20 Reasons Why a Wife Doesn’t Want to Have Sex

Many, many years ago I couldn’t wait to experience my honeymoon.  The day when I could finally know my husband on a sexual level.  But now the honeymoon is over and real life has begun. Yet, I can’t help but think back to that first night, as well as, the early months of our relationship.  Oh how I longed to be with him!  And the idea of not desiring to be intimate with my husband was never a thought that crossed my mind.

But after 14 yeas of marriage, that newness that was once there has diminished, and life has crept into our relationship.  So this got me to thinking about wives in general.  I often hear how many of them don’t have much of a desire to be sexually intimate with their man, and I have wondered what has changed for them.

You see, I personally do not believe that any new bride had intentions of avoiding or depriving her man of sex when she said yes to his marriage proposal.  But something has happened in their marriage.  There is a break down of some sort that is causing her to turn away from being intimate with him.  

20 Reasons Why a Wife Doesn't Want to Have Sex

This break down could be for a number of reasons: 

  • Some are directly related to her man. 
  • Some are related to the pressures and demands of family life.
  • Some could be related to body image issues, prior sexual sin, or abuse.
  • Or some reasons could be the female body experiencing pain, limitations, hormonal imbalances, etc.

So, on this list are areas that we have control over and others areas, well… not so much.  But nevertheless, sexual intimacy is ‘the thing’ that sets our relationship with our husbands apart from any other relationship.  Regardless of our problems, this is not an area that we want to intentionally neglect because if we do, then that’ll bring a host of other issues into our marriage.

She’s Got Issues Related to Her Man

Outside of the man taking a shower and brushing his teeth, there are no quick fixes to the other issues.  Lot’s of prayer, conversations with your husband, as well as some guidance are needed to help you deal with many of these problems.  Unfortunately, I can’t go into the solutions here in this blog post.  However, as time goes on I will cover them.  So, if you can relate to some of these issues, make sure you sign up to receive my future posts.

She’s Focused on Her Family Life

  • She’s stressed and/or worried.  Family and/or financial problems consume her mind so she’s not in the mood.
  • She’s mentally exhausted.
  • Sex is not on her to-do list and her list is already long enough as it is.
  • Her children sleep in her bed.  To get them out and re-train them to sleep in their own beds would be like World War III, and it’s just not something that she wants to deal with. Keeping peace with the kids is more important than having sex with her husband. Who wants to deal with another temper-tantrum, right?
  • She’s pregnant and feels undesirable.
  • She’s nursing and she doesn’t want another human being on her.  She needs her space so she can breathe.

After you marry it’s common for your focus to shift a bit.  For some, you entered into the world of motherhood rather quickly.  For other wives, you might be focusing on a career or perhaps raising teenagers, handling a blended family, aging parents, etc.  You are now wearing more than the ‘wife’ hat.  Perhaps you feel more like the cook, maid, taxi driver, etc.  It’s hard to shift gears into feeling like a wife within minutes of an overwhelming and exhausting day.  But the good thing about this list is you have the most control over it and it’s most likely the easiest one to fix.   Knowing your roles and putting them in the proper biblical order is the key here. But if you’re not careful and you neglect your marriage, you can end up having to deal with additional problems that are related to your husband. 

She’s Dealing with Her Own Inner Demons

If you have body image issues this is something you can work on yourself.  You don’t have to wait for your man to change on this one! And if you’re dealing with guilt and shame from your past, you need to be in constant prayer and communion with the Lord.  Through His redemptive blood He’ll heal you of your wounds.

She’s Got Physical Issues

I’m going all vulnerable and open with you about this area of my life in hopes that what I’ve experienced will encourage you in your situation….

  • Sex is painful.  When my babies entered into the world, let’s just say that natural childbirth jacked up my female body parts and made something that was once so physically pleasurable, now something excruciatingly painful.  “What the heck just happened and how do I fix it,” were my thoughts on my new found problem.
  • She’s physically exhausted. I lived with 10 years of chronic fatigue.  Naps were scheduled into my daily routine because I couldn’t function without them.  If this way of life describes you, then plan for naps and simplify your schedule.  Yes, I realize that if you’re facing these issues you feel like your life as you once knew it, is now over.
  • She’s chronically sick.  Yep, been here as well, my friend.  If you really want to know more about me, then we’re going to get up close and personal on this one!  In fact, I can’t believe I’m going to type this one out loud for the entire world to see.  But hey, if it ministers to another sister in the Lord, then so be it.  So here it goes….  I had a rectal and vaginal infection for well over a few years and let me just say that having sex with my husband when you have infections in those areas is not something on the top of my to do list!  The doctors were of no help either.  When they said, “I’ve never seen anything like this”, those words don’t bring a whole lot of comfort to the patient.
  • She has a low sex drive.  Of course I can relate to this one as well being that I had rupturing ovarian cysts for over 5 years.  Ya know, those things have a tendency to be related to imbalanced hormones!  Of course all of my sexual/health-related issues made me feel like I wanted to slap someone, or better yet, kill someone, but that’s not something the Lord would’ve been too pleased with.

