How to deal with a sexless marriage after two years of marriage?


#1

I am new here and joined this forum especially to post this post. I hope you can help.

I’m 24, my husband’s 23. We’ve been married for two years in a few weeks and have a baby girl, who’s 10 months old. We’re very happy to be parents, and while money is very tight, we lead a generally happy life with a great and supportive extended family. So why am I on here complaining?

Well, I don’t know what to do with regards to our sex life. Basically, my husband has a low sex drive and sex has diminished from once or twice a week at the start of our marriage to about once every two months or so. I am at my wits’ end and go through a torrent of emotions every time I try to attempt to ‘make a move’ - anger, hurt, rejection, despair…

I don’t know what to do for the best. I love my husband and of course I believe marriage is for life, I chose to marry him, low sex drive and all, yet I cannot accept this may be it - the frequency of sex - for the rest of my life. I think I am struggling to accept this because I’m 24 and just starting out on life in the ‘big wide world’, if you like. While I do not regret getting married at 22, I feel very sad about our current situation.

We pray rarely together, apart from at church at the weekend. We have theological discussions however and frequently say prayers with our daughter. I am wondering whether not involving God so much in our marriage (in that we don’t pray regularly together) is why we are getting nowhere fast in relation to our complete mismatch of sex drives. Perhaps we just don’t understand one another and aren’t being patient enough.

He is due to see a doctor this week. I am ashamed of myself for thinking this but part of me is hoping he has something up with him, like low testosterone leves - just so that I won’t have to deal with the stress of trying to coax him into some kind of sexual relationship.

Sorry for waffling on. Any advice would be appreciated.


#2

I think you’re definitely moving in the right step with the doctor’s appointment. Besides physiological problems could there be depression problems which might manifest themselves in low sex drive? Perhaps another idea to bring up with the doctor.

Not really sure I have any advice for you because my advice would have been to get him to see a doctor. You’re already there. Perhaps start talking about how attractive you find him and how handsome/helpful/kind/funny he is. Maybe a boost to his self-esteem will help. Another idea may be to wait (knowing this is hard) until her pursues you. Most men seem to enjoy pursuing their women and perhaps he’s wanting an opportunity to do this but isn’t given one?

Good luck with the appointment!


#3

[quote="bumby, post:1, topic:206066"]
I am new here and joined this forum especially to post this post. I hope you can help.

I'm 24, my husband's 23. We've been married for two years in a few weeks and have a baby girl, who's 10 months old. We're very happy to be parents, and while money is very tight, we lead a generally happy life with a great and supportive extended family. So why am I on here complaining?

Well, I don't know what to do with regards to our sex life. Basically, my husband has a low sex drive and sex has diminished from once or twice a week at the start of our marriage to about once every two months or so. I am at my wits' end and go through a torrent of emotions every time I try to attempt to 'make a move' - anger, hurt, rejection, despair...

I don't know what to do for the best. I love my husband and of course I believe marriage is for life, I chose to marry him, low sex drive and all, yet I cannot accept this may be it - the frequency of sex - for the rest of my life. I think I am struggling to accept this because I'm 24 and just starting out on life in the 'big wide world', if you like. While I do not regret getting married at 22, I feel very sad about our current situation.

We pray rarely together, apart from at church at the weekend. We have theological discussions however and frequently say prayers with our daughter. I am wondering whether not involving God so much in our marriage (in that we don't pray regularly together) is why we are getting nowhere fast in relation to our complete mismatch of sex drives. Perhaps we just don't understand one another and aren't being patient enough.

He is due to see a doctor this week. I am ashamed of myself for thinking this but part of me is hoping he has something up with him, like low testosterone leves - just so that I won't have to deal with the stress of trying to coax him into some kind of sexual relationship.

Sorry for waffling on. Any advice would be appreciated.

[/quote]

That sounds very frustrating, I am sorry. I do know that exercise increases testosterone levels which may help him.


