When a Wife Doesn’t Want to Have Sex

No Sex - Pixabay

I’m going to approach this article a bit differently than others I’ve written. I feel a need to address both women and men on this matter, because it DOES matter. It’s a struggle, whether you’re the wife or the husband. Both feel very strongly about this part of their marriage. This article addresses the issue of when a wife doesn’t want to have sex. But it also addresses what it is like for the man to be refused.

I totally agree with something Dr Phil McGraw has said on his television program,

“Sex might not be everything but it registers higher (90 percent) on the ‘importance scale’ if it’s a source of frustration in your relationship. It is a gigantic issue, if your sex life is unfulfilled. On the other hand, couples that have satisfying sex lives rate sex at only 10 percent on the ‘importance scale.'” (From Ten Relationship Myths)

For both husband and wife, it’s a huge problem if they aren’t in agreement.

First: To The Husband Whose Wife Doesn’t Want Sex

I can’t even start to know the frustration you’re experiencing. I’ve listened to men (and my own husband) as they’ve voiced their anxiety and grief and utter angst over this issue. However, because I’m not a man, I don’t really understand it in the same way another man would.

So, when I came across a series of articles written by Paul Byerly, and I saw the value of what Paul has written, I determined to let him address this issue from a man’s perspective. He and his wife Lori have a wet site called The Marriage Bed. Paul knows what he is talking about on this issue.

So men, please read the following series of articles posted on The-generous-husband.com web site (you may even want to question him about this matter):




And then here is a great article written by Sheila Wray Gregoire on this same issue. Sheila addresses husbands, helping them to figure out why she doesn’t like sex in the first place. And then what to do about it. We encourage you to read this article (and comments posted below it). Sheila does a great job in explaining things:

FOR THE GUYS: When Your Wife Hates Sex


Neil Black wrote the following articles, which you may find helpful:



I hope men find the above series of articles, from both Paul Byerly and Neil Black, helpful!

Next: For Wives Who Do Not Want to Have Sex:

I realize that this is a complex issue for the wife who is denying her husband, as well. There are so many reasons why you may not want to make love to your husband. Some of these reasons may be lack of desire, his cleanliness, his demanding, abusive, controlling ways, which turn you off when you consider having any physical contact with him. And then there are pornography issues —either his or yours. Satisfaction is being achieved through false, sinful entertainment. We deal with many of those issues in other topics of this web site. Please search for them.

There’s also busyness, where you’re too tired to make love to your husband because of the demands of children, job obligations, household chores, etc. There are so many reasons why a wife may want to say no to having sex with her husband. Lori Byerly, of The Generous Wife web site wrote a blog addressing this issue, that you may find insightful. I sure did —probably because I have had to make similar decisions:


These issues are also addressed within other topics on this web site. Please seek and you will find. It’s not that they will give instant answers, or every answer; they won’t. But I believe you will find inspiration and at least some help to make changes that are needed in intimately connecting with your marriage partner.

Past Abuse Nightmares

Also, there is the problem of past abuse from other men and how it may be haunting you today. When your husband touches you it sends off memory triggers. These triggers may remind you of the horrible hurt you went through earlier in life. It may also have stripped your desire to have even a loving husband touch you.

I can relate. I’ve been there and have worked through that extremely difficult situation.

I write a bit about it in the article:


If this is what you are dealing with, there’s also a few other articles you may want to read:

SEXUAL OBSTACLES: Healing an Emotional Wound


There may be other issues, such as addictions, and bitterness over marriage situations. Just so you know, we have articles on those issues on this web site, as well.

But whatever it is, please work on it.

They say, “Whoever wants sex the least has the most power in bed.” That seems to be true. If a lot of withholding is going on, there is a power struggle going on and the bedroom is “a lousy place for a battle of the will.”

I agree that there are seasons where we need to work on issues pertaining to our sex life together. But when it drags on to more than a “season” then there are problems. The Bible tells us,

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. (1 Corinthians 7:3-5)

You had to have known that before you married that it isn’t good to deprive one another. Being intimate and exclusive with each other is all part of being married. If you wanted to withhold having sex with your spouse, you shouldn’t have married.

