I love writing about relationships and helping my readers navigate all their ups and downs.
Not being sexually attracted to your husband is a more prevalent problem than you may think. Many women are married to men that they aren't sexually attracted to. Perhaps they were never attracted to them, to begin with, or perhaps over time they became less and less attracted. Sometimes the wives love their husbands, sometimes they like them, and sometimes they don't. There is a lot you can do to help ensure this lack of attraction doesn't affect your marriage for long.
In this article, I will discuss the importance of sex in marriage, some common reasons women aren't attracted to their husbands sexually, and what to do about it for both wives and husbands.
Expectations That Come With Marriage
There are certain expectations that go with being married to someone else, and one of those is centered around the notion of intimacy. A married couple is expected to be physically and emotionally intimate with each other, and specifically, a lack of physical intimacy can cause problems in the relationship, both emotional and legal.
The legal system in the United States considers a consistent lack of marital sex as a reason for divorce. "Abandonment of Affection" means that one spouse has left the other spouse in the cold in the bedroom. Thus, there is added pressure to be intimate with your spouse, which can be problematic if you are not sexually attracted to them. Many women feel that they are under constant pressure to engage in intimate acts with their husbands, and such pressures only exasperate the problem many women have when it comes to being attracted to their spouse.
Another angle to consider is that your husband loved you enough to marry you, which is an increasingly rare expression of love by men in our modern era. He does care about you deeply, and he is most likely just as concerned as you are about the lack of attraction you feel for him. Solving this issue will take the combined efforts of both parties; it is not up to you to try to fix everything by yourself.
Reasons Why Women Are Not Attracted to Their Husbands
There are plenty of reasons why you may not be attracted to your husband. The important thing to consider is what you can do to remedy those issues. Open communication is a good place to start. If you do not let your husband know that you are feeling this way, that will only make the situation worse. Keep the dialog between the two of you open.
- You married him because he had great "husband" qualities: He treats you well, he works 40 hours a week, and your likes and interests match up. However, you were never sexually attracted to him from the beginning of the relationship. He provides the emotional stability you crave, but he cannot please you physically.
- He has physically changed over the years: You don't find his appearance to be a turn-on anymore. Perhaps he is balding or 50 pounds heavier than when you met. All you know is that he doesn't look like the sexy guy you married anymore. Maybe he also dresses like a slob, and he has let his hair get way too long.
- He has said or done things that have hurt you over time: You no longer see him as agreeable to your senses. You have learned about the chinks in his armor, and you feel like you can't turn back from this. Now you see all of his flaws and focus in on them, poking holes in everything he does.
- He has stopped being attracted to you: Attraction is a two-way street so it is possible that your husband is no longer interested in having sex with you, which in turn can cause you to feel the same way. He may also no longer be expressing his love for you in a way that you understand and accept. Let your husband know what turns you on and what he can do to be more affectionate.
How to Become More Attracted to Your Husband
Here are some strategies for you to try out. They may help develop more attraction towards your husband or at least cause his attractiveness to increase in your eyes.
- Do something thrilling and exciting: Studies from the American Psychological Association have shown that doing thrilling and exciting activities increases sexual attraction in couples. So, try to pick an activity that neither of you has done before, something that will get the blood moving and the adrenaline pumping. You can try zip-lining, hang gliding, skydiving, going to a rock concert, go-cart racing, or something else that breaks up your mundane routine.
- Stare deeply into his eyes: While this may sound weird, there is scientific evidence to support that gazing deeply into someone else's eyes for an extended period will increase your attraction to them. Yes, just staring into your husband's eyes for minutes on end may seem a bit creepy but it is worth a shot. The trick is not to say anything and keep your eyes wide open. Start out by trying it for about two minutes straight and see how you feel.
- Get lost in the feeling: The next time the two of you get intimate, focus on how he makes you feel, what you like, and dislike. Don't worry about how your husband looks, how you look, about how you don't get along, or about past mistakes he's made. Forget it all and get lost in how the sensation feels of being touched in the right places. You will be amazed at what the promise of an orgasm does for your level of sexual interest, and what an orgasm for both of you will do for your relationship. Trying to establish that deep physical bond is difficult, so that is why keeping the lines of communication open with your husband is critical.
- Imagine your husband in his best state: Do you remember when your husband was at his fittest? Do you remember the days before he said those things that hurt your feelings? Do you remember when you had that great date together—long ago—that made you feel loved, secure, and happy? Marriage, as you know, takes a great deal of work. As time passes, we forget some of the magic if we don't actively refine our appreciation for the better parts of our spouses. Whether the magic was based on physical attraction, a deep sense of caring, love, or affection, you can harness that into physical love. How? By relaxing, using your imagination to take you back to the better parts, and opening yourself up, literally. You will probably find there is a lot more to love that you just forgot about over the years.
Why Sex Is Important in Marriage
As I've previously discussed, maintaining a healthy sexual relationship is an integral part of any marriage. Here are a few reasons why being intimate with your spouse is important for your well-being.