#4

It could very well be that he has hormonal issues. Really. His testosterone levels may be low for some reason. The doctor should be able to help, if he knows his stuff. There is such a thing as hormone treatment, and it’s becoming more popular. There are some minor risks, but the doctor should explain what those are.

The other possibility could be that maybe he was sexually abused as a child and never told anyone.

I think you should pray together and have a very lively spiritual life, either way.

Good luck!

God bless!


#5

Very frustrating and also sin for him if he is simply refusing rather than actually been physically unable.

If he is catholic you should both talk to the priest as he has a duty give you access to the marriage act, you have right to it as a result of your marriage if he is physically capable.

It is a mortal sin to deliberately deny your spouse their marriage rights one of which is access to the marriage act when it is requested.

"Let the husband render the debt to his wife, and the wife also in like manner to the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband. And in like manner the husband also hath not power of his own body, but the wife. (I Cor. 7:3 & 4) "

"Defraud not one another, except, perhaps, by consent, for a time, that you may give yourselves to prayer "(I Cor 7:5).


#6

Yes, low libido in young men can be caused by physiological or psychological issues. Stress, depression, prior upbringing…
Seeing a medical doctor is the right first step. Seeing a psychologist might also be advisable, if physiological causes are ruled out.

Although Bumby’s husband may be comfortable with his libido level (and it probably was a blessing to him prior to marriage), surely he must know that it is causing his wife distress… and that isn’t something he should be comfortable with. How seriously is he taking it?

Because guys are expected to be the initiators of sex, a low male libido can make a spouse feel undesired, unappreciated, unloved… and those are things he should be very strongly defending against. Bumby, is he making you feel loved and desired in other ways?


#7

Just be careful that you aren't adding to his stress which can cause a lower sex drive. I got married young, too, and we had times when my drive was greater than my husband's. I understand the hurt and rejection you say you feel when you try to initiate and nothing happens. Go see a doctor- fine. Talk to a priest- you bet. Stop pressuring him- definitely. Will this last the rest of your marriage- it didn't for me. My husband and I share a very fulfilling marriage. There are bumpy times, but it gets better. Sex is great, but it is not everything.


#8

How was sex before the baby?

In France, years ago, I read a book that was the rave at the time. It was a little paperback about fatherhood. I forget the title - sorry. But, I remember there was a nice analysis about the effects of the birth of a child on the sex life of some men. It really affects some men, specially if they are present during a natural child birth. They have a problem. I think they should stay outside as in the old days. But, even if they are not present some are still affected by the change.

Also, some men feel replaced by the baby and even get jealous. Yeap! You may want to make sure that you are balancing the relationships out of mother and wife. That you have not become 100% mother and 5% wife. It is always good to make time for the couple and nourish that relationship not just be ‘parents’ and then expect a fun sex life. One evening (or whatever) of the week is couple evening. I once rented a cabin from a medical doctor and a psychologist. They had two children. Friday evening was their couple time. She would get decked out for her night out with her husband.


#9

I agree with the previous poster’s comment about the marriage debt, and what your husband “owes” you in that regard.

A couple of questions: does he say why? I mean, does he say he’s not attracted to you anymore? Or that his sex drive is just low so he just “doesn’t feel like it”? Does he look at porn at all?

He really needs to be satisfying you at least with the bare minimum. Nobody ever said marriage was constant roses and passion and pleasure, you know? I’ve had times when I was pregnant and I had NO sex drive; I mean absolutely none. But that doesn’t change the obligation, to a reasonable extent. Hopefully speaking with the priest in addition to the doctor will help.


#10

[quote="bumby, post:1, topic:206066"]

He is due to see a doctor this week. I am ashamed of myself for thinking this but part of me is hoping he has something up with him, like low testosterone leves - just so that I won't have to deal with the stress of trying to coax him into some kind of sexual relationship.

Sorry for waffling on. Any advice would be appreciated.

[/quote]

You're lucky, you've obviously been able to talk about this and he's seeing a doctor. Make sure he actually discusses this with his doctor and doesn't get too embarrassed to do so.

