Frigid Wife

My wife has no desire to participate in sex.  She always has a reason to say no - medical or fatigue or timing or .... - and she uses the all regularly.   I will never cheat on or leave her, but she will never appreciate just how much I want sex and how much she kills me emotionally and mentally by constantly denying my desires and needs.   Sex is always on her terms and on her time.
DaleCannon DaleCannon
36-40, M
30 Responses Sep 10, 2007

Wow - I'm visiting this site again after going through a painful divorce process back in 2012 - when I was checking out this website quite often.Guys, I've been through this situation - the sex life in my marriage was never "awesome" but was OK until the kids came onto the scene - which is when I was dropped to the back of the pecking order. If she were to draw a diagram of my family, the kids and wife were in the center. I dragged her to counseling which proved fruitless - except for the fact that she finally admitted she had no sexual feelings for me and actually wasn't that fond of my presence in her life. At one point she said have sex with me felt like being raped. Believe me, I felt like I had been totally duped into getting into marriage just so she could have kids and a steady financial supporter (we were divorced in 2012 and she STILL has not begun working outside the home - she lives off child support and IRA/401K money "we" had saved).So, my message to you guys is to focus on the reason WHY your wife does not want sex. For the longest time, I thought it was just low libido (her being tired, etc.). If you feel she doesn't really care that much about you, it's probably true - in which case I'd say GET OUT OF THE MARRIAGE WHILE YOU ARE YOUNG. I have kids - the divorce hurt them...but they also are seeing what a healthy, positive relationship looks like (I'm now in a great relationship with a woman who loves and appreciates me). The process to get to this point was very painful but I'm not going to be with someone for the rest of my life who doesn't appreciate me. Life is way too short. I've come to the realization that marriage is simply not meant for most of today's women - so choose wisely.

Add a response...

After the first 10-15 years of marriage, everything becomes a negotiation for some reason. Men fall into this trap of thinking if they just provide everything from a financial standpoint, AND are sensitive and kind, AND do the housework (and the yard work, and anything else that qualifies as real WORK work) and simply let their wives do, y'know "the toughest job there is" = driving the kids around and scrap-booking...that they'll be rewarded with sex. Don't do this's an endless downhill spiral...once they know you're on board with the plan, the quid pro quo keeps leaning more steadily in your wife's favor. I know, I did just that for nearly 10 years. Last year we had sex about 4 times (if you want to call it that). Then I said, "Enough's enough."

I put her to work.

Told her to get a job or she was going to have to car pool with her girlfriends. I own everything since she has not worked steadily and has insufficient credit to buy a car on her own. If she wanted the privilege of driving she would have to contribute financially. Tennis club membership? Same thing. Hair appointments and so on. After a few months of this there was suddenly a whole lot more footsie getting initiated by the cat rubbing up against you when it wants a treat. Yeah, I know, sad...but it's just biology and evolution...she's the same love of your life, she just needs to remember what she depends on you for and not take things for granted. Don't be mean about it. Be fair. Continue to be a man, honest and true but put her on notice.

It's very simple. They need the power and this is there way. You can do what you want it won't change her. You can cheat but you'll fell like crap. The only answer hurts everyone especially if you got kids. I just ignore it it and now say no when she asks. Find solace elsewhere. I use gym and sports.