- Sex bonds a husband and wife together through the production of oxytocin, the hormone released during orgasm that increases feelings of love and attachment between the couple.
- The power of touch. Both sexual and romantic touching increases the feeling of intimacy between a couple. Since this touching is reserved for a husband and wife only, the idea is that no one else in the world can provide you pleasure the way your spouse does.
- Women who experience regular orgasms or heightened sexual pleasure report better moods and happier lives. Sex relieves stress in both women and men, and this makes your walk through life a more pleasant one, despite the ups and downs of daily existence. In The Sex-Starved Marriage, by Michele Weiner Davis, the author explores just how much the mood of your marriage will improve with more frequent sex.
- When you and your husband have a consistent level of sex, it improves his tendencies as an empathetic partner, and he will reciprocate that level of pleasure to you. This need for consistent pleasure is biologically wired into men and women.
As you can see from the points above, consistent sex improves your attachment to him and your bond as a married couple, and it is a critical component of a healthy marriage.
What to Do If Your Wife Is Not Physically Attracted to You
While this article has primarily been focused on women, here are some steps for men to follow to increase their attractiveness in the eyes of their spouse.
- Get in better shape: It can be easy for a married man to let himself go and start getting out of shape. Develop an exercise routine that is based around increasing strength and losing fat. This is the same approach you should apply to your eating patterns: cut out processed junk food and eat sensibly.
- Dress and look better: This may seem like a no-brainer, but many men think that they can grow out their hair and dress terribly because they are married. Get a good haircut and start grooming yourself regularly. Go out and by some stylish clothes that fit your body and make you look and feel great.
- Focus on her: Instead of always thinking about your pleasure and satisfaction, try to keep your attention on your wife and her needs. Keep an open line of communication and develop a strategy to work on getting back the intimacy you once had.
- Go to marriage counseling: Seeing a good family/marriage therapist can help you and your wife work through your intimacy issues. Chances are if there are problems in the bedroom, there are other problems in your marriage that are not being addressed the correct way.
Whatever you do, as long as you wish to remain married, working on sexual desire and intimacy should be a priority. It will be highly rewarding for both you and your spouse. Sex can bring magic back into your marriage or help place it there when there really wasn't much to begin with. Two people in a marriage are constantly evolving. You can choose how to evolve.
- How to Have a Peaceful Marriage
Marriage is tough. You are no longer making decisions for one. Instead, all of your decisions directly affect another person. So how do you survive without tempers flaring and shoes being thrown?
- 6 Steps to Build Positive Communication in Your Marriage
Do want greater satisfaction in your marriage? Start with improving your communication, an important building block for a strong, healthy marriage.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
Question: What if I am sexually attracted to someone other than my husband?
Answer: You are likely to be sexually attracted to different people your whole life, simply because it's natural. You only need to not act on those urges with others.
Question: I have a boyfriend whom I love very much, but whenever he touches me I don't feel romantic, though he does all kind of romantic touches. Do I have any physical problem?
Answer: Probably not. Not being physically attracted to someone doesn't mean you have a physical problem. Love and physical attraction are sometimes not felt towards the same person.
Question: I really care for my husband, but lately, I don't want him touching me. I don't feel attracted to him. Is there something wrong with me?
Answer: No, your feelings can change about another human being at any time. Many wives and husbands go through phases like this, but it is best to find a way to be intimate still.
Question: I am a very sexual person, but when I look at my husband, I don’t want to do anything with him. He watches porn and no matter how many times I tell him it’s not attractive to me, it continues in secrecy. Am I asking for too much? Can this even be solved?
Answer: I am going to give you some unconventional advice. You might be asking for too much. If his negative behavior is limited to watching porn, and he doesn't cheat on you, try using your own fantasies/toys, etc. to get aroused and sleep with him. You did not say whether you two have an active sex life with each other, so I am trying to cover all bases. Is it possible that a lack of intimacy could be causing his behavior in some part? Many married men watch porn in secret. If they don't do this then they probably undress women in public with their eyes even when their girlfriends or wives are with them anyway. This is with having an active sex life.
There is no way to stop a man from desiring to look at the female form, but you could reduce his rate of watching porn with a fully active sex life. I give you this advice with the idea that you are interested in staying in your marriage. Another alternative is marital counseling for both of you to address the issue. Also consider that married women sometimes watch porn out of convenience when they don't feel like going through a full sex act or if they have fantasies they don't share with anyone, even their husbands. Women also look at men they find sexually attractive in public. Not that these last two things pertain to you, but both men and women have desires. If you can find a way to take the first step and enjoy sex regularly with your husband you might find some of this issue dissolves on its own.
Although I don't really condone watching pornography when a person is married, I'm approaching this from the angle that many people do it anyway.
Question: I love my husband, but I feel as if I could be in love with another man. Is this wrong?
Answer: I am not going to judge you though I do believe it is wrong. However, people's feelings are a natural part of being alive, and many go through these feelings every single day. What happens in your mind is different from what you play out in life, with the latter making the difference in your and other people's lives.
