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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

I just wanted to say, "you're not alone"... I think this situation comes up a lot.  It still doesn't mean it's easy to deal with.

 My sex life is in the same boat.  I'm attracted to my wife, and would love to be intimate with her at least once a week.  But my wife would probably go 6-12 months or more without reaching towards me.

Having to "make the move" every time, in a hundred different sensitive ways.. is exhausting.. and works away at your own self esteem.  You wonder what it is about you, that is fundamentally so unattractive.

Dan Savage is worth looking up, his podcasts speak very frankly about sex and relationships.  He is very practical.  His point is generally that a relationship is an ongoing conversation, it doesn't have to be one type or the other, as long as it works.  But if its not working, it needs to be talked about.

What I feel for you, is that your wife is neglecting a fundamental way that you gain acceptance and self-worth.  If your wife was complaining that you never compliment her, and you continued to refuse to do so... its a similar neglect.  

 What Dan Savage points out, and I think is a very good point, is it doesn't have to be about penis-vagina sex, I presume what you really want is a sexual kind of attention.. not just in-out thankyou mam.  That conversation is hard, and I'm certainly not there yet with my partner.

 Dan Savage even suggests that you might remain committed to the relationship, but agree to seek sex outside the marriage.  That seems a radical concept to me, but I understand where he is coming from.  It's a very practical idea that might just work if everyone agreed.

 I hope you find some of these thoughts useful.

Community Member

Thanks emdan. I know I am not the only one in this situation but it is nice to actually hear that other people are going through the same thing.

My wife would never agree to me having sex with other people. I mentioned it to her a long time ago and she shut it down. I understand why though.

You are right, I am not just interested in quick "in and out" sex, but want the intimacy involved in actually making love. Lately we never even kiss, hold hands or anything.

The other day she sent me an sms and called me her sexy hubby. I said to her that made me feel good and would love it if she would pay me compliments like that more often. She said she will but I guess I will just have to wait and see. She never says stuff like that normally. I think she is sensing that I am feeling lonely and unloved.

Thanks for your post too Pipsy. We actually have 2 kids. We have two sons, aged 3 and 6 weeks. Yes she is tired and I understand that, however our sex issues have been going on far longer than during her pregnancy and since baby came along. Her first pregnancy was a natural birth and she recovered well. The most recent one was a caessarian. I understand that there is a period of recovery involved after a c section.

Hi Steven,

My husband had testicular cancer over 10 years ago. To cut a long story short, he never recovered his sex drive, even when using Viagra and all kinds of medications and aids.

Our sex life stopped. He told me that if he was unable to have sex, then why should I have any pleasure! That is the way it has been. We don't even hold hands anymore, let alone kiss or cuddle. He doesn't even like me to sit next to him on the lounge.

I have tried talking to him over the years, but he says there is nothing to discuss. I feel that he just pushes me away all of the time and then he wonders why I feel depressed and lonely.

End of last year I had a breakdown and ended up in hospital for 2 weeks. I told him I wanted a divorce, that I wanted to leave. He told me we would work things out.

We went to a couple's counsellor once and he thought that was enough. Nothing was really addressed. I am still here, because on my wage I can't afford to live alone. We are in a region where houses take years to sell so that isn't much of an option and neither of us can afford to pay each other out. So we are stuck. Well at least I feel like I am stuck.

I know it is more than the sex and intimacy. We all need to feel like we are loved and wanted, respected and cared for.

Maybe your wife needs some TLC as well. Compliment her, give her a little hug and a kiss on the cheek. Rest your hand on her leg while you are watching t.v. Have contact, but don't make it sexual and see how that goes.

Cheers for now from Mrs Dools


Community Member

Hi again everyone. Nothing has changed and I am becoming more and more frustrated and depressed at just how plain and boring my relationship with my wife has become. I feel we are like two friends living together and looking after two small children. There is no intimacy at all. It has been about 5 months now since we have had sex and the longer it goes on the more isolated and lonely I feel. Don't know what to do.


Community Member

Hi Steven,

I can imagine the frustration you feel with your wife, yes she has just had a baby and the job of caring for two little ones is draining, and I think, as I am a mother to sometimes you feel that you are caring all day for others  and you just want to be left alone to relax, but her withdrawal of even affection is soul destroying, and of course you feel  rejected and unloved, thats a normal feeling, anyone would feel the same way.

You guys are young  and should be enjoying a healthy active sex life , babies and all, if my husband and I wanted sex I would just put the baby in the cot, safe and sound  and enjoy ourselves ,if the baby started crying oh well.... they can wait a few minutes hey, sexual release makes you feel so much better and relaxed and its good for your mental and physical well being, so I made time for it , I didn't just do it for my husband I did it for myself.

Maybe you could get someone to mind the kids, go out for dinner and relax and talk, sometimes the day to day problems get in the way and  we forget about ourselves and our relationship and just to be the two of you, to re connect as a couple, see how that goes, she might feel better to , some time out.