We started having problems along those lines when we'd only been married 3 months. I'd known that there would come a time when things would not work but I hadn't thought it would be when I was 22 and DH 26. In order to not make a big deal out of it and perhaps create a bigger problem I only said "Hey, this happens sometimes, don't worry about it."

Unfortunately, 'this happens' happened more and more often and with this he started 'not being in the mood tonight'. It only got worse over the years.

I pray that your husband's problem will be resolved.


#11

In my own marriage, I had similar issues. Even when my husband and I would “talk” (argue) about it and say that we would make an effort to improve things…it never happened. I was more let down and hurt than before.

We tried counseling, depression meds (for him) for a long time until, in desperation, I signed up for a Marriage Encounter weekend. Even on the way there, I felt hopeless. I thought I had wasted our money. (Plus, if you can’t afford it, you can let them know and they can waive part or most of the fee.)

It was the best thing we ever did for our marriage. I urge you to go to www.wwme.org and check it out (stands for World Wide Marriage Encounter).

Also, prayer is the most powerful thing that you can do for each other. Pray for your husband and for yourself. The Blessed Mother has promised that there is no problem that cannot be solved by the Most Holy Rosary. (I took to praying the Rosary whenever I could…in the car, watching the kids on the playground, etc.) Spread the decades throughout the day–whatever you have to do.

AND, most important, trust in the Lord with all your heart. Try to recite the Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3pm daily. When you truly believe “Jesus, I Trust in You”, you will have peace and faith that in the end everything will work out and you will have the strength to bear your trials.

May you find peace and happiness together.


#12

As a first course of action, and no matter what else might be a factor, calmly and casually eliminate all refined and processed foods from his diet… no more sugar, white flour, sodium benzoate,MSG, etc. etc. etc… along with any phytoestrogens and herbicides, pesticides, and environmental toxins he might be exposed to and processing as phytoestrogens…
along with heavy metals (mercury, lead, etc) and anything he seems to be allergic to.
Nutrition is a far bigger factor than people realize.


#13

I spoke to a priest about this. He said while it’s true that my husband shouldn’t be witholding sex, I shouldn’t be demanding it. So I have no idea how to approach things any more. I don’t actually demand it but it seems whatever I do, he reacts badly. It’s as if he kicks off to shift attention from him to me.

Are you sure it’s a mortal sin? I’ve never heard of that. And anyway, even if it is, I couldn’t tell him! He will react badly if I do. He is physically able but he compares it to be unable - he says things like ‘Would you be so bothered about sex if I was in an accident and could never have sex again?’ If I told him he has a duty to sleep with me, he’d probably say something like, ‘Okay, get on your back’, while sighing extremely loudly and looking pained.


#14

[quote="Dale_M, post:6, topic:206066"]
Yes, low libido in young men can be caused by physiological or psychological issues. Stress, depression, prior upbringing...

Seeing a medical doctor is the right first step. Seeing a psychologist might also be advisable, if physiological causes are ruled out.

Although Bumby's husband may be comfortable with his libido level (and it probably was a blessing to him prior to marriage), surely he must know that it is causing his wife distress.... and that isn't something he should be comfortable with. How seriously is he taking it?

Because guys are expected to be the initiators of sex, a low male libido can make a spouse feel undesired, unappreciated, unloved.... and those are things he should be very strongly defending against. Bumby, is he making you feel loved and desired in other ways?

[/quote]

To be honest, he doesn't take it seriously. He knows that I am unhappy, he knows how important I think sex is in a marriage, he knows he doesn't satisfy me. But despite all this, he doesn't think it is an issue because he doesn't care about sex - it's just not on his radar.

I really do understand I may be making him feel emasculated because he doesn't get a lot of chances to initiate things but I think we would have even less sex if I waited for him to make a move. I can say nothing for weeks and wait for him, and then when I make a subtle hint, he doesn't want to hear about it.

