Not being intimate in your marriage? Here are reasons it could be you, not him.
By Samantha Rodman Whiten — Written on Apr 28, 2023
Photo: tairome / Shutterstock
Many women tell me that they aren’t having sex with their husbands because they don’t feel emotionally close. Sadly and surprisingly, though, emotional closeness and sexual closeness often do not converge, particularly in long-term monogamous relationships. This means that it may not be your husband’s fault that you’re not having sex with him.
There may be many other issues that you just haven’t considered. (Note: there are many reasons that may in fact be his fault; for those, read this.)
Once you think about these other reasons, you and your husband can take a more team-oriented approach to solving the issue of you not wanting to sleep with him.
Here are 7 reasons you aren’t having sex with your husband — that aren’t his fault:
1. Women’s desire significantly decreases within long-term relationships
Your husband may not be Mr. Helpful Around The House but that wouldn’t matter if he were fresh meat. The fault here: your hormones and the biological wiring of women.
2. You may have allowed your husband to continue thinking he is better in bed than he is
You do not express yourself because you feel shy and then you end up not wanting to have sex because it sucks. The fault here: Your dislike of hurting people’s feelings (short term; believe me, not having sex with him hurts his feelings far more in the long term).
3. You don’t like your body and don’t like to be naked
The fault here: society, and media. Go to therapy and work on these body image issues that you don’t deserve to have (and remember you want to model good body image for your kids!).
4. Your sex life is boring and you don’t know how to switch it up.
Fault: maybe his, maybe yours, likely both of you stopped trying and find it awkward to talk about.
5. Your husband is no longer attractive to you
Fault: both of you. You probably don’t tell him about hygiene, clothes, weight, etc as much as you need to, and he is getting sloppy likely because he doesn’t see the point of trying to look handsome and well-put together when he’s not getting any action.
For anyone who is going to say this is a gender issue, I have personally seen women go to the gym when their partner points out that this is important to them and I have a lot of respect for anyone of any gender who can roll with this feedback and use it as a motivator. (Although I do think it’s a d*ck move to bring up weight when your wife has a year-and-a-half-old baby.)
6. You have a lot of issues around sex or even an abuse history that you haven’t and don’t want to deal with
Fault: whoever did this to you, upbringing, and/or abuser. You need and deserve therapy to work through this and have the sex life and confidence that you or anyone deserves.
7. You’re just done with sex
This didn’t use to be such a shameful idea before recent years when older people are supposed to somehow maintain the same fitness levels and sex drives as people decades their junior. Many women used to just be done having sex at a certain age and their husbands would either also be done or discreetly cheat or leave.
Nowadays, though, in the cult of eternal youth, I see some women who would rather be done with sex, especially post-menopause, but cannot admit this to their husbands, so they give them some runaround about emotional closeness.
Fault: society. If this is you, and you just don’t want sex ever again and truly feel a deep biological change from your younger self in this regard, you owe it to your partner to be real with him about this and work through it in some manner or another (which means he may leave).
If any of these points speak to you, do an internal deep dive. Are you subconsciously telling yourself that you would have sex only if your husband did X or Y or Z but the truth is something different? If so, you owe it to your marriage and to your husband, as well as to yourself, to be more genuine and open with him about your inner thoughts and feelings.
You can only address a problem when both people know what the problem is, and ignoring problems (or worse, blaming one partner wholly for a problem that is not wholly their fault) erodes closeness and connection in a relationship.
More for You:
What Men Really Think About Small Breasts (As Told By VERY Honest Men)The 9 Sex Positions That Help You Fall In Love (Yes, Really!)30 Best Role Play Ideas Couples Should Try At Least Once3 Erotic Sex Positions That Make Women Orgasm
Dr. Samantha Rodman Whiten, aka Dr. Psych Mom, is a clinical psychologist in private practice and the founder of DrPsychMom. She works with adults and couples in her group practice Best Life Behavioral Health.
This article was originally published at Dr. Psych Mom. Reprinted with permission from the author.