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What Psychologists Know that You Don’t

Why Your Wife Hates Sex and What You Can Do About It

It's 11:15 pm. You're lying next to your wife after a long day for both of you. You catch a whiff of her freshly washed hair and suddenly your mind jumps to how nice it would be to get her naked. You know she's wearing those not-tonight flannel pajamas, but you slide your hand over her closer breast anyhow as you press your hips against her. She suddenly gets very still and quiet. Read More

Content sometimes determines who will read and who will not

I do have to comment on this post:

While I appreciate the attempt to enlighten people about this topic, the way in which it is communicated truly makes its delivery purposeful. I read so far...up until the point of masturbation and bed-shaking. I don't think that this was necessary to detail for readers. What about the regulations of these posts for children or adolescents who may be viewing such information online?

I think I will run this by the moderator of psychologytoday.com. This page offers a multiplicity of information to readers, but it also provides information to eyes and minds that should not be reading such information. I do believe we can sometimes go beyond what we need to in describing our topic and trying to entertain or pull in our readers.

I would have read further if I were not offended by the content.

So you're worried about

So you're worried about masturbation being read by kids and teens...even though this entire article is about sex?

Oh please

An eight year old can walk up to a computer and Google search a word that he (or she) heard in school like porn or sex and INSTANTLY be treated to a bazillion hardcore images. One 20 year old female I was blogging with told me that she started looking at porn on the computer at age 12 because she was the only one who used it.

A child of 6 these days can see the cover of Cosmo in a grocery store and then ask her mother "What does it mean when it say Have Better Orgasms".

Kids can walk past the photography section of Barnes and Noble and see the cover of a book called "The Big Penis Book" that has a photo of a large banana stuffed in some dudes skimpy underpants.

Kids can watch male vampires having sex with human females when they are young. Or, if they work on a farm, they will know what horses and cows do at a really early age.

I found my dads and uncle Playboys and Penthouses and Joy of Sex at around age 10.

I suggest that it is YOU who can't even handle reading a brief sentence concerning masturbation and bed shaking.

8 year old

Are you worried about an 8 y.o. seeing this post? How about parenting? How about knowing what your 8 y.o. is doing? What an 8 y.o. does or doesn't do is the parents responsibility! Simple as that!

8 year old

Are you worried about an 8 y.o. seeing this post? How about parenting? How about knowing what your 8 y.o. is doing? What an 8 y.o. does or doesn't do is the parents responsibility! Simple as that!

That's offensive

Your knee-jerk reaction to the word masturbation offends me. Really. I don't think 8-year olds are trawling the PsychologyToday site. And if they are, they are clearly advanced enough to handle a reference to masturbation.

Really?

Are you for real? There was nothing inappropriate in this article...it's about sex! What do expect the content to say. Lighten up, this is not the dark ages.

Sexless in Seattle

Shut up. What children would be reading a forum about why women don't like to have sex with their husbands. What sort of Doctor are you? You seem so uptight, like masturbation is dirty to you. Prude. Get the fuck out and shut the fuck up. "Kids might read this". Fuck off. They're not reading this, they're looking at porn.

Sexless in Seattle

Shut up. What children would be reading a forum about why women don't like to have sex with their husbands? What sort of Doctor are you? You seem so uptight, like masturbation is dirty to you. Prude. Get the fuck out and shut the fuck up. "Kids might read this". Fuck off. They're not reading this, they're looking at porn.

Whatever

Here is the problem...this whole conversation sucks.....i was married and at times very immature to this issue where women need all this TLC crap before they feel good about sex....well that wasn't the case before marriage...wasn't the case before kids....just was never the case period. Yes things change and i guess men need to lower their sexual expectations a bit but at the end of the day this SUCKS...sex should be organic and equal and once all this bullshit sets in your fucked and it isn't the fucking your hoping for...I was on the receiving end of all the female excuses why sex was no longer gonna happen and told that was all i cared about...and in reality she made me feel like a sexual predator...?! So now what..? Sex will never be the same again and you have just made me feel like a disguising horrible person and where do we go from here........answer is nowhere..stick a fork in her she is done with you and your penis...you will at best have to settle for pity fucks from here on out and have to grin and bear it! I disagree hardheartedly at all the women who ASSume we only care about getting inside you. You are wrong and so are we. We are equally stuck but i will say that the biggest problem to all of this mess is this...WOMEN make all us men feel like we are the problem...we are needy....we are horrible humans for wanting the sex we had going into this long lasting love affair...IF the women who point the finger at us men had the COMPASSION to just sit us down and gently explain to us in a loving nurturing way that they still truly desire us and look at us as powerful men that swept them off their feet from day 1 and promise us that SEX will return to this relationship sooner than later but time is all they need I think that would help but at the end of the day women always point the SEX problem at the MAN and make him feel like a dirty animal and that my male friends will create an unfix-able problem.

