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My wife isn't the least bit interested in sex and I am taking it personally. Should I?

Community Member

Hey guys. I am hoping I am not the only guy in this boat... my wife never wants to have sex with me. We are still relatively young (I am 30 and she is 29) and we have been married 4 years, been together about ten. We used to have a pretty active sex life but it has gone dormant since we had kids about 3 years ago. She always says she is tired and makes excuses like she can't be bothered or other trivial things. And she never comes on to me. I always have to initiate it and I feel rejected and horrible when she knocks me back.

Being depressed and having low self esteem probably makes it seem worse, but I take it pretty badly being knocked back and going without sex for months. I feel maybe she isn't attracted to me or in love with me anymore but she denies this. I don't know what to think anymore. Any thoughts anyone?


173 Replies 173

Community Member

Steve, firstly good luck. You are in a very difficult position. In your position, it would be easy to slide down the rabbit hole and end up in a really bad place mentally and physically. So my first bit of advice is - don't. You need to look after your own mental and physical health as a priority so that you can be a good father to your children and have a long and fulfilling life. Whether your wife is part of that life is really up to her, as you can't control her response and actions.

You will hear a lot of people give advice as to how you can "win" the love and affection of your wife back. That is all very well, but in my experience, it almost never works. Unless your wife has a physical or hormonal ailment, which is possible, she doesn't want sex with you either because you have behaved badly and treated her poorly for years (I am assuming not, but...) or she is just not interested, either in you specifically or in men generally. Alternatively, she just may be not too thrilled with her life, either because of her upbringing (what is her mother like?) or because I've isn't working out like she had hoped (whose has?) The sooner that everyone identifies where the issues lie and with whom, the better.

Talk to her about it all and see if you can both have counselling, but separately, at least at first. If she says no, that is an answer. Tell her how a lack of sex makes you feel and ask her what her solution is. If she says that it is all your problem, that is an answer. If she gives you a shopping list of your defects, then, whether it is accurate or not, you have the real answer.

Ask her if it is reasonable that one partner effectively has to remain celibate because the other one is not interested? The reality is, you might never have sex again, which is ridiculous. Most people would agree. However, in my experience, sex is a byproduct of a good relationship, but without it, the relationship falls apart, so there is a bit of "Catch 22" there. Quite simply, sex is a Criticality 1 Item - its failure almost always results in total failure of the system.

I think that a sexless marriage is the worst thing that someone can inflict on someone else. It is cruel and manipulative in the extreme, whether intentional or not. Some people do, however, use it as a tool to force their partners out of a relationship. That is just the reality.

Don't wait too long to find out the why of all this. And if it is not salvageable, just let it go (so set a timeframe).


Hi everybody

I know this is an old thread and I have read it front to back. I am in the same situation. The last time my wife was intimate with me and initiated it was in November of 2018. I am feeling all the hurt that everybody else has experienced above. My wife has had kids to a previous husband and the kids are all in their 20's. It hurts when I become the butt of their jokes in regards to the sexless marriage.

I'm not the perfect husband, and we both work. But 90% of the time, after working up to 12 hours a day I ensure that my wife dinner is ready for her when she gets home, and I do help out around the house to a significant degree. Ive tried the intimacy thing but it is all generated by me and usually receives an average response.

I'm sad, cranky, and sometimes not the best guy to be around. I have tried raising the issue with my wife in varying ways from trying to find out whats going on to the point of asking if she's interested in me anymore. I feel lonely. I feel that my wife doesn't want to spend time with me or be intimate with me. I have thought about other women, but reconcile myself with the fact that at the end of the day following that path only results in everybody getting hurt, which I don't think anybody deserves.

I honestly don't know what to do. This is Catch 22, or as Murphys law of combat operations state "Anything you do can get you shot, including doing nothing" This is slowly eating me alive to the point where I am literally having an anxiety attack while writing this post.

Apologies for the book, but at least its out there now. I need to do something.

I've just been reading the posts from people who are concerned and frustrated with a spouse who has made the decision to no longer include ANY physical and emotional connection in the marriage or relationship.  I am lost for words, frustrated, angry, depressed and feel Iam not supported or respected in our marriage of 30 years. We have 5 children 15 to 25 yo and a great home in the suburbs. Life was great, marriage and communication were no issues up until about the time I was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in 2018 and I noticed a change in my wife's demeanor towards me over about a 12 month period. Right now she avoids sex, intimacy, talking about it or seeing a welfare or other health professional, in past discussion she has blamed my need for physical connection on Parkinson's meds which can occur and I was well aware of this. NOTE: This is not me having a winge but it's difficult when you are in this position of your wife losing emotional intelligence, respect for you, undermining you, talking over the top of you in conversation and just being nasty to you. I have had a gutfull and looking at exit strategies but I know it will cost me a fortune and most importantly playing on my mind is it will fracture the family home bubble. But I am at the stage where I am not liking my wife as a person and I am just nodding my head and saying Yes to keep the peace. Not sure how long I keep up the charade, am I a gutless husband by not bringing it to an outcome (I have tried but my wife turns it around and gets angry)

Any thoughts based on experience would be helpful.


Hi Steve the retired firefighter with Parkinsons,

Welcome to the forums, and thank you for sharing here. Sharing with others here can be a great step towards feeling better.

Hopefully our community will spot your post soon, but we'd also like to suggest starting a thread of your own if you’d like to share more of your story and your perspectives. You can find some advice on how to do so by clicking here: starting a thread

Thanks again for sharing, it’s not always easy so we hope you can be proud of having taken this step.

Kind regards,

Sophie M