You might think that it’s always the wife that isn’t really interested in sex. But the reality is that men too have concerns and issues that get in the way of their natural desire to connect sexually.
One woman had an “ah-ha” moment one night regarding the dynamics of sexual desire in her marriage. She wrote the following:
“I remember one evening seeing in my husband’s eyes that he was not exactly in the mood.’ The cares of the day and the weight of work pressures were heavy on his mind, not to mention the fact that he was just plain tired. All of a sudden it dawned on me that I was seeing my husband the way he usually sees me, in a ‘not-interested-in-sex’ state of mind.
It was a strange sensation to be on the other side of the coin, because I was interested in sex that night. To imagine my husband not being automatically interested in lovemaking was a new concept.”
Men Need Foreplay Too
Given the many stressors of life and especially as husbands age, men may need a little more foreplay too. Foreplay is something that helps relax and prepare the mind and body for sex.
Sometimes women like to think that they have the corner on the market when it comes to needing some help to shift from daily cares to more sensual activities.
But men, too, like to be touched and kissed and caressed both verbally and physically. As we can see from the scenario above, it was the husband who particularly needed some connecting foreplay to get him headed in a more sensual direction.
We sometimes forget that it isn’t just women who long for connection and want to feel loved, appreciated and wanted. And don’t think that men don’t also need the same courtesies outside the bedroom and throughout the day that women do.
Couples may need to be a little more intentional with their lovemaking and understand that sex does begin at breakfast for both husband and wife.
When the Husband’s Not Interested
I’ve counseled with many couples that have struggled with the husband’s lack of desire for lovemaking. The issues I have recently seen include that of overwhelming financial worries, depression, and feeling criticized and/or nagged–often by an angry wife.
While the causes of low sexual desire in a husband are varied, it’s important to remember that husbands too can be turned off sexually.
Low sexual desire is generally categorized into physiological causes, psychological factors and relationship issues (see And They Were Not Ashamed, pgs. 68-69). According to a survey done by the authors of Why Men Stop Having Sex, some of the more common causes of low sexual desire in men are:
- Sex has gotten too routine/ adventure is gone
- She doesn’t seem to enjoy it
- Feelings of anger towards wife
- Wife is depressed
- Husband is depressed
- She’s no longer physically attractive/ significant weight gain
- Husband’s sexual dysfunction
- Pornography addiction
Help for Husbands and Wives
In addition to both husbands and wives needing sufficient mental, emotional and physical foreplay to get things rolling, couples may also need to consider getting professional help for things like depression, relationship difficulties or addiction.
Other helpful hints to keep the home fires burning are to keep things fresh and exciting by trying out new things and making sure priority time and attention are given to the intimate dimension of marriage.
If the wife isn’t fully enjoying her God-given sexuality and the lovemaking experience I heartily recommend reading and doing the homework exercises in my book And They Were Not Ashamed — Strengthening Marriage through Sexual Fulfillment.
Passionate and intimately fulfilling lovemaking is one of the great gifts God has given to husbands and wives. I hope couples will make the necessary investments of time, energy and resources, if necessary, to create the kind of intimate relationship God intended.
Marriage and intimacy expert, Laura M. Brotherson, MS, MFT, is the author of And They Were Not Ashamed-Strengthening Marriage through Sexual Fulfillment, host of “The Marital Intimacy Show” and founder of the Marriage Messages videos. Visit her website StrengtheningMarriage.com to learn more.