Don't leave just yet. Besides these articles, sometimes I send out extra special stuff. Don't miss out. Sign up here.
people are love and respecting (now).
Join the movement.
What happens if you meet someone when you are very young and realize you’re best friends and never want to be apart. You stay pure and you get married…Life is good for a while because you’re hanging out with your best friend. Sex is not a big deal…you have it when he wants to. But then you wake up one day and realize you have never really been physically attracted to this individual. That the sexual feelings you had for him before marriage were more based on the fact that you just wanted to have sex. Now you’ve been married for 5 years to a man you have not had sexual feelings towards and haven’t for about 4 1/2 of those years. You love him, he is amazing to you, but you do not desire him in the least bit.
This question makes me sad, if not somewhat mad.
My heart hurts for you in your lack of sexual attraction to this man. But it also hurts because I see how you have been influenced by the culture which says sex is always fantastic and all about you being desirous of it, etc. etc.
We should all be so fortunate to marry our best friend. We should all partner in life with someone who treats us amazing. Do you know how many people are jealous of you? Do you know how many people married because they were sexually attracted to someone and then that ended and they woke up realizing they were married to someone they didn’t even like?
It’s hard for me to imagine that you aren’t attracted to your husband even 1%.
Unless of course you are in love with someone else.
Sex and attraction are big, valid issues and I empathize. My encouragement to you is to keep having sex. Scientifically, if you keep having sex with someone over and over it becomes a need and a desire that is harder to have when you aren’t having sex. Talk about your sex life. Enjoy it, have fun with it. Tell yourself it’s not a chore but an activity you get to do to spend time with your best friend. Laugh and be creative. I learned in my Rhetoric class in college that
sometimes we act, and the feelings and satisfaction follow. (I think it was Rhetoric…)
In the same way you said your husband is amazing to you, make sure that if sex is a way he feels like you are being amazing to him, that you do so, even when you might not “desire” him.
Pray about this and meet with a godly women who has a reputation for having wisdom in this area. Confide in her, but obviously be careful. If you heard that your husband was telling people he didn’t desire you, don’t you think that could be a bit hurtful?
Remember too that there are “seasons” sexually in our relationships. It is not like the movies. I think if every person questioned their marital choice every time sex wasn’t fantastic or they didn’t find their partner super attractive, we would have a ton of people questioning their marriages.
Ahh! Maybe that’s our generations problem!?
In my opinion, and what I take from scripture, is that marriage is about meeting each other’s needs. From the sound of it and the way you speak so honorably of your husband, it sounds like he is doing a pretty good job on his end.
You seem like a smart, logical, Godly woman and I have great hope for this situation. It’s not perfect and it may not be what the world tells you that you deserve, but keep the idea of “seasons” and “meeting each other’s needs” in mind when things are tough.
Think long term. What are your options?
When you are 70 years old, sitting on a porch with your best friend who treats you well and knows you better than anyone in this world, …I promise you will feel satisfied. Much more satisfied than if you left him to go see if there was someone more sexually desirable or attractive out there.
From my heart,
Don't leave just yet. Besides these articles, sometimes I send out extra special stuff. Don't miss out. Sign up here.
Love and Respect (Now) is a division of Love and Respect. Please be considerate.
Really good advice!
Physical attraction can be such a fleeting thing anyway. When you meet someone when you are young, they aren’t always going to look that way. You’ll get older, put on weight, lose weight, get wrinkles, change your hair style. I would say my husband looks completely different today than to the day i met him. However, I’m attracted to his kindness and genorisity and the way his mind works, and the way he takes care of me, and the way he lets me truly be myself and to always be growing as a person. And with all that, how could i not want to love him.
I’d recommend checking out the podcasts at http://www.oneextraordinarymarriage.com who discuss building sexual intimatcy within marriage. They will often say its ok to pray during sex. If you aren’t feeling it, just offer it up to God, say a little prayer, and you might be surprised at how quickly it will be answered.
I think to be married to a good man you consider your best friend is a wonderful blessing. Just be open to the possiblity that sexual desire is so much more than just physical desire.
Mary – Great advice and thank you so much for the resource and sharing your experience. As I was reflecting more about this I thought how as Christians I think it’s important to remember that when we have a purpose as a couple to serve the world I think it re-frames attractiveness and shifts our perspective of what marriage should be.
Attraction can wax and wane…similar to what you said, we just have to be open to different attributes being the thing that attracts us!
Coming from a guy, there isn’t much in our culture that promotes endurance and perseverance.
Anyone can make someone happy for a season. But show me a husband who can make his wife feel loved through the passing of seasons, and that’s someone I want to get a beer with so I can learn from him.