Question: My wife enjoys sex when we have it, but never expresses any sexual desire for me. She is sometimes “in the mood” and lets me know, but I never feel any passion from her and it’s usually me who initiates. This has always been true for twenty years. Am I wrong for feeling that she’s not attracted to me?
Answer: No, but I don't think she really lacks attraction for you. Not all women have the same level of extroversion when it comes to sex either. If she is in the mood she is coming to you, so I think it warrants saying she has some king of desire for you. Believe it or not many women are shy about sex and sexual thoughts even when they're married. You could try asking her about fantasies or any moves she'd like you to make. And see if you can follow up for her. You can be honest and try talking to her about how you feel, if you haven't done so already. Encourage her to be open with you. It could be that how she acts towards sex is simply what she thinks is normal. Best wishes.
Question: How do I get my husband to understand my feelings if he is very hard to talk to?
Answer: I am guessing you are talking about this as an overall theme in marriage, and it's actually very common.
A lot of men are not in tune with dealing with aspects regarding feelings of other people, so your husband would not be alone in this. Similarly many men have gruff personalities, especially when it comes to disagreements.
If you've had a chance to tell him your feelings he probably knows them. He might not understand/relate to them/agree with them simply because he is a man and a different individual with a different perspective.
You can state to him that you feel it is difficult to talk to him and because of this you don't think he understands your feelings. But since we are not able to change other people you might find his behavior does not change, even if you tell him this many times.
If you find that most things about your husband are good and decent, and you are able to get what you need from your marriage overall, then you might consider letting this go.
Being wed to someone does not mean they will respond to all of our wishes. If the topic is important, however, you can lay out concrete reasons why he might go with a decision you want to make. This way he is not dealing with an abstract (feelings) but is dealing with consequences, of A leads to B, or X causes Y.
You can also try softening him up or buttering him up if you've found it helps you get your way. While men tend to not respond well to divisiveness in relationships they often soften up as a response to intimacy.
Question: I've been with my partner nine years and I love him very much, but I've had no sex drive for nearly four years now. My unhappiness has grown to the point where I don't know if I should just be on my own to sort myself out. I've thought recently about splitting up with my partner but I still love him. I don't know what to do, he is the most important person in my life and has been incredibly supportive. How can I make myself more attracted to him again?
Answer: I wish I knew more back story about your situation because I have a feeling there is a deeper reason you feel the way you do. Perhaps you could be depressed overall or have a deep amount of dismay about some areas of life.
Although you didn't ask, if your partner is a good person and you are satisfied otherwise with the relationship, I would not let this person go. We always think the grass is greener on the other side. But once you are on the other side something else will bore you eventually. As human beings, it is rare to ever be really satisfied permanently. People who are really good and supportive of us do not come along that often. This person sounds very well worth holding onto.
I am not sure how old you are, but it is natural over time to lose physical attraction to a spouse or long-term partner, simply because familiarity is less exciting than something new and stimulating.
As for intimacy, the best thing for this might be utilizing visualization and memory. You can try to recall when you first met your partner and how excited you were. You can also focus on your favorite body part of your partner and go from there. You can also think of something that excites you that has nothing to do with your partner, but is a jump-off point for mental stimulation. To satisfy your partner you can also do some things that do not involve you being personally excited but physically still satisfies them.
Try enjoying other aspects of your life as well, such as a hobby you always wanted to try. Often times good feelings from this will spill over into other areas of your life, such as relationships. My best wishes to you!
Question: Do you think the same sexual attraction issues in marriage apply for men as well? I'm a man, and I'm not sexually attracted to my wife.
Answer: Yes, many of the same techniques would apply to men as well.
Question: My husband doesn't care about being attractive to me in the most basic ways such as basic personal hygiene. I find this a real betrayal but I am nothing to write home about in looks, so I can't do more than ask. I have been very clear about this, but he just doesn't care. How can I help him understand how important it is to our marriage?
Answer: It sounds like he has gotten very comfortable with himself. Would you be willing to lure him into the shower or tub for sex and give him a good scrub down before you get to business? This might sound funny but the promise of intimacy is generally a big motivator for men. Do you know or can you find out what else is a motivator for him? It might get him to clean up.
Question: What if you have never been attracted to your wife? And what do you do if your wife is asexual and hates sex? And those rare times once every six months she does let you have sex, before you even begin she complains that it hurts and she constantly keeps saying hurry up, are you done yet, and its only been one minute?
Answer: This would be incredibly frustrating. If you discuss this with her and she's not willing to change, and she's not willing to go to marital counseling to improve it, it is likely viable grounds for divorce.
Question: What if as the husband I have tried all (not perfect) with no real change? When pushing her about some of this she told me she wasn’t attracted to me anymore. It affects my entire life and I battle with depression feeling so unloved.
Answer: It would be difficult to face this situation with your spouse treating you this way. As long as you have been holding up your expected part in the marriage and treated her well there is not much else you can do. If you take care of yourself physically there is also not much else you can do improve someone's attraction to you. That is out of your hands. My best suggestion to you is to address the depression and marriage in therapy. Try to do some things you enjoy, so your entire existence isn't wrapped up in this situation making you miserable. You are a worthwhile individual no matter what another person thinks. (P.S. A small trick some people also do is to let the other person "go." Keep your personality and demeanor with your spouse neutral. Sometimes when we withdraw from the other person or act as if we are detached they become more interested again.)
