the sexless marriage


Desperately Trying writes: “As soon as I moved in with him, our sex life began to dwindle. First once a week, and now maybe once every four to six months. I wanted to keep open communication about it so that we wouldn’t end up where we are today, which is a very sexless relationship. It is not even about the sex, but the intimacy at this point. He is stressed out, never happy, never available for me, works seven days a week if he can, always trying to catch up, and by the time he does come home or does take a day off, he is so exhausted that he has nothing left in him except to relax. And he has gained about 35 pounds in the last three years. I’m bored. Questioning everything. Although I look at him and love him with all I’ve got, I am lost on what to do.”

Oh, honey, do I know how you feel. Don’t marry him! Don’t even think about it!

It’s a relief somewhat to know that there are other women out there who are going through what I went through. The questioning. The desperation. The wondering what the future would be like if things continued as they were.

And finally, the bitterness, the realization that both partners have to be willing to work on it. The falling out of love. The death of the future.

If there is one thing I learned in all that painful time, it was to be true to myself and my own sexuality. To work hard to feel beautiful and sexual and worthwhile. I made mistakes this girl may yet avoid – I did the marriage thing, and in the process felt like I’d sacrificed my sexuality on the altar of my marriage vows. And it was a long road back to being comfortable with my sexuality again.

DT, I hope you work it out.

About the author

Vikki McKay


  • Dear Editor,
    I have experienced a sexless relationship with a man I love very much for also six years.
    The first few months were great, the next year after that was so so and then almost non-exsisting.
    He makes up excuses to the moon, I just haven’t bought any of them yet. I am attractive and an proportional size, but he has made me feel fat, ugly, and unworthy of his love. We only have sex when he wants and that is about once every four months. Only one time has he made love to me in the past four years when I wanted too. He has rejected me nearly two hundred times over the past five years. The past six months I haven’t even made an attempt, I have had sex with him two times since then. That is a record and it was good and nice. I am just losing my desire for him, now. He promised he would make love to me once a week, and all I asked for was once to twice a month. He has failed and has broken his promise. The rejections have hurt so much. Now, I don’t want to let him near me if we get back together he disgust me in that way. What is a woman to do?
    I had to leave the relationship. I cried millions and millions of tears from the rejections. I don’t see myself as oversexed, but once a month would be nice. I am almost ready for menopause and I feel he has wasted my most previous years of love making.
    I am trying to believe he wants to work it out, but I can’t believe what he promises.
    I have been jeolous thinking there is another woman or even thinking another man. I want to believe he loves me, and is in love with me, but he just says it will be better when we marry and my teenager has moved out of the house. He wants to get marry if and when I get a good job.I don’t believe him. I even doubt, he loves me and I think he just wants me to help pay for his new house. Why would I feel this way? Do you think I should give him another chance or just get counseling for my depression or both?
    PS Your feedback will be greatly appreciated.

  • Yes, it does happen to women too. He laughed at me if he caught me masturbating. When I tried to initiate sex too often, his response was “Are you trying to kill me?” Then, when *he* was in the mood (perhaps once every 6 weeks or so), he expected me (since I was obviously so horny all the time) to be ready with no foreplay and to be grateful for the attention.
    I left. I just don’t know what took me so damn long (12 years).
    The man I’m with now loves it that I love sex. I had always thought that the ideal would be twice a day, morning and evening, but Other Person thought once a week was going to kill him. Now I actually know what it’s like to feel sexually sated.
    Tammy, get out. You can find someone who will love *all* of you.

  • Oh, so many memories. 🙂 The promises to work on it. The anger, though I didn’t even realize how angry I was until after I left him. And shell’s comment about being ready with no foreplay, the sense from him that I should be grateful, when sex finally did happen.
    Memory lane is sometimes covered in wicked barbs, isn’t it?
    A note to all who find this thread: I responded to Tammy’s comments here:
    Another conversation has sprung up there, as well. Take a look.

  • I think that men and women are not each others’ enemies in this, so much as victims of something else — excessive work, in a society which leaves no time for a family life based on collective responsibility. Even today, men are still socialized to be “active” and socially independent, which they don’t always want to be, and women are still socialized to be passive and socially dependent, which they don’t want to be either. If both parties accept this, they can have both money (his) and time (hers) enough to have some kind of a stable relationship, children, etc. If one or even both parties resist it, it’s much more difficult.
    For me (I’m male), sexual dysfunction came from the stress of being always in charge, and from the feeling that my formerly independent, self-sufficient and confident wife, who I’d been attracted to for those qualities, turned out to have been looking for a kind of shield against the world. How could I blame her? This world sucks, and in so many ways it’s much worse for women. But over time, somehow, our relationship became more of a parent-child relationship, except that I resented being the parent, because she wasn’t really a child. I got tired of having to do all the man’s work (earning money, driving, and fixing things) AND part of the woman’s work (cooking, housekeeping, and child rearing). I lost trust in my wife because she wasn’t helping me, but making more work for me — which made it impossible for me to open up to her emotionally, which made it impossible for me to function with her sexually. The problem was never beauty (she was the most beautiful and the sexiest woman I had ever met), it was an emotional problem. I don’t know how women can think that symbolic strategies, from sexy underwear to porno, could possibly improve the situation, or that the problem is the sexual attractiveness of an “other woman.” It’s as crazy as men thinking that the problem is their penis size. The basic problem for me, was that I didn’t let myself depend enough on my wife, emotionally, and that she let herself depend too much on me, emotionally — and then it became a circle the origin of which (whose fault it really is) I still can’t figure out.

  • This snippet of text explains exactly how I’ve been feeling for a long time.
    “When we do have sex it

  • I think some of the ideas expressed at Why Your Wife Won’t Have Sex With You are on the money. A woman has to feel desirable in order to experience desire.
    But that doesn’t mean that you have to depend on someone else to desire you. You can appreciate and desire yourself, as difficult as that may seem. You want sex, you want that physical passion, you want to feel the juices flowing and the orgasms surging and the sheer vitality of having a feeling, emotional human body.
    So clean one room in your home until it’s just the way you like it to look. Get a vibrator that really does it for you and masturbate until you sweat. Then thank yourself for taking such good care of yourself, and be proud of yourself for being someone that loves yourself.
    Hell, masturbate in the room next to the one your husband is in. Be loud. He’ll know what’s going on. But don’t do it to taunt him. Do it because you’re enjoying your own sensations enough not to let anybody else be a buzz-kill.
    It’s your sexuality, not his. You only gave him the right to share it when you married him, not the right to control it.

  • I’m sitting here slightly relieved after reading the comments and learning that I’m not alone and I’ve felt so much so lately. My wife and I have sex on average of once a month. Lately it hasn’t happened for about 3 months. Two years ago I could count on one hand the number of times per year and have fingers to spare. I’ve tried so hard, I have talked about it, tried leaving notes, cleaning the house, bathroom etc. Giving her massages. None of which I did just for “sex” but to help her out and relieve stress and create some time for “us”. I have even embarrassed myselft by going into adult stores and buying lotions, books on romance and a vibrator. I’m just made fun of. I’ve shared fantasies with her and they include her, nothing perverted. My biggest sexual fantasy and turn on is to see her turned on and telling me how to please her and being trusting enough for me to do the same. I ask to hear hers and she says she doesn’t have any because she isn’t creative. I’m tired of being ashamed of my sexual desires. I miss not only the sex but the intimacy and the communication. Like others have stated before, when sex does happen I feel like she is going through the motions just to end it (and after weeks or months with sex it doesn’t take long) I feel cheap, sickened and like I’m almost raping her since she isn’t in to it. When we do talk she always says it will get better but it has only gotten worse. Now the hurt, bitterness and lonliness is starting to cause me to have wandering eyes and I’m ashamed of that. To satify my desires I view cams on the internet and resent electronic images being the satisfaction to my sexual desire. I would love to touch someone’s warm skin and have them next to me willing to do the same. I’ve never had an affair and always said I wouldn’t, but now I’m not so sure. I just want to want to have some companionship, intimacy, trust and friendship (didn’t I get married for that?)
    Now she goes to bed without even saying goodnight. At times she says she should see a sex therapist but she isn’t serious. There are probably other issues to address and sex isn’t the most important part of a marriage but when it isn’t occuring, damage most likely will occur in many other areas. Thanks everyone for your perspectives. I feel so hopeless right now. I don’t want to end the marriage but what can be done?

