I casually mentioned a trip my husband and I took to a bed and breakfast and she started sobbing. I reached out and took her hand, waiting until she had calmed down before I asked her to share with me what was wrong. It took a few minutes, but she began sharing some very personal details about her marriage. She later gave me permission to write about what she shared in hope that others might learn from her experience. I’ll use fake names to protect their privacy. Let’s call them Emily and Phillip.

“Over the last few years I’ve been heartbroken by how Phillip reacts to me sexually. Or better yet, how he doesn’t,” she began.

They are both in their forties and have children in college. I had always assumed they had a great relationship and, since she was attractive, I wouldn’t have guessed that Phillip would be uninterested in having sex with her – especially since all we seem to hear from media these days is how men are always interested in sex and can be aroused easily. Isn’t it only men, generally speaking, who have to deal with sexual refusal from their wives? I knew better from other conversations with women, but stereotypes and assumptions are difficult to overcome when it’s presented as fact from high-profile directions.

She continued.

“It wasn’t always this way. In fact, it was the other way around. He would reach out and touch me when we both laid down for bed and so often I would cut him off right there. I was either too tired, too stressed, wasn’t in ‘the mood,’ or some other reason.”

Ah yes, back to the cliche’s. She’s too tired, has a headache, etc. But pay close attention to the next part.

“Two things about him rejecting me have broken my heart in the last two years. The way it makes me feel, of course, but also that I realize that he was telling the truth when he described how it made him feel years ago. He would say that it made him feel ugly, unwanted, and unloved. He described other things he felt such as being embarrassed and feeling that I wasn’t attracted to him. I remember rolling my eyes, thinking that the only thing that really bothered him about me rejecting him was that he wasn’t going to get the sexual release he wanted. I was wrong.”

I remember her tearing up at this point and being unable to continue for a few minutes. But some tea and my gentle words got her talking again.

“I couldn’t blame him if it was revenge. Sometimes I get out of the shower, and take my time putting the towel around me while he’s brushing his teeth or shaving but he barely even glances my direction. I recognized the look on my face in the mirror as the same one on his ten years ago. And I absolutely do feel ugly, unwanted, and unloved. I feel like my body is unworthy of his attention. He must have felt the same way ten years ago when he watched me show more interest in my makeup than my unclothed husband walking out of the shower.”

Again, tears before continuing.

“But he’s nicer about it than I was. Maybe because he knows how it feels. He hasn’t mocked me for feeling rejected. Or accused me of ‘only wanting one thing.’ In fact, he has apologized for saying ‘no.’ He has reacted sometimes by hugging me, but a kind rejection is still a rejection. It’s humiliating to beg, but I’m to the point I’m willing to try anything. I even blame myself. Maybe if I hadn’t made sex so difficult for him to get over the years, he wouldn’t have reached the point to where he didn’t bother to try and, then, to where he stifled the desire and pushed it away so that he wouldn’t have to deal with the pain of being rejected repeatedly by the person who was supposed to be rejecting all others for him. What a fool I was. I always liked it when we had sex. I’d say yes to laundry, the dishes, house work, and going to the gym, but for some reason I was too tired for sex, even though I liked it. Looking back from this point though, I remember how close I felt to him afterwards and how passionate I felt while we were making love. I have no idea why I seemed to forget that and why I made it so difficult for him. I tossed away something that brought us closer together and refused to do something that brought him such joy. Now I’m on the other side and I am miserable because of how it makes me feel and because of how guilty I feel for doing it to him years ago.”

I had some thoughts for her and they are the same I’ll share with you.

If You Are The One Being Rejected

I am so sorry for what you are going through. I encourage you to refer your spouse to this article because I believe that thinking through some of this will be helpful. It is likely that your spouse doesn’t see rejecting you for sex as equal to telling you that he/she is not attracted to you. It’s inconsiderate, yes, but it’s also most likely in part from ignorance and that is something I truly hope I can help by sharing Emily’s story. Do your best to be patient and to make sex as pleasurable as possible for your spouse. Work to eliminate their excuses, if possible, because the more sex that you have with them the more likely it is that he/she will have renewed desire. Above all, I want to refer you to a free e-book that we provide called, “How To Stop A Sexless Marriage.”

If You Are The One Rejecting Your Spouse

Please take what I’m about to say into honest consideration.

This is the person who you shouldn’t reject, ignore, or “turn down.” Marriage is supposed to be acceptance by definition! Study after study has indicated that, not just the quality of sex, but the quantity, leads to feelings of happiness, connectedness, closeness, and commitment. Having sex often and passionately is an extremely positive thing for your marriage!

Though you should be placing your spouse above yourself, if you aren’t there yet, consider your future self. Life’s responsibilities and stresses shift and even if you don’t prioritize sex as you should now, it’s likely one of those “shifts” will, one day, also shift your sex drive meaning that you might be the one left out in the cold due to your spouse’s feelings of resentment, distance, or simply finding some way to do without because of your rejection. Consider the following quote from Emily:

“I’ve been surprised by what I usually feel immediately following his rejection. I don’t immediately feel a shot to my ego, though that usually comes later. I didn’t immediately feel anger because I wasn’t going to get the sexual release I felt I needed, though that usually comes later as well. What I did feel immediately was that I was unloved and unwanted. It was then that I realized I had trained him not to want me. I did that by giving him two choices. One, to hurt. Or the other, to find a way to ignore his desire until he simply didn’t want me anymore. Over time, he had no choice.”

I know you don’t want your spouse to feel “unloved and unwanted,” but I’m here to tell you that if you are consistently rejecting him/her for sex, those are things your spouse almost certainly feels. And, unfortunately, that is how sexual refusal and rejection affect a marriage. It’s very bad and will most likely create distance and resentment over time. At some point in your future, it’s likely you won’t regret perceived failure to keep up with household chores, or not getting twenty more minutes of sleep, but it’s likely that you will regret rejecting the person who has stood by your side and who shares life with you. I write this to encourage you to bring refreshment, connectedness, and intimacy back to your marriage by making a commitment to sexually fulfill your spouse (and yourself). It’s your spouse, after all, who should enjoy such fulfillment from you and vice versa.

-Marie Wellmond

P.S. – If your marriage is in danger of separation or divorce, call us at (866) 903-0990 to speak with someone or use the form below to request more information about our Marriage Helper 911 workshop for troubled marriages. We can help you save your marriage even in cases of infidelity, loss of trust, anger, sexual problems, and other issues. (If you’re thinking your spouse would never come, contact us by phone or the form below and we’ll tell you what others who felt the same way did to get their spouses there.) We will keep everything you tell us completely confidential. Our motivation is to help you determine if this workshop is right for you and your particular situation.

If you and your spouse cannot attend a Marriage Helper 911 weekend or your spouse refuses to get any marriage help, there is still hope. Check out our Save My Marriage Course – where you’ll learn how to bring your spouse back to the marriage. Click the banner below to find out more about it.

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103 thoughts on “Sexual Rejection’s Effect On A Marriage

  • October 10, 2014 at 8:13 pm
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    As a low libido wife who did not put value in our sexual intimacy, I can tell you it leads down a bad road. Frankly, I was just as miserable as he was, but for different reasons. Bedroom issues are often a symptom of other emotional conflict. Addressing the bedroom issues helped us focus on emotional issues, as well. In our situation it was win-win. I was motivated to work on sexual intimacy when I saw how motivated he was to work on our emotional intimacy. There is hope if your marriage is in this situation. It just takes a lot of open and honest and nonjudging dialogue. Plus, there are tons of other resources here.

    Reply
  • October 11, 2014 at 4:53 am
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    There is NO WAY quantity is ever above quality!!! No woman wants to lie there and be used like a spittoon. Ever. A man can control himself long enough to provide a quality love making experience for his wife. If not, then he has no right to complain because he is the one not giving his wife her due rights. I am so sick of hearing men complain when truly – all they want is a masturbation tool. Most men will go masturbate in the shower if the wife won’t give them what they think they’re entitled to. That’s how little men think of the sexual experience. Be it self-sex or using their wife – they really don’t care which. No wonder so many wives are feed up. As a man and a husband, I don’t want ‘duty sex’. I will not and do not want to be involved in sex if my wife is not also involved. If that means limiting myself so she can have the better enjoyment, then so be it. That’s what love is – giving up self.

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    • October 11, 2014 at 1:32 pm
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      Biased much? You don’t speak for every man. This article was written by a woman by the way and she wasn’t suggesting anyone be used as a “masturbation tool.” Nothing even close to that was ever suggested. She lamented that she now knew what it felt like to be sexually rejected and how it hurt. Does that mean she was just wanting to use him as a masturbation tool? No. After reading your post I wonder if you even read the article. And by the way, she didn’t say quantity was more important than quality. You built that straw man and then tore it down. She simply said that quantity and quality were both important. Again this article is about a woman being sexually rejected by her husband so I think you are confused as to the subject matter.

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      • October 22, 2014 at 10:09 pm
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        Dan,

        I agree with where you are coming from. Duty sex is unacceptable. But compare sex to food for a minute. If you eat daily it is very easy to enjoy a 5 course gourmet meal. If you are starving to death, you don’t care whether your next meal is gourmet or McDonalds. Women need love to have sex, Men need sex to have love.

        The point is that BOTH the husband and wife should want a healthy and satisfying sex life. When that does not happen there are always marriage problems.

        There has to be reasonable compromise and balance. It is selfish of me to expect my wife to want sex everyday. It is selfish of her to say no everyday for 2 weeks straight.

        “That’s what love is – giving up self.” This applies to BOTH spouses. I love her so I will do without is a fools thinking. If she loved you and felt the same she would do the same. Not out of pity but out of love. It is wrong to force your spouse to have sex(rape), It is also wrong for your spouse(the one you promised to forsake all others for,,,etc) to unilaterally decide marital relations or lack thereof.

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        • March 18, 2015 at 6:51 pm
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          Dan, You are a one in a million man. I totally agree with your emphasy on selflessness in a marriage. Both the man and the wife should always meet in the middle. Sex and marriage is meant by God to be enjoyed not endured. I am also going through rejection from my husband after we just came back from an eight years seperation in which I have been alone and very lonely. I have tried in the last 18months to have sex with him but it has been no. He is the one who cheated on me over and over again in the 20years we’ve known each other but now we are still not having sex even though we sleep together on the same bed. I am tempted everyday to have an affair because my body is really burning up. I am a christian and this is what has kept me going. Now as a human, am fed up of waiting. I feel I have reached my limit. 8 years without sex or a man in my life is so frustrating.
          Dan, God bless you for your input and I pray for you and your wife that your love and strength will grow stronger.

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        • January 7, 2016 at 3:31 pm
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          Duty sex sounds unacceptable until we read and accept God’s plan.

          1 Corinthians 7, says “Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her. And likewise the also the wife to her husband.” The root word of the word DUTY is DUE. God is saying, yes, it may be a duty, but a great one. Depriving one another sets up rejection, pain, temptation and is out of God’s design. Even if a couple has duty sex, long after their libido falters, they are pleasing to God & keeping connected.

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          • November 16, 2016 at 5:17 pm
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            Wish my husband who claims to be a Christian woukd take this on board. I am 71 and for 15 years he has REFUSED to come near me, ever since a woman started working for him part time. He has taken her to conferences. He even introduced her as his only support at one Conference, in front of me,, even though I was doing all the data imput for nothing and running his bookstall every weekend. But that didn’t count beccause he was so besotted with her. I was asked at ine conference who I was and when .i said I was ….wife, you could have heard a pin drop.
            He had sat with her at every meal, not me !! and he sat with her at all the meetings so !!! One man said so sorry we thought ….was married to Ros, we all thought SHE was his wife. This has happened more than once and nit with the sane woman. I am now having a breakdown diwn because I cant live like it any more.