If you’re dealing with physical problems then be diligent to seek out medical guidance so your body can be fixed or somewhat restored.  I say somewhat restored because sometimes fixing our bodies is just not a reality.  However, avoiding sex altogether is not a solution to your problems either, it’ll just compound them.  So you might need to get sexually creative on this one.

I know there are many things on this list that are so difficult to overcome, but with a willing heart, a teachable spirit, and a desire to please the Lord, you can, with Christ, overcome many of these obstacles.

Avoiding sex and telling your husband that you have a headache is not going to make your marriage any better, in fact, it’ll cause more problems to arise.  One of the things that sex is designed for is to bring you and your man closer together.  The marriage bed is a place to strengthen your one flesh union. There’s a reason why God said not to forsake the marriage bed….it’s for our benefit and our protection.

Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control.  (1 Corinthians 7:5 NLT)

For more help and encouragement in the sexual intimacy department, click here!

An open note to all husbands:

I’m so sorry for all that you’re going through with your wife, I truly am!  The topic of this post has caused this article to become my number one post searched on Google.  I know all husbands want to connect with their wives, and I can only imagine that you are hurting in your marriage.  But, in this ministry, I write to women, not men.  I’m here to help wives connect with their husbands, as well as with the Lord.  I hope you can understand my position.

Live a poured out life for Christ,

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  3. Men wouldn’t need porn if their wives wanted anything to do with them. I do as much if not more around the house and am a great father. I don’t stink and shaved my face. Today is my 30th birthday and all that still wasn’t enough. I could go on, but I have to sleep so I can plow snow all day tomorrow.

    • Even when pregnant I gave in to my husband’s demand for sex every single day. I was sooo exhausted that at times I would accidentally fall asleep during the act and still he refused to understand. He would either get upset, sulk or pick a fight when I was tired.

      What really broke my heart was that he continued watching porn even though we were doing it almost every day, and showed no remorse for his actions even after knowing how much it hurt me. His defense “I’m just watching, not doing anything.”

      We had so much sex that I went to preterm labor. He even had the nerve to get upset when I kept telling him that I was in pain. I was torn and emotionally broken by then.. and to make matters worse, he didn’t help me with my recovery, nor with the house or baby and expected our sex life to be the same as it was before..whilst the porn watching continued.

      I personally have a high sex drive and enjoy having sex, but it’s the inconsiderate behaviour, together with emotional, mental and physical abuse that has made me hate having sex or get intimate with him altogether.

      He gropes me at the most inappropriate times, for example like when I’m frying something at the stove, feeding the baby, putting food in the fridge..he thinks it’s funny but it’s not. He pulls down my shorts when I’m washing the dishes, cutting up food, eating or holding the baby to put to sleep. I’m sick of it because I’m akin to a piece of meat or plaything for his fancy and have no rights to my body. When I tell him to stop and that it bothers me, he gets angry and says it is my ‘DUTY’ to surrender my body to him and that he has the rights to touch me as he pleases anytime, anywhere.

      I don’t think things will ever change because he refuses to go for marital counseling and I don’t know how much longer I can tolerate his behaviour and disrespect towards me and the violation to my own body. It’s not that ‘simple’ for me to leave either beacuse I’m a foreigner and he holds our child ‘hostage’ should I report him to authorities for abuse and violence.

      There’s always an underlying reason as to why a woman (me in this case) would not want to to get intimate and have sex.. Physical scars may heal but emotional scars lasts forever and women are emotional creatures by nature. Always win her heart.