  • I have been married to a man for 12 years, the last 6 years have been totally sexless. I am going to be 50 this year, and I am thinking, than sex is not the most important thing in life, but do I really want to live with out it, the answer is no. He says he gives me everything I want, but ya know, what, he gives me nothing I need, so closeness, so nothing. Am I undeserable? No, he has the problem, when I try and being it up I get “quit picking at me” What am I to do. Am I still young enough to find someone out there, that at least wants to be close in some way? PLEASE HELP ME!

  • I have been with my husband for 5 years, married for 3. We have an 18month old son and another on the way. He stopped frequent sex (1-2 times a week) after six months, blamed it on stress and his workload. By the time we were married, I was lucky to make love once a month, never by his initiation – always mine. When we were trying to conceive – it was every other day. Once i was pregnant – not again until 4 months after my son was born. My second child was conceived on my anniversary -because that’s what I asked for – no gifts no flowers no fancy dinner – just to be held and touched and made love to. That was almost 9 months ago. I haven’t been touched since. I feel like he only has sex with me to procriate. I feel so lonely and so rejected and I resent having children with him, becuase I know in my heart I cannot stay married to him. I love him dearly, but I love myself more. You can only masturbate so many times and it’s not the same. I want more than an orgasm – I want kisses and touch and breath on skin. I am 27. I am not ready to give up intimacy. My marriage has gone from intimate to friendship and now to nothing. I am so angry with him that it has invaded every feeling I have for him. I cannot see the good in him through my own feelings of rejection and I am all alone. He doesn’t even give excuses or reasons anymore. If your spouse is supposed to love you, shouldn’t they want to fufill you, to make you happy. Shouldn’t he care that I’m dying inside?
    Thank you, for giving me an outlet. I cannot talk to anyone about this.

  • I have only been married for a year and three months. My husband was in an accident two months after we were married and broke both of his legs. His legs are fine now, but he still uses it as an excuse not to have sex. Our sex life started to dwindle before he even broke his legs. I would like to have sex twice a week or more. I have to beg to get it once a month. And I feel like he is just giving me pity sex. He just lays there. Most of the time he doesn’t even cum, he just lays there until I climax and then he says “there do you feel better?” and rolls over. I feel bad about complaining because I don’t know maybe it is because of his legs… How long do you have to go through this before you have a ligitament complaint. I’m not waiting 6 years.

  • Oh Lori, I feel for you. It’s funny, because I call it pity sex too. You have a ligitament complaint now! After 4 years of pity sex though, your self esteem takes such a beating as well as your whole emotional well being. Don’t wait 6 years, don’t even wait another year. Insist now on Counseling, don’t wait until you’re in too deep. I have children now and he is a wonderful father and I cannot take the boys away from him. I love him dearly, I just wish he loved me the same. You deserve to be happy and fufilled. I’m sorry if I am making too many assumptions, but I just don’t want to see another woman ever feel the way I do. Speaking from experience, your sex life will become non existent, your resentment will grow and the arguments will never end. Choose Don’t wait.

  • Oh Lori, I feel for you. It’s funny, because I call it pity sex too. You have a ligitament complaint now! After 4 years of pity sex though, your self esteem takes such a beating as well as your whole emotional well being. Don’t wait 6 years, don’t even wait another year. Insist now on Counseling, don’t wait until you’re in too deep. I have children now and he is a wonderful father and I cannot take the boys away from him. I love him dearly, I just wish he loved me the same. You deserve to be happy and fufilled. I’m sorry if I am making too many assumptions, but I just don’t want to see another woman ever feel the way I do. Speaking from experience, your sex life will become non existent, your resentment will grow and the arguments will never end. Choose Don’t wait.

  • As I am reading the comments on this subject, it hurts so deeply because I can feel what each person has experienced. I married very young(16) and was determined to make it last. We have been married for over 30 years now. The last 15 years have been spent without regular intimacy. I have to wait until my husband decides the time is right. For any man that may be reading this, please understand that this is the one thing that can turn your spouse away for good. It is important for her to feel that she can approach you; not always for sex, but for simple affection. I wish I had the courage to find someone to love me the way someone should be loved. But, I will probably just accept things as they are.
    He loves my children, he loves my grandchildren, –and he sometimes seems to love me,–almost. To anyone that is in this type of relationship, if you are still young,–don’t waste your youth holding on to someone that you cannot reach.

  • I just stumbled accross this thread, and reading it was downright painful. I never knew there were that many other people out there living this marriage hell. And I had no idea that women suffered this same thing. Many of the marriage advisors and books on sexuality say that to the man it is just physical. Bull. The hurt isn’t just oh I’m not gettin any. The hurt is that I am not getting the affection that I should be. And it is infuriating. And I am going through all those same emotions that so many of you are. Anger, searing down in the soul sort of anger, and depression, frustration, and even jealosy. We are a Christian couple, and do not believe in divorce, but let me tell you this is making me seriously rethink the church’s teaching on the matter. How can God insist that I have to suffer so long in order to stay true to my vows? I have been married for 14 years now, and she hasn’t so much as given me a second glance in the last 7. For the first four years or so it was fantastic, once, twice a day, passionate, mind blowing sex. And it trickled in the matter of a year to nothing. And yes I have gained weight since the start of our marriage. Particularly since we stopped having sex. And I can tell you the depression has driven a lot of it. The cruelty of it is almost unbearable sometimes. I didn’t get married to be the room mate, groundskeeper and handyman! Counselors and clergy over the years have been unable to help. I am not getting any younger, and we are childless because of her frigidity. So now the question is, what do I do? Divorce is unthinkable, but living like this is unbearable…

  • I have just read the comments here and am also amazed by the number of people stuck in the rut that I am. My husband and I knew each other for 5 years before we were married. The best of friends, the envy of other couples. Now, we have a 10-month old and have been married for 2.5 years. I have lost desire to have sex with him and am not sure why. I’m not sure if it’s the fact that I gave up my lucrative career to be home with our son. Perhaps it’s the fact that complete strangers show more genuine interest in my day/feelings/thoughts than he does. Maybe it’s because he doesn’t romance me the way he used to and I know other men are chomping at the bit to show me affection. I’m not sure what it is.
    I know that I am 29, and I feel trapped by the thought of staying in a situation that has left me feeling cold, alone and extremely bitter. I resent him for being a barrier to my happiness. It’s not just sex that has gone’s intimacy, passion and connectedness..just like so many of you are saying.
    My parents have been married for 33 years and have slept in separate bedrooms for the past 10. I see the sadness in both of their eyes that has grown more obvious over the years. I don’t want to look back 20 years from now and regret that I didn’t do something about this today. But, like Dave (last post), I don’t believe in divorce. I feel utterly trapped. Thanks for this outlet, but I need a solution.

