Wifey Wednesday: When Your Husband Won’t Initiate Sex

by | Oct 28, 2015 | Libido | 69 comments

When your husband never initiates sex: 3 reasons why and what to do about them
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I get so many emails from women saying, “my husband never initiates sex.”

And it hurts them, because women like to feel chased. We like to feel like our husbands truly want us.

And so today, for Wifey Wednesday, I thought I’d look at what to do if your husband just doesn’t initiate sex.

Sometimes the issue is that he has no sex drive at all. If that’s the case, then I’d recommend a different series that I wrote on what to do if your husband never wants sex. Today I want to look at a guy who WILL have sex, usually, if you initiate, but who very rarely initiates making love himself.

So let’s look at the different reasons that this may happen.

1. He used to initiate sex, but now he never does

When I wrote The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, I took surveys of 2000 women, and asked about how much they enjoyed sex, how often they had sex, and many other things. After looking at the results I figured I had better survey some men, too, so I sent out surveys to about 500 men and had really similar results about how often people had sex.

But the comments from the guys were really interesting.

I had quite a few men saying things like,

I used to try to initiate all the time. It got to the point where I felt like I was begging. Every now and then she’d say okay, but she was never into it. It was humiliating. And eventually I decided I didn’t want that. So I just stopped. And now I don’t care anymore.

And in talking to men in their late 30s, 40s, or 50s, I often find this attitude. After a decade or so of trying to get frequent sex, they just gave up initiating altogether.

The problem is that many women don’t have much of a sex drive when they marry because they’re nervous, they haven’t figured out how to make it feel good yet, they can’t fully relax during sex–or they have babies and they’re exhausted all the time.

By the time a woman gets to her late 30s and things start to kick in, then, he may have checked out. And now suddenly he’s the one with the lower sex drive, it seems. I’ve even known men who have taken pleasure in turning their wives down when their wives initiate sex. It’s become this punishment.

It’s a common dynamic, and it’s very dangerous.

So if your husband never initiates sex, is this a new thing, or has it always been the case? If he had a high sex drive for years, but it’s now almost gone completely away, it may be that a dynamic has sprung up where he is so hurt by rejection that he’s decided to shut that part off.

What to do: Apologize deeply for withholding sex or for refusing sex, if that’s what you did for years. Tell him you know it was wrong. But tell him that you also want to rebuild the marriage, and creating a sexless marriage or a marriage without passion isn’t the way to do that.

If he really won’t have a conversation about it, then it’s probably time to sit down with a counselor. Even if he won’t go, a counselor may give you some help on how you can communicate.

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2. He never initiates sex because he’s nervous about sex

Here’s another scenario, that a woman wrote to me about:

First off I’d like to say that I got married about a month ago & before I got married I read your book The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex. Well, because of what I read in your book, your perspective, my parents advice & my husband’s gentle patience with me, we had a really good experience & we both really enjoyed each other.

My husband and I are in our early 30s. I grew up in a Christian home where both parents were committed to their marriage, were openly affectionate toward each other & their children. My husband became a Christian 6 years ago. His parents are still married, however there was never any open display of affection between them. Also, he had a failed marriage before he came to the Lord.

My husband is very timid about initiating sex. I would say that 9 times out of 10 I’m the one asking for it or initiating it. It makes me feel like there’s something wrong with me, especially if he turns me down because he’s tired. It’s not that we aren’t intimate on a regular basis, it’s more that he just doesn’t initiate & he’s extremely cautious about touching me because he says he doesn’t want to make me feel like my body is just some object. I’ve tried to be very encouraging in this area.

But, I still feel like I’m practically begging him to touch me, he still says he feels like there are these unspoken boundaries & he’s not sure what’s ok or what’s not outside of just your basic hugging, kissing & intercourse.

In this case there could be several things going on, but let’s deal with just one: your husband is confused about what healthy sexuality is, and now that he’s trying to live for God, he doesn’t want to do anything wrong.

That’s hardly surprising. If you ask the average person on the street what Adam & Eve’s original sin was, a large proportion of them will say, “having sex.” They don’t realize it was eating the fruit. If they know about the fruit, they think it’s an allegory for sex.

Sex is the sin.

And in many ways different strains of Christian tradition have, over the years, reinforced that view. Sex is dirty.

And so here’s a guy who is a new Christian who already grew up with weird views of sex from his parents, and then who had a bad first marriage, and now he wants to do everything right. But every time he looks at his wife he worries that he’s sinning.

What to do: Have an honest conversation about what sex means and why God likes sex. It sounds as if this woman has tried to talk to him about how it’s okay if he touches her, but I’d go even more basic than that. Talk about why God actually wants you to enjoy sex, and why sex can be hot and holy at the same time. She has my book, The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, and even though that’s written for women, I’d encourage her to read chapter 8–A Pure, Holy, and Hot Marriage!–out loud with him. Talk about how having passion for our spouses actually fuels passion for God, and vice versa. This is something God celebrates!

Here’s something else you can do: Declare a certain week “new beginnings” week. Now you’re married, and you want to see things differently and do things differently. So during this week, we’re going to talk about all the lies that we believe about marriage and sex, and write them down. Then we’re going to write down the truths that counteract the lies. At the end of the week, throw out the lies and keep the truths, maybe in a mason jar or a keepsake box.

Here are some lies you may believe: only some parts of the body are holy; it’s holier not to have sex very often; if we want sex too much we’re not chasing after God; marriages don’t last; people can’t stay affectionate forever; etc.

If you do all of this, and he’s still really reluctant to have sex, then perhaps he needs to see a counselor, because his problems could be much deeper than just believing lies.

3. He never initiates sex because he’s just too lazy

I have a commenter yesterday, when I was talking about how to get out of a sexual rut, saying her husband is just too lazy to initiate. They’ve talked about it, she’s done everything–but he won’t have sex or indeed do much of anything else because he’s lazy.

Lots of people are completely self-centered and focused on entertainment. Life becomes only about how I can have fun when I want to have fun.

We’re silently killing ourselves.

All destructive behaviour comes from two sources: selfishness or brokenness, and very often both together. Maybe a man is hurt when he’s younger because his dad ignores him or never tells him that he’s capable of anything. When parents never praise what a kid does, or ignore any effort a kid makes, then a child often stops making any effort. The essence of ourselves is our will–that part of us that decides what to do and acts. If our will is stifled growing up, we often become super passive.

This looks like laziness, and it is laziness–but it also goes beyond that.

People like this, who suffer from brokenness, then often turn to selfish things, too, spending all their lives on video games or netflix or anything they want to do that requires very little effort.