Perhaps you have changed in your libido or your desire.

Keep in mind that marriage is not all about you. This is a partnership. And just like your husband needs to work with you on compromises, you need to work with him on compromises too.

But be careful in how you do this. Don’t just lay there and let him be intimate with you, while you pout and think, “just get it over with.” That won’t satisfy your husband (or you) either. Marriage is about giving. It is stated throughout the Bible, that it’s more blessed to give than to receive. We’re also told to serve one another, with a good heart. Jesus was our ultimate example in being a servant. As we’re told in Philippians 2 we’re to, “have this same attitude as Christ Jesus.

You know deep in your heart if you’re being difficult with your husband. You also should know that you’re asking more of him than you should if you keep rejecting him sexually. And yet you’re expecting him to be celibate because you also expect him to stay faithful in all ways.

Yes, he should stay faithful.

That’s what God expects of him too. But if you are not being intimate with him if he wants and needs you, you’re putting temptation in front of him. You’re putting him in a corner where he can feel trapped. He can’t be intimate with you and yet he has needs. A life sentence of celibacy can be a frightening life for someone who needs that connection with the one he loves and wants. His sexual desires won’t quit plaguing him, just because you say no.

I have to admit that there have been times when I didn’t “want it” when my husband approached me. There was even a LONG period of time when I was dealing with past sexual issues where I denied my husband. I now know that I was wrong in what I did and what I expected of him. I know I didn’t have to to meet his every need when I was hurting so deeply inside. But I needed help to get past the mental torture I was experiencing, and it was wrong of me not to get it. We didn’t have to stay stuck in that place for so long.

My husband pleaded with me and I just looked the other way thinking, “He just needs to control himself. He should understand how painful this is for me.”

A Time for Everything

Yes, it wouldn’t have been too much to ask my husband to “control himself” for a period of time while I was in the depths of therapy. And yes, as my marital partner, he should understand (to a certain degree) how painful this was for me. But I took it way beyond reasonable. Steve really COULDN’T understand my reactions or the depth of my pain. And even if he tried to understand (which he did), I still needed professional help to work through my issues. And then we could work together on ours so this wasn’t something that would go on and on without an end in sight.

I was being unreasonable in my expectations of him. He married me in good faith that we would be marriage partners. Yet I was withdrawing an important connection in that partnership. And whether it was because of past abuse or whatever, it was not reasonable for me to ask my husband to stay pure and not be with me either. I feel that is true in most marriages (unless there are untreatable physical reasons).

Work on your issues.

If there are treatable physical, emotional, or whatever reasons why you can’t get together, please work on them. Don’t deny your spouse and sentence him to a life without you or anyone else. He wants you and no one else. Please work on your issues.

If the reason you can’t be with him is because of physical pain or because of some other physical reason, then work with doctors on this. If it truthfully can’t be medically resolved, then look for other ways to satisfy him. But do it with a good attitude. And if you can’t do things in a “conventional” method because of physical limitations, then find ways to satisfy each other in other ways. Be creative.

The important thing is that you are together, as a man and wife. Just don’t allow any other human being to be involved with both of you (either physically or visually), in your time together. This is YOUR time to be together. Please don’t ask your husband to lead a celibate life if that is not what he desires.

There was a long, long (unreasonably long) season where I pulled back from being intimate with my husband. Eventually, I woke up and realized that I had a good guy that I married. He didn’t deserve to be another victim to what had happened to me in the past. I sought for, and received the emotional help I needed to work through my issues. We eventually came together, and have loved on each other since.

Helpful Resources:

There have been a few dry spells, even after I dealt with my past, where I haven’t wanted it as much as my husband desired. The book, Sacred Sex: A Spiritual Celebration of Oneness in Marriage, written by Tim Alan Gardner has given me insights. Also  the book, Intimate Issues: Twenty-One Questions Christian Women Ask About Sex, written by Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pintus helped me. I now “get it” as far as better understanding the emotional and spiritual connection that comes from making love as husband and wife. It’s not ONLY physical connection (although that’s important —especially to the spouse who needs it), but there is more to this whole thing than many people (especially women) realize.