TD

*sigh* Why is everything about the woman not wanting the sex?

Where can I find an article about the man not wanting sex? Where is the article titled "Your woman is being so cranky because she's tired of having her sex life only with herself and is slacking off on grooming you because that's the only way to deny you fulfillment STICK IT IN!" that I can email him?

sigh

Read The Sex-Starved Wife. You are not alone. Not by any means. This book will help

Michele Weiner-Davis

Why Your Wife Hates Sex and What You Can Do About It

I found it a great article... I am a psychotherapist and printed it out to share with clients--and I will make the point that it can apply to either partner. But the points are good: That the partner may be truly more tired, there may be a need to resolve issues that are harboring resentment; and the reactance factor. I also like the solution: To meet the spouse where he/she is at in terms of interest, and most of all--DO SOME OF THE THINGS she usually does around the house. That can be a big aphrodisiac for women, I know... Good stuff...

That's a bunch of crap, no

That's a bunch of crap, no offense. No matter what I do around the house, I still get the cold shoulder. I have tried everything. This nonsense about it all being the husbands fault because he didn't do the dishes is garbage. Like I said, I tried EVERYTHING. Nothing works. Once women get married...sex just stops.

Biological Theory

As a woman who's 25 and in a 6 year relationship. I've been trying to figure out why the desire to have sex with my boyfriend started declining after the 4-5th year and now my libido is just really almost non-existent. I've roamed the net looking for answers and found that many women are in the same boat, and are just as upset about this is as I am. Nearly all are in loving long term relationships, but they simply lose interest in sex after an x amount of years. I'm loyal to my boyfriend and will always be,but just last year a new friend whom I was attracted to managed to seduce me enough to rev up my engines no problem, nothing ever came of that of course and I ended my "friendship" with him, but the temptation was certainly there. It all makes me wonder that perhaps women are also susceptible to wanting variety and novelty sexually but cannot admit it. Most men want variety and novelty(we know this)but will still have sex with their spouse because they love sex,they would rather have sex or cheat than choose no sex at all but Women's bodies and biological responses are not geared up this way. Anyway just a thought.

Maybe she's being sexually

Maybe she's being sexually satisfied elsewhere...

Spot on

Couldn't have said it better myself

That's a bunch of crap, no

Sorry Dr. Anita. Time to put down the self-help books. I'm afraid you know little about men and women and the breakdown of the intimate relationship. I was married for 23 years. When my wife would get angry with me ABOUT ANYTHING - everything stopped. I mean EVERYTHING. Talking, interacting, intimacy. She didn't want a solution - she wanted to simply forget about it. During the first year it was 2 to 3 days, then a week, then weeks, and near the end, it was months. MONTHS. Never mind taking care of the kids, doing housework, (which we defined early on). When I tried to help, she got *angrier*. She took on more work, and then claimed to be tired. She went to bed at 9pm, and wanted me to do the same. Then she didn't want to be intimate because the kids were still awake. She had her intimacy needs met by throwing herself into the kids. I had my intimacy needs met by...well, I didn't have my intimacy needs met. I'm a Christian - I don't have the luxury of going to strip bars, having affairs. MB is off-limits. Can you say CRAZY-MAKING?

It might be a simple request, like, "Honey, can you please check with me before you make big purchases near the end of my pay period", and its off to abuse-time.

I'm afraid you have not taken into consideration that average people are manipulative, vindictive, and abusive in relationships. A person with average intelligence can figure their partner out, usually. But, a person in denial, that lies about their feelings, over and over - that denies their partner intimacy is manipulating. Moreover, it may ultimately cost a marriage. As it did in my case. I still love her - I just can't stand to live with her.

She still doesn't get it. Nothing has changed. I don't blame men anymore for not wanting to make a commitment. It doesn't matter how long you date, or court or live with someone. Because you never know someone UNTIL YOU GET MARRIED. GOOD AND MARRIED. And, then, well, you're stuck.

Why your wife hates sex

The article never touches the real issue. Many women who don't have the problem of being tired, unappreciated, etc. hate sex and wish they could live the rest of their lives without sex. Psychologist (and we've tried) are of no help. What is a man to do if he is (a) faithful, (b) sexually active and (c) in love with his wife?