And when you have no will to do anything, it’s extremely hard to feel sexual. Our sexuality, at heart, is about our will–deciding to act.

What to do: Such a person needs to be confronted about their laziness and selfishness, but they also really may need a counselor, too, to deal with the root of the issue. They need to see that God loves them, even if their parents didn’t notice them.

All destructive behaviour comes from two sources: selfishness or brokenness, and very often both together.

Something Different: He never initiates sex–but that’s okay

Finally, I want to give a slightly different perspective. One woman wrote in to me saying this:

I wanted to say to the woman who commented during the series about having a higher drive that she waits to see how long her husband will go before asking for sex, that that is a dangerous game to play, and it fills you with resentment and frustration toward your husband when instead you should be seeking to charitably meet his needs and simultaneously seek to communicate your own effectively.  I used to want my husband to pursue me more (initiate) but I have found that I actually like it “my way” when I ease into it by cuddling and kissing him until I want it, (instead of just wanting to want it) and we can go slower and that is what really helps when you are pregnant or breastfeeding and you want to be interested but you just aren’t.  If you initiate a slow safe time together on the couch or wherever and start thinking positively about your husband and work on talking and cuddling that can help you have the longer (sometimes very very very very much longer) time you need to get warmed up.  If you initiate it can actually go slower and you can have more time for foreplay because you’re more in control and your husband will really like it, (woohoo!).
 
I don’t know how most men are, but if I turn my husband on, then he’s a green light.  It seems if intimacy is a possibility then the power is in your hands as the wife, if sex is what you are after!

I think she raises a good point. If your husband doesn’t initiate sex, but if he tends to be good to go if you initiate it, then is it really a huge deal?

After all, there are some real benefits to initiating sex–since you can go slower and position things right and get yourself worked up.

I know that, as women, we like to feel desired and pursued, and we definitely do need to talk to our husbands about this. And if this initiating tug-of-war goes on too long, we often get into a sexual rut where we figure it’s not worth the hassle, and that’s where my 10 points from yesterday can really help.

But until then, ask yourself: is my husband not initiating a sign that there’s a deep problem in our marriage (scenario 1 above)? A deep problem in the way he sees God (scenario 2)? A deep problem in himself (scenario 3)? Or is it simply who he is, and it isn’t a huge deal? If it doesn’t represent a deep character issue or a deep spiritual issue, then perhaps deciding not to get too mad about it is the way to go.

Yes, keep talking about it. Work through the 31 Days to Great Sex, which helps you talk about this stuff and figure out how to initiate. Talk about the 10 tips I gave yesterday about how to make initiating easier. But in the end, if it isn’t a huge deal, then I’d say, decide to live with it. Initiate yourself, especially if he says yes when you do. It’s not the worst problem in a marriage!

My Husband Never Initiates Sex: What to do if he has no libido

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Author at Bare Marriage

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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69 Comments

  1. Angie

    Thanks Sheila! This was an awesome post. I just wish it didn’t hurt so bad to not be desired when I hear so many other wives complain about their sex driven husbands. Maybe my past sexual history skews the equation also, I never had to initiate with my previous boyfriends, or my husband when we were only dating. I think I will find a good counselor, if only for myself. Thanks again for your loving and straightfoward advice.

    Reply
    • Sheila

      Oh, Angie, I’m so glad you found it helpful! I was really struggling with how to answer your part. I think talking to a counselor would help, because it really sounds like your husband has much more deep-seated issues. And God really does want to heal them. He doesn’t want us stuck, so we shouldn’t ignore those problems either.

      Reply
  2. Kim Adams Morgan

    Sheila,

    What a wonderful (and educational) post. I can remember feeling rejected when I was first married and tried to give signs to initiate sex early on in our marriage. We all like to be pursued but not everyone feels comfortable with being the initiator. I remember having a talk with my husband about this (my ‘signs’) later on in our marriage and how it hurt me that he didn’t go for them. In fact, some sparked even bigger arguments. He was completely oblivious to what I was doing.

    It never occurred to him – as obvious as I thought I was being – that I was trying to initiate a romantic night. I guess as women, we think as women would think. However, when we are trying to attract our husband’s attention, we probably need to think much more like men. 🙂 I don’t think we ever laughed so hard during that discussion. Thank God marriage gets easier and we can laugh at ourselves as we get older.

    Reply
  3. Grace

    I’m a Christian and it has always been DRUMMED into me that men are the ones who want sex and women need to try really hard not to deny them. It’s always about the men and their sex drive. And it’s always that men have these over the top sex drives and need sex every day. I don’t know why we focus on just this. I, by far, have the highest sex drive in our marriage. My husband enjoys it, but doesn’t need it that often where I feel like I need it almost every day. I feel rejected not just by my husband, but by my Christian brothers and sisters. I feel like I’m a freak because I’m a woman and I want sex more than my husband. But I do know there are some women out there like me. I really wish we would talk about this more in the Christian community. I was a virgin when I married my husband and totally prepared myself that I might have to have sex with him even if I wasn’t in the mood, but no one prepared me for a situation where I was the one feeling denied and unwanted. I’m not even that upset with my husband because I don’t think anyone teaches men to be cautious about denying their wives.

    Reply
    • Erin

      Growing up in a fundamentalist church, I got the same message you did. And now that I’ve been married for six years, I ruminate frequently on how wrong that message was. My husband is a kind, sweet, and very gentle man who genuinely wants to make me happy, but our sex life is mostly a thing of the past. He says he’s always too tired, and is usually only up for one thing — which I used to be okay with but have stopped doing because I got sick of doing all the work. I hate to put it this way, but I do feel cheated. I was a virgin when I married, and now the part of marriage that everyone assured me would be wonderful and totally worth waiting for turns out to be mostly absent and not that great anyway. I’ve stopped even initiating because being turned down got to be too humiliating and painful.

      Reply
      • Emily

        🙁

        Don’t give up Erin, I know it’s hard and seems like a lot of work… I think my husband and I fight about sex more than any other topic. I feel you.

        Almost every time we’ve decided to sit down and talk about it, or even read a book together (we have “31 Days To Great Sex”) we learn more things about each other that we never knew. I never realized how much we didn’t understand about each other… it’s really eye opening, and worth putting the work in.