  • Reading all these posts makes me sad. I am a woman, married 12 years. We probably have sex about 4-5 times a year for the last 7 years.
    My husband never wants to have sex, so I quit asking. 7 years ago, I lost weight and we started having sex every day, at my initiation. I was in heaven! (I don’t believe the reason we didn’t have sex was about weight, just that I became much more sexy-feeling when I was getting attention from other men.) Was great for awhile, then a we had a big blowup and basically he made me feel like I had been forcing myself on him! I was so rejected and felt so horrible. I haven’t approached him for sex since. I have regained the 80 lbs I had lost. Subconsciously, I think I did it to keep myself from cheating on him.
    We went to counseling, and he kept promising year after year that he would try to do better. He’d buy “better sex” books, read a chapter, and then forget about them. Every so often, I’d initiate a discussion about the problem, he’d cry and say he was so sorry, and that he’d try to make things better, but nothing ever changed. I guess I put up with it all these years because he is very kind to me in all other ways, and affectionate in non-sexual ways. We are like best friends, or brother and sister.
    Finally, the other day I told him I don’t want to live like this anymore, and what was the deal? He told me that 50% of the problem was him witholding sex because he was mad at me for working too much. The other 50% was that he has performance anxiety, and sex is so unpleasant because of it that he just avoids it altogether. He has made an appointment with another therapist this week, but I feel hopeless…scared that things won’t change. I am now mad at myself for staying. I could have left 7 years ago. I feel as if I have been cheated. I think most men would be happy to have a sexual wife.
    How can you ever trust someone with the gift of yourself again when you’ve been hurt so badly?

  • I just read this entire thread and it has really scared the heck out of me. I have been so frustrated and depressed I have wanted to put my fist through the wall. I’ve been dating a man for over three years now; and we’ve only had sex at most once a week, and most times it’s me initiating, me on top, me supporting myself over him. It’s been a few months now without any at all. We didn’t even have sex for like a year when we first started dating until I brought it up over and over. At most it ever was was once a week. Maybe twice. Lot’s of time his excuse is that he lifted weights and is tired from that, well, don’t lift as much and save some for me! I can’t figure out if he is gay or what the deal is, I’ve dated many men before and -never- experienced anything remotely close to this. I’m sick of feeling like it is my fault, that I am some freak of a woman who wants sex to much. He was shocked to find out the other day that the national average for marrieds is 3x a week. I wish to god he would just tell me he was gay so I could just be able to move on; I care deeply about this man. Or tell me he was abused or something so we can deal with it. I strongly feel he is so afraid of intimacy and there has got to be a reason but he is so far in denial I certainly can’t figure it out. Sometimes when I’ve brought it up, he’ll say sex is to make babies; who says that?!? So like the woman above, does that mean that will be the only time we’ll have sex? And then I’ll have to secretly take contraception to make it last? I am a monogomous minded person, by nature, but this is horrible, I have thought of going to the bar to hook up, which I don’t do and have never done, I’ve dated and messed around with other men when we decided not to be exclusive for a while, and that was horrible too because I was wishing it was him. I’m just so damn frustrated and can’t believe I am now having this problem, it’s always got to be something! I’m almost 32 and have never been married, I don’t beleive in having sex early in a relationship, but my god, we’ve been together for years! He says that he doesn’t feel that way because I don’t take care of him, and then we can spend all kinds of time together, sleep in the same bed, he can give me a backrub, see me with my shirt off, and nothing!! And I’m a really good looking person! And then he says it’s insane for me to ask if he is gay? Really? I can’t trust him because I don’t understand this, half the time when we are not together I wonder if he’s out getting gay sex…I can’t take the physical frustration and resulting depression any more!

  • Kimberly I can totaly relate. I have been married for just over 6 months now and we have had sex a total of 9 times. And that has been an ordeal of “we need to work on this” etc. I can relate to what you said about wondering if he is gay and taking your shirt off in front of him and he doesn’t respond. I can remember being with men in the past where there was this electricity and you could feel them being effected by the way your hair fell or the light was hitting your face. I swear with him though it’s nothing. The problem is I have been going through this dilemna because I am 40 and I’m thinking well he’s a great guy in every other way – he truly does care about me and he has a good heart and what else am I going to find at this point? And the truth is that I am scared to death. It has got to the point where I dread being intimate with him because it all feels so akward and forced. I hate it. The past few times when the Obligation has descended upon us, I run downstairs to down a few glasses of wine to make it all palatable. He has all the excuses I see everyone else here writing about like stresses from work, etc. And now he’s turning things around and saying that I’m the one rejecting him, but the truth is if I didn’t bring up sex to complain about a lack of it, there wouldn’t be any at all. And yes, I have been rejecting him because he totally turns me off now. A woman needs to feel DESIRED more than she even needs to DESIRE. I really do think that, and the fact is that I don’t feel desired by him no matter what he says. And Kimberly, again relating to what you said, I would feel quite relieved to find out he was gay. At least then this would all seem normal.

  • I asked my husband today if he thought it was selfish of him to expect me to be faithful when he is the one that has forced me to live a life of celibacy. He said yes. I’m worried that things are going to completely crash in this marriage. He is my best friend and I love him dearly, but I’m attractive and young and I feel like I deserve more than to be rejected continuously by a man that could scarcely care about me sexually at all. I’ve been bringing this issue up for a couple of years and we have “the talks” and he seems receptive and apologetic. He says he wants to work on it, he doesn’t want to lose me, he’ll do anything, he’ll try harder. Things change a bit for a very brief period and there we are again. Back to point zero. After going through all of the feelings of inadequacy, feeling unattractive, angry, sad, depressed, resentful, apathetic, hurt, duped, lied to, lonely, and confused, I just don’t know what’s left of me to give anymore. His promises to try harder have hurt the most since he doesn’t seem to put forth an effort. He does for about a week and then you would never know that we were on the edge of divorce previously. If I didn’t have a baby daughter I think I would probably walk right out of the door, but she is the most important thing to me and I only feel guilt when I think of how divorce might affect her. Also, he’s a wonderful person and we get along incredibly otherwise. We are great partners and I feel trapped. I feel like he’s forcing me to choose between a wonderful friendship and partnership and feeling like a woman again. I want desperately to feel loved by someone.

  • Man, I thought I was the only one in the world who was in a sex-less marriage. Although I’m glad I’m not the only one, but I feel for everyone.
    I have been married for 6 months and my husband is still a virgin. We have been together for a little over 5 years and it’s exteremly frusterating. I feel like I have no one to turn to. I’ve decided to see a counselor (imagine, me a social worker having to go see another social worker b/c I’m so depressed and have no self esteem left).
    I have told my husband how I feel and that we need to work on our marriage, but he says everything is fine and our marriage shouldn’t be based on sex. He even asked me once if that’s why I married him. I was hurt.
    Like many others, I have lost count of how many times I have been turned down. When I asked my husband if it was me, he said no, he was just not ready to have sex with me. How can you be ready to be in a marriage but not ready to have sex? He didn’t answer me. I still want to know….. Marriage is suppose to be two people joining as one….
    I never thought I’d be so disappointed in my marriage. I just don’t know what to do anymore.
    I hope counseling helps.

  • Gosh, I am both relieved and saddened to read all these messages about sexless marriages. At least I know I’m not alone.
    In an ideal world, we’d all be married to our soul mate but real life isn’t always like that.
    People will remain in unfulfilling marriages because of family commitments, economics, religious beliefs, etc.
    I personally don’t blame anyone if they decided to divorce or even have a quiet affair. I think the most honest thing is to separate but people can stay in marriages for reasons other than love, such as financial security and children.
    I am fond of my husband but he’s become a relative rather than a lover.
    I’m 38 and trying to make the most of a mediocre situation but if I were under 30, or financially independent enough (which I’m unfortunately not), then I’d say leave them and try again. Once you’re over forty, I would assume that things become much harder for women.
    But like I say, I don’t blame people for having lovers or affairs, especially if they’ve done all they can to try to sort out their marriages.

