When a marriage is sexless because one partner simply does not want sex, it can lead to deep hurt for the other partner. They can feel unattractive, unwanted, and ultimately unloved. They might wonder, Do they still love me? A sexless marriage can devastate a relationship.

While it is often the case that the wife does not want sex, it is also increasingly common for husbands not to want sex with their partner either. No matter your particular situation, relationship expert, Shelia Gregorie, offers sound advice and practical tips in the videos below for navigating both situations.

When The Wife Doesn't Want Sex

Video Transcript:

Ten o’clock comes along, the kids are in bed, and she is thinking, Now is the time to get some sleep.” But he is thinking, “Now is the time I can get some.” How in the world do you resolve that impasse?

In most marriages, the husband has a higher libido than the woman. In some marriages, about 25-35%, it is the opposite. But in most instances, the guy wants to have sex and the woman just wants some time to herself so she can get some sleep. Why is that?

A lot of it is the way men and women are made. Men are physically wired to want sex more often than women. But that doesn’t mean that you as a couple shouldn't be making love more often. A lot of times women switch off sexually because they find it boring, it doesn’t feel that good, and quite frankly, she feels everyone is putting demands upon her and she doesn’t want her husband to do that as well.

A New Perspective

Here is a different way of thinking about it. If you are a woman, remember that to a guy, sex is a need and affection is a choice. For women, it’s probably the opposite. Affection is a need, and sex is a choice. A woman can live without sex, but she cannot live without her husband hugging her and telling her he loves her. She really cannot live without having conversation and friendship with him.

But, when a woman withholds sex, she is withholding something extremely important to him. So ladies, please understand he is not unreasonable, he is not an animal, he is not perverted, and he is not gross or pathetic if he wants sex often. Think about it that way and try to be loving and try to reach out to him.

But how can you do that if, as a woman, you find it boring? Guys, this is where you can help. Is your wife really enjoying sex? Because if she isn’t, it may be because it takes a long time to warm a woman up. For guys, they can be ready right away. The woman needs time to feel good. Set a timer for fifteen minutes. Agree that you are not going to do anything except cuddle and touch her for those fifteen minutes. Don’t do anything for yourself. That way, you will learn how to make her feel good if you take the time to find out. Help her show what feels good to her because sometimes women are a little bit scared or shy about that.

If you are the woman and feel like not having sex because you are tired, it seems boring, or you would rather get some sleep, then think about it like this: Most women do not feel aroused until they start. So when your husband begins to make love, there is a good chance you will not be in the mood yet until you at least reciprocate the love-making too. Usually, most men feel aroused before they start, whereas women may not be in the mood until they are halfway through.

So, ladies, do this as an experiment tonight: just jump in, even if you don’t feel like it. I dare you. Put your whole self into it — your mind, your body, and your soul — and chances are, within a few minutes, you will start enjoying each other passionately.

When The Husband Doesn't Want Sex

Video Transcript:

OK, girls. You see these movies where the guys are crazy about sex and want to get their girls in bed, and these women have to be persuaded. But in your marriage, it is the exact opposite. You want to make love, but your husband doesn’t seem interested at all. You then ask yourself, what is wrong me, what is wrong with him?

I know it seems the whole world rates the man’s libido higher than the woman’s, but in about 25-35% of marriages, the woman has a higher sex drive. So what’s going on? And what can she do about it?

There are four main reasons a man may not want to make love.

The number one reason, and this is growing by leaps and bounds, is pornography. When a guy is involved with porn, it rewires his brain. What becomes arousing is an image rather than a person. He may actually, in the extreme, become incapable of making love with his wife.

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If you have a husband who is not sexually involved with you at all, make sure he is not into porn. But let’s assume he is not into porn. If that is not the case, what are the other reasons:

It could simply be stress. A guy who is under a lot of stress, say he is unemployed, can really have his libido affected. It could be relationship issues. Watch how you talk to your guy. A guy needs to feel that you think he can take on the world. If you are constantly criticizing him or correcting him in public, you can be emasculating him. So please watch for that. The last reason **could be simply a lack of friendship.” You don’t have a relationship. If you live in the same house, but you spend your whole life talking about who’s going to pick up the kids, who’s going to get the milk, who’s going to take mom to her dentist appointment, then there is nothing to build upon. There could also be a physical reason, so if you think that is the case, encourage him to see a doctor. Some men do suffer from low testosterone.

But in general the issue is usually relational. So, what can you, as his wife, do about it?

Spend time together, for it all comes back to friendship.

Do something together. If he likes watching hockey, watch hockey! If he likes to go fishing, go fishing. You may not like it, but you get to spend time with him. When guys are doing something they like, they are more inclined to talk to you. If you talk and focus on building your friendship, then the rest will come together.

I know there are magazine articles out there that tell you that the way to get him to make love to you is to buy an assortment of lingerie and sex toys, but it's probably not a sex issue as much as it is a relationship issue. If you build that goodwill in your relationship, and if you feel like you are on the same page, then it is much easier to address the other issues in the relationship.

Deal with the friendship first, and the passionate desire to have sex with your spouse will return.

Are you in a sexless marriage? You don't have to face this alone. At Issues I Face, we offer free and confidential mentoring. You can connect with a mentor through the button below.

This article was written by: Sheila Gregoire