Husband doesn’t want to have intercourse
01 Nov There’s A Reason Your Husband Doesn’t Want To Have Sex With You:
EDIT 2/18/2018: I originally wrote this article seven years ago. At the time I had not fully come to understand my purpose. I didn’t have a full grasp on the proper approach I should take when writing articles like this one. Looking back I can see how the tone and wording can be hurtful to some. As well as hinder my ability to truly provide some clarity and assistance with an issue you and many others may be facing. So today I am going to do some revisions. I don’t want to completely change what was written but I will make some improvements to my delivery…
I’m browsing the internet one day looking to see what pops up when I Google my book How To Get A Woman To Have Sex With You…If You’re Her Husband. I come across this article titled “Reasons Why A Husband Does Not Want To Have Sex With His Wife”. I decided to read it since it’s an issue I have been asked about. Also, it’s a topic I plan to touch on in my future book. It was very interesting to see what was listed. I can acknowledge there was a lot of truth to it. However, I decided I wanted to do a blog on this topic and put in my own two cents. So below, I will list the reasons the article stated and respond with my views to it.
1. He is depressed and not feeling like he wants to have sex
I don’t know about you but a lot of men I know would love some sex when they’re feeling down. Part of his depression might be due to the lack of sex he has already been previously experiencing with his wife. In some cases he may be using his “depression” as an excuse because there are other more genuine reasons why he continuously refrains from getting intimate.
However, I don’t want to dismiss the reality that some men will lose interest when they are battling with depression. I have seen men get into a “funk” and not want to be bothered with anything. I do believe that many can still be seduced into “giving it up” if you know the right buttons to push, and the sex has been consistently good up to this point. Regardless, if he is clinically depressed then that is a completely different story, and that should be tended to accordingly.
2. He is no longer attracted to his wife
Now this I completely agree with. The article mentions how nagging, always putting him down, and just being an overall source of a lot of negative energy contributes to a man desiring his wife less. She also correctly points out that weight gain and changes in appearance contribute to the issue. I know a lot of women & some men who like to believe that love should be unconditional and not contingent on how much you weigh and I agree.
The problem isn’t love, it’s sex. For most men, sex is not as connected to love as it is for women. It is more so about physical attraction, and that can waver based on a woman’s appearance. A man can love you forever, but putting on many undesirable pounds of weight (key word is undesirable, because some men may like the extra weight) will make it harder for him to sexually desire you. So please do not get the two confused. Also if you’re going to throw unconditional love in his face, then look in the mirror and ask yourself why your love for him and for yourself isn’t strong enough to want to look your best and be healthier. I know it can be tough for many, but with the right effort, this is a fixable issue in most cases.
3. He may be having an affair
Unfortunately I would have to agree that this is a possibility. I do not think it is the reason you should first explore, but when all else fails then this should be examined. I cannot condone cheating on your wife for any reason. However, the point can be made that if he is having one, there is a good chance your actions or lack thereof have contributed to this occurring. Before you get all up in arms, I want to reiterate that an affair is never right. It is just that we as people just have to be willing to be accountable for how we contributed to the issue. I believe if the other reasons that have been listed and will be listed in this blog are remedied, then it will go a long way in decreasing the chances of an affair occurring.
Again, that person is dead wrong for stepping outside the marriage. I just don’t want you to ignore if you have overlooked not being the wife that you are supposed to be, and that he needed you to be. Be willing to address the issue with a willingness to make corrections on both sides. Side Note: the affair he may be having might be with himself. As in he is engaging in too much masturbation. This issue can definitely contribute to him feeling less concerned with initiating or accepting sexual contact with you. So that may need to be discussed as well.
4. He could be gay
This is another one where I can’t dismiss the possibility of it being true. I just wouldn’t want you to entertain this until you have explored all of the other listed issues. You have to understand that if you choose to openly use the gay card against him, and you’re wrong, you can do a lot of damage to your marriage. So please, even if you’re thinking it, be very careful in how you look into it. Wrongly accuse him, and you may end up with a new issue on your hands.
With that said, it is a still a reality that you unknowingly may be facing. He may have always had desires that he hasn’t known what to do with, or just flat-out living a double life that you were completely unaware of. Either way, this is definitely one issue you have no control over. Proceed with caution, and in the case where it ends up to be true, do not internalize the issue. It isn’t your fault, and the focus will need to be on healing on how to properly move forward.
5. He has an undiagnosed medical condition
Yeah, and it’s called “imsickandtiredofherass-asitis”. Seriously, I do not want to dismiss the possibility of there actually being a medical condition. The article mentions a few possibilities. A common overlooked one may be erectile dysfunction. This could most certainly cause him to shy away from intimacy. Other than that, if the man honestly can’t put his finger on what the problem is, then definitely go get checked out. Now let’s revisit “imsickandtiredofherass-asitis”.
