Welcome to “Love and Sex Today.” I am Dr. Doug Weiss and today’s topic is going to be one of the best ones. I can tell you because we’ve done this topic on YouTube and it exploded: “Why My Wife Doesn’t Want to Have Sex.” I’m going to give you several reasons. We’re going to buzz through this so quickly, so you’re going to want a pen and paper.
There are legitimate reasons why your wife may not want to have sex. Some of these you may not be aware of. It will be really helpful for you to understand them. If you’re the husband, you might actually be contributing to some of them. You definitely want to read this whole post, and if you know others who are struggling with this, share it because this could be life changing for them.
Today’s topic is a deep one. There are millions of marriages struggling with sexless-ness, sexual confusion, sexual frustration, and aloneness. There are many men who work hard, try to love their wife, try to be a decent person, try to be a good dad, and at night they’re rejected, day after day, week after week, sometimes for years. They have no clue what’s going on. I’m going to give you several tips here that may give you insight as to why your wife won’t have sex.
Let’s start with this. Number one is intimacy anorexia. If you’ve never heard that term, I encourage you to Google it and go to intimacyanorexia.com. I have a book on that. If you go to loveandsextoday.com, you can find my book and videos on this. This is life-changing. Intimacy anorexia is the active withholding of intimacy from your spouse, emotionally, spiritually, and sexually. I have a blog post on that you should read called “Married and Alone: Intimacy Anorexia.”
Let me give you the characteristics of intimacy anorexia. Maybe your spouse is too busy for you but not too busy for others. She blames you for why all things are wrong in the marriage. It’s your fault all the time. She withholds love from you, especially the way you like to be loved. If you like to be touched, you’re not going to be touched. She withholds spiritually from you, although she might be spiritual in her community. She will also withhold sex, either withhold sex totally where she’s not having sex with you, or be disconnected during sex and make it feel like this awful thing you’re doing to her. That can be very painful for men. Maybe she’s withholding praise from you. She’s unwilling or unable to share her feelings with you. She’s using anger or silence as a way to control you. Maybe she’s giving ongoing criticism of you, and you can’t do anything right. To her you’re not smart even though you maybe run a multi-million dollar company. You feel like a roommate.
If you have five or more of those, your wife is an intimacy anorexic. You need to get on that right away, get information on that, because that usually doesn’t get better without professional intervention. I would encourage you to come do a three or five day intensive in our office because this thing is serious. Intimacy anorexia is very tough to deal with. That may be one reason why she’s not having sex. If that’s the case, that’s a really hard thing.
The next is depression. One of the symptoms of depression is a low sex drive. Let me give you some of the other symptoms: difficulty concentrating, difficulty making decisions, thoughts and feelings of worthlessness, low energy most days, weight either up or down, sleep difficulties. If you see several of those, you want to take her to a doctor and look at depression. That might be what’s going on.
Now, another reason why your wife may not want to have sex is also another legitimate reason, low testosterone. Some of the symptoms are very similar to depression, but there’s also sometimes hair loss, as well as low energy, a lack of focus, and a low sex drive. You can look up low testosterone for women and you might find that’s the case, especially if she’s moving into her forties, fifties, or sixties, like men, testosterone drops. Some women are unaware of that, and once they get that addressed by a physician and get bio-identical hormones, their sex drive goes back up and they feel good again. That could be a cloud that she’s dealing with.
Another similar pair of symptom clusters is low thyroid. It’s common with women, to have a low thyroid. The symptoms are again, very similar to depression: concentration issues, energy issues, a low sex drive. Again, you can Google that and find all kinds of information. This could be a legitimate reason why your wife may not want to have sex. That has nothing to do with you.
We talked about four things that have nothing to do with you. Intimacy anorexia is withholding intimacy from you. Depression has nothing to do with you. It’s usually chemical or there are issues in her past like sexual trauma or abuse that she has to deal with. Sexual trauma, unresolved sexual trauma, could be number five of a possible reason why you’re wife doesn’t want to have sex. That is something you want to take her to counseling for and get worked on so that someone from twenty-five years ago is not controlling your sex life. That’s something that can definitely have an impact. Depression has nothing to do with you. Low testosterone has nothing to do with you. Low thyroid has nothing to do with you. Sexual trauma from the past has nothing to do with you.
Now, let’s talk about a couple things that might have something to do with you because these impact a very healthy sexual woman and can shut her down. If you’re having a secret porn life or if you have a secret sex addiction, and you are disconnected during sex, your wife is having a negative sexual encounter most of the time. If she’s only made love to you one out of a hundred times, but the rest of the time she’s having sex with you it feels like it’s being done to her and it’s all about you, you’re not connecting to her emotionally, you’re not looking into her eyes, you’re not talking to her as a person, you’re talking dirty talk, she’s going to feel disconnected during sex. That’s going to be a turn off for most women. What you’re doing is you’re negatively reinforcing your wife around sexuality.
