What to Do If You're Not Sexually Attracted to Your Husband

Updated on June 19, 2019
Hearts and Lattes profile image

I love writing about relationships and helping my readers navigate all their ups and downs.

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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.

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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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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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.

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  • 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.

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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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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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.

Final Note

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.

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

  • 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?

    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.

  • 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?

    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.

  • I love my husband, but I feel as if I could be in love with another man. Is this wrong?

    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.

  • How do I get my husband to understand my feelings if he is very hard to talk to?

    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.

  • 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?

    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.

© 2012 Hearts and Lattes

Comments

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  • Hearts and Lattes profile imageAUTHOR

    Hearts and Lattes 

    7 weeks ago

    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.

  • profile image

    Sasha Foster 

    8 weeks ago

    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.

    Please help!

  • Hearts and Lattes profile imageAUTHOR

    Hearts and Lattes 

    4 months ago

    Hello Natasha,

    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.

  • profile image

    natasha94 

    4 months ago

    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.

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