I guess writing about it helps some... Your guy's stories are so similar, small variations. The first year and a half was great, sex every night, sometimes a daytime romp, never made it through a movie, uninterrupted. She would occasionally get a little kinky [nothing weird] - all in all it was fun, together, exciting, stress relieving, etc... Then it started changing, little by little, I could feel that she wasn't much into it, then “putting up with it” [faking?], then I just don't think she liked it much. I know she wasn't cheating on me, I know she never has, and never will. I'm a good husband too [she even says so] - the excuses started, not drastic. I bought them, more and more excuses, less and less often, until she ran out of excuses and now just simply tell me that she just doesn't feel like it, no matter how much it bothers, depresses, and frustrates me. Unlike a lot of the stories here, my wife could care less if I go out and get it elsewhere, anywhere, she knows I need it, but is unwilling to provide it. I guess I'm just not the type of guy that wants it elsewhere though. Last year it got to me and I went out and found a hooker. Yeah, it was fun, she was a cute little thing, nice body, great personality, not very expensive, but it just wasn't me, wasn't thrilling or satisfying [not to mention that it’s illegal here, so kinda dangerous] When I got home, my wife asked me if I had a good time, but never asked anything else. I'm sure to a lot of you guys, this sounds like a great deal, a solution, but it isn't. Eventually you begin to feel and know that she just doesn't care, which almost worse than not getting any. My wife has gotten so frigid now that she doesn't dance for me any more [erotically like she use to], doesn’t flirt, she changes clothes in the bathroom, doesn’t wear anything sexy, etc… yet, she has thins thing about sleeping naked, which she does with me. Talk about an added touch of frustration. A hot, young, naked, Asian babe lying naked next to me, and I can’t even touch her “there”, yet cuddling is okay – Uggggggg.

It is sad to hear that there are other people in this same painful situation that I am in but at the same time somewhat of a relief. This has been the case for me for the last ten years. My wife is ok with going on holidays, going shopping or house hunting etc or she is ok gossiping about the neighbours for hours but when it comes to sex she makes or the same old lies and excuses. We hardly ever have sex. I can't describe how hurtful and confusing this has been to me. She denies it is even true. I worked and got extra money ( I get very well payed anyway) I did loads of stuff around the house - became a model husband. But I wouldn't advise any of this- it doesn't work. The bottom line is I am stupid to have ever let things get this bad. For a partner to deny sex for any significant period of time or with any regularity is a complete betrayal. It is extremely cruel and in my opinion is just manipulative and bullying. I have started redirecting my interest, my time, my passion, money in any other direction. Go to the gym 8 times a week, buy little presents for friends and people who care about you and then you will see what it is like to be appreciated. What ever I do I try not to do anything for the person who has what it boils down to which is no respect at all for me.

I am going through what all of you are. The issue is not that she is doing this on purpose, it's just not a priority to her as it is to you. I have been married 30 years and after 5 years of it, I cheated. She found out later and forgave me and only recently has she admitted it was partially her fault. The problem is, no matter how many counselors you go to, no matter how much you talk... she will never change... It's not a priority to her. Almost everything else in my marriage is great... except sex.. And I do everything to make her feel good when we have sex... Massages, candle light, whispering sweet nothings.... I tell her how she is my strength.. I build her up... The Bible says that a woman can't deny her husband, but I am not going to use the Bible to force my wife to have sex... And I am getting tired of having to ask for it. I do love her, but I am reminded of all the women I could have been with that would not be putting me through this... I hope....

I just responded to another similar post. Basically this is way too common. You can better understand why it happens if you read "The Female Brain" by Dr. Luanne Brizendine (Psychiatrist). SHe's very honest about all this crap. I'm in my second marriage and when I started seeing some of the same things I started doing some research and reading some real material, not the pop psych crap. We tried counseling, but she put little effort in. I did learn a lot about myself. In short, you need to take care of you. No one will. Start living your life for you until she decides she actually needs to pay attention to you. Do your hobbies or travel and when she complains just tell her it's what you want to do so you should be allowed to do it just like she can ignore physical contact because she wants to. If men quit talking to their wives they'd be considered inconsiderate pigs. Women don't have the right to promise physical love and then just change their mind without consequences. Men take this crap because we think a real man would just take whatever she dishes out. Wrong. You do not need to be a punching bag for her. You do not need emotional abuse for her pleasure. In my case we recently had "The Talk" and she's still not very interested in me. So I'm developing my life separate from her. No cheating, just doing what pleases me. She lives that way, I can too.

I am exactly on the same page and have just been married for 2 years. Before our son sex was okay but following her pregnancy and birth of our son four months ago our marriage has been sexless. I am a sex freak and cannot function properly without a healthy sex life so I have started sleeping with other women. I'm not proud of this and I really want to be monogamous but I don't plan on being celibate. I have complained and all but there has been no change its one excuse or the other. So, cheating seems like the only option as I love her and don't plan on leaving.