        • August 24, 2017 at 4:17 pm
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          Just wanted to say that i couldnt agree more with you.

          I stumbled on this page after going thru some argument with my wife who is always rejecting my advances. She may not think it is intentional but i can definitely tell you that it hurts.

          Thank you for putting what i believe many must feel everyday, in such clear way.

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          • September 5, 2017 at 3:55 pm
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            I hear you, my fiancee never touches me and scoffs at my advances…and wonders why I look miserable all the time. She blames it on a rough year at school, but she’s been done now just about a month and she still ignores me. I tell her to chase me a bit and she will do it for maybe one day, then it goes right back to nothing. She never takes responsibility for anything as she was raised to believe she could do no wrong being the only daughter amongst four kids…and when I tell her I no longer trust her in the bedroom, or anything that implicates her for that matter, she tries to throw the same thing right back at me, which as anyone knows is generally a sign that the accused knows but is trying to shift blame.

      • February 14, 2015 at 2:33 pm
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        Great response to Dan.
        I am a man and I believe my wife could have written this article except for the fact that I am still interested but still feeling rejected but I’m getting there.
        I don’t think she even has enough interest to read this entire article and relate it to herself.
        I sent this to her and her response seemed to be that she doesn’t think she does reject.
        She has said that once a month would be enough for her. I said well good luck finding another man who will accept that and I’m getting to the point that I’m also not willing to accept that.

        Reply
        • May 2, 2016 at 5:49 pm
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          Could it be something emotional for her? Or even physical? Does she hurt when you two have sex? Has she had her hormone levels checked? My husband and I were having the same problem. He’s an every day man and I’m a couple of times a week woman. As a result, it seems like I’m always telling him NO.
          When I realized I really didn’t care if we did have sex, I went to my gym and found out that my levels of testosterone were basically nil.
          Also, if she was in a relationship with a man before the 2 of you married, it very well may be emotional and she doesn’t even know it. Women can feel guilty for having sex outside of marriage and it causes them to have a sort of negative association with sex at all, even with their husband. That was part of my problem as well.
          My husband told me that it wasn’t just having sex to have sex for him, that it was his way of showing me he loves me and that I am important to him.
          We don’t have all our problems worked out yet, but we are both trying. I hope that you and your wife can work this problem out together. God bless!

          Reply
      • July 12, 2015 at 2:34 pm
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        What you say is 100 percent true of single men. We don’t marry a living sex toy. That is very shallow, irrational, andopinionated of you to say. I mean no offense, as I’m sure someone in your past may have made you feel this way and shame on him. That is not a man. That is a boy who never grew up and knows nothing of how to love or treat a woman. Men want to pleasure their wife. Not use them for their own. I’m sorry for your pain that formed this opinion.

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      • March 12, 2017 at 7:34 am
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        I 100% agree with this article.

        As a guy, if you are only intrested in the sex thennyou will simply get it somewhere els, but as a devoted husband, you cant help but to feel rejected.
        I myself is at a stage ehere I simply just want to die stance myself and not beg for sex as I know I am close to breaking point.

        I do not want to put my family threw unsecesary pain by devorcing or cheating with on my wife, so I I slowly turning into the guy who is protecting ing himself against rejection ect…

        Reply
    • October 23, 2014 at 8:11 pm
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      I am so grateful for your comment and perspective because it rings so true. From a woman’s perspective I feel this is pretty darn accurate. I am not proud of this but I am the one rejecting. I do so because sex is so unsatisfying due to my husband’s lack of “control” to last longer than 3minutes. He blames it on lack of regular sex, however even when it’s multiple times a week for a few months but roughly every other sexual encounter he releases within those 3mins tops. So then I recluse back to avoiding sex and his advances because there is nothing enjoyable about his quick release and I’m being left frustrated, angry and resentful like a used human sex doll. So he handles things in the shower and I handle myself in my own ways. It’s a nasty cycle but he hasn’t done anything to try and rectify this issue. It’s even beyond the point of trying to discuss it because it’s become the overly beaten dead horse.

      Anyways sorry for rambling, I just appreciate and wholeheartedly believe in your reply to the article.

      Reply
      • October 13, 2015 at 9:33 pm
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        Oh glitch104. I’m so glad you wrote this. This was exactly my first marriage. It was horrible. And it was my fault too that he was a 30 second man. I couldn’t research and try enough ways, and he simply didn’t see the problem. Our marriage ended after 15 years. I’m now just newly remarried, and my husband has no interest anymore. He blames work, stress, money, kids, ex-wife, etc etc. I try. I try so hard. But we’ve been married for almost 3 months and we’ve had sex maybe 6 times. I almost left him on our honeymoon because 2.5 weeks in and we hadn’t had sex since our wedding night. I was so ashamed to be possibly the only bride ever that had to masturbate on her honeymoon. I’m heart broken. I don’t know what to do. I feel like I’m ugly and that I must smell bad and that I don’t perform well or that I feel bad inside. I am just absolutely heart broken.

        Reply
    • July 8, 2015 at 4:39 am
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      Thank You for your comments. Greatly appreciated.

      Reply
  • October 22, 2014 at 9:45 pm
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    I am the one being rejected. I never rejected him early in our marriage. It has been a year and 9 months. I feel ugly, unwanted, and resentful at this point. I do not understand…. I have told him these things and he simply refuses. I’m at a loss.

    Reply
  • October 24, 2014 at 12:04 pm
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    Thank you for this article, it actually brought a little tear to my eye to realize how I might be making my partner feel by rejecting him too often. My problem stems from not feeling confident or sexy, as well as the clichéd tired/stressed/not in the mood excuses. However he works just as hard as I do, and deserves to feel loved and appreciated because he truly is.

    Reply
  • October 25, 2014 at 12:43 pm
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    How many folks still believe in the Bible? One of the vital reasons advanced for getting married in the holy book is to have legitimate sexual fulfilment (as against fornication or adultery). Read 1Corinthians chapter 7 vv 2 – 4 where mutual benevolence in sex premised on the fact that married couples’ bodies belong to their partners is commanded. Rejecting your partner sex violates this core reason for marriage and may compromise its purpose of sexual fidelity as the deprived couple may be tempted to cheat. Glitch14 says her husband doesn’t last long enough to satisfy her, so she refuses him. This sounds like her husband is at fault which, I believe cannot be true. In fact, I see it as a weak excuse for refusing her husband sex because it is a minor problem which they both can work together to overcome. If she doesn’t know, a man who can last three minutes is OK by many women except those who have been brainwashed by the media that a woman must achieve orgasm to enjoy the sex.

    Reply
  • October 25, 2014 at 6:26 pm
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    Emily’s story is very sad, I feel bad for her but worse for her husband. Even sadder is this may be my wife’s story soon. I don’t know how much longer I can go but I’m to the point I’ve stopped asking because I’m worn down from the constant rejection.

    Reply
    • July 18, 2015 at 9:09 pm
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      I feel sad and unattractive. My husband started working at a hotel a year ago and our marriage is failing I try telling him but he just blows it off. I am lucky if he is intimate with me two to three times a month. And if I try to make a pass at him I get I am not in the mood or too tired. Rejection is just messing up my mind. Then after I cry he replies come on let’s do it. Total turn off. I have ask him several times are you seeing someone else or interested in someone. We have been together for 14 years. And never had this problem. But my gut feeling really thinks he is not being honest with me. Any advice.

      Reply
      • September 6, 2015 at 5:48 am
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        I came here seeking answers to my wife’s rejection of me; so with a grain of salt my advice. There are many reasons why a partner can lose interest with intimacy, another partner is seldom the cause.

        To find out what dynamics in a relationship are amiss, there needs to be clear communication about the issue (lack of interest) and the effect (pain and confusion of rejection). Your partner may also not have a clear understanding of why their feelings/actions have changed. When you don’t know what to do, doing nothing (avoidance) is the easiest choice. Whether its biological or psychological, requesting that your husband talk with his general practitioner about the issue is a starting point. All you can do is be direct and open about the pain and confusion of rejection that you have been feeling.

        There is a TED talk on youtube ‘ Esther Perel: The secret to desire in a long-term relationship ‘ where she talks about the lose of intimacy of close relationships over time. We realized that my wife and I were so completely involved in each other’s lives that there was no room for desire. We relied on the other for so much friendship and support that she became annoyed/apathetic to me for my lack of happiness with my job, my late night movie watching, and with my friend circle of guys that she didn’t find interesting.

        So we worked on being less involved in the daily minutes of each other’s lives, worked on being more self-sufficient and less reliant on the other’s approval; our intimacy improved. My wife still has issues compartmentalizing work life and home life with a toddler; and I still find more than a week of rejection to be a soul-crushing pain; but it occurs much less often now.

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  • November 18, 2014 at 4:04 pm
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    I have been married for almost 30 years now and been with my wife for another 2 years before that. Our sex life had always been fabulous …. the connection and oneness we felt was intense. Her desire for intimacy over the last 10-12 years has diminished to the point that there has been no intimacy at all for the last 2 years, so, I am the one experiencing the rejection and the pain! It causes me to feel a lack of confidence in who I am as a man in everything I do. The lack of “connection” has pushed me to do things that I normally would not! I joined a dating site and ended up meeting an awesome woman in all ways! A limerance as I have read here. She feels the same about me but, has been sticking to her’s and my virtues and respects my marriage. So far there has been no infidelity, but the lack of passion and intimacy can no longer be satisfied in the shower or in my dreams. She constantly rejects me and barely even kisses me any more! This really hurts deeply to the point I sometimes have to hide in the bathroom to hide my tears. Unless you experience this pain of rejection it appears to me that you cannot really identify with how deeply the affects on a person can be. My work, my focus, my response to stress, how I handle kid situations, how I respond to every day things going wrong, all are affected and a person’s normal reaction becomes shifted to the point where you don’t even recognize yourself because anger comes through at the smallest inconvenience!! You begin asking yourself, What is wrong with me? Why am I undesirable? Am I just to old and ugly now? but, then someone like my friend comes along and she says your awesome and sexy etc, etc, etc ….. and you feel alive again only to know that it will go no where because your trapped with a person that just doesn’t really care about trying to make it work anymore. It’s more than just sex when your spouse is the person you wish to share this gift with and I can’t understand how it is so obvious to me and not to the people that are doing the rejecting!!! Sorry to be rambling here, I am just extremely frustrated and about to give up!

    Reply
    • November 24, 2014 at 3:39 am
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      I completely agree with this comment. I have been married for 13 years and even on my honeymoon had to coax sex from my husband. I knew there was a problem then, but thought time would make us more compatible lovers. I have not had sex in nearly 6 years. In fact I have only had sex about 6 times in the past 13 years. I have tried everything – counselors etc. Nothing has helped and I have filed for divorce. Now my husband says he wants to try and I am conflicted. I want to try too, but my heart is so hard and I don’t believe that any change on his part will really last. I am in deep prayer over this and feel the pain of your comment so closely. I will add you and your wife to my prayers.

      Reply
    • February 11, 2015 at 9:54 am
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      Bill. Please talk to your wife as candidly as you are doing here. Don’t yell or argue, talk with care and love. If not your emotional affair will soon turn intimate, and speaking from experience the pain that it causes is like nothing you could ever describe. Hope it all works out for you, praying for you

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      • May 5, 2015 at 7:35 pm
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        Thank you for your prayers! I am continuing to try and make this work. Today I forwarded this link to her email. I will never know if she actually reads it or not so will just have to hope for the best. One of the most frustrating things is the fact that she won’t even talk about it!!!