        These things can take time – marriage isn’t as easy as some make it out to seem! But working towards a better sex life is a lifelong commitement I think. Maybe some people have that certain “chemistry” to a degree but honestly? I’ve never met anyone that didn’t have these same concerns. We aren’t mind readers! That’s something my husband and I have to constantly remind ourselves of. We just have to talk to each other.

        xo

        Reply
    • Jenny

      I feel exactly the same way. Society tends to perpetuate that stereotype…:( You are not alone tho…

      Reply
      • Cami

        My husband and I have been together almost nine years. The first couple we were very sexually active. He initiated most of the time, if that matters. In the past three or four years it has dwindled. This past two years have been the worst. We will go months without being intimate. The longest is my current situation, four months. I thought maybe it was because he isn’t attracted to me anymore, but I can’t imagine that is it, not to be conceded. I just recently turned 30, and I have been telling him about my needs for the past couple years. He is five years older than me. He acts concerned and as if he cares, but nothing comes of our conversations. I’m at a point where I just feel stuck. I don’t believe in divorce unless there is abuse. We act like everything is okay daily, but knowing it is not. I go to sleep alone most nights. I feel pathetic crying myself to sleep. I have jealousy and am envious when I see happy couples in public. I don’t know their life, but they look happy, and I want that. I am miserable and don’t know where to turn. How do I pray about my husband wanting me sexually? That feels wrong. I am just very lost.

        Reply
    • Amy

      Grace, you are not alone. Throughout my marriage I’ve always been the one to initiate sex. Some of that was due to feelings of shame my husband carried from a variety of issues. Some of it was because of underlying anger we both had towards each other. But most of it was because he just wasn’t that interested in it like I was and he’s a pretty passive guy in general and I’m more assertive/aggressive. I finally got tired of it along with the fact he had PE issues so it just wasn’t worth it anymore for me. Until God miraculously stepped in a few months ago. My husband started making me a priority and stepped down from activities he was involved in. Which made me feel loved and let my guard down. At the same time I was beginning to listen to music that was putting me in “the mood” so I felt secure enough to initiate again and my husband and I have had some great sex in the last 2 months. More than we’ve ever had our entire 23 years of marriage, so there is hope! Don’t give up. I’m not seeing my husband be more assertive in the bedroom which I continually tell him really turns me on! The more I encourage, the more brave he feels to do it so we both end up feeling fulfilled.

      Reply
    • Kendra

      This is so me! My husband and I have been married 15 years. He never wants to initiate, in fact we went for a couple years not having sex but maybe once every 6-8 weeks. I finally had enough, and in the last 6 months I’ve wanted sex more like everyday than ever before. I’m a Christian and so is he. I’ve told him the ways I feel although I don’t think he really understands!

      Reply
  4. Keith Schooley

    Really great post, Sheila.

    I think that #1 is much more common than people realize, and it doesn’t just apply to situations where there was intentional withholding or gatekeeping in the past. People–I don’t want to say men or women, because this can go both ways–people don’t realize that when they’re not interested in sex because their list of perfect conditions hasn’t been met (not too sleepy, kids safely asleep, all housework done, no work worries to brood over, spouse appropriately attentive and romantic), that still feels like rejection to the person who initiates. Initiating sex makes you vulnerable: you’re exposing a desire that is embarrassing when it’s turned down. As the guys in the survey said, “It was humiliating.” So after a while, you decide not to humiliate yourself like that anymore. You decide, “When they want it, they’ll tell me.”

    I like that you gave a little push back on the #3 reason, “He’s too lazy.” I think that’s a lazy rationalization on the part of the one who assumes it of their partner. No guy with a proper chemical balance is simply too lazy for sex. There’s something deeper going on. I would once again take a look at the vulnerability aspect. Perhaps it is a matter of being overly criticized when growing up, or maybe in a work situation. Or, once again, is there a list of conditions to be met before sex is a possibility? He might be too lazy for that.

    I’m not sure I buy the fourth option, “How much does it matter?” I get it that someone initiating is better than no one initiating, and sometimes we just need to get over ourselves and be the person who gets the ball rolling. But never initiating (be it husband or wife) is also a form of rejection to the other person. It makes the person initiating feel like they’re always imposing on the other person, like they’re making them do some chore, their husbandly or wifely duty. What an awful feeling to bring to the marriage bed!

    How many issues in life could we fix if we would just think, “How would I feel if the situation were reversed?”

    Reply
    • Sheila

      Thanks for those thoughts, Keith! Great insights.

      I do see what you’re saying about #4. I think I probably should have clarified: there’s a difference between NEVER initiates and RARELY initiates. I think the woman who wrote in that comment had a point–as long as sex happens, is it worth getting that upset about? But if they honestly NEVER initiate, that is a form of rejection, and it really should be addressed. I’m just saying that if you do talk about it, and nothing changes–but you’re still having regular sex–perhaps this is one that we just let go, at least for now, for the sake of the marriage. I wouldn’t say that, of course, if sex just weren’t happening. But if it is–well, I don’t think this is quite in the same category as the other ones.

      Reply
      • Ruth

        Hi ..i couldn’t find the comment button. So, this may not be relevant to this particular thread. My husband told me a long time ago ..we’ve been together for 15 years. That if my boobs were bigger we would have more sex. So, every time it gets to the point of him not doing much initiating I think it is because of this. Leading me to feel insecure. I ask him about it and he denies it. Yet, out in public any time a big breasted woman is around I notice he stares. And, if they are in the neighborhood he sometimes even has made friends. So, what do I do in this case? Impossible to talk to him about it ..he gets defensive. Or compares me ..making jokes. Not even realizing his words and feelings ..only reacting. He grew up with pornography. Any thoughts? Thanks!

        Reply
        • Sheila

          Hi Ruth, Wow, that’s really sad. It does sound like your husband’s porn use has impacted the way that he sees sex and the way that he interacts with you. And I’m really concerned that he seeks out large-breasted women to talk with. That’s very odd.

          I think the best thing to do would be to find a mentor couple that you can talk to about this together–a guy who can come alongside your husband and say, “you’re missing out on something amazing because you’ve let porn warp you!”

          My book 31 Days to Great Sex also helps people have these conversations, and it may be worth picking up just so that you can start that conversation in an easier way. I hope that helps!

          Reply
        • Alisha

          Ruth this sounds so similar to my husband. We went through many years each year of him wanting a divorce and even one time physically leaving. He is not a very communicative person and holds much inside till one day just dumps all that he has felt out, and is ready to leave you. This has created much fear and much working on myself to not live in fear of betrayal and him leaving. My husband was exposed to porn at the age of 7. I never new this till 7 years into our marriage, he too has said the same thing as your husband about my breast, and has even said that if I dressed like other woman and got implants I would be noticed more when we are out in public and he wouldn’t look at al the other woman. This is a LIE and comes form the addicted brain. I feel like I maybe also seeing that he could have asbergers, as he is not a social person and is very social in strange ways like you described as well. I have sought help form many counselors and since he refuses to go, and does not believe accountability is anything…I am to the point where counselors seem to not even believe what I am saying, maybe I am blowing it up, as they ask if I am overly sensitive, or one even she said, well why not get implants then!