Communicate and solve, I think. Be honest about it in a calm conversation, and very importantly, show her it's just about a physical need, that emotionally, you love her and her alone (which shows from your "never cheat on or leave her").
A possible (though costly) solution would be using different prostitutes - and would it be really cheating if you talked with your wife about it beforehand and neither of you can come up with a better solution?

Be sure not to go into the conversation armed with "your side". There is no your side. There is an issue in your relationship, in which you both have a role, and which you should be solving together.

I've recently read about a guy with similar issues, and his surprising (and apparently working - at least so far) solution. There's a blog about it on blogspot: Maybe he can be a source of inspiration?

Holy ****.. This is an epidemic.... And by the way,... You all stole my stories....

I am a very passionate 49 year old Italian Guy.. Married for 22+ years and the sex was never great... Never.. As we dated she promised me that once we were married "She'd feel more comfortable" Wrong.... beautiful 10 day honeymoon.. sex twice.....

6 years ago I began divorce proceedings... 3 weeks to the day from the beginning of this process she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of Parkinson's disease... Not wanting her care to fall to the shoulders of our two awesome kids I promised to stay... Since her diagnosis sex is 100% gone...

I feel like a slave at this point... I have thrown my life into the gym.. Have lost extra pounds and look years younger than any of my colleagues... I am not having an affair... But am absolutely at that point....

You don't understand the sort of damage that this is doing to you. You truly don't. If you did, you'd be out looking for a sloppy bar **** ASAP and then showing your refuser wife the dirty pictures right before packing your **** and leaving.

I understand the damage it is doing to you!!! due to the fact that my husband claims he wants to have sex, but the times he offers it he is miles away or I am at work!!!. when we are together he does not want much to do with me. either he is too drunk or too tired...Dont do much for your self esteem, and your self worth. Needless to say you become cold to a lot of it and just dont try anymore.

I dont know if makes any of you feel better or not coming from a woman! but I do understand. and I am sorry you feel this way.


I am in a sexless marriage where my wife has low self esteem and uses that as the excuse to be very non receptive to desires to be intimate. Funny thing is as shy as she is, when we got engaged she became more aggressive to go almost all the way. She was determined to be a virgin until marriage and I respected that. Given she was more assertive during that time I never dreamed once we were married it would be like pulling teeth to make love to her. And I emphasize the term making love as opposed to just sex as I try to make sure she is pleasured and don't just focus on my desires. However, once we got married it almost stayed that way. She never realized how that hurts my self esteem. Imagine how a man feels to adore a woman who is constantly putting herself down and for that man to be affectionate and try to ensure she gets pleasured. However, he has to beg and she acts like a stone without an ounce of passion. If it weren't for knowing she might do something to harm herself I would have left long ago. She never dated anyone else besides me. Instead, I suffer in this aspect and have lost a part of my life as a man. Essentially I am trapped. I do care for her and she is a sweet lady but the wear and tear of the low self esteem as an excuse to refuse to be a woman and allow me to feel I have value as a man for more than just bringing home a paycheck, being a dad to our kids and protecting her has caused me significant pain and done permanent damage. And yes I've tried talking it over many times to no avail.

do yourself a favor will get out back away stay away you deserve better

I'm in the same boat. I'm going to do everything I can to move on without her. I'll soon see if she want's to follow. In the meantime here's an excerpt from my joke book...An old couple that sleep in separate beds get frisky after
coming home from the oyster bar. He invites his wife of sixty years over to his bed. She slowly gets out out of her bed and trips on her robe and falls. The husband quickly helps her up. "Oh sweetie pie. Did my little pumpkin wumpkin hurt her hiney winey?" He helps her into his bed and slowly screws her. Afterwards, she's going back to her bed and trips and falls again. He goes, "Clumsy *****!"

I get the exact same thing. Every excuse In book not to. He has to know I don't believe any of them. Until once every 6 months when he decides it. Don't feel bad....there are a lot of us.

Ah, you're at that discovery phase. So think about this: Why would someone who claims to love you do so many things that make you unhappy? Wouldn't it just be easier to give in to your wishes every once in awhile? Wouldn't it make the marriage better?