        I just need to find some solution to get a dialog going and make some thing change somehow. I am still a very active and viral person and most women I know indicate that I’m very attractive to them. Many say how lucky my wife is to have me. With the constant rejection I find that hard to believe.

        I’ve tried most of the suggestions from various marriage help websites and guides but they don’t seem to make a difference. I clean the house, cook, pay for everything (including her ss and income tax), do the laundry, yard work, repair everything around the house, try to make time to invest with my teenage son. So, the stress of these things are not in her life, but it still makes no difference. I try to take her out for a nice dinner and a show and give her flowers etc, etc, etc ….. She just says ” I’m tired” if I get any response other that pushing me away. That feeling just crushes me. Other women at work see and hear about this and they make comments like “wish I was married to you” How do you get past this ???? Oh well, guess this is just ranting on a website.

        Thanks again for your prayers!

        Reply
        • September 20, 2015 at 12:16 pm
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          Whar if you have rejected your husband so much that now he has gad enough and rejected me? He says our marriage is over and he is moving out! I am so full of guilt and regret but he saysno

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  • November 26, 2014 at 12:25 pm
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    Wow, are we any different then unbelievers? When we are the focus and not Christ we become a pity party and Satan loves to discourage us. I was the no person for years controlling positions, time, excuses, past hurts etc.. Thanks be to God I’m working on not being that cold selfish wife. Hold fast to the truth. I have to say that it was easier for me to reject my husband when I didn’t hear or see the outcome of my sin. Sin likes to hide. Expose the wife with love. Bring in another older woman to teach your wife. If she’s born again with a new heart she should have a desire to change. Ask her if she knows Christ personally.
    Sad to see men escape into web sites or self grat. And women escape into romance novels or high expectations.

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  • December 30, 2014 at 5:41 am
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    I am still rejected and deprived! We’ve been married for 23 years now and he started doing that about eight years ago! I tried to understand my husband! Asked him reasons. But he would simply answer I am not in the mood! But what makes me feel real devastated is, we works abroad and we physically see each other every nine months! I am still loyal and faithful to him, but I don’t know until when! I am losing interest having sex with him and just pretending I am longing for him to touch me. Never did I say NO if he wants or likes to have SEX. I believe I am still beautiful and attractive. Opposite sex still turns their head on me and female friends envy my figures at my age, 50! I am very concious how I smell because I want to look and feel good…. not for anybody else just for myself because I don’t want to loose my self esteem!

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  • January 2, 2015 at 1:57 pm
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    My wife and I have just celebrated 10 years of marriage. Unlike our 6 years of dating with great and fairly regular sex, she developed the wedding cake disease(not interested in sex anymore) almost from the start and gradually got to the point where it is almost non existent. I am in love with her, so I just accepted this as our new reality. (most/ many men joke of lack of sex, so I thought this was a normal situation) Without going into detail, recently, I suspect/discovered that she is having/had an affair with another married work colleague. She denies everything of course but my little voice says something is not quite right. She has also recently announced to me that she suffers from endometriosis and sex is painful and that I shouldn’t expect any amount of sex in our future(not that there was much to this point). She seems to feel better when ever she is about to go on a business trip where this colleague will be present. This would be enough for most to seek a divorce but I believe 100% in the wedding vows we both took 10 years ago. Many would call me a fool…I chose the road less travelled and will do everything to save my marriage at least until the day she looks me in the eyes and tells me it is over. I wonder for everyone else on this blog who are suffering from sex rejection, if infidelity is a possibility?

    Reply
    • January 6, 2015 at 4:32 pm
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      JRL,

      Yes, infidelity could be a possibility, although there is no way to know for sure unless she tells you or you find out.

      We have an ebook that tells 5 Signs to Look for If You Suspect Your Spouse is Having an Affair. You can find that ebook by clicking here: http://my.marriagehelper.com/5-signs-cheating-e-book/

      Also, we have some articles that talk more about that subject.

      Additionally, our Marriage Helper representative, Johnny, would also be happy to talk to you about some other options that we have in looking to save your marriages. You can reach him at 615.636.8086.

      Reply
  • January 11, 2015 at 7:19 pm
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    I am ashamed to say that I have been the rejecting spouse in my marriage. Our sex life has never been that great from the beginning of our marriage, but at least it was there. I have had no desire to be intimate with my wife for the past ten years. We do have sex occasionally, but that is maybe 2 or 3 times a year. Part of the reason, and probably the biggest reason, is that we have never dealt with a lot of the conflict that built up over the years and that grew into resentment. Another issue at least for me was my wife’s unwillingness to deal with her weight issue. I know that is petty and selfish on my part, I openly admit that, but 70 to 80 pounds of extra weight is very unattractive and if I saw her being willing to do something about it – change of eating habits, exercise – it would make a world of difference. In our case this has driven our marriage apart. We are attempting to reconcile but that is the inevitable conclusion of a sexless marriage. Either divorce or life as roommates.

    Reply
    • January 12, 2015 at 2:54 am
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      There are ways to talk to your wife about the attraction issues that are hurting your sex life without seeming selfish or shallow. Physical attraction is a huge part of sex for both parties. However, if you and your wife are avoiding talking about other important issues, then talking about sex is not the place to start. You and your wife should focus on increasing the quality of your communication and being able to be intimate again (intimacy defined as being open, transparent, becoming best friends). While it may seem impossible at this point, you really can rebuild that communication and rekindle the intimacy with your spouse. In fact, of all of the marriage problems we see, this is one that has really great results.

      Reply
    • February 6, 2015 at 9:38 pm
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      Are you in love with your wife? I have never heard anyone who was truly in love say that their spouse’s weight (within reason) is a problem. I suspect that you and your wife have another issue, and you are scapegoating her weight.

      That is not to say that you can’t encourage her in a positive way to make healthier choices, etc. that would result in weight loss. If you must bring it up, come from a place of concern and not from a place of negativity. If you tell her you don’t want to have sex because she’s “fat” it will crush her self esteem and she will not likely lose the weight until she dumps you.

      Reply
      • February 9, 2015 at 3:21 pm
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        DQ,
        While weight is a part of physical attraction, and physical attraction accounts for only 25% of a person’s attraction, and even further, attraction is only one step of falling in love – physical attraction can have some effect on a person’s feelings towards their spouse. However, if all of the other things are strong, then physical attraction is not as important. I agree that there is probably something deeper going on, but it is easier to focus on surface level issues (such as physical) rather than diving in deep and figuring out core issues.

        Reply
        • March 9, 2015 at 9:31 am
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          Musicman has mentioned that other issues are the bigger part of their problem. With respect to weight issues, he said that it would make a big difference if she would just *try* to take care of it. This tells me that she doesn’t care if she is attractive to her husband or not. And, this is what musicman has learned from this behavior.

          That doesn’t mean that her behavior is the only change needed (between both of them). The motivations for neglecting her appearance are significant, and *might* be the thing that turn the marriage around.

          I have received refusal, gatekeeping, and duty sex for many years, and it is tearing me apart. It feels fair and even-handed to say there are problems and sins on both sides, so that’s how pastors and counselors handle it. The truth is that some sins are hurtful, and others are disastrous. Husbands make very vulnerable targets. If a wife wants to wreck some part (or all) of the marriage, she has the benefit of the doubt on her side. People will generally not tell a wife directly that she is to blame… won’t even occur to them. No one has qualms about blaming a frustrated husband.

          Does complaining about weight, or letting her attractiveness go, sound shallow? Yeah. But it rarely is. She is saying, “don’t care what you want”. That attitude is contempt, and it’s dangerous to a marriage. That’s not just because Gottman says it is. It is because the one with contempt has already devalued the other person, the other person’s pain, and the marriage. The sense of value that keeps someone from hurting a spouse or leaving a marriage is gone.

          Maybe this woman’s weight issue isn’t caused by contempt, or a desire to bring on her husband’s anger (which can be used against him). But if she isn’t touched by this enough to even try, it might be.

          Reply
  • January 12, 2015 at 5:16 pm
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    I have rejected sex with my wife for last 12 years. It has ruined the marriage. We had family and emotional issues after our child was born. Since then I did not want sex with her.

    I wish we had resolved those issues, even if the resolution was divorce. Now we are probably headed for divorce because of mutual contempt and dislike.

    Deal with issues when they come up and don’t stop having sex. I have ruined my life because of my passive aggressive anger.

    Reply
    • January 12, 2015 at 8:57 pm
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      I’m so sorry to hear this. Mostly, I am sorry that you have all but given up hope. I understand how you feel. Lack of sexual interaction can lead to many issues, but as you said, it is usually preceded by issues like not resolving conflict, not having openness, etc. Believe it or not, it is not too late to resolve those issues, get your marriage back, and revitalize your sex life. I know it may seem overwhelming or impossible, but I have seen it happen month after month after month. If the relationship issues can be healed, then sexual healing can follow.

      Reply
  • January 23, 2015 at 2:17 am
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    My situation is a bit different.
    My wife and I have been married 10 yrs and I have never been told no. The problem is that she does not need sex and has hardly ever initiated sex. As one poster put it, men need sex for love and that is precisely the case. I crave the intimacy and the rush of of oxytocin associated with sex, not so much the sex itself. It serves as sort of acceptance or validation if she even brings up the subject, but that is extremely rare. This past weekend we went on our first trip together without the kids. She finally brought up sex after we had packed our bags and we’re ready to check out. Of course I wasn’t interested in ‘holy crap this is pathetic that we haven’t done anything all weekend’ sex.
    When we do have sex, I quickly become addicted to feeling of closeness and attachment but feel rejected if she doesn’t initiate or even mention sex or a good nite kiss. I find myself not wanting sex at all to avoid the anxiety associated with the rejection.
    I guess my point is the realization that everyone has a different view or complexity associated with their significant other and of course this is highly dependent on the individual. There is no majic bullet of what to do or not to do but rather figure out what needs you have and how they interact with brain chemistry aspect of ones relationship.

    Reply
    • January 31, 2015 at 1:50 pm
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      It is all really sad but moving to hear so many, especially the men, expressing their feelings about rejection. Sad fact is that libido levels are on average mismatched between couples. One partner wants sex less – usually the woman. I have been struggling with feelings of rejection for years and often the effect is to turn away and hide emotionally. Then comes a desire to find another outlet for the desire but that is not really possible in a marriage that is going to work so it leads to a vicious circle of desire, attempted intimacy, rejection, anger, depression and then facing the depression and hurt and trying to pick yourself up again. Other things in life, meditation, prayer bring some sort of happiness but then desire arises again and away we go……

      Every 2-4 weeks or so my wife allows sex to happen, it is wonderful and I think it is going to happen every day after that because we are so close and intimate but that is enough for her for another 2-4 weeks and the spiral starts again. Trouble is I can start to relate to the man in the article who just decided to stop sex. In fact, I tried it about a decade ago. My wife wondered what the hell was going on but in the end I went back into the cycle. We didn’t really talk about it. Truth was I found the pain too much so just wanted to turn off the sex urge. I feel I am reaching the same point again but I am not sure it is really a solution. Maybe it is better just to accept the hurt. After all, twice a month if I was single might be thought of as quite good.

      Reply
      • February 6, 2015 at 9:49 pm
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        Did you talk to your wife after you tried to stop having sex with her? You say she wondered what was going on; how do you know?

