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Many elements go into sustaining a happy, healthy marriage, and sex is one of them. It's normal for a couple to have different levels of sexual desire and for sex to go through phases during a marriage. Demanding careers, children and conflicting schedules can all take their toll on a couple's sex life. If your husband has been disinterested in sex for some time, never initiates sex and regularly rejects your advances, you need to address the issue before it gets out of hand.
Bear in mind that it might not be personal if your husband isn't showing interest in sex right now, says Michele Weiner-Davis, relationship therapist and director of the Divorce Busting Center, in her article "9 Tips for the Spouse With a Higher Sex Drive" for "Psychology Today." It's difficult not to feel rejected when your spouse doesn't want to get intimate with you, but you need to consider that it may have nothing to do with you. Approach the issue with an open mind. Possible reasons for your husband's attitude toward sex include a hormone deficiency, depression and feelings of inadequacy.
Look at your own behavior and consider how it might have affected your husband's libido. If your husband sees you as a nag (whether you are aware of this or not), he may have become passive-aggressive, going along with your demands but withdrawing from you emotionally and sexually. Be a little more easygoing with your husband. Surprise him with a compliment. It might just be enough to make him feel closer to you, which could trigger his sexual desire.
Stop trying to initiate sex with your husband for a few weeks, suggests Weiner-Davis. This will make him feel less pressure and give him some breathing space to resolve any issues he might be dealing with. Back off and be patient. Spend the time focusing on yourself and your other (nonsexual) needs. Keep busy and fill your time with friends, hobbies and activities that make you feel good about yourself.
Give your husband lots of affection, without having sex as the end goal. Cuddle and kiss him to show him you care. Hold his hand when you're out in public. Sit close to him on the sofa while you're watching television. Affection doesn't always have to lead to intercourse, but if your husband feels appreciated and loved by you, he may start showing more of an interest in sex.
Suggest trying new sexual positions or techniques to spice up your sex life. If things have become a little stale, book a romantic weekend away in a luxurious hotel and invest in sexy lingerie to wow your husband. Create the same setting at home if money is an issue, with scented candles, sensual music and no distractions. Ask your husband if there's something he'd like you to do during sex that you haven't tried before. Sometimes talking about sex is all a man needs to get in the mood.
Have a heart-to-heart talk with your husband about his low sex drive, if all else fails. Tell him you love and desire him and want to be intimate with him on a more regular basis. Avoid criticizing him or making threats to end the marriage or have an affair (even if this is how you are feeling). Ask your husband to explain why he isn't interested in sex anymore. Suggest couples counseling to help you work through it together. It's important to address the issue before you do something you might regret, warns relationship therapist Laura Berman in "My Husband Is Not Into Sex" for Oprah.com.
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C. Giles is a writer with an MA (Hons) in English literature and a post-graduate diploma in law. Her work has been published in several publications, both online and offline, including "The Herald," "The Big Issue" and "Daily Record."
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