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Why Doesn’t My Wife Want to Have Sex with Me Anymore?

» Posted in Relationships | 337 comments

Why Doesn’t My Wife Want to Have Sex with Me Anymore?

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When women lose interest in having sex with the men they supposedly love and adore, the reasons are often as individual and as varied as the couple themselves. From hidden animosity toward their partners to natural hormonal fluctuations, men are often left scratching their heads and wondering why the lusty sex kitten of before now refuses even the slightest of their well-intended sexual advances.

Unfortunately when men get rejected time and again from sex, they often interpret that to mean their wives or girlfriends no longer love them (which in some rare cases is true!). Once a pattern of rejection is created, men begin to feel trapped in their sexless relationships, and the scene for an extra-marital affair is well on its way to being fully set.

This problem can be especially pronounced in well established marriages. After being together for ten, fifteen, even twenty years and having presumably struggled through quite a few relational storms together, cheating on that spouse would be a betrayal that neither partner could emotionally endure. Under these circumstances the “good” husband is truly trapped – cheating and getting the sex he longs for is a horrible option, especially since the sex he wants is with his wife rather than with a relative stranger, or he could stay faithful to his wife and not have sex at all. Clearly this dilemma can not last for long without it causing significant strain on the rest of the marriage.

One S.S. Reader put it this way:

Wish you had an answer why a wife has lost interest in intimacy and blames the spouse that it is my problem not hers. She actually looked me in the eye and said it is my problem. If I found intimacy outside my marriage I would be in even more trouble. It is a no win situation for me. Any suggestions ???

~ Trapped, Pennsylvania, USA ~

Because the specifics of this situation aren’t clearly stated, I can only guess as to the reasons for his wife’s behavior. However there are a few very common causes that underly most spousal sexual rejections.

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Most Common Reasons for Repeated Sexual Rejection in Relationships

Problem 1 – Hidden Anger, Frustration, or Resentment

The link between emotional love and sexual love is stronger for most women than it is for most men. In fact, the overall health of a relationship can often be gauged by the level of contentment the couple feels toward their sex lives – including general affections such as hugging, kissing, teasing, etc. When the quality of a couple’s sex life begins to decline it is typically one of the first indicators that something is emotionally amiss in their overall relationship.

(It’s important to remember that some couples are happy with very little or no sexual relations whatsoever. As long as both people are content, then there is no problem. At the same time some couples may have sex every night and still feel as though “something is missing.” The quantity and frequency of sexual activity doesn’t matter when establishing how “content” individual’s feel about their sex lives.)

However just because there is a slight decline in your sex life doesn’t necessarily mean there is a big problem. It could be as simple as not spending enough time together and not feeling as “close” to each other – something a little thoughtful planning can fix. But even simple problems such as this can build up over weeks, months, or even years and can lead to much more complicated issues.

For example, if your wife hasn’t felt “close” to you for a couple weeks and has refused to have sex the last few times you’ve tried to initiate it, it’s probably not a big deal and can be easily remedied by a quite and/or sexy evening together of talking and catching up on what’s been happening in your respective lives. However if this evening together never happens and months and months go by without taking the time to reconnect, then the emotional divide continues to grow until one day you wake up and realize she “never” wants to have sex with you anymore.

In turn she may wake up one day and wonder why she always feels so angry towards you, or why you spending time with other people on the weekends bothers her so much. She begins to feel resentment toward you for a whole slew of “little things” – including your sexual advances. It now becomes a problem of “he only wants to spend time with me to have sex,” so she rejects you over and over again. You, on the other hand, probably consider sex to be a way of bringing you together and begin to feel completely unloved in your marriage.

It’s easy to see how this, or similar scenarios, can turn into a negative emotional spiral. Sadly the reality is that both people still love each other very much and are seeking to reconnect, but their different ways of approaching the divide only adds to the confusion.

How to Fix It?

Sit down and have a real conversation about what you are both feeling and experiencing. This is not a “blame game”! If this type of conversation always ends up in a shouting match, then it is probably time to seek third party intervention – such as a marriage counselor. If your relationship matters that much to both of you, having a non-judgmental outside perspective who can act as “referee” can really help you to both work through your past and to understand exactly why you are both reacting to each other so negatively. Reconnecting emotionally with your partner will undoubtedly help your sex life!

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Problem 2 – Natural Hormonal & Bodily Changes

There’s no way around it, women’s bodies go through a lot of changes during their lives. Most hormonally driven sexual problems are the result of pregnancy, breastfeeding, menstruation cycles, and menopause. The first time men deal with the realities of “being a woman” is usually when they being to live with their lovers – married or otherwise.

One week she wants sex twice a day, the next she says “no” every single time you try. Depending on where she is in her menstrual cycle often effects when she is and is not willing to be seduced. It’s true some women are not affected by their cycles at all, and women who are on oral contraceptives are less affected by their natural fluctuations than women who are not.

The next major change is typically pregnancy. Women react to the various stages of pregnancy in rather unpredictable ways. Some women are very sexually charged during certain trimesters, whereas others lose their sex drives completely until months after the baby is born. As a man these ups and downs in your sex life can be understandably disconcerting, but usually her lack of sex drive during pregnancy is not a reflection of her waning love for you or your relationship which means your “normal” sex life will eventually return. (Though sexual frequency decreases on average after a couple has children as compared to before.)

Finally, menopause creates another meal storm of sexual variations. Essentially her body is reproductively “shutting down” and losses in not only estrogen but testosterone – the hormone that influences libido in both men and women the most – leads to a major decrease in most women’s sex drives (as does andropause for men). This doesn’t mean men should expect never to have sex again, but it does mean they might have to work harder at maintaining their sex lives than before.

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Problem 3 – Boredom in the Bedroom

This is by far the easiest and most fun problem to fix! It may seem silly at first, but a lot of people in long term relationships get tired of having sex with the same person (though they love them as always) in the same way year after year. Once boredom becomes an issue, having sex loses its appeal as an enjoyable way to spend your free time. It seems as though there are millions of guides out there dedicated to helping you improve this aspect of your sex life, so I won’t go into it here. If this is the only reason your wife doesn’t want to have sex with you, consider yourself very very lucky!

Take Any Decline in Your Sex Life Seriously from the Start

Regardless of the specific reasons, any decline in the quality of your sex life with your lover should be dealt with as soon as possible with a lot of honesty and understanding. The faster you catch these problems, the less likely they are to grow into more complex, less manageable relationship issues. If, however, you are both already at the point of feeling frustration and resentment toward each other, then the best option may be counseling. It’s always a shame when two people who were once deeply in love drift apart because the mountain of small negative interactions between them is too high to see the solid, loving foundations beneath.

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