Q&A with J: When It Comes to Sex, My Husband Says I’m “Too Much”

Two weeks ago, I focused on some reasons why a husband might be saying no to sex in his marriage. In that post, I featured portions of three questions from higher-drive wives. Today, I want to cover one of those questions in more detail:

Please can you help me with learning how to cope with my husband who has been telling me “no” to sex? Can you tell me how I can understand why he acts uninterested and says he is tired? I know this is common now. Wives having the higher drive.

My husband said to me tonight no to sex because he is tired and that we just had sex last night. I am getting upset because we are in our early 30’s. I am 30 and just recently in the past 6 months have been more interested in sex. Six months ago, I initiated a whole conversation about making time for sex and increasing frequency. He seemed to try but now I see him saying no again and saying he is tired if I want it “too often.”

I can’t help but to feel unsexy, fat and undesirable even though I am somewhat back in shape I just had a baby turn one year old.  How can I get my husband to see my side of this? That I don’t like his attitude towards sex that he is not excited for it. Mainly he doesn’t seem to want to increase frequency. He says I am too much. It seems the tables have slowly turned and now I am the one who has to seduce him and initiate sex. I just want to feel wanted and loved.

Q&A with J: When It Comes to Sex, My Husband Says I'm "Too Much"

When a higher-drive spouse is dealing with a lower-drive spouse, perhaps the hardest step is simply getting that person to agree that the lack of sexual intimacy is a problem that must be addressed.

Most lower-drive spouses admit there’s a problem — but they often think that problem is you. If their higher-drive spouse would simply lower their expectations, douse their desire, and leave them alone, they think things would be much better. Therefore, many conversations about sex tend toward them either complaining about your “overdrive” or rebuffing the topic altogether.

But what you want is to somehow invite the lower-drive spouse to actually address the issue with you — to see that it’s a problem for your marriage. Start with that goal in mind: You’re aren’t trying to immediately raise their sex drive, but rather get you two on the same page of feeling that you have to work together on the problem.

I don’t have all the particulars of this situation, but here are a few tips that might help.

Talk about us, not me. Higher- or lower-drive, many spouses approach the issue by talking about how they are affected. “I’m not getting my sexual needs met.” “I don’t feel desirable.” “I can’t take this anymore!” Those are entirely legitimate feelings, but expressing those to your husband puts him in defensive mode. Especially if this is your go-to method of discussing sex in your marriage. You may have unwittingly contributed to this topic being an off-limits discussion, because your spouse emotionally shuts down the moment you bring it up, knowing they’ll be criticized.

You have to talk about us, in terms of the physical intimacy you want your marriage to have, the pleasure you want to experience together, the concerns you have about the obstacles he’s facing regarding sexual intimacy. In every way you can, address the issue of lack of frequency as a we problem in your marriage, and communicate that you are on his side.

Talk about goals, not grudges. Even though we’ve heard that love “keeps no record of wrongs” (1 Corinthians 13:5), many of us spouses have a difficult time turning off our long memory of being slighted by our mates. When contentious topics arise, we could easily tick off our spouse’s infractions one-by-one to build a case of why we’re right and he’s wrong.

You may have years of solid evidence that your hubby has been neglectful about sexual intimacy. I have enormous sympathy for your pain, and God knows your pain far more than I do. Yet He tells us, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:31-32). Tough stuff, huh?

Replace your longing to vent about your understandable hurt and consider your end goal. Do you want him to feel bad for making you feel bad? Do you expect to somehow establish your right to marital intimacy? Do you hope to win him to your side through forceful persuasion? You absolutely have rights to marital intimacy (1 Corinthians 7:3-5); however, your goal is for your husband to desire marital intimacy as well.

So talk about your goals of more connection in your marriage, shared passion, and sexual intimacy that honors your Heavenly Father. Set the first goal of you two being united in mind: “Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you” (2 Corinthians 13:11).

Talk about what you will do, not demand he will do. Grown-ups understand they can’t change others, but they can influence others. That means you can make decisions that positively influence in your husband in the right direction. Getting into your specific situation, let me suggest a few things:

Build your own self-confidence, without relying on his reassurance. Most husbands who don’t desire sex still believe their wives are beautiful; the lower libido isn’t about your appearance. While it’s important for husbands to help their wives feel beautiful, ultimately we wives must nurture our own sense of beauty. I’ve had a whole series on Feeling Beautiful with that in mind.

