I waited for sex, and now I am very hurt

Hello, my name is Debora and I am new to this forum. I’ve never been a member in a forum, and I’ve never been much of a computer person. I guess you could say this is kind of a desperate measure for me, for I feel like I have no one I can talk to about this.

I got married 2 months ago to the love of my life, whom I’ve dated for 4 years. We are both 24 years old, and we are devout Catholics who waited till we were married to have sex.

I am extremely disappointed with how our sex life has been thus far. When we first got married and started having sex, I sensed that something wasn’t quite right… it felt too much like we were just going through passive motions rather than having passionate sex. I could sense that my husband wasn’t very passionately into it, and in turn that put me off and kept me from enjoying it at all.

Turns out my husband has a very low libido, and in the past week this has taken a turn for the worst. We talked about this a few days ago and he admitted to me that “he’s always felt like he didn’t have as strong of a sex drive as other men, and he always figured that it would change once he got married and started having sex… but it hasn’t.”

We’ve been using natural family planning and so we can really only have sex for about 2 weeks out of the month. It is extremely frustrating and hurtful that on the 2 short weeks each month we are able to make love, we only do so a few times, and none of those times are ever filled with any strong passion or desire.

I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea here. It’s not that he refuses to have sex with me. He doesn’t refuse to (well, sometimes he’ll say he’s too tired, but usually he agrees to it). The problem isn’t that he’s refusing sex, the problem is that I can sense his lack of desire and motivation that a young man who just started having sex should have, and that ruins it for me too.

I was very very hurt a few nights ago when we talked about this and he told me that he just doesn’t feel arousal as much as he thinks he should. Even though I had been sensing that to be the truth ever since our wedding 2 months ago, it’s hard to actually hear him admit to it, for it makes it official. I’ve felt very hurt, disappointed, frustrated, and upset over his lack of desire for me. I never once regretted having waited to get married before having sex, but the fact that I’ve saved myself for this just makes it all the more hurtful.

I don’t want any of you to get the wrong impression about my husband. He is a wonderful, wonderful man and husband and catholic. He’s felt really really upset over this too, because he feels like he can’t satisfy me, and that’s been killing him. We’ve researched “low libido in men” online and we haven’t gotten any answers that make sense. They suggested things like “he might be gay, he might be out of love with you, he might be cheating, he might have health issues, he might have mental health issues, he might be depressed/stressed”… my husband and I both agree that none of those things apply to him.

(I know this shouldn’t have anything to do with it either, but I am not an unattractive person. I am physically fit and take great care of my body and the way I present myself to the world. I am a beautiful girl, and my husband tells me that all the time.)

The past few nights have been very hard for me. Even though I know that this isn’t his fault, I still feel hurt very deeply by him, and I can’t help but to lash out at him because of it. Last night I didn’t even go to bed with him… I slept on the couch. I just don’t know what’s wrong or what to do to fix this. We cannot afford counseling right now. How should I handle this? .

As a woman, this has been truly devastating to me. It makes me feel rejected and unattractive. I want to wake up and for this to all have been just a bad dream.

Has he seen a doctor about his low libido?



I agree… he should go see a doctor first to rule out any possible medical problems. Maybe ask his general practitioner for a referral to a endocrinologist or urologist. Even though he might not “feel” something is medically wrong, he doesn’t know that. The low libido might be the only symptom.

I know it’s hard, but try not to take his low libido personally. It might be something he has no control over. Keep talking with each other and work to get though this together.

I agree with the others… this shouldn’t be an “emotional” problem so much as a “medical” one…
Seek the assistance of a DOCTOR! :thumbsup:

First pray for him.

Second, have him see a doctor. As a man, I think he may be feeling bad about this as well. After all one of the most manly things about us guys is our desire for our wives. I’m sure not having the desire for his wife that he should is making him question his manhood. I speak of this from experience. It’s really not normal for a man to not want to or be unenthusiastic about sex. Yes, sometimes we are more enthusiastic than usual but guys are generally very eager excited about sex.

