My wife has no interest in sex
I have now been married for 32 years and our sex life is virtually non existent. When we first met everything about our relationship was terrific. I suppose I should have seen the warning sign when she told me that once the honeymoon period was over I was not to expect the same frequency of sexual activity. The warning came to fruitition shortly after we married and since then it has declined to the stage that we do not make love for up to a year. I understand that when she put on a lot of weight after the birth of our children that she felt ashamed of her body, but I still felt desire for her. A few years ago she had a stomach band opperation shortly followed by a tummy tuck.She now has her sexy figure back but still has no interest in sex.I feel so depressed/frustrated/angry that after going through the operations to look and feel better that she still has no interest in sex.It seems that the only time that she is interested is if we go on holiday or spend a night away in a hotel.As much as I love my wife I do not know how much longer I can stay in a marriage that has no intimacy. All our children are adults and have moved on and into good relationships.She has now purchased a few animals who she shows emended amount of affection to which is also making it more depressing. I have told her how I feel and she tells me that if I feel like making love she will try to get into the mood. 50% of the time she still knocks me back as she is either not in the mood or feels tired.I am now so depressed about our relationship and lack of intimacy that I now don’t approach her anymore intimately. To top it all off I now have Peyronies disease and have asked her if she could help me relieve/ cure the problem. She has only done it once which I felt was more out of interest than anything else. We both suffer from stress at work which I accept adds to the problem.
I have no idea where to go from here.
I'm guessing you are expecting a more detailed response given the detail you have provided but I think it's simply a case of going to a psychologist together. If you can't do that go to one yourself and talk them them about it.
Thoughts other than that... touch and intimacy are important. I can understand your frustration. It would be good if you can talk to each other about how you feel, keeping in mind that some feelings we have to accept ourselves rather than expecting others to change. But in this case you might find some sort of compromise.
Also a psychologist will go into it but the lack of sex may be a symptom more than a problem. How are you two with emotional intimacy? There may well be other things you have to work on, either individually or together.
Hi The Woodman
I hear your frustration and guarantee my husband can relate to it.
Being a 48yo woman, I'll throw around a few ideas which may give you some possible insight. By the way, WNUORN offers some great advice in regard to considering seeing someone for guidance. If you do seriously consider the idea, perhaps you could say to your wife something like 'I feel like we're growing apart a little and I want to find ways where we can reconnect'. You don't need to mention the sex aspect, I imagine it will eventually come up in the sessions anyway. Okay, so, ideas:
- We can be a little like rabbits in our earlier years (in regard to frequency) yet, as hormones change, the need to reproduce can diminish (more so for women). Of course, the 'no need to reproduce' aspect becomes more evident later in a woman's life, once she goes through menopause and can no longer actually reproduce, physically. So, could be a hormone issue perhaps. Stress can also throw our system out of balance.
- Low self-esteem can be evident on a number of fronts, the bedroom included. Not sure if the surgery was solely health related or was related to low self-esteem. If it was due to the latter, self-esteem issues are possibly still there, remaining unaddressed. Pets can be great for our self-esteem, as they don't judge or leave us doubting our self (we see our self as unconditionally loved by another and there are no expectations, other than being fed or walked).
- Wondering what is different in regard to your wife's interest, when you go away. I personally find going away to be an escape from the mundane routine of life, it's exciting in more ways than one (gets the neurons and chemistry fired up in our head). Also wondering if these adventures involve alcohol. Does you wife only drink when you go on a romantic escape? Alcohol does have a way of lowering our inhibitions.
- I suppose the #1 question would have to be 'What does sex or intimacy mean to your wife?' How does she perceive it. Finding this out might give you some of the answers you're looking for as well as providing you both with some direction.
I really feel for you, as when we're not on the same page as our partner it can definitely throw a spanner in the works. As mentioned, give some consideration to speaking to someone who can help shed some light on how you can both grow closer, especially given the situation and your frustration. They will address many possibilities so you both come to be on the same page.
Take care TW
Something I forgot to mention involves a conversation I had with my husband not too long ago. I mentioned to him that if the only excitement or stimulation that happens in our relationship happens behind closed doors, then it's hard for me to remain interested in our relationship. Harsh, I know but it remains the truth. When I'm mentally stimulated, I'm generally an excited and enthusiastic person all 'round. This angle may not relate to your relationship but just thought it worth a mention.