Feel free to let him know that you feel good about yourself, that you are taking care of your body, that you believe you’re a desirable woman. Confidence is sexy, and whining about our appearance . . . not so much.

Don’t believe the “too much” line. In fact, if he gives that line, I might well retort, “My sex drive may be higher than yours right now, but I think it’s healthy that I desire you so much.”

Hey, I lived with a cloud over my head for years because I enjoyed sex more than the church ladies I grew up around would have approved, and I wondered if maybe I was a bit much. No, ma’am! In Song of Songs, couples are urged to “be drunk with love” (5:1). Other translations say “intoxicated.” The point is that, when it comes to sex in marriage, God gives us full permission to aim for “too much.”

Set up a plan for sexual intimacy. Tell him you’d like to have sex a certain number of times a week/month. Aim lower than you want, but higher than you’re getting. Talk about how this could be accomplished. Would he prefer to initiate when he feels up to it? Would he rather set a certain day each week that you can count on? Would he like for you to initiate?

Then follow through. If he doesn’t initiate, don’t demand that he meet the standards you set. Instead, initiate yourself, and if he balks, remind him that you waited for his initiation but you’d like to go ahead. Sometimes when lower-drive spouses know it’s coming, that anticipation helps them to prepare better than spontaneous advances.

Talk to God and trusted others. Lay your burdens before God. He knows your aching heart, and He binds up the brokenhearted (Psalm 147:3). Consider getting Christian counseling to help you sort through what’s happening. It may help to have a counselor, pastor, or mentor listen to your feelings and give you wise advice on what you can do.

I appreciate you letting me be a “trusted other.” So I encourage you to also read some of my posts about higher-drive wives with various specific ideas on tackling this oh-too-common problem.

Let me assure that you can walk through this dry season and find lush, evergreen sexual intimacy in the future. I pray that future is very soon.

28 thoughts on “Q&A with J: When It Comes to Sex, My Husband Says I’m “Too Much”

    1. J Post author

      Many of the same principles apply, just flipped. But I’ll tackle this soon. Other husbands have been asking as well. I know it’s frustrating and hurtful, but hang in there. Blessings!

      Reply
      1. Jumoke Adeniyi

        My marriage is a month 28 days old, I’m just about to start working this month, but my husband drives nothing less than a total of two hours to and fro his office, daily. He is a workaholic sort of.when we were courting he made most advances to me, but now it’s like a permanent brake has been applied on that desire of his, tho we’ve talked a bit not as much as what I’m just getting to know on this blog now, he has improved slightly, a bit, but I can’t say that my expectations as a newly married wife sexually have fully being met.

        Reply
  1. joel

    I cannot comprehend how any man would say no to his wife. I am the higher drive husband. Love my wife and our life together. In the sexual department our whole marriage has been me initiating, and she has the final say always in whether or not sex happens. There is no warming up to the idea, it’s whether or not she has the energy at the end of the day and if she wants too.

    I don’t want to come across as saying “she should always have sex”…anyone should be able to say no at times, absolutely! But from my view, if the tables were flipped, I could never imagine saying no to my wife…ever. If she told me she “really needed to have sex”, no matter what mood I was in, I would want to meet that need.

    I do believe this type of scenario opens your marriage and the rejected spouse up to temptation. I have been so cautious in my approach to other women and guarding myself in that way. I could never imagine physically having sex with someone else. Yet in the course of our marriage I had a period where I fell into a hard time personally and partook in things I am not proud of. Things I never would have thought possible before they happened. While my Mistakes are my responsibility, I often wonder where i’d be had my sexual experience in marriage been one that was mutually sought after, and mutually initiated.

    I wonder what little things in a marriage do to your confidence level…like hearing “I’m ready when you get home” or a text about being intimate that night…I believe that those types of things do wonders in a marriage. Not only eliminating temptations, but if that happened, that would keep my mind racing able my wife for the next week lol.

    My advice to the question above would be to talk about it. How it makes you feel…why you want to seek more intimacy with them. The moment you try to take care of things yourself, and limit God’s work in the matter, or go into a shell and think less about initiating, the marriage becomes less of a oneness.

    Reply
  2. Lauren

    I am 99.9% this is my post. I emailed over the summer when my daughter turned one. Yes it’s definitely a thing for the wife to have the higher drive: I wasn’t always like this though.

    And Joel maybe I used to be like your wife. I know I had periods of that, not feeling sexy. Busy with the kids, not making time for sex, Not really knowing how wonderful sex is supposed to be. Well I knew it was just but on the back runner too much.