Why your wife hates sex.....

dlee33166 wrote:"What is a man to do if he is (a) faithful, (b) sexually active and (c) in love with his wife?"
Did you ever get a reply? I agree completely. I am a GREAT husband and try to help in every possible way. Wife is NEVER in the mood and has said she never wants sex again.

Wives are bitches. I think it

Wives are bitches. I think it is something of a control issue. I work a full time job, my wife stays at home. I get home after work and take care of the baby from 5 - bed. She acts like she never gets a break while I am the on that wakes up at 6 AM goes to work, comes home and immediately takes care of the baby when walking in the front door and she goes for a run. Then she gets home, I make dinner and take care of the baby, do laundry (because I don't have shit to wear the next day) and dishes after dinner..... and she's tired. BS!!!! Women are riding the lazy train after the sexual revolution!!!!

I am sick of it and about to quite.

I feel your pain, brother.

I feel your pain, brother. Sometimes feel like taking a hammer to that pedestal we put them on.

sexless

I am just gonna jump in here. My wife has been rejecting sex (and me) for over a year. I ask and she says no. I ask why and she gives no reason. So I stop asking. For me, the fact that she won’t confide in me is hurtful, rejecting…so I stay away. One person can take the preverbal slap in the face for only so long. So I self indulge often. I have reconnected with an ex girlfriend on Facebook as just friends, but I like talking to her. She is single, no kids but has a great family life with great values and a brother and sister and nieces that she just adores. It’s everything that I want, can have but don’t. We text everyday and I find myself wanting to talk to her. She is funny and smart and beautiful. We talk about everything from work, the past, nothing special, to my crumbling marriage and my young son…whom I adore. We are very sexually explicit, often. Not all the time. Neither of us have initiated anything. Me because I respect her and don’t want to put her in a position to have an affair. And yes, It will be cheating and I respect myself and even my wife. But I don’t know how much longer I can resist.

My wife is self-centered and considers herself the center of her own universe. I mainly do the cooking, care for our special needs son, laundry and house and yard chores. She is jealous and complains if I go out with my friends, so I don’t. She doesn’t know about my friendship with my ex…no one knows. I have surprised her at her work and we have even met up for lunch. She is genuinely excited when we meet up. I have read all the articles about the reasons for my wife's no contact: physical or not. I get it..but she offers no reason. How are we gonna fix it if I don’t know what the problem is. So day turns into night (which I use to talk with my ex) And I think, I am not completely happy…but who really is. I worry about my special needs son who will be devastated if his family is broken up. So I stay…miserably.

Hi Anonymous123

Your story sounds so familiar that I want to tell a brief version of what I have learned in the past months. I found myself locked in a situation where I can't live with her and can't live without her. I was already looking for secret relationships but I also decided to look for all relevant self help books that can be downloaded to read on my tablet. I read more than 10 different books during the summer, half of which were more or less useless and shallow. But there were a few real game changers for me too. I highly recommend reading the work of David Schnarch. One of his books made me redefine why I seem to be so needy for sex. The fact is that it's not the sex I need. What I need is for her to want me sexually. That way I feel approved, otherwise I feel neglected, unsure and generally terrible. This means I'm dependent on her and it makes me highly anxious because she is a woman and women are not predictable. The anxiety inhibits me and I'm not really being myself. I also avoid upsetting her because that would lower my chances to get sex => I'm even less myself. Suggesting new things in bed is not happening for the same reason. Life ends up being about constantly trying to avoid that "slap in the face" feeling of rejection.
The way to get out of this hole is for me to stand on my own feet and not emotionally depend on her anymore. Needy is not sexy. I have to be able to self sooth and reduce my own anxiety by myself. Being more independent should not mean less closeness. It's the other way around. Being independent (or differentiated as D Schnarch calls it) actually increases your capacity for intimacy. By improving your own emotional differentiation you will also automatically put a lot of pressure on your partner to do the same. Things will not be as they were because you will be different. It takes two to keep things unchanged but it takes only one to do a change. These are difficult but exciting times. I still struggle in holding on to myself when I'm with her but I notice changes already. After 20 years of marriage this is perhaps the most exciting time we are going trough right now. My view of sex has changed and my feeling of myself is different. I don't know what will happen but at least I will be standing on my own feet and many things will be turned around.

Wives and sex

You have hit the nail right on the head. My brother-in-law told me many years before I got married once women have had children, they detest sex. Spot on he was. You think I haven't tried all of this gratitutious advice offered by the author of this article? Nothing works - quite simply my wife thinks sex is revolting - she has told me this time and time again.

You have to decide what you

You have to decide what you love more : Sex, or your wife.

