Husband Struggles In A Sexless Marriage One readers’ sexless marriage leaves him wondering what he should do next. BY DR. JONI FRATER AND ESTHER LASTIQUE
A sexless marriage doesn't have to be so. There are professionals able to help.
“ Men need sex to feel love, intimacy and connection. Women need to feel loved and connected to want to be sexual.”
I have been married for three years now. I love my wife and I try to be a good husband to her, however, since we got married (beginning on the honeymoon) she has had almost no desire to be sexual with me. It should be noted that we were not sexually active before marriage. We have had sex maybe 10-12 times in three years. She is uninterested in sex and any other sexual activities. When we do engage in other activities, it’s apparent that they are a chore for her. As you probably guessed, I initiate almost all sexual activity. When she does initiate it, it is very short lived or she will do something small to "satisfy me," although she often doesn't want to take the time to get me to climax—for example, she will touch me over clothing for a minute and then end the encounter and go watch TV. She has admitted that she has little to no interest in sex. We had talked about sex before marriage and it seemed like we both had the same desires and goals for our intimate relationship. It has become increasingly hard for me to deal with this because for me, sex with my wife is very important. It’s beginning to feel like we are just friends or roommates. I increasingly feel lonely, unsatisfied, unloved, and empty. We have talked about the issue several times, but we seem to be at a dead end. I know I can't keep feeling like this forever, it’s too painful. I don't think I can live in a sexless marriage. What should I do?
From the information we have, let’s assess the situation. Due to the fact that you and your wife were non-sexual before marriage, you were unaware that you both have very different libido levels even though you talked about it. There may be many underlying reasons for her not wanting to be sexual and it’s very common for you to feel frustrated when you have unmet expectations. Let’s talk about a few suggestions to move you both forward.
1. Starting now, you must reclaim your sexual side for yourself and masturbate. Orgasm is a great stress reliever and you need the sexual release. It will also help you keep your emotions in check if the frustration level continues to intensify. Please remember that it is your responsibility to keep in touch with your own physical needs. Try using the shower, where you can be alone.
2. Start being more physical with her in non-sexual ways. Holding hands, kissing and gentle massage are wonderful ways to show affection without the pressure of sex. You need to break the touch barrier that is happening between you.
3. Say this: "You are my wife and I love you. I feel that our relationship is missing something that is important to me. I need a more intimate relationship." Then ask her for a date to have the most open and honest conversation about sex that you have ever had. If she says no, ask if she would prefer to do it with a professional present. We would recommend a marriage counselor or a sex therapist, which will be non-judgmental and unbiased about talking about healthy sexuality. If she still says no, tell her that being in a sexless marriage is not what you want and you are willing to work with her to make your life together better, and that you are asking her to be willing to do the same.
During your open and honest conversation, here are some questions that need to be answered:
* Why don’t you want to be sexual with me?
* Has she ever felt sexual, either alone or with a partner?
* Is there something in her history that holds her back sexually? Can she pinpoint it and share it with you and/or a professional counselor?
* Has she ever masturbated?
* Has she ever had an orgasm? How?
Then you must ask yourself if you are dedicated and patient enough in order to help her discover her sexuality, possibly for the first time, and if you are willing to do whatever it takes to let her feel safe enough to feel sexual?
Herein lies the biggest difference between men and women in regards to relationships and sexual satisfaction: Men need sex to feel love, intimacy and connection. Women need to feel loved and connected to want to be sexual. Remember that for women, our emotions and our mental state are directly tied to our arousal level. If she is depressed, afraid, overwhelmed or angry, she will not feel very sexy.
Tell her how being sexless makes you feel—use the words you used in your letter–"lonely, unloved, unsatisfied and empty." Your words are very clear about your desires. Explain to her that you are willing to do anything to make sure she will enjoy a sexual relationship with you as much as you will. If she is inexperienced, some of her disinterest may be rooted in a fear of "doing it wrong" or disappointing you. Learning how to love and please each other together is marriage’s greatest gift. For new lovers, learning together is a great bonding experience.
If her level of sexual experience is the issue, offer to show her what feels good for you. Shared masturbation is an amazingly educational exercise. If she has never masturbated, sharing this with you may be too intimate an act for her. That said, if she is willing, ask her to show you what feels good to her. Bear in mind that in the past, if she was not physically aroused enough before intercourse she may not have been adequately lubricated, making penetration painful. Pain is not an experience many of us enjoy repeating so try to focus on her pleasure and orgasm first to help her embrace her sexuality and inspire her to want to share it with you. Make sure that you use a good lube for hand play and intercourse.
We understand that you feel that you are standing at a crossroads in your relationship. Living in a sexless relationship for long times is very stressful and unhealthy physically, mentally, and emotionally. You both have choices and a big decision to make. Are you both going to invest the time and energy to save your marriage by revitalizing your sex life no matter what it takes? It sounds like you are willing to hold out your hand to her and take the first step. It’s now up to her to put her hand in yours and be an active part of your relationship.
We believe that all couples can navigate the road back to each other and we hope to inspire hitched readers to raise the level of passion in their lives and relationships. If we can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to email us at info@LoveHerRight.com.
Dr. Joni Frater & Esther Lastique are the founders of www.LoveHerRight.com and www.PassionateLifeClub.com and the authors of "Love Her Right: The Married Man’s Guide to Lesbian Secrets for Great Sex!" Visit their sites for more information on their Love Warrior Challenge, live appearances, and seminar classes. At www.LoveHerRightStore.com use the discount code HITCHED for a 15% discount! To purchase their book, please click here.