    We had sex once a week and it dint always seem passionate then, sometimes felt like a chore. But that changed.

    Well Joel it wasn’t until about ten months ago I found some things on my husbands phones- certain websites/ certain things no one should be proud of. It was actually then that it really hit me.

    Soon After that I had a sexual awakening. He said the sites were from when I was pregnant. Long story Not important: I am not the best story teller anyway what I mean to actually say to Joel is perhaps maybe you need to repent to your wife about the wrong doings and things you aren’t proud of?

    Does she know about them? See I was used to dealing with the other children and bed time and we had sex once a week it seemed to be. It took me finding those sites (they were in this downloaded app so they could have been there from a while ago).

    It’s hard to hear and discover those things though: I’ll admit I did have a small period of breakdown and depression and would cry over it for about 3 or so months. A lot!

    It was then that I decided that sex is where we have to be. To connect to bond to show our love.

    I kept reading stories in the kids bed and laying with them and never knowing he wanted to go to sleep because he has work. And I didn’t realize the time and when I got back at 10 pm he would say no to sex sometimes. I never knew why. Sorry this is so long.

    Have a talk with your wife. I had a talk with my husband. If you are here, you are in the right place:

    Find a local marriage counselor or someone at the church: there has to be someone to help.

    There has to be a breakthrough to get through to the lower drive spouse. I had my daughter the summer of 2014, and for 8 months postpartum with the weekly sex and passionateless, I tried everything to get him to understand.

    He wouldn’t: until after the 8 months I had my daughter she was 8 months and I found those things on the phone: that was the wake up call for Jim maybe. He started to listen after that.

    I hope you can find a way for your spouse to understand the way sex is supposed to be and to experience that together.

    Reply
  3. Mike

    It was incomprehensible in our first years of marriage that I would not want sex with my wife at least every day. Then when I was about 35 my ability to have an erection became a problem. When I could not climax, it destroyed my self confidence and my manhood. I left the marriage bed for 25 years until my doctor began testosterone injections and Cialis came on the market. My doctor gave me some suggestions and now we are in the process of reconnecting sexually and have intimate times 2 or 3 times a day. It is wonderful. We are still learning at our age what to do, and have several suggestions from our doctor as to what to do next. You and some of your other bloggers have also helped give us some of the encouragement to engage together in the marriage bed, and it is exciting and a great joy to have sexual intimacy with my wife.

    Reply
  4. Joel

    Thanks for commenting Lauren,

    Yes I have repented to God and my wife. She has forgiven, which I am grateful for. They are definitely things I’m not proud of, and without going into it all, the things I did are not things someone with a lot of confidence would do.

    Once a week sounds amazing! Lol. We have been married for 7 years and I don’t think we ever have had a 6 month span where we averaged once a week. I could be wrong, but not by much.

    Sex seems like a chore to her from my view. We probably fall into the 1-2x a month in the majority of our marriage with me having to initiate for that. I get a lot of no’s in the process. Some scoff’s, and even once she “jokingly” said “can’t you just do it yourself”?

    I know my wife loves me. No doubt…she is very strong willed, feminist attitude. Which is good for the most part, but sex is something she has to be in the mood for before hand else it’s not an option.

    It’s tough at times, because now I feel like I can’t get upset about it due to my mistakes, and I really just want her to be happy and return to being a Godly husband that my family needs. At the same time, regardless of what takes place in a marriage, sex is an integral part of strengthening and re-building a marriage

    Reply
  5. Keelie Reason

    Figuring out sex in marriage is so so hard. I think it is one of the most difficult things to resolve, because so often, people do not want to talk about it. I hope they can get on the same page about it at some point.

    Reply
  6. H

    I like all these suggestions and tips but I think there is one more really good tip we can add. If the partner is not in the mood or too tired, then what the couple can do in this case is simply use a toy instead of the whole shebang to please their partner who is asking, just a one way climax which requires very little effort on the tired/unwilling partner to give to their partner. Also they wouldn’t need to worry about cleaning up/showering/etc. Or if they have a bit more effort available they can do some other one way interaction (manual masturbation etc).

    Reply
    1. J Post author

      I truly appreciate your desire to help couples, but when there’s a core sexual issue involving attitudes and mismatch in drives, shoving a toy at the other partner and asking to be pleased likely won’t help the situation. And that’s what I was answering here. Thanks for your comment, H!