You are not alone.

If she is not attracted to you, she will be perfectly fine in saying that she loves her (sexless) marriage and has never been happier while you are picking your brain every day trying to figure out the mystery to getting her to want to have sex with you. Women who claim to need their space after you have been at work all day and helped with all the household chores, and taken her out twice or more a month are just not attracted to their husbands at all. There is no solution. She will never be attracted to you no matter what you do. I am speaking from my own experience and observation.

You've stated your own problem

My guess is your wife has become sexually turned off to you because she feels all you want from her is sex. It is obvious by reading your post that that is the case.
Your problem is that women can go a Looooong time without sex. Women don't have that biological drive for sexual release. We are fine without it.

She knows that you are helping with the chores and taking her out twice a month in an effort to make her want sex. You have made it quite apparent to her that is the case.

You need to ask yourself WHY you want sex:
Is it a release of sexual tension?
Is it a need to feel loved?
Is it to relieve stress?
Is it a need to feel manly and good about yourself?
Is your sexuality your identity?
Do you get angry or rejected when she says no?
Do you feel it is her responsibility to take care of your sexual needs?

All of those examples are examples of a sexual neediness. You are coming from a place of needing something from her and over time, women get tired of being the recipient of that need.
Neediness is a big turn off. It makes a woman lose her sexual attraction to her man.

Most women are turned on by a man who already feels good about himself, who has a strong sense of self and happiness.
They want men to come to the sexual relationship filled with love and self confidence and manly power that he wants to share with his wife. That's a turn on. She wants a man who wants to make love with her when she feels strong desire for him, not because he needs her to make him feel (whatever) right now, especially when it's all the time.

The problem is that in long term relationships, this neediness goes undetected for a while and the women puts up with it because she is told it is part of a marriage. But, over time it builds up to a point where a lot of women turn off to sex because they feel they are being used for the man's pleasures and needs. Yuck!

Men and women should be VERY careful about this because once the women gets to this point, it will take a long time to feel sexual desire again. Remember, we don't need it like you do. If you see your wife's desire even starting to slow down, back way off! You are turning her off for some reason. Time to evaluate what's going on before she shuts down completely.

Men need to attend to their sexual relationship with their wife with kid gloves. Just because you need sex so many times a times a week, she probably doesn't and that is where to problem occurs. When you NEED your fix more than she does, you automatically put yourself in a place of 'need' and her in a place of 'need to', instead of coming from a place of "oh, let's do".

Find a another way to build your self esteem, another form of stress reduction, a different way to feel good about yourself, find a hobby you LOVE. Then come to the relationship ready to share yourself WITH her. Don't expect her to make you feel whole....only you can do that.

If she is already to the completely shut off point, it might take some time. But my guess is it will take you a long time to figure out other forms of building your self worth and relieving your stress. Good luck!

I am speaking from my own experience and observation.

Gender Anger Retention Differences

You are exactly right when you point to anger as a source of frigidity.

Females in general feel that it is their role in life to memorize every instance that made them angry throughout their lives. My wife will still get angry about perceived injustices from grade school, or some thoughtless comment that I made while we were dating (25 years ago).

Compare this with boys on the playground. If they get angry with each other, they have a confrontation, resolve it, & move past it. I do business now with a customer that once threatened to shoot me. It's just a matter of letting go of the baggage and moving on.

Unfortunately, many girls are brow-beat with "just say no to sex". Well-meaning parents are so focused on preventing their children from having sex before they're ready that they end up scarring them when they should be ready.

Sex is similar to most other activities, in that it takes practise to get good at it. If you only practise the piano once a week, you're not likely to improve, and are likely to get frustrated and give up. Similarly couples that rarely have sex will fail to improve technique.

Women tend to be more sensitive to non-verbal communication and implication & become frustrated when men don't understand. Men prefer concise, verbal communication. If a woman says that nothing is wrong, then she has no right to get angry when the man acts as if nothing is wrong.

So depressing...

So depressing to read that. That only reinforces my desire to not ever again be in long term relationship with a woman. I find it better to live a fulfilling single life with occasional activities and sex partners. At least I do not have to barter/negotiate for sex, they are more than willing when it happens. And it is fun for the both of us!

I am a man in my mid-thirties by the way. I've been in long term relationships in the past. Each time I've been through so much frustration over this issue. Why the hell would I want to be sexually exclusive with a woman that do not want to have sex or that I would have to trick or beg into it?

No more. Never again. I'm tired too you know...

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Anita E. Kelly, Ph.D., is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Notre Dame. She is author of The Clever Student and The Psychology of Secrets.

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