          Reply
          • Sheila Wray Gregoire

            Alisha, I’m so, so sorry. I really am.

            And if you are going to a counselor who tells you get to implants instead of dealing with the root of the issue (your husband’s sex addiction and checking out other women), then you need to see a different counselor. What your husband is doing is wrong. He is endangering the relationship. And you are worth more than that. I’d recommend reading my book 9 Thoughts That Can Change Your Marriage and the book Boundaries, and then trying to put some boundaries in place. It’s okay to insist that you be treated with respect. It really is.

    • Angie

      Keith, I have to politely disagree with your comment about #3. I have lived with my man for 11 years and he IS lazy, he admitted it! Even when he takes his medication properly, no dice. You probably have a normal need for physical intimacy so you wouldn’t understand. Some men literally just want to sit on the couch and watch tv.

      Reply
  5. SRM

    Grace, I think you are hitting on a very important topic that the church doesn’t want to deal with. I’m not sure the church really wants to deal with sex at all but especially in this context. You have absolutely positively nothing to be ashamed of, you are totally normal. I think many other Christian women feel the same way you do but have been shamed into thinking it’s wrong, that’s really the work of Satan. No different than what he’s doing to men in pornography. Don’t let Satan work on your mind nothing that you’re thinking of doing is sinful or out of God’s will.

    Reply
    • Sheila

      Great point! MANY women have higher sex drives, and it is nothing to be ashamed of at all. And we really do need to better prepare couples that this may be the case!

      Reply
  6. Ashley

    I understand deciding not to get mad about it, but that doesn’t take away the need a woman has to be pursued. I’m pretty low drive, but I still need to know my husband wants me.

    We’ve gone through times when neither of us has had much of a sex drive. Have you done any posts on that? I have initiated at times when I wasn’t really in the mood, although all I could really manage was a verbal suggestion.

    Reply
  7. Kmarie

    I once was told by a pastor that a husband and wife can defile the marital bed. I would like to know how true is this and what are some of the things we could do to defile the marital bed ?

    Reply
    • Chloe

      As far as I know, the only things that can defile it would be using sex as a weapon, using sex to mentally, emotionally, or physically harm your partner, or bringing a third person into your sex life. (Including pornography) Other than that, anything goes, as long as it’s consensual.

      Reply
      • Kmarie

        Ok thanks for your answer chole. This whole conversation was base up on oral sex the pastor say that it is wrong to perform oral sex in your marital bed. Why because the world is doind it and God’s word says to separate yourselves and don’t do wht the worldlians do. But my belief on that if your out there as a young Christian and not married and doing thinking it’s nothing because your not doing intercourse then thats where it is wrong. And i believe what you do in the bedroom stays in the bedroom. Another topic that came up that very evening he the spirit told him that the people are changing god’s ordinance of sex meaning the woman shouldn’t be on top and a man shouldn’t sex a woman from the back because if you looked at the animals they are the ones who sex from the back and why would you sex your wife from the back like a dog so that why it is wrong.

        Reply
        • Sheila

          Wow, that’s really, really odd. I hate it when people start claiming that God only wants one position for all time! Definitely weird. The world also wears clothing; should we not wear clothing? The world eats at restaurants; should we not eat at restaurants? That’s really a stretch, what your pastor said.

          Reply
          • Chloe

            I respectfully agree. I’ve always gone by what the Bible says, and it’s mum on the subject of positions. That’s why my husband and I hope to try as many as we can. I really love your blog, Sheila. Thank you for all you do here?

      • Kortia Cousin

        Couldn’t have said it better myself!!!

        Reply
  8. Kristi

    I just wondered if anyone had thought of the food issue? Soy is very bad for men and can negatively affect children’s reproductive systems, and it’s in EVERYTHING! There are many other additives, hormones etc in our food these days that may be changing us. Just thought someone might want to research that! I know there are lots of herbs that are libido boosters too! God created things to help us in all ways!

    Reply
    • Amy

      What we eat can greatly affect our hormones, so thanks for bringing that up. And yes, soy is a horrible food which greatly affects both men and women. Men shouldn’t be consuming it at all. Being out of shape can affect things as well as not getting enough rest. Lifestyle plays a big part in our sex lives. And while there are supplements that are a waste of money there are also some beneficial ones. My husband is older now and suffers at times from getting or maintaining an erection so we bought some L Arginine and a multi-supplement that both help with blood flow issues and it’s greatly helped!

      Reply
  9. Paul Byerly

    Sheila,

    All good,m but the first one is huge. We met with a small group last week and two of the three husbands said they still very much want sex but are done asking for it. They have been doing the asking for years and years, and getting no most of the time, and they are done putting themselves out there to be refused or given excuses.
    This aside, men want to know their wife wants sex, and her asking is a sure sign she does. Some men would rather have far less sex and wait for her to prove she is also interested.

    Reply
  10. Ruthie

    Thanks for this post, Sheila.
    Also, I think it’s worth pointing out that communication is really important here. Not too long ago we went through a season where I felt like I was doing all of the initiating. I eventually broached the subject with him and explained how I felt. Interestingly, He explained that he also felt like he was doing most of the initiating too!! We definitely saw the funny side of that and decided that more sex initiated by both parties was in order! I’m sharing this experience because I want to point out that sometimes you may FEEL like you’re doing all the initiating but is that really reality? Talk to your spouse about it and you may find that they feel the same way. Learning to trust your spouse to love you and take care of you in every area while you love and take care of them in every area is worth it.

    Reply
    • Sheila

      We’ve had something similar happen in our marriage, too! Too funny!

      Reply
  11. Martin

    Sheila, let me give a different perspective from a mans point of view. I LOVE my wife, she is the most beautiful, sexiest woman on the earth to me. This is both our second marriages as both of our ex’s had affairs and moved on. We have been married almost 6 years and have a child together that will be 4 soon. We also have mine and hers to make 4 total. Two live with the other parent so only 2 in our house full time. Our sex life is like most on here, hot at first, baby came, things settled down. Momma is tired, taking care of everyone, yada yada. Same story as most on here. I am a high sex drive person, my wife is now a very very low sex drive person. We have sex about once every week to week and a half and 95% of the time its her who says “we have about 10 minutes and then Ill be asleep”. Yes I take her up on each opportunity but in those instances she is offering me sex to just satisfy me. She is not into it, she wants it to hurry up and be over. There in lies my problems. I want the intimacy, I want the connection, I want to make her feel good, and by her just wanting to appease me and get it over with thats not happening. I stopped pursuing her a while back. I still tell her every day how beautiful I think she is and how much she means to me. I even try to flirt at times with her to try to spark something to no avail. I don’t want the rejection but I do want my wife. So I would say a lot of men feel the same as I do, we want our wives, we want to make love to them, we want the passion and connection that a sexual encounter with the woman we love most in the world brings to us. It also hurts when we try to communicate about sex and passion and connection and all the woman hears “we don’t have sex enough”! To me its not about how much, to me its more about quality. I wouldn’t have any problem with 3-4 times a month if she was into it and relaxed and passionate about it. Its just really hard to pursue someone for something and know that they don’t want to. Even if they do it sometimes just to appease you.