      Reply
      1. e2

        J, I totally agree. My wife knows my desire for sex is much higher than hers, and in her selfless agape love for me, she is willing to “do” me manually pretty much any time I want. But, she has little selfish erotic interest in having me make love to her. While I appreciate her willingness to minister to me, I think marital love is more than “just” selfless agape. We’re commanded to have selfless agape love for all, for our wives, our brothers, even our enemies. But marriage is more. Yes, it is selfless agape love, but it is the also friendship of phileo, and it is the passion of eros. C.S. Lewis wrote that erotic love obliterates the distinction between the selfless and the selfish. It is both, and that is what many of us higher drive spouses find missing. We want to be desired, not just ministered to. The most unselfish thing my wife could do for me is to selfishly desire my love-making.

        Reply
  7. B

    Ugh! This is such a painful topic for me – (I’m the wife) – for multiple reasons.

    On a positive note, we were just on vacation for the first time in a long time, and my husband seemed much more interested. (Of course, with the whole family in one hotel room, we could do nothing about it, so he still kind of got out of it.) But if I look at it positively, maybe that does indicate that he is often very tired during his 6 day, 60+ hour workweek.

    I don’t understand why, whenever I have shared my pain on a Christian marriage blog, I usually get some kind of answer like – oh well. You’re not the only higher drive wife. You’re probably not too ugly, maybe he has a porn issue (which he doesn’t.) get over yourself. Get a hobby. Knit, exercise. Try to convince yourself you are pretty even though you know you’re not attractive to your husband. Get over it. –
    Not verbatim of course, but usually something along those lines. And OTHER people who ask the question get ” I have enormous sympathy for your pain, and God knows your pain far more than I do.” That is a much more loving answer. So what does that tell us? That somehow, even sight unseen and anonymous, I am just repulsive in some way, even to usually kindhearted bloggers.

    Then there’s a comment, like from Joel above who says “I cannot comprehend how any man would say no to his wife.” SEE??? Proof right there that men who actually love and desire their wives can’t even imagine saying no, let alone doing so repeatedly. So what does that tell us? That in reality my husband must find me repulsive.

    I agree 150% that the lower drive spouse has a very hard time understanding the problem, and so it gets to the point it’s not even worth worrying about anymore. Suffering in silence is my only hope. My dreams of being loved and desired have been pretty much gone for a couple years. And what really stinks is my husband seems sad about that. Like he wants me to feel loved, but how can I when he thinks I’m repulsive? It doesn’t work both ways.

    And I strongly disagree with this part. “Most husbands who don’t desire sex still believe their wives are beautiful.” NO WAY! In fact, Joel’s comments back that up. And what’s really, really sad is that my husband seems honest when he says that he wishes I felt better about myself, he wishes I felt loved and beautiful. Well, wishes are nice. But it’s very hard to feel loved and beautiful when your husband isn’t attracted to you sexually. No man is so tired that sex once a week is more than enough. I don’t believe it. Just read the comments from all the sex starved men and you’ll see what I mean.
    And what’s even crazier and more infuriating is that higher drive men deeply love and strongly desire their wives, even when she rejects him! So they must be married to very beautiful, sweet, loving women. Because I am very sex positive and I feel like my husband could take or leave it. He says the “right” things, but actions speak far louder. So I know from his lack of interest that he does not think his wife is attractive or desireable.

    And don’t worry, I don’t talk this way to him or in public. Sometimes a girl just needs to vent about this very painful subject, and how these blog answers are well thought out, they are often not true in my situation.

    Reply
    1. J Post author

      I don’t think anyone’s saying to just get over it. You don’t simply get over not having your sexual needs met or not feeling sexually desired by your mate. I think I’m pretty clear about that on my blog.

      But B, you have commented many times on this blog essentially saying these same things — that no matter what your husband says, you don’t believe him. Yet you believe this one comment from Joel represents every other marriage but yours? If your husband is working 60 hours a week, stress may indeed be a huge contributor to his lack of interest, which really isn’t about you. I know that it affects you deeply and personally, but I honestly believe that you have to diagnose the problem correctly to start working toward better answers. I pray fervently that you can experience greater confidence in yourself and trust with your husband so that you two can seek the intimacy in your marriage I know you want and that God wants you to have.

      Please hear my sincere sympathy for your pain. I do ache for you. But I want you to make progress toward something better. Many blessings!