The only exception here would be if there are issues with your marriage or maybe he’s stressed about something. However, that doesn’t sound like what is going on here.

The most common health related cause of low libido is low testosterone levels. If that’s the case, he may need testosterone injections. The good news is that the injections fix the problem nearly immidiately.

I don’t think NFP is the cause because after two weeks of no relations he’d probably be chasing you around the house like an animal.:wink: If anything, he’d probably be more into it.

(a) Doctor should check him out to make sure nothing is physically wrong.

(b) Perhaps you’ve been influenced by secular media regarding sexual encounters being some sort of fireworks inducing, swing-from-the-chandelier event. Maybe your expectations aren’t realistic. The reality of sex is that it’s messy, it’s not that glamorous. You don’t have to have some spectacular technique and it doesn’t have to last all night long.

© Frequency and passion level are individual, and there shouldn’t be some imagined ideal you are comparing yourself or him to. This is individual to you two. Now, if you are both unhappy with the situation, investigate medical issues then seek counseling to see if there are other issues. And, if there are no issues, then accept that this is who he is, and it doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you or isn’t attracted to you.

It could also be a combination of things… it could have started off just as a medical problem but now he’s stressed about it because of the impact it’s having on the marriage. Compounding the problem.

That can be fixed with hormone (testosterone in his case) treatments. Not a very complicated thing, I don’t believe.

Be patient. And keep loving him. :slight_smile:

You know, after re-reading the original post (particularly the bolded portions above), I think 1ke is spot-on… there seem to be a lot of expectations that may or may not be realistic.
Yes, as I’ve mentioned before - rule out a medical problem… first and foremost…
But listen to 1ke’s post on all 3 points… it’s a much more complete look at the situation.

Welcome to the forums! :wave:

My newlywed situation was a little like yours – Both of us waited until marriage to have sex, we were 22 when we married, and had dated for 5 years (friends for 7 years). I remember sex being very “mechanical” early on… Neither of us knew what we were doing, we were nervous yet still excited, I was kinda small so things were a bit too tight for complete comfort 100% of the time (having babies fixed that beautifully), etc., etc., etc.

My point is, we spent quite a few years learning how to do it. Maybe we’re just slow. :stuck_out_tongue: But during my second pregnancy (4 years into marriage), things totally changed, almost like a switch was thrown. Maybe we both gained more confidence, maybe our technique suddenly improved, who knows? We will celebrate 7 years of marriage in November, and we’ve had the best, most consistently-awesome love making in the past year or two. It just keeps getting better, and I think it will for you two, as well. :slight_smile: Sometimes it takes awhile to discover what you like, what he likes, what you both like… Just keep trying and be patient with each other, you’ll get there!!

This is sound advice. Honestly your sex drive mid-twenties dies off a little from the swing-from-the-chandelier type. It could be many reasons. He could be nervous. Maybe both of you or one of you are enthusiastic about it when it starts making the other not be enthusiastic as well.
If your that concerned. See a doctor.

I’ve felt very hurt, disappointed, frustrated, and upset over his lack of desire for me. I never once regretted having waited to get married before having sex, but the fact that I’ve saved myself for this just makes it all the more hurtful.

Has he said he doesn’t desire you? I don’t think so. I think he said he doesn’t desire sex, and that he is not satisfied with the situation, either. Those are very different things. Ask a woman whose husband wants lots of sex, just not with her. I’m not trying to downplay your problem, just encouraging you to realize that this is probably not about his affection for you as his wife. You have a real problem, but this is not a fatal flaw in your marriage. It is the first of many problems that you will need to work through together. Welcome to married life!