Understand that if you have been married for many years, and you have repeatedly shut this man down when he wanted sex, this will have a damaging affect on him. You can’t expect that now that you’re ready to be consistent, that he is going to be all over you. You have programmed him for letdown, disappointment, and/or very mediocre sex that wasn’t worth it when he finally did get it from you. That can very well put him in a place where he just doesn’t care much anymore. He doesn’t want to bother with the process or lackluster results. He may then turn to other ways of getting his satisfaction (see #3).
6. Weight gain and unhealthy eating
This is absolutely true and a very common issue. It is a fact that higher fat percentages can lower a man’s libido. If he is gaining weight and eating bad, then he is probably out of shape and therefore is too tired to deal with sex regularly (too much work). Throw in the fact that a man’s testosterone levels start to decrease after a certain age and that only makes it worse. I definitely believe if you can get him to buy into taking better care of himself and getting in better shape, that it will increase the desire for sexual activity and his ability to perform at a higher level.
Also there are a lot of natural supplements available to help with this issue. Definitely do some research and see what he may be open to. One more thing in regards to exercise. A lot of men may go to the gym and lift weights, and that can certainly help. However, it’s a great idea to encourage doing cardio while in the gym. This can have a great impact on his libido and stamina. Which will create great benefits for the both of you.
7. You’re not tapping into his desires
Originally #7 was “You’re not as good as you think”, which in all honesty can still hold true. However, I felt a more accurate point to make is that you’re not truly tapping into his desires. The article I read did not include this reason, but I feel it’s an important point to make. Society constantly talks about a man’s lack of performance, and jokes about it all the time. When it comes to women, you really don’t hear it as much, but that doesn’t mean the problem isn’t as real.
Have you really taken time to find out what he really wants in the bedroom? If not, then he may have reached a point where the quality of the experience just isn’t worth his energy. Also, it can create resentment when someone feels their desires get overlooked and neglected. You will need to change that, as well as find ways to truly be more into the experience yourself. I understand that how much you’re into it has a lot to do with what he is or isn’t doing (in and out of the bedroom), but you have to try to be more passionate and engaged in the experience. This will give him the push he needs to be more consistent, and desire you more, as well as help keep you motivated and willing to participate.
So there you have it, I hope this sheds some light on the issue for the many of you suffering from this. There are a lot more women than we think that are dealing with this problem. It isn’t cool when a wife or husband is being sexually deprived. It can open doors to worse things and eventually destroy that marriage. So though I make jokes from time to time this is a serious issue that I would like to see improved. Better relationships will contribute to better marriages, which then contributes to a better society. Sex is an important part of that equation, so let’s do what’s necessary to make things right.
Reader Question: Shouldn’t Sex Involve Intercourse?
Should sex involve intercourse?
Every Monday I like to post a question from a reader and take a stab at answering it. Today’s is a thorny issue: what if your husband wants things OTHER than intercourse all the time?
My husband often prefers us to finish individually, without intercourse. He thoroughly enjoys giving and receiving. I told him about that denying the spiritual connection and he said that it is completely the same for him however it happens. He feels totally connected to me whether we have sex or not. It doesn’t feel as intimate to me and I would prefer it not be 50/50. Should I be feeling this connection without sex as well?
My second question I’m embarrassed to ask. Often my husband wants me to do things I don’t care for. It’s not painful, or degrading, I just don’t like it and it feels awkward. It is definitely something that only makes him feel good. This is how he wants to finish more than half the time. I feel like I am being selfish in not wanting to give my husband what makes him feel good and enjoy my body, however, I don’t enjoy it at all. He’s so happy and appreciative afterward that I don’t want to deprive him of something he wants or make him feel guilty for wanting something he can’t ask for. I’m afraid of continuing it and losing all the progress I have made because I’ll start to resent “sexy time” knowing there’s a good chance he will ask and it will become a chore I try to distract myself from. I don’t want to be selfish, my husband has been so supportive and loving through all the rejection and crying over the last 2 years, I’m just not sure if I can ever enjoy it. Should I keep trying to make my husband happy?
Wow! Tough issues.
Let’s try to deal with some of them individually.
Intercourse is Uniquely Intimate
When you have intercourse (forgive me for using the technical term in this post instead of ‘making love’, but I want to be really technical here so everyone knows what I’m talking about), you’re both receiving stimulation and pleasure from the same act. You are both experiencing something at the same time. That’s part of what makes it so intimate. When you are just stimulating each other in other ways (orally or manually, for instance), you may do so simultaneously, but you aren’t actually experiencing it together. You’re both experiencing two different actions.
There’s also something else about intercourse: the man actually ENTERS the woman. That makes it highly intimate, too. You’re actually joined. There’s a vulnerability there that isn’t present in the same way with other acts (other acts may be physically vulnerable, but it really isn’t the same thing). With intercourse we’re almost laid bare physically and emotionally.
If someone is running away from intercourse then they’re also running away from intimacy, and likely don’t even understand what I’m talking about.