God showed me I am not to deny my husband when he needs to be close to me, whenever it is possible. Yes, some times I fall into bed exhausted or I’m not feeling well, and then it happens; he approaches me. But instead of totally denying him, I either offer a “quickie” or ask him if we can be together at another time. (And I make sure it’s soon.) My husband is a reasonable man and that has worked for us.

But what if you don’t feel like it?

If it’s just because I don’t “feel like it” —even then, I offer the same. But most of the time, even if I don’t feel like it, I’ve learned to pray. I ask God to give me the desire. There is a spiritual component involved, when my husband and I are intimate together.

I’ve had times where I’ve started out with NO desire to make love to my husband when he has needed it. But eventually, I’m totally into it as I pray and concentrate on lavishing him with love, coming from a heart filled with the love of God. I’m enjoying loving my husband as much as he is in loving me. Making love then becomes TOTALLY satisfying and enjoyable. I never knew that God would answer that type of prayer, but He does!

Here’s a quote from Sheila Wray Gregoire to consider:

How often have you done this? You’re lying in bed, feeling guilty, wondering, ‘Is he expecting something tonight?’ And then your brain goes into overdrive. ‘Do I feel like it? I don’t know. Is he due? How many days has it been, anyway? If we start right this moment, how many hours of sleep will I still get?’ If you had started making love in the beginning, the silly thing is, you’d be asleep by now! We women often forget that our sex drives are primarily in our brains.

“Unlike for our husbands, arousal usually comes after you start making love, not before. But instead of jumping in, we tend to overanalyze things. Tonight, silence all those thoughts running through your head, and just decide, I am going to feel good, and I am going to feel close to my husband! When you are mentally excited about having sex, your whole body tends to follow. So stop thinking so much, and start doing!”

I hope what I’m writing here helps in some way. I know that there are circumstances where we just don’t want it. And most husbands have those times too. But please make it your mission to work on whatever it is that’s blocking the way of intimately connecting with your marriage partner in this way.

In closing:

Please prayerfully consider something that was written in the above mentioned book, Intimate Issues:

“Making the right decision is never easy but there are benefits to adopting the right attitude. When we choose to love selflessly, we honor God, we make our husbands happy, and we find more pleasure in our lovemaking.

“Dying to self is difficult, but it is necessary if you want to grow in godliness. Being godly means having a godly attitude. Godly attitudes result in godly actions, such as giving your body to your husband. This is easier if you surrender to God and allow His Spirit to work within you. ‘Nothing is impossible with God(Luke 1:37, NIV). God is able to give you desire where none existed before. He can help you exchange wrong thinking with godly thinking. And God can cause you to enjoy deeper intimacy than you ever thought possible.

“God, I confess that I have not always appreciated Your gift of sex —or even wanted it. I have shunned You and withheld my body from my husband. Forgive me. I want to be a willing and creative lover —but it’s hard. Please stir up in me passion and desire for my husband. help me get my mind off myself to You and humbly ask that You begin now to work in me.”

Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this article.

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Filed under: Sexual Issues

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595 responses to “When a Wife Doesn’t Want to Have Sex

  1. Please help me out, because my wife doesn’t want sex. There isn’t any time that I touch her that she will not complain of tiredness. I don’t know what to.

  2. Read some of this but its too long winded. Probably written by an American. When it gets to include biblical quotes of any kind it’s time to switch off. Sexless, even touch free marriage does not work and causes misery.

  3. Don’t get married. It’s as simple as that. Instead take up a mission trip, help locally, be involved in a mentoring program, homeless ministry. So many more other things to do to keep oneself occupied.

  4. Thanks Cindy. Read your article this morning after another fruitless attempt with my dear wife. Your post is very comforting and encoutaging. Thank you. My wife is continuously tired and stressed from work. I understand. I just wondered what a husband can do to make his wife want sex with him.