I'm sure if you went outside your marriage for sex, yes you would get that pleasure but at what cost.... is it going to be worth it ? but thats up to you and how long you are willing to wait, I can understand if you did though we all have our breaking points.

Its also the human connection we miss, the touch , the caress, the feeling of being wanted and desired  all completely natural,  the end result is just a bonus.

I wish you good luck, don't blame yourself though, I'm sure she still loves you but has just forgotten how to get that feeling back ,so give her a few reminders .

Take care


Community Member

Hey Steven1

You sound like a really kind and caring person who really is unsure what the best thing to do is. I can only share my story.

I am only now realising how hard it has been for my husband over our 22 year marriage. I love him now more than ever but I found things so hard when we had children - through absolutely no fault of his. My love for him never waned. I did not want him to touch me. There's a million reasons for this, the majority of which coming from me. I was resentful that his life hadn't changed much, but mine did. His career started to take off and mine had become terribly stagnant - it was my choice to stay at home and later return to work on a part time basis. I don't regret any of those decisions. I kind of felt used because I felt like I was doing something for someone else all day. I lost enjoyment in everything. And yes, years later depression was diagnosed and things are so much better now. I also read The 5 Love Languages which helped me realise that how I expressed my love for him was different to how he expressed his love for me. He read the book too.

So in our case - it was no-one's fault. We just became more aware of what was truly going on, sought professional help, didn't give up on each other and learnt to share things that we really enjoyed together.

It ain't easy being married, even when you love them, find them attractive, love your children.

Good luck Steven1. The real world of marriage is the one you create - whatever that turns out to be.


Community Member
Thanks July and Jemimah for your posts. I appreciate your support and advice. I am thinking that I might book in to see a counsellor. I get up to 6 free sessions through work. My past experience with counselling hasn't been great but I haven't got anything to lose so I may as well give it a go.

Hi Steven1,

Hopefully the counselling will be beneficial.

I'm wondering how Mother's Day was in your house?

Have you tried pampering your wife and making her feel like a princess? Is there any one who could take the children for a half day so you can have the time together?

My husband has totally repelled me from his life and does not like any physical touch at all. It has shattered my heart to think our marriage has come to this, so I do understand a bit about how you are feeling.

Let me know if the counsellor comes up with some hints and suggestions!

Cheers from Mrs. Dools

Community Member

Hi Steven1,

I stumbled across your post and am so glad I did. You are definitely not alone! My husband is in the same boat as you and I am in a similar position to your wife (though we only have an 18 month old boy at this stage). We are the same age as you and have been married for 10 years, together for 12. The similarities were kind of freaky as I read through your original post. I had to finish reading it to make sure it wasn't my husband posting this! 

I feel really sorry for you, just as I do for my husband. I don't have answers, but am hoping that by sharing my thoughts you might get the same kind of insight into your wife's perspective as I got into my husband's perspective through reading your post.

I gather that in the last 5 months that you haven't had sex your wife has been heavily pregnant and in the postnatal period. I can say that it gets pretty uncomfortable at the end of pregnancy, apart from how absolutely exhausted she must be feeling chasing a toddler and now caring for a newborn as well. I can imagine your frustration, but she needs your support, understanding and patience to get her through this time with her sanity intact.


Community Member

My husband is a fantastic support and gets up at night, shares chores whenever he's home etc., but I still felt absolutely exhausted until my baby was 10 months old and slept through most nights. We probably had sex once or twice a month in that time (and have only just started stepping it up further) because I knew how important it was in a relationship, not because I ever felt like it.

I want to say that I absolutely love him and am so grateful that he is the father of my child, but I just don't feel like having sex most of the time since I've had my baby. We don't have time for it in the morning before our baby wakes up and by the time we get around to it at night I'm usually too exhausted and just want to crawl into bed to SLEEP. I find it hard to get myself in the mood because I'm just thinking about how soon I can get to bed and what I need to do to make that happen. I don't feel like being physically active when I'm that tired and I have constant lists running through my head about all the things I have to do as a mother and 'house keeper'.

Being a mother in the early years can be all consuming and it's really hard to switch from being 'mum' to 'wife' and especially 'lover'. I'm not justifying it and I think if it goes on too long it will be extremely detrimental to the relationship, but I'm trying to explain how it feels to be wanted in so many different ways (physical, emotional, sexual, practical) by different people. Your 'me time' becomes showering and going to the toilet with the door closed if you're lucky! 

I totally understand you feeling like you are just house mates looking after your kids because I often feel the same way. I just wasn't sure what to do about it because I really felt like the problem was with me. I wanted to change the dynamic and bring the romance back, but I honestly just didn't like him touching me, kissing me or giving me any physical affection. The exception was hugging, and especially snuggling in bed at night. This brought me comfort and helped me feel safe and loved without the pressure of sex or romance.