      Reply
    2. libl

      B. Is your husband masturbating instead of having sex with you? When you do have sex, who does the vast majority of the physical work? You or him?

      My husband rejected me because he was tired and stressed. We had to adjust our love making to minimal foreplay, and me doing the vast majority of the physical work. Woman on top. I hated it at first. I felt like I was totally getting ripped off. But, even though it isn’t perfect, it grew me sexually in ways that I never thought would happen and it increased our frequency. He went from criticizing me and ignoring me to actively pursuing me, complimenting me, and being a much more loving and attentive husband. It took 2 years, though. It still isn’t perfect and I vent on here a lot, too.

      But I thought I would throw it out just in case it may help.

      Sometimes a girl just had to put aside those fears, turn off those messages, ignore the negativity and just go for it.

      Reply
  8. Eric

    This post is taking so many directions that it seems this is the best time to share some thoughts about intimacy and the godly erotic experience and Christian couples. First, Ephesians 5:28-33, because of the prevalence of pietism and legalism in churches (evangelical, Catholic, fundamental–all churches), are verses often misunderstood or ignored. After stating that husbands should “love their wives as their own bodies (KJV & Holman), Paul refers positively in verse 29 to loving the “flesh,” and in verse 30 to the “body” of Christ, that is the church, His bride. Very physical terms used here.

    Or, did I misread that? Shouldn’t a husband focus on his wife’s heart or soul? But Paul is here attacking the Gnostic heresy that the body, that is, the physical part of one’s wife, needs attention, too.

    The Holy Spirit then moved the Apostle to quote Moses re becoming “one flesh” (Genesis 2:24; also mentioned by Jesus in Matthew 19:4).

    In verse 32 we learn that Moses’ words re sex as God intended is a “great” (KJV) or “profound” (Holman) “mystery.” “I am talking about Christ and the church,” he adds (Holman).

    The pietist and legalist reads no further. “Aha!” they say, “So this is really only an allegory of Jesus’ marriage to the church.” They also gravely claim that that’s all there is to the Song of Solomon. YIKES!

    This is, of course, absurd. Note verse 33, for which I’ll quote the Holman Bible: “To sum up, each [Christian husband] is to love his wife as himself and the wife is to respect her husband (brackets mine).

    A loving husband, however, seeks erotic pleasure not for himself alone. He is profoundly moved to thanksgiving–whether she’s 18 or 88–for the vision of loveliness God has granted him when she undresses and waits for him naked. In her precious nude body is wrapped up her heart and soul, as well as the marks and scars that her life experiences have left on her innermost being. Yet she is, timidly or bravely, yielding it all to him–to bathe, to gaze upon in love, to fondle and make love to as a precious jewel–to take her to the moon and back until they both orgasm.

    Yet Paul also adds a caveat for the wife who may not be in the mood because an old hurt has surfaced in her heart, or age has taken its toll on her hormones, or she is simply too tired tonight. “See that you respect your husband” (my paraphrase of Ephesians 5:33b) when he gets an erection and needs you. Instead, respect and find your own erotic pleasure in his body’s reaction. God made your man thus. His response is NOT animal instinct. It’s the outward, physical symbol of that “profound mystery” created in his heart and soul to make the two of you “one” before God, who created this experience for the two of you, to teach you about His own desire to be one with us.
    Eric

    Reply
  9. e2

    B,

    I’m going to go out on a limb, here (and J, if you think my comments unwise, inappropriate, or unhelpful, please feel free to “moderate” this comment to the cyber-round file).

    B, I have read your many many painful posts here and elsewhere. I’ve also responded to you a few times, because, in many ways, I understand and share your pain. (In my balding, overweight state, I often question my attractiveness to my wife). But, like J, I’ve also seen some recurring themes in your posts. I’ve read that your husband verbally declares his love nearly every day, but it seems to have little effect. (Most women I know would give their left arm to hear those words.) I’ve read that your husband tells you that you’re beautiful, but that you don’t believe him because of his lack of sexual interest. I’ve read that a male co-worker thinks you’re attractive, but you don’t believe him either because of your husband’s lack of sexual interest. Regardless of what anyone says, you are convinced that you’re repulsive to your husband. You say your husband doesn’t view porn and always “says the right things” but that his actions speak louder than words.

    I will now tell you something you may not believe. Male sexual attraction is not about feminine beauty. It’s far more than what we see with our eyes. It’s what we see with our hearts and spirits. My wife is more than five decades old and will never win a worldly beauty contest. But, to me she is the hottest woman on earth.

