3 reasons your husband doesn’t want sex

3 reasons your husband doesn’t want sex December 19, 2015

sad couple in bed

My wife Ashley and I receive tons of emails and Facebook messages from people sharing their questions and concerns related to marriage. A common question that we hear from women can be summed up like this…”There is so much written about how men want sex more than women, but in my marriage, those roles are reversed. I’m the one with the stronger drive, and in fact, my husband doesn’t seem interested in sex. WHY? Am I doing something wrong?”

We can hear the frustration and even desperation in the tone of these wives’ messages. They want to connect with their husband on every level (including sexually), and they’re not sure why he is pulling away or acting completely uninterested in sex. These factors below aren’t necessarily for those wives who just happen to have a slightly higher sex drive than their husbands. These factors below are for those husbands who seem to have little or no interest in sex.

After countless interactions with couples, I’m convinced there are 3 primary reasons why a man may not be interested in sex. I believe that at least one of the these factors is involved in 90% of cases when a man’s sex drive seems to drastically drop. As the wife, don’t blame yourself! These top three reasons for his drop in sex drive have nothing to do with you. Even though his lack of interest might feel deeply personal, please don’t take it as a personal rejection. These factors are mostly a result of either his poor choices or his poor health.

Before reading the three factors listed below, please check out our popular video course on sex in marriage by clicking here.


(In no particular order):

1. He’s secretly getting sexual release from pornography, masturbation or an affair.

I’m certainly not saying that whenever a man isn’t interested in sex with his wife, it’s because he’s getting sexual gratification by some other means, but oftentimes, this is a factor. With the pervasive reach of porn, many men have lost the ability to have healthy sexual intimacy in marriage. Ask your husband if this is a struggle for him. Work through this together. Define clear boundaries and work together to rebuild trust if it has been broken. There are some great resources available at XXXchurch.com include online support groups for porn addiction, accountability software for phones and computers and other tools to help break free from pornography.

2. He has a medical condition which has lowered his energy or his testosterone levels.

Oftentimes, when a man isn’t interested in sex, there’s a medical explanation. Low testosterone levels can have a huge impact on a man’s mood and his sex drive. Encourage him to get checked out and to get treatment if necessary. It will not only help you improve the sexual connection in your marriage, but other aspects of your relationships and his health should all improve as a result.

3. He’s struggling with depression.

“Stress” alone will rarely alter a man’s sex drive, because most men find sex to be their favorite form of stress relief, but when stress evolves  into depression, it become a different matter. With depression, sex drive is one of the first things to disappear. If your husband seems to be depressed, encourage him to get help and seek treatment if necessary. Men are usually much more reluctant to acknowledge depression and seek treatment than women, so help him have the courage to get help.

The first step in improving your sex life or any other part of your marriage is COMMUNICATION. Start by asking questions, suggestion solutions, offering encouragement and working through this as partners. Your marriage will never be defined by the size of your struggles, but by the size of your commitment to working together to overcome the struggles.

For more tools to help build a stronger marriage plus a library of marriage ebooks and communication tools to help you and your spouse stay connected, download our new Marriage App in iTunes by clicking here.

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  • Dan Doyle

    There is a fourth factor that could also be at play. One that I have struggled with since shortly after I met my wife. Libedo. Mine is very high while my wife’s is nearly non existent. It’s to the point where I don’t even bother trying anymore. Talking about it just puts my wife into a defensive and accusatory mode regardless of how I approach the subject. She has even admitted that she would be just fine if we never had sex. I suggested seeing a counselor or a doctor and that was a mistake. I’m at my wits end on the whole matter and am at a complete loss as to how to resolve this issue.

  • Calvin D. Johnson

    Let’s combine Dan Doyle’s comment above with Dave’s reason #2. Suppose that either age and/or a medical condition has led to man having ED issues and to have a successful sexual encounter with one’s wife requires more advanced planning and much more effort on the wife’s part to get things started. Unless the wife is willing to accept these changes in her husband, what results is situations like Dan Doyle described where everyone becomes frustrated & disappointed and you end up in a death spiral of just not wanting to try any more and that leads to even further loss of intimacy & connection, beyond just the physical dimension. To quote Marvin Gaye & Kim Weston from 1966, “It Takes Two.”

  • z–man

    High Blood Pressure caused E.D. as well.

  • TL

    Dan, a woman’ libedo is driven by her hormones. There are several factors that can effect hormone levels within a woman. Your situation really requires more information to provide any aide but here goes…

    She is defensive and accusing when you bring up the idea of sex and thus she is fine if there was no sexual engagements between the two of you. There are a few concerns I can see from these statements you shared and I am going on the idea you are portraying them from your point of view as best you can…A woman becomes defensive when there is a threat of some sort. I don’t mean violence but a threat that triggers her insecurities. You mentioned this became an issue shortly after you met your wife, not shortly after marriage or children. Marriage and having children are milestones within a family and can cause a shift within a person. If your wife has been this way since shortly after meeting her issue is not about you on any level. Her issue is her. She likely has some experience in her past that makes her uncomfortable and disinterested in sex. Something about it truly upsets her and she is not sure how to deal with it other than avoiding it. Your suggesting counseling was your way of being caring and supportive but she received it as you see something wrong with her and that adds to the mess. You are going to have to be patient, very patient with her. This may take baby steps and you may have to initiate those steps. You may set up the first appointment for therapy yourself and ask her if she would like to go. Don’t force her just let her know she is more than welcomed to go in nothing more than support. Let her know you would be delighted or feel privileged if she came.

    She is hurting and while I know you are receiving “trauma” from her pain you must be there for her. Resolution is believing in her and helping her along. Again, this is only based on the limited information you provided and you may have already heard this in the past. I hope it helps, regardless.

  • m11nine

    Also to Dan,

    Women are driven by attraction. If you don’t have her’s anymore, you need to work on yourself. She is, more likely than not, still attracted to some vision of a man, but is it you? Improve your fitness, relationship dominance, etc. She likely wants a better man, but can’t ask for things like this. She wants you to “just know”. She very likely wants that man to be you.

    Were you her second best? How many lovers before you? Children from other men? These are all problem areas that you can overcome by improving yourself first.

    The best baby steps are male improvement over about a years time, in tune with the book, “Married Man Sex Life” by Athol Kay.

    Fix yourself first, she will probably gladly follow. Play it wrong and its “I love you but I’m not in love with you.”

  • TL


    I can agree with much of what you are saying but there is a flip side to it. If the woman does not feel attractive, that is she is not happy with her appearance, she will have convinced herself that her husband doesn’t find her attractive either. Women are hard on themselves when it comes to their appearance spending a great deal of time comparing themselves to other women who look better. Women tend to be ready to believe that while their husbands may love them they are not “into” them.

  • m11nine

    That’s a tough needle to thread, of course. I guess I would still say the man has to lead and go first.

    But he should not encourage her to stand still if her appearance is the issue, the old “love you just the way you are” problem. He should want her to be the best she can be and she should want to follow an improving husband. I think she would after seeing his improvement.

    Dan is already backed into the corner with nothing more to lose, in my humble opinion (she could surprise him any day with the legal papers, and the community will blame him, thus it is his problem to bear.)

  • TL

    She may be the type that no matter what she doesn’t believe what he says about how she looks. If this was going on before him likely it is a deeper problem regarding her past. She needs to help herself and he can only support her and love her. She needs to be satisfying his needs though or he could surprise her with divorce papers too. 😉

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