So why doesn't she?

Does it seem like there's lot's of talk and no actions taken on her part?

After about 8 years it is pretty clear that sex is a thing of the past unless I look outside of marriage, which I don't want to do. As it stands now I have to ask for months to get a little as a HJ from her and maybe we can have sex once every 12-18 months.
There is a repeating pattern where she say tomorrow then tomorrow she says it again and by day 3 she will be "sick". Either it's an act or the very idea of intimate contact with me makes her physically ill. I am leaning towards the act but who knows maybe it is me.
At times she has claimed she just has no drive , but somehow that does not fit with new toys showing up in her drawer with an ever changing supply of batteries. Maybe the drive is just gone by the time I am home.
The hardest part of all this is how it kills me a little every time she shoots me down, I ask less and less now because I just can't take the constant rejection from the person whom I love so much.

Well all I can say is that I've found exactly what I need in someone else....except I haven't touched her yet!...strange as it may seem but mutual encouragement,admiration and a genuine LIKING makes me feel as if we've had sex everyday since we've met!

As for the refuser I put up with due to the children....I've stopped being such a NICE least I keep a little dignity!

We got married in Dec 1984, had a boy in Dec 1986. After the birth of the boy she would try her best to avoid.Between 1987 and 1993 we slept together once in six months or more. Finally in 1994 she clearly told me if I try to touch her she will report to the police about being assaulted we were living in Austin TX. I let the matter go and besides my job gave time to my son taking him to Austin Scouts camps and volunteering for jobs. Since the year 1994 we have been sleeping in different rooms. However at private party or other functions she tries to stay close intimately to show others how she adores her man! Our son has seen all this and feels how she has been behaving, tells me just ignore her try to find your way through this maze and live your life. At 70yrs age that is I am doing avoiding confrontation with a highly eccentric woman.

I know exactly how you feel. You will see I\'ve had a similar experience. It\'s as if my boy suddenly replaced me for her affections. I\'d done my job and now was no longer needed. She shudders if I touch her, as if sex is now a dirty thing. I feel I\'m missing out on the best years of my life.

I divorce mine and now very happy,ex wife calls all the time wanting t get back together=NO chance

Hey Gang,
Right there with you. I must say that alot of you guys that have chosen to deal with the situation rather than have an affair are far better men than me. My wife and I started seeing a counselor a few years back. She knows of my running around. I stopped once we started seeing the counselor. Here is what I have learned:
- as one guy said previously, it is up to us individually to assure our own happiness
- before I started to cheat, I should have told her "this changes or I leave"
- women are much more controlled by their work than men and we need to "Lead" them more by telling them when they are working too much and making them relax
- this will sound very chauvenistic (sp?), but beginning in the 60's, the traditional male/female relationship changed. Women wanted to take charge of the relationship. Men have not caught up to the change - we MUST be stronger and more insistent with our wives on what we need
- my counselor had a huge impact on my wife and he makes her understand that the way you show a man you love him is by sex!!!! He has to remind her of that once every few months

My final advice - see a counselor - let her pick the counselor. If she refuses, its time to go if you are unhappy. She respects my counselor and when he explains she is not "taking care of business", things change for a time. Its a constasnt struggle, but I love her and dont want to leave her.

Also, your kids will love you no mater what happens. If you have to leave, do so by taking the higher road - no screaming, no bad talk about her.

Hope this helps - get a counselor!!!!!