        Reply
  • February 10, 2015 at 4:58 am
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    As the high drive person in the marriage, I expected some rejection. However, after many cold, indifferent rejections my interest dried up. This is not where she is not interested because I do not last long enough. This is where she is pretty much asexual and nothing gets the sexual motor going. There is no drama, no complaining, etc. Life goes on just the same as it did before even if we have not been intimate in months. As a result, my interest has dried up completely. If she was to come around and want sex, I do not think that I could care enough to bother.

    Reply
  • February 10, 2015 at 6:20 pm
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    Michael, I am a woman and I feel exactly how you do.
    I would always initiate sex. I know my sex drive is pretty good above average really. I was a virgin when I married, because I simply believe that we should have sex with only one person; the person we will spend the rest of our life with. I love learning about sex wih my partner. But the problem was, he never initiated. He would initiate SIMETIMES like once in a blue moon. I felt like he didn’t feel like initiating and was just counting on me to do it only. I want him to initiate because I feel so attractive and wanted when he does. I was so frustrated With him. He was on board wih learning about sex and positions and lasting longer but his problem was initiating!
    so I stopped initiating sex.

    Reply
  • February 14, 2015 at 2:46 pm
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    I wish this comment field was set up the way facebook is with a “Like” button, there are a lot of responses that I would “like” and can relate to.
    My wife however is so uninterested or rejects the fact that this article is true that she more than likely won’t read the entire article much less the comments.
    Too bad too, she could learn something

    Reply
  • February 16, 2015 at 1:20 pm
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    I am a high libido wife married to a low libido husband who was high drive in previous relationships. Before marriage our talks were very different than the reality.
    I am in the process of learning to mentally shut down my libido. I’ve gone from being frustrated to theoint of tears every 2nd or 3rd day to coping for 8 days. If I can hit 2-3 wks it will be manageable.
    I’m also in the process of becoming the most fit version of myself possible. I am frustrated I turn heads often yet the only head I want to turn is my husband’s. So my bloodied & bruised self esteem will eliminate all feelings of not being attractive enough by becoming the most attractive me possible.
    I am committed to my marriage. I love my husband dearly. Every other aspect of marriage is great. He just is under stress & desires me every few weeks whereas desire him daily. I have told him I won’t initiate anymore in order to take pressure off him & pain & rejection & feeling unattractive & undesirable off me.
    I pray I don’t become resentful.
    Sex is mind blowing when it happens. I am very sad he rarely wants me though he thoroughly enjoys it, as do I.

    Reply
  • February 19, 2015 at 4:27 pm
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    This article hits so close to home for me. First I will say if there is a legitimate medical issue or abuse of any kind or if you are in a relationship with a lazy dead beat partner, I would not blame any woman for not wanting to have sex with that partner. All husbands are not like this, I am not one of those husbands. I love my wife very much, she is a fantastic mother to our 2 teenagers and she is my best friend. She is as beautiful today as she was when we married 23 years ago. I would do anything for her and my family, but after 20+ years of rejection I have been conditioned and no longer have any desire to have sex with her. We never had a good sex life, from day one of our marriage (when most couples can’t keep their hands off each other) I would estimate that we’ve been having sex once a month for 20+ years, some times more, but it was more common for us to go 6 or 8 weeks without sex. We talked, argued, made up, things might get better for a couple weeks before returning to our normal sexless routing. A couple years ago I suggested that we separate and she finally realized that she needed to change her attitude towards sex, but I believe it was too little too late. My wife has been initiating for approximately a year now but I have absolutely no urge to have sex with her, lately when we do have sex it is very awkward and I am not comfortable touching her. I have been unable to get fully aroused and I just want to get it over with as fast as possible but it seems to drag on forever because I am just not into it. We get along great outside of the bedroom, but once in the bedroom there is no connection, no chemistry, no intimacy. I really don’t think my feelings will change over time, it took 20 years to get where I am today.

    I’m not an expert, just a frustrated husband, but if I have any advice to give it is if you are not willing to accept the responsibilities that come with marriage, you shouldn’t get married.

    Reply
    • February 22, 2015 at 5:11 pm
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      Craig, I hate to hear of your situation. Sadly, more and more marriages are experiencing this same issue, and it’s not the way marriage was intended to be. How is your relationship otherwise with your spouse? Do you spend a lot of time together, alone? Do you have passion together? One thing that is true…everything that happens outside the bedroom affects what happens inside the bedroom, and everything that happens inside the bedroom affects what happens outside the bedroom.

      Reply
    • July 4, 2016 at 7:24 am
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      Craig, I’m in the boat right next to you. 25+ years with infrequent sex that has always lacked intimacy, no matter how much I tried. After 20 years of miserably trying and failing to be desirable in my wife’s eyes, I came to learn about asexuality, which sadly fits her. I no longer beat myself up over my inadequacy, but nothing cures the fact that I desperately crave intimacy (not just sex), passion, and desire in my life – and the woman I married simply isn’t capable of giving it to me.
      What she feels as love does not translate to desire, so no matter how much I “speak her language”, it doesn’t help – she feels “loved”, but there is no arousal. Conversely, when she allows sex, it’s “just sex”. Mechanical, dispassionate, detached, dutiful. No intimacy, no bonding, no chemistry, no fun.
      Despite 25 years together, I still have a fire for my wife, but to her it’s an annoyance. As Bill enumerated so effectively in his comment above (http://www.marriagehelper.com/sexual-rejection-effect-on-marriage/#comment-6359), the rejection gnaws at your very soul and permeates every other facet of your life. Being quick to anger is just one example.
      I greatly regret that she would never open up to me and share her true feelings. That she let me writhe in agony for so long instead. It was an issue for us from the beginning, even on the honeymoon. But despite volumes of conversations, pleas, and marital counseling she has refused to own any part of this issue. No doubt because she fears the outcome of her honesty.
      And now… I am trapped. I can’t fix my situation, and she refuses to. I don’t think she can. I don’t think she even comprehends the intimacy and passion that I had expected to naturally bond our marriage. For reasons of faith and integrity, divorce isn’t an option for me. At the same time, this makes me very vulnerable to an affair, though it’s also something I hope never to do.
      I’m very sad that, in the end, my life will have been much, much less than it could have been.

      Reply
    • July 19, 2017 at 4:07 am
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      craig your comment feels like you are me, im also at the point that im not comftable in the bed wifh my wife although I love her 100% its just that my self esteem went way too low and my passion for sex to her is fading real quick. after years of initiating here I am to the point that ive lost my passion. im the high libido in our relationship and feel undesired lately my wife is noticing that im not into her when in comes to bed and I can see her adjustments its just that its like ive turn my switch off already and dont know how to turn it again. im a devoted husband and my wife is good looking and in great shape but still I dont feel comftable in bed with her. right now im the one rejecting her not bcuz of revenge but bcuz I really dont want to have sex, other side of me is telling me that its feels good seing her that way and im like take a taste of your own medicine, and my other side is telling me that she is initiating now and why dont you just go make love with her to fix the relationship but my passion isnt there anymore to enjoy the sex, even though she is arousing me im not that 100% like before. ive turn my sex libido off and right now I want to turn it on in return of my wife is the one initiating now but I dont know how to turn it on! im afraid that one day I can meet a woman who can turn my switch on and its not my wife, cheating is not in my option right now again im devoted and love my wife completely but here is a missing peice in me that needs fulfillment. I thought that im the only one in this situation or something is wrong with me but atleast it gave me a relief that im not the only one.

      Reply
      • September 5, 2017 at 4:34 pm
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        I get that. Im very close to switching off. I no longer try because hey, why the hell do I want to feel humiliated and rejected? Im 30 and my fiancee is 22(late bloomer sexually as well), Im considering just not caring anymore and growing cold. Hurts less that way. What I need I can only get from her, she is the love of my life…but she says she is in love with me, but her actions speak louder than words…

        Reply
  • March 19, 2015 at 4:33 am
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    This was a good article. I was the husband on the receiving end for a ten year marriage almost exactly as was described. Where else can a Christian man go? Going through the motions and laying there motionless doesn’t much help the feeling of being unwanted either. That action only further reinforces the disrespect and feelings of unworthiness. Thanks for getting the word out from a woman.

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  • April 2, 2015 at 2:50 am
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    This article hits close to home. I recently got married less than a year ago and my husband and I had previously had premarital sex but he eventually agreed to remain abstinence until we got married. Prior to getting married my husband felt rejected and stopped looking at me sexually although he thought he was getting more self control because he was no longer upset. Now that we are married and should be having uninhibited sex, he hasn’t desired me like he used to and now he is contemplating divorce because he doesn’t feel the connection anymore. We are going to register for one of the retreats to save our marriage. Makes me feel better to know other people have experienced rejection in their marriage and it goes both ways and there is help.

    Reply
  • May 5, 2015 at 3:31 pm
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    What about when your spouse rejects you from the honeymoon? I’m trying to come to terms with the fact he was never attracted to me.

    Reply
  • May 6, 2015 at 4:34 am
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    I’m in my 50″s. 28 years of married and have 4 grown up children.Me and my husband were not having sex for almost a year now. One reason is, my husband fell madly in love to another woman of my age. About a year ago I saw his writing in a piece of paper fantasizing with that woman in bed .How he really wanted to get that girl in bed.The other problem is that we are all sleeping in one room including my 4 children because we only have one bedroom (long story to tell).But we are sleeping on a separate bed. We’ve been in this situation for 10 years now. And third, he told me he lost his love for me.
    Way back then, about ten years ago we had a good sex life. Though sometimes if i feel tired i refused.He’s the one who always initiate.He loves me so much then..But since those incident happened his eagerness to get home was gone. He doesn’t even want to touch me anymore We do not go out together for a dinner or date anymore.It really made me feel so unwanted. May be he’s not over in his affair yet though he continuously denying to me having a physical contact with another woman.I am fed up to this situation. I want a cool off.

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  • May 9, 2015 at 3:50 am
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    Rejection !!!!
    I’ve had lots of that ! We’ve been married for 47 years and the rejection started on day one. We had sex once and that was it, he hated it was disgusting, to much effort, messy, smelly, not interesting at all. From that time till now he’s lived his life in our basement or out in the garage, always worked midnights, all weekends, holidays and gave up all his vacation. He’s not gay or getting it else ware, I checked that out first. He’s just a loner, selfish and only care for himself and his work shop and old truck.
    I gave up and modified my life for me, I do the things I want to do work part time, go where I want. It’s still lonely and now I hate all men, I’m almost 69 and really don’t care.

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  • June 16, 2015 at 7:18 pm
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    I’ve been rejected by my husband for 47 years. He’s hated sex because it was smelly, messy, disgusting and didn’t understand why sex between humans was required. He wanted nothing to do with sex or me. He lives in our basement or out in his new garage. We never talk, nothing I can’t even get in an argument with him. Its like I’m not here at all.
    I finally just gave up and decided to just be me and who I wanted to be. This has helped me over the years, personally I’m well taken care of, I have money, great health care, beautiful house, fairly new car I just don’t have a life partner.

    Reply
  • July 1, 2015 at 6:47 pm
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    Married for over 20 yrs. My wife is the person who thinks of her self as always a victim. In the past 3 years she almost always refuses love making, at times compares me in a negative way and sometimes shows me obvious contempt. Tells me I am an aggressor, insensitive and that sex is all I think about. For the past 5/6 years I lived with paranoia, I can see an attitude in her of ‘the grass is always greener on the other side.’ Spends a lot of time with friends, have caught-er chatting with male friends for hours on cell phone and when confronted, she fends with tears and accuses with I being a control freak. I love my wife but I feel I don’t interest her no more. What to do?

