and physically, then all is well within your marriage. If not… then you will eventually have problems happening within your marriage, if not already. I’m just saying…

          1. I do not think that having sex is not a religious or holy experience. It does not bring me closer to Jesus. Having sex is not like going to the alter to pray. It’s a physical act. I’m not having sex with Jesus or God.

            I do believe that because some people put such a high priority or desire with/for sex it causes a great majority of problems in society. If people would act more mature, and keep sex in the compartment that it belongs in we would have fewer issues, and heck of a lot less drama.

  8. I’m in my late 40’s and the low drive spouse. She has gained over 100 pounds and now weighs more than me, but still has a high drive. I’ve tried but it just does not work. We have talked about the weight but it’s not getting better. She’s gained 10-15 pounds just this year already. It’s taking a low drive and killing it to zero. Am I supposed to just close my eyes and go to my happy place and do it? That does not work for me. Makes me have ED. It’s not enjoyment. It feels like a duty.

    1. Hi, Jim. First I need you to know that even though you don’t indicate in this post if you & your wife are Christ-followers, what I’m going to share with you comes from our (Marriage Missions International’s) Biblical stand on all aspects of marriage. I don’t negate your personal issue of having problems engaging in sex when you are “turned off.” I’m not a counselor but the impression I’m getting is that body image is a very big “thing” for you. Often, we men set the body image standard too high for our wives because of our exposure to Porn – either in the past or the present. I know this from personal experience. Earlier in our marriage my sex addiction issues nearly killed off our sexual relationship. So, if that’s your issue, then you need to take that to the Lord and ask for Him to cleanse you and give you “new eyes” to see your wife as the most beautiful woman in the world, and sexually attractive as well, no matter what her body image is.

      If Porn is not a major contributing factor to your “problem” but body image is still the factor, then I want to encourage you to go into the Song of Solomon and read the descriptions of Solomon’s wife and how “hot” she was in his eyes. She was no “super model;” everything there says she was a big girl. One of the things we Christian men have to fight is how we view women…and not just from the pornographic side of things. Our eyes are bombarded every day through television, magazine covers, movies, etc. that the only really pretty women are the ones who are svelte, have adequate bust lines and who always wear Victoria’s Secret in the bedroom (again, I am speaking from personal experience).

      Jim, just like we tell wives who come to our site with a low or no sex drive and ask “Do I close my eyes and go to my happy place and do it?” The answer is, “YES.” If we believe God’s word is our guide for marriage, then we have to believe we are to consider the needs of our spouse more than our own – it’s sacrificial love. At the same time I know our Heavenly Father wants us to bring our needs to Him. So, if you haven’t made this a matter of prayer, start now! God already knows what your problems are but He still wants us to voice them. Ask him to change your heart, your mind, and the image of your wife. Next (and this may sound weird), the next time your wife initiates sex, go into her and start praying to ask God to give you the desire for your wife (alone – you have to keep images of other women out of your head and your bedroom).

      We know of couples who have had the exact same issues you’re dealing with where the spouse with low/no desire for sex will engage with their partner because they know that’s the right thing to do, and they pray as they are “performing” and ALWAYS before they are done they both are satisfied. That’s because God cares about your relationship more than you do.

      Lastly, I don’t want to mitigate the issue of your wife’s obesity because this isn’t just a body image thing – this is a very serious health issue that if she can’t get under control can kill her prematurely. I know this is a very sensitive/volatile issue and has to be handled with Godly gentleness, kindness, and firmness. As her husband you have every right to be concerned. This isn’t just your issue, it’s hers, too. She needs to be as much in prayer about your lack of desire and her need to get down to a healthy weight.

      I pray you don’t dismiss this and think there’s got to be an easier way to deal with this. There’s not! But nothing truly worthwhile in our lives comes easy, especially when our end goal is to bringg glory to God in every aspect of our life – including our sex lives. Blessings! ~Steve Wright, marriage Missions International.

  9. My husband of 9 years says he lacks the sexual drive and interest for me or other women. We have struggled with this throughout our marriage. He does not want to seek help and much as I have tried to get help, he is unwilling to go. He says it is psychological. Within the past 2-3 months he developed interest for his 22 year daughter. I suspected something just last week and caught them in an intimate embrace on Christmas 2016. They have been seen to kiss also. Doesn’t that show that he has sexual drive and maybe rejecting me?

    1. Harriet, yes this shows he has a deviant, inappropriate sexual drive that more than likely didn’t “just” develop. He needs to be confronted with this as a lot of men who have no “normal” sex drive is often the result of a sexual addiction where all they crave is inappropriate sexual relationships. Sorry to be the one to tell you this, but if he doesn’t get help it could get worse (if that’s possible).

      1. Thanks Steve. You are right, he has been masturbating for a long time. I asked him to stop because it has negative effect on our sex life. I asked him to go and we pray so that he gets deliverance. He told me he had stopped, however I hear him in bed. When I confronted him he said that he does not ejaculate so how can he be masturbating.
        After the incident on Christmas our communication is low. On that day when I found them, he told me he will not have sex with me again in our marriage and his daughter will be his witness that he will fullfill it. I realize that for him he did not want sex anymore and it was his way of humiliating me. They have continued with their behavior even after I confronted them. I had talked to a trusted couple to speak to them, but the couple says I should be patient and hold on. I have turned to prayer and fasting, only God can help in this spiritual war.

  10. I love my wife, and I know she loves me, and with two young daughters, life can be hectic. I try to come on to her at bed time, and she will roll over; she’s always too tired. I always offer to rub her back, compliment her throughout the day, tell her the amazing job shes doing. I never get any of that back. I try to communicate; she however cannot communicate back, and if the conversation is about uncomfortable subjects, such as sex, she can the topic on the spot.

    I tell her I feel I do so much to lift her, to try to make her feel good emotionally and physically, but in return I don’t feel I get that same treatment. And because she shows no physical signs that she’s feeling giddy at bedtime, and the numerous amounts of time she will shrug me off, I ask, “Is this a good time?” Her response is usually “I don’t like being asked for sex; its weird” and she leaves me with questions, and it hurts my confidence.

    Is she cheating? Is she unattached and I don’t do it for her anymore? It turns into a nightmare, and I explain to her she’s messing up everything, and naturally occurring sex is something that is thrown out the window, because I feel like I don’t want to go through rejection over and over. It’s really hurting me, she thinks everything I think about is sex and that’s not true. I’m only focused on sex because of so much rejection and feeling like I sacrifice for her, but she doesn’t for me, for the betterment of our bond.

    1. Hey, I also have the same problem; whenever I ask she will tell me that I am forever asking. I really don’t know what to do now. I have been praying for God to assist me, I can’t even ask for sex.

    2. Sorry for delayed response; this is not uncommon from what I have read & my own experiences. Maybe you need a little distance between you. Not move out or be gone for nights. But work on your car, paint a room, practice guitar, work on golf swing, something, hands off her for a few weeks, limit compliments, no sex talk, don’t make her think you are cheating but maybe a little less interested. After a few weeks, without asking, make a move. But don’t push it.

  11. Sexual issues can stem from a lot of internal personal struggles. Sometimes a little nudge in the right direction can help address this. However, I have been reading through the comments and some people really need to seek a therapist for some of the cases here. There are online intimacy courses for couples now that you can explore if you are open to it.