“Why does my Christian husband no longer want to have sex with me?” This is a question that some Christian wives ask. What do you do as a Christian wife if your husband does not want sex? This is very delicate subject for many Christian wives and it can often times be embarrassing for them to even raise the subject because of cultural and religious conditioning.
I have received many emails from women asking me to talk about the subject of husbands not wanting sex and here it is finally! Sorry it took so long.
Yes wives want sex too!
Do not be ashamed of the fact that as a woman you want to have sex. In the Scriptures we need to look no further than the entire book of the Song of Solomon to see that women want sex too:
“May he kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine…
My beloved is to me a pouch of myrrh Which lies all night between my breasts.” – Song of Solomon 1:2 & 13(NASB)
“Awake, O north wind,
And come, wind of the south;
Make my garden breathe out fragrance,
Let its spices be wafted abroad.
May my beloved come into his garden
And eat its choice fruits!” – Song of Solomon 4:16 (NASB)
Unfortunately our culture as well as our churches make women feel dirty for desiring sex with their husbands – “Men are the ones that are supposed to want sex, not women” or so we are told. But nothing could be further from the truth.
In this area of sexuality we have to battle two extremes. One extreme says that “if you don’t want sex as much or as often as your husband then there is something wrong with you”. The other extreme is “If you want sex more than your husband there is something wrong with you”. If you find yourself as a wife in either of these situations – rest assured there is nothing wrong with you.
Many people have commented or emailed me accusing me of thinking women don’t want or enjoy sex because I deal so much with sexual denial by wives toward their husbands. But I do recognize that many women enjoy sex with their husbands, even if they don’t want sex as often. I also recognize that some women not only enjoy sex with their husbands, but they actually want it more often than their husbands!
But the truth is despite those women who find themselves having higher libidos (sex drives) than their husbands – the vast majority of low libido situations are found in women. Just search on “sexual denial”, “low libido” and “sexless marriage” and count the number of comments from men verses women. Ask a Pastor or therapist where they find low libido issues the most and they will say the vast majority of cases are with women having lower libidos than their husbands.
The mistake we make in this area of low libido is thinking that we have to make everything equal. We are told we have to say “This issue of low libido spouses in marriage is equally prevalent among men and women in marriage” when this simply is not true.
But even though it is true that if you want sex more than your husband that puts you in smaller percentage group of women (because the vast majority of women usually want it less than their husbands) – it does not make you abnormal, dirty or unchristian. That is my point.
But now that we have established that it is perfectly normal and fine for you to desire sex more than your husband let’s look at the difference between sexual denial and low libido.
The difference between sexual denial and low libido
A person (husband or wife) is capable of having little to no desire for sex (low libido) and still having sex with their spouse. Spouses do this all the time. Not having sexual desire, no matter the reason, is not the same as sexually denying your spouse.
Most men understand this key difference but women often times confuse the two. For many women – if their husband stops initiating sex as often or not at all then they interpret this as sexual denial when that is not the case.
Sexual denial is when you reject your spouse’s initiation of or request for sex, it is not the lack of them desiring you sexually or failure on their part to initiate sex with you.
Reasons your husband might have little to no sexual desire
When we look at reasons your husband might not want to have sex with you we have to divide these reasons into three major categories. The three categories are “Reasons that have nothing to do you”, “Reasons that definitely have to do with you” and “Reasons that may or may not have to do with you”.
First lets tackle the reasons your husband might have little to no desire to have sex with you.
Reasons that have nothing to do with you
Death of a loved one
Your husband may have lost a friend or loved one and this can take a huge toll on a man’s libido. For some men it increases their libido as sex helps to alleviate their depression. But for other men their depression causes their libido to drop. Usually though this type of event should only cause a temporary period of depression. If this goes on for years you may need to gently prod your husband into counseling if you think this is the case.
Your husband is stressed because of his job situation
Talk to him about it. Tell him how much you love him and how grateful you are for him providing for your family. Listen and empathize with his position (use your super power of empathy that God has given you as a woman). Reassure him that if in a worst case scenario he needs to look for a new job you will support that. Many women are afraid for their husband’s to switch jobs because of their need for security, but sometimes this is not what is best for your husband.