  4. What words of wisdom do you have for a woman who has been abused in every way and husband has had affairs, porn, drinking and the kids can’t stand him but yet I forgave him because I’ve stayed in it for 23 years. So much abuse I can’t even commit on all of it. But like I said after finding out about another affair that was going on for two years and thru all of the hell he would go to church and tell everyone he was a Christian and even take mistress to church I forgave him but now after a year has gone by I’m wishing I had left. I was raised in a Christian home father a pastor but yet I’ve put myself in a bad marriage. Everytime I tried to leave he would tell me he would kill me and no one would find me.

    • Brenda,
      My heart grieves for what you have lived through. I can’t tell you what to do except to heed the voice of the Holy Spirit in your marriage. Make sure you’re listening to His voice and not the voice of the Enemy. As Believers, we have not been given a spirit of fear but of sound mind. 2 Tim. 1:7. You are also permitted to divorce your husband since he has been unfaithful. Matthew 19:7-9.

  5. I am a christian and am having a hard time dealing with my wife’s lack of intimacy. I have been very patient and loving towards her to show her i love her and to be understanding. Her lack of intimate time makes me feel un loved and un desirable. It leaves me with feelings of rejection and un loved. Its feels like she only loves me when things are going her way. She stays up all night playing on the computer just to avoid me and im out of things to try. I love her deeply but the lack of intimacy is making me feel further and further away from her. Im full of resentments and our relationship is weakening. Im afraid to talk to her about what the bible says as im afraid it will only anger her. But if something doesnt happen soon im afraid we will loose that special love we have always had for each other that makes marriage a joy. How should i talk to her about this without being offensive and making things worse?

    • Share your heart with her just like you did here. Make sure you communicate with her in a gentle and loving way with complete humility. Let her know why you’re addressing this concern. It’s because you’re captivated by her, desire her, love her and, through intimacy, you’re drawn closer to her. When a husband approaches a wife like this, rather than in a demanding way, generally this will soften any woman’s heart.

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  7. I’ve been married for twenty four years and it’s steadily declined. I’ve tried talking among other things, but my wife says she just doesn’t feel like having sex anymore. This is extremely frustrating because she wants me to be the ideal husband in every other way except that. I think it’s very unfair that she wants and expects to have her emotional needs met, but won’t meet mine. I’m tired frustrated and sick of talking, I won’t cheat so I don’t know what else to do. I’m still young and I don’t plan on becoming a monk.

    • I’m not a doctor but if it’s just that she really doesn’t feel like being intimate it very well could be hormones. Women will lose the desire when they are experiencing these issues. If she is expressing that she truly loves you talk with her about seeing her OBGYN for a check up. I’ve learned that women can have this issue with their bodies and not even know or understand why. A lot of times doctors won’t ask the question of their patients and if they do the woman might just mention everything’s fine. Sometimes to embarrassed to say I don’t feel like being intimate with my husband. It’s just a possibility she might need her levels check out. Praying for your family God Bless and direct you to use wisdom.

  8. I’m 30 years old , married for 4 years have 2 children with here , I adopt here first son , I work 50 h a week , a cook , clean the house , do the Landry , take care of the dog , the baby , do the dishes , well I do everything around the house , and my wife give me sex like one’s month , she find another reason to be mad at me every day . I think my patience has some limit , and I’m close to it .
    it sucks cause I love here and I never imagine be a day without the kids . But she don’t love me the way a deserve it

  9. Im a 32 year old man and this is my 3rd year of marriage. I have an extremely active sex drive, but my wife doesn’t seem to ever want to be sexual in any way with me. If I’m lucky she acts like she’s doing me a favor once a month but I feel terrible the whole time because I know she doesn’t want to be doing it. Im a reallly good husband that loves her so much and I try to do as much as I can. I just cant express how bad it hurts that my partner and love of my life doesn’t want me anymore. Thre is starting to be a big lack of respect for me and our marriage too, but if I mention it she thinks Im being stupid or a typical husband.