Is there a Place for Other Sexual Acts?
Absolutely! They can be great for foreplay (and are often necessary to get a woman aroused enough to feel pleasure from intercourse). Also, as I’ve talked about before, there are ways to be really intimate there if health problems make intercourse impossible or difficult.
However, barring these health issues, if someone prefers other sexual acts to intercourse, then it’s almost like they’re saying (and forgive me for being graphic), “let me use your body to masturbate with.” They want a type of sexual release where they’re focusing ONLY on what they’re feeling, not on how the other person feels, and it’s a very self-centered act when it’s used on its own.
Oral sex or mutual masturbation can ENHANCE intercourse; they should never REPLACE it.
Why Would Someone Not Want Intercourse?
Essentially her husband is saying, “I prefer my sexual experiences to be focused on myself rather than on us together.” He may not consciously think that or say that, but that is what his actions are showing. So why would someone get to this point?
Someone who has been really involved with masturbation growing up rewires sexual arousal and response so that it’s a solo-based thing, not focused on relationship. And let’s face it–the feeling is often much more intense through oral or manual stimulation. Intercourse is great, but it often takes longer and you have to concentrate on another person. When you’re used to sex being about nothing more than thinking about yourself, then that can seem like a huge hassle. Who would want to do that?
This also represents a stunted sexual maturation, where someone is literally “stuck” or fixated on early teen sexual development. It’s like they never matured. There could be psychological reasons for this if it’s really an ingrained thing from some sort of brokenness or abuse in their past, but more likely it’s due to a masturbation habit that formed right when the sexual feelings did, and they never grew beyond that.
Could There Be Other Things Going On?
Absolutely, and here are just a few to look out for:
He could have sexual dysfunction
Perhaps in the past he’s tried intercourse and it hasn’t worked very well, or he’s become really nervous that it won’t work. So he’d rather try something that doesn’t require work or potential performance issues.
I’ve written a series on sexual dysfunction here.
He could have a porn addiction
One of the main effects of porn is that it makes intercourse far less intimate and far less desirable. Because most arousal is now dependent on these images in your head, people prefer sex that doesn’t require thought and allows them to have these images pass through their head. Intercourse can be a distraction.
He could have abuse issues in his past
Has he been abused in some way that has made him fear sex or fear his sexuality or sexual orientation? That’s another thing that needs to be considered.
So What Do I Do if My Husband Avoids Intercourse?
Unfortunately there isn’t a magic wand you can wave. The only thing you can do is talk openly. Talk about some of the points I’ve already raised–that intercourse is intimate because it’s both of you experiencing something together. It requires concentrating on each other, not just being self-focused. It feels wonderful. And it should not be avoided.
And then I’d say something like this: I’m not saying that we won’t do other things. What I am saying is that I no longer want to finish that way. I would like us to experience something together.
If you need a roadmap to follow, 31 Days to Great Sex is a wonderful one. It helps you work through building intimacy towards intercourse slowly, and helps you learn to enjoy each other’s bodies in the context of a really intimate relationship. And it’s a lot of fun! If you want a way to address this but you’re not sure how to have a “big” conversation about it, this book may help you have that conversation in dribs and drabs over the course of the month so that you start to understand better how each other thinks about sex and what sex was supposed to be. I really recommend giving it a try!
Work on Intimacy
It does sound your husband is stunted at an immature stage of sexual development. So what do you do to help him play “catch up” or to understand what sex should be? Work on intimacy in other ways. Take baths naked together. Pray with your husband. Work on your friendship and spend time together. Do a lot of massage where you touch each other and talk to each other.
And understand that it may take time for him to start appreciating intercourse when he’s used to other things. It won’t be instantaneous, and you need to leave him time for growth. But if you work on feeling intimate in other ways, often the libido for intimacy during sex does return.
What About the Sexual Acts He Wants Me to Do that I Don’t Like?
You can always compromise–say that one night a month is “his” night where you get to do whatever he wants, and then one night a month is your night where you do whatever you want.
But these are “special” nights, and they don’t replace your normal sex life together. If he says, “fine, I don’t want anything except my night” then you do have a problem.
Where To Go If He Still Refuses Intercourse
If he won’t agree to have intercourse, won’t talk about it, and thinks that you’re wrong, then it may be time to bring in a counselor and ask him to go see one with you. He does have issues that are harming his ability to be intimate with you, and if he can’t be intimate with his wife, it’s also very likely that he can’t really be intimate with God. When we hide from intimacy sexually we’re also usually hiding spiritually, too. This isn’t good for him, and to enable him to go on like this does him no favours. Sometimes you have to draw a huge line in the sand and say, “I love you too much to let you keep going down this road.”
I hope that helps. I get this question quite often, so many women are dealing with it, and you’re not alone. Let me know in the comments if you’ve ever dealt with this, or if you’ve found other things that help your husband understand real intimacy.