    Now, I can’t speak for your husband, but if he’s anything like me, he is probably hurt that you don’t believe him when he compliments you; he’s probably hurt that his verbal expressions of love fall flat. I wouldn’t be surprised that he feels hurt that he “always says the right thing” only to be met with the retort that “actions speak louder than words.” And, if I can be so bold, i imagine that his pain in these areas might help explain his lack of sexual interest. It might be that your conviction that you are repulsive to him is becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. No matter what he says to try to make you feel loved and appreciated, you insist you are repulsive. It’s obvious that he doesn’t share your opinion, but you cling to it anyway. And, that may be the very thing his libido finds unattractive.

    Reply
    1. B

      E2, thanks for your comment. However, you missed a very important part of my comment:

      “And don’t worry, I don’t talk this way to him or in public. Sometimes a girl just needs to vent about this very painful subject…”

      So your theory that he gets met with the retort “actions speak louder than words” is incorrect, because I do not say that directly to him.

      Why must words mean so much? In my experience, people say lots of things they don’t mean for a multitude of reasons. Husbands are smart, and they know what their wives want to hear. Any husband with a brain is gonna tell his wife she’s pretty. It doesn’t mean he actually feels that way. When she’s a tall blonde, and she sees his eyes continually drawn to perfect, petite brunettes, no matter how hard he tries to be subtle, that shouts louder than any words he could say. She knows she is not his type. She knows he is not attracted to her.

      When he is so consumed by work that he doesn’t have time to think about sex, she knows he has no interest in her and the line about wanting to spend time together is a bunch of bunk – just more “talk” to try to make her feel better when he means none of it. If she meant 1/10th as much to him as his job did, maybe things would be different.

      I’ve made the mistake of believing him before, only to be let down. I know he’s human, but I’ve learned not to let my guard down. It’s safer here behind this wall.

      What makes me so sad is, I love him. I long to be loved and desired. To know what is feels to be cherished the way these male commenters claim to love and cherish their wives. What’s even sadder is, my husband seems to want that kind of marriage. I just think he got stuck with the wrong girl. We do love each other, and we don’t believe in divorce. I just wish he’d realized what he really wanted and gotten himself that tiny brunette with a big butt back when he had the chance. I’ve offered to dye my hair and get butt implants but he gets mad when I say that. Because I’m not who he really wants and he doesn’t think I deserve to try to look like the woman he wishes he had.

      I’ve resigned myself to the way things are. But no, endless words do nothing but grate on my nerves. If you want to think and tell me everything is all my fault, go ahead. Maybe some of it is. I know I’m not as good as other women, so heap on the criticism if it makes you happy. It’s not like your going to shock me.

      Reply
      1. e2

        B,

        Thank you for your honest response. Please understand that, as a man, when I see a problem, my instinct is to want to fix it, whereas I realize you may just want to vent and feel validated. But, I think you need more than validation; you need solutions. And, since I can’t speak to your husband, I can only speak to you, so it will naturally sound as if I’m putting it all on you.

        I indeed saw your comment that you don’t say these things to your husband. But I also saw your comment that, “my husband seems honest when he says that he wishes I felt better about myself, he wishes I felt loved and beautiful.” Somehow you have conveyed to your husband that you feel unloved and repulsive, even if you haven’t said it directly. He sees your self-deprecation so much that he honestly wishes you felt more loved and beautiful, and he is trying to give you those feelings through his words.

        You ask, “Why must words mean so much?” I can’t tell you how shocked I am to hear a woman ask that question. We men are constantly taught that our words mean SO much to our wives. Your husband is using the right words, words that most women crave hearing, and you’re not believing him. If I were your husband, I would begin to feel hopeless. Again, my purpose is not to criticize or blame, but simply to point out how your husband may feel.

        “What about my feelings?” I hear you think, and it’s a valid question. Unfortunately, your husband hasn’t posted, so I can’t speak to him. If I were writing to your husband, I would slap him upside the head and say, “Enough with the words, Dude; she’s not believing them. It’s time you put your love into action. Come home from work and jump the poor girl; she needs to feel your love physically.”