We've been married for 10 years. The "cold shoulder" started before we finished our first year. Every now and then I would do "the test". That is, I would not pursue any physical contact or intimacy on purpose to see how long it would take her to reach out to me. No matter how long the duration of the test, the results were always the same. I was nothing more than a room mate. We have four children. I could not bare the agony of a divorce on the family concept, but I'm killing myself by living with it. While I have heard every excuse in the book for lack of intimacy, the common denominator is always, "your so angry". It's a vicious circle. Her lack of intimacy for/with me is the driving force of my tension and anger. We started out the most passionate lovers. Sometimes even waking up in the middle of the night to attack each other intensely. It went from there to a few times a week to a few times a month to a few times a year and now it seems that she has chosen a life of celibacy without consulting me. Some years back her sister sent her a large body pillow, because she was complaining that her hip hurt while sleeping. They have both had babies and this pillow helps support one or the other leg or knee while sleeping. I can only refer to this thing as the G@& D&%# Pillow. I was married once before and I have been replaced by on of these pillows (and her boss and a few of my friends). I don't believe that my wife is cheating on me or taking drugs (that's where most of my past partners ended up). This creates a paranoia problem. I am more engaged in my family and do more for my home and wife than most men. My wife has even told me that she receives compliments from friends, neighbors, and other parents at school that I'm such a great husband. Remember in high school when the light of your eye that you have been courting so diligently told you, "I just want to be friends"? If my wife had told me that before we had four children, it would have been our last conversation. Because that's how, "I just want to be friends" always ends. We are talking about it and seeing a counselor for family stress relief. But, there is that ever present paranoia and the painful burdening question, will I ultimately end up just another sad and lonely old man?

I noticed my wife's frigidity while we were engaged, but I passed it off as being temporary. I remember how she'd flirt with co-workers, yet was much more reserved with me. Looking back, I even remember when she mentioned a conversation she had with her mother, and said something like, " I can't believe my mom settled," as if she was settling on me because of my income.

That was nearly 7 years ago. For every year of our marriage I can count the number of times we were intimate on one hand. I went from attempting to be intimate every day to not caring over the intervening years. There were times I swore she was seeing other men, but that's probably has more to do with insecurity than reality. She was simply not interested in intimacy with me.

Her friends and our counselor encouraged her to be more intimate, but to no avail. I've considered cheating on her a number of times, but that's not me. I felt I was trapped in my own personal hell, and with children and our own company there didn't appear to be any options.

This evening I searched and found this post. I know I'm not alone, that there are others like me in similar situations. In my opinion it's not that my wife has no libido, but that she has no desire to be intimate with me.

Due to your post I wrote my wife an email telling her that I care for her deeply, but our relationship is dying. I can't and will not live in a sexless marriage. I told her that if she wants to work on us I will try, but that I understood if she wanted to move on.

I ended the letter by stating that we'd have to figure out what to do with the company and our futures. Financially I'll be fine, but she's going to have to get a real job and won't be able to work at home part time.

Funny thing... a friend of mine told me she would do this, but I didn't believe him...

The only reason I'd save the marriage at this point is because of the children. If we didn't have children I would have left years ago. If things don't work out the children may detest me, but I can't live in misery any longer.

I wanted to thank you... I had all but decided to have an affair, but after reading your message I instead wrote my wife a letter. If our marriage is salvaged it will be due in part to your post.

Welcome to here, and it appears you've already got the ball Bazzar will tell you, go see a lawyer immediately and start hammering together an exit plan. You don't have to use it, but you want to have it.

In have been in my apartment 9 days. Much happier without the tension between my wife and I. I actually don't miss her at all. Miss the kids a bit. Going to get the divorce proceedings started after the holidays. Looking forward to meeting the love of the second half of my life. A little intimidating going out on dates with someone other than my wife for the first time in over 20 years. The nice thing is I can take my time, date as much as I want and be as picky as I want!!!

My relationship is exactly the same. 14 years of mostly frustration and disappointment leading to a completely dead end. Can't begin to explain how utterly gutted that I feel over it, and the depressed state that I live in. I have always been a considerate lover, making sure of her satisfaction first. I'm happy with "manual" attention from her (the only other option is possibly one predictable position- followed by complaints of discomfort). It feels like hell living like this; I'm already making preparations for my future. Once the "kids" are gone, I'll feel free to move on.

my relationship is the opposite I want it more than he does or I guess I should say he wants it but only on his terms and it is pretty much a one sided thing.(when it happens that is ) I have to give all the time but there is no receiving in return if you know what I mean. So I do understand where you are coming from and if you get any really good advise that works.. PLEASE let me know :) I am truly sorry that you have to feel the way you do.. it really sucks loving someone so much and wanting to share that closeness but not really feeling the closeness back the way you deserve and want. makes you feel terribly lonely and unloved I know :( I could write a whole book about what I do to try and get the attention I feel I should be getting but than it wouldnt be about you and your feelings. So for a different time and my own post :) I feel for you TOTALLY !