    Reply
    • Frankie

      I think most wives know we like sex and yearn for intimacy but don’t realize the impact it has on our daily lives. When my desire for intimacy is full filled I can conquer the world. When I feel starved it is hard to focus on tasks that need to be done. There is also a difference in the level of her participation and how it affects my “needs”. When my wife is an enthusiastic participant I “need” less sex or am ok with longer intervals than when just her body shows up.
      This quote was pulled from another guest poster that pretty much sums it up for me.

      “But as far as needs go, physical intimacy is so important to him that if that need is not met the whole of him is affected; and if it is met, that fulfillment trickles down to all other parts of his life.”.

      Reply
    • E

      Try some gentle kisses on her neck and back or touch her hair. The scalp is sensitive and it feels nice when my husband plays with my hair. Also, give her a light massage when she’s not too tired and won’t just fall asleep. (Maybe do this on a getaway weekend instead of during the week.) Super light massages always work for me, I can get in the mood very fast. You can just start at her back and can go down to her thighs, etc. Just don’t “get to the point” too fast. Pay attention to her reactions. She might just get “impatient”… 😉

      Reply
      • Amy

        E, I love the way you think! 🙂

        Reply
    • Sweetie

      Please try helping her a bit with the household chores or with your children. That way, she may not be so tired and may be more interested in “having fun” with you.

      Reply
  12. Mrs. Cox

    I enjoyed the insightful article . However, the most common reason for men not initiating sex, or desiring their wives is the wide spread issue of pornography addiction in our society. Albeit, I do agree with your article, because self pleasuring with porn is both rooted in selfishness and laziness. Indeed, it’s selfish for a husband to deny his wife, and have sex with himself, and it is the lazy option, as well, because there is no motivation for these men to please their wives or pursue them. Eventually they are so caught up in their fantasy land, they lose all love and desire for their wives, and they become spiritually and emotionally bankrupt.

    Reply
  13. CJ

    Exactly! Great response. Ever since the dawn of the Internet some of these men have GOTTEN LAZY sexually. They beat off to porn and have no concept of foreplay anymore or truly taking care of their wives. How would they like it if women decide to get caught up in porn everyday and please them own selves and leave their husbands out flapping in the wind? Shoe on the other foot. I’m so sick and tired of hearing about pooooor wooo as me men that don’t get enough sex or attention. What about women! We have needs too. Some men are just lazy and not into it when it comes to actual sex the right way with a woman. Maybe if they stopped messing around with the porn 5 minutes a day they would realize that!

    Reply
  14. Nohope

    As a 50+ year old man who’s never initiated relations I think I fit into the 3rd category Sheila described. I was emotionally incested by my mother. Beside the usual “sex is dirty” and “men only want one thing”, I also was frequently told “sex for women is just a duty”. Those ingrained ideas kept me from any relationship until in my 30’s (when my wife asked me out on a date). She initiated relations, proposed marriage etc. One day my wife announced that she had never enjoyed relations with me, had always felt used by me, and henceforth would never again initiate relations. That was about 10 years ago, so we have not had relations since. I’ve spent pretty much my entire adult life in counseling but have made no progress at all on being able to initiate.

    Reply
    • Amy

      If you have spent that long in counseling and nothing has changed, you are not seeing the right counselors! You can overcome the negative thoughts and words your mother spoke to you. I truly believe that. You just need to keep searching for a better counselor to help you. If they aren’t doing the job then move on to someone else. It would be the same thing as finding the right doctor for your ailment. You aren’t going to stay with a doctor who isn’t going to help you get physically better if you have an illness are you? We shouldn’t accept anything less from a counselor either.

      Reply
  15. Mick

    Reason 1 is very real. Woman have the power to turn men down for years. Then that power shifts to the men Its a true sexual compromise where no one is happy.

    Reply
  16. Seun

    It’s difficult to be the one who almost always have to initiate intimacy. About 90% of the time. I’m 10yrs in our marriage and I’ve complained about it many times & It’s embarrassing if you have to keep talking about it. Even when I do, he doesn’t take me that serious. If I do initiate it, I sometimes get it but I hate having to. I did mention it to him that I wanted sex and was hoping he would start off when we get to bed at night but no, he just slept of which is frustrating. I’m at the stage of my life now that I just want to give up and not even bother anymore.
    He used to (don’t know if he still does) watch porn earlier when we got married and maybe that’s why. He also enjoys playing games and watching movies which I see him spend most of his extra time doing.
    I have also watched porn b4 just to get some release (I know it’s wrong) and told him I did maybe it’ll make him realise I have needs but naaaa. Still nothing from him. Sometimes when I initiate it, he days he’s tired. I just feel sooooo tired. Don’t know if i can be strong enough to keeput initiating.
    Seeing this post is almost a year old says it’s a problem many people face. Atleast it’s good to know I’m not alone.

    Reply
  17. Shan

    We are going on our 2nd yr of marriage. We have been together 5 yrs. I iniate 99 percent of the time but am getting fearful as at times my husband is complaining about my orally pleasing him not feeling good cuz I don’t stay on the spots that feel the best. I became seriously sick a few years back and we did not even sleep together for about 8 months. I dealt with my liver failure and the fact I was given 3 months to live by myself. I was truly blessed and pulled out of this sickness. I moved back to our bedroom and had no drive. Clearly frustrating for us both. I finnally for the sake of our relationship I started to iniate things and try to get things back to how they were before I got sick. We were distant but we started to have sex weekly. My husband use to grab me and hug me thibgs of this nature and this all changed. Well other problems have arisen and he never and I mean very rarely comes on to me. This is making me insecure and I feel unwanted so I question him all the time what’s wrong and if he still loves me. This man is my dream and I need to stop the questions but I don’t feel good abt myself. Now because of how he’s complained abt the oral sex I’m afraid to do it cuz he gets so frustrated. We cannot really afford to get therapy but I think we need help before we fall apart..so many issues at this time but this is one of the biggest. Any suggestions for a therapist that is free or any site we could seek for help?