    Reply
  • July 4, 2015 at 1:43 am
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    I am reading this crying…I am a man, and my wife has been extremely frugal with our sex life for 11 years. I am so frustrated I can hardly stand to get up in the morning anymore, but I do..to slog off to work, dragging my depression, frustration, internal boiling rage, sadness, feelings of being good enough for anything….I’m almost to my breaking point. I’ve read every book, been to countless marriage seminars, BEGGED her to get help. It’s always somehow my fault for not romancing her enough, or thinking of her enough, or doing enough around the house…even though I cook dinner literally every night, AFTER I pick the girls up from dance class, AFTER I’ve worked 10 hours that day starting at 5 am, AFTER I’ve cleaned up the breakfast dishes that sat on the table all day…you get the picture. My wife is far from lazy…she’s the most driven woman I know. She owns her own business, takes car of the girls, etc…but she doesn’t take care of me…maybe once every 6 weeks…and rejects me EVERY time I approach her…I’m done. I can’t take another day of this.

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    • July 22, 2015 at 11:47 am
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      You are not alone. A good person would believe that putting everyone else’s needs above your own would result in you being appreciated. You would think your wife would return selflessness with selflessness, but instead, the more you do the more you are taken for granted. I too have a wife that puts my intimate needs last. No amount of romancing, honey-do’s, or special favors will ever change that. Days of work on my part are not worth 20 minutes of intimacy to her. I have come to understand that.

      She doesn’t feel there is a problem, and that once a month or so is enough, because it’s enough for her.

      I no longer initiate. It’s the only control i have, and the only satisfaction i receive.
      Nice guys finish last with these types of women. I’m done being nice.

      Reply
      • July 22, 2015 at 4:38 pm
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        Have you asked her why she has a decreased desire? In a way that will initiate a respectful conversation, not by trying to blame her?

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  • September 3, 2015 at 12:14 pm
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    My wife’s rejections has destroyed my self esteem, my manhood, my dignity, but most of all, my heart. And luckily, she’ll never get her hands on it, because I took it back off her. She has no idea how to handle it, but Christ does. i belong to him now. Marriage is all about “Person centred care” not “Self centred care”.

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    • September 11, 2015 at 11:41 pm
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      I’m so sorry, Walter. I’m glad that you are giving it to God and letting Him guide you through this.

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  • September 14, 2015 at 6:02 pm
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    It’s so nice that you wrote an article about refused wives. Maybe someday, someone will have the courage to confront wives about sexual rejection of their husbands. Instead, we hear from people like Lynn Jones who say that sex is “shallow” and “animalistic,” as she models how to reject her husband in her “marriage” seminar.

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  • September 15, 2015 at 8:35 pm
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    My wife and I have been married for 14 years. Ever since we got married, I was always the one with the higher desire and almost all the times the one to initiate sex, very often I ended up getting rejected. The rejection wasn’t because my wife didn’t love me (we both love each other a lot) but more because she was either not interested in sex, or just tired and wanted to go to sleep. I often tried to talk this out and see I could make her understand the way I felt but have had no luck. For almost 14 years of our married life we have only had disagreement on one key factor in our marriage, our differences in sexual desire. Over the past 14 years it’s always been an unbalanced scale with me always being the one with more desire and lying in bed unfulfilled and with my wife just happy with the once in a while encounters.

    Finally a few months back she rejected me once again, I don’t know what happened in me but ever since that day I have totally lost any desire to have sex with my wife. We are still very close but I just don’t feel or have the desire to have sex with her, neither did I ever attempt to have sex with her again. I think she realised this and has made attempts a few times, but I just can’t bring myself to have a sexual encounter with her. Part of me is glad that I don’t feel the need and I can finally get this behind me, at the same time another part of me hurts cos I know what she’s feeling when she wants to have sex with me but I don’t.

    Reply
  • September 21, 2015 at 2:10 pm
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    It is realy painful to read these comments of sexual rejection. A good solution to all these starts from understanding the mind of God for us. He hates divorce and hence anything that could cause it should be frowned at. Bible made it clear that the body of the man belongs to her wife and vice versa. it also gose on to tell the man to fullfil his marital duty I.e sexually. Paul encouraged continued sex affairs bw couples lest the devil tempts them. pls sister woman try to meet the sexual needs of yr husband bcos this saves him fm lust. also I solicite for a mutual understanding bw couples whenever it is not convienent to hv sex. God bless you all

    Reply
  • November 15, 2015 at 7:32 pm
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    For me it has been over a year since my wife and I have made love. I have been so patient and I have tried so hard to be understanding but it feels like she isn’t even trying. Like my feelings don’t mean anything, my needs and desires aren’t important… The worst feeling in the world is being rejected by someone you claims to be in love with you when you are offering yourself intimately to them. I have never experienced pain like this in my life. I feel so hurt, angry, resentful, and I feel like somehow there is something inherently wrong with ME. I feel my heart breaking. About two weeks ago she went to see a psychiatrist about it and we talked after. She promised she would try. So last night I mustered up all the courage I had (and believe me there wasn’t a whole lot left), and I suggested some play time even just for ten mins, and I held my breath and hoped for the best. Of course I got shut down. I should know better than to even try. I’m done trying I can’t take the rejection anymore. Last night was very hard for me and for five hours I tried to shut my brain off by driving, keeping myself occupied, staving off the feelings of hurt and anger towards her and self-loathing towards myself. It ended with me crying on the kitchen floor with a knife in my hand wanting to harm myself — which I haven’t done since my first break up in my twenties. That’s how bad the pain is. I can feel myself slowly taking back my heart from her and I can feel my trust in her and this relationship dissolving. And it terrifies me. If my own wife can’t even make love to me, doesn’t desire me…. I love her more than anything in this world and I am crazy about her and she claims the same but her actions speak louder. Today I am depressed and can’t bring myself to get out of bed, eat, get dressed … I don’t know what the next step is, but this whole thing really hurts.

    Reply
  • December 11, 2015 at 2:07 pm
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    I read both sides of this issue.
    One thing is missing from ALL entry, TWO (2) way communication.
    My wife and I have talked about the same issues that are above, but it seems to end that SHE make the commitment and I have to accept with-out a chance of counter offer.

    There is a reason that most marriage issue are around sex. It is difficult. It is the way GOD wanted it to be. The early sex is the best. But, it takes much more time to satisfy a woman than a man with sex. Men, that is where the GENTLEMAN comes in. Men should take into account the wife feeling and experience. They like it TOO. Don’t let another man give your wife satisfaction. .

    As we age things change, but the man is slower to change with the woman. This is where I am now. I find it hard (no pun intended) to keep my sexual desires to a lower number of events.

    But it does hurt your feelings (not a toy) when your wife of 20+ years says no over and over. Sex one time a week is washing your sheets on the bed and one time a mount is like changing your oil in the car.

    Yet it seem to be an issue when a woman will have the same activity with a stranger and not her husband and father of THEIR children. Most men never see the papers coming. The man was trained not to respond. Now, over the number of years, sex has become the subject, and not an event.
    Now it is a scheduled calendar. Saturday morning at 5:00a

    Men, take what you can for now if you TRULY love her. YOU hope she feels some. Remember in your youth that NO means NO. Keep trying and help all you can, but don’t be a burden.

    Bind the mental wounds from the eyes, and over-come the hand
    pull-away, and the crying.

    But Stand your ground.
    God made man in the same image.
    He is frustrated too.

    This is a test!
    80% of all divorces are filled by wife
    79% of all agreements are signed by the husband

    Reply
    • December 15, 2015 at 9:40 pm
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      Smile, I appreciate your reply. There are no hard and fast rules, or stereotypes so to say, between men and women. People can fall on either side of communication and marriage problems. Also, those statistics are probably not completely, valid.

      Reply
  • December 15, 2015 at 5:58 pm
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    Well, I have been married for almost 28 years and the last 5 1/2 have been completely sexless. Before that, it was 6-8 times per year. My “wife” refuses to go to the doctor to determine the cause of the problem and explore solutions. She also constantly berates me and abuses me. My kids are finally out of the house and it is time for me to get out of prison. Sexual refusal is defrauding, or as we call it, cheating. So I have been cheated on for over 5 years. As for those of you who cheated your spouse out of sex for years, and now want it, I am very sorry, but you are reaping exactly what you have sown.

    Reply
  • January 21, 2016 at 4:18 am
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    I always had a problem of low sexual appetite. I didn’t always know how it affected my ex partners and I have developed issues relating to that: I thought men were shallow and only wanted sex; I withdrawn myself from any kinds of affection most times. I would not appear naked in front of my boyfriend so I didn’t awaken desire in him. I would not get into kissing or close cuddling unless I knew for sure that I am ready for sex to follow. My boyfriend now understands me and made me understand how he feels about sex and made me realise how deep and sacred sex is and not shallow at all as I thought it was to do it often. I really did always enjoy sex and I just rejected it whenever I wasn’t 100%up for it. I justified it by saying that this way I can keep the quality. My boyfriend was really frustrated but had the courage to talk to me and we started to make effort and it started to work. Then I was diagnosed with cervical cancer at a stage where operations were needed. I got better very fast but it obviously meant no sex for about 3months due to the physical effects of the procedures. Then probably another month with no sex as I felt I needed more time to began to feel like a woman again. That meant even more rejection to him. When we first tried, he could not do it. He really tried but he couldn’t. I took it as an awful rejection, feeling that he doesn’t desire me anymore because of everything that happened “in there”. Slowly we have worked our way back into having sex, not as regularly as normal people but once every 6-10days maybe. Then the pain I felt during sex turned out to be a post surgery infection. No sex for another month or so. Then I just felt unclean due to all different discharges that come with messed up hormones. Yet another excuse not to allow my boyfriend to be close to me. And all this time he still did desire me. He did not rush me, he waited patiently, he was gentle and caring and making sure that it is OK for me. Once the bleeding has stopped we had one weekend away and felt like the whole world has changed: sex was amazing as it always was and multiple times. That was about 2months ago as since then we have had a few nasty arguments where we both said things that hurt the other. And when I’m hurt and don’t feel perfectly loved, safe and respected, I cannot give my body. I need time. And the more time I need, the more rejection I give. The more rejected my boyfriend feels the more we argue and fight about other things. The more we fight, the more time I need. Catch 22. Few weeks ago I even came up with the idea of taking pills on a regular basis to improve my sexual desire. My boyfriend was very happy to hear that I do want change too. But the problem is that at this point my words of intention are not enough. It doesn’t matter anymore whether I have a physical excuse or more like “i need more time” excuse for not wanting to make love, be close, etc. He feels too rejected already, he feels that I don’t care and I don’t love him as I really haven’t shown him much love and affection apart from saying how I am willing to try. He is too hurt and now he say he wants to heal himself first before he’d give me another chance. I moved out from him yesterday and I am shattered how this whole thing have turned out. I felt so hopeful and in all fairness, I took all the time I thought I needed before making love to him because I thought he will wait until I fully heal. I took his patience for granted and didn’t care to realise how much he was hurting. It does not matter what the excuse was, I still rejected him for so long. He felt unloved and unwanted for so long. He managed to deal with it when I had serious excuses and he was there for me and he was my hero (not that i thanked him as I recall). But then it supposed to be his turn. We supposed to start paying attention to the problem that grew inside him. But I wanted to be 100%ready and perfect first before I turned to him. And now I am panicking as I realised how I didn’t have a good excuse not to be there for him. I realised how I didn’t have to be fully healed before I made efforts to help him. I really really love him and care about him. I know he loves me but he says he cannot trust me anymore. And I see why. I was begging him for another chance but he doesn’t believe in us anymore. He said we could maybe try dating as living together is too painful and I will likely to hurt him again. He thinks it is easier for me to heel without him around all the time (as when he gets frustrated he says things he does not mean but they do hurt me a lot). I am so sad and don’t know how to make him believe me that I u derstand him now. I said this to him before. But now I understand so much more and I want to fix things (again). I don’t know how to tell him that he is loved and wanted. I don’t know how to convince him how much I desire him (I just felt unloved after all the things we have said to each other). I know it is my duty to make him feel like a man again as he did make me feel like a woman again. I do t feel it is a sacrifice, I want it for myself as much as I want it for him. How to tell him that this time will be different?

