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Very Mismatched libidos

Community Member
Hey everyone im 30, have been with my wife for nearly 7 years (6 months married so far) we're on the cusp of trying for kids I have been struggling with this for a long time but for the last year I have been experiencing depression symptoms. im going to try/fail to be consise ha.

We have a very loving non sexual and sexual relationship, she is my whole world but our libido's are completely opposite and i am not handling it well and to cut a long story short the reason im on here is because no matter how much i research, how many relationship podcasts i listen to i have this overwelming sense of dread that our relationship will faulter. I read fully through the "my wife isnt interested in sex" thread not long ago and cryed for days, the other day i listened to the shameless sex podcast "reviving the sexless relationship" and my wife has been asking me if im ok for days (im not, the sexologist on the pod reckons im doomed, shes one of many), she really loves and cares for me and i am a very lucky man. Im so overwelmed with guilt for feeling this way but the resources i am encountering are basically summing it up as im going feel this way forever or ending relationship.

ending it would not help, it would ruin both of our lives, she would never try again and her mental health would suffer irreparable damage and Im definatly not as much of a catch as she thinks i am. I dont know that i could ever forgive myself for doing that to her or ever be as happy nonsexually ever again.
For the record we do have great relations, and I love every second of it, but its all me, im the one who puts in the effort, she VERY rarely initiates.

this will all get allot worse when we start a family and get older understandably, shes already to tired or has headache, i dont even try to initiate anymore it hurts me to much to be rejected but then im hurt anyway from knowing the outcome if i did try.
im terrified for the future, im lost and i dont know what to do. im hurting her, none of this is fair on her, she doesnt deserve this its not her fault.

24 Replies 24

I dont communicate much of this to her at all for the reason you said , it hasnt worked out very well for me when i have tried. few of the what i would call standard responses come out like thats all you want from me, thats all you care about, im not good enough for you/ not enough for you. also she takes it as me blaming her for how i feel when i cant help how i feel, i very much wish that i could. the one that really hurts me is when shes told me if shes not enough then go elsewhere (as in leave me, not the other thing). i dont want anybody else, i dont love anybody else, i love my wife.

my wife is an anixous, insecure person and i feel very strongly about not making things worse for her, she has come along way since we started our relationship, its definatly my main motivation for not saying anything. this frame of mind creates my biggest issue, shes intuitive, she knows something is up shes always asking if im ok, do i still love her, do i regret marrying her other things along those lines.
and of course im not lying to her when i answer her questions, im ok for the most part as long as i dont think about this stuff, i love her more than anything but it also isnt the whole truth, i dont even know where to start im certainly not going to bring all this up just before bed or when i get home from work, im at a loss.
also im not a fool, shes asking me these things because my actions/ body language etc are making here feel anxious and insecure, shes thinks i dont like her when im quiet but im just struggling in my own head and it shows, therefore i am failing at the very thing im trying to accomplish. helping my wife through her struggles and making sure shes happy.

Community Member
hey jaz you are exactly correct, my wife is very good at communicating her feelings and this is what she has told me. I on the other hand, am completly useless at it. there has been an improvement since she stopped the pill, her experience has improved. i can understand what shes saying and i aggree, i dont want her to do something she doesnt want to do , its not what im about. i aggree with everything you are saying although i dont know where this leaves me but i appreciate the perspective, thankyou 😃

Community Member
just wanted to post a reply for everyone that i havent directly responded to also , thankyou everyone i really do apprecite it and it is all valued im definitely finding everyones responses helpful thanks!

"For the record we do have great relations, and I love every second of it, but its all me, im the one who puts in the effort, she VERY rarely initiates."

That made me worrying. As much I like all the answers and I basically agree with them both of you should try and try. But be careful to not start living in denial. There is noting wrong with you and you do not need to change. Be careful not to go down the resentment route. Differences, conflict, etc are all OK.

A lack of effort, a one sided relationship... can destroy the biggest love. Love is not enough for a relationship..

Hi JJohn117,

I sense you're harbouring a lot of pain and stress from holding all of this in and being unsure how to move forward. Have you considered speaking with a doctor to be referred onto a psychologist for some support of your own? While it is an issue between you and your partner, you may find it helpful to work through the emotions and stress you have inside. It could be a helpful step for your wellbeing and you may also get some valuable advice from a professional about how to approach this issue with her.

