Sexual Deprivation In Marriage

Feeling sexually deprived in marriage is not uncommon. The myth is that it is only married men who feel sexually deprived. The fact is, married women too experience sexual deprivation. Whether you are a man or a woman, yearning for sexual intimacy with your spouse is a healthy desire. Longing for sexual intimacy left unfulfilled in quantity and quality is a challenge, and a taboo topic for many.

As a Psychotherapist who has been providing marriage counseling since 1993 I will share with you this secret; if you and your spouse lead an inactive sexual relationship, and your mate is not asexual, then your mate is not happy about this lack of intimacy. Not such a secret… huh.

This blog article is not a discussion about different desires in frequency. Nor is this article focusing on couples who are generally sexually active but the quality is not as fulfilling as one or both desires. This blog is focusing on the married group of couples who there is truly barely to no sexual intimacy. Thus, quality is lacking because quantity is lacking. Thus, there is no experience of quality enhancement as quantity is little to non existent.

Case Scenario A:

I am not interested in being sexually intimate with my husband. I do have some sexual desire, but not as much as him. I do love him, I want to remain married to him, but I wish he would leave me alone sexually. As the years have progressed, he does leave me alone now . . . for the most part. So we rarely talk about our lack of sexual intimacy. But on occasion he does bring our lack of sexual intimacy up in conversation still. Sometimes in jokes. Other times in frustration. Several months pass at a time and maybe we’ll have sexual intimacy once, to then go several more months perhaps a year or longer before we will be intimate again. Maybe on vacation, if that. Definitely not weekly, nor monthly.

Outcome For Scenario A:

Husband lives an existence in marriage where he is sexually deprived. He either: a) goes for massages with a “happy ending”, b) has had, is having, or is considering having an affair, c) will eventually leave the marriage once the kids are older, or d) lives sexually unfulfilled and masturbates (which leaves him unfulfilled), despite this he remains. The lack of sexual fulfillment, the lack of sexual intimacy, actual sexual deprivation is a real thing. Without sexual intimacy in marriage, the person feels unloved, unwanted.

For those living a similar existence to case scenario A, consider what action to take, both husband and wife to attend to this lack of sexual marital intimacy. Rather than the relationship continue to decline and disconnect sexually as the years continue, take action.

Case Scenario B:

I do not have much of a sexual drive. I do not have sexual needs, as far back as I can recall I never really did. My wife does have sexual desires and she is longing for sexual activity with me. But I do not fulfill this need of hers. I am loving in every other way, this is who I am. Or, the scenario rather is: I never had a large sex drive, but it was certainly more than it currently is. I just don’t have an interest in being sexual with my wife, although I did at one time. I do still love her and wish to remain married to her.

Outcome For Scenario B:

Wife lives an existence in marriage where she is sexually deprived. She either: a) has had, is having, or is considering having an affair, or b) will eventually leave the marriage, or c) lives sexually unfilled and masturbates (which leaves her unfulfilled), despite this she remains. As explained in scenario A, action does need to be taken.

Recommendation For Scenario A and B:

Whether your life has more similarity to scenario A or scenario B, or no similarity to either scenario and is your own unique scenario but under the topic header of ‘sexual deprivation’ due to a little to non existent sexual relationship with your spouse, the bottom line is the same. The bottom line is: if you are married and one of the members within the marital unit would like to have a sexually intimate marriage, and the other does not wish to, this is a conflict that is not silly. This is a problem that is not to be ignored. This is a problem that affects the person who feels sexually deprived, the person’s mate, and the couple unit.

Is there something so wrong with “hooking your spouse up” with sexual pleasure even if you are not in the mood? Am I stating something wrong here? Think of all of the things that you do on a day to day basis for your spouse that you may not feel in the mood to do. Of course, certainly, ideally my hope for you as a couple is to find your sexual couple style. My desire for you is to connect in a sexually intimate way that pleases both of you in quantity and in quality. That is the goal. The goal is to find a healthy sexual balance of quantity and quality that fits for both the husband and the wife.

With that in mind, today’s blog is addressing the one specific topic which is to take action if there’s no sexual intimacy. Yes, agreed, create a healthy fulfilling sexual marital relationship is the ideal. I am spotlighting the specific piece of sexual deprivation that I far too often hear men and women report. And let me tell you, it hurts them. Is it not the responsibility, the obligation of the spouse to do something about this rather than keep their spouse dry not to give any water at all?

Those married men and women who are sexually deprived often feel guilty expressing their disappointment, since in all other ways they feel so blessed. They feel almost bratty wanting sexual intimacy. So, I will be the voice for those sexually deprived husbands and wives and state: your desire to have a healthy sexual relationship with your spouse is just that – healthy. It is a normal need, it is not bratty, no matter how good you have it in all of the other areas of your life. If there truly is barely to no sexual intimacy in your marriage, this is not something to feel guilty about wanting. Continue to keep the lines of communication with your spouse open and figure out as a marital team what can be done about this particular challenge. Just as you would converse about any other challenge, tackle it together… as a team.

Don’t sweep sexual intimacy under the rug and ignore it. As it is indeed the pink elephant in the room. Like most ignored topics, it surfaces out in other ways and/or will eventually lead to an outcome that is not a happy one.

If your spouse is sexually deprived, do something about it. Take action today. Fill their cup. Take your man, take your woman, kiss them, caress them, feed them this meal they are so hungry for. And then, feel good that you did something for your spouse. Perhaps over time as you provide a sexual intimate experience for your spouse you too will see that sexual intimacy is for you too. For now though, for the purposes of the particular focus of this blog – do it for your spouse. Don’t leave em’ hanging out to dry. Water your dry plant.

 

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425 thoughts on “Sexual Deprivation In Marriage”

      1. It is horrible. To point I will look outside the relationship. Suarly if one of my marriage vows is to sexually saticfie your spouse, and your spouse fales to up hold this one vowthat is just as bad as me going out to look somewhere else for sex. I am on the verge of cheating so if my sexual disires are not met by my wife can i be blamed for cheating. Bearing in mind I go months without sex which is like being single again. Just for the record I can’t keep masterbating any more it’s doing my head in

        1. Deborah Franklin

          After I divorced at 50, and not because I was unfaithful or had someone else, I thought I might try again, after all I have the right thinking so to speak which is, if you have a good man and he is responsible then as a woman, I am supposed to take care of him. It seems there is only one vow that is remembered when a husband cheats. There is more than one. Maybe I am peculiar but I really should be the mascot for reasons why you should care to want to make a good man Happy. Just ask a woman who didn’t get one. I would find it intoxicating to have the man who has seen me at my worst still find me desirable because I sure would care that he knew how much that meant to me. That should be the best part.

          1. Then why are you at this site and commenting?
            I’m just a bit confused, since its for people looking at help suggestions.

        2. I’m a 52 year old male that loves and worships my wife. I have ED and it effects me getting hard and fucking my wife, so I started feeling really submissive. She controls the finances the decision making and everything, so I have asserted into the submissive role n bathing her giving her a full body massage which leads to me giving her oral pleasure n both the vagina and ass, then watching as she rides her big dildo as I give her ass oral pleasure and masturbate, That was a month and a half ago, she now says that she dont need an ass worshiper she needs a hard dic knowing that i cant provide, it destroyed me I dont know what to do I have tried pills and everything.

          1. I know this is a few months down the line but I’ll comment anyway incase it’s still relevant.
            It’s it the case that you have ED with masturbation too? Do you get off on porn that depicts the man as the dominant one? Emasculation by a harpy of a womam can actually cause ED. It’s just as often psychological as it is physical. If it’s physical you do need to get it under control. But from your comment it seems more likely that you need to start some hobbies where you feel like a man, get control of Your finances and accept No excuses of any kind. If she gets hostile about that tell her that the money will start flowing the moment the sex does. Women are not happy being responsible, they try to take control but it does Not make them happy no matter what they say, Ever. Start with the hobbies and some time off with other men to get your confidence back up, she obviously wont help you there. Wish you a good life man.

      2. I have been having this problem for over 2 years now! My husband won’t touch me or kiss me nothing no sex. I usually tell him hey we need to have sex. We end up arguing and fighting and having makeup sex and it’s the same rotation! We have to argue to have sex. I literally have to beg him. There had been times he’s turned me away. I’m not sure what to do we are both young he’s 24 and I’m 23. Been married for 4 years. I just don’t know what is wrong! He says he loves me and hasn’t cheated or isn’t gay! I Have needs!!! I really don’t know what to do other than divorce him and find a man who is going to please me. I don’t think it’s normal. He just says he’s not in the mood or other stupid stuff!!! When we got married we had sex all the time twice a day and now it’s like once every 2 months or longer.

        1. I am 43 years old and was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes last summer. I took generally good care of myself with the help of totalcureherbsfoundation.com herbal cure and exercised on a regular basis. For at least the year before, I noticed that I had to urinate all the time, waking me up several times a night. In the month or so prior to being diagnosed, I lost 40 pounds and was thirsty all the time. One day I got extremely sick, could not keep anything down, had blurry vision, a rapid heartbeat, and began hyperventilating. My blood glucose level in the ER was in the high 500s and my A1C was 9.7. Since then, I have developed neuropathy, which makes life pretty difficult but I was able to get rid of it totally with the help of total cure herbal treatment . If you have diabetes there is herbal formula that neutralize the disease totalcureherbsfoundation.com

        2. Chris Hendricks

          My wife has only touched me once the last 10 months and im about to lose my dam mind!! She has bowel issues, depression, etc, but it’s still not fair to me!! I work, help clean the house, take care of out child, cook, etc. WTF can I do!?!?

    1. Married 23 years….. our sex life was what we did best! Now somehow, somewhere along the way it got “ broken “! Quality, QUANTITIE, connection, desire, his ability to stay awake, premature ejaculations, faking orgasums , not taking care of himself, stress…… I lie awake too many nights unsatisfied, unfulfilled! Wanting him but he’s always too tired!!!! I’m 44 he’s 53
      I’m lonely!!!!!! We talk about it . His standard answer is I’m sorry. This has been going on for years☹️ It isn’t HEALTHY!!!!! I’m still young!!!!! Sad! I’m not a cheater!!!!!!

      1. I am in the same boat! I’m 45 and husband is 53. I’m so lonely and neglected.
        I’m sick of it. I complain and get no where. He says I’m “too needy”. I get nothing. No Asheville,no sex. When we do have sex which is sometimes only 1x a month if I’m lucky. He lasts about 60 seconds. He’s never given me an orgasm in the 6 years we’ve been together. His answer is always I should go find someone who phrases me. He doesn’t care to change or make an effort. I love him and trying to hang on for the sake of our two young boys who are 1&4.

        1. I guarantee you he has desensitized himself with porn. He has brought PIED (porn induced erectile dysfunction) upon himself. Do not debase yourself by getting kinky. Read on the real dangers of porn. The addiction is like a drug. Encourage him to get counseling for porn addiction and then to “detox”. Ignore Jim’s comments. Most men’s inability to get hard and sustain it is related to mental or physical issues of their own: not your issues or you not being good enough in any way. Case in point: you have seen vintage antique photos of old farmers and their wives surrounded by umpteen kids, ages 18 to 1 years old? Those old codgers didn’t have their wives prancing around in crotchless panties and jerking them off in plain sight places. . . Those men didn’t need viagra or constantly increasing kink because they protected their brains from desensitization. A woman’s ankle or thigh was enough for them.

          1. Sure, a lack of porn on demand, is a valid factor in your reasoning. That is only scratching the surface.

            Back then, men had much (I will repeat) much higher testosterone levels back then.
            They were always ready to perform in the bedroom or in the field.They were blessed with abundant energy.

            With poor dietary options, lack of physical activity due to a stressful and demanding worklife men are wiped out by the time the return home. It is a disappointing reality.

          2. ” Don’t debase yourself by being kinky” .
            Wow! Being kinky is not debasing oneself
            It can and may be a lot if playful fun!
            Keep an open mind, while not shaming others for being kinky!

      2. you need to be more sexy in your approach. do things unexpected. like jack him off in the movie theater but don’t let him cum. work out…do squats and get that butt tight. get on his lap while he’s on the couch, take your tits out and insist he suck on them. sit next to him on the couch and masturbate, making nice moaning noises. watch porn on your phone in front of him. there’s something inherently aggressive about sex. the need to ram that dick in. as guys get older, they kinda mellow out a bit. i’m starting to notice it myself at 37. my GF is 25. it’s not that i don’t want her. she’s hot. it’s more of a motivation kinda thing. i’m less aggressive than i used to be. life kinda wears men down. the daily grind. we kinda just start going with the flow. also…. get him more active in aerobic exercise to make him feel like a younger man again. i know i’m gona start exercising again.

        1. Get my butt tight? Make it excitung? Don’t let him come? You have no idea… I have been without sex for 10 years..I have begged, teased, cried, I have even thought about spikingvhis drink with viagra… I threw out all my sexy things because they never made a difference other than to feel rejected an embarrassment to see them hanging in my closet or lying in a drawer made feel ugly or made. I feel rejection everyday of my life. Please don’t minimize by suggesting others like myself have not tried and stupidly keep hoping, to have intimacy one more time before it’s all over.

          1. I am 48 and in the same boat
            He is not cheating physically but I know that his porn and pictures are his release. I told him when we got together that I don’t mind the occasional but when it replaces me then I have issues. Slowly it has happened. We will get together once a year. He is 51. His life is full of trials (difficult
            job, health problems, old mental stuff he won’t deal with i.e mild ptsd). When asked why we don’t have sex he puts it off on me saying well you don’t initiate either. The last time I said NO! I want to feel desired too especially when I’m made to feel that you prefer that over me. BTW we got together older so kids etc are not the issue and I have NEVER turned him down. I initiated for a good long time then I had an ah ha moment where I said “wait a sec I want to be desired too”. I refuse to not be fed so I decided not to initiate any more. That’s when it died. I really feel his fantasy land has messed up his reality.

        2. I think the main issue here is people who end up with closeted asexual partners, your advice is great- for women who are involved with sexual men

        3. I think you are missing the point. I have great sadness..,no matter what I do , try, coax, entice the man I love to even desire or think about me terms of romance… or simple sex. It’s been 15 years since he shown in any interest, I used to try everything from talking, begging, wearing sexy things etc… I am simply not desirable. He says he loves me and he is sorry.. once in a while I ask him if we can just try… he says yes baby… nothing., I’m so embarrassed I can’t get myself to remind him about his promise. I don’t have the confidence to ask again and again.., I feel pathetic. I never ever thought a marriage could be like this

          1. My heart goes out to you. I am that man you described, and my wife has likely suffered for 14 or 15 years just as you have. Your letter has somehow touched me deeply and helped me to understand the quiet desperation that I have finally seen in my wife’s eyes. I vow to do something…I am reaching out to a professional this week as my first step… maybe have breakfast with her someplace nice the week after… Thanks for being brave enough to share.

        4. Porn is going to have you needing Viagra in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. . . You are too young to already be noticing this, especially if you do exercise and take care of your health.
          It’s not your lady’s fault.

    2. Wow I have had the same experience dh rejecting intimacy time after time. Married for about three years. I am now considering leaving. I can’t do this. No date nights no nothing. I’d rather be single and happy to be honest.

      1. Bob frustrated 51

        Wow I’m not alone been married 25 years the sex intimacy stopped as soon as kids came along it’s been 15 years since we had anything I busy myself with work projects just to take my mind off sex jerk off 3 times a day carnt focus she was a slob but my slob recently she’s lost loads of weight baught new clothes goes out with the girls I ask if we can do date nights she’s tired cuddle her I get the old get of you always want it yes I do help

  1. Sigh….fourth night in a row I had been promised sex and another cancellation. Not even an acknowledgement of apology or recognition of regret over the disappointment. My wife has a very hard time even engaging in a conversation about sex. If I try to say anything to improve our sex life she immediately becomes defensive and says “Maybe you should find somebody who has nothing better to do.” Which breaks my heart because I would never want to do that to her. Married 26 years and sex has been a minefield of ok times and bad blow ups.
    Feel like I’m stuck for life being cheated. I cant divorce. I’m a senior minister in a growing church thats depending on my integrity and leadership. I have worked for 25 years to reach this point in my career and I feel it has trapped me in a marriage I sometimes wish I could change.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to share your story Mark. I am sorry for your pain. I am hopeful that your writing in response to this article may open the door to a healthy dialogue between you and your wife. Certainly sexual desires are healthy and normal. As a husband who loves his wife to have her suggest you look elsewhere, I am sure hurts you greatly and invalidates your needs. It would be interesting to know if she views the sexual relationship in marriage as an important part of having a healthy connected marriage. Or, does she views a man’s desire for his wife as something other than healthy? Is it that she does not have sexual desires at all? Or not as much as you would like? Have you both not found your sexual groove/style? These are not questions I ask of you to answer me. Rather, perhaps if she and you were to read this blog together, as well as the commentary in response to this article, it may open up a dialogue beyond what the two of you have experienced prior to this blog.

      I wish you the best on your marital journey. For marriage is sacred, a beautiful gift that can grow over time when the plant of marriage is watered.
      Warmly, Dr. Karen

      1. Hello
        I need help, been married for over twenty years. My wife and i are devote Christians with Three Teenage boys. I too feel a ministry birthing, but I fear that the lack of spontaneity in my marriage can be a problem. Clearly, I’m not satisfied in the area of our sex life. My wife is not spontaneous. I find it hard to put into words. She gives me sex, actually after foreplay she gets into it. But the before is gutwrenching. There is no spice at all. We always start in the same spot. Im the initiator. During the day, there is no spice. I feel like I’m changing, I desire more. we’ve talked. Other spiritual women have shared with her, but she doesn’t improve. I’m often frustrated. I like groping, rubbing, confidence from a WOMEN. During lunch hours or times when we’re alone, sexual thoughts or gestures just don’t come to her. It’s not about the sex, it’s about intimacy, It think. Haven’t cheated, but I’m baffled that men who do get a bad wrap, when the faithful, bill paying, cooking father gets frustration. Help. Sorry about the typos, cell phone.

        1. Hi Tom,
          A sexually growing relationship is ultimately what I have discovered in my work with couples, is what makes it satisfying. That is the key: growth. When the sexual relationship remains the same, the same style, the same pattern for years that’s when it becomes unsatisfying.

          You are certainly doing the right thing by communicating with her in an honest way that you are longing for more. You mention that other spiritual women have shared with her but there’s been no improvement.

          I would suggest that you consider starting in a different spot. You mention you are the initiator and you start in the same spot. You mention there is no spice. You mention you desire more. You mention lunch hours and times when you are alone that sexual thoughts or gestures don’t come to her. If she is not taking action, it may very well be on you to take action. To initiate differently. To interact during the sexual encounter differently. You see, a couple’s sexual style is just that: a style. It becomes a style, a pattern due to years of the same start, during and stop process. If you are willing to put aside the emotions you may be feeling in connection with her not taking action on making a change. If you are willing to put your frustration aside. If you can consider this: how can I interact in an intimate way, in a sexual way, in an interactive way today, tomorrow, the next day and onward… for the next 30 days in ways in which is different for me. In ways in which is a different style then my standard approaches. I would be very interested for you to see if your change triggers a change in her. For sometimes, for some couples, all it takes is one person to make a true shift that creates a couple shift. For if a tennis ball is no longer hit to the right side of the court, and rather to the left side, it forces the receiver to alter one’s body position in order to return the ball, thereby affecting the receiver of the ball return, thereby further affecting where the hit of the ball to the court continues to go…

          See if by you taking the lead in a very different style if the dance experienced is different. Though remember, it is not just one or two days of a change. This must be a full on commitment on your part where you are interacting sexually in a different way for 1 month not expecting her to change. Rather, simply experiencing the journey of difference that is experienced as your change becomes a new style thereby perhaps creating a change in her.

          If your taking action in this way does not produce a shift in sexual interaction between the two of you, I strongly urge you to seek out marriage counseling from a therapist who specializes in marriage counseling. Certainly, you are invited to seek out marriage counseling now and not try this experiment. Or at the same time as trying this experiment. Though, I did want to provide you with something that you can do. As we cannot control or change others, only ourselves which sometimes does indeed lead to the change in others. And sometime not… TBD.

          I am glad you reached out and wrote in. I hope this helps. Try it, why not.
          Warmly,
          Dr. Ruskin

          1. My husband is always watching porn and taken care of himself. I dont understand this why he would rather do this than to. Have sex with me. Today i found a video of him jacking off the sad thing is I was. In the next room. I also found that when he is going somewhere he is watching porn on my phone. Please help me understand what is going on

          2. I wouldn’t seek counseling. My wife and I are the same age. About 15 months ago I noticed she became less and less interested in sex. After getting down to about 1 time every 3 months, I told her that was it. I have always been the one to get things to exite our bedroom, not her. She always had vicious orgasms. Her having these wild orgasms is what exited me. Then slowly but surely our sessions were farther apart. Finally I asked her after hearing all these different excuses about the Doctor said this and that, “what did the dentist say?” I’m not begging anyone to bed with me. I always left her and the bed soaked. She has no excuse but laziness. If I go somewhere else then it will be “why didn’t you tell me?” I have. At the time you have to go through all this bullshit then if she does decide to get off her ass and be a wife, you feel like she’s just doing it like it’s a chore. Don’t waste your life. Move on. My advice. Not getting sex is not getting sex. I don’t believe in running around. Why stay somewhere that you want something but know your not going to get it. Waste of time. And if someone’s husband is watching porn it’s probably because there is something on there they want that his wife has chosen not to do or even try. As people age their goal should be to have better and better sex. Not decline from it.

        2. Hi Tom, The problem is you,ve forgotten how to play the game. Marriage is a game, but a serious one at that. When you first met, you probably saw each other once a week, and gave each other lots of attention when you did. However the rules has changed, she sees you everyday and knows your there regardless. You are no longer a challenge to her. You have to appreciate the psychology at play here. I too had the same issue, but I reverted back to how things were – ie don’t pester with attention and sexual advances but don’t give her any of her needs either. Ie fancy going for walk later, or can we go shopping. Instead find yourself some hobbies that takes you out of the way and doing something else. I am not suggesting you ignore your responsibilities ie, if you have kids, choirs, etc. That is a no no, you must always help out at home, but find something else to focus on, (not pubs). The aim is to not in a nasty way, treat her as how she treats you. Someone that is just there, that she bypasses everyday. It is a painful process, as like you, I want to give attention and get intimate but you must hold your ground. Leave it for two weeks, then suddenly ask her one night, I want you. If this doesn’t end up good for you both, then something else is wrong. The other outcome is your wife will ask you wants going on, then you can open up. Say, you feel it is better if you gave her some space but if she wanted you, you are there for her, but say it hurts when you come to her and get rejected, and you don’t want to hurt anymore. You don’t feel you come to her anymore for sex. Not in a nasty way, but for women, they want to be in control and you asking her for sex does not give her that control. So you need to say, that she has to let you know when she wants you, but not forgetting to make her know that you want her all the time. The fact that you are doing something else, will also take that control away, she will try to get you back and will miss the attention that she has been taking for granted. This worked for me, and it’s sound like hard work but that’s marriage. Good luck. Let me know how you get on.

        3. I need help please, i was married for 26 years i went through hell and back with this man 2 different year long jail sentences. we ended up divorced but we still live with each other as im raising my grandchild. he was never around for us when the kids were growing up he worked all the time. don’t get me wrong i worked a full time job i worked at a nursing home as a nurses aid but he worked all the time.out of the 26 years we were married he spent 1 day out of that 26 years not being with his daddy everyday. his dad could not keep his nose to himself always interfered in our marriage always and still does tell hell what to do and when to do it. my ex has never respected me his dad has disrespected me and he didn’t even defend his me to him. then has an affair little over 4 years ago. he says he had the right to have an affair cause i wouldn’t have sex with him when we had sex it always hurt he wouldn’t try to get me aroused he would try and it dry. he has always done this we have always pretty much just had in out sex and i’m just sick of it. well after all this now he has maybe ED .when i try to talk to him about sex he just laughs at me . what is wrong with a man that is out only to satisfy himself. I understand i don’t have to be here trust me he has made that clear . but i’m here cause of the baby if i wasnt raising him i would be long gone to new horizons. i just don’t know what to do he treats me like crap just because he can.

    2. I feel the same way here. I am almost in your same position. I do love my wife but she simply does not care about our intimacy. I have spoken to her and told her that it makes me feel connected to her but she simply doesnt care. I havent cheated I really dont want to but is painful to live this way.

      1. I have same problem. Ten years in marriage with 2 kids. I only enjoyed 2 years of intimacy. She even don’t tell me that she misses me, we barely kiss, im the one who always show sexual desire. Now its worse as this is my fourth year working away from home, when i come back home there is no proper welcome for me, only a hug and that’s all. Its a very painful life and I’m not prepared to cheat again only once i did that. I love my wife.

        1. SeekingRestoration

          I think it is very important that your wife
          has had the restoration from the betrayal
          Of your first cheating. This is a trauma
          that creates distance. Make sure she gets
          THE Counselling she needs for that event.
          It’s much bigger than you think. And of
          Course you need help to see how you need
          To understand her pain and distrust. Basically
          She needs to be listened to regarding how
          She feels about returning to the intimacy
          You both first enjoyed. What is preventing
          That? Is she tired? Did she lose trust?
          Love takes time and effort to heal.

        2. It boggles the mind that someone can blame you for stepping out after so many years of feeling alone, unwanted and denied. A sexual/intimate connection is also a vow taken. Just as is the vow to remain faithful. So many times the way that someone is when they marry, they become lazy, content and resentful for their spouse wanting things to remain the same. It is not right to think that someone can change everything after vows and the other person is shamed if they still want the person that they married.

      2. Basically, there may be following reason:
        She may have some physical problem which she hesitate to discuss with you. And that’s why she keep herself away from you.
        Stress/Emotional Problems Can Lower her Sex Drive
        Lack of Friendship Can Quench Desire.
        For a better sex life you must connect emmotionally with your partner.
        And if these are not an issue with you then you must consult a sexologist.

    3. peppertree5706

      As a minister’s spouse, what does she say about 1 Corinthians 7:2-5? Does she exclude that part of Scripture is “not relevant to her life?”

      1. The phrasing of your question (which is more like a challenge) comes across as rhetorical, with her being WRONG in your eyes and God’s word. I don’t feel mercy, understanding, love, or compassion present at all. Hitting someone on the head with a scripture is NOT SEXY! There is a reason (s) a “Godly woman” doesn’t feel like having sex with her minister husband. Whatever the case, she must be in personal conflict for “not obeying the scripture”. Maybe look in the mirror a little closer (the Word is a mirror also). Perhaps talk to her and try to understand her perspective, then you can have a dialogue instead of trying to manipulate her with the Bible. I’m certain God did not intend for his word to be used like that. Humble yourself….pray…

        1. Renee. WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM!!! Maybe you are one of those asexual people driving your spouse nutty and his comment just hit too close to home? His comment is spot on, she married, that is part of marriage and quite frankly grounds for divorce as far as I am concerned.

        2. Thank you Renee. I am living this right now. I am hurting and in so much pain. I love my husband. I love God’s Word. Humility, understanding, love, compassion, long suffering (fruit of the Spirit) which as a minister, he certainly has access to, can make THE difference. Don’t let Satan rob us of the beauty God is trying to gift us in marriage. I Cor. 7:2-5 has been told to me in a raised voice with frustration and near anger. Where is Romans 12:9-21? There are several other references also to humility and love others as you would love yourself throughout the Scriptures– if we must bang people over the head with them. We are currently in counseling, and I am certain the Lord is working in our marriage, it’s just long and tough and a lot of layers of pain to walk through. Looking forward to the other side of this distress. Humility and patience are a very important part of this. Your spouse is not the enemy! We have been married 20 years and have 4 children. It’s worth it. My dad molested me when I was young but denies it. I have a lot of pain that I thought I understood and worked through, but remarkably I’ve never had the help of a counselor before now. I beg you to consider humility and kindness even when the other spouse seems cold. Internally they may be reeling of some pain they can’t even put their finger on or understand. Pray for them. Do you love them? The same love you love yourself with? Bear with them. Seek help in the safety of a multitude of counselors. The returns will be amazing!

    4. Jaswinder Singh Gill

      My story is same as you. I am a Pastor at a Church here in India. Married for eight years now, and I can hardly remember when we had a good sex. My wife is not at all interested in this topic. Sex is at the bottom of her long priority list.

    5. Dear Mark,I know your pain but I don’t understand the rules of staying because you are a minister. I am at fault as you are. I am myself in sexless marriage. But my dear you are cheating your people by trying to appear the happy husband!

      1. Sunny.!st of all Mark has no people.They are the makers.And you come off with the kind of negativity that only helps your self righteous EGO.Finally,how does one so mighty as youself KNOW of Marks’ pain?Keep to embracing the world of knowledge and you my friend will one day realise the application of the appropriate knowledge may free those for which it was (with love) intended.The outcome?A happy,fullfiling LIFE.

    6. It’s tough when you’re the girl and your drive is much stronger. Just got a new place with my long time boyfriend and nothing has changed. I always initiate, and after getting turned down so many times, I have give up.
      At this point, I have much resentment and we are just roommates. I’d like to move out but am in grad school and only work 30 hours a week. I student teach for 14 weeks in the fall, after that I’m probably out. I tried reaching out to a couples counselor, but he doesn’t have availability. Not even sure this thing is worth saving.
      Sometimes when my guy talks, I want to punch him because I’ve developed a disgust towards him…. did I mention he’s a hardcore gamer?

      1. I’m so sorry you are going through this. I am 28 and have been married 7 years to my wife. I have a very high sex drive, I mean if my wife wanted I could have sex 3 times a day every day. I am very respectful and understanding that she does not have the same drive but she is so indifferent about sex if I didn’t ask we could go months, in fact we have gone months. She would make a lot of excuses, or plan a night to do it but then say she doesn’t feel good, or that she is tired. I have been very open about intimacy and sex and it has resulted in quite a few arguments. I am faithful and love my wife very much and it kills me to say I have actually thought about going outside of our relationship. I went as far as downloading bumble and had several women contact me which made me feel good about myself but I deleted it before responding. I never took it farther then that but I feel terrible about some my that. I was in the Army for our first 4 years of marriage where our relationship was more bad than good but we roughed it out. When we relocated after the Army we were doing very well but then we had a rough patch and fought a lot about intamacy, my son (her step son I had when I was 18), her negativity and of course I’m not perfect either. But it almost got to having a divorce. We patched things up and was doing pretty good and now she is sick. She was diagnosed with a serious disease after she gave birth to our newest child. We weren’t having much sex before she was diagnosed which was a hot button topic but now we haven’t had sex in over a year. I’m sick of masturbating by myself, and when I ask her for handjobs at night I’m met with distain more often than not. I understand she is sick and I take care of her very well but she does have good days and I wait for them to ask. I’m having a hard time because I feel trapped. I don’t want to look outside my relationship but I’m tired of porn. I had to get this off of my chest, I have never said this out loud or talked to someone so this feels good.

        1. Fuck! I know how you feel! I’ve been married 6 months and my husband is barely a husband. I’m very sexual and could have sex many times a day. As soon as we got married everything changed and he never wants to have sex. I’m about ready to go find attention somewhere else.

          1. Ava,
            All I can say is what an idiot he must be. You are sexual and should not be left wanting. I’m sadly in the opposite situation with my wife never initiating sex and I feel as she is bothered by it being a chore. I keep myself in great shape but it doesn’t matter. I’m always happy to please her in any way…sad.
            Take care and good luck

          2. I know how you feel . my wife before , had sex all the time . Then when we moved in together it slowed down , had kids , then its been years since we have done anything . So i feel ypur pain .

        2. Mike after looking at a lot of these replies I think I have u all beat I have been married for 20 years we have been together for about 28 total. ten years into our marriage we had a son finally that was the last time my husband and I have had any kind of sexual contact. It’s been 11 years now with no sexual contact and almost 5 years without a hug mind you I’m a very good looking woman I work full time with a bunch of men who hit on me and I have to be told this is even going on so what gives? Why do I continue to be so lonely. Should I go outside the marriage? I’m dumbfounded I never thought I would be put in this position ever. Quite frankly it’s depressing

          1. We need a new word for desperate!!!!!
            Each time I read one of the replies I can visualize myself sitting down writing the same words. One thing is ceryain, we need to find a way to describe our feelings for this hurtful situation we are in.
            There are rules we follow to make a good marriage. A foundation if you will OUR foundation is deteriorating and they are fine with ignoring it.

            Frustrated, deprived, depressed, angry, defeated.

            Warmly,

            K

    7. sorry i too am a minister and suffer the same!!!! i a a woman and my husband deprives me! Jesus said no divorce!! i will suffer for My God.

      1. Candace L Ashley

        Jessy , Matthew 5:31-32
        It had been said whosoever shall put away his wife let him give her a writing and divorcement

    8. There is obviously an underlying reason she does not want sex, it may be medical or mental… for whatever reason she may not be comfortable letting you know. Honestly I doubt it has anything to do with you. I am going to be blunt; You can have sex without your partner, there are lots of coping tools that can release your tensions. Expecting her to be “the tool” for your gratification will not make you closer in the end. That only shows you want her to put your wants and needs in front of her own… I am just a woman who is considering divorce… and this is my opinion… expecting her to buck up and take it for the team will not help strengthen your marriage. She must be comfortable enough to tell you the real underlying reason so you can help her through it ….without judgement.

      1. Brandy, you are the problem! Did you not read the doctors advice above? Sex without the life partner (masterbation or use of tools) is unfulfilling and does NOT help the situation. Now, I am feeling sorry for your spouse/ significant other. I actually know exactly how it feels. No mailorder pocket pussy is going to help!

      2. Brandy,
        Your waaaaay off base here. The victim of problem #1 is the spouse who isnt getting the love they deserve. Both parties agreed to vows which bind the relationship together and those vows are being violated in the most dissrespectful way. Now, you suggest that the victim must now go out of their way to somehow make a ‘safe place’ for the violator to finally open up? What form of twisted logic is this? If the act of witholding sex and intimacy were relabeled as a criminal act (not just an immoral one) then everything I just discribed would seem ludicrous. Yet, thats what you’re advocating; a ludicrous scenerio where the the loving-deprived (by any other name, the victim) must somehow add insult to injury by playing therapist to the offender? Wow.

      3. Brandy – I think you are spot-on with your comment but I would like to add that it goes both ways (i.e. same for men lacking desire). A lot of this blog post and the comments seem to focus on wives not “putting out” and the frustration of their husbands and how it’s mostly a problem with women. But I am in the opposite situation because I am the one who is lacking desire and my wife is putting constant pressure and blame on me because I am not fulfilling my “sexual vows”. The more she gets on my case and doesn’t give a damn about why I’ve lost my desire, though I have explained it to her, the less drive I feel. I have offered other forms of intimacy like massage but she’s not satisfied by it. Maybe the saddest part of all this is she thinks I am rejecting her when in reality she has nothing to do with it, because I have no sexual attraction to anyone. While she feels hurt and rejected, and now also feels angry and resentful, I feel guilt and sadness and constant anxiety that she might divorce me. I won’t lie that it doesn’t seem selfish on her part to break up our family (we have a toddler) over one aspect of our marriage because it’s the only way she seems to feel to “loved” even though I constantly tell her I love her and give her other forms of intimacy. I feel terrible about how my wife is hurt by this and I would consider splitting even though I am very happy with our marriage, just so that she could find someone who would make her happier, but I can’t wrap my head around the idea of seriously damaging our daughter’s childhood. I believe that when you make the decision to have kids you make a vow to do what is best for them beyond your own needs. It really comes across as an ego thing with my wife and it makes me lose respect for her that she would put her need for sexual gratification in front of our daughter’s need to have a stable/intact family. Obviously, none of that helps my sex drive.

        I wish we had done it sooner, but we just went to our first counseling session. I am hopeful things will get better for both of us if we keep going. But I want to point out our counselor said there are almost no counselors/psychologists who tell people they should “just do it” (I mean have sex) to make their partner happy. It’s actually really damaging and will make things worse. People are not robots. Because sex is a very intimate/emotional/connecting act then both people need to want it, the person who is without desire is not going to be able to just fake it and it will end up making both people feel horrible and less connected afterward.

    9. Well, Pastor Mark,
      I can tell you one thing: you are reaping on of the many painful, hidden “benefits” of Christian living.
      Sexually deprived hubs are almost the rule among the Christian faithful. Why? Because TWO forces are at work slamming the breaks on Christian wives’ desires for sex: distaste with sex’s vulgar, invasive nature, and a lifetime of being taught that only within ONE circumstance is any form of sexual gratification permissible. (When women marry, it is often impossible for them to “flip the switch” and enthusiastically embrace their own and their husband’s sexuality, despite the scriptures in 1st Corinthians saying it’s ok in marriage. But remember– Paul warns that it is morally superior for Christians to remain celebate and not marry, but if the fear they can’t resist temptation, marry.)
      Oh, and let us not forget the workings of hormones on a woman’s sex drive after birth: 95% of women PERMANENTLY lose their sexual desires after having given birth to a baby!
      All this is the formula for misery for the husband and dread for the wife.
      My own church makes a big deal about forbidding all masturbation, even with no pornography involved. Church leaders insist that even though the Bible doesn’t prohibit MB, masturbating is a sin as grievious as homosexuality and adultery– both “sins unto death.” Marital chastity thusly requires sexual deprivation within marriage, too, no matter how miserable this makes you physically.
      Gotta take up your cross…
      Well, I’ve got my own ideas about the subject. Since my wife and I get along tolerably and we both frown on divorce, yet she has consistently refused to engage in relations with me since having had our first baby 22 years ago (she consented to four additional instances of intercourse which produced 3 more children), we’ve decided we have to stick it out until the kids have all reached 21, and meanwhile, I have myself on a porn-free masturbation schedule. I tried doing without for nearly 3 years and fell apart. It came down to being able to preserve my physical and mental well-being and hoping that men won’t be damned for meeting their own physiological needs under these circumstances.

      1. Sounds all too familiar. I honestly think the overemphasis on sexual purity often kills something permanently in women exposed to it. It disconnects them with all things sensual which are essential for a woman to feel desire.
        Or maybe women simply do not enjoy sex, period. I think that’s a lot of an explanation, too.

      2. Reading all these comments infuriates me to no end. I do not understand why it always has to be the man who is said to have the higher sex drive. We have been married for 23 years and for most of those years my husband was going to work and masturbating while leaving me at home wanting him to just make love to me all night long. it makes me sick to my stomach to think about it now and I really I want out of my marriage but I really love him I’m scared to death I’m never going to get the kind of love that I want. I’m 41 years old I have lived more than half my life and half of that has been lived unsatisfied I’m tired of feeling ugly, rejected , unwanted. Now whenever he tries to have sex with me I get sick to my stomach just thinking about him sitting at work in his vehicle jacking off in a freaking parking lot to no telling how many freaking women were walking by that’s what makes me sick I was at home wanting sex with my husband I have a very high sex drive I could have sex at least once a day but heck I’d be happy with three times a day I crave it. I crave that attention. I saved myself for marriage because of religious reasons and I feel like it was a total joke now I’m stuck with somebody who masturbated and masturbaoted and masturbated and now he can’t even freaking get it upanymore. He is 48 years old I’m 41 there’s so much more to life than this bullcrap reading me some of these comments absolutely makes me sick. I was a virgin for goodnes sakes. He marries a virgin gets me pregnant 2 years into the marriage and then quits having sex with me whenever my body start showing i was pregnant. Then we have sex again after recovery three years later have another child once again sex stops as soon as I find out I’m pregnant and none of this is my fault. I beg the man for sex so for nine months I went without sex actually 11 months counting the recovery period from having the second child. He swears up and down it wasn’t me it wasn’t my fault that he didn’t have sex with me anymore but yet come to find out there was pornography involved there was masturbation involved all of the stuff took over my marriage because my husband is a selfish jerk, or was, now he’s trying to fix it all of it and now it feels so fake to me because I’m just like whatever I mean you didn’t want me for the first 17 years of our marriage I caught him back in 2014 with the masturbation issue whenever he would come home from work with stuff all over his clothes. Just thinking about all this absolutely makes me sick to my stomach. Part of me hates him, but I love him.

    10. Mark. I hear you. Been on the marriage road 36.5 years. Also, have worked with ministers, in ministries. Side by side supporting pastors, missionaries, evangelists, teachers. There are some obstacles that you might have as a full time minister, and at a “growing church thats depending on my integrity and leadership”. Just to give you proper perspective so we can have an understanding and common ground, and that depends on the type of church you lead … protestant, evangelical mainstream, evangelical, pentecostal, independent. First, let me state that to be a pastor one must be one of two things: Crazy or Called. Four hours of dealing with issues that congregants might be living through is more than enough for a boastful loud proud christian to see the light with the same end result: I quit this ministry.
      You appear to not be a quitter. Neither in ministry or marriage. So now you know what I am familiar with in the inner workings behind the scenes in a minister of integrity. It is not hypocritical to declare what good things scriptures promises to those who believe while your marriage might be experiencing capsizing, shipwrecking. To be honest, it feels like a lie, but it is not. Nowhere in scripture is there a promise of ease and being without trouble. Integrity demands we be objective and reveal what has been revealed through scripture. And that is how I know what you mean when you state “I cant divorce”. You are stuck. But you are not stuck for life. Take another pick at that leather bound you have been using to inspire and see positive change in the life of your congregants. So, “why am I not getting a positive change in my marriage?”. Simple: It takes both of ya.
      Now, that is the baseline. You must be aware that you have several things working against you and your wife that are really real, and are part of the “christian leadership culture”. Just to let you know, pornography is epidemic in … pastors… Yes. One of the reasons is the very thing you are going through, and so many others. My wife did not believe me when I told her 10 years ago that middle age married people are going through some of the worst crisis in the christian community. So, let me share some of the handicaps you face:

      1. What the church leadership teaches concerning modesty. i.e. Buying a miniskirt, like the 3 inch above the knee, is too tempting for the brothers in the church. I am a believer in modesty. But let me share with you that I enjoy watching my wife’s legs when she wears a skirt that is above her knees. It is how we are wired. I have always questioned why the church does not teach a women to be modest in a miniskirt. Is that not plausible? Yes it is, but the religious culture does not allow this. I have actually witnessed a pastor lecture a choir concerning the importance of not having form fitting clothes for women, and he was not referring to tight fitting skirts, blouses or sweaters. He was referring to attire that does not expose and at the same time does not conceal the shape of a woman. Isn’t interesting that form fitting shirts for men is never mentioned? I told my wife that if she would be a member of that choir and that was what was required, to say goodbye to the choir. We actually witnessed how a lovely woman, who loves The Lord, was demeaned by her husband in the manner which he addressed her and embarrassed her. She would wear skirts to the services. She got the looks from other women. I am sure from men also. But, this happens anyway anywhere all the time regardless of how one is dressed up. I know the leaders had a difficult time with this lovely lady. I and my wife did not. No man has a right to call his wife “heifer”. She was not embraced by most congregants, and was ignored by leaders. I stood by her. My wife stood by her. My best friends [a couple] stood by her. The day came when her husband just told her that he would divorce her if she continued to complain about his verbal and gesture treatment towards her. She took him up on it. The day he presented her with the divorce papers, he did not believe that she signed them immediately. He intended it as a bluff. He did not know she no longer wanted anymore verbal abuse and did not want anymore of him or his things. We stood by, next to, and supported this lovely woman. A woman wants to feel valued. So, how the christian culture teaches on modesty greatly influences women, who are married, who want to serve because they love God. I have witnessed watching wives in shock when I would agree with them that yes, they have needs as well as their husbands. There is not a minister’s wife who wants to take second place to her husbands job and vice versa. Ministers tend to forget that it appears that way especially with the powerful influence of their messages. Your messages as a minister are to remain secondary to your words towards your wife. It can sometimes be difficult. I know stubborness in me and my wife. Humble pie is abundant.