  • Stumbling on this page has made a huge difference to me this morning. I have been crying for what seems like the past seven years since I married my husband.
    He is 45 now and I am 39. We have sex MAYBE once a year and he doesn’t think that there is anything wrong with that. I have asked him what the problem is and he comes up with thousands of excuses. I have asked him to go for counseling, again, a thousand excuses. I feel so incredibly depressed. I don’t know how to feel well again. He has robbed me of my sexuality and won’t give me a reason why. He was into alot of porn for a long time but says he doesn’t do it anymore. He says he doesn’t cheat either. I don’t believe him. How does he get his release then. He is very sexual. He says he never had this problem with any of his other relationships. I feel so ugly, fat and gross even though I know deep down that I am not. But these feelings are starting to take over. I just do not know what to do anymore. I am drowning and I don’t even know if I want to be rescued. The depression is so deep now. Thanks for letting me vent. Kelly

  • I have the same problem with my wife.
    She became ill with rheumatoid arthritis three years ago and our love making has gone downhill. Before the illness it was once a week and I could live with that. Now if I ask she gives me a look like she’s not happy with the thought. I have talked to her about it and she doesn’t understand why I need sex. It’s more than that; it’s to be desired and held and everything else that goes with being married. I have told her that I will help her work around her RA or whatever else needs to be done. Nothing. I don’t even ask anymore. I started seeing a counselor a two weeks ago. My wife wouldn’t go see her, but would talk to her over the phone. This whole situation has me hurt, frustrated, depressed, angry, and empty. I didn’t agree to live like roomates and I can’t seem to make her understand my point of view. She simply sees sex as unimportant. I love the woman, but this matter forces me to consider things that I would rather not ponder. I’m not going to live in a sexless or near sexless marriage. I’ll follow the counselor’s advice and see what happens. I’ve written my wife notes, compliment her, support her in any way I can, do house work to help her out. My female friends say I’m not being unreasonable and that they would love to have me as a husband.

  • I just stumbled on this cite and am amazed at how many women are experiencing sexless marriages. Society always focus on men who are trapped in sexless marriages, but never talk about women who are in sexless relationships.
    I been marriage to my husband for almost 4 months and I am completely disillusioned. We should be making love once to twice day, not once a month. When I bring up my discontentment he makes me feel that being sexual is something dirty and often makes me feel ashame. When ever I ask him to make love to me he makes excuses ranging from being tired, his back hurting, not wanting to get me pregant and not having condoms. If I become angry at him he retorts back at me”what are you going to do? rape me”. I just don’t understand this, because I am consider a very beautiful woman and lots of guys are attracted to me, accept my husband. I have written him letters explaining how I feel about not being intimate-(passionate kissing, touching, hugging, verbal communicating and making love) like how I’m dying inside and feel alone, for him to only tell me I’m making this up and that his actions are not bothering me. I now have resorted to eating as away of coping with his neglect and have gained weight, as result.
    I thought that he maybe he was gay or just lost his desire to makelove, but over the last month I have seen him looking at other women, especial this one in particular. He even started dressing up just so he can impress her, but he denies it. Also there are times he has an erection but he hides it from me. He won’t let me touch him or look at him when he is nake.
    I just don’t know what to do. Sometimes I get the sense he withholding himself as a way to control, manipulate, and punish me. I can definitely relate to these women. I have experience every emotion from rage, anger, jealousy, regret, hopelessness, confusion. I have made peace with my husband decision and have left the matter in God’s hand. I decided to go on with me life and not let my husband behavior bother me, even though I don’t understand. I also, decided to stop using food as way of coping with this problem,because I have too much going for myself to turn against myself. It’s his problem not mine. Besides, I refuse to be his victim.

  • Our sex life has diminished over the last year or so of our 21 year marriage. My wife is overweight, and although not a problem for me – I still find her attractive – she does not feel comfortable with sex. She finds it embarrassing.
    I understand how she feels, and have no desire to do anything she is not completely happy with, but I feel I am missing out on an important part of my life. I am only in my 40

  • I also had no Idea there is so many of us “UnSatisfied” with our current sex lifes. I have been married for almost eight years now, my Wife says, that it is normal for sexual activities to diminish, and do it once a week, or even once every two weeks, I would love to do it every chance I could get, but she tells me that that is the only thing i can think of. She is always doing some kind of surveys with her friends, and uses them as excuses. I really would love to recover our relationship, communication, and touch each other … any suggestions ???

  • Wow! Thank you all for sharing. It is amazing to read how many people have this same problem–men and women. It hit home, and was reassuring to know we are not alone. I still don’t know what to do….anyone have solutions? Also, don’t forget about emotional ans physical abuse in childhood as a possible cause.

  • I am so relieved to have found this site, to see that I am not alone. My husband and I have had sex 3 times in the last 10 years. He’s never been interested. Now he says he wants to try again, and he can’t understand my reluctance. I mean, he can’t expect me to turn this off and on like a light switch. It was so hurtful to me all those years, all those times when I wanted to make love and he completely rejected me. I finally came to some kind of terms with this, assuming I would just have to do without. Now that he wants to try again, I’m not interested. Anyway, just is helpful to know that others share my lot.

  • Reading this site made me start crying because I did not think anyone else had the problem I was going through. Atleast, I don’t feel like a freak anymore.
    I’ve been married for over a year now and I can count the times we’ve mad love. Also, I have to be ready when he wants to have sex. We can’t have it when I want to get intimate. I know my husband loves me very much but there is definitely no intimacy anymore. It has got to the stage where he doesn’t even want me touching him when we’re watching tv. I’ve tried initiating, losing weight, asking what turns him on and nothing has worked. Am I just over reacting or is it unusual that even on your first night the couple doesn’t make love, during the honeymoon stage he appeared like he was forced to do it twice in five days. I feel like the ugliest being alive. Yet he gets very angry if any guy looks at me. Marriage has totally disillusioned me. I thought its a commitment where partners are free to share the most intimate relationship and everything else.What makes it worse was him talking about whta he used to do with his ex…well that has stopped but I have no clue where this marriage is heading.I tried talking to him but now have stopped and I try to deal with my feelings.i don’t understand with friends he talks about this fantasized romantic escapades we’ve had.
    I’ve tried to cope with this lack by reading sexy worked for awhile. But now I keep getting up crying and this is becoming more frequent. I’m in my early thirties and yes the best years and child bearing years are definitely floating past me.

  • I cannot believe these stories. I am married a second time. I am 38 my husband is 43. we had an amazing courtship and outstanding intimate life. Well you know the story he moves into my home with me kids and now we are almost up to once every 2 weeks. I know we are headed to once a month and then ……
    ” the talks”, the counseling, the strategies I have tried, I HAVE HAD IT!
    Last week I turned him down, well it felt great for the moment.This is my new “strategy” however I know where this is headed!!!!

  • I cannot believe these stories. I am married a second time. I am 38 my husband is 43. we had an amazing courtship and outstanding intimate life. Well you know the story he moves into my home with me kids and now we are almost up to once every 2 weeks. I know we are headed to once a month and then ……
    ” the talks”, the counseling, the strategies I have tried, I HAVE HAD IT!
    Last week I turned him down, well it felt great for the moment.This is my new “strategy” however I know where this is headed!!!!

  • I would never have imagined that so many women are having the same problem as I am having with my fiancee of 2 years. He is 43 and I am 36, he works long days and it does not take much to stress him out. In the 2 years we have been together he has struggled with retarded ejaculation, inability to sustain and then achieve an erection, porn viewing on the internet which he claims he did to try to figure out what was wrong with him as he reports that before I came along he actually had a high sex drive. Eventually what this has lead to is him trying to either avoid me sexually by rolling over and going to sleep, starting a fight so he has an excuse not to make love, promising to “try” tommorrow, claiming to be too tired, too stressed, too “whatever”. What this has lead to for me is extreme frustration, insecurity, trust issues with him, sadness, emptiness, fear, anger, disgust, humiliation, desperation, and feelings of going crazy and saying and doing things out of sheer desperation for him to stand up and notice me(and I mean that literally as well!!). I am attractive, have a good physique,well educated, well liked by others and told by men that I am a good catch. My fiancee is in all other ways the most amazing and attractive man who is truly my best friend and confidant. It pains me to think about not being with him as I love him deeply but I am not so sure how much longer I can go on like this. I have considered having an affair but this would only serve to meet my physical needs and do nothing more than acknowledge that other men like to have sex and further reinforce that my man does not. It would do nothing for me or for my relationship as it is him I want to get closer to not another man and I know I am a sexy woman (not trying to sound conceited)and don’t need another man to show me this, I want my man to show me.If I don’t initiate sex it doesn’t happen. When I do initaite sex, often he has an excuse for why he can not accomodate. He sometimes likes me to give him oral sex and hand jobs but when it comes to intercourse, it seems that he gets anxious and he is not making love to me rather just trying to get it over with. We might make love once a month, sometimes every other month. I miss him. Thanks for reading and it is comforting to know that I am not crazy for feeling the way I do.