    • Wow,really enlightening stuff,Wes and Done….seems like there are plenty of ”good to excellent husbands out there….that are suffering within their marriages just trying to hold the family together,i.e kids and the dream of a ”whole family unit”.Here’s my take on this from my point of view.My wife(or soon to be ex-wife) is more or less the same….I hate the fact that I do all the things that are meant to make a wife happy but all I get is constant rejection….it’s been three years of me sleeping downstairs on the couch,This year I’m getting a bed of my own ….not only does she profess to love me,she says she wants us to be together….yet pulls away from anything remotely physical.First year of the last 3…She would say not to touch her inner thighs and tits,next year…no touching of her vagina,last year,she would wear the thickest jumpers and none sexy bottoms to put me off and would only have sex with me to shut me up,and would be trying to hurry me up to finish…the ”odeal”.I have tried talking softly and laying out my heart’s pains and the loneliness but,the more she knows i wont leave because of my 3 kids,she has leverage.Before you say anything about me sleeping downstairs….she broke my heart on several ocassions by pushing me away so coldly,and then(here’s the kicker)I’ve woken up in the middle of the night to find her ”pleasing herself,thinking I’m asleep.Some nights she went on for hours,must be the excitement of getting caught,or the fact that she fantasizes about someone else I’ll never know.You know why…?,because she’d rather die than admit that she masturbates…..So now I watch porn and masturbate,just so that i can be under the same roof as my kids…..I see no help insight as she seems happy with the status quo,but for me…..I know that another year will pass and by then we’ll be perfect strangers. She said to me once in a heated arguement about sex/lack of,that though she loves me,she ain’t in love with me and she would like us to start over anew,courting each other and me trying to woo her….I just cant do it anymore because all the things I do for the family,before and after work to help her out so we can spend time together have been fruitless,or the sex was to shut me up…so it feels like i’m working on the intimacy alone(plus all the ”dont touch here/there rules”)make sex lonesome/cold and detached…Idont want that.Only you can change your situation….you can’t change somone.the logic here being….run for your life,the world has infinite soulmates for you,not just the one.Or reside in pain and loneliness and wind up resenting her,or worse hating her and doing something you’ll regret.

  10. I just saw your advice to Andrew and can apply that to my situation. I just hope it works.

  11. I am a young wife at 21 and my husband is 25. Unfortunately we were not celibate before we were married but enjoyed an active sex life before he went into the army when I was 19. Afterwards, his libido diminished greatly and to this day, I would gladly make love to my husband once or twice every day while he is satisfied with twice a week. Have you any advice for wives who have a higher sex drive than their husbands? It seems that every bit of advice out there is for wives with lower sex drives.

    • I’m 22 and in a very similar situation and would appreciate some guidance too. I don’t ever initiate sex anymore because I end up feeling like…I’m demanding way too much. In fact, when he isn’t in the mood, my 29 year old husband somehow ends up making me feel bad for even wanting him sexually. What hurts the most is that when he does…it becomes all about him. I really do go out of my way, not so I get anything in return, but just because it’s important to me that he finds me pleasing. I would be lying though if I said I don’t crave that sort of intimacy back. It never used to be this way, he used to enjoy it as much as I did and the fact that I enjoy it too was always very important, but that has changed tremendously and I can’t even begin to fathom why. I don’t think any of this is purposeful but it does feel like I’m just too much effort now. Talking about this hasn’t helped, however gentle and understanding I have tried to be. The thing is, now I’m constantly trying to hide the fact that I AM physically unsatisfied and that yes, I would like to be close to him this way more…and not in obsessive unhealthy amounts. I’m kind of starting to feel more and more bitter towards myself, and him, every day.

      • Maggie, I’m so sorry for what you’re dealing with! You should continue to have a conversation with him to resolve this issue even if you’ve done it before. It’s understandable that you desire your husband and you shouldn’t feel bad for that! Here’s a post I wrote that might help to uncover why he’s not desiring sex.

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  13. Thank you so much for your advise and simple way of making things for me it truly does feel like if were to be speaking to my sister in God
    I truly do appreciate you ministry and I will pray for you and it
    Am a new follower of you work and it has change my life for the best I want to become more Christ-like not only for me but for the world around me, so they see me as a better more Godly person and you have sure taken me there
    Thank you so much once again
    May God Bless you always and may your ministry grow to help others as it has help me!!!

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  18. Omission from your article: HE has physical issues. ED is a very common and serious condition that many couples have to deal with. And the medications a. don’t always work and b. are not generally covered by insurance and are VERY expensive. Very very frustrating for a woman who has a good sex drive. Very frustrating.

    • Julie, these reasons were why the wives don’t desire intimacy. I wrote a different post for why the husbands don’t desire it and your situation is in there! I’m so sorry to hear you’re going through this. Try to seek some form of intimacy with your man in spite of his physical condition.

  19. Jolene,
    Thank you so much for sharing your heart and being so vulnerable. I so appreciate your transparency and that I’m not the only one!! I know it’s difficult to put yourself out there, but God definitely used you! Just found you from a friend on Facebook and subscribed. Keep being faithful and obedient, you’re a blessing!

    • Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words, Julie! It is my hope and prayer that the Lord will strengthen all women come to this online ministry. :)

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  23. I don’t have 20 reasons why I don’t have sex with my husband. The reason is we have been 45+ years and my husband only had sex, intimacy, cuddling and love once in all them 45 years. He hated sex, me and all married life, I was disgusting to suggest that we have sex. We did on our wedding night and to him it was the last straw. The straw snapped and he said we made a mistake for marrying and didn’t want to ever talk about it again. Also he told me to do what I wanted, leave, find a boy or girl friend he didn’t care. The next day he moved to our basement where he eats, sleeps and does what ever he does. Do know he hasn’t a TV, radio, computer, no phones, no magazines or newspapers, totally disconnected from the world and life. Looks terrible hasn’t had a haircut and a long scraggly beard.

  24. I am 43 and he is 46. We have been married for 4 years and have 2 small boys. We have only had sex when I wanted to get pregnant. I can count on one hand how many times we have had sex otherwise. I would do it every day plus I take care of the house and kids. I also work full time and contribute as much as he does financially. We have tried counseling and he just provides excuses for his selfish behavior. He doesn’t take care of himself or put us before his own needs. He can’t participate in hobbies he had when he was single so he watches TV every minute possible to avoid us. He is not even nice to us. I can take care of the 3 of us myself. I’m praying for reasons not to leave.

  25. I have been married 5 years this last July. I love my wife deeply. April 2 years ago we decided to try for our first and we suffered a miscarriage in the second month.

    My wife never has had a real big sex drive due to being plagued with UTI’s. However, after the miscarriage it is non existent. We have been intimate once in over two years and she cried herself to sleep afterwards. Being scared she would get pregnant again. I of course felt terrible and vowed to not pressure her or try for intimacy until she was ready. (This absolutely devastated me! I felt like I had raped my wife or made her do something. Just utterly distraught.)

    I know we need to talk to someone but she doesn’t want to. I’ve prayed and been patient. I’ve tried to be “super nice” like I was when we first started dating 8 years ago. I just don’t know….

    My real problem is the fact that I’m starting to be attracted to other women. Deep down I’m bitter towards my wife. When I step back I understand her pain and feel compassion but there is certainly a level of bitterness in my heart.

    It has happened twice over the last 8 months. I developed feelings (a crush if you will) towards one young lady who definitely didn’t care that I was married. Upon realizing the danger of the “feelings” I promptly removed myself from the situation.

    The 2nd started about 2 weeks ago when I started my new job. We are a male and female mirror images of each other. She’s a new hire as well so we are going to be in very close proximity for the next couple of months. I don’t have a self control problem so I feel confident that I will never act on any urges or act inappropriately. I do however wish to get rid of the thoughts . Not to come across as vain because I’m definitely not, but I am a pretty good looking guy. I’m also in sales so my open personality and ability to strike up a conversation on the spot with anyone makes this something that will happen from time to time if I can’t get some of these issues in check.

    I know communication is key and I’ve had very civil and candid conversations about it with my wife this week and over the past several months. I thought it might make her think a little about what she might be able to do and I wanted to be open and up front.

    It actually had the opposite effect and now she’s agitated if I have to stay at work 30 minutes later to finish a project. This tells me that she does still care and is maybe a little Jealous but it doesn’t help deal with the problem. Another problem is when she get’s “snippy” I disengage more and more.

    I’m all over the place I know but any insight, thoughts, or prayers would be greatly appreciated.


  26. My wife and I had sex with each other almost every day before we got married. Right after we got married it stopped. She’s always tired, or doesn’t feel like it, or any other reason she can think of. I love this women. I have never and will never seek sex outside our marriage. What has happened to me though is my desire for sex has dropped off dramatically. It’s to the point now that when she does want sex(about every 6 weeks) I can’t get excited for it. I’m so lost it’s not even funny. I’m loyal. I work hard. Treat her with respect and tenderness. Every trait that is listed for why it could be the guy is not there for a legitimate reason. It is just frustrating.

  27. Instead of praying and being passive about problems take charge! This is your life to live, to the woman who feels she is held hostage bcos of her kids and her legal status, please contact a women’s services centre or your doctor, you shouldn’t be treated like this and you will find sympathetic and helpful people to help you with advice and issues to do with your legal status, shame on you Jolene with your namby pamby crap to listen to some sky daddy rather then giving people reality based advice!

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