What to do when you have a low libido and still need to please your husband

Hi everyone. It’s been a while since I posted but I’m feeling desperate/confused/disheartened. I’ve been serious about my faith for about 15 years now, including being a youth minister, studying TOB, being a catholic missionary, and discerning religious life. I only recently married at 40 years old and have been pretty disappointed overall. I was not inexperienced (unfortunately) which means I know what can be and what isn’t.

I have a low libido and would be content with a few times a month. Of course, that is not ok with my husband. On top of that, he enjoys things which I do not. Having studied TOB and met men who wouldn’t dream of asking their wives to perform acts they are not comfortable with, I feel very disappointed in my husband for not being that kind of man. I have tried to tell him certain things I don’t like, but he either doesn’t take me seriously or say that he likes it and it isn’t just about me. He does try to please me some of the time, but other times he’s content knowing I get nothing out of it as long as he is pleased. It feels nothing like a unitive act when I’m forcing myself to have sex when I have no interest. It feels demoralizing. I know women have struggled with this for ages and that it is part of our “wifely” duties, but how do you reconcile the teachings of TOB with all it’s talk of renewing your wedding vows and the reality of married life?

Thanks for any advice.

Do you feel that your husband considers your needs in other areas? I’m not really experienced in this kind of problem, but all the books say that often sexual problems are manifestations of issues in the emotional aspect of the relationship. I don’t know if that’s how it works in “real life”, but it makes sense that if a woman isn’t united with her husband from psychological standpoint, she won’t be as comfortable with the physical aspect.

As far as the other thing goes, since you don’t say what it is that he is doing (And that’s perfectly reasonable that you don’t want to share the intimacies of your marital act.) but that makes it hard for anyone to advise. There are some things that certain men want that really are degrading and unreasonable. There are lots of things that are a matter of taste and preference, and it could be that because of your overall discomfort and lack of drive, you might be being the slightest bit unreasonable yourself. I think you might want to talk about this with a proffessional (preferably Christian) relationship counselor because if you give them the details that decency and good taste require you not to spell out on the internet, they may be able to help you determine what catagory you fall in and where to go from there.

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Before anything, you need to discuss directly with your husband about that without taboo in the details with all the subtleties. You need to search the factors and the causes of your sexual issues. The " why " of your low libido and your low sex drive, and may be, the other issues in link with your views about the marital act and co !!! Emotional issues, affective issues, sensible issues, psychical issues, psychological issues, mental issues, moral issues, spiritual issues, religious issues, philosophical issues, theological issues, physical issues, physiological issues, erotic issues, sensual issues, orgasmic issues…etc. You need to talk with some catholic specialists, a catholic psychologist, a catholic psychoanalyst, a catholic sexologist, a catholic midwife, a catholic general doctor, a catholic psychiatrist, a catholic gynecologist, a catholic ethicist, a catholic theologian, a catholic philosopher, your catholic confessors and your catholic spiritual directors in order to identify the several factors and the possible causes. And after, you need to try some proposed treatments by those specialists.

I don’t want to seem too much direct and clumsy, but in reading your message, you seem to have a too much ideal expectation of the marital act, because of your past life, very religious, and your study of the theology of the body. You need to agree with the reality of the modus operandi of the marital act, otherwise all will be very difficult. Ask to your priests and friends. Do you agree with the sexual cooperation in the human fashion on your body by him and by you on his body? Sexual preliminaries on you by him and by you on him!!! What is your moral position? Do you want to be a conjugal nun? Do you want to transform him in the conjugal monk?

Thanks for the response. We definitely have our issues, but who doesn’t:shrug:

He isn’t asking for anything completely unreasonable. It’s little fetishes that I don’t enjoy and thought he would welcoming knowing what feels good and what doesn’t. I was wrong.

Did you discuss these things prior to marriage?

We are meeting with a Christian counselor. We’ve only started going so haven’t delved deeply into the intricacies of our sex life. I am on medication that affects libido and on medications to try to counteract the effects of the other medication.

You may be right. I may have had too high of an expectation for marriage after all the fluff of TOB. The ironic thing is that I rejected religious life because I didn’t think I could be a celibate after my sexual experiences. It’s also horrifying too me that I enjoyed sex much more before I was married. I thought It “finally” not being a sin would make a difference. Maybe I’m just being chastized for my past sins.

There are some things we discussed that I said I absolutely would not do, and we haven’t. I think what’s bothering me is that I thought men wanted to know what worked and what didn’t while being intimate. Am I wrong?

Stop, stop with the sexual scrupules and the sexual dolorism. You have to stop with that. The past and the past. You need to learn to offer your own body in the favor of your husband, sexually speaking, and you need to work on the body of your husband, sexually speaking.

The low libido and the undesirable sexual practices are different issues, though related, and should be separate topics of discussion.