      2. Number 1 affects your perception, paradigm, filter of holy sexuality. So let me challenge you here: What is sexually forbidden in scripture? You will be surprised at how little is forbidden. This was an eye opener for my wife. My wife has known ever since we met that I can care less what any minister, church, or leader says over something that is not backed by scripture in context, history, culture, and application. Sexual freedom has been hijacked in the christian culture by norms that are man made, never considering what the Song of Solomon states, the obligations that a man took concerning his wife. The expectation of the husband to the wife and the expectation from the wife to the husband in FREEDOM OF INTIMACY. And believe it or not, I find many women are baffled at the fact that men need someone who not only physically connect but also embrace, men need the soft firm tight hug that only a wife provides. Absent that it can affect self esteem. It is just the way we men are and we must communicate this clearly to our spouses. My wife never gets the best of me when intimacy is deficient. This explains why so many ministers have gotten into pornography. And yes, I have had to search it because I have had to face some challenges in my perceptions because as a christian I have responsibilities as well as freedoms under the covenant of marriage and not outside of it. It is liberating. It took research. Today my wife knows I do not care what anyone says about my freedom as a husband, a man, a father. The church is not the ultimate authority. Scripture is. Today porn is the most thriving business because of the level of ignorance as to what sex and intimacy truly are in the christian community. Porn will never show you that. Scripture does. I remember when the movie “Don Juan de Marco” started showing; it was made into a controversy in a group that I was involved with. I challenged them. Is that what a woman wants? Is that how a man perceives love to be? The ending was classical. I relate with the music, the romance – I am a romantic fool who does love flamenco, Paco de Lucia. I asked the ministers in the group “Have you Ever Really Loved a Woman”? The looks were priceless. Here we were with a group in the mid 20’s to mid 40’s and they were stunned???? If there is someone who should be able to answer such a question is a christian. You would be surprised at the deer looks you will get if you ask those you know that same question. After all, what is marriage when the women cannot or the husband cannot answer such a question?

      3. Ministers live in a bubble. Ministers do not know what it is like to be in the market place with people in their 50’s, the X gen, and millenials together at the same time in the same place. What people miss out on is incredible, and add to the mix those who do not even consider the danger or cost of the hook up culture. I respect your commitment, Mark, to integrity. Just remember one thing: Adam’s most important ministry was Eve. He did not say to Stop when he could and should have. That was part of his role, watching for the well being of his wife Eve. Career, Ministry, Hobby, children, friends, parents, grandchildren, are not equal in priority to a spouse. One of my pastors put it this way, pointing at himself and his wife, stating “if this does not work, the ministry is a failure, because the building block of a family, community, church is … marriage regardless of how large “the ministry grows”.

      Let me encourage you to consider and examine your perception, as a minister of the gospel, and the ones you grew up believing in, and put them to the test of what scripture supports, denies, and is silent on, together with the question “what is it that my wife needs. Communicating this to your wife will open a door to a view that you probably are not aware of nor is your wife aware of. This is where a psychotherapist can help you navigate through this. An objective third party.

      The fact that you are a minister in a marriage that is not working does not make you a weak man nor does it make your wife a weak woman. It does reveal that you deal with the same issues that the rest of us who are not in full time ministry have to deal with.

      3 John 2 puts it this way: ‘Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”

    11. I’m in the same boat buddy, if I bring up the word sex you would of thought I committed a crime and I’m shot down faster than I brought it up. I’m so tired of being rejected that I have just fell n the I’ll get it when shes ready to give it to me. Also our sex has turned to me bathing her and giving her a hot oil massage which leads to me on my knees behind her with my tongue up her ass as she tells me to jerk my lil dic whole I eat her ass like a good submissive husband and believe it or not I’ve learned to love it to crave it, and wish I could eat her ass every night but she controls that, she tells me that she needs a big hard dic to fuck the shit out of her while I watch and eat her ass while I jerk my dic I have started to want this too she has made me her bitch.

  2. It is good to know that one is not alone in this pained existence. As a sexually active man, I have tried for years to convince my wife about the necessity for and the appropriateness of sexual intimacy. I am sometimes made to feel guilty for demanding sex. After eighteen years of marriage and three children, my wife asks me why I behave like a little boy and so greedy for sex. I have extra-marital affairs because I cant live with the deprivation. Of course, I feel the guilt of a cheating husband and wish there is another way out because I love my wife and feel very fulfilled whenever she obliges me.
    It would be good to have a normally sexual wife who would understand that a very sexual husband is not diseased or immoral, that a man with a good sexual appetite is not unhealthy. Even after discussing Dr. Karen’s articles on deprived spouses, there is no sign of any difference in our marriage.
    Dr. Karen, please advise me on the way out of my predicament.

    1. You are definitely not alone. I cannot begin to tell you how many emails I get from people in reaction to reading this blog (as they wish to remain anonymous) who are in your very situation. Your posting directly on this blog is brave, and also it is clear from your writing how upset you are. I do not approve of cheating and feel bad for you both that is where things are in your marriage. I am glad to hear that you shared my article with your wife, I am sorry to hear that was not the difference that made the difference for you. My advice: I urge you both to go for marriage counseling as it offers a safe space for you each to share your perspective, so she can hear your voice and you can hear hers. Marriage counseling also provides for the opportunity for techniques to help you both to help yourselves get to a better place. I wish you both the best on your journey. Warmly, Dr. Karen

      1. Deprived, unhappy 51 yr old wife

        What do you do when you started counselling but your husband shut it down saying it’s a waste of $ ? I feel deprived, I mean you lose it soon enough as you get older why do I have to suffer as he makes excuses all the time & even blames me for NOT PUTTING OUT? I hate that, it’s not true I started marking on the calendar but that got too depressing as the weeks w/out stretch out ever longer. If he’s messing around I’m divorcing him. He won’t communicate! He has fits of rage, gets drunk & I never know how he will treat me…I’m feeling so sad & unloved. He says love you daily but doesn’t show it. I wish I never married him, I think he just wants his single screwing w/anyone life back! Well HAVE IT THEN! He calls me selfish! Fuck I hate him!

        1. Dear Deprived unhappy 51 year old wife, To answer your question as to what you do when your husband shuts down counseling, I suggest you go for individual counseling with someone who specializes in relationship issues so you have someone to talk through what you are feeling. Your husband’s lack of desire to attend counseling does not mean you do not have to go. I am sorry for your pain. Warmly, Dr. Ruskin

        2. @Deprived, Unhappy51yr old wife, I hear you!! Same exact deal here!! IMHO, your dealing with narcissistic abuse!! Also, research Covert Narcissistic abuse & other related ASP (Anti-Social Personality Disorders), which is the updated DSM classification. There are some great resources on YouTube to start with. Many PhD’s are just starting to gain a better insight into what Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome actually is. Which, to me, is the ‘vibe’ that I pick up from your post. Angie Atkinson / Vital Mind Psychology / Inter integration ~ are just a few YouTube experts that may be extremely helpful to you in your healing journey. Also, gaining ground a deeper understanding into what’s clinically referred to as “the madonna / whore complex” could prove to be very insightful in your situation as well. Sex for NPD’s / CNP’s is viewed more like we are a LITERAL APPLIANCE, it’s about control & they ‘get off’ BY DEPRIVING YOU & the narcissistic supply if you’re getting pissed off actually provides them; it’s a VERY SICK, TWISTED & TRULY EVIL ‘GAME!!!’ From a scriptural point of view, it’s also often referred to as the Jezebel Spirit. I would STRONGLY RECOMMEND THESE RESOURCES TO ALL ON THIS BLOG!! This blog’s author is SPOT ON ACCURATE & I sincerely believe that combined together, on a professional level, that these professionals could REALLY HELP MANY ON NUMEROUS LEVELS BY COMBINING THEIR EFFORTS!! Ultimately, once I finish up my PhD myself & recover fully from this same exact HORRIFIC NIGHTMARE, I too will be helping others, because I know firsthand Hit horrific this pain is & how deep it cuts!! You will heal, but know that it WILL TAKE TIME, so please remember to be patient with yourself & this chapter in your journey. SELF-CARE IS THE KEY & so is the Grey Rock Method once you reach that point in the journey too, because IT’s CRITICAL TO STABD GUARD at the whole “love bombing phase,” which DOES HAPPEN PREDICTABLY IN THEIR DISORDERED ABUSE CYCLE!! So PLEASE LEARN ABLUT THE ABUSE CYCLE & PATTERNS ~ FIRST TOO, this is CRITICAL IMHO & firsthand experiences dealing with this VERY EVIL ‘SICK DANCE’ that they do & this EVIL GAME that they ‘play’ with us!! May we all heal & NEVER ALLOW ANOTHER NPD / CNP INTO OUR LIVES ECER AGAIN!! It is a VERY LITERAL LIVING HELL!! But, you WILL HEAL!! Just invest the love energy into EXCELLENT SELF CARE & PATIENCE with yourself & your own healing journey!! ??

  3. My husband and I have been married almost three years. We used to have a very fulfilling sex life. Lately I feel like there’s a disconnect. We barely have sex anymore. Maybe once a week. It’s always over before it even starts for me. I want him to be more verbal in bed. I’ve talked to him about it and he’ll try once or twice then say he is too embarrassed. I’m pretty open to anything in the bedroom. I feel don’t feel like he even wants to do it lately. I always bring sex up. Try to get things started. He rarely does. We aren’t clicking like we used to and I want that back.. Help!

    1. Hi Danielle,
      The fact that you both “used to have a very fulfilling sex life” is promising and optimistic for what can be. The fact that you feel like lately “there’s a disconnect” is not something to be ignored. It is not uncommon for sexual disconnect to occur in a couples relationship, for a wide variety of reasons ranging from something that is going on individually for the person having nothing to do with the relationship, to something the person is feeling about their spouse and/or the couple relationship. Just because it is common in occurrence, does not mean it is not a problem. You are smart to attempt to address this problem and consider the solution resolution for it.

      So, at this point, my advice to you is that you need to uncover what really is the underlying issue. My suggestion to you is as a first step, find out if he agrees with you that the sexual frequency and the connection quality has decreased. If he agrees, I would suggest the two of you have a heart to heart conversation with you looking at him right in the eyes and asking him to communicate to you his theory as to why. In a loving, patient, interested manner.

      The topic regarding your desire for him to be more verbal and him saying “he is too embarrassed”, the question is: if that was the only thing he was not doing if that would be a problem for you. Or, is it because as you have written that you feel like he doesn’t even want to have sex and that you “aren’t clicking like” you used to? It would be interesting to know if he feels you pressure him sexually, or if that is not a piece of the puzzle. I only mention this since you wrote; “I always bring sex up.”. If this disconnect that went from a fulfilling sex life to not fulfilling, if that’s the problem, and not about his lack of being verbal, this is important for you to understand about yourself. Also, you mentioned you are “pretty open to anything in the bedroom”, so the question is; were you always and he was too? Or were you always and he never was? I am not suggesting for you to answer these questions to me. Rather, I am suggesting that you consider these questions and answer them yourself to help you to uncover how you are feeling and how he may be understanding the situation. Which leads me back to my original question that is really the one that you each need to look at. Ultimately the question you need the answer to is: does he agree that you both used to have a fulfilling sexual relationship and not any longer? Does he too feel disconnected from you? And, You also want to ask him whether he would like for it to improve. If he feels the sexual relationship has changed as well, but he doesn’t want it to improve, that is one kind of problem. If he feels it is still good and doesn’t see the difference from what was but you do, that’s another kind of problem.

      So, you asked for help. My advice: sit down together, don’t give up and walk away frustrated, be patient and don’t leave the dialogue until he tells you his perspective based upon the questions I have placed above.

      I truly hope this helps, and I wish you the best on your journey. Good luck.
      Best,
      Dr. Karen Ruskin

  4. I don’t understand. I have a good marriage. If your spouse isn’t taking care of you sexually, then they don’t love you. How can you let your own spouse refuse to have sex with you and then actually believe them when they say it is your problem that you want sex? Dude, don’t let them get away with that. Denying your spouse sex is marital abuse. Just tell them that. Hey, if you don’t take care of my needs reasonably then that is abuse. Why should you stay in a marriage that is that abusive?

    1. Julie, agreed – wanting to have a sexual relationship with one’s spouse is not a problem. Rather, it is healthy. The path you are taking suggesting it is “marital abuse” when one’s spouse does not “take care” of “needs reasonably” as you worded it may leave some to react in disagreement and others in complete agreement. I can imagine it would be deemed a controversial statement by some since the word “abuse” in and of itself does typically raise reaction. Is it neglectful of the spouse? Indeed many may agree with that statement, the word: neglectful. And, since the term neglect is under the category of abuse, I understand the basis of your statement, I will also give you the heads up that there are those who may react negatively in response to the term “abuse” though. For as I am sure you know, when people think of the term abuse, people typically think of an action you are doing, not the lack of an action. When people think of the term “neglect” they think of the lack of an action and often do not associate it with abuse.

      It is generous of you to take out the time to comment in an effort to try to help out a person in pain, thank you kindly for your input.
      Warmly,
      Dr. Ruskin

    2. Julie your comment is so sad, but true. I remember when I had what I thought was a good marriage; or at least the illusion thereof. Your comment makes me sad, yet vindicated in my feelings of wanting out of this marriage. Gave it 11 yrs and still the same problem 11 yrs later. Always said I would leave if I felt the need to cheat. Counseling is bogus if the person is convinced they’re fine. Ugh hate being married.

      1. Hi Unhappy Wife,
        How kind of you to comment on Julie’s words.

        I’m so sorry to hear that you hate being married. When a marriage is disharmonious it is so painful for the mind, body, and spirit. When in a healthy marriage it is nourishing for the mind, body, and spirit adding value to one’s life rather.

        As far as your counseling comment, indeed- couples counseling is phenomenal and can truly be the difference that makes a difference when both people are interested. When both parties are not interested, it is indeed quite sad for the couple. Although, I will share that based on my experience as a marriage therapist, when an individual comes for counseling either by desire for individual counseling, or because their spouse declines in coming, individual counseling can be extremely beneficial. The self empowerment, confidence, strength, improved sense of self, and self understanding I have seen through the years in my work with individual men and women is beautiful. And, depending on the person, sometimes one person attending on their own brings back insights and tips into the couple relationship that helps the couple shift from stuck to unstuck, and growth/enhancement. Then of course there are other times where one’s person growth of which individual counseling has helped to promote does not lead to couple growth, rather it leads to a consciousness of what can never be. Which depending on the case leads to varied outcomes for the couple. Sometimes in acceptance of what is and thereby a relaxed couple-hood, and other times a decision to no longer be together is ultimately determined by the couple.

        Best,
        Dr. Ruskin

      2. Laying here in my bed with my snoring wife. It’s been over a month since our last sexual encounter and it was almost 2 months before that. I am in Alabama, 53 years old. Considered nice looking. Email me if you would like to talk.

        William

        1. Consider yourself lucky. I have had sex with my wife over 11 months. Her excuse “I’m to tired” I help around the house. I got so sick of being rejected that I’m sleeping in the living room on the couch.

          1. It’s been basically thirteen years for me. My wife simply told me that she was losing her sex drive in 2005. We now have grandchildren and all of her energy and attention are generally aimed towards them and my single-parent daughters. They expect her to be at their call as needed, including overnight often three evenings each week. If it weren’t for the rewards of my occupation taking care of hematology and oncology patients, I’d have little sense of satisfaction in my life currently. I’m nearing retirement and am having difficulty contemplating life without the therapeutic aspects I derive from my job and patients. I feel more intimate and close with them than with my spouse.

          2. Hey what was the outcome. Did anything change. I’m having some problems as well and I would love to chat with another guy to help with solutions

    3. I agree 100% !!! If you fail to take care of a child it’s abuse. If you fail to perform duties at work you’re fired. I mean this isn’t rocket science. Take care of each other’s needs! It’s easy. It’s fun! What the @$&€£* is wrong with these people? I work constantly to provide and care for my loved ones. Even if I hated sex it would still be the easiest most pleasurable “work” I do lol. I would never stay with someone who wouldn’t take care of me sexually.

  5. My husband has no sex drive, unless he has been drinking. We are now at 16 days since we last had sex. I have an extremely high sex drive and I have tried everything. I am lost and although I do not believe in affairs, there have been many times where I have contemplated one. We have 2 children together and divorce is not an option. But how do I make him see that he is physically hurting my heart by not being intimate? I just want some love.

    1. Hi Elisha, the earlier comment from Julie seems to be fitting to your assertion in your statement that your husband; “is physically hurting my heart by not being intimate.” Having an affair I would stay clear far away from, is my advice always. As then the problem focus becomes on the actions and hurt the person who has had the affair has caused, rather than the actual problem. Affairs are destructive and conflict avoids. The goal here is to address the problem not disconnect from it.

      If indeed your “husband has no sex drive, unless he has been drinking”, I would suggest to you that there is a problem. Clearly you realize this. As to whether the problem is relational, as to whether the problem is how he feels about you emotionally, or sexually, or whether the problem is emotionally-individually-based relating to something within your husband that is not about you nor the relationship, whatever the underlying problem is that is presenting itself in “no sex drive, unless he has been drinking” – I urge you both to go together for marriage counseling in the town you live in. The fact that you “just want some love” is of course normal and healthy. Assuming that your husband also wants love, assuming for a moment that your husband wants to remain married, assuming that your husband loves you, assuming that your husband finds you appealing physically, assuming that your husband is feeling connected to you emotionally,… the list goes on… Assuming all of these things, if you have an “extremely high sex drive” and let’s say he has a low sex drive or a moderate sex drive, indeed it is going to take honest communication between the two of you to understand what is going on in your relationship, within each of you individually and relation-ally as far as your needs and desires, and his, and then coming to an understanding of what you are each longing for and needing.

      You have written that you have “tried everything”. Often when a person feels they have tried everything, the one thing that has not happened is the successful understanding between what each person wants and needs and an understanding of what action each person can take and then takes with consistency to bring the couple to where they want to be.

      http://www.aamft.org as well as http://www.psychologytoday.com are both good sites to find talk therapists. I would suggest you focus on finding a therapist not only in a location near you, but specifically someone who specializes in marriages. Contacting your primary care physician or gynecologist and asking if there is a marriage therapist they trust whom their clientele has spoken highly of and recommend, is an additional viable option for how to find a marriage therapist.

      I hope you will seek out talk therapy. For having a therapeutic environment for you and your husband to openly discuss in an honest way what you are each feeling will lead you each to an increased awareness of what you are both feeling and thinking. It is that insight that can help you both to get to a healthier place. Also, often marriage therapists will in addition provide tips and tools of the trade, so to speak, tailor made to fit your particular situation, that will help you both to get unstuck.

      I wish you all the best and hope you take action on these resources.
      Best,
      Dr. Ruskin

      1. Dr., what do u do when communication is not the problem. We talk about this quite frequently. He’s attracted to me, would like to remain married and all those wonderful things; so he says. His excuse is, he’s just not that sexual of a person. He can go easily a week with no sex, and longer if I didn’t complain. So now that we know this is just who he is and this is unacceptable to me; where does this leave me. This is the part I’m having a hard time with.

        1. Dear Unhappy Wife,
          It is very difficult indeed, when the same problem remains with no improvement nor growth over time. If indeed you and your husband have sexual frequency needs that are not in sync with one another, and it is “unacceptable” to you as you have written, where does this leave you? The answer is it leaves you either: a) choosing to accept the unacceptable, b) coming up with a sexual plan that is acceptable to you and to him (e.g., if “he’s just not that sexual of a person” there are things sexually he can do FOR you, special just for you yet still being true to his own self) for it is not uncommon for couples to have different frequency needs, c) shifting your perspective from “unacceptable” to acceptable, d) deciding that the sexual frequency is of such significance to you that since it is not who he is, you are not able to remain with him for who he is, is not enough for you. Difficult choices.

          You stated that he’s attracted you and wishes to remain married, then you said “so he says”. You also stated in your previous comment in response to Julie “Ugh hate being married”, so I am wondering if perhaps there is something that you are thinking and feeling, or that he is thinking or feeling, that although as you stated “communication is not the problem”, is not being said. So, as far as your question “where does this leave me”, in addition to A through D above, this also leads you with an E option- the two of you can go for marriage counseling to help you both to uncover if there is a solution resolution strategy that perhaps the 2 of you have not come up with. Since you are feeling stuck, counseling is a helpful way to help one’s self to get unstuck. Or, of course you can go for individual counseling to discuss where this leaves you, to explore further your additional options. For certainly a blog commentary does not allow for the full exploration of the situation since it is no substitute for counseling. And if he desires to remain married, and if you desire to remain married, then it leaves you with working as a team to discover what to do about the fact that one member within the couple unit is not fulfilled sexually.

          As you said you are “having a hard time with” his, as you stated “excuse” that “he’s just not that sexual of a person”. So, I wonder of course what is on your mind if you are feeling it is an “excuse”. Confronting your thoughts with him in a therapeutic environment may be a step in the direction of exploring further where this leaves you beyond what a blog commentary can, and hopefully can help you both move forward in whatever direction you both ultimately are hoping for.

          I wish you all the best, as marriage can be such a beautiful thing, when it is feeling well. And so ugly and emotionally draining when it is not doing well. And of course you have made it clear that right now, and for some time, your marriage is not and has not been feeling so well from your point of view in that you are not fulfilled sexually.

          I hope this commentary helps, even if but just a little.
          Warmly,
          Dr. Ruskin

          1. Ditto that. I had sex 3 times last YEAR with my husband. It didn’t start out this way but it certainly hasn’t been a happy ending. Lol
            I have a husband. But I don’t consider him as my lover nor my friend any more. Why in the world would I? Looking back, 3 years of this craziness should have been when I called it quits. He has too many intimacy hang ups now.

          2. I have been married 28 years. I am 47 and my husband and I have not had sex it even been intimate in about 8 years. He refuses counseling and gets angry if I try to discuss this with him. I am lost, sad,mad and feel very humiliated by his close minded reactions.

        2. Why cant he get it and understand that you need him.he can surely perform if he puts his mind to it.he needs to be more loving towards your needs.they questing should be is it absolutely impossible for him to meet your needs.willbhe die if he helps you out.will he be depleted without energy.thebhurt the deprived spouse feel is more than the careless denial of the denying spouse.he should take his wifes needs more serious!

        3. I’m so unhappy too in my marriage because my husband deprives me of sex. In 2015 I was pregnant and I was diagnosed HIV positive. Both of us we are. Now he started using that HIV thing not to have sex because he said we will infect the baby and he don’t like condoms. Even after the birth of our baby we still have sex once in months and I am so tired talking to him about it.

    2. 16 days only without a sexual relation, is okay. I have been deprived since 6 years. It is so painful, I have a constant pain in my body. I learned to cry with a smile.

      1. I have same problem…gone by 3 yrs now…but husband does not realise what he is doing..how can one solve the issue if the partner does not have sexual drive at all or is not ready to share the details about what he feels..
        very frustrating. but have to live life as is…
        no option thr.

      2. I too had nothing for 6 years. Then next to nothing for 20 years. Don’t know how I managed to hide the pain. I am attractive. Had an affair. Who can blame me?

        1. I and many others can blame you. Having an affair is not excusable, and no justification you could put forward can justify the unjustifiable. Simply put, you should of left instead of cheating. Simple.

      3. I fully understand the feelings and thoughts being aired. My wife and I have had no physical intimacy at all for 14 years. I’m 60 and she is 56. Believe it or not, you do get used to it to the point that sexual thoughts never occur to either of us. Occasionally my wife snaps at me about hating celibacy but I truly cannot be bothered any more. I class it as that part of life being over. After all, it was her that started it by saying during an argument that I would get no sex from her unless she gave me permission. I purposely did not mention it ever again and neither did she so here we are 14 years on with no physical contact at all apart from a quick peck on the cheek before going to sleep each night..in separate rooms.

      1. Hi Dr Ruskin,
        I am really unsure of what to do in my situation. I am a woman in her early 30s who hasn’t had sex regularly in ten years. I am considered intelligent and niche attractive – some people see me as ugly and some people see me as the dream.
        Sex has always been an important part of my life – when I was 21 and my boyfriend wanted to get rid of me, he knew to cut me off sexually first if he really wanted to change things. Otherwise we would have kept getting back together over and over. But if I’d known how my next relationship would have turned out, I would have taken him back the first time he asked. Up until the end of this relationship, 3 – 7 x a week was normal for us as we were young
        My next relationship was with a man who had never had any girlfriends before. On the 4th day of being together he told me that he wished I was thinner. I thought I could live with that, that his honesty was a good thing and that most of us wish the person we were with was more attractive. We were together for a couple years before he lost interest in me completely since his friends and dad thought I was too fat to be attractive. He just wanted to be with someone instead of nobody, and nobody had ever been interested in him before. He got to try out everything he ever was curious about on someone but wasn’t specifically interested in me. Eventually he became abusive, not only rejecting me when I asked for sex but also beating me once it turned into an argument. I warned him I’d eventually fall in love with someone else. We got married, though I told him that it would end eventually if the problem wasn’t fixed. He swore that once he felt like I was his wife it would be different. Of course, it did not change.
        In that 6th year I met the love of my life. I got divorced and moved in with him. I lost all my family and friends over it and moved across the country. My current spouse is the only person I have. He knew about the problems and wasn’t going to let the same thing happen. What he didn’t know was just how bad his health was and how unable he would be to have sex with me. I have waited years now. I waited several years before we could have sex but it is so stunted by physical handicaps. Even with erection pills there is little that can be done. Now it is better than ever before but it still only happens once every other month, which is not enough for me. He finally is willing to perform oral sex but neither this nor toys nor digital stimulation is going to give me what I need. I have patiently waited 6 years and feel so much frustration because every month when ovulation passes and my hormones crash I feel like an absolute biological failure and hear all the words of my ex husband telling me again how I am too ugly and too fat. It seems it is my curse to have chosen not one but two men in a row who cannot have sex with me. To make matters worse, he cannot work due to his health and for this reason I am now quite far in debt. I would not want to abandon him but I am at a complete loss as to how to solve this problem. I have brought it up at least twice a month every month since we’ve met and it is always brushed aside as “we’re making progress” but it is all too slow – too slow with his weight, his employment, his ability to have sex, and I feel life racing by. Moments like this when I can’t pay my bills but I need to replace my vibrator since it is worn out, but I have no money and I am aching with physical need but he is sleeping and sick, times like this I cry myself to sleep with my predicament as I will never cheat. (not culturally acceptable for me) I can’t understand depriving yourself of this and am afraid I will stay by his side until I lose all libido to menopause and regret all of this time. He says it matters to him and he loves me the most, but it slips his mind constantly and thus does not seem important to him. Every time I bring it up he will say things like “we can’t solve all of the worlds problems right now” and “this is going to make me feel bad and keep it from happening” but truly no time is a good time to bring such things up…I’m afraid of being too nice at cost to myself and suffering, but also I don’t ever want to hurt his feelings. But I need sex! Don’t wan’t to give this up for anyone, and I wasted my entire 20s being pointlessly monogamous and loyal. I also feel gross for being able to accept someone who is sick and doesn’t work but not being able to accept a lack of sex as my priority..any advice appreciated

        1. also therapy is not possible as I am uninsured and no services are available. He does not believe in therapy so it would be me going alone, and he would disapprove and talk me out of it anyway as he would see it as a form of failure and a pointless endeavour

  6. Hi, Dr. Karen Ruskin.

    I’ve been married for a decade and absolutely love my wife. I still do and can’t contemplate not loving and being married to her. However, our sex life has become none existent and unlike most common cases, she is the sexually deprived one. We have gone several long periods of no sex spanning 2 to 8 months at different times and it has taken its toll on the marriage.

    I have had affairs that have not included intercourse but have had exchanges that suggest so. This is solely due to the fact that I feel guilty about it and as a result can’t go through with it. I might never forgive myself if I do. These affairs have recurred but are never sustained. I hate it and have resolved to put an end to it. Easier said than done but I intend to make it a thing of the past because of the love I have for my wife.

    My wife decided to get a dildo to which I didn’t object and was justified because the 1st time we used it, it aroused me as well but on subsequent encounters, I got increasingly uninterested in seeing her use a dildo.

    She gets increasingly frustrated and annoyed to the point where she gets violent after a failed attempt at love making if we attempt discussing it. She tells me it’s fully my business to fix whatever my issues are as she is not the one with the problem which is true but I wish she could show support amid the hurt she feels. The hitting starts when in her anger she accuses me using verbally abusive words and I respond with mostly repetitive words used by her. She tells me I am the most wicked person in the world for intentionally depriving her of sex. I disagree cos I still love and crave my wife sexually. I just can’t get all the failed attempts and verbal abuse out of my head quick and permanently enough to express the full desire. That’s because I dread the aftermath of another failed attempt.

    In all of these, I know it’s my problem. I have decided to take pills to ensure a sustained erection to be able to satisfy her and myself because I enjoy making love to her.

    Thanks for reading and pls let me know your thoughts.

    Best regards,

    Ibi Miller

    1. Hi Ibi,
      Although your affairs have not included intercourse, as you clearly recognize based on what you have written, they are still affairs. Affairs can be extremely intense and significantly affect one’s mental, emotional, and sexual focus – negated from one’s spouse, whether or not intercourse occurs. Since time and energy is focused on the affair. And, often post an affair/affairs, men and women do report that their recall of the sex is dramatic. It often makes it difficult to connect afterwards with one’s spouse, as they found the intensity of eroticism and passion one yearns for with their spouse that they rather experienced with this other person. But, not the love that they feel for their spouse, that… is the piece missing in the affair. It becomes difficult, or should I say; the experience of passion with another likely exacerbates the already existing problem of not feeling sexually what one desires to experience with one’s spouse. As the comparison is in contrast to one another. Indeed, your plan to stop having affairs is definitely a 1st step in the right direction. Affairs are a choice. Choosing to rather spend your focus on your wife, if indeed your desire is to remain with your wife, is the way to go.

      Based upon your initial excitement at seeing your wife use a dildo, and then a lack of interest in that going forward is perhaps symbolic for your need for newness and creativity. As often newness in one’s sexual encounter (smell, taste, visual, sounds, position, etc.) is what is exciting for some. If that is the case for you, then both you and your wife taking ownership of being creative with one another, exploring varied sexual styles with one another is another step in the right direction.

      When you write about your “failed attempt at love making” – absolutely that is something to explore and understand. To self confront and uncover what is going on for you emotionally is very important in circumstances like these. Uncovering what you are feeling personally, individually, relationally – all are pieces of the puzzle. Although I agree that sexual dysfunction is individually a problem, I also agree that sexual dysfunction is relationally a problem. I believe solutions are based within self and couple- as in asking one’s self: what can I do to help myself, my spouse, and the couple whole to experience a sexually emotionally and physically fulfilling relationship? And for one’s spouse to ask one’s self the same questions. Important to note: It is of great significant that each individual within the couple unit, as well as the couple whole take ownership of understanding the underlying problem, the relationship interactional dynamic, and potential solutions of which are supportive, nurturing, and nourishing for each and the couple whole. For it is then when the couple can truly help themselves to help themselves get to a better place.

      Violence in a relationship is never ok!

      Pills to assure an erection may not solve the problem, as the problem appears to be more than what popping a pill can offer. Based on what you have described. Obviously I do not diagnose via a blog commentary, for this is not a client-therapist relationship. Thus, I sincerely urge you to get help for this.

      My recommendation to you, not that this will surprise you is; go for marriage counseling. You both clearly need a safe place to have an open dialogue where you can understand each other better. You may also need individual counseling to help yourself to understand yourself better, in addition to the couples counseling. I urge you to talk to a therapist at least individually if your wife won’t come for couples counseling. But, if you ask, she may surprise you and come. Whether she does or does not, you should not be going through this alone, and having someone to talk to in a therapeutic environment can be of some genuine help to you.

      I wish you all the best on your journey, and I hope in some small way that you expressing your feelings via this public forum has helped you even if but just a little bit.
      Warmly,
      Dr. Karen Ruskin

  7. I have been married for only a little more than four years and our sex life, both quality and quantity are almost non existent and she won’t go to counseling, but I am completely miserable, what should I do?

    1. Hi John,
      I am assuming that when you state “she won’t go to counseling”, that you suggested marriage counseling. If rather you suggested that SHE has a problem and should go for individual counseling, then I would suggest you approach it as couples counseling. If you did suggest couples counseling, often one’s spouse still feels the “blame” is in their direction coming from their spouse, and they are worried counseling is going to be a finger pointing session. Therefore, I suggest that you communicate to her something along the lines of the following as documented below. And, for some couples, if they are having a hard time communicating about the sexual relationship, and it leads to arguing or silence, sometimes it is helpful to write a note. A hand written note. Of which then you follow up within 24 hours of the note verbally, asking her what she feels about what you wrote. So, if you feel in your relationship a note would be a good option, you are welcome to write something along these lines as follows. If you don’t feel a note is a good idea then say it in verbal words. As you know your wife and relationship, I am not evaluating, as of course blog commentary is not therapy, rather I am offering an idea based on what I have seen in these types of situations. And, based upon what you have written, this is what I have put together for you. Ok, here it is, feel free to alter it how you should so see fit, this is a base idea in answer to your question… and good luck to you, I hope it helps. (Also, there’s 2 sides to every story, so communicating to her in this way I am hopeful that she will feel comfortable to open up to you her point of view).

      “Honey, do you know how much I love you? I truly love you, and love what we have together. My goal is to grow together in all aspects of our relationship now and forever. I am sure you feel the same way. And I am hopeful if at any point in our marriage if I do or say something that is hurting you, is hurting our relationship, that you will tell me and trust in me that I will do whatever it takes to help our relationship be all that it can be. I have a problem that I need to speak with you about, and I know it is a hard topic in our relationship. (Hence why I am writing this note, hoping it will generate a communication between us after you have a chance to digest my note). The problem I feel we are currently facing is our intimacy. Specifically our sexual intimacy.

      I adore you, and know the sexual intimacy aspect of our relationship can grow and be all that it can be if we communicate with one another about each of our wants, hopes, and needs. Would you be willing to consider speaking with me openly about what you envision as a healthy marital intimate relationship both in quality and quantity? I want to know what you envision to help me to understand if I can meet your needs. I want to satisfy you, I adore you. And also so I can understand if my hopes are different from yours so we can together figure out what to do about our sexual intimacy, if our needs are different. I am feeling sexually lonely. Everything I have ever learned about having a healthy marriage is to communicate to your spouse, to be honest, and if you are honest and communicate openly, then as a team the couple can work together toward a solution. I am hopeful this is true. I miss us and what we can be in our sexual relationship. Do you feel my expectations are too high? Do you know what my hopes are? I am not sure I know what your sexual hopes are, and I would love to know.

      If we cannot have this conversation together just you and I, if it is too uncomfortable for you, I want to tell you that I love us so deeply, and as uncomfortable as it may be to speak with a stranger, I would be open to meeting with a marriage therapist. So this way the counselor can help us to have a safe space to speak openly about our feelings and help us figure out what we can do. For I truly am unhappy with the infrequency and quality of our sexual intimacy and I know it can be wonderful, if you are open to this journey of exploration. I am really hurting honey.”

      Based on this, I would expect this opens dialogue between the two of you. If it does not and she is sealed lips, if she refuses to have a conversation with you about the sexual relationship after she reads this note or hears you say these words, or if you forward her this blog article, if she refuses to speak with you, then you have a serious problem and I urge you to go for individual counseling to talk about this further. For in cases where a spouse communicates with compassion, clarity, love and desire to work as a team for a solution stating they are hurting, if the spouse refuses to discuss further between the couple, they leave their spouse stuck. If she is willing to discuss, perhaps you both can work it out without counseling, perhaps. But, if she won’t talk with you just the two of you, I urge you to go for individual counseling so you can talk about this with someone. For as you know, this blog article commentary is not a counseling session, and therefore will not be able to help with those next steps.

      I sincerely hope this helps.
      Warmly,
      Dr. Ruskin

    2. John,
      If you have no kids, GET OUT!
      It will not improve, once they get locked in with their lame excuses,
      It will not change.

      1. This is the Best advise i have read in this entire thread!
        Don’t waste any more of your time with someone deliberately putting you through hell!
        Most of them have their minds out their fantasizing about other men. Its quite sad but that’s the reality. Why live with someone who doesn’t value you at all? I was in a situation where my wife moved into the guestroom and whenever i expressed my intentions to move out, she would come back to bed and not have sex with me even after my attempts and knowledge of what she was putting me through- although she claims to be a strong believer…I totally lost my self-esteem and thought something was wrong with me. I slipped into depression and started watching porn to satisfy my desires. That was before i realized that this was getting me deeper into the woods. As we speak, i made a decision to move on. My point is, when this habit gets into the system, things will never change. She will always use sex as a bait and this is plainly evil!
        Move on!

  8. I to struggle with being sexually depirved and just dont
    Know what to do anymore im so lost and tired of being rejected
    My wife has hormone problems and telks me to be patient
    But now into 4 weeks and nothing. Scared of even trying due to rejection.
    Maybe you can help me..

    1. Hi Barry,
      I am glad you reached out. It is not uncommon for women to experience a lack of sexual desire that is in connection to their hormones. I am glad to hear that you communicated with your wife about this topic, you have already taken the first step. Feeling scared to try, due to a rejection history, is a difficult part of the problem that the spouse who is feeling sexually deprived often reports. This problem quickly becomes a relationship dynamic and a pattern of relating, or should I say the lack of relating, to one another. The goal is to prevent this from becoming a pattern.

      Here’s my suggestions:
      1. I would strongly suggest that you suggest to her that you would like to come with her to her medical appointment, so in this way you can have her doctor educate you about what is going on with your wife in terms of her hormone problem. And, in this way you can ask questions about what are the options and prognosis. Being informed helps you both to be together, a team on this journey. Rather than you each feeling alone and on separate teams.
      2. It is important that you communicate to your wife that you love and adore her and that you are here for her. Remind her and you, that you will get through this together.
      3. There are absolutely ways in which the two of you can connect intimately to please both of you, yes, even with a hormone problem. It is important that you continue to communicate your desires, and hear and respect each other’s needs. Open communication is very important. The style in which each of you relate intimately may need to shift, given this change in her. For an example, perhaps she would love a body massage that is with creams and oils, but she is not interested in her erogenous zones being caressed. Whereas perhaps you would like your erogenous zones to be caressed with special cream. Thus, you each can give one another what one another wants. Often, couples forget that being intimate is not always about sex or orgasm… In other words, there are ways in which she can provide for you sexually even during a time in her life that she does not have the same needs. Likely she does have touch needs, even if they are not what you may deem as sexual, and there are ways in which you can provide for her, that is different than the style you both are used to. I suggest you share this understanding with her, and communicate your plan to provide for her in a touch way, that is not sexual. Letting her know this she will likely be open to your touch, thus you shall not feel rejected, as she can relax knowing what to expect. Know of course the idea is not that you shall never be sexually intimate again. Rather the idea is that your couple-hood needs touch during a time that there is a touch wall between the two of you. With the idea that the couple needs help to find their sexual couple-hood again.
      4. The continued importance of the couple to connect emotionally and physically is imperative. For it is far too common for the intimacy of emotional and physical connection to decline when the sexual intimate aspects of the relationship are missing. Which furthers the disconnect.

      Although I just shared a few suggestions, this is no substitute for having a live person to help you both navigate this stage in your couple-hood together. Thus, I suggest couples counseling, if her hormonal problem is going to be a part of your lives. For having a safe space in which you can both speak openly, which offers the opportunity to understand each other’s perspectives, as well as having a person to help you with additional tips is advised.

      I hope my commentary is helpful.
      Warmly,
      Dr. Karen Ruskin

    2. SAME HEAR BE PATIENT GET U WORKED UP THEN NO IM NOT IN THE MOOD IM TIRED OF THIS SHIT SHE IS COLDER THAN ICE IVE SAID IM GOING TO GO GET LAID GO AHEAD ASSHOLE ILL TAKE U FOR EVERYTHING U GOT

      1. Take something from her she values just as much. Hit her in the core! Shut her down! No eye contact, no conversations and most of all disappear from her occasionally! Take everything you got and make it start to disappear. When the time comes there will be nothing to take. You can rebuild from there. Dont let her step all over your manhood.4

    3. I know how you feel. My husband is very overweight with diabetes. Makes no effort to lose weight. In a sexless marriage for over 7 years. I used to be rejected continually. Our sex life prior to his illness was not that great but it existed. I’ve confronted him and he said he’ll make more of an effort. This has happened in the past, it gets better but then goes back to nothing. I am so hurt. He seems to understand. He says he’ll go to therapy with me, but I doubt things will change. I feel like garbage. I resent him, sometimes hate him for using porn while I was in the next room and hurting me so bad.

  9. Hello , i have read some of the comments in this blog and wonder what will become of me.
    My wife and I have been married 37 yrs and over the last 15 to 20 yrs have had next to no intimate sexual relations, no kissing or very little , no intimate touching not even a bj or a handjob. i am retired and dont work, I have penty of money and a beutiful home.
    My sex life is masterbation on the internet with porn. My wife will not talk about our sex life and says it is painful. but will not go to a doctor to see about it, She had an opperation about 10 years ago , historectamy but nothing changed for us.I live in a sad sexual desert, and no one knows or cares how I suffer.I still love her and cant leave money is good but ???

    1. Hi James, I have read your submitted comment. When you write that you “wonder what will become of” yourself with regards to your future, it appears that you already know. You have been living your future reality for the last 15/20 years.

      When sex is painful for a woman, to the point in which there is no sexual relations, that is considered a sexual dysfunction. It is imperative that you and your wife together go for couples counseling to have a safe place to discuss openly the disconnect in your intimacy. Sex is not just about intercourse, there are many ways in which a couple can connect intimately, besides intercourse. Marriage counseling can help address this notion and help the couple to enhance their intimacy through dialogue, increased insight, and tips/strategies. Although there are some women who experience pain from intercourse, please note that it is through the process of regular counseling, that some are able to successfully uncover and confront the underlying factors, and are able to someday discover healthy sexual functioning.

      The fact that there is no intimate touching and that your sex life is only “masturbation on the internet with porn”, and the fact that your wife will not go to a doctor nor will she talk about your sex life, plus the large number of years this has been going on, you must realize that this lack of sexual intimacy will most likely not shift, unless help is received. The hope is with help things will improve, and they do indeed have the potential to improve dramatically, only if the desire to confront the problem and the effort is put in to work hard on the solution.

      I suggest you schedule an appointment with a marriage counselor. Even though your wife has already stated she will not go to see a doctor, I suggest to you that scheduling an appointment for both of you has the potential to make a difference. No guarantee, just simply the potential. Then, following scheduling an appointment, you then sensitively and patiently inform your wife that you love her deeply and that you feel there’s a serious physical and sexual intimacy problem in your marriage that has been going on for 15/20 years, and you are hoping she would be willing to accompany you to an appointment with a marriage therapist. Inform her you scheduled an appointment. Ask your wife if she would come with you. If she refuses, I suggest you inform her that you are going to go by yourself then, informing her that you are at a loss for what you can do to help the marriage in the intimacy department. I suggest you inform her that it hurts you emotionally that she is not willing to consider investing time and energy into talking with a marriage therapist. Share with her you are hoping she will reconsider. Further explain that you believe if she and you work together you can find a way to improve things, but that you need help, since the two of you have not been able to address the issue in a therapeutic way that has created growth nor solution resolution thus far. Provide her with a piece of paper with the name of the marriage therapist, as well as the location, date and time of the appointment. Let her know that you will be there and hope that she will be there too.