    Reply
    • February 5, 2016 at 4:51 pm
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      This might be a dumb question, but have you actually told him this ? You say you are “begging for another chance”, but that doesn’t exactly solve the problem.

      He may interpret this as “wanting to return to the original status quo”, viz. you live together and you continue to control the “purse strings” (metaphorically).

      I think you have to approach it in two stages. Firstly, and this is the hard bit, you have to convince him that you got it wrong. Probably this will involve overdoing it a bit but what he doesn’t want is to go back the way things were before.

      Secondly you have to actually follow through with it and when you do do it massage his ego a bit. and jump him a few times as well (We chaps like that even though we might not always admit it :))

      Now obviously there may be times when you really really can’t for some reason, and if one of those arises (and try to avoid them at the start, otherwise you’ll retrigger all the old problems) don’t phrase it as “No. Full stop” (which has the unspoken addendum “and tough”). Phrase it as, “No (try to avoid actually using no !), but tomorrow morning I’m going to rock your world” – and stick to it.

      Oh and most of us chaps never want our women 100% perfect, largely because we think they are when they think they are about 10% perfect anyway. We might eye up supermodels occasionally, but we have no interest in marrying them or having fun with them of any sort.

      Reply
  • January 26, 2016 at 3:37 pm
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    I didn’t read quite every comment upstream so if this point was made above, my apologies 🙂

    I don’t know that the husband in this article (“Philip”) is out for revenge; I tend to think that he’s just decided he needs to shut down that part of himself so he doesn’t continue to feed frustration, resentment, and anger. I think based on the entirety of the article he loves her and wants to be as happy with her as he can. By letting himself desire her he’d be making himself emotionally, physically, and spiritually vulnerable; vulnerable to feeling resentment toward her, vulnerable to feeling impotent. He knows that if he opens up that part of himself by letting himself look at her naked body and desiring her, he opens himself back up again to the possibility of pain. He doesn’t want to go back to that place; he wants to have as pleasant a marriage as he can to someone he does love; but he’s decided he can’t go there (physical intimacy) anymore and has figured out how to take the sexual part of himself offline. The tables have turned and it doesn’t make his rejection of her right by any means, I wholeheartedly agree with the 1 Corinthians 7 observations; but he (in some way that’s not totally healthy) may well feel a certain amount of freedom, power, and masculinity in not being “controlled” by that part of himself any longer.

    Reply
    • February 5, 2016 at 4:37 pm
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      I don’t think he’lll feel that, he probably feels physically dead, emotionally repressed. He doesn’t want it ; it’s like having a choice of having your arm or leg cut off.

      I think it’s almost entirely the first part. Being rejected continually ; often for weak reasons “I’m tired” ; which don’t appear to apply to anything else the refuser is doing is incredibly personal destructive, because the actual message is either “I don’t want you at all” or “I don’t want you unless it personally suits me”. The root of both sentences is the same.

      Imagine how callous we would think someone who said that outright ; “Phillip” has had this countless times and the end he’s done the only thing he can do to protect himself. Shut that part of him down. He’s probably depressed as well.

      I don’t really have any sympathy for Emily at all. Though she does partially get it, when she “displays her assets” getting out of the shower, from his point of view she’s taunting him “Look what you DON’T get HA HA”. He’d actually love to look and act, but daren’t because he doesn’t believe (and lets face it he’s got reason not to) that it will be anything other than more rejection.

      She (and others) talk like this male desire for sex is some kind of strange thing ; anyone who did any reading round the subject, or simply applied common sense, would know that men and women think differently about these things. (Except for people who think men use women as sex toys which says far more about them than men)

      Her best bet is to admit she totally screwed up and explain why, if she has not done too much damage, then she might get what she wants back. Trying to seduce him back won’t work.

      As long as she doesn’t start the same game again. If she does she’s then completely wrecked it.

      Reply
  • January 29, 2016 at 12:52 pm
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    As a Christian women speaking here, I don’t agree that saving a sexless marriage is always the solution. Maybe for some, but not everyone. In my case, when a husband tells you one day he doesn’t desire sex anymore, what does a spouse on the other end suppose to do about it? Counseling some would suggest, or you should work at it harder by trying to romance the other. even when it is like beating a dead horse as in my situation. Why should I work at it when my husband has no desire? Just live with it? Yo suggest that finding someone else would be no better, but how can anyone determine that is always so? I don’t want a man who hasn’t the least bit of desire for me, and any woman who does, I would say good luck. I know from my experience of the emotional and psychological damage it can render upon the welbeing of the other spouse and the marriage. I’ve considered a divorce in my case. I still have a chance to find love again, but if not, it’s better to be alone single than be alone married.

    Reply
  • February 7, 2016 at 12:23 am
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    After reading this article I’ve learned a lot about where Ive been and where I’m headed. My wife sees intimacy as a “duty” or a chore. While I was younger, it never bothered me. I’m 41 now, and it bothers me. I’ve tried all the things possible, romance, putting her needs first, etc. Her attitude isn’t changing. I’m now at the crossroads of resentment. I’ve considered going elsewhere, but my heart isn’t in it, and I’ve realized that I do want to be loved and connect. She will have intimate relations with me, but we frequently argue about it. She always says she does it only for me and doesn’t need it. Like the article says, it makes me feel devalued and rejected. My response initially was to improve my self physically, which I have lost much weight and have a nice hardened body. I frequently get attention from other women, but I just ignore it and go about my daily routines. The last few weeks I’ve just started ignoring her. I don’t call,communicate only when necessary, or attempt any advances at intimacy. Suddenly I’m accused of every dirty deed in the book. For you women out there , make your dam minds up about what you want, dont make excuses, make yor sig other feel loved as you would want. Men can get to a point where we’ve had enough bs too. I’m tired of being hurt, and like the article states I’ve shut down emotionally. When my oldest son finishes high school in a year, I’m likely to separate and file for divorce. It’s because of deep seated resentment. I don’t know if I’m able to undo how I feel now. I’m living with things as they are out of a sense of duty for the kids till a situation that works presents itself.

    Reply
  • March 1, 2016 at 4:10 pm
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    Like others here I am at the end of my rope. I’m actually a bit envious of Philip’s ability to re-wire his mind so that the pain will stop. I figure if I can get there, I can be more effective at being a good husband in every other way since the pain won’t always be getting in the way.

    I followed the link for “How to Stop a Sexless Marriage” under “If You Are the One Being Rejected” section. It took a bit of time to build up the energy to click it because like I said I think my best bet is giving up on that fantasy. But stupid optimist that I am I clicked.

    Appropriately, when you click on that link it takes you to a page that says, “Sorry, but you are looking for something that isn’t here.” Isn’t that the truth!!!

    Reply
  • April 9, 2016 at 3:15 am
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    I am a man who has lived out this woman’s story, to an uncanny degree. Having pondered it for years, the answer is shockingly simple. For years you did not water your flowers. They died. No more, no less.

    Reply
  • April 16, 2016 at 12:03 pm
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    I feel so terrible reading this article. It seems so inbelievable that Emily would realize this all now after she is the one being rejected. Good people can do bad things, in her case she took her husband for granted and ignored his needs. She made her husband this way and it is so very sad. What is more sad is that she has been suffering 2 years of rejection and she is on the same road of 8 more years of the same suffering he endured. And it is not just her not being sexually and emotionally unsatisfied, it is Philip as well. Their kids are grown, and it is an opportunity to enjoy each other again and have a sexual enlightenment. Emily and Philip could have been loving each other tremendously for the past 2 years and now he is the one who has chosen to give up, he is also missing out. There are only 2 choices for this couple, start having sex, or get divorced. I cringe at the thought of Emily staying with him much longer. What a pathetic shame. I know it sounds terrible, but I actually hope Emily can start fresh with someone new, Philip seems like a lost cause.

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  • April 24, 2016 at 7:08 am
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    I think I’m on the same road as ‘Philip’ in this story. It’s earlier in the process but things are heading to Emily and Philips status quo in the story and I fear like things are reaching a tipping point of no return towards an eventual divorce.

    One thing I’m finding is that one’s desire and interest in their wife/spouse doesn’t just suddenly shut off one day after one too many rejections. It’s rather a gradual erosion. As the one rejected too often you begin putting more and more defence mechanisms into your head to protect yourself, derail your natural process of arousal or deal with the upset and doubt caused in some way.

    Eventually I realised it’s as if you’re programming yourself when you discover you can subdue the frustration, anger and accompanying pain by not viewing your spouse as a lover or intimate partner anymore. They’re instead just a friend and roommate who helps with the kids and bills.

    It’s not entirely satisfying though. They still seem completely oblivious to your situation and you just feel a quiet emptiness inside. You think your desire is dead but then one day another woman flirts with you and suddenly your desire flares and your excitement rockets. I suppose this is where a lot of infidelity starts but I have tried to still remain faithful, at least thus far.

    What however makes it worse is you begin noticing that when there is the possibility of sex with your wife you just can’t perform like you used to. The past resentment and mental defence mechanisms all come to bear but as a man you don’t want to be accused of impotence so you begin looking for outs. Suddenly you’re telling her you’re tired, ill or you have to fantasize she’s someone else.

    Recently she started laughing during an intimate moment and that caused me to immediately and completely switch off. I realise that laughter in intimacy is actually supposed to be good and that she’s laughing either at something else or even out of anxiety. Yet it felt like I was being scorned yet again or that she’s too busy thinking about other things than connecting with me.

    I do however think my wife’s finally beginning to notice. After the above happened she was taken aback and she suddenly seemed unusually concerned the other day after she was mentioning a matter concerning sex and I passed a terse comment how it’s not like it matters because it doesn’t happen for us anyway and walked out the room.

    I am admittedly pondering if I must be the one to try have what some call the ‘courageous conversation’ with her but it’s hard without sounding like the proverbial self entitled male sex brat so many portray a man with a sex drive as having or causing a fight that can actually make things worse.

    However I have decided that if things don’t turn around in six years time (taking into certain commitments and our kids development) I will tell her, in not so few words, I never want to see her again after having burnt up most of my sexual years on her.

    Reply
    • July 4, 2016 at 8:19 am
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      Wayne, I think you’re spot-on. You could replace “Phillip” with “JP” in the story and that’d be me.

      I don’t think refusing wives realize what you’ve pointed out – when they repeatedly and consistently refuse to be intimate (including even kissing, touching, and flirting), men’s brains get re-wired. They’ve trained us to stop viewing them as a sexual partner, as if they were a sibling or a co-worker. It’s a defense mechanism against the pain of rejection that comes from constantly trying and failing.

      Do I still desire my wife, even after 25 years? Without question. But I’ve been burned by that beautiful flame so many times that I’ve finally learned not to touch it. And averting my eyes (even though I want to look so very badly) makes the temptation much less. Though I want to, touching her seems so “wrong” now that if I brush her body accidentally in bed, I feel like I should apologize. That’s messed up.