Just a thought.. Hope you're doing well, let us know how you are going when you can.

Hi JJohn117,

I am very glad that you felt heard and valued by all our responses here!

@Banksy92 mentioned a great point, we want to make sure you are fully supported. Have you considered speaking to a mental health professional also?

We are definitely here for you too so please continue to reach out whenever you feel comfortable to do so.

Community Member

It sounds like you guys have a great relationship other than the sex. So that helps. I would suggest trying different things to help her enjoy things a bit more like a clitoral vibrator.

I have been with my husband for 20 years and at some point stress, available time and parenting pressures etc., will reduce a womans sex drive, so finding someone else will not guarantee an improvement, especially after the initial falling in love phase. If my husband tells me he is feeling a lack in the bedroom department, I make an effort. Just try talking to her about it.

I always find if I don't feel like it but if we introduce extra stimulation, I quickly get into the experience. Sometimes women need a little help. It's not as easy for us to find satisfaction as it is for men.

Finally, remember that there is more to life and relationships than just sex. It's not always easy to find a partner you love and are compatible with. So don't throw it away for your libido.

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
John, there is nothing wrong with you, you really need to stop thinking that way (sorry if it sounds harsh), because your mind is thinking that, it is most likely influencing your behavior as well in a similar way. My suggestion was just go out and do things together with your partner, put aside your desire for a family (thats not forget about it, just means to focus more on other things right now), put aside also the desire for something more sexual, just start trying to go out and enjoy life with her for no other reason except to have some enjoyment in life, something that makes you both happy to do together just for the pure enjoyment and happiness that can come out of it (not sexual, just pure enjoyment). Keep doing that and I am sure that things have a better chance of developing into what you do desire, and keep doing that as much you can through life, its better to create many good memories than to just have a burst of fun every so often.

Community Member
decided to do a generic reply to the last few responces and give an update. struggling would be the right word i suppose, i dont really know what to type here to be honest, im miserable allot particularly at work im a sparky and work alone a fair bit, (nothing but my own head you know) which is probably not helpful.
I know this cant continue forever and i know i have to talk to her again about all of this, im also aware that i certainly need therapy, but i cant really fathom how its going to help, i know what will be said, that i need to talk to my wife, my wife should probably come to because she may need to hear from a thrid party that she should value my own sexual wellbeing just like i do hers . i dont know that shes thinks that its two sided and that she should put in effort.
that being said i cant really blame her, its not like im a ray of sunshine anymore im fresh out of effort. ( i dont mean that as in i dont do anything for her, i do everything i can and everything that is asked of me)i just have little to no motivation anymore its hard.
i type all of this knowing what people would give to have what i have, she really is the most loving person and cares for me deeply in her way, it does doesnt really translate to lust for her husband and i dont know that it ever will or ever has and i dont know how im supposed to deal with it.
she wants to start trying for kids in literaly a few weeks, im not scared for it ive wanted kids my whole life im very excited but terrified of the headspace im in and confiding in her about it might mess all this up, im the one thats wanted kids shes warmed to the idea but to begin with never planned on them. im just ranting now im sorry people.

Hi again, thanks for the update, I'm glad you did.

Fear is a terrible feeling and I feel it in your words. Throughout our lives we have challenges but the challenge of seeking what we crave for but it will result in hurting someone we love is a hollow void. All I can suggest is that you face reality. It's real that

  • until you're much older sexual contentment will be an important factor to you. That a long time
  • If you have a child/children then you will have less option or the options include hurting your children and your own suffering multiplies (been there)
  • It's not your fault. Sadly but factual, your wife is content. Those with low sex drive don't have the issue of sexual frustration- the frustrated partner does.
  • The wisdom required prior to living with a non compatible partner eludes us at the time - you're human, we all make these errors especially when the partner is great with affection.

Peer advising isn't easy with these topics. We try not to judge nor, in most cases take sides. But mental well being is my focus and I wouldn't make the above comments without your health in mind.

I hope I've helped.