    Reply
  18. Rebekah Widener

    Thank you for the article, Sheila. What’s your advice for women whose husbands are never “in the mood” to have sex?

    Reply
      • Rebekah

        I wish this article could help but my husband doesn’t seem to have any of these problems. We’ve only been married for about 10 months and we’re both fairly young. My husband doesn’t ever initiate and gets very irritated when we do. It’s so easy to get insecure and angry about this problem.

        Reply
  19. HC

    This is a great site! I wished my wife would read through it. On this topic, I don’t try to initiate anymore and haven’t for years. My wife and I haven’t had sex in 10 years (married for 30) and I became so despondent over her rejections that I gave up. She simply has either no interest in sex or no interest in sex with me. Our sex life during the first few years was great but slowly tapered off until it became one of little frequency (one or twice a month, then less, then nothing). I deployed to Iraq for a year in 2009 and still haven’t gotten “the homecoming”. I have kept myself fit and have done my best to remain physically attractive. We/I have tried counseling, having her get physical exams, doing all I could to “romance” her…but nothing. She simply has no interest and either does not understand or care that this is a HUGE deal for me. Otherwise, we’ve had what everyone looking in would say is a happy marriage. I’ve been a great provider, she’s taken care of the home, and we do everything together like best friends. She IS my best friend. But she does not see my need for intimacy as a priority or how serious it is to me. We have discussed this subject for endless hours and she always says she will change or do something to help the situation but never follows through. Simply put, she simply doesn’t care about me or my feelings on this topic anymore. I have had many opportunities to cheat but have remained faithful and will not cheat. I love her but have decided to get a divorce when our son goes to college this summer and it will be a complete shock to friends, family, and our church. She has no clue that I have this planned but I am done. I will not live the rest of my days in a sexless marriage or become a man whose only sexual outlet is porn. If she still loved me she would want to be intimate with me, right? My vows did NOT include being celibate (unless she was physically unable, different situation) and if my salvation is at stake then I can only pray for forgiveness.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Hi HC,

      I’m so sorry for this! So sorry. Can I recommend something, though? Before you go through with a divorce, can you get your wife to go to counselling? Like tell her, “unless you go to counselling, I will be instituting divorce proceedings.” You can even separate if you need to. But I think sometimes people need to see the consequences of their actions and they need a chance to change. So drawing a line in the sand may do it. And I would take a couple that you’re friends with and let them in on what’s going on and what you’re planning, so that THEY can talk to her and make her see. I just think to up and leave would mean that everyone would blame you. And she would likely be blindsided. But by other people understanding the dynamic and putting pressure on her to do something, it may get better? Just a thought.

      Reply
      • Amy

        Yeah but be careful with that because I tried that with my husband and because his mother had been married 3 times, divorce was never an option for him and when I threatened him with that he blew up at me and now is holding a grudge for even thinking that.

        Reply
    • kenneth

      I gave up, also, HC, just one too many times of ” I just don’t feel up to it!”, showed me the light and I no longer ask my OWN wife for sex.Really embarassaing, but to keep the peace, just forget it and live life.

      Reply
  20. Rejected

    My relationship feels like Groundhog Day. Ive brooched this topic so many times over the years with raw vulnerability, and yet nothing changes. I feel so done. I actually can’t bring myself to talk about it again. Just the idea of that conversation on repeat again makes me want to vomit.

    Its now been 7 or 8 months since we’ve had any form of intimacy that could be seen as vaguely marital. That includes just cuddling in bed.

    Like HC, my husband is a great friend of mine. But he betrayed me deeply by secretly doing porn for 10 years while also blatantly rejecting my advances – it was too much work with a real person, it seems.

    I thought once I discovered the real reason that things would be different – he is not self satisfying now, but still rejection. This is grief upon grief.

    While I am fiercely loyal, I really can’t imagine going on like this. Meanwhile, while I walk through this hollow marriage, he is oblivious. I guess he thinks if I don’t talk about it I am happy with the marriage. The reality, I’m not in the marriage anymore. So heartbroken.

    Reply
  21. G

    I just wanted to add to the “lazy” part. In my case my husband was hurt by a lot of things in his childhood which caused him to seek fulfillment in wrong places which caused a porn addiction. And that causes a multitude of problems excluding him not wanting sex and making me feel guilty or a horn dog for wanting to be intimate. Thank God that he came and told me the truth about his addiction after 6yrs of being together and now things are looking up. Sex is still an issue for us his drive is perking up some what. But I still have to start things

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I am glad that he came clean! That’s so important. When you know the truth of what’s really going on, then you can start to deal with it together! I know it’s a rough road, but it’s better to be on this side!

      Reply
  22. Nikki

    Thank you for this article. I am young, only 24, and my husband is 30. We’ve been married for two years and my husband never initiates. I never noticed this when we were dating, because I feel like it was always a natural escalation to sex. Now, not so much. I honestly don’t feel wanted sexually at all, yet all I can think of is wanting sex with my husband. I can’t even tell you the number of times I’ve been rejected in the past week.

    We are down to only having sex once a week at the most. We recently went an entire month without sex. Each time it has been me to initiate.

    I’ve brought up my feelings with him about this several times, each time with him getting irritated, saying that sex is not everything in a marriage (I know it’s not EVERYTHING, but it’s still very important IMO) and not to worry, he’s still attracted to me. He loved to cuddle, but I crave sex-not only cuddling.

    I honestly don’t know what to do and I fantasize about being wanted sexually all the time now.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I’m so sorry, Nikki! I think in these situations it’s important to get to the WHY. Why doesn’t he want sex? Once a month, for a guy, is really abnormal. So is it a testosterone issue? Is it that he’s used porn and he can’t aroused by a person anymore? Is he masturbating in secret? I don’t mean to be alarmist, but many women find that their husbands had sexual addictions which are killing their husbands’ sex drives. I talk about that in this blog post on why some men don’t want sex, and it may help you. If it’s nothing like that, if he just has a low sex drive, then many women find that scheduling sex helps, if he’ll agree to that. I know it’s not romantic, but it can also jump start his libido!

      Reply
    • Amy

      Walk around in a matching push up bra and panty set and or a sexy babydoll dress and see if he ignores you then. Don’t pursue him or touch him. See if he will approach you. Most men are turned on by that. If he’s not, he does have some issues that need to be addressed.

      Reply
  23. Susan

    To be completely honest I find this post very unfair. Most of the reasons why you state he might not initiate sex (statistically shown or not) are all pointing ringers at the wives. I think you should have included advice from a different perspective.