      I hope my response helps, and again, whether your wife attends the appointment or not, I urge you to go so you can speak with someone about this matter further beyond what a blog/commentary can provide.
      Warmly,
      Dr. Ruskin

  10. Hello,
    I am 37, been married for 3 years, have a 2 year old an my husband is 47. I was very sexual before I married. Through the entire pregnancy I was sick and there was no sex. After the pregnancy I was ill and again no sex. I had a Hester which fixed me pretty good so 3 months after that I was so ready. No pain and so ready. Now my husband can not get it up. He is very stressed about life in general but he just doesn’t want to. One night he came to me @5am ready and willing. After a full day of work and parenting with no help from him, I was angry exhausted and I rejected him. I have regretted that every day. It’s like hit or miss. I am so sick of this rollercoaster and i just want a steady sex life. I am ready to buy a truck load of sex toys and movies just to remember what it feels like to be touched. Im not one to cheat, but should the opportunity arise I don’know what I would do. How can I make him see that sex is important?

    1. Hi Jen,
      I will start by staying that cheating is not the answer. Mature love is about confronting the problem and as a team discussing the role you have each played in the problem development and in the problem cycle. In addition, the two of you need to have a frank discussion acknowledging the outside variables that have affected your sexual relationship (e.g., your illness), as well as the current emotions you are each feeling about the past as well as the present. Sounds like intimacy is a problem sexually, there may be emotional intimacy disconnect as well, which often leads a couple to struggle to connect sexually. That is something I would recommend exploring.

      It is not uncommon for a couple to have a hard time finding their sexual style post having a child, and add on top of that you were ill during the pregnancy. His stress about life in general, as you explained and he not wanting to be intimate sexual is something I would urge the two of you to have a discussion about.

      Bottom line: if the two of you address your feelings about what was, what is, and your goal and desires in your couple relationship for what can be, there’s great potential for finding your sexual couple-hood. Of course, if the two of you are unable to have a discussion that offers exploration, patience, empathy, hearing each other’s point of view, and solution focused plans that the two of you can work on together, I do urge you to seek out couples counseling to help you to help yourselves address the problem and navigate a solution resolution.

      I hope this helps.
      Warmly,
      Dr. Karen Ruskin

  11. I’m 59 and look 35.married for 30 years and have had no sex for 13 continual years and far and in between before.i consider myself very sexual but knowing that my wife is not and was very boring when we did, doesn’t allow me to be like that with her.As I get older I am finding myself even more sexual.now the past years of masterbating five to six times a week doesn’t satisfy me anymore as it used to make me content with my boring situation.I now worry about looking for someone that can satisfy me in a way I would like to be.I feel looking as good I do at my age ,I shouldn’t eventually find someone who’s as sexual and into me.someone fun and spontaneous and doesn’t gross out with porn but does excite that person to be more into the sex.
    Iam angry,depressed and feel nothing like a man should feel.Im in a rock in a hard place with financially not able to move on and worst thing is loosing friends and family and starting all over at my age.
    Me leaving would also make me the bad guy too although people have no idea of how bad things really are. Ugg. broken heart…..

    1. Hi Dave, It sounds like from your comments, you feel stuck. Meaning, it sounds like you believe nothing can nor will change and therefore you feel stuck to remain in a marriage that you have felt “angry, depressed” for years. Your reasons you mentioned to stay in the marriage include: 1. “financial”, 2. if you left you would look like “the bad guy”, 3. you would no longer have the “friends and family” you currently have, and 4. you would be “starting over”.

      To put it in perspective for you, to clarify, it sounds like the bottom line is that you are confronted with a choice which carries 4 options:
      1. Confront your 4 fears, as difficult as they may be, and make the choice to no longer be in the marriage. Do you feel life without this marriage can be more fulfilling, albeit you will experience challenges regarding the 4 pieces you mentioned (perhaps not as hard as you fear, perhaps just as hard as you fear)? This is a question for you to answer to yourself, to help yourself figure out what to do. If you believe after much thinking and processing and serious discussion with your wife the level of “how bad things really are” and discuss with her the actions you are considering taking that nothing will change, this is your choice to make, and your choice alone.
      2. Stay in the marriage, and accept the unacceptable. In other words, this is unacceptable to you, the lack of intimacy, yet it is your choice to accept the unacceptable and remain in this relationship.
      3. Counseling. Yup, good ol’ marriage counseling. A venue in which to openly discuss the seriousness of the matter, how long it has been going on, and a discussion with your wife as to the options you each have going forward sounds like it is way overdue. The counselor will help navigate the dialogue in such a way that you and your wife will develop a clear understanding of your options, and the reality of the situation from one another’s lens and clarity of one’s own perspective. Thereby helping a decision to be made.
      4. Individual counseling is another option. As you have been experiencing this grief for so long, having a person to speak with to process your worries and fears regarding leaving, explore – looking into the future as to what it holds if you stay or if you leave (addressing your fears) . . . is a helpful method to crystalize one’s thoughts.

      I hope providing you with potential options for next steps for you, and my response to your situation, helps you to help yourself realize you do have options. None of the options are easy, though they are options.
      Warmly,
      Dr. Karen Ruskin

  12. Hi,

    My partner and I are 33 and been together for 2 yrs. when we first started dating she was really sexually active, has sex toys, books etc but in the past 6/8 mths things have slowed right down to maybe 2 times per month. She used to say that our sex life was the best she’d ever experienced and it was for me too.

    She gets very stressed to the point of obsession about her job and does also have a condition which causes her some joint and skin pain, but she is very active playing sport a couple of times a week without issue.

    I raised my concerns about our sex life for the first time a few months ago, probably not handling it very delicately (in regard to being passive agressive and sulking a bit) because I started to feel frequently rejected. She agreed that it had diminished and we should try to be more active again, but we weren’t. I’ve tried raising it again, this time using the words you put in the answer to a question on 23/8/14 (above). Her reaction was that I am selfish and only ever think of my own needs. I try really hard to empathise with her but I just feel unwanted sexually and that I’m of just filling a role of a boyfriend in terms of there being someone else around to help out with chores etc.

    I feel it’s really hard for me now to express my own needs and feelings without being selfish or without her feeling that I’m criticising her. She says she is who she is and can’t change. I’m at a loss.

    Thanks john

    1. Hi John,
      Here are my questions: if she says: “she is who she is and can’t change”, what does this really mean? Who does she feel she is? What can’t change? What is it that she thinks you want ultimately and specifically when it come to the sexual relationship? What is it that you are requesting that is selfish? Does she have sexual desires beyond what she is currently experiencing with you? Or does she feel the quality and quantity of intimacy is wonderful and what she would dream of? What is it that she thinks she wants in a sexual relationship with her mate? What is it that you think you want in a sexual relationship with your mate? What is it that you think she wants in a sexual relationship? Does she believe it is a bad thing that you are attempting to have an honest open dialogue about what you are feeling? Would she truly rather not know, and have it that you bottle up your feelings? Or does she want a relationship that is one of open communication where both people feel safe to express their feelings? What do you want in a communicative relationship with your mate? Passive aggression? Likely not. I am very glad to know that you took the time your 2nd go around in your communication with her to implement the advice I had given in my response to one of the other people who commented. Different things work for different people. And sadly, communication does not always result in an outcome one would hope for.

      So, let’s get specific to you. Another question for you to consider is: what does she mean when she says you are selfish? When you mention her physical ailments and her work scenario, is she feeling you are empathetic and sympathetic to her needs? Do you want to be? Does she feel she is empathetic and sympathetic to your needs (e.g., sexual)? Does she want to be? What’s really going on sexually? Were things hot and heavy because it was “new” and now the reality of who she really is, is showing? As she said; this is who she is. So is who you thought she was not really who she is? And do you need someone for your mental and emotional health and wellness a more sexual being? Does she have no interest in enhancing that aspect of herself? If not, what does that mean for you long term?

      In reading your specific commentary, it has led me to suggest that it is the questions I have documented above that you and she truly need to consider. For having a frank discussion, one in which you each self-confront and thereby are able to have clarity of one’s own thoughts and one another’s, it will help you both to understand the reality of what is really going on. And therefore you will be able to evaluate your options in terms of next steps.

      I hope these questions I listed above are helpful, and that you and she are willing to sit down together to explore the answers so that you can enter a journey of understanding self and one another better. It is recommended that you both sit down and address this issue as adults. As team-mates who have a problem before you that needs a discussion that is not accusatory, and rather is one of honesty to that you can both determine next steps. If the two of you cannot sit down together and read these questions and have a frank discussion with the answers, then I suggest you both meet with a marriage counselor together to help promote this dialogue.

      The way things are currently, to hear the words “I am who I am and cannot change”, leaves the mate (you) with 2 specific choices:
      1. Acceptance and stay in the relationship feeling like there is no ‘intimacy relational team’. Rather the feeling you will experience is that 1 is in power of when and what happens sexually while the other (you), waits and hopes (which is going to be a problem not just in the short run but long term as well). And likely she too will be unhappy for she will feel the vibe of your lack of satisfaction. The two of you will further disconnect in other areas of your lives, is the painful possibility in this type of scenario, of which I have seen time and time again.
      2. Acceptance that her statement is how she feels. Thus, this in turn means that you cannot remain in the relationship. For a person who states this is who she is and cannot change and that you are selfish, is letting you know that your voice in the intimacy department does not matter.

      I wish you all the best in having a sit-down together to explore what I have written. For to have a mature couple relationship that stands the test of time, we are on an ongoing journey of not only self-confronting and enhancing for one’s own self, we do as such for one’s spouse and the couple relationship! The moment we make the choice not to try to try in a department in which our spouse communicates their pain, we are having a blatant disregard for them and the couple growth.

      When the two of you speak, it will be interesting for you to discover whether she feels as you feel. Meaning, just as you feel she is not being the sexual being you hoped for, perhaps she feels you are not being the emotional being she had hoped for. TBD. Good Luck, hope this helps.
      Warmly,
      Dr. Karen Ruskin

      1. What about his blatant disregard to her medical condition. How is she showing blatant disregard to his needs when he states she has a high anxiety & stress & has a medical condition that he brushes aside stating but she’s able to play sports a few times a week, that comment is basically brushing her needs off like they are nothing because God forbid his Penis is much more important & his needs should come first, even though his needs are purely selfish wile hers are physically a medical problem which she has no control over. This column is making me want to vomit, all these people whining & crying over “me-me” self centered whiners who need to respect the other persons wants & needs, put the ones they “adore-pfft” above themselves. I can understand when your talking the spouse completely withholds for months etc but most of these “me-me” whiners have their spouses compromising in my opinion, every other week is acceptable. Even once a month if the other has medical issues, adhd kids or a job with many hours. These me-me’s want to cry like they are victims when in reality there are 4 weeks in a month, they get their “wants” 2 weeks & the spouse gets 2 weeks, so what’s wrong with that scenario? That is comprise when one has high drive & the other is fatigued by job or children & /or medical issues. Please stop allowing these whiners to think they are victims & being deprived because that will cause more discord in the relationship. They need to be more compassionate to the spouse, show some consideration & compromise themselves. Instead of pouting & playing “poor me” or spending time considering or having affairs, put that effort into their spouse who is no doubt mentally exhausted from the pressure they put on them, more time slowly “courting” the spouse, bringing home a rose for no reason at all. Do nice things without the expectation of sex & slowly build the relationship from the bottom & possibility in the near future you have rebuilt that marriage & the spouse feels loving, romantic & closers to them & voila-more sex..most who have a low sex drive with no medical or physical issues are feeling disconnected from the relationship, unsexy after pregnancy, unsure of the changes to her body, exhausted & stressed by housework with smaller children to care for & if there are trust issues then doing the nice thingsite or just a helping hand around the house with out groping/pawing or mentioning sex will guarantee to bring the rush of feelings that they had in the beginning before any betrayals, before your relationship got into this daily Rut & those feelings returned means wanting to get intimate both physically & mentally like the relationship was in the beginning. Low sex drive often means that person has become emotionally distant for many of reasons & the lack of wanting or caring for sex is just a low priority on that person’s list of things. By resurrecting those first feelings or by lightening a stressed mothers, many hr jobs spouses they then are more willing to place sex on the priority list once again. No counsler stealing your money, no embarrassment of rejection, just a willingness to remember the person you once were when you first met & wanted so desperately to impress the other which seems to disappear & become forgotten as the years go by & life sets in.

        1. Hi Nyima,

          Just couldn’t pass this without saying something. You call most of the people here whiners & me-me’s but neglect to acknowledge that most marriages fall into the months in between scenario by doing just that. Sooooo many people choose to do what you described & neglect themselves but what of the other spouse? You can be phenomenal in every other aspect of the marriage but become the bad guy when you say you feel neglected sexually. This type of thinking no matter how well intentioned, leads to dysfunction & separation emotionally. Me & my wife experienced this some years ago & I did what you suggested above (same kind of response someone else have on another thread) & eventually found that no matter how much you rebuild everything else around it, something is still missing. The longer you hope for it to get better by bypassing it til the other gets comfortable enough to do so, the more you become complacent with going without. Then the roles just reverse. Now the original “whiner” is depriving. What then? Just continue the cycle & hope living that way keeps you both satisfied? No. Just as stated, it is not wrong to feel deprived, in most cases anyway. Not saying be a jerk & not account for medical issues. Just know the difference.

          P.S
          If all your going to do is repeat what most people hear everyday instead of ordering genuine support, keep it to yourself. Be part of the solution, not the problem. Educate yourself or live with this problem half as long as them.

  13. I have been married for 35 years.10 years ago I had breast cancer and 2 years after that I had a heart attack. My husband hasn’t touched me in 5 years. He say he loves me but everytime we talk about sex he gets angry. our sex life was good most of the time but now he acts if he can’t stand the sight of me.what can I do we are both the same age in our late 50.

    1. Hi Katie,
      Sadly, and painfully, what you are reporting is not the first time I have heard this scenario. The pattern I have heard through the years from the spouse of whom has experienced their wife having such serious medical problems (heart attack, breast cancer), is that although they love their spouse, their sexual comfort, freedom and attraction has made a dramatic shift. Not out of a lack of love, rather out of a lack of being able to see their spouse through the lens of being a sexual being. For the lens of which they saw their spouse (illness), has become inescapable for them.

      As far as your question, what can you do- I suggest you try initiating sexually intimate and physically intimate actions with consistency over time, rather than words. Smells, environment, what you are wearing, sounds – all matters. So, for example, this Saturday evening, have rose buds on the bed, have soft music playing, wear a sexy smelling perfume, shower, shave, wear something sexy. Then, when he enters the bedroom, hug him tight, kiss him on the neck, hold his hands in front of you, look him in the eyes, smile at him, then kiss him softly on the lips. Take it from there…. see where it goes. If it goes nowhere, no worries, as this is day 1 of your new plan to initiate sexually intimate and physically intimate actions with consistency over time. This plan is with the mission to help your husband to help himself “see you” in a different light, through a different lens, in a way in which he has not seen you in a long time. It won’t take 1 attempt nor 2 nor 3. This may take several weeks of you taking action on this type of behavior. Note: physically intimate actions are things like: holding his hand at the supermarket, giving him a back scratch without him asking, sitting on his lap out of nowhere and just giving him a hug, greeting him when he walks through the door and giving him a kiss, etc.

      Good luck Katie. This is going to be hard. For it is very difficult to keep up a certain new style of behavior for a period of 3-4 weeks, hoping you will see signs of him starting to see you through a different lens and thus responding positively. If you give this a go with consistency, without giving up, without getting frustrated, and simply deciding you are going “all in”, to see what might happen, if after 3-4 weeks, you see no shift, then it is time to ask him how he feels about what you have been doing for the past month. Ask him if he noticed anything different? If it make him feel bad? Sad? Happy? Uncomfortable? Etc. Once you have the base of your behavior plan for 3-4 weeks, it shifts the pattern of how the 2 of you have been relating to one another, if not physically or sexually, it will potentially open up an honest thought-felt and heart-felt dialogue between the two of you.

      For 1 shift with consistency has a snow ball affect. What that snow ball looks like remains to be seen until you give it a go.
      Warmly,
      Dr. Karen Ruskin

  14. My husband and I have been together for 13 years and married for 8. The last time he gave me an orgasm during sex was 5 years ago. We average once every two months. We’ve seperated and gotten back together twice now and each time I’ve told him that something is missing for me and that something is chemistry and feeling wanted. I’ve asked him to work on this with me but he never does. When I’ve brought this up he says that since I”m the one who has an issue with it then I should be the one to fix it. This feels very hurtful and sad. I am living with a friend and planning my exit. Yet he’s made me feel like I’m the bad one here and that i’m crazy for giving up everything else that we have but I’m so unfulfilled and feel dead inside.

    1. Hi N. It sounds like you already made your decision to leave. But that there is a piece of you that continues to wish that your husband would work “with you” on your sexual relationship. If indeed he has made it clear that he plays no role in the sexual relationship, it makes sense why you have decided to separate.

      I am sorry to hear the chemistry is missing and that you feel unwanted. In a sexual relationship if he is unwilling to play a role in the enhancement of it, and you are, then it truly comes down to you making a decision of: a) acceptance that it will not change, b) doing what you can to enhance the relationship without him playing a part in the process, but hoping with your efforts an effect will occur, or c) deciding that it is over.

      It seems you desire validation for a very difficult decision. Yet truly, it is you that needs to validate yourself and assure yourself that without a spouse who is willing to try to try to work on intimacy enhancement with you, that leaves you with the decision that you have already made for yourself.

      I am sorry for your pain and wish you all the best in the next step of your life. You are burdened with the burden of choice.
      Warmly,
      Dr. Karen Ruskin

      1. My boy friend accidentally took an over dose on a medication called trazadon. He had an erection for 8hours. After a year he healed from it. I caught him on video masturbating. But why does he not even attempt to make love? But yet is able to masturbate. What is the problem?

        1. The sexual relationship one has with one’s self through masturbation is a different relationship then one has with one’s mate through mutual sexual stimulation and interaction. As to why your boyfriend does not attempt to make love to you, there are many possible reasons, and to guess would not be appropriate for the range of reasons is tremendous. I suggest you sit down with your boyfriend and have a real honest conversation and confront what is going on with him personally emotionally, and, what is going on with the couple relationship. Thanks for writing in Grace. I hope this helps.
          Warmly, Dr. Ruskin

  15. Hi.
    My partner of five years has always been the same. Not interested. Won’t talk about it and expects me to just carry on without a word. So many of the experiences sound like mine. Guilt for having desire, unloved and unwanted. It is hard and emotional. I love him so much but I can’t understand how he can love me and be repulsed by me! I am getting violent and feel very low, as does he. It seems the only way forward is separately. He thinks this is an acceptable way to live but I don’t. Is there anything I can do to save us?

    1. Hi Amy,
      His feeling it is acceptable to have no interest in sexual intimacy, and your feeling this is not acceptable – leaves you both stuck. Either he changes or you change – in order to remain together. In other words, either he steps up, or you accept him for who he is. If neither of these changes are to occur then the acceptance that you can love someone even though you don’t have even close to the same sex drive is an important point to be acknowledged.

      If you are a sexual being and he is asexual, that does not work long term if the goal is to remain together in monogamy.

      As far as your “getting violent”, that is unacceptable. That must stop immediately, and is not healthy for either of you as individuals nor for the couple whole. I urge the two of you to go for couples counseling to help you to understand your options so you can either remain together and work on how the two of you can accommodate your very different sexual styles, or to have help accepting the end of a relationship. Know this though: if he is “repulsed” by you as you say, that is not healthy for a relationship, nor for you nor his mental health and wellness. Long term being with a partner repulsed by you does not work.

      I hope my commentary helps. Best of wishes.
      Warmly,
      Dr. Karen Ruskin

  16. hi,
    we’ve been married for almost 9 years and have a 3 yr old child. our secual life has never been good even though there was lots of love between us. being a shy and girl with an inferiority complex coz i was always fat n he was handsome, i felt i am the reason behind non,existant sex life. but slowly i realized he is the one with problem, even though he didnt blame me for lack of desire on him, he never admitted his own lackings either.i lived in false hopes that things will get ok after a while, but it never happened. yes, we had sex for having a child, but it wasnt a pleasure for either, for me it was humiliation and desire for motherhood both at the same time. it was sex by prescription.
    finally, after having a child 3 years back, we have had sex only twice, he has ED and has to pop pills, even that makes me feel unwanted, as though its charity and not love making.even though i endured sexless marriage for first few years,i cant keep my mouth shut anymore and i feel extremely bitter. being an Indian woman, i have certain boundries which cant be crossrd. i am not seeking any relationship outside marriage as my husband is a good man, but lacks in being a lover. there isnt any kind of romance in our marriage, mostly its me crying at nights whenever it becomes unbearble, while he keeps a stright face n works on his laptop.
    i dont know what to do.

    1. Hi Lonely Wife,
      I urge you to contact a marriage therapist right away. If you do not feel comfortable with this suggestion, or if he will not attend marriage counseling, then I urge you to go for individual counseling. It is clear based on your note that you have gotten to the point where without therapeutic intervention, without having someone to talk to that the problem is going to remain. You need emotional therapeutic support and a safe place to talk about what is going on. You need therapeutic tips, insights and strategies – you both do.

      Contact your local primary care doctor and ask for a referral to a marriage therapist who they trust in the area where you live so you can either attend as a couple or on your own. Another resource is: http://www.psychologytoday.com – on that website it lists therapists to speak with, and it documents their specialties and location.

      I hope you will seek out the help you need.
      Warmly,
      Dr. Karen Ruskin

  17. My husband cheated on me, we were married for 7months when he did that. We involved in a hearted argument, I left our home for a week when he did this. I asked why he did such a thing and he told me that I disrespected him and brought his ego down as a man. He said it was a once off. After that I never desired him sexually we have been married for 3years now, but whenever I have sex with him I just think about what he did then I loose interest. He was sorry about what he did and asked for forgiveness but I don’t know if I’ll ever desire him sexually again. Pls help.

    1. Hi Cosy,
      In some situations for some people, time does not heal the emotional spirit. Thus, why when it comes to infidelity, it is common for the person who has been cheated on to go for individual counseling to help them to help themselves to heal and move forward. It is also common for marriage counseling, so there can be healthy dialogue to explore thoughts, feelings, and tips to heal, and re-connect and discover the sexual relationship. Without getting therapeutic help, it appears from what you have described you are stuck and don’t know if you will ever desire him sexually again.

      A helpful book is called: ‘After the Affair’ by: Janis Spring. If you are looking for a book that specifically focuses on how to heal and move forward after the affair has happened, and help with understanding the varied emotions you are feeling post the affair affecting your relationship, I have found this book fits. If you are looking for a book that overall attends to the varied aspects of a married relationship, and looking for tips for how to have a healthy and successful marriage, not specifically focusing on the affair piece, I recommend the book I wrote: ‘Dr. Karen’s Marriage Manual’. https://www.drkarenruskin.com/dr-karens-marriage-manual/ Quite frankly though, from the note you have written, it sounds like you need help with post-affair issues, before you can even begin the process of finding your couple-hood again. So, I’d say read ‘After the Affair’, first, and then, ‘Dr. Karen’s Marriage Manual’ second.

      As helpful as books can be, please note: based on what you have shared, it is clear to me that at this point you both should go for marriage counseling. Contact your primary care doctor in whatever state you live in to ask for a recommendation. Or, contact your insurance and ask for a list of names of marriage therapists in your area. Or, another helpful resource to find a therapist is: http://www.psychologytoday.com – therapists list their specialty and bio. You can narrow it down by zip code as well.

      Best of wishes, don’t do nothing, take action, get counseling help.
      Dr. Karen Ruskin

  18. It’s nice to know I’m not alone when it comes to this. I’ve been married for 11 years. I am the perfect model of what you would call the good girl. I waited till i was married to have sex. Yes i grew up in a religious household. Sex was taught only for marriage. Well just because you wait doesn’t promise a good sex life. I hate it. My first time was awful and the rest is history. My wedding night haunts me. Religion ruined me. Or maybe my expectations were set to high. My husband is not a bad person but we are not sexually compatible. I feel bad for him because he knows how i feel about it. I feel guilty for writing this because I wish I knew what its like to be with another man. I have a healthy desire but its not with him. I have resorted to reading erotica books and movies. I feel guilty and ashamed. There is no sexual connection between us. When I do give into him I disconnect myself from the whole situation….

    1. Hi Miserable,
      I am so sorry you are feeling miserable. I am glad that my article and the comments in response to it have allowed you to recognize that indeed, you are not alone. The fact that you are being honest with yourself is a good thing. The fact that you have gotten to the point of disconnecting yourself when sexually intimate with your husband is heart breaking. The point that there is honesty in your relationship where he knows how you feel is interesting in that the two of you have not found a way to uncover sexual compatibility.

      Is it possible you both absolutely are not sexually compatible and there is no sexual connection? Obviously, since you stated as such. Is it possible that a sexual connection and compatibility can be discovered? That is for you and he to answer. If the two of you have never attended marriage counseling with a therapist who has an expertise in working with couples with sexual intimacy issues, I urge you to consider. For it is truly a shame to not have the joy of experiencing a healthy sexual relationship in one’s marriage. Even with counseling is it possible that the two of you will not find what you are looking for in one another? Indeed that is possible. Although, to try at least puts you both in the game.

      I wish you all of the best on your life journey.
      Warmly,
      Dr. Karen

  19. Once in a Blue Moon

    Dr. Karen,
    I’m married 20 years and our sex life was ‘normal’ right up until we started having kids 17 years ago. Three kids now (ages 12, 14, 17) and my wife has completely ‘shut down’ sexually. She’s a ‘stay at home’ mom who works a part-time jewelry store job for fun. We are financially well off. Our kids are all healthy and smart – no unusual burdens (thank God!). She proclaimed to a recent marriage counselor; “I have a wonderful life.” She takes good care of me in many ways, but refuses to address the issue of sex.

    About 10 years back, I would use a bottle of white wine to get her in the mood, then that stopped working. She professed several years ago that she “could go the rest of her life without sex and be fine.” I’ve tried to explain my pain to her and she tells me to “just deal with it.” I’m in terrible pain, but I will not go ‘extra-marital.’ I don’t want to be with anyone but her, yet I see no way to make this work.

    We often go 3-6 months, even 8 months on occasion, between sex. She’s very attractive – I tell her so, yet she won’t undress in front of me. She has not touched me intimately in several years. Not at all. When sex does occur, it’s all me. My wife has never initiated a sexual encounter (except for a rare occasion when she was very intoxicated – which actually gave me some false hope). She never engages in foreplay, never. She doesn’t touch me, she doesn’t even hug me during intercourse (which ALWAYS has to be in our bed, missionary position). I have to beg and plead for sex. It’s exhausting and humiliating.

    My focus during sex has always been to try and please her sexually – I want to make her feel great, every time. It’s not all about me. I always give her oral, which she enjoys, and I could do that all day long. Lately though, she fakes her orgasm after ten minutes or less (I can tell it’s fake) and we move right to intercourse. About three years ago, not more than 5 minutes into intercourse, she says to me “what’s taking so long.” That comment immediately made me sick to my stomach and things have only gone downhill from there.

    She revealed last week that she has no sexual desire and the past few times that we had sex, she said she was reluctantly accommodating me. Those comments also made me sick to my stomach; I NEVER want her to feel like she’s being used and those words made me feel like a monster.

    I told her that I simply cannot live the rest of my life like this. Although I truly love her, and I hate the idea of breaking up our family (how do you explain this to your kids?), I told her we should divorce. She thinks I’m over reacting because to her it’s no big deal, but I’ve truly had enough and I don’t see this ever getting better. She simply has no concept of how painful and hurtful this part of our relationship is for me.

    I want to diagnose her as ‘asexual,’ but she claims to masturbate, which I just can’t believe; she truly has zero desire. I recently asked her that if she could have a night alone with her fantasy ‘crush’ (a famous and very handsome actor), what would she want to do. Her response shocked me. She has no desire to have sex with him, but would see herself having a nice dinner, some wine, and then watch a movie while snuggling on the couch. That was it. No sex. One night with a handsome, dreamy crush, and she wants dinner and a movie???

    The most sad part is that all other aspects of our marriage are OK…not great, but OK. This sex issue puts a tremendous strain on me both physically and emotionally, but I do my best to hide it. There is no question however, that I am very depressed. It weighs on me every hour of the day like Kryptonite. I feel hungry, thirsty and helpless. I don’t know what to do.

    Thank you for hosting this blog. I appreciate reading the other stories above and simply knowing that others are struggling with this same issue is a little helpful.

    1. Hello ‘Once in a Blue Moon’,
      First, let me start with the end of your comment where you thank me for hosting this blog. I cannot begin to tell you how much it means to me that you and others appreciate that I take the time to do this. Knowing that I am contributing in some small positive way to the lives of others, by helping people to realize that they are not alone, by reading the stories of others, well, I am so glad to know this.

      Next, let’s address the issue of masturbation of which you shared that your wife states she masturbates. It would be interesting to know if she is feeling a sexual desire and thus needs to release herself, or if masturbation has a different meaning for her. Because… if she does experience any sexual desire, it would be awesome if she could let you know when it arises so the two of you could connect during some of those times. But… if she experiences sexual desire but has no sexual desire for you, then, well, that’s another matter entirely. If rather she does not experience any sexual desire and is in fact asexual, then that is another story as well. The fact still remains that your sexual needs are healthy and normal. The desire you have to connect with your wife in a sexually intimate way and the point that you do not get to achieve this type of fulfillment not only hurts one’s sexual health, it does indeed negatively affect one’s mental health and wellness.

      You are acknowledging in an honest way what you are feeling, and I am sure as you described “it weighs” on you “every hour of the day”. Indeed you are “hungry, thirsty” and it makes sense why you are feeling helpless about this matter.

      All in all, there does need to be a change if your marriage is going to be experienced as fulfilling for you. Can you remain in a marriage without sexual intimacy? Will you remain in a marriage without sexual intimacy? Can she potentially understand the level of severity a lack of sexual intimacy in the marriage is doing to your inner spirit, to your mental health, and ultimately what it will do to the relationship? Is there anything she can do to find her sexual self and her sexual self with you? Is there anything you can do? Is there potential for this marriage at this phase and stage to find it’s sexual groove, a new way of relating in a sexual way? Would she be willing to try to try? These are all questions for you to consider.

      I sincerely hope you will consider going to a marriage counselor, the two of you together to have a few sessions. Just to have an open dialogue about what you are each feeling and realistically what your options are going forward. I have seen amazing shifts that happen in marriages that appear as though there is no way that things can improve. I have also seen marriages in which through open dialogue the couple come to discover what can and cannot change and what they need to accept versus cannot accept. I have also seen marriages in which choices for the future rather than ignoring the problem, open up healthy marital possibilities. Some of the times couples connect and remain together, other times they decide not to remain together. What does your future hold… Perhaps you wish to consider sharing this blog with her.

    2. My heart hurts for you.
      It’s so cruel to be deprived sexually:(. As a highly sexual woman, I’m dying inside:(. I desire hot, passionate, kinky, off the charts wild amazing blow your mind sex 2 to 3 times a day..my libido is insane..I maybe get it once a week if I’m lucky. ..when it does miraculously happen it’s short lived..im ready to go all night!!! I HATE being alone masturbating but it’s all I have:( I love my husband..I would never hurt hum..but omg it’s so so painful to be rejected. ..i have many men flirting with me all the time, especially the gym..I’m passionate about fitness and health..I’m very active..my husband is 47..I’m 41 but get carded constantly and always told i look 25 lol…i have tons of energy and just want to make hot love, lots of kissing all over..dirty talk..u name it..I’m IN!! But nothing:( so very depressing…ive resorted to literotica and lots of fantasizing…very sad..I feel like I’m in my prime and missing out on the most amazing time of all..sex feels amazing..I long and ache for it..I can’t imagine any woman with a man like you who wants to please her be so cruel, cold and calloused…I’m so sorry. I hope it all works out for you and you have all your desires fulfilled. Just know your not alone and your a good man, one that any real woman would cherish and be blessed with. You deserve alot of praise and kuddos..i admire you and your love for her despite the sexual cruelty. A human being can only withstand so much rejection..i pray i can hold on until he wakes up and our sex life is all I desire it to be. Take care

      1. Most men would LOVE you , especially younger men , very sexual women are a very rare breed , about a third of women are asexual & are repulsed by sex…mother nature is cruel to most guys !!

        1. Aishwarya Sridhar

          Kevin….

          You know what! Even I like sex so much,Love and Sex I don’t get in one shot.
          What you told me made me feel btter! But why do they leave me?

      2. I am blessed after reading all you all are writing. I am 59 and my wife 55. My wife and I are very sexually active, and I work out of town 5 days a week, but when I’m home it feels like we have the best sex we’ve ever had. I am usually the initiator, and the one who introduces the kink and the toys, and the role playing, and she goes along with it all and seems to have more and more multiple orgasms each week during our sessions. I am running out of new ideas and ways to keep our sex exciting and interesting. We did struggle at times when our kids were growing up, with tensions and stress, and work and petty arguments, and probably being distracted by the temptations of others. We had times of no sex, maybe a month at most, but we believed in God’s word, and prayed about steering our sexual energies toward each other, and learned to give, and not harbor ill feelings, and we just evolved into enjoying and craving sex with each other again. Now, it is tough being away 5 days at a time, due to my job, but we make up for it when I’m home, She says she doesn’t think about sex while were apart, but sex with her is always on my mind. I do feel our relationship with God and our prayers allowed us to get back on the right track, and I don’t know how much longer I can keep performing in these marathon sessions we have but, I am thankful for our great sex life and my wife, who I love to please. As she also pleases me by being a willing partner who goes along with my every wish and desire, almost.

  20. My husband cheated on me and has done it beforehand a few times. I’ve forgiven him but initially I can’t get over the fact it keeps happening and I’m always neglected in more than one way. I feel I can’t trust him and sex has gotten unbearable sometimes but I can’t tell him I’m not aroused because I’m repulsed by the thought that he may be thinking of the other woman. I want this all to work out and get resolved but I’m also pregnant and am getting truly anxious about our relationship. I’m so upset sometimes it’s killing me. What can I do to get the love back especially since he says he wants to make it work out too?

    1. Hi Tyrsi,
      When it comes to cheating, think of it as a trauma. And just like a trauma, it is normal to experience symptoms post the trauma and in connection to the trauma. Therefore, struggling with trust, and not feeling aroused sexually are common symptoms/reactions to experiencing the trauma of spousal betrayal. Your lack of sexual arousal is normal given the circumstances as the sexual self shuts down when it has been betrayed sexually. It’s a self defense mechanism of sorts, a self protection device. Your thinking that he might be thinking of the other woman is a normal worry. Though of course in order to experience a healthy marriage, the sexual relationship is part of it. But without the right kind of therapeutic help, you may continue to be stuck in these thoughts. Also, if your husband does not realize the extent of the emotional affect his cheating has caused, that is something that would be important for him to understand. For perhaps if you felt that you could speak openly and honestly with him about how upset you are, then you can begin the healing process. Forgiveness absolutely is an important step, very important indeed. But… there are more steps that you obviously need to experience (that many people who have been cheated on need to experience), in order for you to be able to experience the healthy emotional status you yearn for.

      It is not crazy or unreasonable nor abnormal that you are feeling anxious about your relationship. Being pregnant is exciting when in a healthy relationship that you feel confident you have a partner on board with you who is looking out for you and your family. Whereas being pregnant when you question the longevity of the marriage and the honesty, is distressing indeed. Being pregnant and not knowing whether your husband is going to cheat again is very stressful.

      I am happy for you that he wants to work it out, for it sounds like you desire for the relationship to work out. Although there are helpful books to read that address how to re-find one another after the affair/affairs, I would strongly suggest given your circumstances in addition that you both go together for marriage counseling. For what you read and learn is not a substitute from being able to talk it out. You report you want to get the “love back”. You report you “can’t get over the fact it keeps happening” (cheating). You report that you are “always neglected in more than one way”. You report you feel that you “can’t trust him” and that “sex has gotten unbearable”. You report you are “anxious” about your relationship. As you read my writing to you the words you have expressed to me, I ask you: if you were your own best friend, what advice would you give to yourself? Would the answer be: find a safe therapeutic place with an experienced professional who specializes in marital issues to discuss these specifics to help you and your spouse to communicate with honesty? That should be the answer you as your own best friend should give to you right? Given what you have described I recommend marriage counseling. The therapist can help you both to understand what led to the affairs, help you both understand what one another is feeling, and help with tips and strategies to re-build trust, and emotional and sexual intimacy. The relationship has been seriously wounded. A band-aid won’t do the trick.

      Ask your primary care Doctor who he/she knows/trusts in your town you live in for a recommendation for a marriage therapist. Another option is to contact your insurance company and ask for a list of names of marriage therapists in your network.

      I hope my advice helps if but in some small way.
      Warmly,
      Dr. Karen

  21. Hi Karen

    I have been with my wife for over twenty years and I adore her.

    Sexually we seem to be incompatible. Quantity is not a problem but quality is, and so for the entire duration of our time together I have been unsatisfied.

    Before we met my wife suffered sexual trauma in terms of rape and so I thought we would overcome her issues together as we went along and in most part we have. However, that was not the thing that was holding her back. She has a bodily fluids phobia which is mostly her own fluids and though she sees the effect on our sex life and our relationship does not want to change. She now acknowledges that this boundary was present before her rape. She feels that it is a permanent boundary and I should accept her for it and manage my own sexual frustration. Though I have visited a counsellor, she is not willing to and as I mentioned does not want to change.

    In terms of physical restrictions this means that we cannot kiss after I give her oral sex and things like oral sex can only occur before penetrative sex.

    While I love her deeply and try to accept the situation, it leaves me frustrated and bored with our sex life, to the point where I am losing interest in sex with her.

    The options for me are to stay and find a way to manage, or leave but I cannot imagine being with anyone else. Aside from sex, we have a very loving and caring relationship, we also have an 11 year son.

    1. Hello Lost,
      So, let’s take a moment to imagine this alternative way of looking at your scenario. I am going to take you through a set of statements. Imagine IF your wife said to you in her sexiest voice:
      “It makes me feel so hot when oral sex happens after a fabulous make out session with you”.
      Or if alternatively she matter of fact said: “I don’t find it sexually arousing when kissing happens after oral sex, yet I find it extremely sexually arousing and fulfilling when kissing happens before oral sex”.
      Imagine if your wife in her sexy voice said: “Your tongue on my clit makes me throb with desire to where I long for you to penetrate me with your hot penis”. Rather envision alternatively if she said in her matter of fact voice: “Sexually it is much more physiologically, psychologically and emotionally more pleasing to me when oral sex happens before intercourse. Whereas intercourse first and then oral sex is not appealing nor emotionally and therefore not sexually sexy to me.”

      My point above is that because she has a bodily fluids phobia which affects the sexual order of things, it is that information in conjunction with the fact (as you have communicated it to me via this note) that she “is not willing” nor “wants to change” and it is considered a “permanent boundary” that is affecting you. If your belief as to ‘why’ she feels what she feels was different, perhaps you would feel different? Just something to think about… If how she verbalized it was different, perhaps you would feel different? Maybe… maybe not… Just something for you to think about.

      Your feelings of frustration and being bored, I would be very interested in the ways in which both she and you can spice up the quality of the sex life that leads you to experience the sexual relationship as exciting, stimulating and fulfilling rather than bored. And, leaves her to also experience sexual fulfillment.

      On the flip side, I do believe that when it comes to phobia, confronting them, addressing them, understanding them, and learning concrete tools for how to overcome them, and then overcome them is definitely ideal. And the way to go, yes recommended. Yes, I am all about the notion of her receiving help for her phobia, for anyone receiving help for their phobia. Though, I am also processing your statement that she does not want to change. So, a person has to make the choice to try to try to change, to want to try to try. If she is unwilling, then you are presented with alternatives: a) leave- yuck, that’s not a fabulous option right? As you said, aside from sex you have a very loving and caring relationship. You also have a child. And, quantity is not a problem it’s quality, you wrote. Which leads me to think that perhaps the quantity can improve being mindful of both your needs and hers. So, that’s leads me to: b) find out what her fantasies are sexually and have her find out yours and see what perhaps is not being implemented in your sexual relationship that could be and can be. Let’s look at option: c) “find a way to manage”- I hear what you are saying, but that sounds so much like just an acceptance of your feeling “frustrated and bored… to the point where” as you explained you are “losing interest in sex with her”. Although sadly there are many marriages who experience this acceptance in the lack of the sexual relationship, there are couples who find a way rather than just “managing” it, which sounds so negative and unappealing. Rather, this is about experimenting and exploring together as a team.

      I am understanding that this is frustrating and disappointing to you, and hurtful, and perhaps a whole range of additional emotions. Her not wanting to get help likely makes you feel like your voice doesn’t count, and that she is putting her phobia (which you likely view as irrational), before your sexual happiness, and therefore before your mental relational well-being. Likely you are thinking that she is missing out too because if there were no restrictions sexually, things could be much more free. Again, in an ideal scenario, of course she would receive help for this. A phobia need not define one’s self unless one allows one’s self to define who one’s sexual self is by one’s phobia. And that is a choice she is indeed making. Perhaps she views this as who she was and thus who she is, and indeed she wants you to accept her for who she was and is. As you explained, you view this as a problem holding her back, she views it perhaps not as a problem and rather her sexual style.

      So, you can either continue to view it as a problem which you want her to fix leaving you to feel unfilled sexually and thus shall potentially disconnect sexually over time. Or you can view it as a problem and continue to yearn for her to get help with it, which keeps you feeling stuck. (Again, nothing wrong with you wanting her to get help for a phobia, sincerely, that is a valid request). Or, you can consider with her, together as a team, what spices are you missing? Is there more sexually that can be explored within these boundaries/guidelines. I know, I know, you likely hate that term: boundary or guideline because that’s what is likely frustrating for you for you want sex to be free. But as you have learned that is not the case with your wife. So, ‘lost’, can you work with it and find your sexy selves together and be free within the walls of the relationship, or is the only way for it to be fabulous is if there are no walls?

      I hope my response helps you to think further about this. And I am glad to hear that you have visited a counselor. It is a good idea for you to have someone to talk to, even if she will not. As certainly my response is not a substitute for speaking with a person where you can have a back and forth dialogue about the matter.

      I wish you the best on your journey and am hopeful that your sexual relationship can enhance in quality.
      Warmly,
      Dr. Karen Ruskin

  22. Dear Dr. Karen Ruskin,
    I have been with my husband for one year and four months. I saw change in him gradually since a year ago. Seems he does not need neither sex nor care, we did not have sex for a year. He hates even when i touch him. Some times i feel he has engaged in another affair, we have a kid of 4 months, so i feel its not good for getting divorce. I’m really stressed with this change. I want a solutions for this problem. I’m really grateful if you can help me.

    1. Hi Nirosa,
      The best help I can give you is suggest you and your husband go for marriage counseling. There are cases of men who after their wife becomes a mother, they view their wife no longer in a sexual way. They only see her as a “mother”. And therefore, they feel completely uncomfortable and disinterested in being sexual nor being touched by their wife, in any other way then in a motherly way. There are other cases of men who are repulsed after seeing their wife during labor and cannot get the image of the vagina and the baby coming out, out of their head. There are other men who report after their wife has given birth that their wife’s vagina is no longer as tight as it used to be and smells differently to them. There are other men who report they feel…. Ok, you get the point. The point is that I do not know what is going on emotionally for your husband that has led to this change. In marriage counseling he will have the opportunity to confront what is going on for him, and the marriage therapist can help with solution resolution.