      Then, suddenly, when they feel like gracing us with sex (maybe not even intimacy), they’re shocked when we can’t turn it back on like a light switch. Or, as you point out, stooping to fantasizing that she’s someone else just so you can perform.

      And yes, when another woman comes along without the emotional baggage, and she doesn’t treat you like a leper… well, your bar is set very low, and that is a very great temptation. Refusing wives (or husbands) would be wise to realize their situation is not as secure as they often behave.

      The challenge with trying to have the “courageous conversation”, as you call it, is that our wives can’t be threatened, coerced, ultimatum’d, or begged to be intimate – at best, that only leads to lifeless duty sex, not intimacy. Somehow (and this is the great mystery), they have to be self-motivated to want to change, not under duress – in her heart, she has to desire the kind of intimacy you want. And I have no idea how to light that fire in a woman who let her pilot light go out.

      Reply
  • May 4, 2016 at 11:30 am
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    OK so my wife and I have been having some real problems for a few years it got better but it’s like she is on auto pilot. She rejects any and all attempts of bonding kissing cuddling, an d when we have sex she covers her head, and that hurts. That’s how it is now, let’s go back two years. Out of the blue my wife’s attitude and behaviors change like a light switch of corse I notice ask and get told nothing. A come months later I realize that her ex has been coming around and they are secretive and she erases any and all conversations or so she thought. I did a lot of home work and checking this go out and watching before I ever asked if they were having a affair. She right out the gate went overboard in her defensive behavior. ” he is just a friend” a friend she would later put before me or our boys. Still to this day maintains they never did any wrong. She refuses to discuss any of it and has since shut me out emotionally, there is no passion or any love coming from her I tried talking to her but nothing g came of it. I’ve go eat to counseling for this and last night it all hit ho.e with me and I’m really thinking I’m done all of needs desires are treated like they do you mater but if I do anything that she don’t like for weeks after I deal with rejection. If they weren’t doing anything g wrong then why hide everything and lie about it. Any and all thoughts of wisdom plz.

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  • May 21, 2016 at 9:40 pm
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    I’ve been married for almost 8 years and half of it I have had to beg for sex. She always has an excuse and only reluctantly gives in every 2 or 3 weeks. I have explained how I feel and she always brushes it off as me just wanting sex. Even when she does reluctantly give in, she lays there like a log, motionless and asking me to hurry up. I feel very little connection to her anymore, and often times feel the only thing keeping us together are the kids. We get along ok aside from the lack of sex. It’s so frustrating to always, willingly be trying to fulfill her wants and needs, but she can’t give me 20 minutes, twice a week. She will occasionally tease me, then when I try, turn me down. It is so mean and insensitive. I know she has a lot on her plate, but it’s not like I’m a lazy bum. I work full time and make a decent amount. I am out of the house for 14 hours a day with commute included. I’d show her this article but I’m sure she wouldn’t read it without criticizing it. Anyway, that’s my frustrating sex life.

    Reply
  • June 15, 2016 at 8:05 pm
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    I am the one who constantly rejected my husband. My own sexual abuse as a teen was never resolved and years of me rejecting him finally led him to declare “I don’t love you and haven’t loved you. I should have left a long time ago” then his affair started and total rejection of me. We are now separated and he wants a divorce. The Lord has gracefully showed me how the rejection made him feel and tore his self esteem down and created a huge emotional gap between us. I never saw it. And now it’s too late. He wants nothing to do with me and I’m devastated. I wish I had done something about it a long time ago.

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  • August 10, 2016 at 12:06 am
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    I’ll apologize ahead of time for the long comment. Putting this in writing is more for me than for anything else but I hope someone finds this as helpful as your comments have been to me. I actually came across this article sitting at my desk searching desperately for something (anything) to make me feel better about my wife and our relationship as we enter yet another cycle of discontent. It started (this time) with an overt rejection of intimacy after an overdue but very fun night out while out of town without the kids. This time she shut me down with hurtful comments about my past and unfounded concern for my health after a recent injury. Neither of these was relevant to the moment but offered her the confrontation she needed to abstain. I have been trying to connect the reason for these cyclical periods of strife in our marriage and found them to almost always be centered on intimacy (or lack thereof). Not to mention me not willing to just accept it as normal anymore. As I read through the article and ALL the comments that followed I had an epiphany and was overcome with emotion. Like someone who has been in pain for a long time with no diagnosis to define what is causing the hurt suddenly being justified with a diagnosis. It’s like an overwhelming feeling of relief that I’m not alone in wondering why I feel a need to apologize for wanting to love and share touch and closeness with my wife of 22 years. That I’m actually NOT wrong, perverted or selfish for craving intimacy with the person I choose to share my life with. Heck, I know that when we are sexually in tune our marriage is stronger. I’ve seen it. While relieved to know I’m not wrong, I’m more saddened that I didn’t seek this sooner so I could have made decisions to avoid so many of these other symptoms of disconnect in me that have come to bear in our relationship over time. You see my wife is beautiful, strong, funny and a nurturing mother to our 2 daughters. She’s an amazing woman and I am (as I’ve always been) very attracted to her. We have struggled and made it through some tough times together but have a happy, comfortable life. That being said I’ve struggled with periods of real angst about our differing libidos throughout my 22 year marriage to her. I won’t go into details of my back story as so many of you have already touched on similarities to my story in the comments. I would however like to expand on the effects I’ve allowed this imbalance in libido to have on me and my attitude about our relationship. The dismissals of advances of affection and intimacy (love in my terms) have lead to any of the following list of negative emotions over the years (many of them internalized and damaging as I don’t tend to air our dirty laundry to others). Feelings of HURT, rejection, vulnerability, embarrassment, resentment, loss, anger, insecurity, anxiety, spite, inadequacies, vengeance, and depression that over time have insidiously lead to utter contempt for her at times. I have tried to sit down with her and communicate the HURT this causes me. I have come from a place of desperation and total vulnerability to utter and outright anger. I am usually left with responses like “it’s not like we don’t ever have sex” and “it’ll happen when it happens, you talking about it all the time doesn’t help”. Over the years I have told her flat out “it hurts to be rejected by the person you love”, that as her spouse I come to her for acceptance and confidence, I have begged, I have worked on my appearance fearing it was something about me she didn’t find attractive, I have talked with her in an “I’m desperate here” manner, I have appealed to her sympathies, I have been romantic, I have tried to turn the tables and rejected things I knew were important to her, I have told her “it’s gonna suck some day when you have a libido and I don’t”, I have even been flat out mean in retaliation. Some of these lead to short lived changes. Most only added to the problem. As bad as all that sounds at least I was having an emotional response to the lack of intimacy. What’s sobering to me is, as much as I love her, I honestly am starting to not care anymore. I truly identify with the feelings “Phillip” had in the story. That the fight I’ve put up for something that brings me closer to her has just worn me down to a point that I just don’t have the energy to try and carry the flame for both of us anymore. To be totally honest with you, I have communicated this to her so many times in an effort to try and repair the hurt that if/or when we do have sex anymore it’s like pity sex. Like a box to check off for her. I think someone referred to it as “duty sex”. I’m left wondering if she’s just doing it to shut me up. It has even affected my performance because I just can’t find anything more than an act. It’s never spontaneous, not when I might want to, never how I want to, no emotion, no passion, nothing fun about it, scripted, like a procedure at a doctor’s office that you just have to get through. Some of you know what I’m talking about. It’s the notorious Saturday or Sunday morning only sex. To add to the problem, I have a strong fundamental belief that a man always respects a woman’s wishes and “no” means no. I instill this in my daughters and as a man that loves and respects my wife, I do not expect her to do something she doesn’t want to and I would NEVER consider it her “duty” to have sex with me. Who the heck wants that anyway? Perhaps that’s where my problem lies. That I can’t get past the feeling that there is something dishonorable or wrong with me for wanting sex when my wife doesn’t. I guess in the five stages of loss (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance) I’m depressed and perhaps unwilling to cross into acceptance. I honestly don’t know how to get past this.

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  • August 22, 2016 at 9:48 pm
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    Stuck,
    First of all, you are a great writer. Your expressions are clear and passionate. As a minister, I don’t promote divorce. However, it is unacceptable for you to remain depressed, anxious, and saddended for the rest of your life. I’m also a professional counselor, so I know the effect the above conditions can have on your mental, physical, and spiritual well being. If you haven’t already done so, I suggest that you put your thoughts in writing to your wife and ask for a detailed written response. I was being rejected by my wife for months (again). I wrote this “I am a good guy and I love you, but I am starting to have some crazy thoughts. I will not go another 20 years like this.” This was blunt. But we need to be totally honest about how we feel and what we are going through. Although we are not totally fixed, things seem to be getting better. It also helped her to stop brushing off and minimizing my comments. You sound like you really love your wife and will pray for the success of your marriage and for your well being.

    Reply
  • September 4, 2016 at 2:10 pm
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    I have been married for 7 years, had very painful sexual experience during honeymoon. Didn’t know what to expect. She I hear about orgasm, I wonder what it means, he initiates tries to initiate sex, but I am not always in the mood. When we do have sex, within few minutes, I am exhausted. Like most men he is beginning to adjust, because he doesn’t want to feel rejected. Now he cant have an erection, so we are like housemates. But he has been a wonderful to me, and it makes me feel guilty of not giving back through sex. May be I should have married him, because he deseves more than I am giving.

    Reply
    • September 5, 2016 at 3:42 pm
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      Good afternoon,

      Dr. Joe actually did a podcast on this exact topic.

      Please click here to listen to the podcast!

      Reply
  • September 14, 2016 at 11:28 am
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    This was a great article. Its fits my marriage perfectly. My wife and I are married for 15 yrs now and living with the effect of whats was so well explained in the article. I have significant resentment form been sexually rejected in our early married years and now don’t want to reciprocate any of her sexual advances which have become admittidely very infrequent. Its crazy how the mind works and allows this anger and resentment to cripple your future chances of having a normal, sexually fulfilling marriage. Problem is that with zero sex in your marriage, other problems are sure to arise (infidelity, porn, reduced intimacy, etc). I don;t have answers just nice to see I’m not alone.

    Cheers all,

    Reply
    • September 25, 2016 at 1:17 am
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      Definitely not alone….16 years of being unwanted here.

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  • September 29, 2016 at 2:09 am
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    I totally agree with this article. Except in my case, it’s me whose getting rejected by my husband. We just recently got married but we have been together for 4 years. I never rejected him for sex. As a matter of fact, I’m usually the one initiating. What I started noticing is that it’s become habitual to be declined for Sex. I feel like I’m begging for it now. When I try to talk to him about how it makes me feel unwanted and unloved, he would argue and make an excuse about why sex was not happening (e.g. Jet lag). Anything can be made an excuse. I would always ask him if he was still attracted to me, and again he would question me why I always ask him this. So whenever I said it’s because of the refusal for sex, then he would start arguing and we end up in a quarrel.

