a woman lying in bed wondering what to do when your husband doesn't want you sexually

All relationships have their ebbs and flows, and while the chemistry and sex drive may be off the charts in the honeymoon phase, many couples claim that bills, children, and the pressures of running a household together can stifle their urges to pin their boo down on the kitchen table and get intimate. If you’re not sure what to do when your husband doesn’t want you sexually, we have some suggestions.  

To begin with, this is totally natural, but it’s still easy to take this as a personal rejection. Not to mention, if you’re in a monogamous relationship and your sex drive is higher than your partners, it can be frustrating. Here are useful ways to handle it when your husband doesn’t want you sexually.

Practical Ideas for What to Do When Your Husband Doesn’t Want You Sexually

Treat Self-Pleasure with The Same Care That You Would Sex with Your Partner

Think about what you like about sex with your partner (or any partner, for that matter). Of course, there are the physical actions and the connectivity, but there are other parts of sex you may like that don’t have to do with the sex itself. 

This could include the aftermath of cuddling, lounging around post-sex, or the pre-ritual of showering, shaving and getting dressed up in a sexy outfit. For many of us, self-pleasure does not involve many of these things. In fact, many of us tend to regard masturbation as a distraction while wearing last night’s spaghetti-stained sweatpants. 

If you’re going through a dry spell with your partner, my first recommendation is to get in touch with yourself through masturbation as an act of self-care. Love yourself the way you want your partner to love you. I’m not claiming that it will top sex with your partner, but by treating masturbation in a different way, you may find satisfaction that will take the pressure off your partner. 

This can lessen the resentment you may have about your partner not pleasing you sexually, and make it easier to find a solution. If you need help with this, you may want to try a course to keep you open and reflective to new experiences.

Talk About It Outside the Bedroom

This may seem like an obvious tip, but because the subject of sex is so sensitive and taboo, I feel the need to mention it. If you find that your husband isn’t interested sexually, you need to talk about why. 

Resist the urge to snap ‘why don’t you ever want to make love to me anymore?’ after he turns to his side of the bed and opens his WWII novel for the fifth night in a row. This creates a hostile, accusatory dialogue where he feels put on the spot.

Instead, make sure you talk about this outside the bedroom, and that you’ve both had time and space to prepare for the conversation. Tell him you’d like to talk to him about your sex life and schedule a time that works well for both of you. 

This way, you’ll both have time to prepare what you want to say, and will hopefully avoid speaking out of anger, frustration, or ego-fueled emotions. Be sensitive and aware when broaching this conversation, or any conversation with your partner. 

Don’t make assumptions, ask questions instead. Instead of saying, ‘why don’t you want to have sex with me?, try asking him how often he’d ideally have sex as a couple or ask what he feels your sex life has been lacking lately. 

Maybe he didn’t realize that you choosing your sexiest nightgown all week was supposed to signal him to make a move. Or, maybe he didn’t want to bother you since he knew you had a busy week at work. Or maybe there’s a deeper issue at hand you need to discuss. 

Try Something New

Depending on how your conversation goes, it may be a good idea to ask your husband if there are any fantasies he would like to try that might reignite his desire. Of course, if he suggests something you’re not comfortable with, you’re not obliged to pretend you’re into it. 

But, I definitely recommend having an open mind, as you never know until you try. Similarly, come to the conversation with some things you may be interested in trying. It doesn’t have to be group sex or BDSM, it could simply be something like watching your favorite porn together or having sex in the shower.

Talk About Monogamy (and Non-Monogamy) as a Couple

Let’s face it, there’s a reason this is a topic that’s so widely covered. It’s pretty typical for couples’ sex lives to wane as their relationship continues.

Experts like Michaela Boehm claim this is because when it comes to sexual desire, opposites attract. Having a great relationship generally means that you and your partner become more similar, which unfortunately can weaken your sexual attraction to each other.

Others assume this occurs simply because humans are drawn to novelty, and it’s hard to be excited about sex with the same person when you’ve been together so many times already.

Whatever the reason, many couples find that they are able to reignite passion between them by being less straight and narrow about monogamy. This can mean exploring threesomes, swinging, or even something as simple as going to the bar separately and watching your partner flirt with someone new before going home together. 

We tend to take monogamy as a given in our relationships, without really speaking to our partners about how we feel about it, so it’s worth exploring with your partner. This conversation can also help quell any concerns you may have about your husband’s lack of interest meaning that he is focusing his sexual interests elsewhere. 

Of course, take this slow. It should be a conversation you have fully explored before you’re getting on an app like Thrinder and searching for a third partner for a threesome. But it’s definitely something worth considering.

Focus on Strengthening Your Relationship 

Many times, when a couple’s sex life has fallen by the wayside, everything else in the relationship seems to be going great, which makes it all the more confusing when you stop being intimate suddenly (or gradually).

However, there’s likely an underlying issue or insecurity that your husband is dealing with that may explain why you feel like your husband doesn’t want you sexually. This could be anything from a medical condition or side effects of a new medication, to stress, financial worry, mental health problems, hormonal changes, or a result of something that recently happened in your relationship. 

Instead of approaching the conversation solely focused on wanting to have sex, consider approaching the conversation from a place of trying to get both of your feelings out so you can work on them as a team. This may be better done with a professional therapist, and certainly with lots of patience. 

You don’t want to give your husband an ultimatum when it comes to sex vs. your relationship. However, you do want him to be able to be open and honest with you about what he needs from you, or what he needs to work through himself, to make that sexual connection flourish again.

Whatever path you choose to take in hopes of turning your sex life back to what it was like when you first started seeing each other, remember that nearly every couple goes through this, and your husband is probably just as bummed out about it as you are.

If possible when considering what to do when your husband doesn’t want you sexually, try to not take it personally and think of it as just another problem you two are going to solve together, as the great team you’ve always been.

Ashley Uzer

Ashley Uzer is a freelance writer who specializes in sex and dating. She has written for many international outlets including Bustle, VICE, & Galore. She’s currently doing the whole digital nomad thing, but you can find her in Washington D.C. or NYC every once in a while. Follow along with her adventures on TwitterInstagram, or on her blog.