      Is he having an affair? Maybe. As certainly there are cases where the husband who lacks interest in their wife sexually and physically it is a red flag that they are having an affair. But… in other cases, his behavior is not inferring that he is having an affair.

      So, I go back to my original point. Please, contact a marriage therapist in the country, state, town you live in. Schedule that appointment and go with your husband. The marriage therapist will be able to ask all of the questions to produce a therapeutic dialogue, to open up an honest conversation to uncover what is going on, why, and explore solution strategies based upon what makes sense for your particular situation.

      If you do not know where to begin to research for a marriage therapist, certainly, you can google ‘marriage therapist’ along with the town you are in and that is a good start to get a list of names. Another option is to contact your primary care doctor and ask for a recommendation. Another option is contact your insurance company and ask for a list of names.

      I hope you will take my advice to schedule an appointment for marriage counseling. I wish you all the best.
      Warmly,
      Dr. Ruskin

  23. My husband seems to hate sex. We had a great sex life for the first year. We decided to have a second baby and then I miscarried. Twice. After that he refused to touch me. He even started sleeping on the couch. He said he wants to try again but he just won’t touch me. He makes up excuse after excuse after excuse. Headaches, sore muscles, too tired, needs a bath, ate too much, etc. But last week he came down with a yeast infection. And he obviously didn’t get it from me. I’m afraid he may be cheating but I can’t prove anything. Why would he need to get sex elsewhere when I’m sitting here dying to be touched. Tonight will be another of many many many lonely nights. I’m only 30. I’m still in my sexual prime. Help!

    1. Hi Tina,
      Forgive me for stating the obvious: you have a problem. Seriously, do not let another day go by without the serious and honest confronting of what he is feeling, what you are feeling, and your relationship. The problem you have is: if he is cheating, it is very common for one’s mate to deny, deny, deny. Soooo, my strong recommendation to you is to sit down with him with a marriage therapist so that you have a third party that can help you navigate a dialogue that is honest and opens up the door to hearing one another’s perspective. That is my advice to you. Get marriage therapy. With that, there is an option that you can try before you go for counseling, to get the conversation started. And then once you get that conversation started, schedule an appointment with a marriage therapist to help the two of you go the next steps.

      It is brave to try, hard to try, but you can if you want to – try to talk with him. My suggestion for the approach is as follows below. Know this: the following approach is not a guarantee that the truth will come out. Not a guarantee of a conversation. For I do not know you nor your husband. Thus, as to whether or not this next piece of advice will lead to open dialogue between the two of you, I cannot know for sure. Though, it dramatically increases the chances.

      To say that you had “a great sex life for the first year” but no longer to the point where he sleeps on the couch and does not touch you with an abundance of excuses that are all “him based” (e.g., headache, sore muscles, tired, etc), it is common in this scenario that it is really that he’s lost sexual passion for you and he doesn’t want to admit that. It is not uncommon for a husband or wife to love their mate, care about them, and yet not feel aroused or interested in them sexually. I know that sounds confusing but I have heard the story one too many times to ignore the truth of this for many. It is most typical for the scenario where the mate has excuses that are “self based”, is that really it is about self not “feeling it” for their mate but wants to avoid the conflict admitting that will create. And, often the mate does not wish to hurt their mate by saying: “I have lost my sexual desire for you”.

      I’d suggest you email your husband. Subject header: we have a serious problem. Then write a short email that says something like:

      “You may think you are saving the marriage by not sharing with me the depth of the truth of what you are feeling, or not feeling about me I should say. The truth is, you are further damaging me and our relationship by not sharing the truth of what you feel for me. Perhaps you think if you tell me the truth about how you feel about me and our marriage that you will hurt me and therefore you keep your thoughts to yourself. Know this: your actions are speaking and have been for quite some time. Your actions are loud and clear that you have lost passion for me. As to whether you have lost emotional passion for me I do not know. But you have lost physical and sexual passion for me. As to whether that led to you ending up outside of our marriage for fulfillment or if you are suffering in silence I will not know for sure unless you confront yourself and are honest with yourself. And then, and only then can you be honest with me. I am ready to hear the truth and then together we can evaluate what all of our options are together. But to continue in this ridiculous and painful pattern, is worse than a horror movie and is unacceptable to me and disrespects whatever relationship we had or could have had. So, I ask of you in respect of what you may have at one point felt for me, in respect for the man you believe yourself to be, in respect for the child that we created from our union, I ask you to please meet with me in our bedroom at 9pm this Sunday evening and verbally share with me what you have been not sharing with me so we can start the process of confronting the reality of our situation, and perhaps someday heal, and figure out our next steps.”

      I wish you all the best Tina. I hope this helps begin to open up dialogue. Please remember my advice is not a substitute for marriage counseling. As it is quite clear that you and your husband would benefit from a safe space to confront what is really going on to evaluate whether the marriage can be helped and enhanced, or whether he has completely checked out with no return. I hope for you both that there will be a future with the two of you having an enhanced marriage, for marriages are worth saving.
      Warmly,
      Dr. Ruskin

  24. feeling isolated and abused

    I can relate to a number of the issues discussed here but they don’t quite encompass my situation. My wife and I have been together for over 20 years, but the only sex we have had since 2006 is me taking care of her needs, which I have always done anyway. I have E,D, but can still orgasm, but she never touches me. I don’t know why I have the E.D, because although I am only 50 years old, I have enough life issues behind me that there are a number of possibilities. We recently moved to a small town where I am isolated to get EMDR for my Complex PTSD(sexual assaults, rapes, prostitute age 14, witness to civil war atrocities,family abuse, and more), I went through cancer and chemo at age 20, 17 months of daily injections to treat hep c, 17 years of heavy medications for my bipolar(including shock therapy, also being treated for ADHD. There is quite a bit more but I mention these things because trying to figure out the ED seems pointless right now. I have brought up the need for me to feel loved as well, in our marriage every few months over the last eight years, and she feels if I just get the ED fixed everything will be fine, fine for her, that is. I really do want to love her, but she gives nothing, ever. She won’t see a therapist with or without me, look on the net, and every time I bring the issue up she seems quite agreeable, but nothing ever happens. Yes, I definitely struggle with feelings of shame, anger, and lowering self esteem. especially when my wife goes to great efforts to impress and advise others in their marriages on what a great marriage we have. I may well be on the wrong site, but yours is the closest I have found, so I am hoping, if you can’t suggest what may help, perhaps someone who can.

    1. Hi ‘Feeling Isolated and Abused’,
      I am sorry for your emotional pain. Certainly each person’s situation is unique, and it makes sense this blog nor its commentaries shall encompass fully your situation. Though, the point you made that you feel you can relate to a number of the issues, I am glad that you felt comfortable to reach out. For the first step towards any type of potential positive shift in one’s life is to acknowledge there’s a problem. Then the second step is to take action. So, here you are acknowledging and taking action via inquiry. The third step is to explore all one’s options for action and determine which is the best fit. Then the fourth step is to proceed based on that….

      I wish to take a moment to share with you that I am very glad that you are receiving therapeutic care for your PTSD. Some find EMDR helpful, others find Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helpful. Thus, speaking with your treatment provider about your options and receiving the care you and your medical team feel is the best fit for you, for they know you, is imperative. I am so glad you are doing as such.

      With regards to your ED presenting problem you are sharing on this blog site, certainly your past hx (points you mentioned in your writing, and there may even be points you did not mention), may each and all play a role in ED. Though, there are concrete relationship factors that may also be playing a role: a) not feeling loved, b) specifically articulating to your wife as you wrote: “the need for me to feel loved”, yet c) reporting that your wife “gives nothing, ever”, and d) the point you made that your wife tells you that if you “get the ED fixed everything will be fine, fine for her”, clearly indicating in your writing on this blog commentary that all would not be fine for you, combined with e) having a spouse who “never touches” you, may indeed all be a piece of your ED puzzle. In essence, this emotional, physical, and sexual disconnect/void in your marriage may be playing a role in exacerbating your ED. If your ED condition pre-dated your marriage, note that ED can be exacerbated and it can be managed by the thoughts, feelings and actions the person with ED experiences. ED can be exacerbated and rather managed effectively to where you are in a much better place by not only the thoughts, feelings and actions the person with the ED takes, ALSO is significantly affected by the way in which one’s mate handles and interacts with their spouse.

      One cannot discount the power of the role one’s mate plays in one’s physical and emotional health and wellness. It is not that I am inferring one’s mate is responsible for one’s happiness and healing all problems. What I am specifically and directly stating is that one’s mate plays a role, a significant part in one’s emotional, physical and sexual health and well being.

      My recommendation/suggestion for you: contact a marriage therapist. Schedule an appointment on a day and time that is generally when your wife is not committed to other obligations (I am sure you have a sense of her general schedule). Then, inform her you made an appointment, and that you hope she will attend with you so that the two of you together as a team can communicate and confront what you are each feeling with a person that can help you both navigate these difficult waters. If she states she will not join you (as you mentioned she has said she will not go, though once you actually schedule the appointment that may play out quite differently then just asking her to go), then, I would suggest you inform her that you plan on going anyway. If she says it makes no sense to go by yourself to marriage counseling, then you will let her know that the couple needs help and you are going to go get the help whether she comes or not, for you love her and you want the marriage to grow and enhance over time and not continue to decline so you are going to go to the marriage therapy appointment. Note: The day before the appointment, remind her of the day and time and invite her to come again, let her know it’s her choice whether she will be coming but you wanted to let her know that you will be there and are hoping she will be too. Once you meet with the marriage therapist, I recommend you continue to go and inform your spouse that you are continuing to go. Each time inform her when the next appointment is and invite her to attend with you. My suggestion is you continue to do this pattern, and while working with the marriage therapist, that therapist will be able to advise you further going forward as to next steps going forward. For there is only so much advisement I can provide in a blog response. For certainly a typed response from me to you is not meant to be therapy nor a substitute for therapy. Though, I am hopeful that it is a start point for you in your next steps and thus helps you to help yourself proceed in a positive healthy direction that feels comfortable for you. Also, I suggest you share this blog with her, the entire thing, the article, other peoples commentaries including your question and my answer.

      I wish you the best on your journey.
      Warmly,
      Dr. Ruskin

  25. I am married now for over 18 year to the woman of my dreams, but do not have the sexual attraction to her as I should have. Love her her more then live it self but just cant get over this hurdle of my live. I sat and thought about it, what can bring this on because in my believe if you love a woman as must as I love my wife there must be a sexual attraction, but there’s not.
    I think the reason is because my wife walks around all day every day and complain in how much she hurts, her legs, then her arms and that the whole world is against her. In the begining I was listening and consulting her but after so many years, honestly, it get old. I was brought up to deal with pains or go to a doctor the can help with the pain as well as that I you feel anybody is against you in the world, the problem is not the world it you(everybody cant be wrong and you right) And I do think that this is what cause me to feel not sexually attacted to her. And I do not know how I can fix this…..PLEASE HELP!!!

    1. Hi Jack,
      To spend time processing and analyzing to uncover why you are not feeling sexually attracted to your wife, of whom as you explained you love her and she is the woman of your dreams, is indeed a great first step towards figuring out what to do about it. For sometimes understanding ‘why’, helps a person to figure out how to resolve. Though, other times understanding why in and of itself does not lead to knowing what action to take, and rather just taking action is the solution resolution rather then understanding the why.

      Thus, there are 2 option ideas to help this situation:
      1. Make the choice to initiate and generate a new sexual reality with your wife. Whatever the old sexual style, sexual pattern is, throw that away. Take action on sexual fantasies and wants that you have and implement them with your wife. Explore her body and uncover and discover her sexual desires. Rather than thinking about that she complains about her pains and statements of the whole world being against her, make the choice to utilize sexual interactions as a form of connection and fun with one another. Rather than emotions deciding upon the sexual relationship. Or
      2. Discuss with her that her complaining is not sexy, and not attractive over all. And you have noticed that through the years it is affecting how you are feeling sexually. Express to her the guilt and shame that you feel for how you are feeling, that you feel bad that her complaining about her aches and statements that the world is against her has affected how you feel sexually about her, since you love her so much. Explain to her that love is not enough for sexual arousal and you are wondering and hoping if she and you can go for marriage counseling to discuss how the two can re-find their sexual relationship, and for you to receive help with how you can re-find the patience and compassion you used to have.

      I hope one of these suggestions are helpful and lead your couple-hood in a successful direction. Or, if neither suggestion feels like the right fit for you, I hope for you that by reading them, it opens your thoughts to an alternative option that is not listed here that leads you both towards relational success.

      I am glad you wrote in and I wish you all of the best.
      Warmly,
      Dr. Ruskin

  26. I have been in a sexless marriage for years. It hurts so bad. My husband always blamed me, I ‘m too fat, I lost the weight, nothing changed. Last year he said I had a odor. I worked on myself with douces & feminine deoderant & suppositories. I know thats not the case. He said he loves me but he just cant have sex with me. I love him, but I want sex. I recently started masterbating but its not the same. I always feel guilty afterward. Dont know what to do. Ive prayed about it, talked to him about it, but nothing happens.

    1. Hi Ruth, Good for you for taking action on the verbalization of your husband. One can only control one’s own choices, to then but see if those very choices and actions have a positive affect on one’s mate and the relationship whole. When a mate states there are specifics that are affecting the health of the marriage, in your case you explained that your husband shared with you what was affecting his lack of sexual desire for you, you really have only but a few choices: 1. do nothing, 2. do something. That is wonderful that you took action, in this way you and he can uncover and discover if what he thinks are the reasons are the actual reasons. Sadly you have discovered that the solutions you attempted have not resolved the problem. The problem is the lack of sexual marital relations. The reason for the lack of sexual relations is that he is not having relations with you, he is making that choice. As to the reason why, well, that is unclear as to the depth of the reason, but what you do know it is based upon what your husband is feeling and thinking.

      What to do? The answer is to ask him if he believes there is anything HE can say or do, AND anything that YOU can say or do that will help shift your relationship from a non sexual one to a sexual one. If he says no, then you have a decision to make: a) acceptance and remain in the marriage, b) continue to try to change his mind, c) not accept and not remain in the marriage, d) attend marriage counseling so you can have a professional help you both navigate this.

      If he says yes, that there is something that you can do, then, you need to thank him for his suggestion that you appreciate he is trying to figure out what the solution is that you can do, and then say that the pattern you have noticed is that what he thinks the problem is when you take action on the solution, you have both discovered does not lead to solution resolution. Therefore, you are inviting him to come with you to marriage counseling. Inform him that you love him and appreciate him, let him know that since he loves you too, that you are confident he can understand why having communcation with a professional to help you both confront the problem and explore potential solutions is the next step to take.

      You have tried this on you own, and the marriage has been sexless for years. It is time to get marriage counseling. If he says he won’t go with you, schedule the appointment anyway, let him know when it is and invite him to go with you, if he still refuses, tell him you are still going for the marriage is worth it. Go to that counseling appointment and continue in counseling to get help with next steps. Hopefully the two of you will ultimately end up in counseling together to confront what is going on. If not, it is important that you have someone to speak with about this matter.

      Additional note: masterbation is healthy and normal, nothing to feel guilty about. Though having a sexless marriage is a problem if you are someone who desires sexual relations with your mate, also a normal healthy desire. Materbation although normal and healthy is not instead of healthy relations with your mate, it’s not a substitute as it is a different kind of sexual fulfillment, of course it is not the same. For masterbation is your sexual relationship with yourself, sexual relations with your mate is your sexual relationship with your mate. Two different relationships, one is with you and the other is you and your mate together.

      Warmly,
      Dr. Ruskin

  27. I play my wife at her game, sex dried up when she fell pregnant 4 years ago.
    So instead of letting it get to me I moved into the spare room and started an affair with a sex hungry goddess.
    I love my wife but its more like a brother/ sister relationship. I gave her a house and a kid, if she doesnt want intamicy fine, but im a red blooded male and I no longer feel I should apologise for that.

  28. I Have Everything In My Marriage Except Sex
    ________________________________________

    My wife and I are Christian and both 55. We married a year and half ago. My sexual appetite has not changed since I was in high school. It seems that I am always thinking about sex. My wife has no
    sexual appetite at all. I wanted to do the right thing, so while dating I told her that I did not
    want to get physically intimate until we were married. I wanted her to know everything about me, before we married. I told her all about my sexual history. We read books together such as “Sperm Wars” and other books about sex after marriage. I thought we had an understanding. I knew that she would not be able to keep up with me, but she told me that she could have sex about three times a week. She also said that she was masturbating about three times a week. I decided that it would be workable. I could wait,hope and anticipate our next coupling if it was less than three days to wait.

    That was a lie and a deception. It has been nine months since she gave in to my plea for sex. She has no interest in sex at all. We have had sex six times and each time she would lie still and think about something else. She was mentally somewhere else while I was making love to her.

    If I push affection, which she passively accepts, and get some passion, she will argue with me about anything. Then she may say that she needs to go to the bathroom and then she will want to eat or say that she is tired. I have heard every excuse from her. Though we rarely get that far at all.

    Since I got married, I can no longer get an erection without taking pills. But the pills do work for me.

    Our marriage is great in every other way. I think that she tries hard to be a good wife in other ways so that I will “leave her alone.” She cooks such wonderful dishes for me. We have money and spend a lot of time travelling.

    I want to go to counseling but she will not talk about our marriage with anyone. Not even with her sister, whom she is closest to. She does not ever say anything to her about our problem. She has warned me not to talk with the pastor at church as “it is not his business.” I do talk with our pastor though. I may eventually go to counseling, with her or without her. I know that she will not go.

    Have not been pushy about sex with her in more than six months. I do sometimes try to seduce her but that does not ever work. Though I will not leave her, this sexless marriage is putting me through so many negative emotions.

    I am also looking at porn and masturbating, which is a sin against God. I do not want to do it, but I do not have another outlet for a tremendous amount of sexual tension and energy.
    I pray about this almost as much as I think about sex.
    I want to be right with God and I want our marriage to be right and functional.

    Sometimes I think that a positive change in her will only happen through a miracle. But I believe that miracles can happen.

    Thanks for all the advice you give to other writers. What do you suggest for me?

    Steven (1 Corinthians 7:2-5)

    1. Hi Steven,
      I am happy for you that you have so much in your marriage that you value. When you write that you “have everything except sex”, I am making an assumption that you value all of the “everything” that you have. But… I should not make that assumption. Here’s my point: all that you have, my first suggestion is that you make it a point each day to be mindful of the “everything” you have and each day with words express your appreciation to your wife for all that you have. Here is a few examples of the types of things I would recommend you say: In the morning before you start your day the first words out of your mouth can be: “Good morning honey. I don’t think I tell you often enough, so I want to tell you how blessed I feel to be able to wake up to your loving eyes, your beauty, and your caring and kind spirit each day”. Another day when you awake: “Thank you for being here for me after all of these years”. Before you go to sleep say: “I may not tell you often enough, and starting today I wish to improve this, and it’s to express how much I appreciate you and value all you do everyday”. In addition, make it a point whenever she does something (e.g., cooks a meal), don’t simply say “thank you”. Say: “Thank you so much honey for all of the time and energy you put into making this meal. I really appreciate it”.

      So as you can see, your mission is: “operation emotional connection”, “operation appreciation”. I write about this notion in my book: ‘Dr. Karen’s Marriage Manual’.

      My next task to you is to “woo” your mate. Think of what dating life is; the things a person says with words and actions a person does to “woo” their mate is by far not what happens for many couples over time. My suggestion is, to think of her as a new mate in your life. How would you treat this new mate every single day so she can see that you oh so want her? Woo her so she feels oh so wanted. For an example, are you dating your mate? I suggest you date your mate. Set up outings for just the two of you, then invite her to the outing. Let her know you set it up, for you adore spending time with her and you wish to take ownership of being mindful of having more quality time together. Woo her so she doesn’t just know you care, she experiences and feels you care.

      My third task, think: romance. What action items can you take so she feels you are putting active effort into the romance department?

      My fourth task for you is to be mindful of the physical relationship, that is not sexual. Every day make it a point to be physically intimate that is not sexual. For example, walk over to her and hug her and hold that hug for more than just a few seconds and whisper in her ear: “I love you, I am in love with you”. Then continue to go about whatever you were doing. Here are a few more examples, and please use your creativity too, these are simply examples to make a point. Give her loving taps on her butt in the kitchen while she is cooking. Hold her hand as you walk from the car to the supermarket. When she is sitting watching TV, snuggle next to her and rub her feet.

      So, as you can see, I am putting the responsibility on you. Yes, I am. Why? You are the one reaching out and asking the question. So, the idea here is for you to take ownership of what you can do to help your couple-hood to re-find or find what it can be in the next stage of your couple-hood, by implementing this four prong approach. 1. Words that show appreciation and pay emotional attention to your wife. 2. Woo your mate/date your mate, with words and actions. 3. Romantic actions. 4. Physicality in the relationship that is physical intimate connection enhancement.

      This concept I have put together in this package for you is under the hopes that if your wife is experiencing your emotional intimacy, verbal intimacy, physical intimacy, feeling valued and appreciated, loved and special, that when you reach out for sexual intimacy there will have been a relational build up, a relational enhancement experience coming from you so she falls for you all over again. Certainly she may indeed love you deeply. But sexual desire is affected by all of the matters aforementioned for some wives.

      Now, here’s the kicker: you need to tell her before you do all these things that you have decided that as you both enter the next phase of your relationship, as the two of you are getting older, you have been evaluating what you can do to be a better husband. Verbalize you appreciate and value her so much that you want to kick it up for who you are as a husband. Verbalize that you feel she deserves all of the best in you and starting today onward you are going to be doing and saying things that may seem odd to her. And that you are hoping that she can be open to these words and actions and know that it is coming from a place of pure and authentic love and passion for her and the marriage.

      So, after you say that, then, after 1 month of your consistency of implementing these 4 items I have documented, (yes an entire month), then, when you reach out to her sexually, I want you to reach out to her in a way in which is not your typical style. For example, I would suggest that you take her arms and place them above her head, and slowly caress the side of her body starting from the top of her hand down her arm, the side of her body all the way downward till you reach the bottom of her. Verbalize to her how soft her skin is to caress as you do this in a soft voice and smile. Then gently kiss her neck and let her know that you want to take the sexual intimacy slow, take your time and connect on a higher deeper intimate level. Take your time caressing all of her non sexual body parts to stimulate her for quite some time so she longs for you to touch her private parts. Wait to touch them until you see her yearning for your touch. During this process, don’t forget all body parts can be arousing, including caressing her hair, caressing her back, her fingers, her hands, her feet. Slowly undress her as you undress yourself looking at her in her eyes as you take your time. Her inner thighs – caress them, but not getting to her vagina, rather have her experience touches in close proximity to her vagina, as she may find that arousing. Then, ultimately gently place your hand on top of her vagina and gently taping it, placing gentle pressure not inserting, leading her to feel aroused and wanting. Again, to the point of such want…. Then and only then will you caress her clitoris. As she gets built up, from clitoral stimulation, consider at that point insertion.

      Okay, I am hopeful that you find this advice helpful. If it is more than you are comfortable with, please forgive me. I am direct and I see you are struggling and are not alone. Your question and my answer to it can help others too.

      As to whether she is ‘asexual’ and thus truly has zero interest in a sexual relationship at this point in her life, that I cannot evaluate/speak on as I am responding to your question. What I can tell you is that if she does have sexual desires, if she loves you, if she is still in love with you, then if for one month you daily implement all 4 points each and every day, and after a full month you implement this sexual action plan, there is the potential that your sexual encounter with your wife will not simply be a passive acceptance, or an excuse to not have sexual intimacy. Then, if this method works, the concept next steps would be that you continue this marital approach, but rather than waiting to initiate one month later, rather you initiate weekly. And, then after two weeks of you initiating weekly, you would explore with her in a comfortable room (not during the sexual encounter), if you are pleasing her in your sexual approach not just in initiating but also throughout the sexual encounter or if she has fantasies that you are not fulfilling. In addition, then, one more month of weekly sexually initiating in varied styles while continuing the 4 step lifestyle, and if she mentions any desires she has you would incorporate, and then you would then sit down with her and ask her how she feels about you being the initiator in the sexual relationship. Ask her if she wants to initiate or feels more comfortable with you doing it.

      I hope this helps. As perhaps these actions will trigger this miracle you are looking for by your taking action in this way. Please remember, this advice is not therapy nor instead of therapy. Although I am a therapist, in my blog I am not the therapist. Rather I am providing commentary on what could be helpful. As to whether you act on my suggestions are your choice. Your idea of considering speaking to a therapist, even if she won’t go is an excellent idea. As certainly talking this through with a therapist where there can be back and forth dialogue is of value. As therapy is a privileged communication between client and therapist.

      If you want more tips, I have over 40 tips, and 29 marital destroyers, as well as I explain why for so many couples the sexual relationship declines over time, and more, in my marriage book. Here’s the link in case if you want to check it out: https://www.drkarenruskin.com/purchase-books/dr-karens-marriage-manual/ (I sincerely don’t mean to sound like a sales pitch so I hope it doesn’t come off that way. Rather I know my book is extremely helpful information).

      Thanks for writing in. Again, I hope you find this helpful.
      Warmly,
      Dr. Ruskin

      1. I did many of the things which you suggested and it has improved things. Thank you. We have progressed from a totally sexless marriage to a marriage where she is a reluctant spouse in bed who wants the sex to conclude as fast as it can and she is not a partner in bed but more like a spectator. I consider that to be a wonderful improvement over what I had during the last fall and winter. She sometimes refers to our lovemaking as her “helping me to relieve the pressure in my prostate.” Oh how unromantic! As a commitment to God, to her and to our marriage, I have not looked at porn or masturbated since March 8th. I told her that I will only have an orgasm with her and not ever with myself. I also state that to show her the responsibility that she has to me. I will continue to be patient and will keep trying to win her heart as I intend to be with her for the rest of our lives. My hope is that her uninterest in sex will turn to an active interest in loving her husband and that we can truly be “one flesh” in our marriage together. Thank you.

        1. Hello Steven,
          Thank you for letting me know that you implemented as you wrote: “many of things” that I suggested. I am glad to learn that it has improved things. I am very happy for you for that, and you are very welcome. How kind of you to take the time to update me and thank me, it is my pleasure.

          On the one hand when I read your note and you write that you consider her behavior as a: “wonderful improvement over what I had during the last fall and winter”, I am so very happy for you. Improvement is improvement! One step forward is one more step in the right direction. A spouse who has consideration for one’s mate’s needs is an important part of marriage, and the sexual relationship is an important piece of that puzzle. Of course on the other hand I feel for you certainly that your spouse is not interested in sex. And I am hopeful that through time that will change as the two of you implement further steps in a forward direction. I am happy to hear that you have made the time to implement some of the things suggested, and that you will continue as you wrote “to be patient and will keep trying to win her heart”. Keep up the great work.

          I did want to take a moment to mention that there are cases in which a woman’s heart is won, meaning; she loves her husband, although she has no sexual desire. So, the question is: does she have no sexual desire, or no sexual desire for you?

          Perhaps through your journey of continuing to implement what was discussed, and perhaps even exploring if there are any sexual fantasies she has, and letting her know your interest in fulfilling those desires, that the marital journey of discovering your sexual relationship will occur.

          Again, my sincere words of; you are very welcome, to respond to your thank you. Best of wishes on your journey.
          Warmly,
          Dr. Ruskin

  29. Hi the wife and I have been married for 9 years we are very happy together but due to an injury to her knees she is not able to enjoy sex with me and i love her all to pieces and will not leave her. However i am starving for some intimacy because i will not put her in pain and her not enjoying it and not being able to walk for a couple of days in pain and tears flowing when she has to walk. Any suggestion what we can do and yes we have been seeing DR specialists etc for her knees and still do.

    1. Hi Maurice,
      Thank you for reaching out. Here’s a few suggestions I am hopeful will help.

      1. ‘The Mind-Body Connection’ By Dr. John Sarno is a very interesting and powerful book that addresses the connection between physical pain and psychological barriers. I would suggest you both read it. Although his focus is on the notion of healing back pain as his main example due to him being a back surgeon, his book is very clear on the point that his mind-body connection concepts in it’s connection to the theory of awareness addresses all physical pains. And note: yes, the idea is indeed that the physical ailment is real, yet there are real psychological aspects that can affect our own physical experience of that very real pain. I strongly suggest you check this book out, it has helped many people with physical ailments affecting one’s emotional well being. Do note: he has written several books, so you want to get this one with this title.

      2. Some people find sexual stimulation and/or orgasms as relaxing when physically hurting. Others find it as a pressure to perform and feel overwhelmed by the consideration of having a sexually fulfilling relationship when hurting physically. Thus, I would suggest couples counseling for you and your wife, to allow for the opportunity for you each to express how one another is feeling about living with physical illness. The notion of your wife viewing the sexual relationship and sexual fulfillment through a positive lens will be an important piece of the puzzle to look at. For it is not uncommon for some who are hurting physically to feel that they cannot do things that feel good while they are hurting for they are not in the mood. Yet, once experiencing the sexual pleasure, it may indeed be quite stimulating for the senses and help one to forget about the physical pain or potentially dull it if even for a little while. And if not to dull it, at least to have fun in one area of one’s life while at the same time hurting in another area of one’s life.

      3. In addition, the reason why couples counseling is a helpful recommendation is that physical illness affects the person with the illness and one’s mate. Thus, having a safe therapeutic environment to address one another’s thoughts and feelings is helpful, but not enough. What the therapist also provides for is the opportunity to address each person’s perspectives and expectations, fears, and needs that you each may not be aware of that having that outside party to ask you each questions allows for.

      4. Couples counseling can also help with tools and techniques for the sexual enhancement that may not have been your sexual pattern. You see, most couples have their sexual style/sexual pattern. When a physical problem strikes (e.g., injury), it affects and thus alters that very pattern emerging a new pattern. Thus, the two of you may need help to find what your new sexual relational style can be and thus develop a different pattern. Thus, in addition, I would suggest the sexual exploration of the relationship in alternative ways. For example, what are sexy and sexual interactions between the two of you that do not require her knees to do the work? What are stimulating encounters that will leave her feeling connected with you and you with her, and the couple experiencing sexual intimacy in a way in which is relaxing not upsetting to her physical ailments, nor upsetting to her emotional well being?

      As you noticed, I did mention key themes that will be important to address in couples counseling, I mention them because just by chance you do not go to couples counseling right away, I am hopeful that by me mentioning what can be helpful about the counseling will open up the lines of communication between you and your wife to consider some of these points on your own.

      I am so sorry for you and your wife for what she and you are going through. Injury is no party, though I do strongly believe that with the love you have for one another, the two of you will navigate this.
      Warmly,
      Dr. Ruskin

  30. My husband had an affair with a woman 20 years younger, he was her boss and moving up the corp. ladder – I think she wanted to be taken care of in fulfilling her upward mobile career as well and saw him as her mechanism as she was currently living with her boyfriend that she has since married. The sex lasted maybe 5-7 months. By the way she has moved out of our city now. My husband quit his job, I asked him to when I intuitively felt he was having an affair. He lied about it for 2 years, denying it even though I found makeup in my home and a strange bra. The affair happened 7 years ago. He only admitted it when I told him I was leaving him as I knew he had been unfaithful and I couldn’t keep living this lie. He initially blamed me and said I was hard to live with, I’ve read that is a common assertion for the cheating spouse to blame the other for their weakness, selfishness, infidelities. Our sexual life was always good before that but now everytime we try to make love, he rarely can complete it… then he tells me he understands I am not ready or interested, it feels like he is blaming me again. We maybe had sex 5 times last year. We have been married for 30 years and are both attractive. I will admit I wonder about the sex he had with a woman young enough to be his daughter – it haunts me to think he was so foolish and selfish, I wonder if he thinks about sex with a young woman & that affects his relationship with me now? Sometimes I catch him walking behind me and looking at younger women, he denies it and says he loves me and can’t imagine life without me. I wouldn’t probably mind his looking and would probably think it common for a middle age man except he has digressed once already. Should I leave him or should I keep trying? 30 years is a long time to invest in someone but I certainly don’t want to be rejected again – the pain was unbearable as was my anger toward him. You can imagine I trusted him with my life only to be given up for a younger woman with designs of financial gain, just a younger woman would have been bad enough – no morals- but to be so naive as well. Or do I work toward a healthy sex life in our relationship and confront him with his projection of it being my not wanting sex vs him?

    1. Hi Elaine,
      I am glad you wrote in. In reading your inquiry, it seems that you have one main question: stay or go? Within your question, it sounds like you have a second question which is: if you stay, do you “work toward a healthy sex life” in your relationship? And you have an additional question which is: should you “confront him with his projection of it being my not wanting sex vs him”?

      My answer: if there’s some part of you that wants to stay with your husband, if you want things to improve and are willing to do the work, then YES – you owe it to yourself, to him, and to your couple-hood to confront the situation. You both must confront what you are experiencing as his projection, confront what you can each do to work toward a healthy sex life with one another, and to confront the reality with him that you wonder about a future with or without him because the way things are, well, are clearly unacceptable to you.

      So, my advice: share with him that you want to try to try to make things work, but you need him to try to try too. And what this really comes down to is: I strongly advise couples counseling. You both need a safe place to acknowledge and share your own thoughts and feelings and hear one another’s point of view, as well as help with understanding what happened and what is happening now, help with healing, and help with how to move forward and discover the potential next phase of your relationship.

      Marriages are worth saving, both people need to work super hard, and both people likely need help with what that even means, hence my recommendation for marriage counseling. Let me know if you don’t know how or where to begin your search for a marriage therapist.

      I hope this helps.
      Warmly,
      Dr. Ruskin

  31. PS Could his reaction in bed be because of his guilt for his transgression? I think he hates that he actually did this and is very ashamed. I wonder if it was mid-life crisis.

    1. Yes Elaine, that is a possibility, as one’s sexual behavior is very much tied into one’s emotions. Though the only way to really know for sure is to have a conversation of depth that allows such an open and frank discussion.
      Warmly,
      Dr. Ruskin

  32. My wife and I have been married for 20 years. Our sex life sometimes went well and sometimes not. But we always enjoyed it. She revealed to me 3 weeks ago that she had an affair that lasted 1 month. She repented and broke all contact (as far as I know). She is depressed now as she still longs to be with him. My heart broke in many pieces, but I am trying to forgive her and work through all the hurt and anger and lack of trust. The funny thing is that I have a strong sexual desire for her, but she is not interested at all.
    Do you have any idea how long this could take? I assume I just have to give her space, but it is really hard.

    1. Hi Stephan,
      I am sorry for your pain, for both of you. I do not agree with the assumption to just give her space. I know often after an affair, a spouse may request that, but it is not as simple as that. Or the mate may think one’s spouse needs that, again, not so simple. I would rather hope for you that she is remorseful of her actions and yearns to re-connect with you.

      It is a difficult position for you to be in. If you give her space vs if you don’t give her space, those very actions affect people differently. The fact that she still longs to be with him, if that is true, then her emotional energy is grieving over the loss of him and what might be, and not being focused on growing the relationship between you and she. Your sexual desire makes sense, for you still long for her, it sounds like her affair did not change the lens through which you view her, rather you are trying to forgive her, and as you wrote: “work through all the hurt and anger and lack of trust”. One of the things that will help you with that is if you feel she is “all in”. Meaning: if she is all in wanting to understand what led her to have that affair, and what is leading her to want to have closure on the affair and desire to do what it takes to help the relationship between she and you be all that it can be. Her taking actions toward the relationship and not distancing from you is an important part of this process. If you are not seeing that I strongly advise you and she to go for couples counseling. If you are seeing that, I would still advise couples counseling. Post an affair, I always recommend couples counseling for it is a trauma to the couple and the couple typically needs help from a caring and skilled professional to help with the matter.

      For some couples, affairs are the trauma that lead couples to discover and re-discover one another, and they have a stronger couple then they ever had. Once they get couples counseling that is, to help them confront, understand, heal, and move forward in a healthy manner. For other couples, it destroys the couple-hood. The outcome for which couple you shall be has everything to do with the choices both she and you make.

      There is helpful reading material I would recommend which includes: ‘Dr. Karen’s Marriage Manual’ (yes, I know, I wrote it. With all sincerity if you and she follow all of my “marital do’s” it is wonderful the connection and re-connection couples make. My section on infidelity is informative as well as my section on sex, and my section on marital destroyers. I receive wonderful feedback from couples who read this book post an affair, as well as couples who read this when there is no affair at all). Here’s a direct link to my book if you want a sneak peek: https://www.drkarenruskin.com/purchase-books/dr-karens-marriage-manual/ In addition, there’s a book called ‘After the Affair’ by Janis Spring which you and she will likely find helpful.

      I hope the reading material advice is helpful. And certainly, going for marriage counseling is a strong advisement.
      Warmly,
      Dr. Ruskin

  33. Hi Karen,
    I’ve been married for 7 years. My first sexual experience was with my husband and I thought sex was over rated. For the first year we had regular sex with no quality. Slowly it died down and was close to non existent after 2 years. When addressed he said it probably happens and if we both were ok with it, it shouldn’t matter. Then when we wanted children, he just couldn’t get it up and said the pressure was too much. Every month for about 2 years the both of us would be tensed and frustrated. Finally we decided to do an iui and get it out of the way, hoping we could have sex after baby. We had a baby a year ago. Other than the sex everything else has been great..of late there has been a huge disconnect and lot of misunderstanding, fighting and talks about saperation. After a lot of talking, my husband told me that he cares deeply and respects me a lot but there is no love. He said that he had brushed it under the carpet and suddenly it has hit him really hard. That intimacy is very important to him and he can’t see me that way. This woke me up, I did some reading and realised that both of us did not put in any effort to spice up the sex life or even pay attention what each other wanted. I was convinced I could make it happen and would do things differently to keep him happy. I told him this and that we could make it happen as I hadn’t realised it was an issue earlier..but he said that he couldn’t make love to me because of some comment I passed in our first year of marriage that turned him off and that he just cannot see me that way although he really wants to make it happen. He is really frustrated and it comes out in the form of anger, mood swings..disconnect and such things. it feels like our marriage is in the dumps. I really want this to work and he too says he wants it work but cannot change the way he feels. What do I do? I’m thinking I have to do what I think needs to be done and it will take time and gradually he may change his mind. Looking forward to hear from you.

    1. Hi Tiya,
      I am glad you wrote in. Let us take a closer look at the following statements you made in your inquiry:

      “He said that he couldn’t make love to me because of some comment I passed in our first year of marriage that turned him off and that he just cannot see me that way although he really wants to make it happen”. Hm. So, one statement you made changed him from seeing you in a sexual way, to no longer? There is nothing you have said or done, or nothing he has said or done that has or can change that??? If that is the case, if it is really one statement, then you and he truly need to go for marriage counseling addressing what this statement is that he has been holding on to. What is it about this statement? It is quite possible that one statement he sees as the marking point, though likely there are other things since then that has exacerbated/affected how he feels further validating that statement. It is important for he and you to confront what he is feeling and why. It is important to address if he really does want to view you differently, what that would look like. Can he view you differently? How can he? Are there things he can do? Are there things you can do?

      The other statement in your inquiry is: “I really want this to work and he too says he wants it to work but cannot change the way he feels”. Hmmm. How does he feel? Does he love you but he does not have sexual passion for you? Does he love you but is not emotionally attracted to you? Does he love you but is not sexually attracted to you? How does he feel about you physically? Has he been getting his sexual, emotional, and/or physical needs met elsewhere outside of the relationship? What is love to him? What does he love about you vs. does not love about you? What does he want to feel in his relationship that he is not feeling, and is it possible to get that feeling being with you? Or does he believe he can only get that feeling by being with another? Or does he believe what he is missing does not exist anywhere?

      Here’s the bottom line: the two of you need to go to marriage counseling. Albeit this is my recommendation for a wide range of marital issues within the sexual relational department, it is my advice for a reason. And the reason in your scenario you have depicted is that there are more questions then can simply be written in a blog article that must be asked, confronted, and answered by each of you in front of one another. The two of you need to uncover what the problem is with clarity, with depth, with awareness, with mindfulness and what the possible solution options can be, and what steps to experiment with to take to get to this potential solution existence. Then, the possible exploration and attempt to interact with one another in a more sexually exploratory manner learning about one another’s wants, and one’s own wants must be uncovered. By speaking openly in a safe therapeutic environment about emotional and sexual desires, by uncovering each of your wants of the past, wants in the present, and perceived wants in the future – to explore whether the two of you can find the possibilities of what can be – opens the potential for the two of you to find what you have never had for a potentially enhanced couple-hood.

      The fact that your sexual history is not one of passion, or so it seems from what you have written down, it appears the two of you have never discovered what your sexual style is nor what it can be. It appears that you never discovered who you are in a sexual relationship as a sexual being, and he never discovered who he can be sexually with you. If the two of you truly want to discover this, then there is much work to be done. Getting help from a trained professional who is skilled in the understanding of couple-hood relationship dynamics that can help you both on your journey of uncovering what this “work” is, and helping you both confront if you shall ‘try to try’, is what I recommend your next step is.