    For example, I have always had a higher libido, my husband and I were extremely sexually active in our first few years. But in the last year he just stopped initiating and claims he is just tired or doesn’t think about it anymore. I’ve never denied him sex when he wanted it because I’m always ready to go. We’ve talked about it countless times and he hasn’t changed or started initiating.

    My point is, is that there are women out there dealing with husbands who won’t initiate sex and it’s not our fault. Do you have any additional posts that would give advice to that type of woman? Thanks.

    Reply
  24. Amy

    “If your husband doesn’t initiate sex, but if he tends to be good to go if you initiate it, then is it really a huge deal?”

    Excuse me? Yes it is a big deal because of the man is interested, he needs to show that in his actions by initiating every once in awhile. Every woman wants to feel desired and pursued. When she’s not, it makes her question his love for her. I know from experience that for most of my marriage I’ve had to do the initiating and it puts all the work and effort on me and it shouldn’t be that way. I’ve actually had to tell my husband that one of my fantasies has been him taking me to the bedroom and laying me down on the bed and him taking my clothes off along with his, pinning my hands/arms to the bed with his hands and just coming at me with full passion. He hasn’t done it yet but he’s getting there!

    Reply
  25. Priya

    What if husband witholds from sex?
    My husband initiates sex once in a while! I have never said no to him since the day we married! Why should I, when I hardly get a chance? He always witholds or declines whenever I initiate, lets say 8/10 times I do. Hence I feel rejected everytime. He has gone to the extent of telling me that I forced myself upon him once which broke my heart as I just thought he was being stoic as usual. The problem is he is unable to express his emotions especially love! So i start feeling he is into this relation just for name. I am just his responsibility and not his love.

    Trust me he is a great husband when it comes to helping with kitchen chores or houselhold chores and taking care of our needs as a family provider. But he is also the kind who wouls ask an apology if he dashes into me unknowingly while walking in the house!

    Even during sex he is so restrained and would not use his hands to touch me or caress me anywhere. Its more or less like I have just 10 minutes and lets get it done! I have tried talking to him and explained to him my needs but then again after few days back to square one. Every time I initiate his body becomes stiff. He wouldnt indulge in the normal cuddling kissing hugging thing daily as he thinks it leads to something else. He did behave like having Sex is sin initially….when I explained why marriages then happened?
    He suffers from OCD (cleanliness freak)and is an overthinker of sorts analyses things on and on.

    Though I just have got used to it now after a decade into this marriage, it hurts. I do feel rejected and feel its not my choice but he is the one who decides when we should do it. We dont even exchange passionate kisses or cuddles aftermaking out. He jumps out of the bed to take bath and done. I feel not so good about it and recently I have been struggling with my libido as I feel like jumping his bones every other minute but I am scared to approach him.
    I never seem to finish or get some satisfaction from our session. I feel wanting for more that I end up thinking there is some fault in me. We were sexually very compatible during intial days of marriage. But now it has fizzled out and no matter how hard I try he never gives in leaving me feeling horrible.

    He never watches porn or even any adult films or shares such jokes with me. He certainly is not involved with another woman though he does say he is stressed at work. He is always working and even at home helping with chores instead of spending time with me and our child. he doesnt have friends and doesnt go out much. Doesnt gym or workout. and hardly has sex! Basically he never vents out but he is short tempered. He is never jealous when I interact with other men nor too possessive which is good. He never bothers where I go what i do as far as there is food for him in the kitchen.

    Do u have any advise for me? Maybe how can I turn down my libido a bit. Maybe that should help right?

    Reply
  26. Jen

    Thank you for this! #3 explains him exactly! It’s not just sex but pretty much his life in general! I’ve tried to get him to go to counseling as I thought he was depressed but this explanation fits better.

    Reply
  27. James

    I have been turned down too many times when it comes to sex. We have been married 35 years. We are in our sixties. If this part of our marriage dies, so be it.

    Reply
  28. Jess

    I normally don’t comment on things like this however I feel that number 3 is hitting home for me. I’ve noticed in the 3 years we’ve been married that my husband has a really hard time with getting things done that are important- even at work. I’m scared to point it out because he really is having a hard time with loving himself. I know that he had a hard childhood growing up with his parents off and on relationship practically his whole life, so it makes me wonder if the underlying issue is about not receiving love from either of his parents. Every time I bring up the issue about sex he says the problem is that he’s just too stressed and having a hard time loving himself. No matter how much we talk about it, nothing ever changes. I don’t know how to bring up the conversation of number 3 being a possibility. He would probably be hurt that I think he’s lazy. I long so much for this connection with him, it’s really hard for me to hear all the time about the women whose husbands want sex all the time. How do I bring up this conversation?

    Reply
  29. Pete

    As a man, I can honestly say I’ve given up. To be told by my wife she is always in the mood no matter what time of the day, but never initiates with me makes me feel self conscious. Everyone wants to feel sexy to the significant other. So in 4 years you realize the only sex you have had was because you initiated, it can be depressing. I wonder all the time what is wrong with me.

    Reply
    • Cami

      And you have brought this up to her? Though it could be selfish, but maybe she just isn aware how you feel about this. I have told my husband, but no changes so I don’t have advice if you have brought it up.

      Reply
  30. Marina

    My husband complains about not enough sex. Even if it’s one day missed. It gets exhausting and makes me not want it already. On top of it he will never initiate any romance. No kissing no hugs , no foreplay nothing. It’s really hard to get excited or in the mood when your the only one initiating it all yet getting complaints that it’s never enough. I have asked for him to do more but he is so against it . To the point he expects me to “guide” him in things I like. It’s been 7 years and he knows what to do and has before in past without having me say anything or “guide” him. I don’t know how else to explain my feelings to him without him getting angry.

    Reply
  31. Go Giants

    Here’s another take that I’m not sure you have addressed regarding frequency and libido.

    I put my wife first. Intimately, I make sure she is satisfied in a way that works for her. She is capable of orgasm and climax (multiple times). We know how her body works and I am all in! I listen to her desires and make sure to please her in a way that works for her.

    She knows what I desire as well. We are mutually willing to meet each other’s needs and desires!

    Frankly put, when we are intimate, it’s spicy and great. We both are satisfied.

    I think the main issue is libido and frequency, but I feel there is another angle here.

    My lack of initiation is wrapped up in that situation because she has also told me on multiple occasions that she can also take it or leave it. It’s a conundrum for me. In the moment she is all in, but she also says she doesn’t desire it as much as me.

