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Sexless Marriage and Depression

Community Member

Hi Everyone,

I've unfortunately been in this situation for a number of years now, however it is starting to get to the point that being in a sexless marriage is probably hurting me a lot more than I ever thought it would. To start with I do need to point out that I love my wife, which in itself is probably the reason that being in a marriage like this hurts.

When we first met, the sex was constant daily if not every second day. Fair enough this wasn't going to last forever as we got older, however it has gotten to the point that it happens every 3 to 8 weeks. I have spoken with my wife about this and unfortunately it lead to a big argument that nearly saw us divorce. This was a few years ago and we managed to work through it. We came up with a date night type situation, which worked for about 4 weeks and then stopped as my wife didn't like it being organised. We have tried a few things on and off to stimulate things again, but it always sort of fades away.

We have spoken about it and it comes down to my wife just isn't interested in sex that much anymore. I mentioned that it isn't only sex, but lack of affection. The reply to that was that every time she was affectionate I wanted sex. So there is a bit of a communication break down there. I did suggest that she could be the one to initiate sex instead of me, so that way she could be affectionate without having to worry about me trying to have sex with her. In hindsight I think this was a big mistake, as I am now in the situation that I can no longer initiate sex, and if I want sex it is when my wife wants it. Basically I have no power over something which is causing me quite a bit of anxiety as the option I have seem worse than what I am going through.

Just to even things up a bit here so it doesn't appear that I believe it is all my wife's fault. There are other issues at play here. My wife has depression and won't see anyone about it, and to top that off she is also has been dealing with some ongoing pain over the last 9 months. I do understand that this will reduce libido, however I am doing what I can to help. I do feel a bit selfish feeling the way I do since I do understand what she is going through, but it is getting to the point that I can no longer deal with it.

I guess my reason for posting on here is two fold, one to see if anyone has any suggestions on how I can cope, and secondly if anyone has been through something similar.

Thanks for reading

97 Replies 97

Community Member

What Goes

I feel for you buddy. I've been in your exact same situation and I know how you feel. It sucks.

I could talk to you for hours on this topic but I won't, not just yet.

The first thing I would recommend is don't bring it up with your wife until you've done some more homework. Don't mention sex, absolutely shut up about it. Secondly, hang in there. Try not to blow up about it. Divert your energy into something useful like intense exercise. Intense exercise.

I'm not sure how much homework you've already done but google a guy called Athol Kay. He has some great books on the subject (and a great video series on Vimeo called "Married Guys Guide To Wife"). He also has a Youtube channel that might start you off on the right track (free content is always good, and you can ask him questions). Start from the beginning and go from there (as in his Youtube videos). Just keep everything to yourself ok? Look this guy up, absorb all the information you can and make that your focus for now. As hard as it sounds forget about sex with your wife for a while until you've addressed a few things with yourself first. You can even do coaching with this guy if you need to.

Don't tell your wife what you're up to, just look up some of this stuff and get to it. What I recommend right now though is to not to mention sex and work out. If you've shelved a passion or hobby of yours, get back into it. Get onto Athol Kay. Choose the Red Pill (google it but don't go down that rabbit hole too far). Report back - if you want to. There's a longer thread about this subject somewhere here, but just google Athol.

Essentially there's so much potentially at play I'd have to ask you a list of questions as long as your arm... kids...when did the sex go bad....are there any critical (bad) moments that happened in the relationship...money issues...health issues....

The fact that it almost ended in divorce isn't a great sign, if she felt that strongly about it. I'll shut up now...

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
hello WGH, a great reply by Apollo Black, and indeed your position is no longer any different to what happened in my marriage, which has now ended.
When we first went out it was daily, but as soon as we were married it changed, and every good deed I did there were no rewards, so after a long period I gave up, until she moved into another room, because I was depressed and self medicating on alcohol, and she believed that she had tried so hard to help me, with no success.
Just before this happened I caught her ringing from a public phone booth, not once but three times, indicating the calls were to someone who she didn't want me to know, so we were living together and that's all.
She moved out but I never wanted to get a divorce, but that was out of my hands, however now a days we talk regularly, nothing has changed between us, but we couldn't live together any more.
I hope this won't happen, but as AB has said the more you pressure her, the more she won't want to perform in any intimate activities, but there has to be a cut off point, where it can happen at the spur of the moment, where you can take her out for dinner, a movie or anything you both enjoy. Geoff.