  • Like the rest of you, I read all the stories here, and I too am at a loss. I don’t know what to do either. I am 42, and my wife is a year older than me, we were married 17 years ago and when we were dating and first married sex was an everyday thing. We have two children, the oldest being 16 youngest is 11. During her last pregnancy, my wife gained alot of weight, which she was unable to lose afterward. I didn’t find it a problem, as I love bigger women. I am not small at 6’2″ 245lbs, and have a few extra pounds. I have always done the cooking,grocery shopping, maintenance and repairs around the house, some of the cleaning and we rotate the clothe washing duties and we both help your children with their homework. We both work full time in professional jobs (Engineering and Nursing). I try to take her out on dates and she refuses, do little things just for her, and try to urge her toward sex, not in a pushy manner. She has commented that she is not beautiful, and fat. I have always tried to reinforce the opposite in her, but she still has lowered self esteem. Sex is quite a rarity, maybe once every three months. I tried getting her to talk to our doctor about an anti depressive or mood elevator, but she isn’t interested. I suggested trying “alternate activities” and we investigated some of these together, but she was repulsed at the thought. I am thinking of an affair, or just a friend with benefits, something to take my edge off, but I don’t want to hurt her. I have since seen the doctor and been put on anti depressants, and he is concerned about my prostrate health. I don’t know where to turn…

  • Wow I can’t believe how many women have the same problems. Me and my husband have been married for almost 2 years. We are pretty young 22 and 25. When we first met and all the way up until a year ago when he had his shoulder surgery sex was at least once a day. He has always had stamina and premature ejaculation problems but we seemed to deal with them and it wasn’t a problem. Well for the last year we have sex once a month sometimes once every couple months and it stinks. Its like he has no sex drive at all. Im a very sexual person and I need it like everyone else here. Now when we do have sex its for 5 minutes until he cums and that is it. No foreplay at all sometimes he will try and have sex with me before i’m even turned on which causes painful problems afterward. Then no more sex for 2 more months. I don’t know what to do. We always fight about it and I just sit and cry every time I think about it. I love my husband so much but I can’t live in a sexless marriage. I just don’t know what to do anymore. I have approached him 6 times in the last week and he has either turned me down or made up other exscuses. I don’t know what else to do 🙁

  • Well, women have this problem, as well. I have been in a sexless relationshoip for a year and a half now. Only the first three months included a healthly sex life. I think a relationship is more than sex but it has to include it. I do miss the intimacy and feeling for one another that you have after sex. My partner won’t talk about it and bought me a vibrator and told me to use it. There is no understanding that I need touch and to touch, to feel close. Apparently the lack of interest on my partner’s behalf is due to gaining weight (25 lbs). I tried to be extra supportive and patient and romantic but can’t take the rejection any more. It all got tremendously worse when we went to a coffee house one night and the conversation turned toward sex for some reason. I was told that perhaps we should get a sexual surrogate. I felt hurt and betrayed and asked, “You would rather have me have sex with someone else than have sex with me?” The answer was a cold yes. I tried to explain I didn’t want anyone else. And this is the person I am suppose to spend my life with? I am beginning to question the entire relationship now. If I stay I remain unhappy in a relationship that doesn’t seem like it will ever include sex. And if I take my partner up on the offer because of the “inability to provide that” well, I feel like we’ll never survive that either. I feel trapped and don’t know what to do.

  • I am a guy, and don’t really belong here amongst the 50 or so letters I see posted by frustrated wives. But after exhaustive searches, I cannot find any forums or message boards for HUSBANDS who can’t get sex from their wives. I am really trying to get my wife to have sex with me, but she won’t. Here is my story. I’m only 37, and I like to think of myself as attractive. I have an athletic lifestyle and profession, and there are no sexual dysfunction problems. My wife, although a bit heavier since the time we married, is still very attractive and sexy to me. We have been married 5 years and have a three year old son. Over the past year, my wife and I have had sex on seven occasions. SEVEN. By conventional definitions, this would undoubtedly classify as a sexless marriage. We want to have another child, but now that’s in jeopardy due to her lack of wanting to have sex. Being the ex-military guy I am, I am guilty of approaching just about everything from a factual basis, meaning I attempt, through mature conversation, to solve problems by finding out first why something is happening, then seeking ways to resolve the problem. My wife shys away from candid and open communications, especially when it comes to things like sex. I talk about things very professionally and objectively (a major turnoff for lots of women). I’m not all that fun to be around because all I talk about are facts, the future, and what we need to do now to achieve our goals. Admittedly, this behavior would drive anybody crazy. But, and this is important, I’m a good guy. I have great parents and come from good stock, I don’t have drug problems, I don’t have a criminal record, I have a master’s degree, I am healthy, I don’t cheat, I stay home all the time, and I don’t verbally or physically abuse her. I even take on the ‘traditional’ wife duties in the home; cooking, cleaning, establishing order and discipline, and managing our son’s education. I am a storybook husband, in my opinion. Just because I’m a little too serious with things doesn’t make me a sexual turnoff, does it? My attitude could use some adjusting when it comes to fun time, and I could stand to back away from the computer a little bit more. My wife is resistant to change and does not take planning for the future seriously. That’s fine because I love doing that kind of stuff (handling the financial planning, planning for college, major purchases, career changes, etc). But I constantly remind her that marriage is about being “one” and approaching things from a team perspective. We share the same goals, it’s just our strategy differs (how to go about achieving those goals). Anyway, that was the background, now here is what I see as the problem of me not being able to get any sex from my wife. My wife seems to approach the issue like an 18 year old. She cringes when I mention masterbastion to satisfy myself, or even when I discuss my fantasies with her. It’s almost like she thinks these things will fix themselves. Personally, I think she’s not attracted to me anymore, and cannot come out and admit it. She even said the other day that I get on her nerves with my constant, “set a good example for you son,” and “pick up after yourself” and “organize your space and you will find things quicker.” I have become unattractive to her because I turned into a GOOD guy. Before when she met me, I was into setting up strip shows for the fellahs, going to the beach with the boys, and not paying attention to her. Back then the sex was great. Now that we have a son and a home to manage, it’s almost like my new approach to life, although good in my eyes, is not an attractive feature to her. We’re a mid-30s couple, and sex needs to be approached responsibly. This is especially true if we want to have another child (which is supposedly in the plan). Isn’t this something she just needs to get over? According to her, here’s the problem. There was an infidelity issue a few years ago when I was still hanging out with the “fellahs” on a regular basis, but no sex was involved. I came clean and let her know and, although she was upset, she forgave me. There was another issue where she says I rejected her for sex when she was pregnant, citing that I seemed alergic to her when her stomach got big. I admitted that I had a problem with having sex while she was pregnant, but I apologized over and over about that and she still seems peeved at that. Lastly, she says that I didn’t help with the baby when he was in diapers and breast-feeding. That is partially true, but I made up for that by doing other important things around the house like cleaning, shopping, cooking and other stuff she routinely did. Actually, doing these things was the spark that changed things for me. All in all, after each of these episodes, my wife CLAIMS to have forgiven me for my bad behavior. But she has not forgotten, which I thought was the companion to forgiveness. She admitted the other day that she is holding a grudge and that is making her reject me when I want sex. It’s been like this for the past couple years, and real bad the past year. Now I’m at the point where I want to have sex in a bad way. I recently purchased a subscription to a porn site, and have recently found myself masterbating every single day, sometime two or three times. This cannot be normal, at least not for a “happily married couple”. Last month, I finally broke down and asked my wife if she would mind if I visit a prostitute. I was dead serious, and did not say it to incite a guilty reaction from her. I just knew that jacking off every day was not the answer. My wife calmly replied, “Do what you think you need to do,” indicating that she still had no plans to have sex with me and that I should become a cheating husband. I’ve been trying to resist the temptation. I started a hobby, I tried smoking marijuana, I tried focusing on housework, but none of this stuff works. I JUST WANT SEX…good ol’ nasty sex like you see on the porn movies. What’s wrong with that? I guess it’s true…good guys finish last.