    1. Louis, There is nothing you can “do” to make your wife desire you sexually; frankly, she either does or she doesn’t, and she will or will not initiate/respond to your advances if not. If she truly desired you she would make SOME reasonable effort to accommodate you. Sorry to be harsh, but it’s a hard lesson learned over 25 years of a sexless marriage.

    2. Hey Louis, you mentioned that she’s tired and stressed from work. Is there any way that you can maybe help out more at home so that she has less to do? What about romancing her? Cooking her dinner or taking her out for the evening? If she’s stressed maybe you can get her some scented candles, some wine and offer to give her a massage? It may not reap immediate rewards but eventually, she may turn around?

    3. Hi, I believe that a woman’s need for sex does not happen instantly like switch lights. Women need to receive through the day, probably through the week, compliments, little love notes, gentle non-sexual touching & hugs can cause a woman to feel emotionally confident to connect with her partner physically. So she may not want to just have sex – she will want to make love.

      1. Oh hormone therapy ( bio identical) women can’t get enough sex. No more pain, dryness, lack of libido. Men can take them as well. They help with depression, sleep, all sorts of problems. I had my first implant in December. I’m soon to be 55 and feel 20. But I love sex, and in sexless marriage of 20 plus years. I’m ready for a man who at least would help himself enough to change. I don’t live in the Stone Age and women should work as much as a man so she has a well rounded life and can provide for herself if needed. You can do it all. My back is fused and I’ve had more surgeries than I can count and still exercise. We should encourage progression and let go or repression and self sacrifice mentality. No need. God won’t hate you cause you need sex, but you might hate yourself in the end if you sacrifice too much.

        1. Jennifer, 53 here and that’s exactly how I feel. I HATE myself for not putting my foot down years ago and DEMANDING she get help for her issues. But, I didn’t. I tried to be the “understanding, long suffering husband.” Now my regrets at a wasted life and lost intimacy (as well as the loss of my physical “powers” are literally killing me. I pray every day for some escape from this misery. I’m pretty much a stupid fool now and I’ll be the first to admit it. But there WAS a time when I could have and WANTED to be good to someone and be desired. Guess that won’t happen now.

  5. At one time my wife said she could live without any sexual contact. Time passed, perimenopausal, then menopause, painful sex. Now she is on HRT, including testosterone, I can’t hardly keep up with her! Something to consider…

  6. I want to have sex. I want to be with my husband becsause I love him. I also still find him physically attractive. We are raising our grandson who is nonverbal autistic. I have the main role with him. My husband doesn’t understand how this affects everything. We dont have timing on our side. I cry all the time because of it. He’s already crossed a line, I forgave, should I offer him a divorce out of unselfisness? Let him go, so to speak? He cheated on me and I haven’t recovered from that. I forgave him but it’s not the same anymore. I feel I should let him go.

  7. “There are so many reasons why you may not want to make love to your husband. Some of these reasons may be lack of desire, his cleanliness, his demanding, abusive, controlling ways, which turn you off when you consider having any physical contact with him. And then there are pornography issues —either his or yours.”

    So it’s the husband’s fault. Yea, this is something that needs to be addressed with women. If you are having issues then look at yourself first don’t just point the fingers at the man for 95% of the problems because it always takes two to tango.

    1. John, with my wife, her sex drive is the 1st thing to go if any issues, family, life, etc comes along. We guys get blamed for everything. It starts early in a marriage then spirals down from there.

      1. But SOME wives DO turn this around. It happened to me, and I’ve known of many other wives who finally “get it” and change the direction of that downward spiral in a positive direction. One such wife (and there are many, many more) can be found on the web site Forgivenwife.com. This web site has blogs written by Chris. She writes: “After 20 years of being a sexual gatekeeper and refuser, I am now learning to enjoy passionate and joyful sex with the husband God provided for me.” She also writes, “After 20+ years of stubbornness, selfishness, sexual gatekeeping, and discontent, I started to change how I behaved toward my husband. After action came feeling. After all the years of being a poster child for how not to be a wife, I’ve reached a deeper level of intimacy with my husband, emotionally and physically.”