If you’re that guy and you’re going in there and it’s all about you and you’re not connected to her emotionally or spiritually, and you’re not connecting to her emotionally and spiritually outside the bedroom, you’re not asking her about her feelings, you’re not caring about her day, you’re not in her world, then she’s not going to really enjoy having sex with you. You’re moving her to have duty sex because that’s all you can provide is sex. If you’re not mature in making love to your wife, then you may be part of the problem as to why your wife doesn’t want to have sex. You want to talk to her about that.
Another thing is if you’re just generally immature, and what I mean by that is you don’t help around the house, you’re not engaged with the kids, you come home and you sit down and you watch television or football or you’re on your computer, and you’re just kind of avoiding her. Well, she doesn’t want to have sex with someone who is avoiding her. She doesn’t want to have sex with someone she has clean up after and remind what to do. You can’t keep your word, you say you’re going to do something and you don’t follow through. You being a child does not make her want to have sex with you. It turns her off. When you come home, the first hour should be focused on her. Ask her what she needs you to do. Get it done. Start getting things done around the house that just need to be done. Be a man, because if you stay a boy in a marriage, you will turn your wife off.
She might have married you thinking, “Okay, he’s 20 years old. We’re young. We’re trying to figure it out, fine.” But if you’re 40 and 50 and you’re still not picking up your stuff, still not putting the toilet seat down, still not able to fix that socket, that’s not okay. If you can’t fix things, then hire someone to fix things. If you’re that person who constantly needs to be nagged, that’s not sexy. That will turn your wife totally off. You can evaluate that.
If you have a sex addiction, then that’s an issue. If you’re being sexually selfish and all you’re able to provide is sex and not make love, you want to improve your skills. We talk about that in another post. Keep your eyes open. Talk to her during sex. Connect with her. Connect with her outside the bedroom. Ask her about what’s going on. Ask her about her feelings. Women love to talk about their feelings. Talk about them. If you’re not good at that, get the book “Emotional Fitness.” That can help you with that.
Also, be mature in the environment. If the kids need something, be proactive. If you need to look at your house and deal with stuff around there, deal with it. Show her that you care about her environment. For women, their house is a very sacred place. You want to be engaged in the environment, okay? Couch potatoes do not get a lot of sex because they are disrespected, and rightfully so.
It may be an issue you have that is the reason your wife doesn’t want to have sex, or the issue may be coming from her side, or both. Maybe she has intimacy anorexia. That’s treatable. You want to get information on that. Depression is treatable, whether it’s through counseling and/or medication. You would see a psychiatrist for medication. There are also naturopath treatments. Low testosterone is going to be more a medical issue. You want to go to a doctor, get a hormone panel done, and see if that’s an issue. For low thyroid, you can get a blood test and see if the thyroid is in the reasonable place. If it’s not, that may be the only reason she doesn’t want to have sex. She doesn’t really have a sex drive because of her thyroid.
Then, look at the issues that are on your side of the table. If you have a porn and sex addiction, or you’re not mature enough to have great sex, you’re part of the problem. You want to fix your side of things. If you’re disconnected during sex, that’s a problem. If you’re not connecting outside the bedroom, that’s a problem because women are aroused by emotional intimacy. That is a big aha moment for a lot of guys. I can’t tell you how many thousands of men I’ve taught that to, and the ones who believe me and do their feelings with their wife see a complete transformation in their sex life. It will expedite your wife’s desire for sex because she’s getting connected with you emotionally.
If you’re just generally immature and you’re unhelpful, or unkind, thoughtless, and selfish, you’re never going to have great sex. You don’t need to switch wives because no wife is going to really be turned on by that level of immaturity. You want to grow up in those areas that you need to take responsibility for.
This is going to be very helpful. I know we went through this speedily today. There’s a lot here, and each one of these could be its own topic. Maybe in the future, if we get enough feedback from you like, “Hey, I want to know more about that, Dr. Weiss,” we’ll do a post on that. There’s also a place on the website where you can ask questions. Please do, and we can answer those as well.
As always, I want you to go to loveandsextoday.com, subscribe there, and you can find a free chapter to one of my books. Review us on iTunes. That really helps people find help. One of you who leaves a review will be chosen for a private conversation with me that will be fun and engaging. We will be able to talk about some issue in your life and see if we can maybe encourage you in some way. If you need counseling help, we’re always here to help you. Just call 719-278-3708. As always, we want you to have great love.