Sex is not something that people are automatically comfortable and passionate about. Not only does desire vary greatly from one person to another, not only is the ability to feel “passion” something that varies from person to person, but comfort in marital sex is something that comes with time and with a growing feeling of security in the relationship. Yet our culture teaches us that we should be wild about it from the very first time. We should talk about it all of the time and concern ourselves greatly with perfecting our technique and mutual satisfaction. We should wrap our self-esteem deeply in whether or not our partner desires to have sex with us, and how often. Pressure? Who’s feeling any pressure? Both of you are, that’s what. It is like waiting to get onto the snow until you’re 25, and then expecting yourself to intrepidly and gracefully fly down the Black Diamond Expert Run every weekend all winter for the rest of your life, as the greatest possible expression of intimacy with the only person you will ever get as a ski partner. That is not going to happen. It is not realistic, and for some of us it is a more impossible expectation than for others. Prepare yourself for the possibilty that your husband may not be “hot-blooded”, and to learn to love and accept this about him. He deserves that.

There is also pressure on you as Catholics, not only between what the world believes about sex and what the Church believes about sex, but from the lengths the Church has had to go to in order to re-iterate the dignity of marital sexual relations in contrast to the teachings of a promiscuous society that accuses us of an unnatural hatred of sex. As a result, marital sex is on a pedastal in the Catholic Church right now. Even Catholics feel a lot of pressure to have a lot of “good sex”, the right kind, with the right feelings attached. We feel we need to “prove” that NFP not only works, that it is not only realistic, but that it makes sex better, by golly, so welcome to the Catholic Church and the best marital sex anyone on earth gets to have!! Well, yes, sometimes. Other times, not so much. Fidelity is hard enough, without adding on stuff like that.

God did not guarantee us better sex than anyone else, as a reward for marital fidelity. We should not demand it of ourselves. Emotions and bodies do not respond on command to expectations like that. God didn’t make us that way. We have to live according to how we were actually made, and how our spouse was made, and not according to how theory tells us we ought to be.

When you have denied yourself something for a long time, looked forward to it for a long time, you expectations can be very high. You can feel a lot of trepidation, too. You feelings toward the activity can be very mixed, particularly when the activity is as profoundly intimate as sex is and when you are in a culture that makes sex so central to your “self-expression” and heavens knows what else. As someone in an Engaged Encounter put it: “Today sex is forbidden, next month it is going to be holy. How am I supposed to change gears like that in my head?”

You also may read about what the average amount of sexual activity for married couples your age, but that is an average. Furthermore, it is very common for two married people to have different desires, both with regards to frequency and with regards to the “passion” they feel when engaging in sexual relations.

One thing I will correct you on: You can help yourself from lashing out at him. He has also not done anything to deserve being physically shunned at night! Refusing to sleep with him is a punishment, a punishment that is neither deserved nor likely to manipulate him in the direction you desire.

The behavior you describe is a choice–and thank you, because you are honest about yourself, good woman on that!–and it is one that you must stop allowing yourself. I want you to consider what you would think of him if you didn’t feel like having sex (as many of us do not, particularly after giving birth) and he took it as a personal affront and an excuse for verbal abuse and abandoning you to sleep alone. Not so much, I’m thinking. You are bound to love him, and nothing he does can “make you” do otherwise. If you are going to stay married a long time through thick and thin–I say this after over 20 years of marriage–you are going to have to hold yourself responsible for your own behavior, without using his failures as an excuse. I don’t want to be hard on you about feeling disappointment, but we need to be firm with you about this. No excuses allowed.

Your husband may not be depressed, but since easily-treated physical problems like a vitamin D deficiency do show themselves in libido, by all means encourage him to get a check-up, just to be sure. Go see your pastor and see what kind of help you can get for free. He is not going to yell at anyone. You may be surprised to find that this is not such an uncommon trial for couples who buck the culture and wait until they’re married. See if he doesn’t have some suggestions that will help you.

I wonder if this could be psychological. You dated for FOUR years, without having sex, as it was “forbidden”. And now you are married. He, after a lifetime of not having sex and avoiding arousal for fear of desiring the forbidden, at the snap of the fingers (the wedding day), is now “allowed” to feel desire and have sex; and furthermore, it is now something he should be panting for.

He may be having some difficulty adjusting to that major change in frame of mind.