    My problem is the “good guy approach “ I have begun to believe that I’m actually asking her to do something that she doesn’t desire.
    I don’t believe I’m asking for extremes, I just believe I’m asking her to do some thing that ultimately she doesn’t desire. So, why even ask?

    Example: Baseball. I don’t like baseball games. I never think to buy tickets and go to a game. But, when I do go, I have a ball! I eat the food. Drink the beer. Stand in the 7th inning and sing the songs. Cheer for my team. Feel the rush of a grand slam or a stolen base. I love it when I’m there.
    But my wife knows that I don’t actually like the thought of going. It takes time to drive, park, stand in line, etc… Live baseball is fine, but if I never go to another game again, I’m fine with that. However, I know that if I go to another game I know I will love it too!

    So my wife never asks or suggests going to a baseball game. She knows I’m just not into it. She doesn’t initiate buying baseball tickets. I think she would enjoy going weekly.

    That’s how I feel about my wife regarding sex. I promise you that every time we are intimate, she gets a grand slam bench clearing homerun. I make certain her “team wins” because I want to come back to more games throughout the season. We both focus on each other.

    But with sex I never think to initiate with her because she has had the same attitude I have with baseball. I know she will love it but she has verbally said she’s happy with one once or twice a season.

    It’s a classic: I want more and she’s good with less.

    Regarding numbers: I would be great 1-2x per week and she is more than satisfied 1x/ month.

    So it’s not really a fear of rejection, it’s not really laziness either, it’s kindness and knowing my wife doesn’t desire this part of our marriage as much as I do.

    Yet, I am still often accused of not initiating, and I feel stuck. Why would I ask her to do some thing she has told me multiple times is not on her radar.

    I’m not sure if I’ve heard you address this on your blog. It’s slightly nuanced. I actually see my lack of initiation as a careful understanding of my wife.

    And before you ask, I can still be frustrated in that kindness. I definitely want more baseball.

    Otherwise, we have a healthy marriage, family and ministry.

    Reply
  32. FR

    In many of the above comments one of the partner (often the husband) stopped initiating and consequently no sex happened in decade(s). Do you have any hindsight, how the other partner feels or thinks? Is he/she missing anything? Is she/he believing everything is fine? Is he/she actually happy of the situation?

    Reply
  33. Terry

    Interesting comments and article. I think there is a huge disconnect as to what damage has been done here. Let me put it to you this way:

    Imagine you (wife) want to talk with your spouse (husband). You know, share your thoughts, unwind, connect and be reassured. Sounds nice right? You approach your husband and before you had a chance to say a word he says, “I know that look. Before you even think about talking to me I need you to go to work (for 8 hours+), mow the lawn, clean out the garage, do the dishes, the laundry then help me with the kids. Then after that we can have a chat. And when we DO talk, I need you to say the things I like and say them at the right time… and don’t rush the conversation. Oh, and by the way, in the back of my mind I’m critiquing the quality of our dialogue.” Ok, you think no problem. You go away and check all those things off the list. You get the end of the day and you curl up on the couch together ready to share your day and really connect, but your husband slightly grimaces and says, “Oh, I’m sorry, not tonight. Maybe some other time. I’m just so tired and I just want to unwind by watching hockey on ESPN”. Well, days go by and you’re bursting to share your feelings. So, he finally relents and says, “fine, make it quick and use short words so I don’t have to think about what you’re saying. And don’t take it the wrong way if I only respond with one word answers.”

    Imagine if this actually happened to you. That you could not talk, discuss or have any meaningful conversations with your husband. Now imagine if you could only share those thoughts and feelings with ONLY your husband. You know the one that doesn’t have time for you or is too tired. Oh, and if you were caught sharing these feelings with anyone else (including blog posts or text messages) you would lose half of everything you own and even your children. Would you feel trapped or frustrated after a day? How about a week? Months? Years? Imagine the person you would become after years of this type of treatment from someone who is supposed to love you. And to top it all off, you were seen as selfish if you asked too many times for him to engage in a conversation and that you should go see a therapist where they would say the same thing. Imagine the hurt, pain, and the extreme loneliness you would feel day-in-day-out.

    Then you come here and see these comments. (paraphrasing here) “Husband, tell her that you’re really sorry for not having conversations with her and I know it must of hurt… blah, blah blah.” Oh and if that doesn’t work drag her to a marriage counselor and tell them that she won’t engage in meaningful conversations with me. UGH!!!

    I get it if a husband hasn’t initiated the entire marriage, that’s on him. But if he did initiate and you both loved it and he doesn’t now, apart from physiological changes, you need to take a hard look at yourself. If you read the scenario above and thought the husband was hurtful, abusive, and that you would leave a relationship like that… well? That’s what you have here. This is the damaged you’ve caused. Take RESPONSIBILITY for your actions. It’s going to take more than a sincere apology and a few weeks or months of winning him back. He’s locked away the most vulnerable part of himself and has thrown away the key. The longer you denied him the longer it will take to get him back.

    Men deal with rejection all their life. But when it comes from the person they love the most, it’s just devastating.

    Side note:
    This is why men do not see therapists. They’re treated like a broken toaster. “What’s wrong with your husband.” “He won’t initiate sex anymore after I’ve rejected him for 5 years.” “Hmmm”, the therapist says, “did you say you were sorry?” “Yes of course”. “Then he must be broken because he didn’t forgive you and go back to loving you the way you want.” I know that sounds ridiculous, but I’ve been to a few therapists and have a lot friends in the field and when it comes to sex, it’s alway the mans fault (99 times out of 100) too much… too little… he can’t read my mind… he can’t understand why I’m frustrated with him when he said something hurtful two weeks ago… etc.

    Reply
  34. Kelly

    Yes yes yes
    My husband told me He doesn’t initiate and He doesn’t know why.

    I bet if I worked for it He probably wouldn’t even think to compliment, grab my hand, or etc.

    It’s stressful but even twice a week if He reminded Himself with an alarm….

    I guess the feeling is if it is not something He’s doing that is in His path of His daily life he’s not going to go any further.

    That sounds like locked in selfishness. And who wants to continually grab someones hand or tell them to be more affectionate.

    If you must do all that then its not real..
    Does it really take much?
    I mean really..you forget or is it locked in stubborness.
    I think I need some time to myself…especially since I’m not going no where.

    It’s a need that needs to be met otherwise the natural outcome of thinking is He can’t really love me.

    Because love would want me by meeting my need.
    Who wants a robot…

    Robot hold my hand
    Robot kiss me at 5 o’clock
    Robot Say you love me at 7 every morning.

    Is this even normal?
    Or a form of autism?
    Locked into a world of your own.

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