        I also saw that your husband works 6 days 60+ hours a week. You don’t say whether this is by his choice, but as a man, I can confidently say that such a workload is a real libido killer. I wasn’t always the higher drive spouse in our marriage. Two decades ago, when I was working long, stressful, hours, my libido took a dive. I absolutely loved my wife, desired her, and honestly thought she was beautiful, but I had no hormonal reserves to actively pursue her sexually. I was spent. In your earlier post, you wrote, “No man is so tired that sex once a week is more than enough. I don’t believe it.” Well, I can tell you from my own life that I was so tired and spent that sex once a month was more than enough for me. That went on for several years, and it had *nothing*, absolutely *nothing* to do with how I felt about my wife. At no time did I find her unattractive, and I’m sure I exhibited many of the signs you see in your own husband.

        I believe that you are operating under the false belief that normal men always want sex and, if they don’t, the *only* reason is that they find their wives unattractive. That simply is not true and I am living proof of it. I suspect your husband is as well.

        My prayer is that your marriage improve, and my sole motivation in my comments is to help that happen. I honestly believe there are things you can do to improve your marriage, but as you say, you have “resigned [your]self to the way things are.” All you can do now is accept a sexless marriage and try to convince the world that you’re repulsive. As a “fix-it” man, I don’t see what you gain by that other than the satisfaction of convincing yourself that your sex problems are all your husband’s fault. My concern here isn’t to assess blame, but to seek solutions.

        If I could, let me channel my inner “Sheila” and give you a 31 day challenge. I challenge you that, for the next 31 days, every time your husband says, “I love you,” you respond with “I love you, too,” AND give him a gentle kiss. Every time he compliments your appearance, respond with “Thank you, that’s very sweet of you to say,” AND give him a kiss. Avoid any negative comments, even if you’re trying to express your pain. (I’m thinking of the office party when your husband said nothing to his co-workers about your beauty and you pointed out his silence.) I’m sure your husband knows when he’s hurt you even before you tell him. For the next 31 days, act as if you were convinced that your husband saw you as the most beautiful woman in the world. I’m confident that is closer to the truth than your belief that he finds you repulsive.

        Reply
      2. alchemist

        B, i have some observations/ sugestions. You ask why words mean so much; have the two of you taken a love language test? Sounds like you’re physical touch/ acts of service and he is words of affirmation. Have you considered that you disbelieving his words and you not verbally affirming him is just as painful for him as him not accepting or receiving your touch is for you?

        I work very closely with men. My closest college whom I spend 50+ hours a week with has no filter. He also works 60+ hours a week, and he has told me when it gets especially stressful and he works 16 hour days, his sex drive dies. I believe him. I can see how tired he is. I also *know* he doesn’t do porn, get it elsewhere or takes care of himself. He’s just exhausted. I can also see how much he loves his wife. So yes, a man can and will get stressed and exhausted to the point that he doesn’t want sex. And it has NOTHING to do with how he feels about his wife. In fact, the reason my colluege work such unreasonable hours is *because* of how much he loves his wife.

        Is it possible to get your husband a more reasonable job?

        You say men are smart, yes they are. They are not oblivious to body language or attitude either. So you may not be calling him a liar to his face; but, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…

        Also, do all of your female friends have the same drive as you? If you can allow variation between females, why is it so hard for you to be believe that there is variation in males as well. All men don’t have the same drive. That’s the very definition of normal. A normal distribution has 60 % of the population in the “normal” range and 20% above and 20% below “normal”. The media will reprort on the 60%. The media also has a vested interest in making people feel that there is something wrong with them. It is therefore an inherently untrustworthy source of information/ expectations.

        Reply
  10. Joel

    I agree with that J! I do think you need to trust what your husband says. I do trust what my wife says, just like I’m very grateful that she trusted me through my hard time when she didn’t necessarily have too.

    My take on not comprehending how a husband could say no to his wife is also due to my scenario. I don’t understand that because I feel the experience of consistent no’s.

    I guess I can understand that the lower drive spouse could not see the problem. But part of me cannot. If I wasn’t helping around the house ever, but two days a month…I would know I do very little. If I only talked to my wife two days a month, I would know I am neglecting her.

    I guess where the pain comes from is the sense that…if my wife told me she wanted to make love with me that night, or on the phone mentioned having sex that night, or any hint to sex…THAT would have my mind racing all day, or would have me exclusive that the love of my life wanted to be intimate with me….but when I say that stuff to her, there isn’t any sense of excitement or spark, just an answer, based on her current mood, about whether it could happen that night.

    It’s a very surreal feeling…being in a position I never would have seen myself in, having a spot on your life you never thought you’d have.