Question: How can I tell my husband that I'm not sexually attracted to him so that he will not feel upset and unwanted, is there any problem with me that I'm not sexually attracted to my husband?
Answer: My advice is not to tell him this because most people would feel unwanted or have another reaction, like feeling betrayed. There isn't anything wrong that you are not sexually attracted to him. You might have married a man that you were not physically attracted to, to begin with, or you lost attraction over time.
Question: My wife and I have been married for 14 years and we have 4 kids. I am very attracted to her but she can go months without sex. I don't want to make her feel bad so I don't say anything, but it's getting to me that she's not interested anymore. I feel she is no longer attracted to me. FYI: I am fit and I dress nice and I also always treat her with love and respect. I am not sure what to do. Advice?
Answer: I can definitely understand you needing intimacy in your marriage. Many people lose interest in sex over time, whether to a small or large degree. Rather than losing an attraction to you it's more likely just that to some extent relationship familiarity and comfort have taken the place of passion that is in most people's relationships early on. My question to you is does she respond to your initiation of lovemaking? Or does she outright reject you every time? If she's accommodating then the rest might not be a concern.
If she is not reasonably accommodating to your needs for intimacy, it might be a good idea to let her know your concern. You could also try to seduce her by remembering any fantasies or moves she's told you about in the past and seeing if they still work for her.
This is a little bit of a trick, but you could also test out becoming distant and cool in your demeanor, or acting "in charge." Sometimes this will pique a partner's interest to where they will be a little afraid of losing you or not keeping you happy. This would be a chance for seduction too.
Question: My husband had an ongoing emotional affair. I've been trying to work through it, and was feeling confident. But now, seven months later, I'm feeling empty and void. Is there help for us?
Answer: Yes, there is hope, even if it might sound unconventional. You can always put your emotions aside for now just to weather it through. Some people do this for reasons such as living expenses, if they have children, or because they feel one day things will indeed get better romantically. This time of year (starting in September) is also hard on some people as the days are getting shorter, and causes people to be more depressed.
You can make a point of trying to enjoy other activities together, such as hobbies. You can bond over other such things while taking the pressure off. To be intimate, you can also just think of your own physical arousal by closing your eyes and using imagination. Fantasy takes a lot of people through intimacy when they are not quite turned on by the reality.
In short, if there are any positive aspects to your marriage that you still enjoy, focus on those.
Question: I’ve been married a year, I am no longer happy. I don’t find him sexually attractive, the things he says hurt me, but he doesn’t think they do. I’m not sure what to do. I’m not even sure why we married each other anymore. 6 years together and married one of those years.... help?
Answer: It is easy to get disillusioned when you are married. People do not really change as we wish them to because they will not generally see themselves as having the faults you notice. Unless this person is abusive, it might help for you to be open to changing your perspective on your husband's behavior.
Most men are more blunt and direct in their speech than women are. Women are more gifted with social graces in communication. When you live with a person who has a more direct approach, you will tend to find the same things are going to offend you over and over for as long as you're married. For this reason, many women find they have to get rid of some of their sensitivities after they are married. Yes, people are on their best behavior in the beginning stages of a relationship but when comfort sets in they become more open with their true personalities.
The short answer is, "Don't let it bother you." I would look to see if your husband does other things right. For example, is he a good worker? Is he protective? Does he look out for your interests overall? Is he faithful? It all comes down to what you can personally live with. Is there more good than bad about him?
Your physical attraction to your husband could wane and vice-versa. Keeping your vows of promised intimacy tends to keep husbands more well-behaved as well.
Question: What if the thought of sex with your husband turns you off? I feel all the foreplay (unenjoyable) is not worth the disappointment of the 2 minutes of sex I'll end up with, if I can even get that. I just don't want to even try anymore. Am I horrible for feeling this way?
Answer: No, and this is not an uncommon thing. There is a quote somewhere along the lines of there still being value in people and things even when there is no longer fun or excitement associated with them. At some point in marriage familiarity takes over, and sometimes contempt along with it. Acknowledging your feelings to yourself is important. But this is where working through it -- observing obligation for intimacy to the spouse is important. But the best solution for this is to ask your husband to do certain things that would genuinely turn you on. You might have to close your eyes and use some imagination as well. If you can insert some of your own mental excitement into it that would be helpful.
Question: My fiancé and I have a 4 month old. We’ve been together for 4 years, I used to be very sexually attracted to him but now I am not, and I don’t want to have sex with him at all. He ALWAYS wants to have sex, so I feel bad. I love him very much and I want to raise my daughter with him. But I find myself very attracted to other men and I don’t know what to do?
Answer: If you've got a good man I would stay with him if I were you. The reason is that desire changes and eventually declines in most relationships. That is perfectly normal. So if you were to move on to another man you would most likely find your desire for him would also wane eventually.