    Reply
  • November 14, 2016 at 8:20 am
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    First, I have to apologize for the long rant that follows, but I need your thoughts so it’s relevant.
    My husband and I have been together for 27 years and married for 22 of those (no children). 5 years before we got married, we had sex every night…which became exhausting for me and dispassionate. It became mechanical and I felt used because it was only sex, no love-making, no kissing, just quick sex. I wanted to please, so I submitted to it. Maybe this was some sort of revenge he had against women. I now regret it and resent it but it’s too late…
    One night we had an argument over some ridiculous, trivial difference of opinion which ended up with him saying that his opinion was more important than me or my opinion. Whether I felt very insulted or just found an escape for our tedious sex, I moved to the next bedroom that night and never went back to the old one. Our sex stopped completely and we became distant and frustrated for months. He apologized weakly and I wasn’t eager to forgive him. Then with time, we made up but never again had sex. We became roomates and I accepted it as a ‘fact of life and marriage’. Neither one of us initiated sex either. We never even talked about it and I shut off that part of my brain.
    Our root problem had been his previous marriage to the ‘love of his life’ which ended in her divorcing him and marrying someone else. He became very traumatized and fearful of new relationships. I knew all his story when we met as he told me everything. I love him even with all his baggage which is considerable, but I had my own and I thought we have enough things in common to make things work. He is very loyal, hard-working and fun to be with.
    With time, I became depressed and offended by his lack of initiative in sex, feeling unwanted and unattractive. Maybe because of it, I gained a few pounds but men still find me sexy and attractive. However, I never sought an affair because I love my husband, I respect him and the marriage concept. I married for life, for better-or-worse.
    We are now over 50 and for some reason I started to have ‘those’ feelings again. I still find him attractive. I would like us to have a love life again, but I am terrified at the thought of broaching the subject or if I did, to be rejected. I couldn’t bear the rejection. I already have self-esteem issues because of a tyrant father for whom I was never good enough. The ‘sex conversation’ is out of the question because he doesn’t want to talk about it, it’s taboo. I couldn’t even seek professional advice because he would never agree to it so I would be alone in trying to fix a problem that involves both of us.
    I would like to hear your thoughts and especially a man’s point of view. How do I get over this obstacle, how do I reach him? I do love him and I think a love life would be great for so many reasons, emotional, mental and physical. I also think that life is too short to give up a chance at happiness, even after so many years. I think neither one of us was happy, we just lived together lonely and accepting the sad reality of it.

    Reply
    • November 14, 2016 at 9:13 pm
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      I am so sorry to hear you are going through this..

      I would strongly encourage you to join our Facebook Group (Save My Marriage) and seek support on there. We have wonderful members & admin who would be able to reach out to you & help guide you during this..

      Reply
  • January 25, 2017 at 10:57 pm
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    I’m a wife that has developed sexual anorexia and consistently refuses my husband’s advances. He’s a good looking man, a good father and an ok husband. We’ve been married for ten years. Our sex life was active and full until nine months after my daughter was born. I continued to have sex to avoid the drama even when I didn’t want to because I was ill. I was seeing a variety of doctors for numerous serious health issues that suddenly appeared. On top of that I rapidly gained 40 pounds and could barely get out of bed let alone care for my daughter and get to work each day. It turns out I had Lyme Disease. During that period my husband was less than supportive and pushed me to workout as though that was the root of my health problem. Working out was like pouring gasoline on a fire. So then I was lazy. You get the picture. Once I was tested and found positive, his attitude changed for the positive but he never addressed how poorly he treated me for those two awful years. I forgave him. I’m healthy now and how lost the weight and look pretty darn good agsin, but no matter how I try, I can’t bring myself to have sex with him. Everything else in our marriage is good right now. And I hate turning him down and not understanding how to change my subconscious impulse to cringe when he initiates sexual intimacy. I’ve been searching the web for clues in order to find out what the root of the issue is….I think I found it. That time in our lives altered my trust in him on a fundamental level. I just simply don’t trust him with my inner self, my ego, my worth at a core level and it’s not a conscious thing. It’s deeply ingrained in my psyche. He didn’t believe in me or support me when I needed him the most. It wasn’t intentional, but it happened.

    Even the men in this feed describing their hurt at the constant rejection and resultant shutting down of desire for their spouse are describing the same phenomenon in my opinion. That’s the core of the issue. I sincerely doubt most of the husbands or wives that are rejecting their spouses are doing so out of spite or vengeance. It’s protection of your own value and somewhere along the line, the rejecting spouse concluded consciously and or subconsciously that they couldn’t trust their partner on that level.

    Now that I’ve had this awakening, the next step is to figure out how to reverse that belief I hold. And some of that work is going to be on my husband’s plate. He’s got to be willing or the sexual aspect of our marriage is over. I’ve got to be courageous too and put myself back out there, trusting that he has my back and respects and values me as a top priority in his life.

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  • March 28, 2017 at 11:51 pm
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    Well, Just as I suspected, my experience really does set a record. I read every post and none of them come close. 22 years and sex maybe 12-15 times…..total, the entire 22 years. No, I am not overweight, no I have no bodily issues that would be repulsive, no I do not have a personality that is harsh or mean. I am a beautiful 45 year old woman who still turns heads of men of all ages. I have a loving and compassionate heart and a great sense of humor. I married a man whom I love and loves me but because he was raised to believe that sex was bad and shameful, he is emotionally troubled by it. I prayed for God to take away my womanhood, my desire and need to be desired so that I could be faithfull and not filled with resentment. It mostly worked for many years and I have cared very much for his boundaries. I am not sure what happened but that part of me has resurfaced. I want sex as much as I ever have but now I cant imagine having it with my husband because I am only now coming to believe that he has betrayed me by not seeking help at any time in 22 years. I have suffered more heartache and despair than I care to acknowledge. I am grieving the loss of 22 years of my life that could have been sexual and holding on to hope that I one day will be able to live as all of me and not just part of me. I will always love my husband and I know he loves me just not enough to have at some point sought help. He is open to help now, he says. I have heard this before, I don’t believe it but if somehow he did get help I just dont know If I could ever trust him enough with a part of me so traumatized to ever have a healthy sex life.

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  • April 11, 2017 at 7:27 pm
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    I am a flawed man. My wife of 33 years rejected me sexually for most of our relationship, after we were married. She was always too tired, too exhausted for sex. Now it wasn’t horrible, I was ready for sex on a daily basis and she was ready every week or ten days.

    We compromised, and did it every week or ten days. I know, a lot of men would kill for weekly sex. It wasn’t the amount of sex I was getting, but the amount of rejection I was getting. I wished for years that I hadn’t married my wife. Because we had children, I did what I had to keep it together. I have read that many men’s desire wanes in the face of sexual rejection. Not in my case, I turned first to pornography, then stripper bars, then massage parlors, then to call girls, then swinger clubs. I would bring up the subject of our sexual frequency infrequently, as it was emasculating to admit that I didn’t feel that i was good enough for her, or more accurately that I felt that she felt that I wasn’t good enough for her. Also the conversations that I did initiate didn’t go well.

    Then the unthinkable happened. I began what was to become a four year relationship with an employee/coworker. I was in heaven. It no longer hurt when my wife said, “No, not tonight,” or, “I’m too tired.” I would be with my girlfriend in a day or two. What started out as falling into bed together became falling in love. So four years later her husband gets the goods on us and I had to fess up to my wife. That was six months ago. I’m still looking for a reason to stay in my marriage. She is initiating sex more now, but my heart is still cold. Yes I can still get it up and all, sometimes it is a challenge to “finish.” I think maybe I don’t love her anymore. These websites say they can fix *any* broken marriage. I don’t believe them.

    Reply
    • April 21, 2017 at 3:39 pm
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      Hi Todd.

      I am one of the Client Reps at Marriage Helper.

      We do believe we can help you & your marriage.

      By chance have you heard of Dr. Beam’s LovePath?

      Reply
  • April 23, 2017 at 9:20 pm
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    My husband is selfish in bed. When he is on I never say no, and when I am the one who initiates he says no. It really affects me coz our sexual relationship is so one sided. There are times he doesn’t care if I cum, when he’s done he will just leave me. It really affects me emotionally coz I had a very good sexual relationship with my Ex bf, pleases me all the way and here’s my husband who treats rude in bed. I even don’t cum anymore as I used to be. We are married for 2 yrs , too early to feel this but it really frustrates me.

    Reply
  • August 15, 2017 at 5:07 am
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    My wife of 21 years has finally found the “off” switch. After years of emotional shaming tactics, I can no longer feel desire for her. Making love with her used to make me feel connected, loved, loving, and extremely special.
    When she wasn’t in the mood, there were no loving words of kindness to let me down easy. Some examples: Before sex
    Do I have to?
    Do you know how much energy it takes for me to want you?
    Do you really want to have sex with someone who doesn’t want to? (That made me feel like a rapist.)
    She would turn her head when i tried to kiss her

    During:
    Can you hurry up? I need to sleep. (used a lot!)

    After:
    Another mess for me to clean up.
    I never said I wanted to have sex.

    One time I let her know that “Do I have to?” really hurt my feelings. The next time we had a special night at a motel room, about 3 weeks later, she specifically asked me that then laughed at my reaction.
    Then came the coup de grace. She had done things that she knows turns me on and when we finished, i was feeling special, loved and connected. She got up and told me that she felt like all i wanted her for was the sex. I was absolutely frozen in horror. In my most emotionally vulnerable moment, she dropped me into a pit of shame and self loathing. If i could have summoned the energy to get out of bed, i would have committed suicide.
    Since that night 3 yeats ago, i have yet to feel special in her arms. I only feel shame at wanting her touch and terror at what she will say when we’re done. I no longer touch her in any way but brotherly. Chaste hugs, cheek pecks, sometimes holding hands.
    I think she is realizing now that I don’t want to have sex with her any more. Now she is starting to try. I will never reject her and I wil never complain like she has, but i will try to get out of it any way i can. What used to be Love-Making has turned into something ugly. The switch is now off, and I’m not sure I ever want it back on.

    Reply
  • September 5, 2017 at 4:13 pm
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    My fiancee has touched me MAYBE a grand total of 10 times in the last year. It stopped pretty much on a dime, and not sure why. She claims it was from a bad year at school, which it did appear to be…however… My advances are always spurned. Twice Ive planned a nice weekend where we were to relax and do things together and reconnect, and twice she has ruined it by shutting down. She blames me of course, for building it up as a “sexcation” and feeling pressured and such. 7 times she has told me that it is coming back, and it never has. I finally told her I no longer trust in from a sex life standpoint, to which she became angry…which tells me she knows I’ve caught onto her. She always tries to throw the same thing back in my face, again which tells me she knows she is in the wrong. I’ve tried communicating, which gets me precisely nowhere. I proposed in February, foolishly thinking things were getting better…and its almost like she shut down even more.
    I haven’t felt wanted by my fiancee in so long. I’m very close to just letting that side of us die, because it seems to be what she wants. She says she wants our sex life to be at 2-3 times per week, but she can’t even commit to enjoying us once every couple months. Have I made a mistake?

    Reply
  • September 14, 2017 at 10:21 pm
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    Sounds like my life story.

    I’d like to add (as the guy in a relationship currently being rejected 99.99999% of the time) that anotger thing that becomes depressing is that I enjoy pleading my wife. Watching her treble in complete happiness. I enjoy it AS much as anything she does to me. It sucks rarely getting to see that.

    And sometimes the wait has been long enough. I don’t expect it everyday, but when your rounding month 4 it becomes infuriating. Doesn’t she care how much I’m suffering?

    And she’s a fairly bossy woman. I can deal with that. But without sex she loses her power and her demands become annoying instead of top priority. No, i dont mean should have sex with me every time I do what she says. But most guys do what bossy wives say because NOT doing it WILL guarantee a sexless night. And when the sexless night is already a guarantee, why bother?

    Sorry if I sound cold and callous, 4 months. And she’s even said she knows I need to get paid cause I look super stressed. Can’t tell you how pitiful I felt…

    Reply
  • November 22, 2017 at 1:54 am
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    This article made me sob.

    Reply

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