My husband hasn’t made love to me in years. I’m sick of begging him; all I get is rejection and avoidance. It’s painful and yes, I’m very angry. When we did “make love” after I begged, he reacted as thought it were a chore. I suffer in silence because most articles portray a sexless marriage as the woman’s fault. What about when a spouse refuses to do his “husbandly duty”?
Sex is a beautiful part of marriage, ordained by God and designed to bring us closer to our mate. Yet surprisingly, sexless marriages are more common than one might think—despite what television programs and films portray about couples and sex.
The reality is, you’re not the only one who suffers this pain. Yet suffering in silence is tantamount to your enabling this problem to continue. The answer is to discover its root cause and to collaborate with your husband on solutions to the problem. Build up your courage and ask your spouse some difficult questions in a respectful way. Here are some additional ideas for remedying this very sensitive problem.
First, consider the problem’s origin. Some questions to consider are whether or not your lack of intimacy is a relational or physical problem. Does he have erectile dysfunction? Does he struggle with issues of trust and respect? Does he feel attached and attracted to you? Are there other concerns, such as pornography or masturbation? Take shame out of the equation by talking openly with your husband, overcoming his resistance to this discussion by being gentle. Don’t broach the topic with criticism, but rather communicate a willingness to understand what’s happening.
Second, rule out a physical problem. Physical issues must be explored before anything else. Any number of physical obstacles set up roadblocks to sexuality, including medication side effects, low testosterone, diabetes and high blood pressure, among others. Many men are reluctant to admit to erectile problems; encourage your husband to seek a medical opinion first.
Third, once physical problems have been ruled out, consider relational issues, the primary culprit in most sexual problems. Sexuality should be something enjoyed in a healthy, attached relationship, not something done out of duty. Perhaps that’s part of the problem. If he feels obligated “to perform,” this takes any joy out of it. Consider bringing the joy back to your bedroom by bringing joy back to your relationship. Work on creating emotional intimacy and notice if sexuality naturally returns to your relationship. Intimacy—“into me see”—is an integral part of any loving relationship. Start by engaging in warm conversation, schedule a few weekends away, and, if financially feasible, travel more extensively together. Notice where and when you feel closest to each other and build upon that.
Finally, don’t overlook the importance of physical attraction. After years of marriage, you may be tempted to assume you shouldn’t have to look your best for your mate. Not true. Never take your physical appearance for granted, but always seek to look your best for your mate. Take care to strike the right sensual mood, the right sensual setting, and the right sensual relationship–and you may very well notice sexuality improve.