I would suggest that you start at square one and take it slow. Let him court you. Snuggle, kiss, touch, but only go so far. After several encounters, let youselves go a little farther, but not all the way, After a few more encounters, go a little further yet, but not all the way. The idea is, the pressure is off to perform. The goal is to just get to know each other physically without the performance. After many encounters of just enjoying the desire, I think it will get to the point where he and you will long for each other in full. You know, slowly round the bases: first base, second base, third, and then when you are really ready…home.

God bless.

I agree, get everything checked out medically first, it could be a testosterone issue.

Second I would pickup a copy of “The Good News about Sex and Marriage” by Christopher West. If you guys are both pretty devout and neither were experienced before marriage then he might be having some issues in regards to what he can and can’t do in the bedroom… and something he always dreamed of his wife doing you might not think that’s ok either… A little anxiety worrying about “sin” rather that focusing on how exciting your spouse makes you could be the difference between “beige… we should paint the ceiling beige” and the proverbial swinging from the chandeliers.

God definitely has a place in the bedroom but the Bible is also pretty specific about wanting married couples to enjoy each other and enjoy the great give of “renewing our marriage covenant” with our spouse!

When you get the book, read it together, some of the answers may surprise you and open the the ideas to try different things. Some neither of you may like, some you may and some will take a lot of practice… but practice can be a lot of fun!

I will say a prayer for you guys as well!


Debora - keep in mind also that he’s never done this before!! There is a lot of pressure on guys to “perform”. And if he is already having libido issues that may compound it even more.

I agree with the others - see a doctor and make sure it’s not a medical issue first. Then just be kind and loving and patient with each other. Two months is nothing - you have your entire lives in front of you!!! This will work itself out, you just need to be patient, and do NOT take this personally.



Yeah, this is a problem as well. I was so nervous about what my wife would think of me and if I would live up to her expectations and all of that, that let’s just say we had issues even trying the first few times.

Once I got comfortable with her it was an entirely different story, for the better.

Debora- Definitely try to have your husband see a doctor as the previous posters have suggested - there are several prescription medications and creams which could quite possibly help a lot. It’s a much more common problem than some think!

I would also highly recommend contacting Catholic Charities in your area (# should be in phone book or you can do an internet search and probably send them an email) about setting up an appointment with a Christian/Catholic counselor for a REAL REASONABLE fee. It’s only $10 co-pay for each visit per couple in my area for up to six sessions (no maximum family income restrictions, etc.), and it likely is about the same co-pay near you.

And keep praying and talking to Our Lord - He can help you both get through this and is right by your side! A prayer is heading your way from me.

Spot on advice.

A doctor could fix this in some sort of way. Trust me, it will be okay. Get him checked out.

Try not to take this personally. You are both new to each other and to sex itself. You have to figure everything out, and that takes a while. I’d say it’s going to be at least 5 years before you start to get comfortable with each other’s bodies, likes, dislikes, etc. and find what really sparks both of you together. It is not just him, and it is not just you, it’s now the two who have become one, so treat it that way. Every time you unite yourselves, you are strengthening that bond between you, and all that is happening without any work at all. It’s the chemicals in your brains that are making the bond, and the Holy Spirit. It’s not just about sex itself but about the intimacy of sharing the sacred gift of yourselves with each other. Don’t mean to get all mystical about it, but this stuff is really a lot more intense than most people suspect! And for 2 newly sexual people, it’s going to take time. you are also still adjusting to being married in all those other ways.

But I would agree with everyone else, you can’t know it’s not a medical problem unless he gets tested for testosterone levels, other hormones such as thyroid etc. There could be something organic going on that he’s not even aware of. He may have just gotten used to being symptoms over time, not recognizing that he’s out of spec. But “normal is just a dryer setting” - his normal may not be chasing you around the house every day, but is he able to satisfy you when you do make love? Then revel in that!

If all is well, you both should just try to be patient. Pregnancy can be a REALLY exciting time for sex - your hormones will be up and stuff will just feel great! Especially the 2nd trimester, before you get all huge and ungainly.

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