  • The answer to all this suffering is simple. It is what the Torah calls Chessed: kindness.
    The surrender of the will by the man and woman to the explicit command or mitzvah of God must be the first life committment. Once this has been established, the Torah provides everything for a happy and robust home life, especially sex! Did you know that the very first command God gave to Adam and Eve was to Make Love! He designed our bodies
    for love and creativity. This is a very holy thing, as my wife and I are discovering now after a dry 35 year “marriage”. It is never too late for ‘tikkun’, renewal of creation. The world is broken but it is worth fixing. If the two of you can just agree on that, then, come before God with your lives, He will bind up the brokenhearted and make your future the time of his favor.

  • I’ve been married for 16 years, am in my mid-forties, and the sex and
    intimacy are distant memories. My wife was OK having sex before we
    were married (she initiated it) but once married this very quickly
    changed. I knew on our wedding night I was in trouble
    (my wife: I’m too tired). Very quickly it was down to once every
    few weeks, then every few months, now once every 3- 3 1/2
    years. And she really isn’t involved- she just lies there.
    She is 50 now so some of this understandable, but given how long this
    has been going on I don’t believe this lack of interest can be
    totally due to hormornal changes. I try to be understanding, not
    to pressure her, do my share around the house,etc but nevertheless
    feel cheated, particular since I have a suspicion that the sex before
    we were married was an act. At this point I have come to the conclusion
    that sex and intimacy for me for this lifetime are probably pretty much

  • I needed to find this forum today…have been looking on & off for years to find out how many people are going through this lonely, sexless relationship that i’m in.
    We’ve been married 18 years, and have not made love in nearly 7 years. I am 16 years older than my husband, and menopause hit me a 53 & caused all kinds of problems. There was dryness – he commented on that in a loud, hurtful way. He started seeing wrinkles where they didn’t even exist and, finally just stopped wanting me.
    We bought a house nearly 6 years ago, and i thought things would change, but they never have. He claims to love me, but won’t allow any closeness. He lies about anything & everything, and hates it when i catch him in one. Yes, i have tried to discuss our sexless marriage on many occasions, but he always finds a way out of it, such as admitting that he’s willing to try counselling, or asking me if i want him, or suggesting that i’ve been too angry with him – won’t forgive or forget. Yes, i am angry with him because he never lets me forgive or forget, because the same behaviour never changes.
    Right now, he’s 2,640 miles away spending the holidays with his family, and i’m alone with the 3 cats and the fish. He left on Dec. 22nd & won’t be back until Dec. 30th.
    Don’t get me wrong – i don’t begrudge him seeing his family, but why at Xmas time. We parted on less than loving terms that day.
    I’m 63 & he’s 47. I take good care of myself, am attractive, and look around 53 to 55, and that’s the truth. I’m not fat, nor am i undesireable, but i do feel emotionally used & abused by a man who only appears to be happy with me as a live-in maid, performing all the duties that a maid would do, but receiving nothing in return.
    I’m not totally against counselling, but we have tried this in our earlier years of marriage when it had nothing to do with sex, but other unacceptable behaviour. At my age, i just don’t know where to turn or what exactly to do.
    Thanks for letting me share my sorrow.

  • Hi, everyone, I do feel bad for you and I can’t believe that so many people would allow themselves to be so unhappy, myself included. I was almost 40 yrs old when I married for the second time. My son was planning on moving out of my home. It had been just the two of us for a very long time, since my first divorce. I didn’t fall in love with my husband, although I do have fun with him at times, and because we’ve been together for over 5 yrs, he is my best friend. I am not now nor have I ever been sexually attracted to my husband. Nothing is wrong with him and he doesn’t believe me when I tell him that. You can’t make yourself feel chemistry when there is none. I love hugging and kissing my husband, but any kind of sexual touch makes me cringe. I try to talk myself into liking it but it doesn’t work and it keeps getting harder and harder to pretend. I feel like it’s incest every time we make love and I cry a lot afterwards. This is no way to live just to keep from being lonely. I hope this will help some of you make a decision. I don’t know why my husband can’t be the strong one and leave our marriage. Instead, he chooses to beat this subject into the ground time and time and blames me even though I have asked for separation many times. He always says something that makes me stay with him. I have to be the strong one if I ever hope to find happiness and you should try to be, too.

  • Well, Christmas we broke the dry spell! And it was a shocker. After shopping for our children and getting all the holiday things in order,we talked about things, and decided that it was time for US. We did some day trips and left the children at home, did things that both of us enjoy, and we compromised on things that one or the other liked to do. I bought my wife a very nice conservative chinese-like pajama set, one I knew she would appreciate and be comortable in. So I thought, until I wrapped it. It turned out to be a 3 piece set of silk pajama bottoms, camisole, and button down the front top. When I wrapped it I placed a VERY descriptive note of how much I loved her, how much she turned me on and how she couldn’t wear this at home until we went to a bed and breakfast for the weekend to “try it out”. On the outside of the note I told her to read it in private. We have teenage girls at home, and I know she would have been embarrased if they would have seen the note. After the girls opened their gifts, we both decided that we were heading back to bed as we were up late wrapping presents. She went to another room, read the note, and when she returned to our room, FIRE! Not seen in MANY months! And it continued, every night until Sunday, because we had to work yeasterday and today. Maybe that was all that she needed, to write her a sexy note!? They didn’t work in the past, maybe she, like I just need to get away, but either way, I am looking forward to New Years Eve!
    Guys & Girls… don’t give up!

  • Well, I can relate to many of the entries listed. I have been married for going on 4 years now and the sexual part of marriage has never really developed. We had crazy sex when we dated, in fact he stayed at my house every weekend up until we got married, and it all started on the honeymoon, the sex was terrible, he told me he was having male troubles and so I was a bit more understanding due to that. However as the years progressed and he did nothing about it, I was more hurt than anything. Things seemed to improve when he saw the doctor, but as I soon found out it went back to the sexless relationship I had grown to know. This year was so so, we made love, maybe once a month, but in October of this year was the last time we had any sexual contact. I have gotten to the point where I have no desire to have sexual relations with him and I know that one of these days he will make a feebale attempt at sex and I will have to turn him down, I dont want mercy sex, I want a real passionate relationship with the man that I love. This whole thing has really damaged our marriage and I really dont feel at all close to him anymore and I am starting to get comfortable with that. At some point when our children get older I am thinking of leaving him. What is the point in being married with no benefits! I could have stayed single and celibate. So for everyone living like this trust me I know how you feel and it is a killer.