        I don’t want to give false hope… but I do want you to know that your life is not set in stone. God can work in mysterious ways. Your wife may not get it right now, but keep praying. Live your life as you know God would want you to, given these difficult circumstances. But don’t compromise your values. Don’t go down unhealthy roads that you shouldn’t go down. Don’t allow yourself to believe the lie that because you hurt so badly, solutions to cheat and do that which you should not, are acceptable. They are not, even if your wife is not doing what she should be doing. I pray you will be strong and do what is right despite these difficult circumstances.

        1. Cindy, how about praying that SHE does what is right, as in, uphold her marriage vows that she made, you know, before GOD?!? That quote about the wife that finally decided after 20 years (after her husband had passed his prime) that she was ready to have sex and “dance with joy” just absolutely INFURIATES me. She’s being held up as some great example of marriage and womanhood after withholding for 2 decades the ONE thing her husband can’t scripturally seek outside the marriage. What a joke. I weep for the man that married her, because that man is me; except in my case it’s been 25 years and I am STILL waiting! I seriously wish I could just die and have this miserable failure of an existence done with! Except for the fact that it would finally push my bipolar daughter over the edge for good. So for now I have NO choice. What a joke marriage is. I hate it and hate my life because of it!

          1. Alan, Steve and Cindy are all about promoting hope and providing encouragement to married couples…whether the marriage is doing well, or is struggling. Since your desire appears to be to provide discouragement, and remove hope. Can I ask you “Why are you here at their website?” What positive benefit are you providing through your comments here? If your heart were open to the possibility that your life could be different, in a positive way, then you too would find that same hope and encouragement here that many others find. I will be praying that your heart be changed, My Friend… :>)

          2. Seriously???? We don’t live in the Stone Age. Women nor men should suffer a sexless marriage. God never told me I had to be a nun but I lived like one for 20 years. No More!!!

    2. What?!? Accountability for HER actions that contributed to the living hell that is 20th/21st century marriage? Where’s the fun in that?

      Seriously, you might better go and look out your window; there are probably a mob of Jezebels with torches and farm implements heading your way after your comment daring to suggest that (gasp) women have to take part of the blame.

    3. Yes, it is the man’s fault. The man is to be the LEADER representing Christ. How does Christ keep the bride? Is Christ the leader? Is Christ the servant? Is Christ holding up the workload? Is Christ beckoning and calling patiently? Is the bride to mirror the husbandman?? Are you a servant teacher like Christ helping her to become the woman she needs to become? Are you serving her needs/desires first and foremost? Does Christ have all of the fruits of the Spirit with continual love for the bride? — If you are miserable, perhaps your flesh is reigning instead of your Spirit. If you cannot mirror Christ – you have work to do. He calls us to perfection.

  8. FFS why is religion sticking its fingers into people’s beds? It has exactly ZERO to do with human sexuality yet one religion tells you who you cannot sleep with, that you cannot touch yourself, you cannot watch this or that. Another wants to cut your foreskin or even girls’ organs to lower the pleasure. Medieval old books written by a bunch of goat herders are going to compete with what modern medicine and science today knows about healthy sexual relationships and marriage? Books that talk about slavery, women as second class citizens, are going to be a guide on what we should do in our bedroom, our “moral compass”? I’m sick of it.

    1. Obviously, John is another self-professed “Bible expert” without ever reading it. Sad, but also ho-hum, I’ve seen it before. Just the fact that this topic has a dedicated Christian- focused site and active blogs & comments means that it is a relevant topic for Christians, and something to be enjoyed in Christian marriages.

      Aussie Johnny, how about you take the challenge of reading the Bible through in a year and notate everywhere marriage and/or sex is mentioned? You might find yourself enlightened and much happier with your new knowledge.