    My wife and I did have sex before marriage , but never would have thought that kind of passion could dwindle

    Reply
    1. J Post author

      I think for many women, we make the decision to engage and then get revved up, while for men it seemed to work the other way around. Which is why I encourage wives to prioritize sexual intimacy in their minds and prepare themselves so they can engage often and enthusiastically. I haven’t reached all wives yet, but I’m giving it my best shot! Wish I could do more. Blessings!

      Reply
  11. Joel

    Very much appreciate your work on here J!

    I never saw any of these sites until I needed some soul healing. Wish I had seen sooner. You and a lot of other Christian female bloggers do an excellent job reaching both females and males through this topic! God Bless!

    Reply
  12. Mike

    With me I had the desire to make love to my wife, but I could not. It was a physical inability to have a hard enough erection. That inability took away my masculinity and my self-confidence. I would tell my wife I loved her, but we did not have sex, because I couldn’t. For 20 plus years we had a sexless marriage bed. Then I went to the doctor, took courage and talked to my wife, and we have intimacy every night. It is not penetrative sex, but almost everything else. We love each other and make love to each other the best we can. It is great, wonderful, and we are becoming bonded sexually together as one again. There are answers out there, just keep looking and asking the Lord for wisdom.

    Reply
  13. Eric

    Penetrative sex is highly possible for most older men (age 65+) by using a prescribed medicine called Caverject. If you are retired and on Social Security, with a modest–not necessarily poverty-level–income, you can get it, and Viagra, free from Pfizer. This stuff will cause a good erection that will last a couple of hours, with no ill effects.

    My urologist prescribed 100 mg Viagra, to be followed by Caverject. It works great.

    Both Viagra and Caverject are Pfizer products. Medicare won’t pay for them, and most insurances won’t, either, since they’ve been abused by young men who don’t need them (in some cases to act in porn videos). If you’re interested in more details Google Caverject, and Pfizer Connection to Care or PfizerRXPathways. Then visit a urologist for a prescription; Medicare will pay for the office call. Or your family doctor may prescribe.

    Eric (who’s used these meds)

    Reply
    1. J Post author

      I’m not familiar with Caverject. I definitely believe that visiting a urologist before going on such meds is a great idea. Thanks.

      Reply
  14. M

    B,

    I just want to say that I feel like I can relate to what you’re going through.. My husband and I waited until marriage to have sex, and I was super excited for it. To me it seemed like, let’s do this all day, every day! And he was much less enthusiastic. He rarely told me I was beautiful and when he did, just like you, I didn’t believe him. If he really thought that- he’d desire me more- right? I even posted somewhere on this site about my frustration.

    Anyway, I think the first thing I needed to do was find that my beauty and worth came from God, not my husband. That way, I could have peace and joy, even in the struggle of his lack of desire.
    And then I chose to believe him, and try to understand him. I stopped ignoring his compliments, and complaining how he should have got himself some blonde cheerleader girl instead of me (I’m more plain, he looks a model!).
    My husband told me that if he didn’t desire me, he wouldn’t have married me, and I chose to believe him.
    He told me sometimes he was tired, and sometimes his body just couldn’t keep up with my sex drive, and I chose to believe him.
    I also chose to be less selfish. I don’t think my husband should have to have sex with me everyy single time I wanted it. I decided that maybe we could come to a happy medium.
    And most importantly, I decided to have peace and joy in God, keep praying to Him and showing my husband love, even if nothing would ever change.

    I just want to praise God and say He’s done so much in our marriage! I think we both feel so much more love and respect and intimacy. We’re now at about 3 times a week and I’m good with that, so is he. I could do more, and sometimes we do. And he could do less, and sometimes we do. But the point is that we work to please the other person.
    Also, I struggled with him not being very excited about sex. He made no noise, no expression. It felt like he didn’t even like it. And I learned how to kindly share my concern. Turns out, he’s always kinda felt like guys shouldn’t have emotion, so he worked at not showing any. When he truly learned my sincere desire to see him enjoying himself when we make love, he started working on letting his guard down, and it drives me crazy seeing his pleasure.. He’s not loud or anything, but I feel his pleasure in his heavy breathing, or soft groan.. Every once in awhile he’ll let out a gasp or pant- that does wonders to my heart!
    We’ve really had to work on communication, love, selflessness, and trust. But I can say God has turned our marriage bed into a beautiful thing. And we are both so happy with how far we’ve come. God is good.

    Please don’t give up.
    I praise God that I didn’t.
    M

    Reply

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