      Perhaps you wish to consider forwarding this entire blog article along with all of the comments, including your inquiry – directly to him. Sit down with him and let him know that the marriage matters to you and that’s why you reached out. Good luck. I hope you both get the help that you each deserve, your marriage deserves, and the child you both brought into this world deserves. Marriage is worth the effort.
      Warmly,
      Dr. Ruskin

    2. I have been with my wife 18 years.
      just celebrated 15 year wedding anniversary. Two kids 8 and 10. Before kids we did it at least 5 days week like rabbits. Always mutual effort. lingerie frequent and we both would view porn separately while maintaining high frequency together. After 3-4 years of marriage we realized the porn was affecting us and we backed off on it wife stopped cold turkey. After the first child came frequency went way down and suddenly I was the only initiator if I wanted it. I would look at porn to fill void periodically but when I did I became more depressed and distant from her for feeling bad at looking at it. Over time This caused her to realize and pick up on it and out of resentment withdraw from me further. Initially for years she would feel bad and work with me but eventually as if the last 5 years says it’s your problem! Deal with it. When I pulled the I wouldn’t look at it card if the frequency was increased which is totally true she gets resentful again I’m blaming her for my problem. In the last 10 years she has only instigated sex a Handful of times. That’s my job if I want it I need to ask etc. she can’t even make a move physically without saying do you want to do it! She doesn’t know the first thing about instigating. Sex is always on her time late night kids in bed lights off. And majorly of time rain check, I’m tired, oral for her is once year. She takes a 40 min massage and if we do have sex it’s usually if not always for me. For years she has been able to keep me in the balance by doing BJs to fill the void. Over the years she of course has gotten to the point where she’ll do them but has let me know she hates it. How does that satisfy the need fully? So needless to say I’m left unfulfilled still. Once about every 3 months she will be horny as all get out most amazing sex ever and then it just gets back to Borden immediately. her period hits and we loose connection or she just needed that one time and isn’t interested anymore and back to pitty sex because she needs to fill my need to prevent me from getting grumpy and mean. It blows my mind woman would rather have a moody husband and hold out wondering what’s wrong with there man? Why does there man not give them attention and hold out uninterested and unable to see it’s because sex was last a month ago or more!! Rather then try and connect them self and give there man allitle attention And bing bang he is back to normal !!! If the time dousnt fit around the woman’s perfect window. Nightime, lights off, no lingerie anniversary only now. We are both Christian and have always gone to church and have felt it’s helped us keep a solid foundation in the marriage despite our struggles with these issues. For years my wife has used the main excuse for our intimacy issues I dont give her enough attention. Not sexual attention but pay attention to her. Like play games, tickle her, make date night efforts. I have 4 days week off and run another side business from home so I am present more than 90% of husbands. I find we are both on our phones a lot. Me as I’m making a living on the phone. She is on Instagram and becomes like click looking at other people’s great lives all day and then feels depressed. Even when I cut out the phone and try to pay attention to her it dousnt change. She just sees it as me wanting sex. It’s like she uses the phone to zone out and it says leave me be. But then she acts like she does it because I dont put energy into her? What gives? She wants to move to Hawaii in a year or two as she isn’t happy in our cold state and gets depressed 3 months a year. She wants me to give up a significant easy lifestyle, potentially paid off house soon and financial security that will never have again in Hawaii to have this dreamy get away with our family she hopes will bring us closer together. Grass is always greener attitude! I can just see our relationship so much better when on top of our current problems we have financial struggles which Hawaii will surely bring..
      She has been a stay at home mom for 7 years and recently is working part time which I suggested and it hasn’t made her any happier than when she was full time last year. I feel she may as well work full time and contribute! It’s like if she wants Hawaii so bad how bout working hard and earning it!! She would rather have a stay at home lifestyle and travel travel travel spending the money and then getting mad cause I’m caught up busy earning it…

      We have been able to manage for 18 years I think because when I hit a low periodically I resort to porn for a few days, get it out of my system and I can maintain somewhat of a balance with the low frequency. Of course once in awhile when she senses I’m looking at it she pulls completely away and I then divulge into more porn and feeling anger resentment and we hit rock bottom for a week or two and she now says she can’t deal with that anymore. I hit a point I wouldn’t tell her about the times I looked at it if she assumed as it only caused more issues when she knows. So recently I feel things have taken a turn for the worse. I wanting to strive to stop the pornography knowing how it affects her if she feels I slip up with it let her know I had access to it as she had blocked phones etc to try and prevent it (mutual thing ) so knowing it was my last way to view it I told her about it also stating that I needed things to change with her as I would not have access to it after living with it periodically all my life and didn’t know how I’d handle it. She Agreed.. lol Well now several months later I have found for the first time with no out I am fantasizing being with other woman and leaving her. Where it was purely porn before I want a real hookup. I have the drive of a 20 year old and being 41 I have had multiple opportunies with Girls in there early to late 20s come onto me in past years so knowing it’s very possible is difficult. So the desire for a woman with a drive to want and desire me is overwhelming. This is new territory for me as having pulled alll access to porn although seeming helpful in my wife’s eyes has caused me to become more distant and uncaring and contemplate having an affair or leaving the marriage. How do you go about asking your wife to turn the porn back on saying if you don’t I’m bound to find it elsewhere or not say it but seek an affair unknowingly to her.
      I feel at this point I def need counseling but am unsure after this many years what a really going to change. I’ve put myself between a rock and a hard place. How do you fix these issues really as any mention to her I’m now struggling with wanting other woman unless the porn is available will surely kill our relationship even further. I def don’t want to be that man to walk out on his family and even though an affair is so tempting sounds easier than that as she’ll leave me the affect in my kids, allimony, child support, I am sure although satisfying my urges to find it elsewhere will leave me dirt poor, hated and looking to start over which would be overwhelming. Before I felt As much as many of our issues are caused by lack of communication, Low sex and my Low effort to meet her love language which a therapist would help with now I’m dealing with an overcoming desire to be with every attractive woman I see. Which makes staying faithful very difficult given our situation and I’m left to deal with these desires alone and can’t share them or if surely will be over. Any suggestions on how to cope would be great.

  34. Hello Dr Ruskin,

    I would appreciate your opinion. I have been in a relationship with my girlfriend for over eight years and living together for almost six years. I am 51 and she is almost 50. Our relationship has grown into a “companionship” rather than an intimate relationship. We have seperate bedrooms. I guess I have given up trying to be intimate with her. The rejection gets old and is hurtful. I am depressed with my situation and lonely. Not with the companionship but with the intimate part.

    I love romance. Buying flowers. Giving romantic notes and cards expressing my love is who I am. Enjoying romantic dinners, holding hands, kissing, caressing, enjoying the energetic touch of my lover, and looking into her eyes is important to me. Unfortunately, none of this seems to matter anymore. We have not engaged in satisfying love making in several years. When we do have sex (which is usually every six months or so) it is very unsatisfying for me. There is no foreplay. No touching. Kisses are dry and lack passion. I am not allowed to touch her breasts or vagina. She doesn’t touch me. The sex act includes getting on top of her and thrusting. I feel she just wants me to go fast to get it overwith quickly. When I try to slow things down and enjoy the moment she always asks, “What’s wrong.” I always leave the bedroom feeling cheap and disgusted with myself.

    Lack of sexual relations with my partner is not good, but the real problem is that I have closed myself off to her emotionally. I do not share my feeling, hopes, ambitions, or dreams with her anymore. Don’t misunderstand, I desire everything I am describing in the letter, but sharing my vulnerabilities with her just doesn’t feel safe. I just keep everything inside. I don’t buy flowers, cards, or gifts for Valentine’s Day because I feel that my efforts are unappreciated. I am a romantic, loving, and sensitive man who is wasting away.

    As I read this letter I can’t help but think I must be insane to continue in this relationship. Why would any person continue living in a relationship in which your partner did not want you? We do not have children together. My partner has many outstanding qualities which make for a great partner. Unfortunately, the loneliness and depression overshadow the good.

    Thank you for reading my letter,

    Mark

    1. Hello Mark,
      I am glad you are writing in. Unfortunately your experience of no longer reaching out emotionally, the emotional void, when there is a sexual void, is not uncommon. As it is often that the two are connected. From what you have described, it sounds like from your perspective that the lack of a physically intimate and sexually intimate relationship has created an effect on you for you to no longer reach out in an emotionally romantic and intimate way in which you used to (e.g., flowers). And has also led you to stop initiating sexually due to feeling rejected.

      The questions to ask yourself includes:
      1. Why am I staying?
      2. Why have I not ended the relationship?
      3. What are my options?
      4. Do I still have passion for her and an interest in healing the relationship and re-connecting to discover what can be?
      5. Does she have passion for you, interest in you, sexual attraction for you, sexual desire for you, sexual desires?
      6. Are you and she willing to confront what has led to the relational decline and take action on what steps you can each take ownership of taking to see if it is possible to help your couple-hood be more than it was yesterday, be more than it was last month, last year?
      7. What are her expectations and desires going forward in this relationship and what are yours? Do they match up?
      8. Does she have emotional passion for you? You for her?

      My suggestion is to have you and she sit down together in a non confrontational manner. Let her know you wish to speak with her not to finger point and rather to address together, to confront together, what the couple was, what the couple currently is, and what you each envision and want the couple to be. Discuss the questions I listed above and answer them. My suggestion is to share this entire blog article including your question and my response. Discuss and determine together if the two of you can make a healthy relationship shift together without outside help or if you need the help that couples counseling can provide.

      I hope my response is helpful.

      I wish you the best, and know that the pain and loneliness you are experiencing need not continue this way. The question is: can your relationship make a shift together or not? And if not, do you stay and accept what is, or do you decide that you can have a healthy satisfying partnership elsewhere? Do you think you owe it to you and her and the couple-hood to address the matter before you decide one way or another in a focused serious meaningful conversation? I should say so.

      Warmly,
      Dr. Ruskin

  35. Hi Dr Karen,
    Your advice may help me, a lot.
    I’m 59 years old and my husband 74. We got married last September . We never had intercourse. I crave for it. He says he is very passive and that he needs an aggressive woman in bed. I’m not aggressive but very responsive. I try to kiss , hug, lick, smell, play with him. When he doesn’t say he is tired, he just stays there waiting to receive whatever I have to offer and enjoy. He doesn’t do anything to me. He never kisses me with passion, or, even touch me intimately. If I want a hug I have to hug him first. He has problem with erections too. His doctor said there isn’t anything wrong with him. He is still very healthy. One of his exes texts him all the time saying what she wants to do with him, they never had sex either. He answers saying she is being bad to him. I confronted him about this and he said: “nothing is happening in our lives.” When I try to do the same he just doesn’t answer my texts. Yesterday he said I’m not a sexy woman. Whenever I suggest doing something to ignite the flame, he simply rejects the idea. I bought toys too. He didn’t like the idea, either. I don’t know what to do. Apart from this, he is a loving person and I didn’t want to give in without trying.

    He likes to watch porn and always mentions those sex clubs, swing parties, …. actually, I’m not into this kind of stuff.

    I met one of his exes. She told me he is unable to have sex but blames the woman for not getting it. He keeps telling me that I’m not sex skilled.

    When I ask him to touch me, he does it so quickly, as if it is a torture for him. He is divorced and has 3 children.

    I’ll be very happy to hear your advice.

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Simone,
      Although taking to heart what one’s husband’s ex says about one’s husband is not something I typically recommend, there are indeed times where the information is valuable and can be helpful to make sense of things. This may be one of those times. Let us look at the following points as you presented them in your letter here: a) his ex says “he is unable to have sex but blames the woman for not getting it”, b) his other ex “sexts” him, yet they never had sex and he is not putting a stop to the sexting even though he is married to you, c) he is married to you and does not have intercourse with you, or explore sexually with you in other ways if physiologically he is having problems (erections), yet he discusses sex clubs, swing parties and watches porn – put this picture together and you have a problem.

      If you and he desire to have a sexual relationship, then the focus needs to be on learning about one another’s bodies, as well as one another’s emotional-sexual needs. You say he says he needs an aggressive woman, and you are responsive but not aggressive, you say he says that you are “not sex skilled”, you say he says you are “not a sexy woman”, hm that is hurtful is it not? Torture to touch you? If that is what you are feeling coming from him, that is sad for both of you and needs to be addressed.

      As I write to you these statements that you have written to me, as you read it back to yourself coming from another person (me), I ask you your question. So, you tell me? What do you think? If you were your dear friend, or if you were a sister to yourself, or if you were a mother to yourself – what advice would you give to you?

      Something needs to be done if the two of you are going to have a healthy marital relationship. If you desire for this relationship to grow, if he desires this relationship to grow, this is a clear case in true need of couples counseling. My advice to you: the two of you need a therapeutic environment with a therapist who specializes in couples counseling to talk with you both to explore each of your needs and marital expectations. It is not uncommon for men as they age to experience erection challenges. That may be affecting his sexual comfort, though if that is the case that does need to be addressed, and not in a blame of you approach. There is simply way too much to say here that requires counseling consultation that a blog comment response simply will not fully provide for.

      I hope you seek out the help you need, and I hope this blog response advising you to do as such helps you to recognize that help is needed.
      Warmly,
      Dr. Karen

  36. Dr Karen

    Hi, Lovely advice you have given and hope you have some spare time to offer an opinion on my situation please.

    I am 53 (male) and married for 27 years. My wife and I made love and sex at least once a week until my wife fell into depression 12 years ago and since then just had sex twice and rarely make love since then.

    We have had many discussions which I was the one who would initiate our chats first of all about her depression from pressure of work and unhappy childhood (she also seeked counselling ) but also about our relationship covering many topics but also love and sex. My hope was to support, try to understand, love her and work hard at our marriage as she is a wonderful wife in my eyes cursed with the aweful depression, but it is so hard going as there is little warmth or much understanding coming back to me. Sadly it feels that she has become locked in her own world trying to deal with her depression and her own wants to get on in life, strict daily procedures etc and although talk a great deal about how she feels on a day to day basis, my feelings are not being respected, discussed much which also causes issues with my feeling of love and sex.

    I love her but now feel after many hours self analysing that our marriage is only of convenience and that having devoted a great deal of time in my support etc but little in return that I am seeking guidance about how I should approach my longings for love and some sex.

    I long to take her in my arms and even just kiss and cuddle with no pressure of sex always when I have felt she could accept my approach to her, but there s very little in response as she withdraws straight away into her self world. And this has broken my heart.

    Having seen and live with her suffering with my understanding her feelings and situation I am trying hard to keep up my support for her but how for me should I approach and deal with my own feelings of wanting love, respect, understanding, some personal sexual happiness as certain feelings and thoughts of finding this outside of my marriage have been and are getting strong.

    From the days when her depression started I learned to, how one says pleasure oneself on my own without the use of porn, which does help in someways to deal with my issues, but doesn’t ease my feelings. Now, I am getting feelings of looking for love outside of my marriage which I fear are getting very strong which naturally will have devastating effects on my marriage and potential divorce which I don’t want or desperately trying to avoid.

    Should I look at going for one night stands to help satisfy my sexual situation or even go to certain countries once in a while although likely not help with the longing for love so that at least it might help keep our relationship.

    If you have found time to read this then thankyou and I do hope that you can offer some of your guidance or viewpoint please.

    My very best wishes and regards
    Kevin

    1. Hi Kevin,
      I have found through my professional and personal life journey, that we all have time for the things we want to have time for. Regardless of how busy we each are. So, yes, of course, I am happy to make time to respond to your inquiry.

      First let me start by saying that if your wife has been clinically depressed for 12 years, that is horrifying, and I am sincerely so sorry for her pain, and for yours. You are not alone, for sadly indeed what you have described others experience. Being the mate of someone with depression has several very specific challenges, and one of them is experiencing what you have clearly described. Which is a lack of affection and attention emotionally, communication-ally, physically, and sexually. Those very things that you are missing and longing for are healthy wants and without them a person experiences a void that they yearn to fill. As I explain to my clients and have written about in my marriage book, it is imperative to ‘water the plant of marriage’ otherwise, well, we all know what happens when a plant longing for water receives no water. Thus, your thinking about alternative sexual encounters outside of the marriage is not shocking, and not abnormal. In fact, it is typical in these types of scenarios. Though to act on it would be destructive, for then you add another problem to the mix. Going against one’s values and moral marital code not only hurts one’s mate when they find out (for most do ultimately find out at some point), it hurts the sacredness of the marriage and it hurts the individual who commits the act of betrayal (even if the mate does not find out you would be carried with the burden). For it is going against one’s values. Plus, remember, it does not solve the problem by creating another problem.

      My guidance would be as follows:
      1. Your wife absolutely needs individual counseling with someone specifically who specializes in depression and marital issues. I would advise a therapist whose therapeutic approach/style is to utilize Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) as well as solution focused counseling strategies.
      2. The couple absolutely needs couples counseling with an experienced Marriage Therapist.
      3. Your wife may or may not need a medication evaluation. For often with the right kind of counseling, and depending on the level of severity of her depression (mild, moderate, severe), individual counseling as well as couples counseling, and what she and you implement from what you learn from counseling in your lives, can be the difference that makes the difference. In other cases, medication in addition to talk therapy AKA counseling is the best route.

      So, trying the counseling I recommended above first to see where that takes her and the couples counseling to see where that takes things is acceptable, and then re-evaluating with the therapist if having a medication evaluation is recommended based upon the progress or lack there of is a sensible suggestion, in my opinion. But of course if a med eval is desired ASAP, I am not closed to that. As this blog article is not meant for diagnosing and knowing your treatment plan, since I am not playing the role of your therapist, and I do not know the depression severity, I can only share in response to what a write in states, and my response is mindful this is a public forum not a privileged conversation.
      4. I suggest you have individual counseling with someone who specializes in marital issues, in order for you to have a space to talk about what you are feeling, as well as this would provide you with an opportunity to learn strategies beyond what you may already know.

      Know this Kevin, her condition and your relational interaction pattern/dynamics have been in development for years, thus the problems you are encountering is not going to go away on its own, nor in a day with help – for they were not created in a day. Though I am a big believer that depression can be managed, and amazing changes can already be observable early on in treatment, and a couple’s relationship dynamic can be dramatically improved with the right kind of care, with motivation and desire to “try to try”. I have seen gorgeous changes in a person’s mental health and thus phenomenal marital changes when there is personal health and wellness. So, the question becomes: does your wife wish to “try to try” to get a fresh look at her depression in counseling and work her butt off to help herself to help herself find who she can be and desires to be in this stage and phase of her life and going forward, or not? Does she wish to “try to try” to hear your voice and work on the couple relationship and find what can be? Or not? The beauty of who she can be as an individual and what you can both have in your relationship is possible, and I am hopeful that your “case” (for lack of a better term), is one of the successful ones. The way things are as they are is unacceptable, and you need to confront her on this matter. I invite you to share with her your write in and my response.

      I wrote a book called: ’10 Seconds To Mental Health’. Each page offers a tip, easy to read, that is inspirational, concrete, and motivational. It is written through the lens of a marriage therapist, as I am one. So on each page, although the tips are about what the person reading the book can do each day, just 1 tip per day, all of the tips not only address personal health and wellness, they address and thus affect the important relationships in one’s life. I would love to know if she would be willing to read just one tip a day. Take my mental health challenge. Read one tip per day and implement it. I don’t want to sound sales pitch-y, sincerely, I have gotten great feedback on it. I wrote it for so many people are hurting and need advisement, tips in life. I know it is not the end all be all solve all your problems book. Though it certainly is a great start to help her and you thinking along the lines of: what is 1 action item step that “I” (meaning she) can take today for my mental health and wellness thereby enhancing self and those I love and my relationships.

      I am a believer in taking ownership of one’s mental health. Here’s the link if you are interested. https://www.drkarenruskin.com/purchase-books/10-seconds-to-mental-health/

      My other book is: ‘Dr. Karen’s Marriage Manual’. https://www.drkarenruskin.com/purchase-books/dr-karens-marriage-manual/ This is my marriage book which as such focuses on all of the things literally from A to Z a person can do to enhance and help their marriage, and address all of the things one can do to destroy the marriage. Topics such as emotional, physical and sexual intimacy are addressed, communication techniques, and more… You and she may also find this of interest.

      If your wife reports she’d be willing to read a book but is not ready to go for counseling, that is at least a step – reading these books provides for the opportunity to open the lines of communication between she and you by having your own “mini book club” between the two of you where you discuss what you are reading. This is an assignment from me to you. Read the books with her, if she is willing. If not, have her see you reading the books, and let her know you are hoping she will read them too. My hope is that in addition, my counseling recommendations will be taken. But perhaps reading the books and discussing the words inside will open lines of communication and even perhaps implementing some of the tips in the books that lead to a positive shift in the right direction. Which may then lead to even more shifts suggested in the book and more changes and more…

      Do seek out the help I have suggested above. For although I am a Psychotherapist/Marriage Therapist, this blog response is not counseling nor a sub for counseling. I am sincerely hopeful my response will help you to move in a healthy direction. I genuinely care, which is why I write this blog, and have written books. I am not a writer by trade, yet I have diversified by including writing for sometimes that is the way to reach someone that may have never been reached. And my goal is to reach as many people as I can for I am passionate about health and wellness. You are hurting in one way, and your wife in her way. You each need help, you are both too young to continue on life’s journey in this place of yuck. Something needs to change.

      I don’t know if she is in counseling or no longer, as you mentioned that at one time she was. If she is and is still depressed after 12 years, and the couple does not have sexual relations, nor physical closeness, and the emotional connection is lacking due to her self focus to where you are no longer in the mix – something has to change. And in cases like this what are the options:
      1. Husband says he is getting a divorce.
      2. Husband cheats in order to get some fulfillment to keep him in the marriage, yet he is not really fully fulfilled because really who and what he wants is his wife.
      3. Husband shares the extremeness of how far things have gone and that the couple and she as an individual needs serious help for this problem. For this lifestyle pattern cannot be the next phase of their lives together for the next 27 years.
      4. Wife gets a different kind of help if already in counseling with no change. Wife gets help if not getting help. Couple gets help. Husband gets help.
      5. Wife reads books to help her to help herself start to take actionable steps.
      6. Husband reads books to help him with action items he can take and shares what he is learning with wife hoping she will implement items too.
      7. Husband and wife both read books and discuss.
      Any other options?? Bottom line: talk with your wife, share with her your inquiry and my response, and she and you decide which of the items I suggested will be implemented. This issue must be confronted, not swept under the rug.

      I am so glad that you reached out to me, and I sincerely hope this helps.
      Warmly,
      Dr. Karen

  37. Dear Dr.,
    Apologies for the long message but I’m in need of some advice….

    My husband and I have been married for 10 months and for the first few everything was great but the last 6-7months it’s fallen apart sexually. We’re still great friends but we’re not really lovers.

    A little history- We’ve been together nearly 4 years. When we first got together the sex was amazing with equal initiation. I understand that thing always start off passionate and calm down however it started passionate until about 4-5 months into us living together, now we both were stressed with work and money so I didn’t really place blame because these things happen. The passion kind of went and was placed with rejection, his rejection of me. Whenever I initiated sex I got turned down and we we’re only having sex 1x a week which I know isn’t that bad but it was the rejection that bit.

    Anyway he got offered a job in the states at the point when we were just fighting all the time so we agreed to a six week break, i went to Dubai with family and he came to the States to set up. About 3 weeks in to the separation I was sure that I wanted to move on when he contacted me saying that he’d made a huge mistake and he’d been an idiot and had sabotaged our relationship with his selfishness.

    I came to the States to satisfy my curiosity and everything was fantastic! We were back to passion, not full-blown just started dating passion but comfortable relationship. Got married.

    Now for the past 6-7months we’re right back to him rejecting my advances, wouldn’t be an issue if it was every now an then but it is every time and not just the initiations for full sex but also the ones for just his pleasure. We aren’t fighting though because I’ve just come to accept it which deeply saddens me.

    We were down to having sex once every 2 weeks and it was pretty boring…just really satisfying himself. We went to my therapist to talk it out and he said that he is just worried about money and was stressed at work (now has a better job) and also uses his age as an excuse (31). I suggested a sex therapist but he flat out refused.

    I guess everything came to a head and we had a huge fight a couple of weeks ago (alcohol fueled, he came home drunk and missed our date night so kind of stood me up) and in the talks following it I basically said that I couldn’t spend our whole marriage like this so some compromise needs to be agreed, he said he realized that there was a big problem. We plunged into the issues and it came out that he had been with holding sex as a way to punish me for my ‘anger towards him’. I honestly didn’t have any anger towards him, disappointed acceptance but not anger. In the weeks leading up to this I hadn’t mentioned it, acted upon it just got on with it. I do have BPD and Bipolar 2 so the only conclusion I can draw is that he’s punishing me for the cycles I go through mentally, which I feel is unfair. ( He knew I had these conditions when we first got together).

    It’s been nearly 2 months since this talk and we’ve had sex 5 times in that time, all in the first week since the chat and the weeks after that I tried coming onto him and have been turned down every time. So I still feel it’s on his terms and something just doesn’t feel right, like he’s just putting on a show.

    So sorry for the long message but I think it’s good for you to know some of our history. I really hope you could offer some insight and advice because I’ve tried everything I can think of.

    Very best regards,
    Katie.

    1. Hi Katie,
      The discovery he shared that “he had been withholding sex as a way to punish” as he experiences his interactions toward you as “anger towards him” is the focal point, in my opinion. And, the fact that you have cycles that you go through mentally, is the focal point.

      In my opinion: you and he need to go to marriage counseling. This is not a sex issue in and of itself. What it sounds like is that the sexual relationship dynamic, this pattern of you initiating and him rejecting is a symptom of the problem, not the problem in and of itself. Yes, this pattern is a problem and being experienced by you as the problem, but… the problem is the WHY this is the pattern. And until the WHY is fully understood and confronted in a therapeutically insightful way, until the WHY is addressed and considered how to effectively manage and deal with in a healthy way, the problem pattern, (AKA the “presenting problem”) the problem cycle, will remain. The way in which the problem cycle will cease to exist is if the context no longer exists. The context is the underlying problem. The cycle between the two of you is the presenting problem. You need marriage counseling to help you both to change the cycle so that the presenting problem ceases to exist. Counseling shall help you both attend to and address the context, the underlying problem. That is the starting point. And then the marriage therapist can help you both with next steps of how to heal and create a new pattern of interacting. I hope you will share this written exchange with your husband, and that you both find it helpful. As each of you are hurting.

      Please note, even though he knew you had these conditions when you first got together, a mate does not fully experience the affects it has on how that mate interacts until actual time with the conditions are experienced. I am not suggesting your cycles are to blame, rather I am suggesting that if indeed it is a piece of the puzzle, a significant piece of the context, then likely he is struggling and doesn’t know how to communicate about it and thus you are experiencing him as acting out about it.

      I hope you will take this advice and go for marriage counseling to help you each have a safe space to fully explore the relationship dynamic, what he is feeling and what you are feeling. Him going into “your territory”, with your therapist, is not the same as what he may be willing to disclose if the two of you went for marriage counseling with a therapist in which the “couple” is the client, not one individual.

      Hope this helps.
      Warmly,
      Dr. Ruskin

  38. Hi Doc,
    My name is Meera, i am 23 years unmarried girl,..i stay with my boyfriend… he is my first bf n i have lost my virginity to him so this relationship is really prescious to me. My bf has had numerous relations before me n he often tells me how sexually active he was with all his girlfriends…but he isnt that active with me…he says he used to make out 3 times a day with other chicks but with me its twice a week or so. He says he doesnt find me hot…also i guess i stay with him thats y he has lost my value n want… i really feel sexualy deprived n so unwanted n unloved cos then i compare myself with his ex girlfriends… i lost my confidence n respect…i am not fat …my height is 5’2^ n weight 50 kgs…. i dont know what to do…btw my bf is 32 years of age….i feel low n lonely…what should i do….pls reply

    1. Oh dear,
      This is really sad Meera!!! Why do I say it is sad? I say it is sad because if I am reading what you are writing correctly, what I am reading is that being in this relationship has led you to feel the following:
      1. Lost your value
      2. Sexually deprived
      3. Unloved
      4. Unwanted
      5. Lost your confidence
      6. Lost your self respect
      7. Lonely

      You have 7 items that you have mentioned just in your short note to me that are yucko feelings and are stating that the reason why you are staying with him is because you lost your virginity to him? What!!! Is that a good enough reason, really!! You deserve more, don’t you? Understandable that is the reason the relationship is precious to you, and perhaps even other reasons too, ok, but… what he is saying is not ok. If he doesn’t find you hot, then why would you decide to be with a man that you are not his fabulous #1?? What do you think this holds for your future?

      If you decide that the first man you have had intercourse with, and what you felt for him is going to lead you to not hear your inner voice of hurt, that is truly a shame. You are so young my dear, you have the rest of your life ahead of you. Either he finds you hot or he doesn’t. If he’s not that into you, well then, this becomes your choice to stay with a grown man who is not that into or not. Is that acceptable to you? He was honest, and you feel bad in this relationship. Staying in something that is unhealthy for you is your choice, not my choice to make for you, you have to find the strength to make this decision to pick personal, emotional and relational health and wellness.

      He is a 32 year old man who as you wrote: “often tells me how sexually active he was with all of his girlfriends” but not with you, and tells you he doesn’t find you hot! That is hurtful, is it not? That is not healthy loving behavior is it? And what is a 32 year old man doing with a 23 year old woman anyway and not treating her like the fabulous gal that she is, please….

      So, you ask what you should do. Of course you must understand that I cannot tell you what to do. It is your choice what to do. So, instead I will leave you with 3 questions to ask yourself, and hopefully your answer will help you to make your own decision.

      1. If your best friend told you this story, or your sister told you this story (if you had or have a sister), or if someday your daughter (pretend you are in your 40’s) and your daughter told you this story – would you say to your best friend, or your sister, or your daughter:
      A) stay in a relationship with a man who is 32 and telling you while you are in probably your hottest of years cause you are 23 years old, that you are not hot, and you feel 7 bad things being in this relationship- stay, stay, stay.

      OR would the advice you would give your best friend, sister or daughter be:

      B) don’t ever stay in a relationship where your man doesn’t say and do things that make you feel special, valued, loved, sexy, beautiful, attractive, honored, respected. You are worth a man who treats you with the love you deserve.

      2. Do you feel you deserve a man that rather than feeling the 7 things listed above, instead you feel: loved, wanted, hot, #1 instead of compared to other girls, etc…? If yes, if you feel you deserve such a man, then what action do you think you need to take while you are a lovely young age of 23 so you can ultimately be with a man who you can experience all 7 things? Should you tell him the relationship is over and stick to it? Should you get a therapist to talk to so that way you make sure to stay empowered and have someone you can talk to about your feelings?

      3. Does having lost your virginity mean you are locked in with a man forever or can you decide to learn and grow from this experience and find what you are looking for in a relationship? Or are you locked in?

      Your choice…What advice do you think you need to hear? You know what you need to hear Meera. So, tell yourself what you need to hear, be empowered to make the choice that is best for your emotional mental health and wellness.

      Good luck.
      Warmly,
      Dr. Ruskin

  39. We’ve been married going on 26 years. We’re both 47 years old and have had a wonderful sex life up until maybe 3 years ago or so. A lot of physical issues with my wife contributed to changes like diabetes and some thyroid issues over the past few years or at least I’m assuming?? She has vaginal dryness a lot as well, I think she is going through some of her pre-changes. I am going to her down there doctor’s appointment with her in a month or so to hopefully talk about some of our issues of late. Anyhow, I have re-dedicated myself in my marriage because I saw the hole widening and knew the outcome wasn’t going to be good if I let it happen. My wife emotionally had been reaching out but I wasn’t listening and then one day, I woke up and realized how much I passionately loved her and didn’t want to lose her. Since November 2014, I have changed everything I can think of. We have date nights, we do everything together including driving to work and getting groceries, I plan weekend get away trips, I buy her pretty nighties, I buy her sexy but classy nighties, I buy her gifts, I always have opened any and all doors for her and last but not least, I buy sex toys for her to masturbate with hoping this will enhance her desire and I don’t think she uses it very often or at least she doesn’t tell me she does. Although we have messed around sexually a bit more or done the foreplay thing more than we were before I started to change things up, it may be once every week or two and that just isn’t enough for me. My frustration is that it seems like there is always something physically wrong with her and it makes me feel almost rejected or even questioning if she’s fabricating things to minimize the intimacy that I so badly desire. It’s not JUST about intercourse for me, it’s about the sexual intimacy and what it means to me. I’ve tried talking with her but it puts more pressure on her then and she gets stressed by that so I avoid the talk to not diminish my chances. I’ve even started to place adds on CL for a FWB but didn’t follow through with it because I’m a Christian man and supposed to set a good example for my family. I’m lost and have nobody to talk with about this and need some help. I’ve read so many articles on the libido thing and pre-menopause I couldn’t begin to process most of what I’ve read other than buy her a vibrator so she uses it and it stimulates her vaginal area to get the blood flowing down there more which will help her desire and it has not…. I know I must be patient but does anyone have any words of wisdom or suggestions to get me/us through this?? Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.

    Thank you!

    1. Hello Jas,
      You have asked for help, you have asked for suggestions. Thank you for your patience as you awaited my reply. Here’s my thoughts, of which I hope you will find helpful.

      From the medical standpoint, yes, diabetes and thyroid issues as well as vaginal dryness can indeed play a role in one’s sexual desire decline. Though there are potential things that can help improve that (e.g., vaginal gel, the style in which the sexual encounter is initiated that is what your wife finds erotic -hm what might that look like?, creating a planned interlude setting up the environment to look forward to for a few days prior to, medical solutions of which you will uncover in the upcoming appointment with your wife with her medical doc…).

      I am glad that you will be going to her doctor’s visit, that’s a great idea. A wife appreciates when one’s mate is involved in trying to understand what she is experiencing, and cares. And it will help inform you thereby helping you to gain insight into what actions may be helpful vs. not helpful. Though, in addition to the medical piece- to become a more informed mate, I strongly advise you to also set up an appointment with a marriage therapist. That is my advice to you. For a doctor to discuss her medical changes is one specialty. A marriage therapist who can help with insight and tips for relational shifts/improvements from the emotional perspective as well as the sexual perspective is a completely different piece of a very important part of your puzzle. The marriage therapist can help you each to self confront and uncover and discover what you may each not even be acknowledging to yourselves, let alone one another.

      I am so glad to hear that you have taken action in this relationship and heard her voice. The things you have listed that you are doing sound wonderful. I am proud of you (as silly as that may sound one human adult saying to another of whom do not know each other), I am proud of you though and I hope you are proud of yourself. What is in our control? Answer: the actions we take. Taking positive steps is important, your marriage is worth the effort.

      When one’s mate as you have described “it seems like there is always something physically wrong with her” is a very difficult position to be in. Please note: it would be a big mistake, huge mistake to create an additional problem in your life, in the couple’s life – by placing an advertisement or reaching out in any way for another person to be intimate with. I have seen the outcome of that one too many times to know that the problem then becomes about what you have done wrong, instead of on the problem-solution.

      As far as the piece you mentioned about the vibrator. Well, there’s truth to your point, though allow me to share with you that stimulating a woman’s vaginal area with a vibrator is not the end all be all sure thing solution to help her desire, as you have seen. For I have often found that the mind and the woman’s erotic zones, are very much interconnected. So quite frankly, I would be interested in what is going on emotionally for your wife with regards to her own sexuality? I have questions like: Does she feel sexy? Does she desire sexual intimacy but is not pleased with your sexual initiating style or the sexual interaction during the act itself? How does she feel about you? Are there resentments she is holding on to about other issues that are affecting her sexual desire for you? Is she experiencing a physiological change that has affected her sexual desire and needs, that has in turn affected her emotional-sexual desire and needs? I can go on and on with my questions. Here’s the bottom line:

      I urge you to go with her for marriage counseling. Specifically with a therapist who is either a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, or a Licensed therapist who specializes in marital issues, including experience in the healthy sexual functioning of couples. For the problem you describe is more common than you may think. But, within the commonness, each couple is unique and certainly there is no cookie cutter approach to solving the matter, or improving and better managing the challenge thereby creating a solution that fits for both of you. By having open dialogue with a trained professional the emotions, thoughts and needs you are each experiencing can be explored in a safe space. And, solution strategies that are the right fit for both of you will emerge, for the therapist can gather a clear understanding of the depth of what is going on and experienced by each of you with dialogue.

      I recognize this is not perhaps the quick fix it answer that maybe you hoped, but probably figured did not exist. Though I do believe an answer does exist, and can likely quickly within just a handful of sessions with a therapist – will be discovered. Please don’t go another day with this pain without getting marriage counseling. You already took the first step reaching out to me. Now take the next step where you can have a back and forth dialogue that has the wonderful potential to lead to growth. The pain and frustration you have, the rejection you are feeling – these are things that can be improved upon with the right kind of help.

      I hope this helps, if but a little.
      Warmly,
      Dr. Ruskin

      1. Thank you Dr. Ruskin for taking the time to give me advice. I am looking marriage counselors up as I am typing this response. I will post updates as we make progress.

        Thank you again,
        JAS

        1. My pleasure Jas. I am very glad to hear this, and I hope you find someone that is a great fit, kind, skilled, and vested in your care. I don’t know what state/country you live in, though I am confident wherever you live, on your search you will find someone fabulous.
          Warmly,
          Dr. Ruskin

  40. We are together for 7 years, and my partner has a porn addiction since he was 12 years old. We are both in our 40ies. He really tried the past 4 years to stop this habit, but it does not work. Sex together was always very complicated, he never had an orgasm with me…..and whenever we have sex together, the urge to look at porn increases afterwards. Now it is almost a year since we had sex together. I tried an affair with the consent of my partner but it just does not work that way for me, I cannot separate love and sex. So after 3 months I ended the affair because I started feeling too much for this other guy (married with an asexual woman) and could not handle it. We are trying therapy at the moment, but there is no change after almost 3 months of therapy……I really do not know what to do, I am just waiting for my menopause to stop my desires and it makes me so sad. I do not know if giving up sex all together could give me some peace of mind or if I should keep trying. He told me that I should accept that he is unable to have a “normal” sexlife……

    1. Barbara, let’s look at your last sentence in your write-in: “He told me that I should accept that he is unable to have a normal sex life”. So, he is making it clear to you that a change is NOT going to happen coming from his end. You state that you “really do not know what to do”, though it is clear that what you have been trying to do is to do whatever is in your control to remain in this relationship even to the point where you tried having a sexual relationship with another man in order to get your sexual needs fulfilled since they are not being fulfilled with your partner. But what you discovered about yourself through that process is that you want to be in a monogamous relationship that includes emotional, physical and sexual intimacy. Let me be the one to share with you that your needs are healthy.

      In my book; Dr. Karen’s Marriage Manual, as well as in my blog articles, and in my office with clientele I share that the 3 legs of a healthy long term adult relationship includes: emotional, physical and sexual intimacy with a stool top of communication and trust. I hope my sharing this with you reminds you that what you want is healthy. So, when you write: “I am just waiting for my menopause to stop my desires” and then you further write that “it makes me so sad”, I of course find myself feeling for you that you have chosen to remain in a relationship that is not providing you what you desire.

      I am glad that you are in counseling. The fact that there’s no change after 3 months of therapy makes sense if his philosophy is that you “should accept” him for who he is, that’s basically what it all boils down to. Do you continue to try to change something about him? Do you accept this about him and find stimulation elsewhere? Do you accept this about him and decide that your needs and wants are things that you are willing to accept that you cannot have, and stay in the relationship anyway because the ways in which it is fulfilling is worth it to you? Do you decide that you want to live out the next 30 years in a relationship that includes the sexual piece and therefore break up with him because you cannot accept the reality of what is and what he is stating you need to accept? These are your options and questions I suggest you ask yourself for only you can answer them. And only you can make this decision.

      This is all your choice. Sounds like individual counseling would be a helpful piece of advice I can give to you. So that way you have a space where you can explore your options, inner feelings, thoughts, fears, wants – and ultimately make a decision about the next phase of your life.

      I am sorry for your pain. I suggest you speak in couples counseling about your need to have a safe space to explore where you are in all of this and who would that therapist recommend you can go to on your own, while continuing couples counseling – for it is helpful to have a space where the two of you can hopefully communicate openly with one another. Individual counseling in addition, will help you explore further into your own position.
      Warmly,
      Dr. Ruskin

  41. Hi,

    My husband and I have been married for 3 years. we’ve been together for10 years I don’t like having sex with him. I can go long periods of time without having sex. I know he loves me but at one point I thought maybe he was having affairs. Do you think not having sex with him often will lead to him having affairs or divorce. I hope it don’t lead to that. But my sex drive is low.

    1. Since you recognize it’s your issue that you don’t desire to have sex with your husband for whatever reason, it seems to me that you taking responsibility to initiate getting help would go a very long way with your husband or at least it would for me. My wife the other night told me there isn’t a day that goes by that she doesn’t think about us having sex but when that time comes, she just isn’t horny but wants to be just like the good old days. We are going to her next gyno doctor appointment to talk about this together. Is what I’m hearing from you that you’re kind of willing to take that chance of him cheating? If so, that isn’t knowingly just ok when you have the opportunity to start working on things before they get bad.

    2. Caring Husband Needing Sexual Intimacy

      Crystal, it really depends on how he feels about it. As the comments section shows, both men and women can have low sex drives. If he is OK with not having sex then you two are very lucky to have each other. If he needs sex more than you can stomach providing, and if he needs the intimacy of a sexual relationship, then you need to seek help together. Otherwise you can read the posts of others here to figure out how he might be feeling.

  42. I definitely feel the same as in situation A. I want to please my spouse but she suffers from thyroid disease and doesn’t ever want to have sex. We can go weeks on end without her noticing. She was a different person before she had thyroid cancer and afterwards a totally different person. I feel alone isolated and sometimes drink and stare at the wall at night feeling unconnected to anyone and feeling unbearably alone and sad.

    1. JB, A medical piece is a serious challenge that does indeed commonly affect what was the previous functioning norm for the couple. The fact that things were different pre cancer is not a surprise. When it comes to living with such trauma it absolutely affects the person who has gone through and going through the life journey of living with a traumatic disease. And, it affects the spouse. This piece of your marital puzzle I would suggest that you and your wife consider couples counseling. In this way you both have a space to talk about, with a professional to help navigate the discussion; the challenges, fears, thoughts and feelings you both are experiencing. Topics such as hopes, needs, wants and expectations for the future are just but a few of the important topics that you would both have the opportunity to explore. In some couples cases the person who has a disease feels resentful and hurt by the manner in which their mate has dealt with the disease, or feels alone and misunderstood. Overwhelmed and disconnected, rather than connected. These are all possible pieces of the puzzle. Every couple is unique in their experiences and thus some of these words she may identify with, other words you may identify with, and other words you may each find are not a fit for you. The bottom line is: your couple and any and all couples who have been wounded by a tragedy, an event out of your control, as well as couples who have wounded themselves, either way you slice it – couples deserve to have a caring couple’s therapist.

      Marriage therapists are able to help couples to have open dialogue in a thought-felt way, to explore what each can do for one’s own self and the other to heal hurt, confront thoughts and feelings, and explore what the new norm can be, and create what the new norm can be together.

      I hope this helps.
      Best,
      Dr. Ruskin

      1. Ok, I am seeing many posts about Thyroid disease. I have Hashimoto’s/Hypothyroidism and I am going to say this and many may be pissed, so here it goes.

        If the spouse who has thyroid disease is being treated optimally on meds, the sex drive should come back. Mine did. It’s not just the thyroid, get vitamins and minerals checked too as I had a deficiency in Vitamin D and B-12.

        I am 42 yrs old and now that I have taken my health back, my sexual desire is back. Though I am not married any longer (I didn’t realize then I was so sick, but husband had affairs from the beginning of my 9 1/2 yr marriage).

  43. I don’t expect you to read this nor doubt anyone ever will. I don’t think partners under a person under Scenario A truly get it. There are not resolutions of scenario A, B, C, or D. There is simply scenario E called the “The wall”. Its a blank stare that you get when you simply feel alone isolated and unwanted. You drink and you hope that if you drink enough it will numb the unending isolation one gets from not being cherished. I cannot explain the pain and heartbreak that one suffers in this case. You love this person and they will not love you back.

    Women simply will just say we aren’t in the mood or we don’t have the energy. When you look past this into their partners eyes you will see unbreakable pain that tears will not take away from there. I sincerely doubt you or any of the number of people commenting on this blog “get that”. You think men want to get off….

    Its much easier to take a knife and eat physical pain than to deal with this. Just like masturbation after you are done and the act is over you cry. You cry because you fucked yourself and there is no connection to anyone. There is no connection to anything. Orgasm turns to tears running down your face when you feel how utterly alone you are. There is no emotional connection to anyone.

    Its not the orgasm that you chase its wanting desperately to connect and pleasure someone that is not there. Something that in your messed up life doesn’t exist. You can fuck yourself but does it solve the problem? No!

    After You can clean up the mess it doesn’t fix the burning in your heart, the desperation in your soul, for something , for anything that is not there.

    Is it marital expectations that are my failure. Is it too much to be held? Is cuddling too much to ask? Is love a myth that is not there? There is only emptiness and as the beer quickly turns to tears you simply stare at a night sky? Stare and wonder. Are you alone out here?

    “Am I unloveable?”

    So next time you tell your husband no , maybe you need to ask yourself is what you are denying him is sincerely worth it? Tear turned to sadness and stars get blurry and in all of your heart of hearts love’s blinding lost is not an A-D. Its simply an E – Its to exist. That is all there is. Thats all there will ever be…. So drink it or stare at the sky and eat it. Its not going to change.

    Once it was two weeks, then three weeks, then four, then nothing will ever come after that.

    1. JB,
      Your write-in states: “I don’t expect you to read this nor doubt anyone ever will”. I have read it. And now, anyone and everyone who reads this blog article and reads the comments has the opportunity to read about your pain.