  • I stumbled on this site tonight and I am also surprised at how many women are in the same horrible situation I’m in. I waited until I was in my thirties to get married. While dating my husband, he seemed to always want to get physical…..kissing for hours. I had to hold him off and wondered if my standards were a little different. He shared about past relationships. I was a virgin when we got married and felt unexperienced and never thought my husband would be the one to have sex problems. On our honeymoon, he was a totally different person. He was angry, abusive and showed no interest in sex. He didn’t even bother getting undressed or coming to bed with me. I’ve been married seven years now. We have sex 1-3 times a year. He still sleeps on the living room floor or couch fully clothed. He never even sleeps with me. I feel so disappointed. I’ve always enjoyed our sex and encouraged him when he approached me. My husband is the same as the many stories I read here, non-communicative and will never explain why he does such behavior. It’s amazing I even got pregnant but the Lord has blessed me with two children. I don’t know if I can go on like this. I turned 40 last year and also feel my life is passing me by. I believe divorce is wrong and that is what has kept me in this sick marriage for so long. But his verbal abuse and emotional abuse of withholding sex or any other kind of intimacy is making me realize that this is also grave sin in the eyes of God. I know now that I must make a decision this year for the welfare of myself and my children.

  • I’m an early 30s male and the half of the marriage that wants to tone down the sex. Ironically, I’m the one who has typically had a higher interest in sex. However, due to a number of reasons I’ve given up on sex in our marriage and we’re drifting right now but not sure what to do. We saw a counsellor for over a year but this didn’t solve the fundamental problem for me – I’m not interested in my wife sexually. I’ve never felt chemistry or much in the way of common sexual interests. I’m not turned off but neither am I turned on. More and more I can leave it rather than take it. I was unfortunately brought up with the belief that sex is sub-ordinate to the loftier ideals of love, friendship, trust, and steadfastness. I also unfortunatly strongly question my judgement about these matters rather than going with my gut feelings. Somewhat understandle since there’s plenty to be confused about – it is sex and there are so many misconceptions and contradictions floating around. This makes a recipe for sexual frustration. I do have very good self-control and am also mildly depressed which makes it easy to push sex off the radar map but it does occasionally hit home as an issue – and when it does, boy does it hit hard – wondering if a life of sexual satisfaction is ever possible for me or if fate has cursed me with a life that is great in many other respects but still essentially a hollow shell.

  • 6 1/2 years ago I stopped initiating and all sex stopped. A short while later I realized I was in a verbally & emotionally abusive relationship. I read Patricia Evan’s books and realized the no sex thing was a form of control. He called me an animal. I offered to do things sexually out of desperation. He accused me of sleeping around. Dug thru my things and found my vibrator & that I read erotica and continues to make fun of me. I haven’t been touched or kissed in about 12 years. It has taken a terrific toll on my mental health & self esteem. We are divorcing and I am in no way even ready to look at another man. It doesn’t feel safe to me.
    Do NOT marry him. Things will get worse. Sexual compatability is a small part of a whole marriage BUT when it’s not working – it becomes all encompassing for the neglected partner it becomes a soul-sucking experience that pulls the marriage down the drain.

  • Wow. Reading these stories is scary. I’m in the same situation… and I’m surprised to find even some of the wierder details are the same!
    I’m noticing a pattern here. First of all, sex is just one part of a relationship. I was the the sexually-awakened guy and she was kind of hung up, and we got married even though we weren’t very compatible in many ways including sexually. But she made up for it with quantity, so I figured I would be flexible about the quality.
    Then we started fighting.
    And I found that *I* shut down sexually. Why? I felt like I was literally “sleeping with the enemy”. We’ve had occasional thaws in our relationship, but invariably one or both of us gets slapped down by the reality of how incompatible we are. And then we’re back to no-sex again; usually at my insistence. Sex is a very intimate thing for me, it’s an art, a sacred ritual, and I just can’t let myself be intimate with someone I don’t trust.
    But, we have no money, and a little girl to take care of, and her emotional and financial needs come first. So we’re staying together. If my wife wants to have an affair, she’s welcome to do so. I don’t need to: porn is plenty good for me.
    My heart is warmed to see how many of my brothers and sisters out there are sharing my fate, but I’m not surprised. Has it ever occurred to us that this is the way husbands and wives have been for hundreds of thousands of years? Has it ever occurred to us that, we’re not freaks, we’re NORMAL! Let’s come out of the closet, and shake off the shame and hurt and the sense that we’re getting left behind, because we’re not. Look at the divorce rates: unfullfilling relationships are solidly in the majority. We can face the reality and move forward.
    Marriage is a *difficult* committment. Getting two people to get along for short periods is tough… for a *lifetime* it’s damn near a miracle. Making a household is often an antagonistic process. How can you expect people who struggle with each other all day to throw care to the wind and be sexy with each other at night? It’s an absurd expectation if you really think about it.
    In the vast majority of marriages on this planet, husbands and wives are picked by village or tribal elders or by deals between families. “Love” and “sex” don’t figure into it, except love of children and sex for procreation. Affairs allow sexual tensions to be released. Only a very small minority of marriages are loving, sexual, and harmonious– that’s why the coercion of “arranged” marriages and powerful cultural taboos are required to maintain them. Without those, as in the West, the whole “institution” of marriage falls apart, and the divorce numbers go through the roof.
    I think we are first of all victims of lots of crappy, mentally-unhealthy propoganda in the movies, on TV, and in those insipid “love” songs. Believe me, we’re not missing out on anything if our relationships aren’t as romantic as a Frank Sinatra song. Seriously. The happy, loving couples on TV are not real! We have let the culture set us up for failure! Please let’s not feel freakish or alone for that!
    Secondly, by even thinking about such things, we’re perhaps betraying how rich and spoiled we are. Our pioneer great-grandparents married for physical strength, good breeding stock, the ability to impregnate, bear, and raise children. The very rich were married off by their parents for status or diplomatic significance– and they were mainly the ones who even thought about “love”. Remember, Romeo and Juliet were aristocrats from two powerful families.
    My point is: we are very, very lucky to have these problems. We shouldn’t be ashamed of them. Ours are the problems of a wealthy and free society that lets people pick their own mates and has the time to fret over whether we’ve found the “right” one. I count my blessings. We eat well, we have a roof over our head, we each have our good friends to give us emotional support, and we’re good parents to our child, who is healthy and wonderful. Perhaps when she’s moved out, we will split up and go searching for personal fulfillment. But not now– there really are more important things.
    This perspective has helped me immensely. Sure, I am human and I feel frustration and sadness. But the longing, the shame, the feeling of “missing out” on something, have all finally gone. I don’t have a birthright to have perfect “soul mate” with whom I’m compatible on all possible levels; despite what the advertising says, it’s a luxury, not a necessity.
    And I admire– but don’t envy– the tiny minority who were lucky enough to marry their “soul mates”. They are the exception. *We*, all of us in sexless, challenging, practical and even loveless marriages, are the rule.

  • There is a wonderful book called the SEX STARVED MARRIAGE.
    If that doesn’t work read: STALKING THE SOUL, CONTROLLING PEOPLE, and all the sites on Narcissism.
    I simply can’t see staying in this marriage. Sure it’s work & a difficult commitment but I can’t see letting my spouse do whatever or using porn to make it ok. I tried that, back when I was in denial, but then I realized what a HORRIBLE message it was sending to my daughters. The stay no matter what message. It’s just wrong. It’s soul and self esteem sucking.
    Marriage counseling is an option. We tried and my ex (the ICE MAN) blamed me for needing sex. Hello? No sex (at that time) for FOUR YEARS?!?!?!?! YEARS!?!?!?! Even the counselor (who was a twit) said 3-4 times a year is fine if you are 80 years ago. We aren’t. and opened my eyes to this no sex = form of CONTROL!! no sex – is abuse. no sex – is braking the marriage vows. I am a 46 year old adult – I don’t need controlling.