If your husband lost his job – the worst thing you can do as a wife is kick him when he is down. Let him know that you believe in him and that you know he will find something else soon. You need to be strong and not fall apart and worry about financial issues or bringing up finances to him. He knows that time is short and he needs to get a job – adding pressure will not help him. Obviously if he is being lazy or unwilling to support your family that is a different issue.
Your husband has a health issue
Maybe your husband has chronic pain issues or perhaps he has issues with ED or low testosterone. Try to gently speak with him about this. Tell him how you understand that he has chronic pain but you still need to have sex with him – you need that type of physical connection in your marriage. Some types of medication your husband takes may be killing his libido. If he has ED or low testosterone again reiterate to him how much you desire him and want to be physically intimate with him. Let him know he is not the only man that faces this and there is help – he just needs to be willing to seek it out.
Your husband was sexually abused
This is usually something you won’t find out until counseling. It is one of those issues that is usually buried deep. Basically if you can’t figure out a health issue, job issue or one of these other reasons you might want to pursue this in counseling.
Your husband thinks sex is just for having kids
Sometimes people are raised in homes or churches that teach that sex is only for having children. If your husband has this attitude toward sex, you will need to seek out counseling where a third party can help dig out this faulty and wrong view of sex.
Your husband is Asexual or has a true low libido
While these types of men are extremely rare – they do exist. Some men want a wife and they want kids but they have little desire for sex or they may even be Asexual and have NO desire for sex. Often times these men will hide this during the dating and engagement period so their fiancés won’t know and also men with low libidos or Asexuality are often mistaken for being homosexual. They want to appear like a “normal guy” so they put on a show.
But not long into the marriage they drop their guard and the show is over. Most of these men assume women don’t really care about sex so they think it won’t be a problem. While this kind of relationship is some women’s dream – most women want to have sex even if it is not as often as the average man.
You probably won’t be able to determine if your husband truly just has low libido (not for health or other reasons) or is Asexual without counseling to rule out other factors. If he is Asexual or has true low libido not caused by other factors – then you may have to initiate sex more often (and that is nothing to be ashamed of).
Your husband has homosexual desires
This has to be most women’s worst nightmare. Your husband admits to you or a counselor that the reason he has stopped having sex with you is because he has homosexual desires. He may truly love you – he simply has no sexual desire towards you because he prefers men to women. First know that you are not the first woman to face this situation and you will not be the last.
Homosexual desires exist because our flesh has been corrupted by sin. There are Christian programs that can help men recondition their minds toward heterosexual orientation. Just go online and look up a Christian counseling program in your area that can help your husband with this. But he has to be willing for this work.
Reasons that may or may not have to do with you
Your husband is addicted to porn
This may have been something that proceeded your marriage, or may have developed during your marriage but has nothing to do with you as his wife. However some men turn to porn because of their wives’ constant sexual refusal and denial. Some men turn to porn because even though their wife’s do not directly refuse them, they make having sex a difficult proposition. Some wives are overly critical of their husband’s sexual performance rather than gently asking for changes that might make their sex life better.
Your husband is having an affair
This like porn addiction is something that may or may not have to do with you. You may never deny your husband. You may rock his world in the bedroom, so this may have nothing to do with you and everything to do with him. But it may have to do with you if you been routinely denying your husband sexually. Am I saying it is right for your husband to have an affair because you were denying him?
The Bible does not allow sex outside of marriage under any conditions.
“Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” – Hebrews 13:4 (KJV)
But by your consistent denial you may have placed your husband in a very tempting position and he fell.
“Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.” – I Corinthians 7:5 (KJV)
Reasons that definitely have to do with you
You are overly critical and disrespectful
Maybe your husband has not turned to porn, but rather he fills his time with hobbies (like video games) or other projects and he has no desire for you sexually because you emasculate him with your constant criticisms. For some men their sex drive is so strong – that they will still have sex with a critical woman just to get the physical release they need, but for others with weaker libidos they will redirect their sexual energy into other areas.
“Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” – Ephesians 5:33 (KJV)
“A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.” – Proverbs 12:4 (KJV)
You have let yourself go physically
Yes this affects some men more than others. Men are visual creatures – we are designed this way by God. Now most men can handle the natural aging process women go through with their breasts sagging and them getting love handles and bellies. Our bodies change with age and the majority of men accept these realities.