      You are obviously hurting tremendously, if these are the notes coming from you about your own life, may I say what you likely already know: drinking to escape from your pain unfortunately does not address it. Your note does not ask a question therefore I will not answer one. Though I will suggest that you seek out counseling so that you have a space to have someone to hear your voice and talk through your pain. Sometimes simply the narrative in the therapeutic experience is enough for some. For others, concrete insights and action items are discovered that would not have been recognized by thinking in one’s head only. For talking with another opens up thoughts and ideas.

      As far as your statements directed at women specifically stating that they don’t understand your perspective. I wish to point out that if you read the others who have commented, you will certainly see that there are women who struggle with experiencing sexual deprivation as well as men. This is absolutely not a male-only problem. In my work with my clients, I have seen through the years both men and women afflicted with this emotional and physical pain. And yes, I say emotional and physical for the sexual marital relationship affects one emotionally as well as physically. The sexual marital relationship affects one’s mind, emotions, body and spirit.

      I hope just by the fact that your writing has been printed, and that I have responded, allowing you to know that someone has indeed read it helps you in some small way. Even if it is simply to let you know that your pain is real, and you have a choice to seek outside help so you are not so alone in your pain. Rather than this relationship you are having between you and alcohol or you and food, when you are feeling alone, I suggest going for counseling to talk about these feelings so the therapist can help you to help yourself with what are things that can potentially be done for a healthy shift. Whether your future is about coping and accepting your presented reality, and what are things you can do to cope in a healthier way, or whether there are changes that can occur between the two of you … those are just but a few scenarios of therapeutic exploration, there are more.

      You write: “it’s not going to change”. Nothing stays the same unless we do nothing to change. Change is inevitable if we take steps, and I am hopeful that if you seek out counseling that caring professional can help you to help yourself uncover and discover what things can potentially be options for healthy and positive change. Whether those are changes that you make, or that your wife makes – TBD. Whether it is changes in perspective or behavioral action oriented changes – TBD.

      Best of wishes on your life journey. Your voice has been heard. I hope this helps if but in some small way.
      Warmly,
      Dr. Ruskin

  44. I was unable to have sex with my husband for much of my marriage…the origin stemmed from being sexually abused by my father (a fundamentalist preacher) and my having major issues around being touched (not to mention anger towards men). I am now 60 years old and mostly “healed” but my husband now wants nothing to do with me after being deprived for so many years….he also sees me as “a woman of virtue” and someone who is just too potentially hurtful to him. He will not go to counseling and intends to have his flirtations and affairs. This, to him, is the best possible solution as he loves me so very much. I understand that I caused this man major hurt, but…do I have to resign myself to the rest of my life feeling hurt be betrayed. You’re going to say “go to counseling”…I have done so. I want to love my husband, and I certainly love my son and don’t want to cause him pain by my leaving and creating an “uproar” in the family. On the other hand, my heart is breaking and I am in pain almost every day because of the fears of actual and imagined betrayal. Would appreciate any words of wisdom you could provide. Vera (PS – I went through early menopause at 40 which hasn’t helped matters either.)

  45. Hi,

    My husband and I have been married for three year’s and Tigger for five. Over the past year, my husband has developed what I call fetishes that I’m particularly not fond of. One of the few things he likes to do is hold me under my armpits as if attempting to pick up a child (he seriously says that it turns him on). I hate to admit it but I’ve developed a small double chin in which he likes to rub with his finger as says he likes to touch my “fat parts”. I have told him on numerous occasions that his ways of being affectionate don’t make me feel as if I’m a woman and more of a child or toy to play with. His
    defense is that he wants to love my soft spots and had most recently found it amusing to rub the crease of my inner arm were it bends or behind my knee. Months ago, he would find it sexual to stick his finger in my belly button and has since stoped.

    I’m torn with what to do. I no longer feel sexual around him and find him to be more of a nuisance. His thoughts are that I don’t want him to touch me. When I suggest for him to rub my buttons or caress my breast his repose is that I only want him to touch me in specific places and feels that as my husband he can touch/rub me where he wants and laughs.

    His sex drive also lacks which is also very frustrating. Other than that, he’s a man who takes great care of his family.

  46. as I read some of the scenarios about lack of intimacy I couldn’t help but feel like i related to some of them. I’ve been married 27 yrs and I love my husband and I do believe he loves me He has not touched me in over 6 months and now he doesn’t even come into our bedroom he just stays on the couch We have both recently retired our 3 children are grown and moved out but it seems like our marriage has moved out as well It’s at the point we don’t even communicate any more I know he’s not having an affair because he never leaves the house He does drink a lot and granted he does have health issues (diabetes, HB pressure) but it’s painful to go to bed every night hoping he comes to our bed or even appear to be attracted to me I’m not unattractive and I’m trying to be this faithful loving wife I have spoken to him on several occasions about this which the conversation seems one sided I know having an affair is not the answer but I’m not sure I can stay in this relationship and spend the rest our out life like this I know he needs me because he depends on me for everything and I wish he could just look at me and truly see what he is doing to me I feel like I’m all bottled up I have no one to talk to because most of my friends are not married so I sit in this house and be miserable hoping one day he realizes that his wife really does need him to love and desire her

    1. Hello Sad Eyes,
      I am sorry for your hurt. You wrote that you “have spoken to him on several occasions about this which the conversation seems one sided”. My advice: show him this blog, including your comment and others. Sit with him as he and you take turns reading through everyone’s comments together. Literally, suggest that out loud you each take turns reading each person’s comments and my advice.

      Then, ask him what his thoughts are. Sit quietly and listen.

      I am hopeful for you this will help promote an opportunity where the conversation is no longer one sided, and rather you have the opportunity to hear his perspective. And, that he has the opportunity to express it. Also, this offers the opportunity for him to fully hear your pain through your words on this blog. For reading and hearing with sound has a different affect on some. In addition, by you and he reading other’s comments, can promote recognizing that the problem you are both encountering is something that others experience. And as such, there is the option for you both to determine together as a marital team what action steps you can each take to improve things. Rather than allowing this decline to continue day after day…
      Warmly,
      Dr. Ruskin

  47. Hello Dr. Ruskin,
    My situation is quite different from the others posted here. I am 26 and my husband of 3 years is 32. We are very much in love but our sex life took a turn right before we got married. when we first began dating the sex was constant. Every morning/ evening/ night. We moved in together very quickly and as time progressed (after a few months) I was out of my, “wanting to please him at every turn”, phase and wanted to tone it down just a little bit. We were both in the service and our hours are crazy. I would come home very tired and it was difficult for me to get excited knowing I would have to be up at 5am the next morning, and I would have to reject him. So naturally this kept happening. we would go 3 days without sex and he would become very upset. The relationship was still relatively new at the time and I wanted to please him so I made more of an effort to not go more than a day without having sex. This went on for our entire relationship. It has now made me resent him and i no longer enjoy sex. it has become a chore. knowing I will be required to have sex with him every night, i started to not let him touch me during the day. Such as hugs and kisses, when I’m trying to cook or do something else. I know he loves me deeply, he won’t keep his hands off me and I know it hurts him. But i don’t want him to start getting excited and then have to reject him. I love him and I want to make him happy but I’m starting to think something is very wrong with me. I’ve always had a very high sex drive until he started demanding it. If I don’t want to have sex he just thinks I’m cheating on him and begins to throw ridiculous accusations at me. I have now left the service and he is still in. He has been deployed for 7 months and frankly I’m very nervous about his homecoming. My sex drive is there, but not towards him. I have never cheated or anything and I never would but the only way I can become aroused is by thinking about other men. He has already voiced that he is expecting sex when he gets home. And of course he is, he’s been gone for months. However, the fact that I’m expected to do it makes me not want to. The lack of sex from me has caused him to not trust me. When he gets home, if i don’t willingly put out right away there is going to be an argument. He’s going to think I’m cheating. And I’m not. All the pressure of sex is just killing me emotional and its killing our very new marriage. I don’t know what to do. Im too young to not want sex all the time aren’t I?

  48. Hi there,
    My husband and I have been married for 21 years. We have one teenage daughter. Our sex life was decent until about 5 years ago when we started to have sex about every couple to 4 months; ow, it’s been two years of no sex at all. I’ve had some health issues but nothing horrendous. I’ve approached my husband half a dozen times to let him know I’m unhappy with not only our sex life but the fact that I have to ask for something as simple as a hug or kiss. I only get an ” I love you ” if I say it 1st; I get zero compliments about me personally from him. I do compliment him and his physical attributes. When I approach him, I get the same defensive reaction where he states I am the one who is not initiating. I hug, touch and compliment him — I approach him to let him know I’m deprived to no avail. He almost behaves as if in denial. He is not an emotional person and will clam up and shut my efforts down with what I perceive to be his wall. For the last 6 months Ive moved to the other bedroom. The last time I approached him about the issue I calmly shared with him that I was no longer going to ask or beg him for his affections; this is also to no avail. I’ve asked him to seek couples counseling and he told me he will not go (doesn’t believe in it) — I then suggested we talk privately with his church pastor (I do not attend church) — still a no go. 5 months ago I started a written coorespondence with a past love. Emotionally, this friendship has given me what I do not receive at home. However, I know if my husband was cooresponding with a past love I’d be hurt — so I know I’m in the wrong. I am starved both mentally, emotionally and physically. My revived friendship with my past love has blossomed so that we have expressed our feelings for each other remain however, we both openly acknowledge the fact that I’m married and need to work through the marital issues (whatever the outcome). I’ll be honest and say that for the last year I’ve lost hope and have become uninterested. If my marriage can work out, I know this would be best. However, I’m now beginning to feel the pull of the other friendship. I realize I need to focus only on my marriage however I feel like I’ve communicated, effectively, my unhappiness with no results and no possibility of couples counseling (which I feel we need). Side note: he has never had a physical issue when it comes to sex. Thank you for reading/listening. Any help is welcome.

  49. We’ve been married for almost 25 years and our 2 boys are now grown up. Whilst they were little our sex life was limited but I put that down to normality (busy working hard, making ends meet and raising g our family). Now, I’m reaching menopause and rather than go off sex, I’m finding I need it more and more. He won’t though and says I should see a doctor as I’m “not normal”. I’ve tried to explain that my needs have changed. I lost 5 stone in weight, changed my appearance and wardrobe to help make me more attractive to him but his response was “if you need sex maybe you should go out and get it!” I’m so hurt that he would think it acceptable for me to do this after a quarter of a century together. I know my hormones are raging. I know it’s a massive shift in what was our normal situation but I feel unloved, unwanted, unsexy and I don’t want to get to 60 year old and feel like I’ve missed out on this part of my life. In all other ways, he is a fantastic man. We are best friends, he is never violent or demanding, he’s a great father and I know he loves me unconditionally but, from my perspective, this one area is overshadowing all the others, to the point where I’m considering leaving. Talking doesn’t seem to help, though I keep trying, although it may result in sex a day or so later, it feels like he’s coerced into it and that does nothing for my self – esteem. Then back to nothingness. Is a lack of sex grounds for breaking up what is otherwise a happy home?

  50. My wife and I have been married for 5 years. I love to receive handjobs bit she hate giving them. This is something we have fought over more than once. I need the gratification of watching her giving me release. We have talked and tried to work this out many times but we do not seem to be able to do so. I am also very willing to try anything in the bedroom but she seems restrained.

    I love her dearly and would never seek sexual gratification elsewhere but I indeed feel that my needs are not being met.

  51. Hi,

    My husband and I have sex regularly but I recently found out he has been sexually touching his colleague at work. I read a txt on his phone about him rubbing her vagina and her rubbing his penis.

    I don’t know what to do about it, he also watches porn behind my back. I have two children and we have sex at least 4/5 times per week. Advice needed please

  52. Patrick Berry

    I live with a small penis that is limp. I can’t seem to please any woman to the point of orgasm.

    1. Aishwarya Sridhar

      Don’t worry.Maybe some woman may be a good true friend to you.
      Pat, Enjoy life. No worries.
      I can be your true friend in a platonic way.A friend in need is a friend indeed.
      Don’t try a lot on this penis matter, leave it.Small or Big doesn’t matter in friendships.

  53. Hi,
    This might be long and I apologize in advanced for any typos, doing this from my cell.
    Ok, so I’ve been with my husband for 11 yrs. Sex was ok at first. I was always the one initiating sex but he always satisfied me but there was never full blown passion. I was ok with that because I loved him. After a few years in to our marriage he confessed that I “scared” him, that he thought I was too sexual. I was confused. So I backed off a little. Also around that time he was diagnosed with diabetes. He does not care about his health apparently. I’ve tried too much buying healthy food, but he will go shopping on his own and drinks beer on a daily basis. I stopped trying to help him but now he can’t get an erection and we both know why and we’ve talked about it. He says he feels bad that he can’t satisfy me but I feel like actions speak louder than words. He’s probably ok with no sex and he just flat out don’t care about our sexual relationship. I want out of this marriage but we have 3 little girls and he’s a great father and my best friend. I’m so heart broken

  54. Chelle and I have been married for 34 years. Early on we had sex at least twice a day, sometimes more. I always made certain she had an orgasm before I did, oral or otherwise. About four years ago she started becoming distant and not wanting me to lovingly touch her or be sexually intimate. I am frustrated. I love her more than life and can not imagine being with another woman. I am considered to be an attractive older man and seems women, especially younger women, can sense my situation and come on to me. I am tempted but certainly do not want to ruin my marriage and relationship with Chelle. Any advise would be a God send.

    1. Hi Rod,
      You wrote “four years ago she started becoming distant”, and that is when she did not want you to “lovingly touch her or be sexually intimate”. You ask for advice. My advice is to find out what happened for her that changed things. Sit down with her and ask her, look her in her eyes and ask her to communicate to you what she has been and is thinking and feeling even if it’s difficult to share. My advice is to find out what she was feeling and thinking and what she no longer is. I’d be very interested in the two of you having an honest dialogue, which is hard to do even with couples who are extremely close.

      When a mate presents as no longer wanting touch, nor sexual intimacy and is distant, those actions are saying something. It may be hard for her to be truly honest with you about what she is feeling. I wonder if she has been truly honest with herself. For confronting one’s own feelings, being honest with one’s self and one’s mate can be very difficult. She may be concerned about hurting your feelings. She may feel if she shares with you what she is thinking that it may ruin what you do have. These are possible scenarios, and may not be the case at all. Only she knows for sure.

      My suggestion: a frank heart to heart direct conversation where you let her know that you are ready to hear from her whatever she has been feeling and thinking. An honest conversation where you can find out from her, what her needs are and whether you can potentially fulfill them. An honest conversation about your feelings and needs.

      If this conversation is not something the two of you can do on your own, for it is very hard to confront one another in this way, and be patient and loving with one another as the depth of one’s inner soul come out of one’s mouth, certainly hiring a marriage therapist to help the two of you navigate this discussion is recommended. Please invite her to go to an appointment with you. Whatever state you live in, find a skilled marriage therapist if the two of you are unable to have a heart to heart. See if you can on your own first, but if not, definitely get help for the key is an honest dialogue, that’s my advice.

      I hope this helps.
      Warmly,
      Dr. Ruskin

  55. Hi,

    I’m turning 40 y/o in two months and would have been married 11 years come September. I am a pretty Asian girl with a good education and career. My husband is 53 y/o. We had good sex during our first 4 years of marriage. On our 5th year I got pregnant and it had dropped significantly to almost none which was a mutual decision during that period. But now, my daughter is 5 1/2 years old and we probably had sex five times in 5 years and only in the last 2 years. The recent and last one was 6 months ago. I have openly discussed my disappointment and frustration to my husband over his lack of initiation and interest. Those rare sex were initiated by me. I am feeling tired, neglected, angry, resentful, isolated and have started considering having an affair or getting a divorce. The only thing that is stopping me from doing so is my respect for him and my love for my 5 y/o daughter who will get devastated if I leave her dad. I’m healthy with a good-looking fit body. I get attention from other men easily when we are out in public so I know I am very attractive.
    Is there hope for our marriage? I’m done waiting. I am ready to explore and have playful sex again even if it means outside marriage or becoming single again!

    Please help me!

  56. Dear Ma’am
    I’m 30 years old. Just celebrated our first wedding anniversary, and so much has changed, Im left feeling hurt, and emotionally alone. I don’t know how to express the angst I feel. Without writing you war and piece.
    I love my wife, she says she loves me. Tonight, I regret the last 6 years of my life. I’m horrified. I just want what once I had. A woman who wanted me. Appreciated me. And supported me.
    Feeling more alone, and unable to focus on my study, endlessly thinking how much she hurts me, and how little she cares.
    Regards

    Ray

  57. Reading through all of these sad stories, I feel my heart break all over again.

    My wife and I are in our late-40’s and we have been married for 25 years. Other than this one important issue, and the occasional arguments about spending and/or parenting issues, we are happily married. We have raised our three children, live in a nice home, etc. We are both in very good shape and enjoy being active, running, and traveling.

    I would say that her “low libido” issues began after children, more than 20 years ago. And honestly, I understand that whole period of our lives, as both of us we often exhausted by the working/parenting/housework, whatever. The kids are grown (college) and life has slowed down for us, but she still has an incredibly low sex drive. She is genuinely interested in sex about once a month (usually 2-3 days before her period) … If I miss that window, it is either no sex or “obligatory sex,” which is worse in some ways. She has no interest in sex outside our bedroom, in the late night, with little to no foreplay or romance. Sometimes (like now), we go 8 weeks or more without sex. There are many times when I try to initiate something, but I get nothing and no where …

    I am dying inside with the lack of sex. I feel so alone, lonely and rejected, lying in bed. The sadness turns to anger and resentment, which just exacerbate the problem. I have tried talking to her many times (“just want more connection with you,” “need to have sex more often,” “need more time alone with you”), but nothing seems to resonate with her. And really, I do not want obligatory sex … I want her to want me, in the same way.

    Perhaps the bigger problem is that I feel like I have no option but to turn to pornography and masturbation, which is ridiculous and perverted and embarrassing … I am a “happily married” 40-something man, and I should not need to masturbate for my sex life.

    Here is what I have tried, which has not worked … Romantic getaway weekend (worked for the weekend, no carry over at home), not being so eager and “always available” (did not work at all … we go months without sex if I am not available), being more romantic/complimentary/involved in housework (no change), pouting and complaining (leads to obligatory sex, which is only marginally more rewarding than masturbation), and masturbation (great for a physical release, but leaves me sad, depressed, and dejected).

    It feels like a vicious cycle to me … Less sex makes me less romantic, less emotionally connected to her, less involved … Less sex makes me angry and depressed and self-centered, seeking out something else to get some relief (sports, working out, whatever). A part of me wonders if I need to just accept this “flaw” as part of my marriage and learn to live with it, but I do not want to live the rest of my life with once a month sex.

    I am not sure I have a question for you, and perhaps just needed to get this off of my chest. But I am open to suggestion. I love my wife with everything in me, but I need romance and passion and emotional connection and, yes, I need sex, way more than once per month.

    1. To all you complaining about the lack of sexual intimacy from your wives. This is coming from a man that had this experience in his live and ended up divorced and an annulment. This happened 17 years ago and I have had some time to analyze it “YOUR WIFE DOSE NOT LOVE YOU”. Your a lifestyle ,a support or what ever for her. There is nothing that you could do to get this turned around. It has to come from HER. She knows you love her, desire her and has the law behind her so why should she change?.I know this is heard to take but this is the truth and no amount of therapy well help. Unless she has a fiscal problem that can be cured surgically or with medication you boys are #$%@&*.
      Wish you all the best.

      1. I have read HF Munoz commentary based upon his own life experience. I wish to take a moment to share with my readers that one person’s experience does not make it fact for all others. As a therapist who has met with women who have come to counseling for their individual personal private sessions and have discussed their lack of sexual intimacy in their marriage, it is the minority of those women who report they do not love their husband. Most of them do love their husband, in some of these cases, they report that although they love their husband they sadly do not have passion for/desire for him sexually. It is important that I share this for in HF’s statement above he asserts that if a wife is lacking in her sexual intimacy with her husband it always means she does not love her husband. This is inaccurate for the many women I have counseled, and only accurate for a small percentage of the women I have counseled. There are typically, much more commonly other reasons for the lack of sexual intimacy.

        Most people think that love and desire go hand in hand, and thus in marriage when sexual intimacy declines the thought may be that one’s mate no longer loves them. It has been my understanding in hearing the heart felt articulations of men and women in couples counseling to the contrary. Important note: this is not my analysis, this is not my personal impression, this is simply a black and white matter based upon real reports from real people that have been articulated to me. And as such I am sharing in this commentary. The statements from men and women in individual counseling where the mate is not in attendance, and in counseling of couples where both are in the room, I have heard from the mouths of many that one can love their spouse, and no longer feel sexual intimate desire for them. Desire and love are not always one in the same.

        One of the interesting and helpful things that counseling provides is a safe space to self confront and explore one’s inner thoughts with honesty. To then further determine what one’s options are. So, for an example, in the cases where there is love for one’s mate and a lack of sexual desire and thus a lack of sexual intimacy, we explore in counseling what is lacking and what one is yearning for that is playing the part in the lack of sexual desire. And further, what can be done to discover sexual intimacy in the couple in an effort to have a healthy sexual marital relationship.

        In addition to the example that is very common with couples of whom there is still love, yet a lack of sexual desire for one’s mate, there are other examples which include: medical situations, emotional conditions, mental illness scenarios, resentments unresolved, stuck in old patterns of relating, lack of trust due to betrayal, drug/alcohol issues, and more . . . each of which play a role in the sexual marital relationship to where love is still there, yet these other conditions co-exist.

        Sexual intimacy in a marital relationship for many couples can be altered and improved dramatically with true honest confronting and awareness of: a) what the problem is, b) motivation for both for there to be improvement, c) active effort from both husband and wife for what actions they can each take to play a role in understanding one’s own thoughts, each other’s feelings, and concrete behaviors they can each implement to make a long term real change. I shall say from first hand observation in my work with couples and individuals since 1993, counseling plays a dramatic role in helping people to help themselves get to a better place, IF and WHEN that is what BOTH members within the couple unit truly want.

        It is the most amazing experience as a therapist to see the beautiful growth of people in their journey from pain and intimacy loss – to – relational connection, and sexual intimacy connection. With that said, there are also couples who do not find their way to what they can potentially be. Are there couples who one or both members within the couple no longer love each other? Yes. Are there couples of whom love each other but one or both cannot be who the other needs in terms of intimacy whether it is due to a lack of sexual desire for the other person, or some other factor? Yes. With that said though, a lack of sexual intimacy is not a direct connection to a lack of love for all cases. In some scenarios I have seen it is simply or not so simply the lack of communicating what one’s sexual needs are due to feeling embarrassed that one’s mate will not feel comfortable with what one wants. Or feeling like there has been communication yet the lack of implementation has led to a sexual disconnect.

        There is not a causation to where a lack of love means a lack of sexual intimacy for all couples. I have met couples of whom one of the members within the unit no longer loves their mate and there is sexual intimacy. Love and sexual intimacy in marriage do not always go hand in hand. Sometimes yes, of course, absolutely, but not always. Thus, I wanted to assure that readers recognize that a lack of sexual intimacy is not as simple as a reason of: “He/she does not love me” for all. For that truly is not accurate for all, and thus the solution resolution is different for each couple depending on the reason why there’s a lack of sexual intimacy.

        I hope this commentary helps those who are reading this.
        Warmly,
        Dr. Karen Ruskin

    2. Switch, for whatever it’s worth, I’m out here too, living the same nightmare as you. Married 20 years, always faithful. The difference is that what you get monthly, I get yearly or less. I never wanted to turn it into coerced sex or guilt sex–I guess I’m not a rapist at heart. I wanted her to want me back and always hoped she would come to me when she’s ready. She isn’t ready, she never will be. It just took me a long time to admit it to myself. And crying and begging doesn’t work. Every day I have to watch this lovely woman walk by me in her underwear, and just accept the fact that she’s not mine. But we’re married!

      If you saw us walking down the street, you’d think that we were a happy couple. And I think she is happy, oddly enough. It’s me that’s not.

      I lose sleep, hurt and angry, wondering what is so wrong or ugly about me. The sleeping pills no longer work as well as they used to. I find that I’m jealous of the “other man”. Mind you, she hasn’t cheated on me, but I feel like she has. Because I feel like somewhere out there, there’s a guy who would really excite and attract her. That guy is her soul mate, I was the consolation prize. The unfair part is that I’ve been a good husband and father. I did everything right. The “other man” is probably an abusive cheating jerk that so many women find attractive.

      I hope I haven’t accidentally rubbed salt in your wound–just wanted to commiserate. Best of luck to you.

      1. Anton, How did you get into my mind? Your comment nails it. I feel for you brother. You’re not alone.

        Sadly I have to agree with HF Munoz. The only conclusion I can come to, despite the Good Doctor Ruskins’ thoughtful advice and warm wishes, is that most of us are screwed. But unfortunately, not in the way we desire.

        We can try to dissect all of the issues men and women have and find a fix. But the truth is usually less complex and much more disappointing. It’s simply a case of selfishness, laziness, narcissism and bad choices. Marriage was once a good institution meant for perfect people, not the fallen. We are only setting ourselves up for failure by entering into this “sacred union”. But, we do it out of a sense of obligation, duty, religious beliefs, or just because the world told us it’s the right thing to do.

        I believe marriage is merely a lesser of two evils scenario. You can’t have men and women running around fucking and shitting out bastards with no accountability, or you get what exists in every gang infested inner-city ghetto. It’s necessary to keep the relative order and peace in society through a cohesive family unit. It’s also a racket run by the state and subsequently the lawyers, to keep the revenues coming in.

        Guys, here’s all the counseling you’ll ever need. Pay attention. We are all fucked up people, with God given sexual desire. That, and some seriously kinky fetishes thrown into the mix. Men (and a few women) absolutely need sex to exist happily. All women inherently know that they possess a valuable commodity (vagina) which gives them leverage in relationships and careers. When a woman realizes that she no longer needs to utilize that leverage bomb to keep what she has; she quits using her vagina weapon and unilaterally decides that you will now be celibate.

        Men, if you are here, you are likely realizing that you are the sucker that got left holding the bag. That bag is the cost of maintaining the lifestyle of the useless sow occupying most of your bed. The one you likely don’t sleep in anymore. You see, “she” gave up all the good sex a long time ago, to boys, men (and possibly some women) she didn’t care about, en route to whatever goal she sought. She may even have given you some good times to seal the marriage deal prior to the aforementioned arms embargo.

        But now, because of no fault divorce, fast food, push-button thermostats, and government funding, she doesn’t need you at all. You sir, are obsolete. Well, except for your ability to pay bills and maintain her lifestyle willingly, or by court order.

        Sorry men. That’s the hard truth.

  58. My wife and I have been married 1.5 years, but lived together for 4 years before marriage. I love my wife very much, very attracted to her, and in the mood daily. But we have not had sex in over 8 months. We kiss and hug good morning, home from work, before bed. But nothing more since last Xmas. My wife is bipolar, and I know a lot of those meds can stifle libido and she is turning 40 and maybe pre-menopausal. I don’t think she is unattracted to me, but it keeps poping up in the back of my head. I hope someday it turns around. I miss the closeness, now it’s like my best friend that I live with a kiss/hold hands with. We make a great team, but we could be better.

  59. Hi
    I am a 43 year old woman, married 9 years and the past year has been sexless. Went from once a week, to once a month to now 3 month no sex. I talked to my husband about it he stares at me. No comment, no answer. I read JB comments and I was crying like a two year old. Because that is exactly the way I feel. Unwanted, useless. I told my husband a few years ago not to make me beg for sex, it’s not in my character. I don’t understand why he is like this. Tomorrow is our Anniversary. I ask myself am I going to get lucky? Should be this way. I’m tying now and crying. I live him, but questioning if I should have ever married him??
    Please any thoughts??

    1. Dear Sad –

      I am not sure that I can do anything, beyond commiserate with you. I am just the male version of you, wondering if I am going to “get lucky” at some point, warn out by the rejection, desperately wanting my wife to feel something for me that she clearly does not, at least now.

      Here is what I am trying … I am trying to “reboot” myself, in a way, to get us back from whence we came. I am going to try to “win her love” all over again, as if we were just dating, hoping to reconnect to those original feelings and the passion that she once felt and wanted and expressed. At a minimum, I want to be able to look at myself and say, “I tried everything. I gave everything that I had to get through this veneer and touch her heart.” And if she still rejects my advances, then I will know .

  60. Dear Dr Karen, After 34 years of marriage, the lack of intimacy in my marriage has me wanting to find a relationship outside of my marriage. I am not a cheater, I’ve always been involved in my kids life’s as well as my wife’s. I did recently hold a job for a couple years that almost killed me, because of the time that it required. She was well aware of how neccesary the job was however and encouraged me to carry on with it. We needed the money. I have brought this lack of intimacy up to her and openly discussed it with her. I have told her how much I miss her affection. She was once almost too affectionate for my liking but I felt if she needed it there was nothing wrong with it and I wanted to be there for her. I love her very much and we have been best friends if weve been anything for the past 34 years. Now however she has nothing but excuses for the lack of intimacy and nothing changes. I have been present when she has told my daughter that I pester her for affection, this is far from the truth and isn’t my style. She has brought up various defects in the looks of my aging body although I weigh what I did in high school and have the same waist size, she complains that I am too skinny. She has gained a lot of weight but I ignore it. I have told her that the weight doesn’t bother me beyond my concerns for her health, blood pressure etc. and it doesn’t. This is completely out of character for the woman I married. The lack of intimacy has got me second guessing myself. A couple of days ago as we were looking for a new apartment, I asked how many bedrooms there were and she said 2. I said great we can each have our own room and I meant it because although that is never been something we would do, I feel like I really need to begin distancing myself from her and eventually moving on to a relationship outside our marriage. She did not like the suggestion at all and said that I never try anything with her as far as making moves . Lately this is true. I told her that I don’t feel comfortable making moves on a woman who is giving me signals that intimacy is something she doesn’t want. I don’t want something from her that she is not enthusiastic about giving. I can’t lead a life without sexual intimacy and just intimacy in general. My family was very cold physically and she came into my life showering me with affection, something I wasn’t used to but I grew to love.I miss it horribly.
    Karl

    1. Dear Karl

      Whilst i sympathize with your pain and frustration to the full and I do feel for you (it is actually abuse – and you deserve to be happy) you are not even for a second thinking about the repercussions which another person whom you might considering to date will be feeling in the long run, or even short. Before anyone in here considers cheating because they cannot take it any longer, I feel that this is YOUR problem and to add a huge problem on to someone outside the two of you is simply not FAIR. The pain which you will cause to the other person involved if they fall in love with you, which they will probably would, is out of this world. I’ve been through it and still suffer the consequences. I am left broken and its hard to put the pieces of me back together. BEFORE you involve other people PLEASE think if you are willing to separate and loose what you have and live with it, otherwise DO NOT INVOLVE someone else’s heart!! Don’t maybe just to experiment or see how you feel. This has happened to me and I have lost the meaning of love altogether and I am now finding it very hard to have a normal relationship with someone else because i feel completely NUMB. All that was in me has died and I feel emotionless. Five years loving a man who is deeply in love with me (and still is!) but loves his wife is a very painful experience for a person who is single to live with. It leaves you completely empty. I am sure he is more than torn as well but hey it was his problem!! And I had absolutely no idea what I was getting into because you simply do not realise it when love is in the air and is thrown at you so deeply. I am moving on very slowly out of it but as an experience I would have really done without in my life! But we were both naïve and did not think.. So what I beg to all those people seeking love whilst still in a marriage/relationship is to think first if they are willing to let go of their current relationship and then seek love. If this is clear in your mind then by all means seek it because it is indeed the highest form of happiness which everyone deserves to find! But if you know that you will not live with the changes in your life than by all means leave other people’s hearts alone! I would be glad if I could even save just one person from going through what I went through.

  61. My situation is I’m sure like many others. Been married for 4 yrs. Together for 13yrs. For the last 8yrs I’ve always been the one to initiate sex and many times I get ” I’m not in the mood or I’m tired or later” and later never comes. He has cheated on me in the past. Last year was a terrible year. He was deep in alcoholism and cheating. We seperated. He turned around and has been sober since Nov 2014. He is a wonderful father now. We reconciled and everything is great except for the intimacy. I’m so frustrated. I’m angry alot. He says maybe I should get a toy. So of course I feel unattractive unloved n just plain neglected. He does hug me and through out the day he calls me all the time while at work. But sexually there’s nothing. I’ve talked to him many times. He says he’s just tired and that he can’t make himself have sex. I told him I would get him in the mood and he responds with “I don’t want to get in the mood”. So I’m very frustrated and hurt.

  62. Dear Tired
    I am sorry but I am going to be very blunt even if it hurts but you must see the truth. If he cheated in the past already he is not fulfilled. 13 years is a long time being with someone and a strong bond good or bad is always hard to let go of. And I am sure there is this bond. Of course he calls you during the day – he loves you and you are part of his life. He is never in the mood and does not want to get in the mood simply because he loves you but is no longer in love with you (if he ever was). This leaves the person secretly wanting/craving to find someone with whom you have these feelings of love for. When you really love someone you want to be intimate with only that person, even if you still admire human nature but the feeling is so special that nothing compares. And when that feeling dies from one side, no matter what you do or change or become will ever bring it back to him I can assure you, not even if you become a super model – its just dead from his side towards you. Hugging is a form of comfort and caring (remember he loves you lets say sort of like a sister) he doesn’t want anyone to hurt you, he will always want to protect you – you are the mother of his kids– He could probably set his mind, with even maybe a drink or two before in his head, to have sex with you but it cannot come naturally. . I tell you one thing – If you had to propose to your husband if he wishes to separate and remain in your life with the same amicable and family bond you have – so you can both be free to date other people legitimately not behind each other’s back– and this being OK with you – he will be the happiest person on earth. That’s how it is and am sorry to be so blunt but you cannot see it. He is not happy because if he tells you this he knows he will hurt you and you will get angry and hurt him back and chaos – so the truth lets it lie only in his heart and you are the one to have to realise this. So you have two choices either close your eyes and see only what you want to see but believe me if he doesn’t feel sexual towards you, inevitably he will cheat or wishes to– this is a human NEED – everyone craves to find – or else stop fooling yourself and be open to realise that what a person feels he cannot control or force. You cannot give what you do not have in your heart! Try to put yourself in his shoes – it’s a horrible feeling to force yourself to sleep with someone out of obligation. I’ve had way too many male married friends telling me they do this and feel bad, used, empty afterwards, they cannot say no all the time, otherwise she gets angry and starts arguing. Sex between two people who love each other is something wonderful not a sacrifice and must come naturally. If you accept this at least everyone can live TRUE to themselves not fooling oneself. Ignoring his feelings will not solve your problem. You just need to face the truth and talk to him about it without getting angry but understanding. And this goes to all people here trying to understand why their partners do not want to have sex with them any longer..

  63. I want to clarify that my comment above does not refer to the wives raising kids not wanting to have sex, those are just lazy, too tired and taking you for granted living in their cocoon thinking that the unthinkable can never happen – wouldn’t even cross their mind that they may loose their husband and only realise when its too late. These women don’t want to be with someone else. They are comfortable as they are and only make good mothers but not good wives.

  64. My husband and I have been married since July 18, 2015 and we have been together for 3 years, I am 40 and he is 39. Saddest part of this is we haven’t been sexually intimate since our wedding night. I have talked to him, threw every hint possible, out right asked for it and all he has is excuses and even tries to deflect and blame me. He says that I don’t initiate but when I out right ask him to or say something about the length of time and I get nothing. I might get a hug or a light kiss but nothing more. I feel rejected, physically unattractive now and alone. It honestly feels like a marriage between two good friends and that is all. I don’t know what to do but I do know that I am already considering an annulment, he doesn’t know that I am considering that but I am ready to tell him that I am. I feel like I need to do something to jolt him into reality. Please help?!

  65. Mam,

    We have been married for last five years.
    I am a middle class person having limited salary from a typical indian family.
    I tried to fulfill all my wife’s desirs like outing, having fun in outing etc. but when its my turn to get return (a physical satisfaction in bed) she starts deprived me.
    She told me that she had a back problem from a last two years but when the Dr. told her many times that you need to take regular exercises along with medicines, she avoid to take one or two medicines and even she don’t take exercice even once then how could i understand her as she said that i don’t understand her.
    She even don’t like to talk with me in night but in day time she behaves normally except for sex. I am very depressed. what should i do.

    Regards

  66. This blog is very helpful. Any insight into this….

    My husband and I have been married for 6 years. Prior to marriage – fabulous and fun sex. I love sex and am adventurous and pretty open to most things.

    A few months after marriage, I found an email he had written to an old girlfriend two months before we married – he described where he lived (which was my house), encouraged her to move to the area, and closed by saying, “Still loving you”. He never mentioned me or our relationship. I was devastated when I found it – I would never have married him if I’d seen it beforehand. But, I didn’t end the marriage immediately because I love him and felt it would be disruptive for our children (both from our previous marriage/s). I confronted him about it – he apologized, etc. It hurt and put a bit of a damper on our sex life, but we continued.

    But, over the years he has occasionally continued to communicate with the woman even though I asked him not to. After a couple of years, I just felt used. I am – and have always been – the primary breadwinner and the one who takes care of the details of our lives. Over the years his disregard for my feelings about this ex-girlfriend relationship really eroded my feelings for him. I am not a jealous person – but, because of the communication he’d had with her right before our marriage – I wanted that particular relationship to end. In fact, when he finally did tell her he was married and that I had a problem with his continued communication (he didn’t tell her why), she told him that I was stupid.

    He continued to occasionally communicate with her – just a check-in every few months. As a result our sex life died. For the last two years, we maybe had sex a couple of times a year. Completely because of me. My husband has undiagnosed ADD (it’s very obvious, though he’ll do nothing about it). As a result, nearly all responsibilities fall on me. I have just felt used.

    We are now married six years. Our marriage has been a struggle. Recently, he started a relationship that he realized was the beginning (and maybe even was) of an emotional affair with a co-worker. Lots of secret chatting, texting, etc. I found it and he stopped – he says. He has apologized and attributed some of it to our lack of sex.

    We’re both committed to working on our marriage. We are so compatible in many ways. We are even compatible sexually. But, now – when we have sex – it isn’t as fun and it seems kind of lackluster. This saddens me.

    I would be interested in hearing any recommendation. I am just wondering if it is possible to regain excitement and energy after so much resentment. To a certain extent, I have lost my enthusiasm for him – though I do love him.

    Thanks.

  67. My husband and I have been married over 40 years 47 to be exact. And since the beginning we have lived as room mates. Its been so long that it just doesn’t matter any more. I have no real idea what went wrong. probably it was that he never really was interested in me or marriage. He was never mean to me he was a loner had no interest in any thing except his work. As far as I know he had no real sexual interest in sex male or female. All these years has just been a waste of time. Now approaching our 70’s what does it matter any more.

    1. Hi Amy,
      Approaching your 70’s and you state “what does it matter any more”. Perhaps it does, perhaps it doesn’t- that’s all in your own perspective. I appreciate you writing in. It is an important reminder for couples of how the years pass and if the couple does not address what one member of the couple unit feels is a problem, and if the couple as a team do not confront and work on the problem, the years will pass without resolution.

      I am so sorry that you have not felt your husband was interested in you or marriage. I am hopeful that there have been some wonderful times through the years, and that there have been other ways in which you have felt fulfilled and loved. And if not, and rather the two of you are married and living separate lives, more like roommates as you have said, I am hopeful that you have found enjoyable things to do in your life that you find fulfilling as an individual, and that you have friendships and connections that are meaningful to you.

      On a different note, maybe there’s some activity that you two roomies after all these years would enjoy doing together? Never too late? Although as far as the sexual piece, and the fact that you report he was and is a loner, perhaps what I am writing you may feel is a waste of time. Though perhaps not. Perhaps although he is a loner, perhaps he values having you to come home to. Perhaps he is not interested in sex though appreciates having you as his partner in life. Perhaps although your sexual needs have not been met, and your desire to spend time with him has not been met, perhaps having him to come home to has been of worth to you. Perhaps there are things in your life that you are so glad you experienced and never would have if the two of you had not been together. Is this possible? Only you and he can know the answer to this.

      I believe not only am I responding to you, others shall read this and perhaps it shall positively affect them to confront, address and grow. I hope so. Or for those in your similar circumstance, perhaps it will help them not to feel so alone. Again, thank you for sharing your story, as approaching your 70’s is an important reminder for those in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s – to address and confront the problem, for those who are sitting on the problem.
      Warmly,
      Dr. Ruskin

      1. You mentioned the good times well there really never was any good times. I used the word roommates and that’s wrong it should be property mates. We haven’t ever slept together, we’ll once on our wedding night and that was it. He usually lived in the basement or out hin his new garage in the far corner of our property. He always worked nights, we never talk all communications is done by notes. He is friendless and I think no interest in any other human, just him self. He really never cared about me or any one else.

  68. Thankyou for this article. I have been on the wrong end of this deal for a while now.

    We have three kids and have been married almost nine years. Last night I tried to initiate sex and my wife told me that she feels like all I want is sex. I would be lucky to get a release once a week and I use that phrase because it feels like she takes pity on me and just wants me off her back.

    I love her and still find her extremely sexy. If I could get my way I would make love to her every day of the week. When I hear about couples that have maintained a sex life anything like that I feel nothing but jealous of them.

    I regret having kids now. The first one in particular is a real clinger to my wife and never gives us any space. She even sleeps on the floor in our room and I can’t stop it. Even if we get her to go to her own bed she comes into our room an hour or two later. We live away from any family so we are lucky to get any date nights at all in a year.

    I love my wife and want to be close to her, but this just makes me feel redundant. My self worth is shot to death and it makes me wonder why I bother.

    Thanks for the article. It really struck a chord.

    1. Hi Shaun,
      Thank you for writing in. Interesting piece you mentioned regarding your daughter sleeping on the floor. It is not uncommon for children’s behaviors to be displayed and representative of the symptom of the husband-wife relationship dynamic. It is not uncommon for couples of whom have a lack of intimacy for them to report that one of the children is “clingy”- literally the term I have heard for years. It’s confusing for loving parents to hear this point, for they cannot understand how their lack of sexual intimacy can possibly be affecting their child’s clingy behavior, and yet, this pattern is of such frequency it cannot be ignored. Though I have certainly observed it the other way as well, where the child rather presents as uncomfortable with physical closeness and appears almost disconnected. I shall not continue on this particular path of addressing the various ways in which the husband-wife relational physical and/or sexual intimacy affects the children’s style of physical closeness with one particular parent or parents or others, simply I wanted to mention this in the hopes that if you do decide to discuss this with your wife this is something the two of you can address.

      Another point I wish to share with you Shaun is that hopefully you can get past regretting having children, for they are such a blessing.

      I would be interested in you exploring through verbalization with your wife if she yearns to have a physically intimate relationship with you (hugs, hand holding, snuggling, back scratches, foot rubs, etc), that exists not together with the sexual relationship. For some women who report to their husband that they feel like all their husband wants is sex, which is the line you wrote above, I have discovered that those women feel the only time their husband is physical with them is when it is to become sexual. Though the husband typically reports that is not the case, and they would like to have both a physical and sexual intimate relationship but feel rejected when they initiate.

      In addition, exploring if she has sexual desires and needs, or if she feels shut off sexually- is a topic I would suggest you consider addressing. For example, does she masturbate and thus she desires and requires sexual release? If she does, then the question remains: why is she not interested in sexual intimacy with you if she desires release. Don’t assume she does or does not masturbate, I am suggesting a conversation with her about this topic.