Thanks Apollo, Some great advice there. I'll go through the suggestions and see what I can learn. I've already got that written down as something to try and do, ie figure out what how I can improve (not change) myself and see if that helps.

I have already resigned myself to not trying to have sex anymore, it's easy for me to deal with if it is off the table. No expectations, no disappointment!

Thanks again for the reply, much appreciated!

Thanks Geoff,

I am a bit worried that there is someone else in the picture, but I also put that down to me just thinking the worst. Hopefully it isn't the case here, but it is something I keep an eye on.

I'm planning on trying as much as I can to keep the marriage together, but I'm sure there will be a breaking point where I can no longer deal with it. I just need to make sure that it is all handled the right way and that I have given my best effort.

Sorry to hear what happened to you, can't imagine how hard that would of been.

Thanks again for the reply, I really appreciate it.


Geoff made a very good point. It's all part of the process, and excluding an affair is an important factor. It can be done very subtly, but if you have any suspicions you need to check - just don't get caught.

Also, whatever you do to improve yourself, you HAVE TO DO IT FOR YOURSELF. If you do this to get sex it will fail. Improve yourself to become the best person you can be, for you and no-one else. It's a lot of hard work but things can turn around. If they don't then you will be in the best position to eject her from your life and find someone better

Community Member

I hope that my advice might be able to help you understand things from your wife's side.

I am a woman and while I was married I refused to have sex with my husband for numerous reasons which I will list below.

A woman finds it extremely difficult to engage in sex when it feels as though the intimacy and personal connection has been removed. Sex between a husband and wife is supposed to be about a journey and not as though it is a means to elevating a physical urge. There is nothing more powerful than when 2 people willingly give themselves to another person to engage in the physical act of making love. So often over time couples forget what sex is supposed to mean and it becomes a routine. Your wife doesn't want to feel as though you expect her to have sex just because you are married.

There is no quick fix to this issue but if you truly love her then take the time to show her that it's her you love and not the act of sex. Try this for the next 60 days. Give her a sweet but simple compliment every single day and never make it anything to do with the topic of sex. Go out of your way every day to do one thing nice for her even if it is taking out the rubbish before she asks but never bring it to her attention what you have done. No matter what, don't make a single negative comment, engage in an argument, or show any sign of frustration about anything. And don't have sex with her even if she wants it for those 60 days. She will notice everything, maybe not at the beginning but she will and she may even try to have sex with you to see if that is why you are being so nice and by you not wanting it she will see that you truly love, support and appreciate her for who she is. She will see that you are putting her first before yourself and she will feel like she did when you first met.

Dear Snoods

Excellent reply, all men should read this

Exactly what not to do...

Community Member

I don't want to get into an argument about Athol Kay or hijack the thread but I feel like I need to add a counter opinion - I haven't read his books but from his blog and numerous quotes I've read from him, he has a very adversarial approach to sex and marriage, suggesting there should be secrecy, spying, paternity test etc.

It seems more logical that openness, honesty and closeness is a surer path towards intimacy and sex than installing spyware on your wife's computer and demanding she prove her fidelity by a paternity test...

Back to the topic though - I am in a similar situation from time to time though usually in cycles of a few months at a time - my wife suffers from depression also - though she takes medication and sees her psychologist when she's depressed, she stops when she feels better and it generally doesn't last - it's a constant swing... I think she may need more regular medication/therapy but it's a touchy subject for us...

I agree with snoods advice (not implying you don't take out the rubbish already!) and is your wife's depression a topic you can bring up with her? I know what you mean about feeling selfish - you don't want to sound like you're saying "could you get some anti-depressants so we can have more sex"! But more like - "you don't seem as happy as you used to be, do you think we could get some help?" - that can be a really tricky conversation though and may not be an option? Loss of sex drive is almost depression symptom number 1 though.. Just my thoughts, good luck, J.