With respect to her libido, the OP appears disappointed with her husband’s lack of acceptance of that low libido. Perhaps she ought to see it from his side, maybe he’s disappointed with his newlywed wife’s lack of acceptance of his higher libido. Maybe he feels conned as much as she does. She likely should not have married him to begin with, but having done so, she now needs to first rule out her physical issues or work on them if there are any, then find it in her heart to work with her husband rather than shutting him down.

Regarding sexual practices, it is still possible to have definite boundaries in this area with higher libido. But these are the sort of things that should have been discussed well before marriage. Now that she’s already married, it’s a tad late for that discussion though it will still be helpful for her to communicate to him. It might help if she showed more enthusiasm for those practices she’s okay with.

That sounds very unfortunate.

Assuming that what is being asked for by either of you isn’t either immoral or degrading, you should each do things that are enjoyable for the other.

How knowledgeable is your husband about female physiology? He may just not know what he’s doing.

It might be helpful to look around and find a book with a good treatment of what is necessary for a woman to climax, read it with him, and then do “homework”. There’s also probably some practical advice somewhere for couples with a libido mismatch that you could both benefit from–namely, how to keep him happy without killing your sex drive in the process.

Good luck!

But her husband is also unenthusiastic about the activities that would allow her to enjoy marital activity…

So (her low libido aside), it’s actually a very balanced situation: she doesn’t like doing the stuff he enjoys, and he doesn’t want to do the stuff she enjoys.

Hopefully, counseling will sort this out.

Well I think some spiritual and professional counseling is in order. Have you considered that? It can help with communication.

Here are just some general nuggets that may or may not apply to you.

  1. A “low libido” may be a medical problem. Have you seen a doctor about this?
  2. You stated that the things are just little fetishes. You seem to have the idea that this sexual communication is a one way street. Where you tell him all that you don’t like and he seems to not be able to have a “wish list” As long as things are kept in a Holy perspective a little fetish indulgence is perfectly fine. I do things for my wife that she likes specifically and she does things for me. It is a give and take. something I like may not be her favorite, or vice versa, but that is the manifestation of our relationship.
  3. For a guy to be open about certain things is a very vulnerable position for him to be in. He says he wants something and gets shot down and made to feel a deviant. This is extraordinary embarrassing and defensiveness and averse reactions are to be expected.
  4. Your libido could possibly be helped by seeing your husband in a loving light. Rather than post about how he does not compare sexually to your past (a horribly emasculating thing I hope he never finds out from you) Perhaps you could focus on your respect for him as a man.
  5. Marrying late means that you both have some baggage that comes with time. And the procreative aspect of sex might be nearing an end. You should explore this further and see if that has a bearing on how you both are approaching sex.
  6. He may very well be viewing porn as that is where a lot of fetishism comes from. This is a tool of the devil and people underestimate how damaging it can be. My fetishisms come from porn seen years ago, some of them can be integrated into a holy, loving marriage, others can not. Porn is very damaging. He may need help (not his wife) to help him over come this.
  7. Is your husband theologically sound? Is he a faithful man? If so, engage him in theological discussion on sexuality. This helped my marriage intensely. It sounds strange at first but once sex can be seen as a theological and spiritual thing with God at the center things can be much better.
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I have to agree with this post, I’d say the same if it was the husband asking the question regarding his wife… You must try harder or at least compromise if you want a happy spouse.

I don’t want to really shoot you down over such a throw away comment that certainly does not mean what it says but sometimes it is important to remember that trivializing something and taking the “who doesn’t view” can really hide a problem. Not everybody has issues like yours, not everyone lives a sex life that is unhealthy. In fact, I would encourage you to find those who do not have a lot of “issues” and surround yourselves with them, your husband too. Having close friends who live amazing marriages and faith lives has really helped our growing as a married couple.

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I’ve heard more than once on secular sites that one of the ill effects of pornography is it often has the effect of leaving men deeply mistaken about how sex works, what is actually enjoyable for women, and how female sexual response works.

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Yup. Victimless crime, I think not…

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May be that the list of undesirable acts for her to give or to receive is already, by principle, an great issue!!! The list of bans, coming from her, can be problematic because too much unrealistic. This list can destroy the sex drive and the motivation of her husband, because everything is almost impossible to practice on her and to receive from her.

Apologies for being direct, but how much about your past “experience” did you share with your husband? Are any of the things you are balking at acts you have enthusiastically performed for other men? If yes, and he knows this, he will quite rightly be offended that you were able to do this with men who had promised you nothing, and not with him.

As long as you are not being asked to commit acts that cross the line into debauchery, or violate the requirement to be open to life, I think you should try to please your husband.

Yeah, and the way a ban works is then you fixate on that thing “you cannot have” My wife does not “ban” anything, but everything is put to the Holiness test. If it cannot be seen as co creating with God, better stay away!

The effect of porn on some people is like they’re watching The Matrix and believing they can replicate all the action sequences at home.

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