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Is your marriage at risk of being sex-starved?

not interested in sex

Dear Michele,

Please, please help me. I am going through hell!! I am twenty-eight years old, married with a three-year-old daughter. For the past three years, my wife has avoided being sexual with me, my wife is not interested in sex. It has slowly gone from having sex maybe twice a week to now, if I'm lucky, once a month. And even then, it's not really having sex. It's more like her saying, "Hurry up and get in here and let's do this before our child wakes up." There is no foreplay. She doesn't even kiss me. I'm the one who always is initiating any sort of affection... SG



I have a husband who is a good guy; great father, good provider, but I have no lover. This lack of sex in my marriage is more than just a lack of physical attention... It goes deep into a woman's heart. I think in a normal marriage, a couple can fight about anything, but then they can make love and soothe the bad feelings... sort of like a sexual rebirth, a forgiving ritual. But when you are deprived of even that, bitterness and sexual resentment and desperation accumulate. I'm angry about the wasted years, the years I could have been loving, but spent agonizing about why I was being sex deprived. It's so much more than sex. It's feeling wanted, and sexy and desired by the man that you are committed to for life. LD

Marriage sex experts estimate that one out of every three couples struggles with mismatched sexual desire; one spouse is hot when the other is not. Because of advancements in medical and psychological libido-boosting alternatives available to those whose desire has waned, bridging the desire gap should, in theory, be a simple endeavor to solving marriage sex problems and saving marriages. Unfortunately, it's anything but. That's because millions of people with low desire are simply not concerned about or troubled by their lack of interest in sex in marriage. Nor are they particularly motivated to do much about it. Just ask their spouses!

Being complacent about ho-hum sex is a formula for marital disaster. A sex-starved husband and a sex-starved wife are in danger of getting a divorce over lack of sex in the marriage. When one spouse is sexually dissatisfied and the other is oblivious, unconcerned or uncaring, and has no interest, sex isn't the only casualty; intimacy on every level becomes non-existent. Spouses stop touching affectionately, having meaningful talks, laughing at each other's jokes, or connecting emotionally. They become like two ships passing in the night. Infidelity and divorce become all too real threats.

But rather than diagnose the person with the lack of sexual interest as the problem, and refuse to change until s/he changes first, there are many ways partners can work together as a team to turn around the decline in their sex lives. But first, you need to know if your marriage is sex starved. Start by taking this marriage sex quiz. Be honest with your answers.

The Sex-Starved Marriage Quiz

Do you find yourself:

  • Going to bed earlier or later than your spouse just to avoid the possibility s/he might get amorous?
  • Lying in bed at night, careful not to stir for fear that s/he might start touching you?
  • Being sexual out of guilt rather than feeling desirous?
  • Arguing with your spouse about sex frequently.
  • Blaming each other.

Do you find yourself thinking or saying:

  • "By the end of the day, I'm just too tired and have no interest in sex."
  • "If you had to work as hard as me, maybe you'd understand why I have no interest in sex."
  • "How can we have sex? The kids are always around."
  • "If you were nicer to me maybe I'd be interested."
  • "Why do you always have to touch me in a sexual way?"
  • "If you weren't such a sex fanatic, I'd probably want more sex."
  • "If you'd help more around the house, I'd want to be closer to you sexually."
  • "I just don't feel turned on anymore."
  • "I have a lot on my mind right now. Sex is just not all that important to me."


  • Have you been feeling hurt, depressed, resentful or angry about your husband or wife?s lack of interest in sex?
  • As a result, do you find yourself being highly critical or bossy?
  • Out of anger, have you berated your spouse or been mean-spirited?
  • Have your feelings of resentment about your married sex life prompted you to shut down emotionally and pull away from your spouse?
  • Do you wonder whether your spouse really loves you?
  • Do you question your attractiveness or masculinity/femininity?
  • Do you intentionally make plans that don't include your husband or wife?
  • Do you feel yourself building a wall around you to protect yourself from feelings of rejection?
  • Do you feel you've tried everything but your spouse simply doesn't understand how important sexuality is to you?
  • Are you feeling tempted to stray beyond your marriage to find companionship and sexual excitement?

    Marriage problems? We can help. Call 1.800.664.2435.

If you've answered "yes" to several of these questions, your marriage is at risk of becoming sex-starved. Here's what you need to do to get things on track now:

  1. Read the First Chapter of The Sex-Starved Marriage

  2. Take the Great American Sex Challenge

Learn how to save a marriage. Call 1.800.664.2435.
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