But there are extremes on this issue on both sides. Some men are constantly prompting their wives to get cosmetic surgeries in an attempt for their bodies to continue to look like that of a twenty year old and that is ridiculous. However we do have the other extreme where a wife let’s her body go and she gets massively obese. Let me just speak truth into your lives ladies – while there are a few men that will find obese woman attractive, the vast majority of men will not.
Contrary to what some blogs teach – Beauty does have a weight limit!
Some men will still have sex with their wives being vastly overweight but it is no longer fueled by their sexual attraction to their wife, but it is only fueled by their need for a release. Often these men will make sure the lights are turned off before proceeding. I know this is tough to hear – but it is the truth.
“But the Bible does not say that wives have to keep themselves beautiful for their husbands!” This is a common statement brought forward by women who do not wish to do the work that it takes to keep themselves beautiful. They are right – there is not a specific passage that says a wife must keep herself beautiful for her husband. BUT there are principles of Scripture that would require a wife to keep herself beautiful for her husband.
The Church is pictured as a bride adorned for her husband
“And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” – Revelation 21:2 (KJV)
Ephesians 5 tells us that Marriage is a picture of the relationship of God and his people, Christ and his Church.
“For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.” – Ephesians 5:23-24 (KJV)
The model of marriage is – Man is symbolic of God and Woman is symbolic of the people of God. If Christ’s bride is adorned for her husband, should a Christian wife be any less adorned for her husband?
Also a wife must remember she is to submit to her husband in “everything”. That includes in the areas of sexuality and beauty. If your husband wants you to dress a certain way as long as it is appropriate to the occasion then you should do as you husband asks. Your husband should not have to ask you to keep yourself clean and well kept, as well as not obese – you ought to do this out of the recognition that your beauty is a symbol of the beauty of Christ’s bride who adorns herself for her husband.
You used to deny him sexually
This happens a lot to Christian wives. Early in your marriage you never denied your husband and you enjoyed sex together. Then the kids came along. You had years of pregnancies, raising kids and getting them off to school. Now you can finally breathe!
What you did not realize is during all those years of business you either subtly or directly denied your husband’s sexual advances. You made him feel selfish because you were so exhausted from dealing with the kids and you thought “How can he even think of having sex with all this going on? How can he be so selfish?” This devastated your husband in a way few women can comprehend. Eventually he determined that you simply did not care about his needs but simply saw him as a paycheck and helper with the kids.
Now after years of sexual denial you have decided you are ready to have sex! Well he is done. Some men might come back from this, while others will need counseling to get their minds straightened out about this. He may have a lot of unresolved bitterness that he needs to give to the Lord before he will be able to sexually desire you again.
Questions for Wives
As a Christian wife you need to ask yourself these questions:
“Is he actually turning me down for sex or is he simply not pursuing me sexually?”
“Is he pursuing me less or not at all?”
“When was the last time I initiated sex? Have I given up after a few attempts or many attempts?
“Have I talked to him about this – directly rather than in indirect ways?”
“Am I do anything else mentioned here that can directly contribute to lowering my husband’s sexual desire for me?”
Am I saying that a husband is right in sexually deny his wife for any of the reasons above (whether it has to do with her or not)? Absolutely not!
“Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.” I Corinthians 7:3-4 (KJV)
The Scriptures are clear – a husband and wife may not deny one another sexually. But what if he is not denying you but simply not pursuing you?
Obviously as Christians we ought to coming to the Lord daily in prayer, to both offer our thanks to him as well as our petitions. But prayer is not going to find out what your husband’s issue is. It may resolve on it is own, but more than likely you are going to have to explore this issue with your husband – God means for couples to talk and you can’t read each others minds.
I do believe that a husband should lead his wife in all areas, and that includes in the area of sexuality. So he should be doing at least some sexual initiating and should not be leaving all sexual initiation to his wife. Desire or lack of desire has nothing to do with it. Sex is a duty in marriage – it is to occur on a regular basis by the will of God.
But can a wife look to herself and see ways she may be contributing to her husband’s decreased sexual desire? Absolutely she should.
If a woman has done a self-evaluation and communicated with her husband her need for sexual connection and he refuses to comply then she may need to take this to next level as this may amount to sexual denial if he is actually refusing her.
If you believe your husband is sexually denying you after reading this post I suggest you read my post “4 ways to confront your husband’s sexual refusal”.