Would you stay if your spouse didn’t make love to you?

*Wants More Sex, from Mill Valley, has been married for 2 ½ years. Her husband is a wonderful man that she met and dated for 7 months before getting married; however, they never had sex before marriage. They only made out, hugged, and kissed. Then on their honeymoon, where they went away for 10 days, they only had sex twice. Upon returning, and since then, her husband has initiated sex only four times. The other times she initiated and was not always successful. Basically, they have had sex an average of 3 times per year since their marriage. She’s been asking to make love and there is always an excuse: he’s tired, he had a hard day, he’s not feeling like it, his brain is mush, he’s exhausted, etc. She has asked him why he doesn’t want to have sex and he never responds. He gets erections in the mornings but that’s about it.

Since being with him, she has never had an orgasm. Their love making session consists of “wham bam thank you ma’am,” with hardly any kisses or foreplay. WMS has asked him if he would go to counseling with her, but he refuses and doesn’t want to talk about it. He seemed to be embarrassed. As for the last time she asked for sex, he told her to “cut it out” and “stop being annoying” to which he immediately apologized. She is sad, confused, and conflicted because on one hand he says he loves her, but on the other he doesn’t behave like a husband.  She made sure to tell me on the email we exchanged that “he is truly a wonderful husband and treats me like a princess.” She doesn’t want to give up on him. She wants to help him overcome whatever is troubling him but doesn’t know where to start. Since he doesn’t want to go to counseling, she’s asking me if she should go by herself or do I have another suggestion that may be helpful in getting him in “the” mood.

Answer: I hate to disappoint WMS, but I’m not that powerful and neither is she. I can’t give her any suggestion that will turn him on because he doesn’t seem to want to be turned on. They both need to find out what his problem is. Maybe he thinks he’s incompetent in the love making department (but if one wants, one can always learn together and improve). Maybe he has a medical problem. Maybe his testosterone levels are low, or maybe he’s gay. Who knows? Three times a year is extremely low especially for a couple who’s in their mid 20’s. Generally speaking, guys in their twenties are perpetual “let’s get it on” machines. So, that’s very unusual even for someone who has a low libido.

Since he can lift his “equipment” in the mornings, he shows that something in there is in working order. Going by herself to counseling is useless. He’s the one with the problem, not WMS.  I believe WMS needs to decide what she wants:

1) an adoring and wonderful husband with no intimacies OR

2) an adoring and wonderful husband who will have intimacies, who will bond with her, and will have a beautiful life together.

I believe she can have number 2; although it may be that she’ll have it with a future husband number 2, but she doesn’t seem to be able to have it with husband number 1. I don’t believe anybody should ignore that part of one’s life. Sex wasn’t created just for procreation because if it were, it wouldn’t feel so darn good. Sexuality is a gift and it should be enjoyed wisely, and to simply erase it completely when you are at any age and healthy, is foolish. WMS needs to have the courage to face him and tell him that he needs to get the help he needs and face what’s troubling him. If he refuses, then she has a bigger decision to make.  Making love to one’s spouse is part of the vows we make; and when one spouse refuses to fulfill that part, then he/she has broken the vows.  These days there is so much help for sexual dysfunction, especially for men, and he should profit from that.

Since WMS enjoys sex, she needs to urge her husband to get help ASAP. If she doesn’t do anything about this and lets it be, she’ll be accepting in the beginning because “she loves him;” but after while she’ll withdrawal, then get angrier, and more angry, until everything blows up. It will be ugly.

A word to the wise: a man who will not make love to his woman, nor do anything about it, is not “a wonderful husband.”  My dear friend’s husband had prostate cancer five years ago; but that didn’t stop them as a couple from enjoying each other’s sexuality. There are always other “things” one can do to please the other spouse, but Wants More Sex’s husband is simply not interested.

*Reader choose her own pseudonym

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