Question: I've been struggling with severe anxiety over the past few years as I wish we had moved away, I hate where we live. I've spent the past 24 hrs convincing myself I should be on my own should I trust my judgment at this point?
Answer: I heard a good piece of advice a long time ago. "Don't make decisions in an emotional state." I would weigh the pros and cons. Evaluate what you have to fall back on and what other emotional support system and income you would have if you did move. Would a change be better than what you have now? Just be honest in all categories.
Just as an FYI, I have anxiety issues too, and I also have a problem with where we live. I am 500 miles away from my parents. However, my future is with my husband. My best friends all live in different states now, which is terrible too.
Question: My husband stopped having sex with me over 4 years ago, due to constant arguments because of his mother. Now with the lack of intimacy and closeness, I really find him unattractive. I have tried to talk about the necessity of a physical relationship but he will not make the effort. He has said things to me like I am too much hard work, I think because I don't have an orgasm during sex. And he does not want to make me happy. Anyway, I am lost. What can I do?
Answer: I do think counseling for the both of you would be the best help in this case, but you could also try some unconventional things. First, how is the mood at home? Try keeping the home a lighthearted and happy place. Since you have a history together, your home is a place of both good and bad memories. Try doing some things that put you in a happy mood. Also, offer him oral sex, or just try starting it out of nothing when you're sleeping in bed together. I strongly suggest this. This requires no effort to please you on his part. You might find this sends a good jolt into your relationship. Also, think about a makeover -- a look that would make you feel really good and perhaps might wake your husband up a little. As for orgasms, you can try using toys on yourself to give yourself an orgasm. You can also tell him you would use them to do this, which would take the pressure off of him. You can also tell him you don't need an orgasm to enjoy sex.
Question: Do I tell my husband I’ve fallen in love with another man when I don’t want to break up our family?
Answer: I would suggest not telling him if you want to keep your family and marriage together. People get feelings for other people all the time, even when they're married. It doesn't mean you would need to act on these feelings. Temptation is everywhere for our whole lives. Lust and the rush of new love usually fades with a little bit of time. If you have something long-lasting already I wouldn't suggest trading them.
Question: I don't feel turned on anymore by my husband. What can I do or use to get turned on?
Answer: The use of imagination is what turns many women on. Just think about what excites you or has excited you in the past.
Question: I love my husband. I can't even imagine my life without him but I just don't find myself sexually interested in him anymore. I've tried everything to get the attraction back but nothing works. What can I do?
Answer: While it would be difficult to intentionally bring sexual attraction back you can always use fantasy and toys to bring yourself to arousal when your husband is in the mood. After this point, he can help you complete the act. Sexual attraction can wane in marriage, but as long you have the ability to be intimate you can still move forward with it.
Question: I'm thirty-two and have felt depressed forever. I think I love my partner, but how can I know when I feel this bad?
Answer: I understand. I think you know to yourself if you love them. Maybe the love you feel isn't romantic love but more familial, or the love you feel when you are thankful to someone.
Question: How can I enjoy sex when my husband can't turn me on?
Answer: See if you can bring yourself to excitement with imagination, toys, or even explicit content. You might find you are able to be intimate then. Don't forget lubricants if you need more help.
Question: I’ve been married for only a couple of years. After we got married my husband found some texts from my past and said very hurtful things. I think he feels anxious because I had more sexual partners than him. Sometimes I feel really sad because I want to feel attracted to him, but I don’t. He thinks he’s unattractive so I don’t want to tell him. I don’t feel attracted to anyone. After giving birth my sex drive changed dramatically and I’ve been depressed. What can I do?
Answer: Your sex drive/depression might change on its own again as our hormones are always changing. But you could always look into medical intervention if you wish. Attraction is only part of marital intimacy. It is part of the expected spousal commitment to engage in physical relations. But you can use the power of imagination/fantasy to get excited in the meantime. As long as you are healed physically, some lubricant should help you where you lack personal moisture. You can also engage in other intimate acts besides intercourse.
Question: Can a man feel that he's not sexually attracted to his wife?
Answer: Yes, a lot of men either lose attraction to their wives. Some men do not have this attraction to their wives, to begin with. Sometimes men marry what they feel would be a "good wife" but there is no physical attraction otherwise. This happens with both men and women. Also, physical attraction sometimes declines over time as a spouse gets older.
Question: I love my husband, I broke up with someone to whom I was extremely attracted for him because he was a good stable provider and intellectual. I think of my ex all the time, and every time I even think of sex. What do I to change my relationship with sex and my ex?
Answer: It was good that you stayed with your husband because he sounds like he has wonderful traits. It's normal to think of someone you have attraction and desire for. If there is a way you can channel that energy into your bedroom with your husband that would be ideal. You can change your thoughts to perhaps think about any time in the past that your husband was exciting to you. You can incorporate a vibrator into your lovemaking to keep the stimulation going as well. This is very useful if your mind isn't helping your body participate.