      Confronting what is going on in the relationship between the two of you emotionally, physically and sexually is important.For often they are quite intertwined, thus having a conversation addressing these 3 pieces is imperative. In my book ‘Dr. Karen’s Marriage Manual’ https://www.drkarenruskin.com/purchase-books/dr-karens-marriage-manual/ I discuss the 3 legs of marriage: emotional, physical, and sexual intimacy with a stool top of communication and trust. One of your legs you are writing about is wobbly, how are the other two doing? These are matters for the two of you to address, important matters for the health and wellness of the couple.

      Well, anyway Shaun, you did not ask for advice. You state you love her and you wish to be close to her. You state your self worth is shot and that the article struck a chord. I hope that my response will help you not to give up on your couple, as you stated you wonder: why you bother. I am hopeful you shall have a heart felt sit down discussion with your wife. Perhaps even show her this blog. I wish you the best.
      Warmly,
      Dr. Ruskin

  69. Thank you for your article.

    I have been with my husband for twenty nine years we have been married for 16 years. we have three beautiful children all grown. after my hysterectomy in 2009 I notice my husband pulling away sexually. I tried new things and nothing seemed to work. over the last six years we have become now totally with out any sexually activity. no kissing, no touching, no sex. I know there is an underlining problem . I have tried asking him to talk and he does not. We have been through alot. and I love him from within. But I feel like I need to have my desires met before I am too old. I want to activate a mature sex life.

  70. My goodness, what a parallel I feel with your ‘bratty’ observation! My wife and I have been married just shy of three years and I’ve had enough of bedroom rejection – so I’ve simply given up.

    But despite being 35 years old, I still want to sulk and strop about it – and whilst I feel ridiculous, I also feel justified in resenting her for making me feel this way. Which then makes me feel awful.

    Far too many conflicting feelings for my liking!

    1. Hi RB,
      You are not “ridiculous” for your feelings. Also, your feelings of resent are justified. Though unfortunately, as you wrote, you then feel awful about how you are feeling. Makes sense. Sulking certainly does not resolve the problem, and giving up does not resolve the problem either. Here’s hoping you and your wife consider an alternative to bedroom rejection, sulking and giving up that is a more pleasant option for the two of you in your relationship.
      Warmly,
      Dr. Ruskin

  71. Hi,
    I have been married for a month. Its a love marriage, and already my partner has lost interest in sex. He has no time and interest in sex which leaves me deeply shattered. I do want to be loved by my man. He drinks and smokes a lot and blames his worklife for this. Although I have told him a number of times that this lacks in our relationship all this goes in vain. He loves me in every other way, but whenever it comes to sex he just ignores it. Please advice what should I do.

    1. Hi Tanya,
      You’ve been married for a month and report that your marriage is a “love marriage” though there’s no sex. This is a problem if you desire sexual intimacy in your marriage. As you stated: you “do want to be loved by my man” thus inferring that you believe sexual intimacy is an important way in which to experience love. Thus clearly you can see the conflict here. If this is a “love marriage”, yet the marriage is missing a significant part of how couples express their love, certainly this is a serious problem, and so early on in the marriage.

      The smoking and drinking piece you mention with him blaming work, rather than taking ownership that the utilization of chemical substances is a choice, and an unhealthy option for coping with life’s challenges – is also a problem. For things do not change unless we ourselves acknowledge that what we are doing is a problem.

      What should you do? Well, here’s what I will tell you. In my book ‘Dr. Karen’s Marriage Manual’, in the second section of my book I list: ’29 Great Ways To Destroy Your Marriage’. Guess what’s on the list? Yup, the items you mentioned. So, at the current time, your husband is actively destroying your marriage in month one. I feel for you and for him. Here’s the link to the book if you wish to check it out. Perhaps the two of you shall read this book together so you can each take ownership of what actions you can take to help the relationship to grow? Please understand, I do not mean to be “sales-pitchy”. I have received such great feedback on this book, and wrote it to truly help couples to be all that they can be for I believe in marriage and what it can be. https://www.drkarenruskin.com/purchase-books/dr-karens-marriage-manual/

      My suggestion: you discuss this with him. Discuss this not in a threatening manner, rather in a caring, concerned and compassionate manner that you are sincerely concerned about his emotional, physical and sexual mental health and wellness, as well as that of the couple relationship. Explore through dialogue with him if he feels these items can be improved upon or if he plans to have a sexless marriage in which he smokes and drinks with the type of frequency that is destructive to self and the couple? If he says yes, then you have a decision to make whether you wish to remain in a marriage as such. If he rather states that he’d like to improve but he doesn’t know how, as he is struggling and going through a tough time, then you and he have a decision to make as to whether to go for help for the matter. My suggestion: do get help. Don’t just wait and see if time changes things for it has been my experience as a therapist that when there’s no sexual intimacy and reports of smoking and drinking, there’s a problem that doesn’t simply go away abracadabra. And if he would like to improve, and you are interested in seeing if this can be worked through, then marriage counseling is an option for the two of you. In that capacity the marriage therapist then can help the two of you through the journey and help you each to discover whether things can improve or not, what the underlying problem is with regards to the lack of sexual intimacy and confront the matter at hand. As well as address the smoking and drinking topic in a thought-felt therapeutic environment.

      I hope this helps.
      Warmly,
      Dr. Ruskin

  72. Hi,
    I was saddened when reading everyone’s stories as they somewhat mirror mine in a lot of ways. I have been married for almost 11 years now. I have been dealing with sexual and emotional neglect for the last few years. Within the last few years, my husband made love to me perhaps 3 or 4 times per year at most. Because we have two young kids (now 10 and 5) I always wrote it off as being due to having our busy lives. Our kids, his strenuous work and my work all piled onto us made it hard to get in the mood for sex and make time for it. However, lately (all throughout this year) it has hit me like a ton of bricks! I have tried to put on pretty nightwear. I have allowed my best friend to take our kids to the museum so we can be alone. He never took his eyes off of the television. I have been patient and understanding about him being tired. I have hugged him and tried to show affection. I cook and serve my husband’s dinner every single night (except for when we go out to dinner once per week). I have asked if he is interested in someone else- he says, “No” as if the idea never came over him. He explains that he is just tired a lot and he says, “the kids” as if they are always in the way. He sometimes promises intimacy when I beg him for it. For instance he will say, “Let’s get the kids in bed so we can have fun.”…but then when I finally get the kids in bed, he is sleepy, weak in his body language and treats me like I am not there. What really hurts is that I cannot compete with his devices- smart phone and tablet. He watches the news on television, while reading more news and articles on his tablet or phone. He won’t even look over at me when I am laying next to him trying to talk. IF I really complain strongly, he reminds me that he works so hard, he pays the bills and he does everything that a man is supposed to do. So he flips things around manipulatively as if he is a victim of my complaining and as if I am showing un-appreciation for ALL THE THINGS HE DOES for our family. Yes, he pays most of the bills. If my working from home doesn’t generate a lot of money for a week or a month he is always kicking in to take care of things. He is a great father although I would appreciate if he offered more help with the kid’s schooling. If I need my car repaired or a new phone he will make sure that I have it. He just will not hug me passionately, acknowledge my beauty (when I spruce myself up), he will lay next to me and not reach over to hold me close. I feel awful. I feel terribly rejected. I feel hideously unattractive. I am overweight whereas before our kids I was slim and very sexy. I tell myself to lose the weight so I can feel more beautiful but I get so depressed that it is very difficult. I think that I don’t make enough money as a work-at-home mom so it frustrates him and sexual neglect is my consequence to bear but it is very hard to settle for. I know for a fact that he keeps tons of pornographic/sexy models in his phone downloaded in apps etc. I know this because he had it on his laptop. This tells me he has some kind of sexual appetite but he just doesn’t share it with me. He constantly says that work has him exhausted and since his job is so physical that he is often too tired to wash the funk and sweat off of him before bed (and he knows I hate that), I tend to believe him. Now I think he refuses to bathe on purpose so that I won’t want to come on to him. He treats my communications on this issue like a game by telling me that I never hug him etc. but its not true- I hug him and express appreciation and desire all the time despite being rejected so much. So I have been fantasizing about cheating with any man I see on the street. I think about having sex with the man who drives the recycling truck. It is an awful existence. I wonder if he loves me. I think he doesn’t but all the other things he does as a husband suggest that he might love me.. but I am not sure he loves me. I think he likes having me around as a mother and cook who cleans the house and gives him peace of mind when it comes to our children. Other than that, I must be pretty useless to him. It feels terrible to have a handsome, healthy, youthful husband (46 y.o.) who can get me to cut his hair, clean the house, do all the cooking and everything he wants but he doesn’t want to hug, caress or kiss or do anything with me sexually. Obviously I can’t leave him because our kids are so young. I can’t cheat because I don’t believe in cheating. Masturbation only leaves me satisfied physically for a little while but then I feel emotionally drained, bummed out and lonely in this marriage. I even told him that I thought about cheating but he gave no response. He is not comforting when I cry. He makes me feel terrible. On the other hand, he will watch a television program with me (Mostly Empire- we don’t have any other shows in common that we like to watch) but he just refuses to give me the intimacy, affection and love making that I believe I deserve. I am hard on myself but I still think that I deserve intimacy and I am worthy because I am faithful, devoted and I am a good wife and mother even if I cannot seem to make as much money as I want right now. He reaches for excuses like the kids, work, his mother being in the hospital (newsflash: she didn’t take care of herself and she is sick. She will always be sick. She is never getting off of dialysis. End of story.) I run up to the hospital to see her like a good little wife because he asks me to go. I think he gets to have me do so many things I don’t feel like doing but he can’t give me any lovemaking at all. IF and when we do it which is super rare, it is a five minute disappointment that I pretend to enjoy so he can’t say that I complained and use that as an excuse to further neglect me.. which he ends up doing anyway. Sorry for such a long story. Just had to get it off of my mind. I blamed myself but I am still angry with him. Am I wrong? or Crazy?

  73. Hi, I’ve been married for almost 4 years now and tried every possible thing to make this relationship work. But nothing helped, infact over time I realized that I do not feel sexually attracted to my husband. I do not like being touched by him. I simply fail to understand what went wrong. I used to love this guy and when we finally got married, I could literally never have good sex with him. I feel miserable !

    1. Hi Sara,
      This may or may not be your case, though, some men/women who report this scenario it is due to love without desire. You see, a person can love their mate and not sexually desire their mate for they do not find their mate sexually arousing. Prior to marriage most are under the belief system that love and desire are one in the same. Unfortunately this is not always the case. There indeed can be love without desire, I have discovered in my work with couples. Though this very notion is quite difficult for some to understand for it seems so contradictory to what we are thought to believe.

      Prior to marriage, sexual intimacy (for those who have sexual intimacy prior to marriage), is one clear way in which love is expressed. Love is often believed to be synonymous with desire, for one desires to show their love, express their love and as such often through sexual intimacy. After marriage, if you come to discover that you do not desire your mate sexually for you do not find them sexually arousing, although you love your mate, you feel awful for the lack of connection between love and desire.

      Love is expressed in several ways in a committed relationship, in marriage (e.g., verbal/kind loving statements, gifts, time, physical closeness, acts of service, …), not just with sexual intimacy. Though, without sexual intimacy over time the couple connection will deteriorate (for those couples who have sexual desires, whether for one another or not).

      Although this does not solve your problem, nor did you ask for resolution, I am taking a moment to respond as your statement is such that you are not the first, nor will you be the last person to share that you are not sexually attracted to your mate. Your write-in there are others of whom will identify. Thus, to you and to others of whom are in a similar circumstance, know this: if the plan is to remain married and build this relationship, and potentially get out of the state of feeling miserable, you must take action. Consider what type of things arouse you sexually, what is sexy to you. And then take action both on the things you can do to create a sexy erotic experience with your mate, as well as consider what things he could potentially do to create a sexier experience with you. Then, discuss these points with your mate. You owe it to him and to you to determine if there is something that can be done, and to experiment with the potential of what can be. If this cannot be something that can be improved upon, then you have a big decision to make quite early in your marriage- 4 years.
      Best,
      Dr. Ruskin

      1. Hello Dr. Ruskin,
        Thanks very much for your reply. I really appreciate It.Your answer is quite helpful to understand the fact that we can or cannot be sexually attracted to our mate. But I do have desires and I’ve always wanted to have a healthy and romantic relationship with my spouse. Due to lack of romance, infact no romance at all in our relationship, it seems like it’s dying with each passing day. What is left behind is a dead relationship which we both are trying to carry on for as long as we can. I really feel helpless and sad about this part of my life.
        I’ve been depressed since 3 years now and I’m on medication. The reason behind my depression is unhappy marriage. We once went to see a marriage counselor as well. But that didn’t help, as he was not ready to change anything that bothered me ( e.g he never used to spend time with me once we got married. He was busy with his own things and never bothered to check if I was okay). We spoke about this problem with the counselor and she suggested that we should try to spend some quality time together. But he never put in any efforts and over time I stopped trying as well. I was completely lonely in a new country and he was literally the only person I knew. He was the reason for me to there. I left behind my family and friends And moved to a different country so tgat we could live together. But the very first day we landed, he started ignoring me and that left me in a depressed state of mind . I guess that might be one of the reasons why I do not feel passionate about him.
        I’m at a stage right now where I know that the love between us cannot be revived because of roo many bad memories. I don’t even have one single good memory of these last 4 years of my life.
        Could you please advise me if I should move on or give it some more time. I do not know what to do. I feel lost and insecure!

  74. Unhappily married

    My husband and I have been married for 17 years and we have been together for 25 years. We have always been sexually active since we met. We have two beautiful children and my husband is a wonderful man. I know he loves me but we have not had sex in 5.5 years. We communicate about the subject of sex but nothing has changed. I would never consider an affair or leaving my husband because his other qualities are awesome. He is not having an affair. We are slowing getting back to kissing and hugging one another but still no sex; he even sleeps in a different room than I do. He will lay in the bed with me to watch television or talk, but when he or I get sleepy, he goes to his room. I am really at my wits end. I continue to pray about this situation but have not discussed it with anyone out of respect for my husband.

  75. My sex life is not like it was and I’m only 27..my fiance is I. Construction he is gone for full a month..when he was home often I was loving it now I’m not aroused anymore is this normal

  76. Hello Dr
    I’m female 41 years old, married for 13yrs. It’s now full 18 months of no intimacy. Things changed 3yrs into our marriage. Before then our marriage was good. I then sensed a form of cheating and rejection as I was compared to other women. My husband become verbally abusive. When communicating my sexaul dissatisfaction my husband said I’m sex maniac. It came to a point where I opted for divorce and he pleaded forgiveness. I’m so frustrated that I no longer don’t know wht to do. We attended individual and couple counselling at church and by psychologist and none helped.I feel is time to let go but only feel for our son who love him dearly. Please help

  77. Hi
    I fall under scenario B but I feel that my desire and sexual attraction to my wife does not exist from the beginning and I feel nothing when I touch her , meanwhile I feel attracted to all other women !!!!!!
    I love her so much and I can’t imagine my life without her
    I m watching porn movies and masturbate in order to fulfil some of my sexual needs. And when we have sex I have to imagine my self with other woman just to have the Erection and reach the orgasm and satisfy my wife as well
    I never cheated on her and never will
    But I need to know what I m I supposed to do after 8 years of marriage
    I m suffering all the time to watch her struggling to help me find a solution for my problem but I can’t tell her the real reason and I always try to come up with some excuses
    But now we came to a very bad situation
    I can’t find a nearby psychotherapist,but at least I need to know what my problem is
    I feel that it is a very deep psychological problem
    Please help me understand the nature of it and how can I solve it

    1. Hi Mark,
      I am glad that you have reached out. You have written that you “feel that it is a very deep psychological problem” in reference to your lack of sexual attraction to your wife, and that you “need to know what” your “problem is”. Please note that the forum of the written blog and reader written commentary is not therapy. Thus, for me to analyze what your problem may be, well, this is certainly not the appropriate context for it. I sincerely desire for you to get the help you yearn for. It it heartbreaking to hear of your suffering as your wife struggles to help you find a solution and yet alas none is found. As you stated, you have “never cheated on her and never will” and “need to know” what “to do after 8 years of marriage.” I am interested in you receiving the help and advice you desire. Therefore, meeting with a therapist is absolutely my recommendation at this point and yet you wrote that you “can’t find a nearby psychotherapist”. I am wondering where you live, as I am interested in suggesting that you meet with a therapist.

      Do note that potential clientele who are interested in utilizing my services in the context of counseling, rather than in the context of blog commentary, are welcome anytime to contact me directly to inquire about my fee structure to potentially schedule an appointment. An easy way to contact me is via my ‘contact page’ posted on my website, here’s the link: https://www.drkarenruskin.com/contact/ If you do decide to contact me, I invite you to reference this blog interaction.

      Thank you for your understanding as explained above that the blog forum is not a client-therapist relationship, as such, you certainly are welcome to reach out to me and inquire about consultation and/or counseling services. I have clientele from all over the state and country who utilize telephone consultation/counseling whether it is for one session with me or more. For those of whom do not live in the state I am based (Massachusetts) and therefore cannot schedule an appointment to meet in my office, phone appointments (or face-time) are a helpful option.

      Please do get the help you desire, whether you reach out to me for an appointment, or continue on the search for a therapist in your area. A great way to find someone in your area is to reach out to your primary care physician, as most do have a list of therapists they trust and would recommend, thus you can certainly share your situation and ask for a referral. If your primary care physician does not have such a list, which would surprise me greatly, you can ask your wife to ask her gynecologist, as they too have their “go to” trusted psychotherapist list. There are kind and skilled therapists out there interested in helping.

      I hope this helps and that you reach out for the help you desire.
      Warmly,
      Dr. Ruskin

  78. We have a marriage that isn’t a marriage, oh its legal on paper only. We’ve been married over 40 years, we had sex once or twice. It turned out that my husband had no real interest in intimacy or sex. We argued for days about what he and I wanted, he had no interest in what I wanted. Neither of us wanted the same thing and there was no comprimse . Finally he said he was tired of arguing and he moved to our basement and that’s where he eats sleeps. He also requested to go to the night shift and purposely got strange days off. He never took his days off, worked all holidays, only coming home to sleep. I didn’t leave which was my mistake and now I’m to old to care any more.

  79. We’ve been married 33+ years. I was a virgin. No experience! My husband my was my 1st & only! He just told me this summer he wrongly Prejudged me to be a liar about my virginity! That was a sucker punch to the gut! I fiercely fought to keep my virginity intact thru highschool! It meant a lot to save it! A lot! I even stopped dating in 1981 because I grew weary of swatting guys hands away, constantly groping like arms of an octopus! My husband has been the only one that got to 1st, 2nd, 3rd & hymen breaking! And I knew to expect some pain! All thru high school I herd girls talking about their 1st time so I thought I was prepared. Well I wasn’t, really. He wasn’t either, but he kept his “secret” wrong judgment to himself for 33+ years, which was so very wrong of him! I had every right to know ASAP he didn’t believe me! But he kept ramming that into me relentlessly & it wouldn’t fit! I was starting to panic as the pain started to get worse & worse! Then this really intense searing ripping burning pain & a rush of blood! I pulled away in tears of pain because the pain was intense & I was embarrassed by the rush of blood! Who wants to lie in a bed & make a pool of blood?? Not me!! Unsanitary!! But he maintains that he could not “tell nor feel” the difference between a “virgin” or one of his many “loose” well ridden & worn former GF’s! I’m like WTH??? And he maintains he never got any blood on him???? I’m the only one that had blood streaming down my legs???? So how in the hell can a man NOT tell the difference between a virgin & a non-virgin??
    I was really sore for a good day or 2 afterwards! Poor baby complained he didn’t enjoy himself & it didn’t feel good for him! Lah tee dah! I didn’t enjoy it 1 bit at all, it hurt like hell & too bad for you! And he said he never had any experience with any virgins, but has the gall to tell me most virgins enjoy their 1st time?!?!?
    So on our honeymoon my sexual performance was compared unfavorable to his former ex’s & I was told I was broken because I didn’t orgasm “vaginally” and I was too slow. Here I’m brand new to sex, trying to figure things out & learn & I’m thrown a major ego crudher, a curve ball, & I’m dealing with Dr. Jekyll Mr. Hyde. Long gone is Mr. Charming! The fangs & claws come out. I was seeing a side I wasn’t giving privy to before & it was a major turn off. I was unsettled & feeling disturbed. About a week into our marriage, we got married May 21, 1982, he made a grand proclamation that only His sexual desires & needs would be met. To hell with mine. So no foreplay. Hop on, he’d go like a jackrabbit. I’d be close to orgasm because we’d do missionary style & I’d get stimulation to my clitoris. I’d be close to orgasm but hed finish & roll off & be done roll over & snore! For the better 3/4 of our marriage I’d be beyond frustrated! I’ve been lonely, depressed, upset! Its been a verbally & emotionally abusive relationship! Controlling & manipulating. The sex gradually, slowly, eventually, got a little bit better, had its ups & downs. Been really good the past few months. But now today (10-11-15) he wants to compromise, meaning for me to again give up & give in & NOT have any orgasms & he be the only 1 to get all the satisfaction. Again. So I return to being the #-hole & the 1-sided relationship.
    This was never a marriage from the beginning. It can’t be when 1 person always takes & never gives. And since when is compromise all about 1 person always giving up??
    Hes always been immature. But again he’s a Mommy’s boy! The Golden Child of a Narcissist Mother. I wish I had seen & known this before I had married him!
    Too much hurt.

  80. I’m writing for two reasons. One is obvious, any help you can provide. Secondly, writing to you I anticipate will provide some means of therapy. This is the second marriage for both my wife and I. We’ve been married for 8 years (We dated for 2 plus years) and I adore and have the ultimate respect for her. Her strengths, which are many, help alleviate my weaknesses…which has to be challenging for her. She doesn’t have to tell me she loves me, her actions speaks volumes. I try to do likewise. She is gorgeous and I feel fortunate.
    Nevertheless, there is a level of sexual deprivation evident in our marriage and I’m afraid my levels of frustration are mounting and becoming more intense. With the experiences in my second marriage to date, as well as observations and discussions shared I’m convinced there are three axioms in a marriage:
    1. Men marry their wives hoping they never change
    2. Women marry their husbands thinking they can change them (Lends itself that they “settled”)
    3. Once married, women dress to impress other women and not their husbands

    As I mentioned, my wife is gorgeous and during our “courting” period her behaviors seemed to be motivated by what I shared with her during our numerous conversations. Likewise, I tried to understand her needs and satisfy accordingly. The sex was insatiable. Her “boundaries” at times pushed the envelope. I married right out of college and did not experience much of a “single” life which can lend itself to its own challenges that in part played a factor with the failure of my first marriage. The experiences I had dating between the end of my first marriage and meeting my current wife were all, and more, that I understood would be the case.
    My current wife shared some of her dating “escapades” that I found were both interesting and hot. She was careful to make sure we maintained this “excitement”. I’m well aware that its a challenge to maintain at this level throughout the duration of a marriage. I clearly understood the importance of having and maintaining a “connection” that is a must for her to have an interest in having sex and/or any level of intimacy.
    The sex we have seems to only happen under two conditions:
    1. When I come home from being out of town for a few days
    2. A since of obligation…quite possibly you can reference reason #1 as well
    My satisfaction is more often, than not, masturbating while watching porn. If she catches me any “connection” that was evident prior to the perceived offense is now going through the experience of being “shut out” while she internalizes the issue/issues. For years I felt guilty but now I hope to get caught and have the opportunity to respond, “what are my options?” Having an affair is not one of them….
    We did go to marriage counseling and my wife made it clear to our Doctor that the porn was an issue. Our Doctor wanted us to try a level of intimacy where she didn’t have to wear anything provocative. It would be touching, kissing, and hugging.
    Over the years she would have me record some of her shows on Sunday evening. I had no interest in these shows she enjoyed. But, over a couple of evenings I discovered the only difference in its level of pornography was the amount of clothing. I shared this in one of our sessions with our Doctor who posed the question to my wife. She has not attended another session.
    In addition, a couple of years ago I became aware she had read the book “Fifty Shades of Grey”. One, I had NO problem she had read this book that was causing a sense of “sexual freedom” for those women who had read it. My frustration was she said the book did not provoke any sexual feelings/emotions shared by so many. Just like the provocative story’s she would share with me while we were dating, the story’s in addition to any recollection she had about the book were lost in memory.
    Any efforts of dialogue having proven futile to date. I did see our Psychologist about this matter on my own. She suggested that my wife make an appointment to see her on her own. This fell on deaf ears.
    Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

    1. Hi Brett,
      I am so glad that you shared your thoughts. You have a lot on your mind, and I am sure it took a lot to express with such depth. With that said, it is important that I provide my response as one to share with you, and to remind others who read my blog, that this is not therapy. Yes, I am a therapist. And as such I do meet with clients in my office based in Massachusetts, as well as provide telephone and face-time consultation and counseling for my out of state clientele. Unlike like a blog, therapy is a privileged relationship between client-therapist that is agreed upon and confidential. In contrast, my blog articles are meant for information that is not a therapist-client relationship. The comment section allows for reader commentary, and sometimes I provide response.

      With that said, it is clear to me from reading what you wrote, and I am sure clear to you, that if I were to even try to touch this, it would not be appropriate. As you are looking for something more in depth then a written blog commentary can provide. You are looking for a consultation that is therapy.

      If you wish to contact me off line via my client contact page: https://www.drkarenruskin.com/contact/ and inquire about a consultation/therapy via phone or face-time as a scheduled appointment with me (or if you reside in the state of Massachusetts, then an ‘in office’ appointment), we can take it from there.

      I thank you in advance for your understanding that I do not respond to all blog comments, for this is an open forum in which I sometimes ‘chime in’ on some of the blogs I have written. I would recommend counseling but it is clear to me that you are letting me know that you do not feel this has been a helpful resource. Though you have reached out to me asking for “some means of therapy”, as you wrote. If that’s which direction you wish to go in, please contact me off line. I am sorry for what you are going through, and if you wish to hire me for my services, I would be happy to work with you. I am sorry if this sounds like a sales pitch. It sincerely is not. Rather it is my genuine care for you and your journey, and any one else who is suffering and needing to speak with someone in a therapeutic context.

      I am confident that others who read our blog interaction will find this helpful to know what a blog can vs. cannot offer and what therapy can offer that a blog cannot. Thank you for your inquiry that has led to this exchange.
      Warmly,
      Dr. Ruskin

  81. Dear ~
    Maybe if I put this in writing, I will make the change I know that is inevitable. Married 23 yrs, 2 late teen children who are well…Hub who is funny, loyal, clever & hardworking – at his convenience. (Women, or at least not I, have the luxury of fulfilling our responsibilities at our leisure.) Each of us own companies that have provided well, although I out-earned him for half of the marriage. Our issue is his lack of intimacy on all levels except his work. He will tell me all the minutiae if his business (never inquires on mine) but does not want to discuss anything about our love life/marriage/lack of affection.

    We have sex maybe once a month (or less), but he needs to be drunk. His endurance can be amazing when bombed, but he is sloppy & selfish. He once said men only pretend to be interested in pleasing their partner, no man actually cares what she feels. He will deny my advances, physical & emotional, only for me to discover him masturbating to porn. I suggested including me, but again, he declined. I have, many times, gently & kindly spoken to him that I am feeling intimately isolated, rejected, ugly. He refuses to kiss other than a peck on the cheek. I know I am attractive; dress well, clean hygiene, pretty face, fun personality ~ but he is far more interested in drinking, eating & watching sports (yes he is a bit overweight, but I still find him attractive). He states I am being self-centered when I occasionally do something I enjoy: country ride in convertible, go to movies (alone), antiquing, all of which I sweetly invite him to share but he refuses. I just can’t sit & watch sports ALL day!

    In summary, there is no intamacy between us, no affection, he has no desire for me, and I am starving & lonely. Let me be clear, he wants me by his side ALL THE TIME, but does not want to engage. I have been a faithful & dutiful wife. I want sex all the time & have tried to explain, but no result. He refuses any kind of therapy. I think I need to leave….please advise. Please tell me it is normal for a female to want to be desired….for a man want to please his wife sexually….I have done things for him that I do not enjoy….he has never…..even as simple as suggesting he read 50 shades & maybe explore that…but in 3 years he always has excuse not to. Always an excuse….

    1. You have written the words: “I think I need to leave… please advise”. Certainly it is for no one to tell you whether to remain in a relationship that you are feeling starving and lonely or to leave. This is your decision to make. Talking this decision through may help you to make your decision, perhaps you wish to schedule an appointment with a therapist on your own, since he will not attend.

      As far as your statement: “please tell me it is normal for a female to want to be desired… for a man to want to please his wife sexually” – I tell it like it is, and I will tell you- it is normal and a significant example of a healthy relationship. Though unfortunately you are not the first nor the last person (for there are women and men who report a similar pain) to go through what you have written.

      You have a big decision to make. Ask yourself the following questions: 1. Do I remain in a relationship that will not change and accept it? 2. Do I remain in a relationship that will not change and not accept it? or 3. Do I no longer remain in a relationship that does not provide me with what I need to experience a healthy functioning relationship? 4. If your best friend shared this scenario with you, what advice would you give to her? 5. Fast forward in a time machine and if you have an adult daughter who presented this information to you, what advice would you give her? 6. Change shoes, think about his actions and pretend they are yours, and your action his? Your response to this visualization will help inform you of your thoughts and feelings as well.

      I hope these 6 things to consider will help you in your decision.

      My advice: talk with him about the serious degree in which the lack of intimacy has left you in, in that you are forced to have to make a decision about the future of the relationship. Explain to him this is not meant to be a threat, it is rather to have a serious discussion to help him to understand that the two of you are truly headed in the direction of divorce for the relationship is unhealthy and you need him to work with you together as a team to create a healthy relationship. Either we are working together or against one another. Once you discuss the degree of seriousness to where this is headed without help, if he is still not willing to get help to save your marriage, then you are left with a decision to stay and accept truly that he will not change even with the marriage on the line, or you must then be the one to end the relationship if you cannot accept the reality of the relationship as it is.

      I sincerely hope this helps you on your journey.
      Warmly,
      Dr. Ruskin

  82. Hi Dr Ruskin

    We are married for 5 years now I am 49 and my husband is 79 so I want to know that does aging contribute to low sex drive? cos as far as I remember my husband was never so sexually active and when I brought that topic up , he would always say you knew that I am not a young boy anymore. But what worries me is that he is working very hard and still looks strong , but when it comes to sex , he is always down , tired or even start a fight so that I do not ask for sex. This really makes me feel very lonely, and I have started to talk about it again , because now I feel I need a secret lover to fill up the gap, so when we talk it was last week , he then agree that we can seek for help. First thing we did was to consult a pharmacist , he recommended that we go to mens health Dr, but my husband said there and there that his not sick , so he will not go to the Dr. I knew that cos he was never to the Dr unless for glasses, next step was to buy some books about sex , yes we read together but, not because he want just because he want to please me. He is not stimulated ,but he pretend as if, he even started to give oral sex , but is so hurting cos he just do it for me not to complain.Oral sex was the very first time he do it , and he will always say YOU want me to lick you down , you know that always is put like I am the one who want sex. And he is the type of a person who want everything to be done quickly , so there no enough time for anything, we sleep- quickly, we get up – quickly , we eat- quickly , we have sex- quickly , we go for shopping quickly, all the time the reason being he is responsible , he want to work . Kindly help me to sustain our marriage

    Thank you

  83. My wife and I went through a tough situation starting when we were both let go from a large company right before the economy crashed in 08. House in foreclosure and unemployment. That on top of menopause ended our sexual intimacy. The last passionate moment we went all the way was nearly 10 years ago. Things have gotten better for us over the past few years, but her sex drive never came back. About a year ago, I met a beautiful woman in her mid fifties who shared the same business interests as me. She was way above my class, which made me feel secure working with her. We became friends and because of our shared interests and experience, decided to go into business together.

    Within a couple of months, I was head over heels in love with her and told her of my feelings and that I didn’t think that I could not work with her without losing my mind. She pushed me away within a few weeks of my spilling my heart to her. She told me that I was deprived and really didn’t love her. I still can’t get her off of my mind and my wife, who has known about this since March. She brings her name up often and is bitter at me for giving my heart to another woman. My wife and I would argue over the past 23 years and she would ask me for a divorce about once a year until my heart was finally defeated and I just existed as her husband and father of our amazing son who is now 22.

    When my wife found out about my relationship with my partner, (I never even kissed her on the lips or messed around intimately ever), she was destroyed and couldn’t believe that I broke the trust we had built over the years. I asked her for a divorce. That was the night she found out back in March. We have decided to get a divorce and still remain friends. I would do everything I could to stay with her if she would only want to be intimate with me again. She has always wanted me to change and I have always wanted more intimacy from her. I am scared out of my wits and believe that I am making a huge mistake. On the other hand, I can’t live life like this any more. Any input would be helpful!

  84. My wife and I went through a tough situation starting when we were both let go from a large company right before the economy crashed in 08. House in foreclosure and unemployment. That on top of menopause ended our sexual intimacy. The last passionate moment we went all the way was nearly 10 years ago. Things have gotten better for us over the past few years, but her sex drive never came back. About a year ago, I met a beautiful woman in her mid fifties who shared the same business interests as me. She was way above my class, which made me feel secure working with her. We became friends and because of our shared interests and experience, decided to go into business together.

    Within a couple of months, I was head over heels in love with her and told her of my feelings and that I didn’t think that I could not work with her without losing my mind. She pushed me away within a few weeks of my spilling my heart to her. She told me that I was deprived and really didn’t love her. I still can’t get her off of my mind and my wife, who has known about this since March. She brings her name up often and is bitter at me for giving my heart to another woman. My wife and I would argue over the past 23 years and she would ask me for a divorce about once a year until my heart was finally defeated and I just existed as her husband and father of our amazing son who is now 22.

    When my wife found out about my relationship with my partner, (I never even kissed her on the lips or messed around intimately ever), she was destroyed and couldn’t believe that I broke the trust we had built over the years. I asked her for a divorce. That was the night she found out back in March. We have decided to get a divorce and still remain friends. I would do everything I could to stay with her if she would only want to be intimate with me again. She has always wanted me to change and I have always wanted more intimacy from her. I am scared out of my wits and believe that I am making a huge mistake. On the other hand, I can’t live life like this any more. We are seeing a therapist. Two sessions together, my wife went alone a fewdaysago andIamgoingMonday.. I will have the first opportunity to unload all of my frustration from the past 24 years at once. Whenever I Discuss my frustration with my wife, she feels I am blaming her for our problems, she gets upset andI am sleeping on the sofa. Any input would be helpful!

  85. So I have been married for eight years we started off matched with a sex drive. But for what feels like the last 7 years it is completely one sided to the point I feel like a Ass about asking about it or even pushing a interest or joking about it. I will not be breaking off my marriage ever I just want to get a Primal requirement taken care of on a regular basis and as stated in one of those tending to it myself just is NOT satisfying enough. Even at the moment a situation came up where normal sex cannot occur for two weeks for her and she wouldn’t even consider any other options ie Oral or anything she acts disgusted when I give her attention…. I have seen a few times in 8 years her actively go upon herself to give me oral and so on but only a few. Only getting something Physical once every few weeks pushed me to a point that I tried to train myself to dismiss my own primal and sexual desires and needs to the point I got numb to it. But then I got out of that when she suddenly wants something but then after I am stuck waiting who knows how long till the next occasion. I have actually reached a point where I almost don’t want to have sex because it will lead to a satisfaction that I wont see again for awhile.

    Also, we are 30.

  86. I need a help too. I have been with my husband for 3,5 years. Since I got pregnant, my husband has become sexually inactive. I had my baby last January which means it has been 9 months now, but we had only 2 times intimacy. Couple of times when we were trying, his penis didn’t erect. Am I living on a life with full of cheating?

  87. rejected and loveless

    My wife and I have been married for 20 years. When we were first married we were spontaneous and it was great! She told me at the beginning of our marriage that we are not having sex we are making love so I have equated being physical with love. As the years have gone by and 4 children later our sex life has lessened and lessened. Sometimes I go months before any sex. She started to not want to kiss me because it tasted like blood after I would brush my teeth (she is a dental assistant). She would ask what I would want for my birthday or Christmas and I would ask for sex, to which I was called gross. Over the years I have tried lots of things to get her interested again. I would lay out sexy clothes for her to wear at night, I would read scenes from her romance novels but apparently ripping the clothes off s girl in the kitchen while she is cooking is only good in the books. Along with tying them up is only good in 50 shades. When I try these she gets mad or starts to cry so I stop and then I have to walk away because I am angry at myself for doing that. And angry at her because I think why doesn’t she love me. Quite a few times when I let her know I need her by caressing all day she will come to bed strip and lay down uninterested. I get so frustrated because I now do not last long enough for her. I turned to porn for a while which of course put a bigger wedge, but I don’t do that any longer. She is now discussing divorce, she was told by a friend that I have been sexually abusing her. I want save my marriage because I love her. I am trying to change. She has asked that we not kiss or have any sex until this is resolved. I want to do therapy but the thought of being told I am a sex offender scares me ( my brother is a registered offender so I know what happens to them). What do I do?

    1. Hi rejected and loveless,
      Please don’t be afraid to go for counseling. Although I certainly do not know your full story, thus I certainly cannot provide any sort of evaluative account, know this, to be a sex offender – is not what you have described in what you have written above. And, for a therapist to get to the point where they break client-therapist confidentiality is a serious decision and one in which therapists do not take lightly. Does it happen? Of course. Do you not get the help you and your wife need out of fear? My advice: don’t let fear stop you from getting help.

      With that said, I strongly recommend marriage counseling. If she will not go, then go to counseling by yourself. Pick a therapist who specializes in relationship issues.

      If you do not live in the state of Massachusetts where my office is based, and thus cannot make an inquiry into my practice to receive counseling from either myself or one of my associates: https://www.drkarenruskin.com/contact/ – you are welcome to contact me directly to schedule a phone session (I would be happy to break down my fee structure at that time). As your question clearly cannot be answered via a simple blog comment, it appears from your inquiry that meeting with a therapist for a therapy session vs a quickie blog comment would be your best bet. Another option to find a therapist is to contact your insurance carrier and ask them for a list of names of therapists who specialize in relationship issues in the area. Though, I strongly advise you to pick a therapist that has a solid reputation, perhaps a therapist through word of mouth for I think given your fear regarding therapy, it will help you feel more comfortable if you know the therapist comes recommended by someone you know. Therefore, asking your primary care physician who he/she trusts in the area is a great way to get a solid recommendation, and an additional option for you.

      I hope this helps.
      Warmly,
      Dr. Karen Ruskin

  88. HI Dr K Ruskin

    I would like to know if maybe your service is free or I need to pay before you help me. I left my issue on 22Oct 2015 , but never heard anything fom you, so that is why I think maybe I missed the point of any fee.

    1. Hi SLTG Dry Plant,
      I am sorry that I did not respond to your issue posted above. I wish I could respond to all the comments and all the questions on all of the hundreds of blogs that I have written to date. I truly do.

      Since this is a blog site that I offer to the public as a free to service that allows readers to learn from what they read, and/or make comments, I simply do not nor cannot respond to all comments or questions. Unfortunately simply due to how many hours there are in the day I am unable to respond to all questions.

      As far as your question re my service being for free, writing my blog articles and allowing people to read them, comment on them, and my commenting or answering questions is certainly a thing I do voluntarily, yes, it is for free. With that said, because I do not respond to all blog comments/questions, if you desire/require a response, then of course you are welcome to contact me directly on my ‘client contact page’ to schedule an appointment with me (and yes that would be for a fee), and then of course your question will definitely be answered since you would be hiring me for my service: https://www.drkarenruskin.com/contact/ If rather it is a question posted on my blog there is no guarantee that your question, nor anyone else’s will be posted nor responded to.

      Thank you for your understanding.
      Warmly,
      Dr. Ruskin

  89. We’ve been married 47 years and sex has been dead all these years, actually the whole relationship has been dead. Why I stayed in it I’ll never know, the only thing I can think of it was scared and insecure to move on with my life. We were virgins when first married and had no idea what we’re doing. Husband didn’t like it, I told him we would get better, but he told me that was it, he felt nothing. Why go through all this for so little then my world fell apart. He slept in a chair out on the hotel balcony. Next morning he said we were going home, no honeymoon and he was going to work. At home he’s aid he was sorry but hated sex and every thing else about marriage. He preferred work, and he was going to move his stuff to the basment. He also said I could do what I wanted just don’t ever include him. I couldn’t leave really had no money, so being stupid we live on the piece of property but don’t interact at all. Now that I ruined my life to old to care and to tired to care.

    T

    1. Amy,
      WoW……..and we think we have it bad!!! That is just really sad but back in the day, it is understandable because I’m quite sure you had very little options back then. However, I personally feel it’s never too late and you more than deserve an opportunity for what you have missed out on over the last 47 years. Honestly, what the heck do you have to lose at this point? You don’t want to go out of this life not feeling loved or appreciated! Dump that old piece of dung and go find you a man that will take you places that you have never been and I’m not just talking about Paris!!!! Your “husband” has called the shots for the last 47 years, now it’s time for you to call the shots for the next 20 years (or so) of your life. I am sitting here typing this thinking how I could personally help you because this is just wrong and I want to help make you feel what you have been cheated all these years. You have gone this far to reach out to an awesome forum and even comment, it’s time you get the nerve to get the frick out of there and enjoy the latter years of your life. Worse case scenario, get out and away from him and get established on your own 100% and you will immediately start to feel better about yourself because living in that shadow cannot be healthy. And if you haven’t done so yet, please go find yourself a good vibrator or your preference for personal gratification so you can get primed and ready for what’s to come!! Please please take action with your life, you only have one……..

      1. Jas:
        Its been a long time since I visited here and I would like to say thanks for your reply.
        Ya know I just don’t care anymore, I’m in my late 60’s and I’m all burned out about my life and I guess life in general. I can’t enjoy the vibrator notion because I lost all my female parts about 10 years ago and haven’t any desire for sex. I feel I’ve stooped to his level now and have no interest in sex. You can never miss some thing that you haven’t had, I’m sad that experience of a life time partner, kids, family has never happened.

  90. Five years and counting. I’ve been told he had too much on his mind with work and doesn’t want “that” anymore. He is 10 years older than me. The situation is sad. Desperate. Lonely. I cry all the time alone at night. Yet my faith tells me not to commit adultery.

    1. Hi Leo,
      This situation is sad, as you said indeed. The desire to want “that” is healthy. I am hopeful that you and he can speak again on this matter and you can explore with him that although he does not want sexual intimacy due to having too much on his mind, that you still do want sexual intimacy. Thus, for the two of you to have a genuine heart to heart conversation about what to do about the matter.

      Sometimes when a person says they have too much on their mind with work is “code” for something else. The question is: what is the something else? Some genuinely do disconnect from intimacy when they have much on their mind, that does not make a healthy marital relationship though. Others state that’s the reason, for it’s “easier” then confronting whatever else is the reason (e.g., performance issues due to the aging self, lack of sexual desire for one’s mate even though the love is still there the desire is not… etc…).

      I urge you to speak with him. Not in a confrontational manner. Rather in a genuine concern for the problem that has been for five years, is currently, and what’s to be for the future. A discussion of what your couple-hood’s options are so that way you can each make a thought felt decision about the future by confronting the situation head on and not sweeping it under the rug as time continues to pass. The fact that you cry alone at night is a point of consideration in what you want for your now and future.