  9. Men have two hands. They can use them right? Also last time i checked my biology book sex is not a need to survive but a want. You will not die from the lack of sex. We are not wild animals. As for the Bible aspect – its stories passed on and rewritten to what is now a Bible (I grew up strict Roman Catholic, btw). Not only that, but there are hidden messages that most naive people take literally – used to control the masses. The kingdom of God is within you – yes we are all connected spiritually; we all have God within us and connected to God (and not some guy with a white beard sitting on a throne). I doubt something petty as sex matters in the end. We make it a big deal here on earth, but it really isn’t.

    1. Cathie, the issue is not dying from the lack of sex, its the closeness, affection, touching, kissing, etc. People do die or at least do not thrive from the lack of affection. My own newborn granddaughter came close to passing away because she was in a NICU step-down. We could not touch her. When she was allowed to be touched, she started thriving.

    2. In a physical sense, you are correct. Beyond the need to procreate, the act of making love to one’s wife is not a biological or medical need. Rather, it is an emotional need. We don’t get to choose our own emotional needs; they are what they are. Just as a good husband should respect the emotional needs of his wife, his wife should respect the emotional needs of her husband. Emotional needs are important whether you’re a man whose wife needs to talk about her feelings more or a woman whose husband wants to feel physically loved more. Disregarding your spouse’s emotional needs as petty is likely to make them feel frustration, shame, and resentment.

  10. My wife didn’t want to have sex with me. I’m clean, I’m not pushy because I know the answer is going to be no anyway. I’m good looking. When we first met we were always in bed we were always wanting to have sex. Now she’s a prude and I’m divorcing her. She has no right to hold herself back from her husband and I have no right to do the same. You want to make excuses for these logs go right on ahead. Just a burden to me. I’m a man, does anyone ask how hard I hurt and how my brain, back, legs, etc… feel when I get home? Does anyone care what I put up with her screaming at me over something stupid, and me just smiling and showing her everything is going to be ok. She is not a child. Listen up ladies, if you’re having a problem giving your man sex once in a while at least, do something about if…if you love your man. Stop being little children and be women because if you don’t maybe someday you will end up with no husbnd.

  11. My wife had a relation with her former boyfriend where she know him only in the internet. When she met him in person from our origin country while I am already here in Australia, she cut off my contact to her in my Face Book account. My wife is already here in Australia for 2 months. We had sex only twice since she arrived. When I attempted to have sex with her, she cried and answered, “my body was only for my ex boyfriend and not to you. My feelings and thoughts are only for him.” That’s why I stopped having sex with my legal wife; she’s still here in Australia as tourist.

    I would like to get a reply to this, which is so very important, because we are solemnize by the power of out local town mayor from our origin country. We are strongly legally married under the eyes of God and the Law of the Country.

    1. Joven, Please understand that we are not marriage counselors; we are marriage educators. Our web site is set up to help people like yourself who are in crisis find some good resources that can address your particular problem. I would suggest that you go into the topic SAVE MY MARRIAGE. You’ll find an article called “My Spouse Is In Love With Someone Else.” That will provide a link to the content written by Joe Beam. He’s a marriage counselor here in the U.S. This could give you some suggestions as to how to approach your wife.

      You may also find some help in the topic EMOTIONAL AND PHYSICAL AFFAIRS.

      There are a lot of other articles on our web site that could help as well. Just look in the topics to see if there’s another area you need some help in. I would also STRONGLY suggest you contact a ministry in Australia called Focus On The Family (http://www.families.org.au). They have ways you can contact them for help. Plus, they have marriage retreats.

      The most important step in reconciling and healing your marriage is that your wife MUST agree to break off all contact with this other man. Then, you both need to be committed to finding out what led to her unfaithfulness and address those issues. There are no quick fixes to this, Joven. It will require a lot of work by both of you.

      I wish we could do more for you, but I think these suggestions can get you started in the right direction to heal your marriage.

  12. This is a trash article and infers that whatever a person feels is viable to support their behavior of torturing their partner. This is like saying if a man grew up in an abusive family and now currently beats his wife, she should remain “faithful”, not divorce or call the police AND let him continue to beat her. Neither scenario should support the idea of a healthy relationship, nor should one suggest trying to work out a relationship that honestly doesn’t really exist. If you’re going to call it anything, call it what it is, an abusive relationship. If you lock a person in a basement and refuse them food and they somehow get free to call Uber Eats to get a meal delivered, are they now a monster for meeting their own “need”? Your suggestions are ridiculous.

