When I wrote a blog post called “8 Reasons My Wife Won’t Have Sex With Me” I got a lot of great feedback from it and it was viewed over 300,000 times on the first day alone. But one question I kept hearing afterward was: “Could you write one for women and explain to me why my husband won’t have sex with me?”
Sure. Sounds easy.
I asked a few friends for answers, and most of us just scratched our heads. Men who don’t want to have sex? Overwhelmingly, we heard this was the case and women wanted answers.
Now, I don’t speak from experience on this one. I am always up for sex, so I looked for thoughts on this topic from some friends, including Dave Wilson, Adam Palmer, Shaunti Feldhahn, Dave Willis and Jon Kitna.
Just like my first post, this is not a definitive list by any means; I’m putting it out there to hopefully encourage you talk about this stuff with your spouse. If you can be honest and open with your spouse about your sex life, you can often get to the bottom of this without even reading this blog. If you don’t know how to talk to each other, enlist a counselor to help you learn how to communicate.
Before I hit the list, let me offer a couple of statistics:
A recent survey of couples discovered that those who said they were fulfilled sexually had sex on average 2.5 times a week. So that’s something to think about (especially how you can get that 0.5 every week).
According to a 2003 Newsweek study, between 15% and 20% of couples are living in a sexless marriage, defined as making love no more than 10 times a year. While sex is not the be-all, end-all to a marriage, it is definitely one of the best ways to maintain intimacy.
Okay, now let’s look at the list of 8 reasons your husband won’t have sex with you:
1. No Man Wants To Have Sex With His Mom. This is all about respect. No man wants to have sex with a wife who is constantly mothering him. If you are always on him, critiquing and complaining about what he does or doesn’t do, then he’d probably rather have sex with himself because he knows you aren’t satisfied with his performance in the bedroom, either. There’s a lot more where that came from.
2. He Doesn’t Feel Wanted. Men want to be wanted. In Shaunti Feldhahn’s book For Women Only, 66% of men said it is very important that they feel wanted by their spouse. Getting sex wasn’t enough by itself—just like wives want to be wanted, husbands also want to be wanted. Your desire for him is a huge foundation that helps him have confidence in his daily life. I also talked about this in the last post a bit, the games couples play with sex about who initiated last time and all that. If there have been times before in your marriage where you have turned him down, then he just might not have the guts to initiate sex out of fear of rejection. I mentioned this last week and said that this was his issue and he needs to lead, but hopefully this helps you understand why he is not wanting sex and it could be he doesn’t want to get rejected again.
3. He’s Dealing With Medical Issues or Depression. It’s very possible your husband has some kind of medical issue or depression that he just doesn’t want to deal with. We men… we tend to be pretty terrible about acknowledging our weaknesses, even when they’re affecting us and making us lose our appetite for sex. As some of you know, I was sick for months this past year. One of the medicines I decided to take (out of the several that were prescribed) knocked me out at nighttime and left me barely able to wake up in the morning. I noticed that if I took this pill before bed, I had no desire for sex and couldn’t even get it up. Yeah. My wife actually laughed when this happend and then I grabbed the bottle from the bathroom and showed her that was a side effect of the medicine. That was the last day on that medicine. Anyway, there are several different issues your husband could be dealing with medically that effect his sex life and drive. It might be time for a trip to the doctor.
4. Flannel Pajamas Suck. Let’s just be honest: guys are visual and if you aren’t putting any effort into what you look like and making the bedroom an incredible place to be, then he might not be turned on. Life happens—aging, pregnancy, illness, weight gain—you’re not going to look the way you did when you two first met. Fortunately, the deeper we love someone, the less importance we place on the exterior and the more we focus on the interior. That said: It doesn’t hurt to put in a little extra effort to look nice for your hubby. Sometimes even a small change can make a big impact, like resisting the urge to put on ratty sweats as soon as you get home, wearing a cute outfit instead of frumpy jeans for a night out, or actually putting on some of the “sexy” lingerie you’ve bought. My friend Shaunti and I are writing a book called Visual, talking about the visual nature of men, and she mentions men’s “visual rolodex” (or to update it: “visual hard drive”) in her book For Women Only. Wives should be the default image on their husband’s visual hard drive, so make a commitment to take care of yourself as best as you can—maybe you’ll inspire your husband and the two of you can work together to get a healthier lifestyle—both physically and emotionally—and make yourselves visually exciting for each other.
(71.3% of men in the U.S are obese or overweight compared to 68% of women. So, guys you got to work on this even more then your wives)
It will pay off big-time when you’re naked in bed with the lights on.
5. You Pay More Attention To Facebook than to Him. Maybe this is just me, but it seems like most men I know are done with Facebook. If it isn’t Facebook, it will be something else next week but come on, already. The comments, the posts the likes, the shares… put the damn thing down for a bit and connect with the person in your bed. Words with Friends, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and all these other things have crept into our bedrooms and become a distraction. Now, guys are not immune to this problem – in my house it’s ESPN and my “girlfriend” (my wife’s nickname for my laptop), so make an agreement that, after the kids go to bed, you put everything away and try and connect with each other.
6. He’s Getting It Somewhere Else. Studies show that most (not all) guys need sex every three days or less. If you aren’t having sex anywhere close to this frequency, then I would have to wonder where else he is getting it—either through an affair or through porn. Don’t go hiring someone from the television show Cheaters just yet, but do have a frank discussion with him about the possibility. Most guys or gals will lie when confronted as well, so these are not just easy conversations to ask once and just accept it and move on. Dive into this and get to a place of honesty—and don’t be afraid to enlist a trusted counselor for help if you need it. (And if it’s porn, we can help. Here are some resources you can check out to point him to that help.
7. His Walls Are Up. In the same way that wives can put up walls, so can husbands. While men tend to be fairly good at compartmentalizing their needs, it’s still possible for an issue to build up to the point where it creates a wall. It can be a major issue in your relationship or just in your personal life that affects the two of you relationally, spiritually, or physically. It could be your own depression or physical health, or a change in character that has him wondering what’s going on. Whatever it is, look for signals to talk about it, then run toward that conflict and deal with it. It may be hard, but it’s worth it. Talk. Listen. Then listen some more. Own up to anything you might need to take responsibility for, and remember you’re in this together.
I hope this helps. I really hate to see married folks not having sex—even terrible sex is better than no sex. And if your sex is terrible, that just means you get to practice more!
Get to work.