Andy – I totally agree—we promote the mentality that “you deserve to be happy which = give up if you are temporarily unhappy.” I forget the stat, but there is some great research on couples who say their marriage is dis-satisfactory and choose to stay together…Five years later, the group all rated staggeringly higher satisfaction. Instead of finding a new partner, I pray we can hope for and work towards a new season. This will yield far better results than if we just continue to look for new partners.
I hope you don’t have to drink beer alone for long…He’s out there I promise. (-: (now it sounding like the advice I give women…)
This makes me think about how sometimes, Christian don’t emphasize physical attraction enough before they get engaged. They might get engaged out of duty or convenience, or some super-spiritual mindset of thinking the physical body is something of a “lower priority” to God.
Truth is, sex and physical intimacy is probably the number one thing your husband wants more of in your marriage. It’s a need for him right up there with eating and drinking (okay, the frequency of filling that need doesn’t need to happen as often as you eat and drink, but I would say it’s just as tangible a “felt need”).
If this “asker” was really UNattracted to her husband–if he repulsed her–she wouldn’t have married him. I like what Alece said: “Sexual attraction is more than physical attraction”.
There are a number of resources out there for addressing this issue. I would say, “Don’t give up!”
Great job, Joy!
Val – Thanks for your insights. I felt like there was SO much I wanted to say to this woman. I wish I could have sat down with her face to face.
What you said about Christians and the sexual piece is right on. We are also so apt to get it wrong, either out of fear, lack of knowledge, disobedience, legalism, etc. I think we have all fallen into one of those categories…which makes me realize it is such an important thing FOR Christians to be discussing openly, before AND after we get married.
Boy, would love to sit down with this women too, such a hard place to be! The biggest thing I’d say is pray. Pray when you feel dissatisfied. Pray when you are afraid you can’t persevere. Pray when you find yourself looking for something else that seems better, shinier, more attractive. Be totally honest & naked before God, He loves you and He is good. And yes, find someone safe and wise to be honest with and walk in this with who will pray with you. And when you have sex with him, PRAY. What you are doing is a holy act God created for marriage. It can be broken just as can anything in this fallen world, it can hurt and be scary and feel empty, but Jesus came to restore broken things… seek Him in that place. He’s there with the two of you and He brings restoration.
A small side note: if it is more a sense of low sex drive vs. actual attraction you may want to see a doctor. There are actual medical problems that can cause one’s sex drive to decrease all the while loving and respecting the person deeply.
The writer of this question is a brave lady! Kudos to you, honey, for asking such a difficult question. My follow up question is: are you simply NOT attracted to him, or do you actually find certain things about him repellent? A lesson I recently learned in my marriage is that it’s okay to tell your spouse what you prefer or don’t prefer. Should you tell your spouse he needs to lose 50lbs or you’ll leave him? Probably not. But to say things like “You know, I think you’d look really great with a faux hawk and I think I might feel a little frisky when you style your hair that way if you know what I mean,” is a great way to make sure you’re keeping the sexual aspect of your relationship on the front burner.
I feel a little dumb putting this in a place where someone could google me and read it, but what the heck – I was a virgin when I got married and I had a REALLY tough time moving into a mindset of sexual freedom. When you essentially train yourself to not feel sexual, the idea of “forbidden” love becomes the thing you associate with attractiveness. Once you get married, the “off limits” thing goes out the window and suddenly, sex doesn’t have such an exotic flavor to it and you’re left feeling a little lost. We want what we can’t have. Then, we we CAN have it, we don’t want it anymore. Ah, the joys of human nature.
My question to the brave lady is: what/who DO you find attractive? That might give you a clue about whether the problem is your husband or whether it’s more about the habits you’ve developed over the years. Do you watch movies where the good girl falls in love with the bad boy and they have to fight to win the parents’ approval? I know stuff like this sounds silly, but listening to even the most casual parts of your internal dialogue might give you a better foundation to begin a conversation with God or a trusted friend about what exactly is going on in your relationship with your husband.
Jen – Your advice to pray is right on. I think sometimes we forget the power of it…but you also coupled it with the reality that sometimes we may just have physiological problems that lead to our mind thinking…”maybe I am just not attracted or maybe there is something wrong with our relationship.”
Many people feel shame when it comes to their sexuality and keep it from their doctors. I hope she feels freedom to talk this through with her husband and doctor.
Kelly – Wise insight! I agree with you and believe it’s a way that we get tripped up as Christians. If we don’t find healthy ways to embrace our sexuality (that God created in us) while we are abstaining, then it makes it very difficult to just flip a switch. Our motivation to be pure before a marital commitment has to come out of a place of belief and freedom because we trust it’s for our benefit…otherwise the only option is to suppress and deny how God made us as sexual beings. This can become legalism. It’s fine line though and how to “embrace our sexuality in singleness” is going to look different for each individual.
I too am so happy that she was brave enough to bring this discussion out into the open. Kudos to her and all of you for joining in with your good insight!