As I said to my other half, as we evolve together through adding ventures to our relationship, the marriage becomes one of exciting adventure (like with trips away together).
The other commenters have given some good advice. I especially applaud The Rising for her thoughtful detail.
As a 47yo woman who lost interest in sex years ago, I can say from my experience it is likely a symptom of deeper problems in the relationship. Fluctuating hormones and stress definitely do not help, but ultimately if I felt emotionally connected to my husband I would have been more willing to have intimacy with him anyway, as I was in the beginning. We have always had a slight mismatch in libido, one which yawned into a great chasm as time went on and resentments festered.
It's not easy for a woman to want sex when she is emotionally distant from her partner. So sit down and have a good think about your emotional connection. Is it still there? Is it mutual? If you're not sure, you need to ask your wife where she is emotionally. Is she holding onto old hurts? Does she feel supported? It sounds like you don't feel supported, and so maybe she feels that way too. How does she actually feel about sex? Does it bring her pleasure (physical or emotional pleasure), or does she just do it for you? You might be surprised how many women see it as an obligation, and that is not necessarily your doing. There are wider societal messages we receive that teach women they aren't supposed to want sex and that becomes a part of who we are whether we know it or not. Your wife's lesser interest is probably a lot more complex than you think.
Like I said, the best place to start is to check in with her emotionally. This can be done without a counsellor, but it can be a hard topic to raise, I know. A counsellor can help you raise it, if your wife agrees to see one.
Wish you the best - GW
Hi Woodman and welcome to the forums,
Curiously enough I feel somewhat different to the other members who have replied (although some points such as a need for intimacy I agree with). I'm a woman too. Mid 30s.
I think it is reasonable for you to feel angry. You mentioned your wife saying 'don't expect this much sex always' and this is the point I feel most important....
When we choose to marry someone I believe all of us have some idea of our sexual needs and expectations. And the needs of both partners are important.
There are days I don't particularly feel like sex but I know my husband does. So I weigh up how I feel. Am I opposed to the idea or just tired and not "in the mood". If it's a matter of not really feeling the spark I agree anyway.
Now... The key parts to consider. I don't want answers to the questions by the way just for you to think about... Do you talk about sexual needs with your wife? Do you know what she likes or wants?
Before I felt truly comfortable with my other half I don't think hubby or I could answer either question about eachother. And as kids came along and stress and the usual sagas of life our intimacy wasn't great.
But I remembered something important I learnt in the pre marriage counselling our church required. That marriage takes constant work and effort. I want our marriage to work. And that means making an effort. So I started asking the awkward questions and asking for honesty in return. It has helped a lot.
Back to your situation...
You mentioned your wife is making an effort with her appearance and you find her attractive. Does she feel the same about you? Have you asked her if there is anything preventing her from wanting intimacy with you? The difficult question too... Is she seeking intimacy elsewhere?
So many questions I'm sorry but absolutely no pressure to reply. I don't mean to make you uncomfortable.
I hope that you are able to make changes and find a compromise that works for you both.
I agree with a lot of the things the other women have said and think a lot of the problems stem from the inherent differences between men and women biologically.
When you fall in love, there’s this intoxicating mix of emotions that are released that make you want to go at it like rabbits for the first 2 or so years. But then life sets in. You work full-time. Your partner may not pull their weight around the house, or you may just be tired from work / family life etc. Resentments build up and you see each other at your less than best.
As a female, I have also found that some men (in my experience only) then put pressure on me that it’s somehow my job to “service them”, and don’t focus on my pleasure at all. I feel this way when I’m nagged for sex, which then has the undesired effect of making it feel like a chore, something to add to my list. I also dislike when my partner shows me affection only for sex. Flirt with her without the expectation of sex, eventually it will lead to that. But I don’t think that should be your ultimate goal, it should be to reconnect with your wife. Women don’t work like men, we need to be mentally stimulated. I think your clue is in that she feels more in the mood when you are on holidays, she is more relaxed, you both may be reconnecting.