Like the ebbs and flows of life, so too go men’s sex drives. At the beginning of your relationship, sex was awesome. Fast forward to today, and you’ve hit that dreaded dry spell. You may be frustrated, lonely, embarrassed, and insecure. You have thoughts like, “He’s not attracted to me anymore,” “I’m not sexy enough,” or “I need to lose weight.” Stop it! Don’t make it personal. Because the truth is sexual issues are common in marriages. And this is likely about him, not you. Some men aren’t that sexual in the first place or aren’t confident initiating sex, especially if that’s historically been your job. But the truth is, there can be a number of reasons why your husband doesn’t want to have sex.
Reasons Why Your Husband Doesn’t Want to Have Sex
1. Medical conditions
General health issues, medications, low testosterone, diabetes, and heart disease can all interfere with a man’s sexual performance. Erectile dysfunction (ED) and prostate cancer, both of which can kill a sex drive, tend to rise as men age. Not to mention, mental health issues like depression can also have a profound effect on libido.
2. Relationship issues
If the two of you have issues in your relationship, it can very well show up in the bedroom. When there are power struggles, conflict, tension, or bubbling resentments, your husband may not want to make love to you. If he’s feeling criticized or belittled by you, he will shut down. Because, just like women, men often need an emotional connection to feel turned on.
3. Your relationship feels platonic
When life gets crazy, sex can slip way down on the list of priorities. And as nature plays out, a man’s sex drive will inevitably decrease over time. As we grow more comfortable in a marriage, things can start to feel too familiar, routine, or mundane. Then, one day, you discover you’re living like friends or roommates, and sexual desire has faded away. Doing dishes, watching TV, and puttering around the house isn’t all that arousing.
4. He has other sexual outlets
Unfortunately, it could be your man is spending his sexual energy elsewhere—hooking up with someone, sexting, looking at porn, or simply masturbating.
5. Performance anxiety
Our culture feeds into the mentality that men are hypersexual. Ergo, if your husband feels he must perform perfectly for you every time you have sex, he may start to avoid it altogether. Some men are so worried about maintaining an erection that they completely check out and avoid sex altogether. Can you blame the guy when sex could very well set him up for some solid self-esteem issues?
As life becomes more complicated, many people have less energy for sex. The stresses of life—aging parents, work, money issues, children, grandchildren, etc.—can shut him down emotionally and physically, turning the sexual desire switch off.
What to Do If Your Husband Doesn’t Want to Have Sex
Regardless of what might be going on in life, if you’re looking for a fix for your sexless marriage, keep an open mind and have a solution-oriented approach. Too many women ignore the situation, hoping things will get better on their own. So, if you feel like your husband isn’t interested in you sexually, try some of the following tips to deal with your sexual woes:
1. Talk about it
If you notice your husband has been shying away from sex, it’s time to have a talk. Let him know you want an open and honest conversation because you love him and care about your marriage. Pick a time when both of you can be present and not distracted. Then come from a place of curiosity rather than blame. Use “I” statements when you tell him how you’re feeling. Let him know you respect him and find him desirable. Give him that self-esteem boost! Be supportive and understanding. Have a positive attitude. Show him you want to truly understand what’s happening and see if you can get to the root of the problem together.
2. Address potential medical issues
The situation may be as simple as a side effect from a medication or low energy. Or it could be something more complicated such as erectile dysfunction, depression, or anxiety. Ask your hubby if he’d be open to seeing a doctor, then support him when he does. Once the issue has been identified and medical treatment is in progress, you can get busy finding new ways to have fun!
3. Consider therapy
If you are unable to resolve the problem on your own, outside support may be needed. A relationship or sex therapist can help you work through your issues. Regardless of the type of therapist you choose, make sure it’s someone with whom you are comfortable and who has experience discussing sexual issues.
4. Work on the relationship
Focus on the larger dynamic between you and your man. Things can quickly turn cold if you and your husband have tension or conflict in your marriage. Try to resolve other snags. Become best friends again. Spend time together. Go for a walk, hold hands, play sports, go on a date. Get out of your heads and back into each other.
5. Change things up
Physical intimacy and sex are essential pieces of a healthy marriage. They‘re also an area that can easily fall apart and, for some couples, become nearly non-existent. When we’re in a relationship for a long time, we tend to settle into a sexual routine. Be willing to discuss what you do (and don’t do) in the bedroom. If your husband is uncomfortable with something, then maybe there are other things you can do. Discuss sexual fantasies. Try new things: a new position, a new outfit, props, porn, whatever floats your boat…or his. Getting creative together can infuse new excitement and energy into your sex life.
Challenges in the bedroom can help the two of you be closer than ever before. Think of all the challenges you’ve faced over the course of your relationship. You can face this one as well. In fact, you may find your relationship is stronger than ever. So, make time, be patient and kind, get creative, get help, plan a little date, and have fun!