I received this mail from one of my readers, let’s call her Ann, and I think she accurately describes one of the most common problems in marriage—especially marriage after children.
“I adore my husband, but I don’t want to have sex with him. We used to have sex all the time. I was passionately attracted to him, but now the thought being intimate repels me. It is very stressful to be with him especially alone and at night because he always makes advances on me. I hate having to hurt him every time he wants me. I think it started when I was pregnant with our first child. I gradually lost interest in sex, but I hoped it would come back to me after having our baby.
But it didn’t. Years went by and though I think our relationship is fine, I find myself running away from his attempts every time. Deep down inside, I am afraid that my attraction to him is lost forever. I am always concerned that he will cheat on me because of this and the concept of leaving scares me to death. We have a good relationship, until he wants sex.
Is it worth it for me to give up everything that I have with my husband and maybe could have because of one (very important) thing? How can I save my marriage?”
Can a Marriage Survive Without Sex?
You already know that sex is one of the most important things in marriage. If it’s been a long time since you (reluctantly) had sex with your husband, you probably forgot why it's so important. The intimacy that you share afterwards, the hugs and kisses, the jokes, and the closeness are all a part of the bonding that sex adds to a relationship.
And whether you like it or not—don’t shoot the messenger—men can’t go on for long without sex. Even if they can techniquely relieve their physical needs by themselves, it’s not enough to replace “real sexual intercourse” with someone else. They will end up looking for it elsewhere. It’s just a matter of time.
So, yes. Not having sex with your husband is a major divorce booster.
Do You Know The Real Reason For Your Low Sex Drive?
It’s one thing if you don't want to have sex because you secretly despise your husband, but it’s another thing entirely if your marriage is doing just fine.
Low sex drive can be a result of many things—menopause, libido reducing medication, pain during intercourse, decreased libido due to age—but the most common reason for losing interest in sex is a troubled relationship. Even if you think that everything is fine, you're probably sweeping some stuff under the rug. It's possible that you don’t want to admit something is really wrong. Maybe you just don’t have the energy to deal with it or maybe you hope the problem will solve itself. But I can assure you, this will not get fixed on its own.
Think hard about your relationship. Is there something that's bothering you?
- Maybe he hasn’t been an equal partner in raising your children, which disappoints you day after day.
- Maybe you feel he's often selfish and doesn’t much care about your needs.
- Maybe you feel that he doesn’t really “see you.”
- Maybe he cheated or otherwise hurt you in the past. It's common to think you've forgiven him, but haven’t.
- Maybe he was unfaithful (or almost unfaithful) and you can’t put it behind you.
- Maybe you are just tired and feel he doesn’t help as much as you think he could.
These feelings are all common signs of a troubled marriage. Millions of women feel the way you do. In your case, those feelings manifest as a non-existent sex drive. They make you feel emotionally—and sexually—detached from him. All this is normal; it’s the way women are built. Men can feel the same kind of frustration and still want to have sex every day. They are different.
So, How Can you Prevent Him From Cheating and Save Your Marriage?
If you truly want to salvage your relationship, don't wait a minute longer. You need professional help. There’s no running away from it. Your extra efforts will motivate your husband to stay committed just by taking the first step. You need to show him that your relationship is as important to you as it is to him, that you haven’t given up on your marriage, that you want to solve this.
You have a few options:
- Sex therapy: This may seem like an obvious option, but consider that a sex therapist may not be well suited for solving underlying marriage problems.
- Marriage counseling: Look for a local marriage counselor that comes highly recommended by others. This method can be very effective, but it can also be very expensive. Plus, you run the risk of people in your community finding out about your marriage problems.
- Online marriage counseling: This method is a better choice if you're on a tight budget and don’t one anyone to know. Online marriage counselors are just as professional and experienced as local ones and have a few great benefits that you haven’t considered. Find out more here.
- Marriage Saving Programs: These are essentially counseling without the counseling. The best marriage programs offer a complete step-by-step system for saving your marriage. The one I used came with over 200 pages of practical tools, steps, and methods that work, plus a companion workbook to help you understand what the real problems are, where they come from, and how to fix them. Most programs costs less than a single session with a counselor.
No matter what you choose to do—do it soon. Take the first step: Call a sex therapist or a marriage therapist; consider a marriage-saving program; or just sign up for a free newsletter. It doesn't matter what you do, as long as you do something before it’s too late.