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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

Post: this is definitely what im struggling with the most, its a combination, our relationship as a whole is not one sided but our sexual relationship is, i wish i could switch it off theres is so much guilt there on my part because this constantly affects not just me but her also.

if im being honest with myself her lack of guilt about this ( she is aware its not like it hasnt come up allot over the years) cuts me up somewhere deep down. but wanting her to feel bad is completely besides the point and makes me feel like a monster.

Hi JJohn117, thanks for keeping us updated about how you're feeling. It's all very understandable I think.

It might help to try thinking about getting professional help as an opportunity to get support on how you feel and how you manage this period of your life, rather than for answers to this specific issue in your relationship. Seperate to your relationship and intimacy, your wellbeing and quality of life is important.

Then, once you're in a stronger place you may be better equipped to approach the subject with her as well?

Community Member

Hi John.

Reading through a bit you've said back there that your wife is a very good communicator but in a post before describing her responses to when you do try to talk about this with her, they were def' not a very good communicator, terrible in fact and completely avoidant and pass the buckish. l also don't understand why you keep talking about yourself as in your problem, even therapy. As if having a normal healthy libido make it all something wrong with you for not being able to suppress it. lt's unnatural to suppress it and l'll guarentee you if it was vise versa she wouldn't be suppressing it she'd probably have an affair. Mate l was married at 30 and believe me, thankfully we had a very busy ummm, time you could say, bc l'd say l couldn't have survived the marriage if we weren't both just extremely the way we were. lt doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you just bc you have a healthy libido, unfortunately it's just that these things are at all different levels with different people and it's very helpful if they roughly match.

Although in ways she responded and in things she's said there's a lot of psychological stuff going on in there for her too and it could actually be as much some of that more so than libido itself. Sometimes especially in some younger women our passion can be a bit of a fine line before she starts thinking that's all you want and feeling insecure about your true feelings and so starts switching of , and your wife has basically said it in some of her responses. That might be a place to start and show some hope in saving things.


That Other Guy
Community Member

I see you have a few replies but this is pretty much in my wheelhouse, so here goes

My wife and I got married, she was a virgin. After our first child she lost interest in sex for 15 years. For a year we didn't have sex and for about 5 years every time she would say 'don't touch me don't kiss me', 'aren't you done yet' and 'do you feel better'. It was honestly soul destroying and I still carry the scars in many ways

But I did not leave because my kids were my oxygen. And I did always love her. About 6 years ago, some sort of switch went off and my wife became very interested in sex. Last year she asked for us to be open so she could try someone else. She did, and we closed again.

None of this has been ideal but I *love* her and I just roll with whatever it takes to stay together. Right now things are great but we had it hard for too long. We did marriage counselling this year to get past the hell of the previous 12 months and I wonder how much better our lives would have been if we'd done it sooner. My advice is be open with your wife. Tell you you're not saying you want any one else, but you do find it hard when there's not much sex. Suggest counselling as a way to create a forum where you can both express your feelings and needs, and learn how best to love each other.

Community Member

HI JJohn, been reading this thread and just want to add something that I think is really important - and while it might slip under the radar now, it could be an imperative in the future.

You say you are getting ready to start a family, well you'd better be sure you can handle living with this situation for a long time. Once you have little ones, the decision to split is so much harder and it could potentially damage the little ones you love most; a horrible consequence.

It may be that everything is wonderful except for the difference in libido, well that sounds like a contradiction. Are you wearing rose-coloured glasses? If you can't live like this "forever", now is the time to make that decision, before you have children. As horrible as it is, as split now could avoid years of torment for you, your wife and the little ones you intend to bring into this world.

On a more positive note, perhaps, your wife's lack of libido is related to her self-image. If she doesn't feel good about herself, doesn't feel attractive or sexy, that might encourage her avoidance. What can you do to help? Maybe help her to lose weight, help her buy new clothes, new hair? You could join her on that journey and it could have results in the bedroom too.

Good luck with it all.