  13. We have been married for 11 years but she refused sex, not even once. So both of us are still virgin. She is a difficult lady, with a bad temper and emotionally abusive with harsh words and name calling. This made me lose interest in sex with her and made matters worse.

    Lately she chased me out of the bedroom because my snoring got worse and I’m forced to sleep on the couch. I feel depressed, unloved, miserable. Marrying her is the worse decision in my life. Why is God inflict this trial on me? We both serve in church. In front of everyone she acted like a sweet girl. No body knows…

    Many times I wish I can hug and kiss other women. I felt so lonely and deprived of love.

    1. David, So sorry, Brother, that you are going through this. I can assure you God did not “inflict” this on you. Most likely God gave you some warning signs (red flags) that popped up before the wedding that something wasn’t quite right. But like so many young people in love you ignored them. I know most men who read your post would think, “11 years without sex?!?! I couldn’t go 11 days.” It is very possible (almost certain) that something extremely traumatic happened to your wife in her youth that has caused her to be this frigid towards not wanting sex with her husband. That same trauma could also explain her violent outbursts and controlling behavior.

      Don’t misunderstand me, no matter what happened to her or is causing this behavior it is completely unacceptable and needs to be dealt with. She’s probably convinced herself that there’s nothing wrong with her – it’s everyone else who has the problem. This will make it extremely difficult to confront. Normally, we would recommend you talk with your pastor, but that could backfire on you since she’s perceived by so many in your church as the “sweet girl.” But you need to find someone you can talk to about this. If you aren’t convinced your pastor could remain neutral and would be willing to confront your wife, then we would suggest you contact Focus On The Family-Australia (https://www.families.org.au). Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on Contact.

      You should also read an article on our web site called, “Why Doesn’t My Spouse Change–Functional Fixedness” (https://marriagemissions.com/why-doesnt-my-spouse-change-functional-fixedness/) This will shed some light on what you’re dealing with with your wife. NOTE: This article focusses on men but the same principles apply to women who manifest these tendencies.

      Lastly, your sentence saying you wish you could hug and kiss other women and that you feel so lonely and deprived is a WARNING SIGN to me as to how vulnerable you are to having an affair (either physical OR mental). Even if your wife will never be willing to get help — you need it for your own sanity and for you to be able to stay pure in thought and deed. Please don’t try to continue to carry the weight of this burden by yourself. I found this web site when I searched for “Online Christian Counseling for Marriage” https://freechristiancounseling.online. I don’t know anything about them, but if you come up dry with other resources close to you it might be worth looking into them.

      I hope this helps in some way, David. Thanks for reaching out to us. Let us know how things develop. Blessings!

      1. Hi Steve, Thank you so much for listening, and your valuable advice. This is my first ever confession about our wedding secrets. No one knows about this. I’ve guess you’re right, there’s plenty of heads up from God before marriage but I guess I wasn’t discerning enough to obey God’s warning.

        Through 11 years of marriage, there’s some bitter sweet moments but lacking love from her makes me so ever miserable, it’s the far most failure in my life. It’s so much better to be single than to face all these- at least I have freedom to mingle with friends, male and female. Now, knowing I’m married, most of my friends (especially ladies) just avoid spending time with me knowing I have a wife. If you know what I mean.

        Also I’m in my 40s and this life incident has resulted in me not having a child of my own because she refused to reproduce with me. I’m not sure if she’s had traumatic past as I’m pretty sure she’s doing quite ok with her childhood and having a cheerful days when she’s younger. I know because we were courting for more than 5 years before marriage.

        Anyways, for now I’m just going to stay as it is and pray. I believe God will have a better plan for me and even if I have to endure this, I always remind myself that suffering a couple of decades is ok compared to joy and happiness for eternity in heaven. Don’t worry about my previous rant about my wishful thinking of holding another girl. It’s just a thought I know it won’t come true.

