Realities of no intimacy in marriage - advice needed


I have been posting on here on and off for years. My husband and I have historically had a poor marriage sexually (he’s not interested, I am) and it is getting worse and worse. For some reason I am not entirely sure of God decided to bless us with another child. (During the one time that year we were intimate and according to the NFP method we use, not fertile). I have come to accept this and am looking forward to life with another little one. However what I am not prepared for is the rest of my life in this situation. My husband has finally had extra tests and is seeing a specialist soon about his hormones. I am not convinced anything will change because it’s been a decade and the intimacy has become less frequent every year.

Is anybody else in this position, or have you been? How have you coped through the years?


How old are you and your husband? Do you and he go to Church and pray?


We are in our early 30s. We go to mass on Sundays. I pray but no idea if my husband does privately. We don’t pray together except with the children at night.


Have you ever been to counseling? Has he been checked out by a doctor recently, specifically his testosterone levels?


Yes. Very recently. He is waiting to see a specialist to investigate his hormone levels.

We began counselling but are waiting for the outcome of the medical side of things first.


Praying together is far more intimate than sex, that is why so many couples would never, ever do it - or limit it to “Blessusolordandthesethygifts” before meal and tucking in the little kids.

I would challenge you to begin praying together Night Prayer from the Divine Office every day.

Here you can listen to tonight’s prayer and pray along together.

Realize that there is far more to intimacy than sex, and when you build up the other parts of your sacramental marriage, often one finds great peace.


Yeah but it’s sex that the OP is talking about here. While praying together is important, I think it’s likely her husband has some issues, whether medical or psychological, that he needs to work through. Him not wanting sex with his wife has the potential to make her feel rejected and undesired, and prayer alone will not fix that.


@bumby I’m sorry you’re still in this situation. I think you’re on the right track with the medical side of things and going with the counseling if that doesn’t reveal a cause. I hope it brings a resolution to you.


Thank you Adam.

I am terrified neither will work but perhaps I need to see them through first before I think about what to do next.

Praying together is definitely something we need to do but it’s difficult to begin praying prayers daily going from nothing never mind prayers you don’t know - I haven’t even heard of the Divine Office. Thank you for your suggestions and I will bear them in mind.


Prayer is the most powerful thing we humans can do. Prayer changes people.

I’d suggest a copy of Fr Dubay’s “Deep Conversion, Deep Prayer”.


I admit I find it hard to pray about it. I am very resentful and angry.


That is the first step. I’ve been there.

What helped me was praying the Litany of Humility every day for a long time. At first it was just words, then, it began to be an honest prayer from the bottom of my soul.


I am praying for you. This is an extremely painful cross. There is not always one approach that works, I think I needs to be approached from several directions gently. Prayer is always good! Sex is important though, it is normal and natural that you desire this in your marriage. It is a good sign that your husband is willing to see a physician. Perhaps the test results will shed some light for you? Praying…


At some point, you might have to resign yourself to perfect and perpetual continence – even though it is unjust for your spouse to impose this on you.


I don’t know if you intended to sign this post, but perhaps you should consider removing your name. I don’t think you’d want family and friends to be privy to this conversation. Just a thought.


Oops sorry it was an automatic signature. Whoops.


The vows are for better or worse, sickness and health, etc. Sometimes the “worst” hits in ways we never considered. Keep your vows. In the end, when you look back from eternity, you will realize that honoring the sacrament of marriage in the worst times was a great thing.


Perhaps, but that is a very last resort I think.

I think perhaps more aggressive moves are needed in this situation. I mean, allowing one spouse to do this long term does no favours for either spouse on their journey to heaven.

At the end of the day, marriage is supposed to be a road to heaven for those who choose it. Spouses must be accountable to each other. One spouse acting in an unjust manner over a long period may offer the other spouse the opportunity to sanctify themselves, but it also puts the offending spouse in a dangerous position.


Thank you for that, Adam. Often, I feel that people tell someone that asks for advice that they should just “suck it up,” but in a marriage, both partners need to do some give and take. It is not a true marriage if one spouse is the one that is always having to bow to the other ones wishes. That does not make for a healthy marriage.


To be honest, if it was me in this situation I think I’d move out until they admitted that there is a problem and agreed to do what it takes to work through the situation.

Maybe that’s not the best approach, but that’s just my thought.

I mean, if the other spouse is not prepared to try to acknowledge that you may be unhappy for some reason or to try to work it out, that would infuriate me long term.

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