© 2012 Hearts and Lattes
Kara A Miller on August 15, 2020:
I’m exceedingly grateful I found this site. I’ve never been sexually attracted to my husband, and that’s worried me because I’m a very sexual woman. My husband is, the only way I can put it, very immature and innocent when it comes to sex (despite being nearly 40 years old). I’m 31 and 7 years younger than him. I don’t think he’d ever been sexually active before we met. We’ve been married for three years, but we haven’t been intimate for nearly 2 of those years. We had sex for the couple of weeks we were on our honeymoon, but I’m adventurous and he’s not and, on top of me feeling like I was forcing myself to be sexual with him, his unwillingness to try things just turned me even more off. His going excuse for not having sex all this time is that we need to wait to have enough money... because he’s only wanting to have sex for a baby. We’re close and I know he loves me, but I feel like he’s my brother, not my husband. I’m desperately unhappy and unfulfilled, but he seems blissfully unaware and I can’t bring myself to tell him how I really feel. I desperately want to have sex, but not with him. I don’t even want to have kids with him. I feel horrible for feeling this way, but day by day, it just gets worse for me. I have fantasies about other men (and women) regularly; I watch porn; I read sexually explicit stories; I use a vibrator when he isn’t home; nothing satisfies me. I feel trapped. He’s a good man, a hard working man, a kind man, and I know if I ever left him he’d fall apart...but I’m so so so unhappy. I just don’t know what to do.
Hayveggies on August 12, 2020:
Oh my word.... how refreshing it is to read that I am not alone... life is so strange but I am so grateful to know that so many women are in the same predicament as I am.
Soonafter marrying... health issues developed for me that prevented us from being intimate for the first couple years, which led him to have an affair. Now I'm here.. not attracted like I used to be... and he is wanting to be intimate but I am not turned on by him... whatsoever. Ugh.
Abc dhing on July 31, 2020:
I have married for 4 years...but my husband is attracted to me...he want to intimate with me but then he started saying the names of another women to fulfill his desires... What should i do? Plz help i love him alot and he loves me also but i don't likh this too
Patricia2212 on July 23, 2020:
Hello, and what if the marriage has been sorta arranged and physical attraction never existed? Even a kiss on the lips does truly nothing. When one also does not feel emotionally attached to their partner would there still be a chance to work things out? My husband is a great husband on paper he has perfect qualities and I feel secure with him but there lacks so much about our marriage. We also share different interests, humor and we both talk at a different level. I feel nothing when he approaches me no excitement nothing... Our relationship feels so superficial. I can't imagine I can ever be intimate with him in the future. When do you know for sure it's time to go for a divorce? I have been married for more than two years now I feel so frustrated and confused I can't seem to develop any feelings for my husband while he's a great guy. Is this normal? Deep down I just know we're not compatible and that he isn't the one for me... To me there's no chemistry in this marriage. I even fantasize about getting married with someone else.... What should I do?
JessieAd on April 20, 2020:
Hi Sasha foster,
I feel your pain and I’m going through the exact same thing you are and I’ve only been married 6 years (together for 13 years) I love my husband but have never been sexually attracted to him and it’s just gotten worse over time, no matter what we try. And now that I realise it’s not a problem with me but I can feel that desire for another man who I can connect with emotionally and physically in such a rare way that it’s the deepest connection I’ve ever felt, it makes me confused about what I should do. Do I Stay in my marriage and honour my commitment and accept that I’ll never be truly happy and never want to have sex or be intimate with my husband.. ? Or do I explore my connection with this other man who has awakened what’s been missing in me even as early on as my first year of my marriage...
Please tell me, what did you decide to do?
Hearts and Lattes (author) on April 08, 2020:
Anonymous Wife, I can sense your dedication to your family, and that is wonderful. Your feelings about your situation are also understandable. A lot of women and men are in your position. Many people marry someone because they would make the ideal spouse character-wise. But the other areas can be lacking, which is how the years have sometimes transpired for you. Women in their late 30s and beyond can start to have lubrication problems and soreness. One solution is an estrogen ring, which helps keep the area more optimal for intimacy. Also, some women have had luck with a combination of lubricants and drinking 10 cups of water a day. But what many people don't discuss is that people's desire tends to wane over the years even when married to someone they are attracted to, because the relationship isn't new and exciting anymore. The estrogen ring might be helpful for you, as well as using lubricant and the drinking water. You could also try oral intimacy if you haven't done so already. This should satisfy him as well. Best wishes.
anonymous wife on April 02, 2020:
Let me start by saying that love is a verb. I believe that marriage is for life. I have stood by my husband through the raising of two children, poor financial decisions, several layoffs and periods of unemployment, serious health issues, putting my dreams on hold for a career that I never wanted, and the list goes on. Not that it’s been all bad; there have been many times of joy. He is my best friend, he treats me well, and we have had a good life together.
But, I’m not sure that I was ever in love with him. I just had the overwhelming feeling that he was the man I was meant to marry, and I never doubted it. I committed to spend the rest of my life with him, and I will never break that promise.