        I leave all readers with Paul’s words in 1 Corinth 7: “So I think this advice is good because of the present crisis: Stay as you are. If you are married, don’t get a divorce. If you are divorced, don’t try to find a spouse. But if you do marry, you haven’t sinned; and if someone who hasn’t been married gets married, they haven’t sinned. But married people will have a hard time, and I’m trying to spare you that.” ‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭7:26-28‬ ‭CEB‬‬

  14. If a woman does not feel like having sex with her husband, all of those gentle touches and hugs and compliments he gives her throughout the day will just feel like constant reminders of how badly he wants sex–and they will irritate her. Sure, women are capable of having sex without wanting it, but it doesn’t feel right if she doesn’t want it. Many people say it’s a good Christian thing for a partner to participate in sex, even when she doesn’t want to, but I think doing so is dangerous because it changes her concept of what sex is. It makes it into a transaction, and then she’s really got a problem on her hands.

    I believe that for women, sex must begin with desire and connection. If she doesn’t have this in her marriage, then sex will likely always feel like work to her. Having this strong connection is sacred and personal. I don’t think it can be mimicked or found in a manual, because every woman is different. A man can move mountains for a woman, give her daily love notes, do the dishes and watch the kids, and this may cause her to submit to him, but that is not the same as turning her on. Because it’s all just a constant reminder to her that he wants sex and is willing to resort to the cliche’ to get it!

    I feel a man’s best bet (if he has been rejected) is to leave his wife’s body alone and wait for her to come to him for sex. In the meantime, he can surround himself with people and activities that build him up and bring him joy. This way, the fruit of the Spirit will ripen on him and he will stand his best bet at becoming desirable to her one day. If it works, it will be worth the wait. Perhaps in the process other women will see his fruit and desire him and she will get a second perspective on him as well.

  15. Hi Cindy, Great article! I love that you covered off on both sides and have reference to SO many resources.

    I feel like I’m a “good guy”… sure I’m no saint but I held out for marriage and now I feel like sex is conditional. It’s even at a point where when it is withheld and I feel rejected – me getting annoyed or turning my back is then seen as controlling. I have been told that this behaviour is coercive and at times by me “manipulating” her into having sex with me when she didn’t feel like it is sexual assault. She has been telling her friends and our Counselor that I am sexually abusive and controlling.

    Now I feel trapped in a marriage where I have even been told that my wife doesn’t want to be “in love” with me. Sure, we have 3 kids and life is hectic but I feel like I am as present with the kids and helpful with chores as I can be. When it comes to wanting to have my wife desire me that is now… I have been told is a want and that she IS “willing”. By willing… it is as you alluded to – just waiting till it’s over. I have tried to talk about it with my wife and even in counseling have raised that sex is a big part of marriage. Well, for me it is a massive part of marriage. Naturally I will remain faithful to her and even keep myself from porn but I’m starting to feel trapped. Divorce isn’t an option but sexual fulfilment isn’t actually on the cards either? I’m not after weird stuff… I just want to feel desired and enjoy each other in the sanctity of marriage.

    Even my efforts to show her that I am attracted to her, desire her and love her seem to be met with reservation. It’s frustrating for me as I have seen in similar forums how some women pray that their husbands desired them as they’re more interested in porn it just couldn’t care.

    Anyhow, not sure if any of this means much… but my goodness I am praying that my wife would want to bring fire into our marriage and cement our family together. It sounds selfish but I feel like more of a man when I’m fulfilled sexually and am looking for this from my wife… exclusively.

    It also hurts deeply that I have been accused of sexually assaulting my wife. Yes, I should have been more mature in my response to her rejection. And no, I don’t expect sex every time I initiate. I just don’t think it’s too much too ask of me for her to want to try in this area. I take the initiative to love her in her love language even if it doesn’t come easy or if there’s nothing in it for me. So I’m tired of feeling like and being made out to be a selfish man who “only wants sex.” Rant over. I’ll keep praying 🙏