He doesn't make me feel desired, no. He does make me feel wanted in that he likes to cuddle me at night for a little while and he kisses me goodnight and goodmorning, gives me hugs now and again when we see each other in the evening. Tells me he likes my cooking...things like that. But he does irritate me in that he is always walking around using his phone to go on Facebook and text his friends. I do wish he'd put it down and just spend time with me in the evening. But that's an aside, really.


#15

Unfortunately we don’t have the WWME in the UK but I am definitely considering counselling. I am going to pray more, you’re right - prayer is powerful.


#16

I will try this. Thank you. It’s going to be very difficult - he eats in his work canteen and is a very fussy eater who doesn’t like eating what I eat!


#17

[quote="ac_claire, post:9, topic:206066"]
I agree with the previous poster's comment about the marriage debt, and what your husband "owes" you in that regard.

A couple of questions: does he say why? I mean, does he say he's not attracted to you anymore? Or that his sex drive is just low so he just "doesn't feel like it"? Does he look at porn at all?

He really needs to be satisfying you at least with the bare minimum. Nobody ever said marriage was constant roses and passion and pleasure, you know? I've had times when I was pregnant and I had NO sex drive; I mean absolutely none. But that doesn't change the obligation, to a reasonable extent. Hopefully speaking with the priest in addition to the doctor will help.

[/quote]

Claire, he has said various things as to why he doesn't want to have sex. They include not being in the mood, being too tired, too full, having to get up early, going to bed past 10pm, I know he has looked at porn in the past but as far as I know (and I still check our computer and his mobile phone) he doesn't look at it anymore. I do understand that I can't have sex exactly when I want it, but just any kind of him wanting me, telling me I look sexy...anything! Oh yes, he did tell me after I gave birth to my daughter that he didn't find me attractive anymore. Then he denied he'd said this when I asked him about it again. He said I 'should've shaped up by now.' However I am not so different to before I became pregnant. I should add, when I was pregnant and for a while afterwards, we didn't have sex. It lasted for about a year. I have asked him to talk to our priest, who is so lovely and a great friend of my extended family, but he's refused because he is too embarassed. Lovely to know his embarassment is worth more than our marriage.

Does anybody know if there is anything I can do to inhibit my libido?


#18

Yes I am sure it is a mortal sin, if your husband is a Catholic the priest has a duty to speak with him about this.

If he knows this upsets you and still refuses even though he can it is not just a case of him not caring about sex he is not caring about you, that is the awful truth of the matter from what you have told us.


#19

The facebook and phone comment (how you wish he’d turn them off to be with you) combined with the fact he’s watched porn and has vocally disapproved of your appearance I think may be at the heart of the problem. I’d explore it further (and maybe get rid of internet for a while).


#20

Hello bumby

We’ve been married for 2 years, too (though no kid yet) and with us I am the one, too, who would like more, intimacywise. This was a huge problem when we were first married (but that was greatly due to the fact that I had foolish expectations regarding frequency, like we had to make the most of EVERY infertile day :shrug::o)

Although some hormonal problem or abuse are possible causes, I would not think this has to be the case with you.

  • stress from work is a powerful libido-killer, believe me
  • but above all :

Well, THAT’S the big problem here. As a newlywed I had to realize that, before we could come closer sexually, we had to be close in other ways; and that indeed, the lack of “other” intimacy led me to crave even more for at least some kind of sexual intimacy. In the same time, the lack of “other” intimacy partly explained my DH’s lack of interest.

So I would advise you to let sex aside for a while, and focus on other intimacy: this means, not making anymore demand on your husband regarding sex, and telling him something like “honey, I feel like we’re drifting apart. The subject of sex has been an issue lately, and I am willing to let it go for a while. What I really want is that we get closer to each other. I feel like we each have activities that prevent us from that. Could we agree to spend at least [amount of time] talking / walking / laughing / reading / … together in the evenings, as well as [other amount of time] in the weekend ?”

This won’t solve everything right away. But if he’s willing to participate, you’ll see your marriage getting stronger week after week; and sex will make its comeback.


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