That being said, I no longer have any interest in a physical relationship with him. Which is a serious problem, since he is still very interested, and as his wife, it is my responsibility to provide it. I have never been physically attracted to him. He was a bit chubby when we met, and he has gained more and more weight over the years. He has been 100+ lbs. overweight for many years now.
It didn’t have to happen. He could have cared more about taking care of his body, and I have always tried to help him. He is making more of an effort now that he has become diabetic, but it is too little too late. I find his body repulsive, and really, could anyone blame me? If the situation was reversed, I would totally understand if he didn’t want my body.
To be honest, he has never been able to sexually satisfy me. He is the only person I have ever been intimate with, and from the start, I was always left wanting more after our lovemaking. I think it was over a year before he brought me to climax. Early on in our marriage, I learned to satisfy myself. The first time it was kind of by accident. But when I felt what I had been missing, I kept on doing it, until it became a habit. For many years, I enjoyed our lovemaking, but it was never enough. Gradually, my interest in lovemaking declined, until it became non-existent.
For a while, I could get aroused for our intimate sessions by thinking about romantic scenes from movies or books. I would get myself worked up at times when I knew he would want to make love. Spontaneity didn’t work, because it didn’t allow me time for fantasization. But then, that strategy no longer worked. I would get myself excited, but as soon as he would start something, my body would turn off. People say that touching your partner to please him can arouse yourself, but the thought of doing that to him just disgusts me.
Eventually, he gave up foreplay, because it wasn’t helping. In deference to me, now he only insists on sex once every few months, thankfully, but I dread it every time. It actually has become quite painful for me, even with lubricants.
To him, I blame my lack of desire on menopause. What he doesn’t know, and what I can never tell him, is that I can and do get aroused, just not by him.
So what do I do? Go to therapy? I would be mortified! I doubt any words of advice would be helpful. I just keep hoping that he will lose interest as he ages.
I write this for validation. There must be other women out there in the same situation, right?
I keep telling myself, love is a verb.
Hearts and Lattes (author) on March 21, 2020:
Since this issue is multi-faceted and involves many people, I suggest therapy sessions for you and your husband. Best wishes to you.
confusedasalways3192sgl on March 20, 2020:
Mine is arranged marriage and I chose my husband because he was from IT and thought that he could understand me as well as my career well. He is short and Baldy. I didn't give importance to this even if I had concerns about them because he seemed good. But gradually he started showing his true colours. So after engagement i asked my parents to call the marriage off. They didn't do because many people knew that I am getting married and my parents didn't want to have a bad image. I even informed my husband now that I was not feeling attracted towards him and I am not ready. He also created scene. However we got married. First two months were good. He was very touchy and wanted to have sex always. But I needed some time since I still hadn't had felt emotionally or physically safe with him. I asked him time and suggested that we can be like friends for some time and let's start slowly. But he took this matter to his parents and they all yelled at me for using the term "Friends". They asked me why did they get us married if we had to be like friends. He was sharing all matters of me too with his sister. They make fun of me in their conversation. She insists him to command me. I have asked him not to share everything with his sis. But he took it in a wrong way and blames me that I try to seperate him from his sis. He restricts my office timings. He never takes me on trips. He always thinks about money. He and his family ask me to change company even if he earns pretty well. He wants me to talk more and blames that I don't behave like girl. I make household chores and even cook good. But he is not satisfied of what I do. He blames me that I don't keep my house neat. We have had several discussions and now I don't feel attracted towards him at all. He doesn't agree about his mistakes. He always blames me. I am not able to live with him. After each discussion with family, I help him with sex life too even if I don't feel intimate with him. I try my best. And we were having once in a week. He says that it's not enough. He doesn't give me time to heal and he complains that he has given me one year of time. He always wants things in his way. He commands to have baby just because their family are asking to have. He doesn't agree to have protection during intercourse and asks me to take pills. I don't know what to do. I go mad. I don't want to live with him. We have a big family. They think it's a small problem and ask me to adjust with him. I am not able to live with him. I am having sleepless nights. I have tried to make him understand, but he always takes it in a wrong way. I am going mad daily. I am fighting alone
Hearts and Lattes (author) on October 07, 2019:
Paris, I can imagine this situation is difficult for you. In my experience intimacy solves a lot of problems or makes them better. See if you can be intimate with him soon and on a more regular basis. This might help. Good luck!
Paris Love on October 07, 2019:
Hello, i have been with my significant other for about 6 years, lately i been unattractive to him sexually. it has brought problems to our relationship to the point where he has mention divorce. He asks me if i'm not attracted to him anymore and i cant confess afraid to hurt his feelings. Also he says if i don't have feelings for him he rather go separate ways. I don't want to lose my family. i feel like it can be fix with time but he has no patience.