      I hope this advice is helpful and that the two of you can come to a plan together of what your options are and what steps to take to either find your sexual relationship or accept it will never be. And if it will never be, then you and he have a decision to make.
      Best,
      Dr. Ruskin

  91. He told me that it doesn’t cross his mind at all to touch me, or to kiss me. Intimacy is not his thing and he does not understand it. In 10 years he had the initiative to kiss me ONCE. He doesn’t call my name – he just starts talking (LOL). He never tells me “I Love you” or “You look beautiful”…or “I miss you”. He never rests his eyes on me.
    What he does: cooks meals for me, turn on the lights outside when I come home and it’s dark, set up the table often, oh…what else? Now and then he bring me a flower and is happy when I am happy. We do things together (house projects, cleaning, etc) and it feels good.
    He did not tell me at the beginning of our relationship that he has an intimacy “problem”, to give me the chance to choose weather I stay or not in this relationship.
    I am puzzled.
    I value loyalty. This loyalty that I value is in conflict with my strong desire to be touched, kissed, feel wanted!! When my needs for intimacy are strong, I imagine doing all sorts of things with him…kissing, touching…It’s not sex that I am after initially. However, in order to experience intimacy I do stuff to ‘attract’ him into having sex (once every few months). I have mixed feelings after that, not good at all. I feel dirty…During having sex, I sense him being selfish…there is no before and after ANYTHING.
    I feel hurt, tired…I ask him now and then if he loves me…He says “YES!!!”. we discussed about the lack of intimacy in our relationship a too many times. He says that that part in his being is totally missing. He does not understand it. He has no need to be touched or to touch.
    We live alone, both professionals, have no children together, our adult children live away.
    My best friend is often telling me to find someone to fulfill my need for intimacy with. I feel attracted and in the same time disgusted by the thought. I feel trapped. Leaving him also seems so difficult. I care deeply for him. Leaving him would feel like a failure for me. Giving up is not part of who I am. On the other side…time is passing…I am getting old…My passion, my internal flame, is still there! I love life and that emotion that comes with human touch. I deeply LONG for it. My heart is crying! I have tried to wipe out that need but it doesn’t work. it’s part of who I am.
    I have no idea what to do…
    Thanks for reading this.

    1. Awh, you are very welcome for my reading this Elena. Certainly your attempt to “wipe out” your need for intimacy was an attempt to keep the relationship. Though your desire to have intimacy with your mate is healthy. Thus cannot be ignored.

      Indeed you are in a stuck spot for he states that he does love you, and reports that he has no need to be touched or touched. Though you do have that need. He shows his love for you in other ways, as you explained (cooks meals, turns on the light when it’s dark, etc). His style of love expression is not the way in which you require and desire. The question you are confronted with is: can you accept his style of love expression, his language of love, or can you not for your love language is one of physical intimacy mixed in?

      I sincerely suggest that the two of you go for marriage counseling. You both need a few sessions where you have a safe space to discuss what your expectations, wants and needs are for the next stage and phase of your marriage. In this way you can explore through dialogue whether there are ways in which you can each accept what cannot change, and improve upon what can change and what one another needs. If he will not go with you to couples counseling, then I do urge you to go individually so you have a place where you can talk this through and make an informed decision about your marriage and your future.

      Hope this advice helps.
      Warmly,
      Dr. Ruskin

  92. Hello Dr….
    I am in a very confused and frustrated state of mind. I met my fiance via a dating site last year. Within a month he asked me to be his girl. Right away once we started having sex i noticed that he had trouble maintaining an erection and had premature ejaculations. He has no good skills when it comes to sex or kissing. I am a very sexual and open minded woman. But i love him even tho he lacks in this area. I figured it was performance anxiety and that it would get better in time. Nope. He said that he has a low libido and has been tested and is in treatment. But with the lack of willingness to attempt to please me….i began to wonder maybe he isnt all that into females. Lo an behold i find emails of him responding to personal ads for cross dressers or transgender males. You can imagine how heart broken i was….still am. He is this very sweet considerate and very gentlmanly man…who has only showed me love and respect. But no passion. No lust. Never the need to try anything naughty. Sex only in the bed. No flirting. So i confronted him about the emails and he said he was hacked. Yeah sure. Funny how the hackers know your physical traits and have your new phone number and most recent pictures. So he portrayed this offended being when i asked him about his sexuality. He said he is straight. Not gay not bi. But after me polking and proding….he confessed that he sent them. When i asked why ….mind you i cook and clean treat him right..spoil this man in every way i can think of….his only response is that he doesnt know why. But that he is NOT gay nor bi. He apologized for his bad judgement (this is the 3rd set of emails i have confronted him about) but only now he confessed. He swears that he loves me and wants to grow old with me. But i am not so sure i can live with this in the back of my mind. Not to mention the lack of passion and sex. Please help i need another point of view. He wants to get married next year. Oh and he is 45 and i am 43. We dont have children together.

    1. Hope this helps

      Monica I am so sorry to hear this. I don’t want to be crass or offensive in my response. As a male with simular attractions at one time, I would like to try to offer some insight. Like me he probably enjoys prostate stimulation during sex. In our culture this desire is shamed due to homophobia and toxic masculinity. It’s so taboo it’s probably really hard for him to find the courage to openly communicate this desire to you. It was for me, I feared the “are you gay” question from my partner that so many males receive. But the desire does not diminish it only builds. Out of desperation for my desires i explored the same route your husband has. I can only tell you my motivation for this and not his, but I suspect they could be simular. I have always been solely attracted to females, I do not find males sexual attractive. The allure for me was the femininity of m2f transgender women with the added benefit that the would not shame you and understand the desire to be the receptive partner at times. I finally decided life wasn’t worth living unless I was going to be open and honest with my so. She was kind and understanding and our sex life is awesome as a result of this. It very hard for a man to communicate this, it’s a very vulnerable place to put oneself in. I encourage you to do some research, I would suggest the Aneros website and ruby ryder for starters. I hope I did not offend anyone in the trans community, I have the upmost respect for all my LGBT brothers and sisters. Good luck!

  93. Caring Husband Needing Sexual Intimacy

    First of all, thank you Dr. Ruskin for not only an excellent blog post but for all of your commentary in the comments section. This particular blog post has been the most refreshing of anything I have read on this topic so far (after a fairly exhaustive Internet search).

    I have been married for almost 15 years now and since the beginning we have had issues in the bedroom. It started when we got married. Quite suddenly her sexual appetite changed. She went from wanting sex and initiating to almost never initiating and after several years she doesn’t initiate and doesn’t participate. Over the last few years I have really struggled with the sex deprivation which has caused me to become withdrawn, miserable and has been a factor in me struggling with depression. A few months ago I finally decided I had had enough and started looking for answers.

    I have found recommendations and suggestions that run the gamut; from packing up and leaving to maintaining a mistress to simply accepting the lack of sex and being miserable for the rest of my life. I love my wife and despite her shortcomings I would never leave her. I have been blessed with an extreme capability to extend grace to my wife. When I was younger I made a realization that was profound to me; no one is perfect. I have learned to extend that to my marriage and marital expectations. In fact, I carry the lion’s share of responsibility in my house. I work full time. I am the primary income generator. I clean the entire house. I do the laundry. I do the dishes. I maintain the yard, the cars, and the house. The only things my wife does, and I appreciate them, is that she cooks dinners, parents our children, makes sure they do their homework, and manages their schooling. I do the things I do without complaint and without pushing guilt onto her. I do them because I am a responsible husband, parent, and adult, and I because I love my wife.

    So what about sex? Well, my wife doesn’t really care about sex. I read another site that discussed “responsive desire” which seems to partially describe my wife. She never thinks about sex but can, and does occasionally, enjoy it when it happens. But there are more issues for my wife than that. Beyond her not desiring sex, she doesn’t really like it. My wife has an unhealthy view of the human body and finds most bodily functions to be disgusting, sex included. Then the icing on the cake is that she has low self-esteem, and thinks of herself as ugly. She quite often asks me during sex if I am thinking of other women because she doesn’t think I am attracted to her. That kills any intimacy in an instant. I find my wife to be very attractive and tell her all the time. And in case anyone was wondering, I never put her down and never make negative comments about her physical appearance. I have a very deep-rooted belief in never putting people down. So just please know that I work hard to build her up and I do it daily.

    We probably have sex once or twice a month on average. For some people that would be amazing but for me it isn’t, and mostly because she isn’t really involved. She treats it like a chore the majority of the time. As far as I can tell she doesn’t resent this but is mostly just melancholy. The exception is when she has a little alcohol to drink in which case the more she drinks the more sex-crazed she becomes. But that typically makes me frustrated and upset because I don’t want a tipsy sex maniac, I want a normal, intimate, good sex life. The problem is that there really isn’t any intimacy in our sex life and that is what I want. I need sex more than once a month and I need the intimacy of having a partner who wants to participate and fulfill my needs.

    So what is the solution? I don’t know. I have opened the doors of communication with my wife. But as I feared she is taking it more as a personal attack than looking at it with an eye for finding a solution. She also makes statements that she doesn’t want me to get my needs met anywhere else or by anyone else, which I understand and agree with but I can’t help to feel frustrated by these comments since she either won’t meet my needs or cannot meet my needs.

    My fear is that the causes run too deep and are not things that can change. I can’t stop my male hormones from pumping and she can’t create desire for sex when it has never been there.

    Anyway, I wanted to simply share my experience since this seems to be a very positive place with excellent commentary from Dr. Ruskin.

    1. I’m assuming medical intervention, counseling, begging and pleading has failed to correct your situation. I’m also assuming that you are meeting all her needs, as you have said, If so, I’m sorry to break it to you Caring Husband. I know from experience that you have two choices: 1. Divorce her and find a compatible woman. 2. Keep extending grace to a wife who doesn’t even care enough about your needs to put on a good act in bed once in a while. You need to stop whining and start acting like a man. You need either to decide that her right to breach the marriage contract and alienate you in the process, is something you’ll live with and suffer under till death; or, you need to remove yourself from the marriage. Unfortunately, that comes with a heavy price also.

      It’s very, very hard. But you need to tell her that SHE needs to do whatever it takes to fix her problem. Tell her that you will support her and be there for her while she works this out. But, be ready to walk away. In my experience and some other men I know personally; Your situation will most likely never change. It will cause you to resent her and become bitter and lonely in your marriage. Eventually you WILL commit adultery, or become so depressed you’ll turn to alcohol, drugs.

      Why does the woman you love with all of your heart, have the right to deprive you of the intimacy, joy and fulfillment you deserve? Why should you suffer alone? Why has her desire not to participate in the sexual component of marriage become more important than your need for that aspect of the union? Why should you reserve your body for your wife alone? Wasn’t that the point of the physical exclusivity provided for in the marriage contract? What then is the advantage of marriage for you?

      I can see that she is benefiting from your marriage. She is very fortunate that she doesn’t need to work outside the home. Many women would love that blessing. Apparently her only responsibility according to you, is that she cares for the kids and cooks. Guess what? Most women do that and work full time. Are you kidding me? She doesn’t even do the laundry, cleaning or dishes. She’s spoiled and lazy. She has little respect for you and your needs.

      Keep coddling her and the years will race by with no change. You’ll wake up at 50 or so, and realize that your best years were wasted. You’ll resent your moral and religious beliefs which kept you in the marriage (if you adhere to any at all.) By then it will likely be too late to start again. The kids will be grown and gone. (And they will still be traumatized by a divorce by the way.) You can try to find a 50 year old woman without an airplane load of baggage. Good luck with that.

  94. My husband and I used to have sex at least once a week. Now, it’s more like once a year. The last time we tried, he made an excuse and said I was “too dry” which is crap… I try to engage, but he just stops mid-kiss and rolls over. He won’t even touch me sexually. He’s afraid to get me pregnant, and I told him many times to use the condoms I bought… The first FULL box, he threw away. The next box have expired… I’m at a loss. He obviously is sexually active, but with looking at pictures of nude women and masturbating. I’ve BEGGED him to stop, and he says over and over that he will. I’ve caught him two different times… I’m so close to walking away. I refuse to live with a man who no longer desires me sexually. I’m tired of the excuses he gives me. It hurts so bad, I’m a devoted Christian wife…and I couldn’t ever bring myself to cheat on him, but I will sleep on the couch to separate us since I’m obviously no attraction to him…

  95. I just want to be fucked long, sensual… making love. I have not had sex, an orgasim in years with my husband. He last a minute and I am so despirate. Im ready to have an affair. I can’t control this ache from within. I need it I crave it and I want it now. It dont mean I dont love my husband. I do.

    1. Sorry to hear that. My wife and I have not had sex for almost 4 months now. We have been together for 16 year and married for almost 12 but the last 2 years she has been so fixated on her job. She is never home and never spends time with me or our young boys. Her career as taken off tremendously during that time but she is way to involved with her job and her coworkers. I confronted her about it recently and said her job had become her god. She lost it and started making all of these excuses. I even asked her if she was messing with another guy, her response, “when do I have time to bang someone else”. I told her you definitely aren’t banging me. I love God and believe marriage is forever but I want to have sex…a lot and it’s driving me crazy but I will not beg or appear desperate even if it’s my wife.

  96. My wife will hold my hand, give me a hug, and snuggle up on the sofa. But that’s it. No kissing, no holding each other naked in bed, no mutual masturbation, no oral sex, no sex – in short, no sexual intimacy.

    Until 6 months ago we did have sex, maybe once per month on average, but I’d get rejected 5 times for every time she’d give in. It was clear she didn’t enjoy it, and it was always very clinical – she wanted to use a vibrator to get herself ready, then sex lasting as little time as possible.

    There are may possible reasons for her lack of desire. She’s spent days of her life, and we’ve spent thousands on various experts to address her various issues, but to no avail. She’s given up now, and just wants me to accept a sexless marriage.

    I don’t know if I can.

    Her parents have a sexless marriage, and think I should accept one too – but I’m only in my thirties, and sexual intimacy is important to me in a relationship – without it I just cant really feel loved.

    Divorce sounds terrible – I love my wife, and we have 3 children together (11, 9 and 6).

    I need to stop asking the question of what will make me happy, and start asking the question of what will make me least unhappy.

  97. It’s been since the first week of November since we last had a 2 minute sexuall experience and before that it was the second week of September Ugh! I’m at my wits end ! We’ve been together 17 years married 10. He admittingly withholds sex from me ( I’ve read your posts you don’t call it abuse you call it neglect) I call it abuse when it’s done intentionally to hurt! And it sure does! I look in the mirror and can’t even see a glimpse of the beautiful sexuall being I once was… I’m so depressed and I feel unwanted and unloved. I’m trying to get my things in order and planning to leave him,it just sucks because I love him but I’m 45 and still want a fulfilling sex life. He is unwilling to change or give an inch no pun intended lol. This all started years ago when I approached him -nicely may I add- about sex only last 2-5 minutes I am and was unfulfilled. He took it the wrong way and now he punishes me. I feel he’s a selfish ignorant ass! I’ve heard men wish they had a spouse like me – I love sex in every way possible there’s nothing I won’t do with the exception of a threesome ( been there done that ruined a great friendship-this was prior to meeting my husband) I’m told I’m beautiful by others I’m not overweight and workout regularly especially with not having sex because I’m so stressed out about it!
    I’m just at an end with it all I’m tired of grieving for our past! And the fact that I’ve had to beg for him to touch me makes me ill and I’m to the point that even if he did try to touch me,I don’t think I would let him now. Just such a shame …. the sun and moon used to set in his eyes for me…. I can’t wait to find that again, I hope I still have a chance to experience that just one more time….. thanks for letting me get this off my chest !

  98. I think I’ve reached a point of depression. I’ve been married 2.5 years.
    The first six months were great. We were making love even four times a day.
    He was bringing me flowers. now nothing since. well let me say the last time
    we made love was Dec 2016 before Christmas. time before that must have been
    maybe sept. I’d say 10 times last year alone. This year zero.
    there’s no intimacy not even emotional. he’s always tired or has other things to do. He comes
    home late from work although he’s able to return early if he’s going to go play soccer.
    I beg him to French kiss me. .. .It doesn’t happen. He prefers watching TV.
    I have tried sexy outfits essential oils but. …. I used to really like cooking creative things and I don’t feel like it anymore.
    I don’t know what to do. ..to cry or talk to someone.
    The last time I spoke to him about it he said I should find sex elsewhere
    and the fact that we have a home and he sees to our homely needs so he doesn’t understand the problem.
    He mentions this is who and what he is and he loves me.
    I have a high sex drive. In the last year our sexual encounters lasted about 5-10 minutes
    I don’t want to leave him but I think about things 🙁

  99. I’ve only been married for 5 months. Only known him for 10 months. It was an arranged marriage, and we only met 3 times before the wedding. I was a virgin and he was highly experienced, as he continually mentioned all the things he can do to make a girl scream and double- digit partners. Now we’re married, and I feel like it’s me because I’m overweight. Only been married for such a short time and he barely makes any moves. When I try, I get rejected… and feel incredibly hurt. I’m soooo frustrated around him all the time and almost don’t want to sleep in the same bed. I’m always riled up only to be let down. Even if we do, it’s a wham bhai thank you mam, and then I feel even worse. And that is maybe 2 or 3 times a month. But I also feel guilty because he’s tired.
    On a side note he started to dress up more to go to work in the past 3 months… and I have no reason to think it but he may be cheating. Idk. So frustrated can’t think straight.

    1. Not to also mention he took me on a two night getaway for Valentine’s Day and nothing happened. I even wore something he’d asked for, and nothing.

  100. My husband and I have been married for almost 5 years and the first two years we made love at least 3 times a week. It started getting less and less the more he got sick since he has Multiple Sclerosis. Now I maybe get it 1 time every two weeks and it doesn’t even last very long at all maybe like ten minutes and I can’t even get satisfied at all. I haven’t had a real orgasm in I don’t even know how long. Idk if I have a hard time having an orgasm because we do the same positions all the time or if it’s because the time is so short. I fake it all the time now cause I don’t want him to feel bad because he can’t make me cum and he’s never noticed. I feel so horrible having these feelings because I feel guilty having these needs so bad. I satisfy him everyday by giving him a blowjob and I enjoy doing it but sometimes I feel resentment because I’m not getting anything and sometimes I feel like he could do more then he says he can because he does work and plays video games all the time. I don’t mention my feelings to him because when I did tell him maybe we could make love more or different positions he got his feelings hurt bad and then made me feel bad about it. I love my husband and never will leave him especially now with all that is going on with him but what am I supposed to do with all this sexual frustration? I don’t masturbate everyday but I have to when it gets to intense. I also have dreams sometimes where I’m masturbating or were making love and I actually feel an orgasm when I’m dreaming and sometimes I’m half awake from the dream and I am finishing myself off. I never used to have this problem until the last year or so. I am so frustrated, please give me some serious advice. No one reply In a weird way please.

  101. Hi, I’m writing this after reading pages and pages of sexually deprived women. I was sort of upset to see so less articles on women’s sexual needs and rejections.
    I’ve been in a relationship with my husband for 7 years now and married for 1 and a half. Believe it or not i haven’t had sex more than 10 times the during this marriage. I have been asking him and there have been many I filled promises. I sometimes travel for a week or two and Everytime I get back I come home hoping he had really missed me and would just jump on me to make love. & I have been proven wrong with that. He does miss me a lot becuse he calls me all the time and even sleeps on the phone with me. We had a healthy sexual relationship when we were not married. But since the day I got married, I’ve been the one to even initiate the sex we have had so far. I know he’s got no problem getting it up. He gets hard coming close to me etc… But I just don’t understand his rejection. I’ve asked him a ton of times. He has no response to it. I’ve been doing research and I found that certain medications can cause a lack of desire to have sex. He takes a 10mg high blood pressure pill a day and that’s basically it. Can this medication really make such a difference ? I know he’s not cheating on me . We are with each other all the time because our our job. Maybe he’s seen too much of me ? I don’t know. Please tell me what I can do. I’m really depressed.

  102. My wife and I have been married for 12 years. Pretty much after we got married the bedroom got boring. Sure we had a decent spell here and there. But pretty much for the last 5+ years it has literally been dead. We just ended a 4 month dry spell with what I call “Corpse Sex”. She lays there like a sack of potatoes. I don’t even want that anymore. Ive tried everything. Every time I bring it up its pushed to the side. She makes promises of tomorrow, but tomorrow comes and goes with no action. We have two kids together, 11 and 6. The thing about our marriage is that there has been almost no intimacy. Im talking no back rubs, no foot massage, etc. That has never been there. Our intimacy consists of small pecks and “I love you”. In the beginning of the marriage the sex was OK enough to get by (once every 2-3 weeks). But for the last 5 years or so, Ive been lonely. Like being married to a roommate, not a wife. I have always been a gentleman. Opening doors, paying for dinners, compliments, flowers, housework, help with kids, etc. Over the last few years Ive been turned down so much that I feel like I’ve given up. I hate it. THATS NOT ME! Im supposed to take care of my wife, but damnit, Im tired of NEVER getting anything in return. I love my kids with all my heart and Im not willing to raise them in a divorced family. I will forego my happiness until they are older. I don’t know what to do in the mean time. She hasn’t even been on birth control for the last year. WTF! Birthday sex, anniversary sex? What are those? She even forgot our anniversary at the 8 year mark. Our marriage other than that is fine. We don’t argue and get along 99% of the time. Thats the only reason Im going to stick it out for the kids. If it wasn’t for the civil part I would of been gone already.

  103. You know, you sometimes think you’re the ONLY one going through this terrible situation. How wrong I have been. Many are suffering the very same thing, so I have learned. In countless other problems, too. I have been married 35 years to my wife, whom I thought she was my one and only. We used to talk about everything. I never thought I would have ended up in a sexless marriage. I can’t even remember the last time we had sex. Maybe in the 1990’s I think. It’s been so long now. I am a devout Seventh-day Adventist Christian. I have a deep relationship with Dear Jesus and have prayed to Him about this problem without ceasing. In fact, it seems like that’s mostly what I ask Him for help for daily. For me, divorce is out of the question. No job, no pension, too old for employers to hire me (its 2016 – you’re considered OLD with one foot in the grave). My wife and son are the breadwinners now. Humiliation is the word. Now I now how the Lovely Dear Jesus felt, being The Son Of GOD, adored by all the angels and left it all to come down here, be humilated and abused to save us. Praise Dear Jesus for His mighty strength to save us!!! Jesus get all the credit! I cannot divorce my wife as financially it is out of the question. I would be homeless. I now do all the housework, including cooking, fixing the car and cleaning the house. Without sex, I feel so empty, lost and thrown aside. I never would guess this would be my lot at age 56. My wife had a complete hysterectomy in the 1990’s, which threw her into early menopause. I get to enjoy her emotions weekly. I love her, but have lost that “wanting” of her any more. We don’t even sleep in the same bed anymore. She sleeps in the recliner night after night because she says her back hurts alot. When I try to touch her intimately, she gives me looks of disgust and backs away. What is wrong with this picture, I ask? A whole lot, I know. I have to use porn to relieve myself, much to my sorrow, because she won’t use her hands, mouth or body. Going in unto her is painful and she won’t fix this. I have come to the conclusion that this is a part of the suffering that I am to share with Dear Jesus. As NO ONE will be in Heaven, who has NOT had to endure some level of suffering for Jesus’ sake and have a perfect right to be in Heaven. I have made PROVERBS 3 : 5,6 my motto for getting through this hell here on earth, and to give glory to Dear Jesus for this suffering I have to endure…”Trust in the LORD with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding; in all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” Many times I have wanted to run away with some pretty woman to start a new life. But I do not wan’t to provoke the LORD to great anger against me. I have read in the Bible what happens when you do that and its not fun. I did provoke the LORD once before, paid dearly, but He chastised me in mercy. It could have been much worse. So I’m in a holding pattern. I keep going forward, like GOD told Abraham to do, and leave the future with Him to guide me. I know this may sound strange to some. However, I have walked and spent much time walking with Dear Jesus on this earth to know it doesn’t pay to do it “your way.” Doing it the way Dear Jesus wants me too is my only solution. I practice Ephesians 4 : 32 and as often as the thought of my wife comes into my mind, I constantly forgive her. It does help, believe it or not. Especially when I have to relieve myself and not my wife. This is my sad journey, as we are living in Satan’s territory right now, but Dear Jesus will protect us if we ask him to help us. This has been my greatest comfort through this hellish experience. The knowledge that I have an Advocate with Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous. This is probably what has kept me from going insane, that Dear Jesus is my Great High Priest showing His blood and righteousness to Dear Jehovah on my behalf. Without this knowledge, I would have gone nuts long ago. Dear Brothers and Sisters, I beg of you. Don’t lose hope. I – KNOW – HOW – YOU – ALL – FEEL. Cling to Dear Jesus. Look at this…”And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and earth.” Matthew 28 : 18 Please, get down on your knees at your bedside and plead with Him to help you. He will. He has helped me, He will help you. Jesus dearly loves us all. Dear Jesus never said this life was going to be easy. The fact of the matter is that we live in a world FULL of sin. We are sinful. However, Jesus paid the ultimate price for us to get the free gift of eternal life THROUGH Him. In fact, in John 16 : 33, Jesus tells us we will have TRIBULATION, but be of good cheer, He has overcome the world. In my 56th year of life I have finally learned to depend on Jesus. He will never leave you or forsake you. I have been practicing burning Bible Scriptures into my memory and repeating them when the trial is too hard to bear. It helps tremendously. May the Lovely Dear Jesus be with each and everyone of you, as you struggle with this horrible, intimate loss. One last Bible Promise from Dear Jesus as I leave you all…”Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

    1. You should not be looking at porn! That is a sin and you do not have an excuse. Your relationship with the Lord Jesus is not a license to sin. You did not mention if your wife believes in Jesus. If she does, then show her 1 Corinthians 7:2-5. She is commanded not to deprive you, as your wife. King James Version calls it “defrauding” you. If she does not listen to you, use Matthew 18 to discipline her. She should be excommunicated from your church if she refuses you, whenever you want to have sex with her.

      Lord’s Blessings to you and to your marriage.

  104. Humiliatedanddone

    I’m 59 years old and done with sex. My husband of 14 years has so humiliated me by wanting to have a relationship with him that I am finally finished. The thought of having sex makes me sick to my stomach. He acts like he wants to be intimate and then when I take a shower, dress sexy and get ready for bed, he just rolls over and hugs me up and goes to sleep. More times than not when we have sex, he will get his off and then say “I’ll catch you one next time” and goes to sleep. I lay there feeling cheap and used. It’s like he is a traveling salesman that has bought a prostitute whose only job is to get him off. Then again, sometimes we have awesome sex. but not often and when he does I feel it is a job for him and not something he really wants to do. He doesn’t cheat but he can now if he wants to ever have sex again because I am done. What it has done to my confidence is terrible. I feel like I am just a big fat grandma and that is all. By the way, I am a little heavy but he loves heavy girls. He watches porn called “Chubby Girls” a lot so I know it is not my weight. I just think he doesn’t care and is a lousy selfish lover. I am not the kind of person who takes being humiliated over and over and just think it is my lot in life. Before you say that we need to talk, let me tell you that we have talked. I have done everything I can do. I’ve discussed it with him. I’ve tried everything he wanted to do except anal and that’s where I draw the line. I have bought lubes, toys and slutty bed clothes. Also. he always has to drink about a case of beer or be buzzed before even trying. So with all that being said, Thanks for letting me get this off my chest since I can’t talk to anyone else but I would rather never have sex again than to go through the stress and embarrassment of being treated like a cheap whore.

  105. My husband and i only had sex a couple of times. We’ve been married almost 50 years and he hasn’t been able to get it up. Back in the 60s they didn’t know about erectile dysfunction and his doctor told him he’ll get over it. As time went on he became depressed, gained weight, starting having stomach problems and cholesterol problems. And his doctor prescribed pills, and again no one put pills and erectile dysfunction together. So here we are just turning 70 and really hadn’t had sex. He was a difficult person to live with, he’s depressed and says he never had any meaning in his life and really wants it to end. He has a really nice and patient shrink that some how keeps him on the straight and narrow.

  106. I’m just beginning to try to find help with my relationship problems. I’ve been married for 6 years, together everyday for 10 years. We have two young children, and I work from home to be able to stay with them. My husband works long hours that kep him away from his home and family all but about a day and a half per week. We had trouble co curving our second child, and after 24 months of strictly by-the-calendar, utility only sex, we had our daughter. We had discussed with each other that we were both tired of the quickie routine and very unsatisfied. When we began to address it, I found out I was pregnant. Besides the normal stresses and changes to a couple with young children, we had a lack of intimacy to begin with. When we got married, I truly believed that we would grow into a deeper I timacy with time and continued love and support. We didn’t. We decided to separate and co-parent, since our son was young and we had a newborn. We were living together, but in separate rooms for about a year. We tried to make a go of it again, and try to save our marriage, all the while putting our kids’ needs first. We are a great partnership. We make fantastic business partners and our kids are happy and our house runs smoothly. However, we are not intimate at all. I would go so far as to say that we aren’t even really friends, just business partners. Since before our separation, we have had sex a total of 10 times in two years. The last few times, I had to force myself, and wantedo be anywhere else. I honestly do not desire him, nor am I attracted to him. I am grateful for his dedication as a father and provider, I’m thankful he is my children’s father, but nothing more. I’ve read everything I can on how to build intimacy, marriage counseling approaches, Gottman method, tearing down walls, sexual therapy, get groups, new parent challenges, spiritual advice, chakra clearing, you name it. I have too much integrity to cheat, and would never do so. Neither will he. And here we are, in a sexless, and more hurtful , intimacy-free marriage. It comes down to one question for me, is my sexual gratification a my longin g for intimacy worth sacrificing my children’s security and home life? The answer every time is NO. I’m not asexual, in fact I’m feeling damaged because of my non- existent intimate life. I’m tired of masturbating and crying. Can I build a desire for him if I am no longer attracted, or is there really no hope here? If not, how can I get over feeling like moving on from this, and divorcing him is a selfish decision and disregarding what’s best for my children?

  107. I met my Partner 3 years ago, he told me at the time that he had erectile disfunction, and therefore would not be able to have a sexual relationship, i was recently out of a relationship that hurt me badly because my Ex was strongly into Porn which had made me very insecure, and hurt me badly. At the time my new Partner informed me of his problem for me it did not seem a problem, but, i fell in love with him, i feel i could cope without full intercourse, but, my Partner does not show me any interest in intimacy, he says he has never really been into that stuff. I often tell him, that just a good snog, kiss on the neck, caress, etc. would mean so much to me for i miss that side of a relationship so much and i feel incomplete. He makes an effort when i bring the subject up, it lasts about a week, then stops, and i am feeling the same, this hurts me dreadfully, i feel that if i have to ask for some kind of passion, he does not feel that way about me at all. Sometimes,even when i caress his thigh when we sit together i feel him tense up, he has even pushed me away at times and that cuts like a knife, i love him, but, i also have needs, he says he cannot keep a n erection, and that his thingy does not work, but, at times when i have just touched him he starts to get hard, and he gets hard ons in the night. When he has had a drink, he gets a bit friendly, but, to me it feels false, for it is not the real him, I have noticed that he has masturbated to porn a few times when he has not been able to sleep, he does not know that i know this, and as he knows the reasons i left my last Husband, this hurts me even more, i know he does not have the same chemistry for me as i do him, he says he loves me before we go to sleep, gives me a cuddle and holds my hand, but, anything else well, it just does not happen, and i feel so empty, and feel there is this massive void in my life, i am 65, but, i still have this longing for some kind of intimacy, it is like food to me and it makes me feel good, i really do not know what to do, we have talked about it all so many times but, our relationship is still so one sided, i feel i have given up now, i love him, i do not want to end our relationship, and i do not want to hurt him, i just cannot understand how he can say he has this problem and yet still masturbate and climax, it just does not make sense. Do you have any ideas or solutions, or do you think that he just does not fancy me in that way? i am at a loss of what to do, and i do not want to spend what little i have left of my autumn years without the true feeling of love and affection in my life, i will appreciate any comments you have for me. Thank you

  108. Hi,

    My husband and I have been married less than one year. I moved here to be with him. It seem like we had sex at least once every other week, which was ok for me, but surely couldve been better. It was the quality. I do not experience a full orgasm before he is finished. He doesn’t consider me and rolls over to sleep. That was in the beginning, now we barely have sex…maybe once per month, and I’m still left unsatisfied. I have expressed this to him several times. At first he became defensive and irritated, but it seems like he’s more understanding, yet nothing has changed. He may give me oral after a bad sex episode of ejaculating quickly, but i am still not satisfied. I want him. I do not want to leave him. I accepted the fact that he has a smaller penis than I’d preferred, but I wasn’t aware that it didn’t “work”… sometimes he can’t even get it back up. He says its not me, but Im just confused and scared that our relationship won’t last. We are not even 30 yet. How can I continue ? Should we see a doctor?

  109. I hope you can help?
    My husband age 59 and myself age 43 have been married over 8yrs but have been an exclusive couple for 16 years total. I have always had a high sex drive and so I made a point to explain to him how important daily sex is a minimum requirement for me back 16yrs ago.
    Fast forward we have seen numerous counselors, therapists & doctors over the past 5 yrs after I stood my ground that I wasn’t happy with only having intercourse once every 2 to 3 days. But apparently, when it comes down to every 2 to 3 days is great for a man with my husbands age. I am dying inside, trying to be remain faithful to remain married. I have even gone so far with the help of my family doctor to find a medication that kills my libido completely. But my husband I too hate me taking since when my husband does decide he wants sex I never orgasm as a result.
    Besides feeling like a freak, my heart is breaking because I feel like I am asking the world to just have the sex life we once had.

  110. I am a 48 year old man that has been married for 13+ years. when we first were married, before kids. We had sex, and were more affectionate, and passionate with each other. Now we are 2 kids down the road, and have all the other time challenges that are present in everyday life. Which equates to a low frequency of sexual contact. I ask, and get rebuffed probably 8 or 9 times out of ten for a variety of reasons, tied, tense, cant relax, lots on my mind, kids etc. I do not know what to do anymore. I LOVE my wife, but she is neglecting my needs as a man. I travel frequently for work, gone 3-5 days at a time. When I get home I have so much love, and desire for my wife, but like 80% of the time she seems to not want to be with me sexually. I do understand that men and woman are wired differently. I have tried to make changes to myself, and be more aware of her needs. Such as her saying I everything I do is geared toward us having sex. My response is sarcastic typically, such as guess it really is working, huh? I ask her to put on some sexy lingerie, no dice. I am so frustrated, and have no idea what to do. I keep telling her my feelings, rejection, self confidence, questioning myself, and who I am etc…..Her response usually is you should take care of yourself, which I do already. However it is not the same as having sexual contact with your wife. Last week she even sarcastically told me I should get a prostitute. My heart breaks every time she denies my advances, and whats even worse is now I am more irritable, withdrawn, and despondent. She asks me if I have read any books on the subject, and I tell her that I have read a lot online. Then respond with have you read about what denial/ refusal does to a man? The lack of sex has made me quite the nit picker on stuff. Yet, whenever my wife wants, needs something. There I am to help, or get that thing for her. What do I do? I am so lost….Like I say to her..I am lost soul on a rudderless ship…..

  111. Boy oh boy. The story of my life being married. I’m a deprived wife. I’ve always had a high sex drive since day one,and was told by my boyfriend at the time that I acted like a guy because I wanted it often. What GUY doesn’t I thought to myself. 10 years later 5 years of marriage I get put off regularly which is very frustrating. I would work come home cook, help the kid with homework light chores if I could but regardless I was always ready. It makes me feel like I want to go somewhere else to get it but I don’t want to cheat as I made a vow. There is no romantic bone in his body. I can’t stress how many ways I let him know that I need it but he doesn’t get it that he can please me in more ways than one but because he’s not into oral even though it’s fresh clean and groomed he won’t do it. I’ve tried so hard to contain myself from stepping out on him because I love him and we are married. The more and more he promises me the next day and the next day often it makes me want to step out more and more. I was so close one time. It’s so easy and he has no clue how easy it would be to get someone to please and satisfy me. I’m stuck.

  112. Jesus, what a catalogue of pain, cruelty, and suffering. I say Jesus because it almost sets off spontaneous prayer. Of course this is only one side of the story, so it’s hard to judge the veracity. Still, if you get married (or whatever) to someone you should be planning to wobble each other’s brains out. If not, it is intensely cruel, dishonest, and the height of infidelity.
    Reading about so much infidelity, it makes me wonder why you don’t all hook up with someone that does love you. Somebody who is not willing to step up simply does not love you … what’s the point of a baker who won’t sell you bread or a restaurant that refuses to serve you or gives you no more than two peas on your plate. The relationships you form usually have a certain purpose. If you have a teacher who is not teaching you stuff or a friend that doesn’t want to see you or do stuff together, what’s the point? With a partner the point is to have sex, otherwise you would form a different kind of relationship that is about sharing the rent, alternating in cooking meals, whatever. Saying No is cheating and shouldn’t lead to the other person being sexually entombed.

    1. According to the Bible, depriving your spouse is considered a form of sexual immorality. There is not an excuse for one spouse depriving the other. It is a sin.

  113. Ever since I started dating as a teenager I found that after 3 or 4 sexual encounters with the same woman, no matter how I felt about her, I would suddenly shut down sexually, unable to perform experiencing various sexual dysfunctions. For many years I attributed this to being easily bored sexually and when the sexual dysfunction symptoms would crop up, I would simply break off the relationship and move on to another until the pattern would repeat and I would move on again and again. None of these relationships ever lasted for more than a few weeks, at most a couple of months depending on the frequency of sexual relations.

    I was mainly concerned with building a career in my 20’s and 30’s so the lack of any kind of romantic relationships didn’t bother me. As long as I could have sex a few times a month I was satisfied. Luckily I was fairly good looking so never had a problem getting women to go out with me.

    It wasn’t until I married at age 40, wanting to have children and be part of a family that this loss of sexual arousal after just a few times having sex began to complicate my life. It happened while dating my wife and although I wasn’t going to tell her it was because I was bored with her sexually (what I believed was the cause) I played dumb and and told her i didn’t know what the problem was that was causing me to be unable to get an erection during sex with her.

    My soon to be wife, ever the optimist, said not to worry that we would seek therapy after we married. We did just that but the months of therapy turned into years and one therapist turned into three all of whom threw in the towel as did my wife who found the various treatments and exercises the Sex Therapists gave us (what they called “homework”) to be frustrating and very damaging to her self esteem. This was because after awhile, with therapy obviously not working, she began to blame herself and her own sexual attractiveness. So after three years in an unconsummated marriage my wife gave up on therapy and settled into a sexless marriage the best she could.

    I continued on in therapy with various psychologists and a psychiatrist but again none of them could figure out what the problem was. My sexual functioning was fine when I masturbated alone. And I did have two very brief affairs in those first 5 years of marriage and again the functioning was fine until after less than a half a dozen sexual encounters with these women then again I would lose sexual arousal and be unable to perform and I broke off the relationships.

    In our 6th year of marriage we decided to seek fertility treatments so we could have children. The fact that I could have success masturbating alone meant we were able to have artificial insemination which worked great and we had two children in the space of 4 years.

    After the last child was born (he is now 17) we never spoke of our sexual difficulties again and the marriage has now been sexless for a quarter century.

    I really miss skin to skin sexual contact with women but after my kids were born I gave up on affairs and accepted I probably would never have sex again for the rest of my life. To me keeping the family together was more important that having sex although I was (and am) angry that it has to be one or the other. This despite a strong sex drive that hasn’t grown any less as I got older. Masturbation alone has been my only sexual outlet.

    A couple of years ago I read an article about intimacy anxiety and how a childhood full of trauma and family of origin dysfunction (my parents were violent alcoholics who hated each other and fought constantly) can cause what is called an “attachment disorder” which in turn causes intimacy anxiety. At first I was skeptical because I never felt any conscious anxiety at all when having sex, even when I was dating and would suffer from an inability to get an erection with a partner. Thinking it was simple boredom I would apologize, get out of bed and never see the woman again.

    But the article I read went on to say that often intimacy anxiety is subconscious and any time I began to get close to a woman in a relationship my intimacy anxiety alarm bells would go off causing my body to release stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline that shut off sexual arousal like a light switch.

    Sexual boredom was all I ever thought it was but after reading more on intimacy anxiety I now feel that this is what was causing my sexual difficulties and what has caused my marriage to remain unconsummated and sexless for so many years.

    I simply cannot function sexually in a relationship unless I can keep the partner at arm’s length emotionally. Something that is impossible when you live with someone in a marriage. I’d love to be able to seek sex outside the marriage. I talked to my wife about having an open marriage explaining there was no way I would ever have any feelings for my extramarital sexual partners because if I did it would mean total sexual shutdown physically and mentally. But she would have none of it and refused dooming us both to not having sex for the rest of our lives.

    It is too late for anything to be done as I am now in my 60’s. But I hope my story might cause someone else who suffers from this to take this information with them to their Doctor or Therapist.

    1. JamesO – Thank you for taking the time to share your story. I too am hopeful that your sharing your experience and discovery will touch the lives of others of whom may have a similar experience. One’s experience in childhood with one’s parents in specific regards to attachment, plays a significant role in one’s intimate relations. Oh yes indeed. And you are not the first person nor the last to experience this challenge. I am genuinely so very sorry you did not discover this earlier on in your life. Though the fact that you continued to research your challenge means that some part of you not only desires to understand yourself better, likely you are hoping for a solution resolution of some kind, or perhaps yearning for something more than what has been. Perhaps it is not too late for anything to be done? If I may so boldly ask/suggest. Through my years as a therapist (since 1993), I have seen people at various stages of their life. And it has been my experience that at any age one can enhance what is to create what can be. I have seen beautiful growth in couples well into their late 70’s and early 80’s. Why can’t that be you and your wife?

      Perhaps just as if you had discovered this information years ago you would have taken it to a therapist, being that you are 60, what an opportunity for this stage and phase of your life to explore with a therapist these findings, and discover how you can find secure intimate attachment with your wife. What that will look like as a 60 something and a 70 something year old is a journey to discover, if you so desire.

      Certainly this journey will not be an easy road ahead. If you decide you wish to meet with a therapist to discuss this with, or at least to consult with about what might be the journey ahead. So that way you can make an informed decision as to whether you wish to proceed beyond therapist-client consultation and shift to treatment. You may wish to consider: have I accepted what has been and will continue to do so? Has my wife accepted what is? Or, have I not accepted what is? And although I cannot change what was, perhaps I can alter what can be to come and thus things can be different and enhanced? Perhaps my wife and I both would be interested in exploring what can be? These are questions to consider, if you should so decide to.

      I wish you all the best, and I am so glad you have discovered the why, for that does offer a piece of inner acceptance and peace. A piece. I hope for you if acceptance of what is cannot be, then you and your wife are able to explore what can be with this valuable insight you so courageously investigated, discovered, and have acknowledged to yourself.

      Thank you again for sharing your story.
      Warmly,
      Dr. Karen

  114. Oh, i read all comments. So many women are deprived and i have a wife that refuses to have sex for more than 2 years now. Before that she had sex with me almost every day but it was only for me, she just sat there like a potato sack… not feelibg anything. I dominated the relationship and i took her for granted. Now that she stood up for her and have courage to reject sex, i’m helpless. We have 2 kids, or else i divorced by now. Of course it was better than thus way but i told her that i felt NEVER WANTED like i wanted her. I tried oral, i tried positions, long time… but she didn’t had any arousal response. The big problem that she was sexual abused. She told that is over that, buy i think her sexual capabilities was iver when she got raped… And she was a virgin when she was raped. Really sad story. And this woman did have sex with me for 12 years, trying her BEST to satisfy me, and still it was a big issue the fact that i always