  • God, I feel awful. I, unlike many on this site, am the sexless partner. I am the guy that shows little to no interest in sex with my wife of 10 years. I am 37 and she is 39, we have 2 kids that are 3 1/2 an 2. In the last 5 years, we have had sex 3 times which makes us very fortunate to have 2 children. My wife is extremely upset at the our sexless marriage although we rarely talk about it. However, as the partner that has been the one doing the rejecting over the years, I have no idea what is motivating it. I love my wife. I do like sex. I think the sex is good for both of us. I do not cheat. I have no interest in other women. I am normal in every other way. Atleast, I think so. I am a professional. I am a good Father and provider. I am atheletic and attractive as is my wife. This whole situation has become a real problem and I am not sure how we are going to fix it. It has gotten so “out of control” that she does not want me to touch her. She is very angry.
    In many ways, I feel as though I have these unresolved issues with regard to long term intimacy. I think back to my parents who although I never asked them, I believe they may have had a sexless marriage. I went away to a boarding school and I had some odd situations with older women “coming on to me”. It introduced me to a “wierd world” which I was unfamiliar. I have had this sexual dysfunction “show up” in other relationships with women. I am not sure what to do..What the problem is..
    I guess my reason for writing was to let people know, atleast for some, the sexless partner’s issue is very personal. It is not directed at you. It is a problem. It hurts you in the most personal way but it is a result of something going on with them. At some point, it takes on a “life of it’s own”.

  • Randy – thanks for your very brave post.
    But YOU are aware of your problem. You admit you have one. You might benefit from private counseling. Ever read the SEX STARVED MARRIAGE?
    In my case, my soon to be ex husband swore he HAD NO PROBLEM. That I was oversexed (3 times a year – then none for 5 years? the more I tried to help, offered all sorts of enticements, joint counseling, whatever – the worse and nastier he got. Finally when he found out that I actually used porn very occassionally because of my own frustrations – he exploded on me. That’s when I realized the abuse I was experiencing. The no sex was all part of control on his part. He was a narcissist.
    That isn’t your issue. You own your issue – which is huge and I commend you. Many sexless partners won’t OWN their issue. And that is where the marriage can go right down the drain.
    I hope you find the help you need & thanks for posting!!!

  • Ginger..
    Thank you for your response. I appreciate your support. I was almost afraid to post my message in that I would just get clobbered with the “what’s your problem?” club.
    As a follow-up, I went home the other night and told my wife that I visited this site although I did not tell her I posted a comment. It was a very good opportunity for us to talk about the problem within the context of the us not being the only ones.
    It is so strange. If you read my resume, you would think- this could not be happening to this guy. It is just counter to every other aspect of my life but nonethless I am here and wondering why.
    The conversation was a good one. It is clear to me she is angry. It is clear to me she feels rejected. She feels resentful and feels I do not find her attractive. The fact is that I am very attracted to her and I was quick to point that out. She almost feels as though the “opportunity” for a normal sex life has passed us. I think we need to unwind her impression of the situation and begin to slowly build the sexual aspect of the relationship again.
    I have never discussed this with anyone. The other day I called a very good “girl-friend” of mine and I sat down to talk to her about the situation. Although she was shocked to hear it from me, she had experienced it with her first husband which I was relieved to hear. She gave me some great insights into how my wife was feeling and that I needed to consistently show her how much I loved her and pursue her in a sexual way when the time was right. Overtime, she felt I could build her trust back and allow her to put away some of her anger and not be defensive. The other tip was do not be too anxious and get frustrated by trying to “go for sex”. What are you thoughts on that approach? Is this situation a “must attend” counseling situation or do you think I just need to “get back on the horse”- So too speak…
    Largely, because I am attracted to my wife and I believe she is attracted to me as well, we turned a “rough period” into a lifesytle. She got mad. I did not recognize what it was doing to her. Then, no one did anything until you wake up one and it has been a year. Then, two, Then, three….Maybe it is far more complicated on all fronts. Maybe I have some serious problems yet undiscovered. Only time will tell. I would be curious to get your feedback..

  • Thank God for this website. I have felt like a “freak” for so long. It is nice to know I’m not the only woman whose husband is not interested in sex.
    He won’t even talk about it. I’ve tried several times in the last 4 years doing everything to get his interest. Nothing works.
    Meanwhile, I’m only 30 and take very good care of myself. Other men hit on me all the time — very attractive men. Recently, an attractive man I know tried to kiss me, but I pushed him away and told him I couldn’t because I have too much to lose. But the bad part is that I wanted to be with him — just to feel someone against me again.
    I adore my husband and think he is so handsome and sexually attractive. It’s torturous having this amazing thing in front of you that you can’t touch. The pain is unbearable.
    Even though men tell me I’m attractive all the time, I feel ugly because the one man I do want doesn’t want anything to do with me. It’s like some cruel joke. Even as I write this, I’m crying because it hurts so much.
    I’d consider leaving if we didn’t have a child together. I joke with my husband now all the time about my “boyfriend” or how I need to get a gigalo. I guess I’m half hoping he’ll say “go ahead” and I’ll finally have an outlet for my sexuality. Masterbation is okay, but it is so cold.
    Guess it’s just nice to know I’m not the only one hurting.

  • Ophelia, your comment really hit home, “I adore my husband and think he is so handsome and sexually attractive. It’s torturous having this amazing thing in front of you that you can’t touch. The pain is unbearable.”
    For the past five years, I have felt exactly like you do now. My husband and I are going on seven years together at this point. I am 32 and he is 33, and we got married 1.5 years ago. At this point we have not had sex in six months. When I do the math I start to wonder if I am losing my mind staying in the marriage!
    My husband is amazing. He loves me and is good with our dog (we don’t have kids). The problem is that he refuses to discuss our sex life and when he does, will yell or make jokes. I am not fabulously attractive, but when we go to parties my husband will comment that I am the most beautiful woman in the room, without me prompting or pressing him to say it. Over the years his lack of interest in sex convinced me that I am basically a freak, unattractive and totally perverted.
    Sometimes I think my husband may have had something happen to him in his past or that he is actually gay. Insanely, for a long time I wished that he would just admit that his homosexuality was the reason behind all this, because then I would start to feel normal and I could forgive him.
    Anyways, he IS controlling and has a much stronger personality than me, but he also helps with the housework and loves to cuddle up on the couch to get his head “petted”. I am always the one stroking him or scratching his back and let me tell you the resentment has built up! Sometimes if he has had a few too many beers and is looking to get romantic, I pretend I am asleep or brush my teeth for a really long time until he falls asleep because waiting until he is loaded enough to make love is even worse. Our relationship is more like brother and sister than anything even resembling romantic love. He just isn

  • I have been married 33 years. I am a healthy, “young”, still attractive fifty something year old female who is STILL desiring a intimate relationship with the man I married and thought I loved. I have lived the life all of you younger married people are describing. I don’t think I need to get into detail about my “sexless” marriage because it sounds just like yours…so I will tell those of you that have little to no ties other than a marriage license…fix it (professionally)and if that doesn’t work, get out while you can. It does not get better!!! It becomes an existence that is unbearable.
    The older my husband and I get the more complaisant HE gets. I on the other hand get more and more agitated, lonely, depressed, confussed and sick of being the one that always has to bring this to the forefront; only to get so many broken promises.
    Life goes by so fast, don’t let it slip away from you. Having had some wonderful intimate moments in my life makes me yearn for more, when it’s was good it was great! It made every aspect of our lives wonderful, the communication was great, even the disagreements were worked out amicably. I looked forward to him coming home…I missed him during the day. I got more done because I was happy…I went out of my way to make him happy. I cooked his favorite meals I made time to sit with him (even though I hate TV). But I was loving every moment of it…those loving tender moments are so important to me. Now I anticipate his return with trepidation. I stay up until he falls asleep. I can’t wait for him to leave in the morning…how sad is all of this?
    I could go on, I’ve been there…please don’t continue on this path of distruction…it is not what God planned for us. By that I mean…the vows mean nothing if you are not happy.
    Best wishes to all of you.

  • Hello all,
    Honestly, I can’t believe the incredible response I’ve had to these two threads. So many people crying out for help, for understanding. It makes me hurt inside every time I think about it.
    My blogging software was never really meant to handle a response of this size – which is why I’ve decided to open up a small discussion board for all of you, where you can touch base, talk to each other, find some healing and support while you go through the process.
    Please visit here:

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