Hearts and Lattes (author) on July 26, 2019:
Hello, I understand it is very frustrating to be in this very common situation. There are many men and women married to people who are close to ideal spouses but they lack the physical attraction. Whatever you do, please stick to your guns about not sleeping with anyone else while you're married. The desire for mating with a good domestic partner vs good sexual partner has been a struggle throughout all of human history and always will be. Think of it this way as well: There are many women married to men that sexually turn them on but are no good otherwise. They no doubt think about the guy with better traits that got away. There is no perfect resolution. We are all wired to have desires. And when those desires are fulfilled, we want something or someone else. I want to give you an answer that you would love, but I am afraid that there is none. I recommend marital counseling if you seek real help with this issue. Personally I think growing old comfortably with someone you can trust and loves you tops all of the rest. I say that knowing lust can be a very real and ongoing struggle. I wish you all the best.
Sasha Foster on July 26, 2019:
This article really speaks to me, but I really need some help! My husband and I have been married for 9 years, together for 13. I truly do love him, but am not (nor have I ever been) sexually attracted to him.
We don't have any children, but have been trying to have a child for some time. We have a good life and home together, but I miss great sex in my life. I miss being able to get turned on and excited by the man that I am with. I married him for the qualities that you mentioned in this article....he is a good man and provider. He has great husband and father qualities. We do have fun together and enjoy spending time with one another (when we aren't arguing of course). When we first met, I was more attracted to his personality than I was his physical looks. I had convinced myself that this was the man who was meant for me, because he checked all the boxes....except the sex box. However, I knew what great sex was like, but none of the men could amount or compare to the man he is. Those men were crappy and in no way could become good husbands and fathers in my eyes at the time.
So I called it a "sacrifice" and I built a life with a man who made me a better person overall. The sex was awful in the beginning, and it is still awful to this day. Is this how I am supposed to live my sex life? I cringe every time he touches me. He is not sexy and does not turn me on. He is not an ugly man, but just doesn't do anything for me sexually. I do love him, and would like to be sexually attracted to him, but I never have....and don't think I ever will. I had hoped the sexual attraction would grow over the years, but it has not.
So now what? Do I keep pushing an envelope that isn't there? We do have sex, but much of it is forced and faked. We have had decent sexual moment in the past, but they have been few and far between. And most of them have been argument makeup sex, or me settling for my husband after I have gotten turned on by something or something else.
I wish he was the type of person that would be accepting of an "open relationship." I don't necessarily want to give up the life I have, and I think I would miss him if he wasn't around anymore. However, I'm not sure if it's because I will truly miss him or if I would miss the only thing I've known for the last 13+ years.
I have recently met a man that checks every box that I could have ever thought of. I am also much older and know what I want more than what I did in my early 20s. I want to have sex with him SO badly, but am adamant about being good and faithful. This man checks way more boxes than my current husband could ever, and the sexual attraction is absolutely unreal. What am I supposed to do with this? Where am I to go? And who is to say there isn't something wrong with this man too....after all, I have not known him for the amount of time I have known my husband. I know that I am not supposed to have these feelings for another man, and I know the grass isn't always greener on the other side. However, I am so unfilled in my marriage, and my husband just isn't capable of filling the gaps. Do I go on sub-happy and unfulfilled? Do I walk away from my less than perfect situation, knowing the next won't be perfect either, but I struggle about thinking of the 20/30/40 years with the current husband that I have. I'm just not as happy as I would like to be. And my husband naked repulses me. :( There are MANY other issues that arise in our marriage, but this is one I simply do not know how to fix.
Hearts and Lattes (author) on April 27, 2019:
It is wonderful that you are embarking on a possible future with a new husband. Beware, yes, your concerns could be a problem in marriage.
You will want to ensure that you will be physically intimate with the man you marry. Because if not it is considered "abandonment of affection" under the law, and grounds for divorce.
People's natural attractiveness is generally highest when they are young adults, so you should expect that someone would not become more physically attractive over time.
People also do not generally change into who we want them to be. You will need to accept this man for who he is and what he looks like, and decide beforehand whether you would sleep with him when married. This will save you both time, money, and heartache.
Finally, note that no one is ever going to be the perfect partner. Physical attraction comes and goes, and is not the best basis for marriage. It sounds like this man has a lot of good traits. We are also not necessarily promised a great man in the future if we pass up a great man today. You will have to make this important decision wisely.
Best of luck to you.
natasha94 on April 25, 2019:
I am 24 and my boyfriend is 29 and we both are from Indian background. I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for 2 and a half years. When he first asked me out, I wasn’t sure but he was being consistent and I thought I should give it a try. everything worked out. During the start of the relationship I was happy with the physical relationship we had however it slowly died down. I love hugging, cuddling, kissing him, sometimes a little more but I don’t feel like having sex with him. I have never had sex with anyone but been more sexually close with my ex-boyfriend than I have with my current boyfriend. he loves me a lot and takes care of me so much. He is financially at a much better position than I am but I look a little more attractive than he does. I don’t have major problems with his looks as such but I think if he looks better it might help me get attracted towards him. I think he could be a great husband except for the fact that I lately don’t find him attractive enough. I start focusing on his little mistakes and get annoyed at him when later on I realise that it wasn’t worth getting annoyed at. I want to marry him and we were thinking of getting engaged but I would like to know if this could cause problems in marriage.