My wife has been building an emotional wall, brick by brick, for over half of our marriage. I had no idea because she doesn't communicate at all. I feel any time I did not do everything perfectly in our marriage, there goes another brick. This wall has resulted in her disliking sex and even to the point of disliking me even touching her in any way. I am not going to languish in this marriage for the next 30 years. We are seperating. You guys that are staying in sexless marriages are better men than me.
Tried marriage counseling for the last year and a half and absolutely nothing worked to break down that emotional wall. I really thought I would be married to this woman forever. We get along great and rarely argue. We have three wonderful kids and it does break my heart to leave them. We just "celebrated" our 20th anniversary. I know the feelings she has at this point she cannot choose, because she desperately wants to save our marriage. She is just unable to break through the wall. All I can say is I wish she had communicated with me when these negative feelings started years ago. She says she did not want to communicate because she did not want to hurt me. Well, what do you think you are doing now?
What do the medications she is taking do to her libido and her emotions? Another theory. She is on a antidepressant and also migraine meds and others. I used to never see RX bottles in her bathroom cabinets. Now I see seven or eight. Who knows. I guess it doesn't really matter now. And NO, she is not having an affair. We having talked openly about that.
Our seperation and possible divorce will be amicable at least. I am hoping my absence will flip some kind of switch in her brain, but I don't think so.

How did it go?
If you haven\'t got that far yet, maybe consider a separation? See if it changes some attitudes on either side?
Make sure you see the kids regularly, but at the same time put some distance with your wife. You may find either or both of you see things differently after a while.

youre not alone, we have been married for 24 years and I have never had a satisfying night, it is killing me, and I want to leave the earth.

"Frigidity is desire imagined by a woman who doesn't desire the man offering himself to her. It's the desire of a woman for a man who hasn't yet come to her, whom she doesn't yet know. She's faithful to this stranger even before she belongs to him. Frigidity is the non-desire for whatever is not him..." Tell me Shattered Doll, does this bear credence? My wife and I are lucky to have sex once a year. I've asked about my using a substitute, and she detests it. I believe it is totally selfish. I don't know what to do. I'm 55 and have been with her for 35 years. I love her, but she gets ugly about sex... totally ugly about it. She claims I am the only one to offer her an ******. And I did it alot early on. But I stopped because it was one sided. She wanted me to get her off, and that mount me like some ***** or something... lifeless sex... We had a counselor who said for me to leave her alone, and in time she would come along. She went and did somebody else instead... I think I'm the worst sap on the planet sometimes... I just don't want to abandon her because she is likely to just get used and abused by anybody else... Sometimes life is so unfair...

Leave her. A marriage is a partnership. I know that Jesus said we should not divorce, unless of infidelity. John also said that a man should love his wife more than himself, and that a woman should essentially do the same for her husband. You are right to divorce her, as I was my Ex. She use to play with my emotions and pull me along with the string of sex. She knew I was faithful, and used that against me. I divorced her, and I am in a normal relationship now. She is still unhappy, but I at least am not. Sex is wonderful, and I plan to enjoy it fully the rest of my life. Save yourself brother!

Have you tried couples counseling? It sounds to me like she has some underlying issues besides her physical medical problems. Maybe she is insecure about her body, or has suffered some sorts of emotional trauma. I know you love her, but this isn't a healthy relationship if it is causing you emotional and mental stress.

I am that wife. It makes me feel horrible because I never want to, and it is obvious how much it is hurting him. The one time I forced myself to do it, it made me feel awful inside and I hated it. I don't know what is wrong with me, and I don't think he believes me when I tell him that it isn't his fault at all.

Sorry to hear about your issues. The key is embarrassing honesty. Once you get it through to him that you feel there is "something wrong with me", you'll be able to appeal to his compassionate side; he'll then stop seeing it as something you're doing to him and start seeing it as an outside factor. You should too, by the way.

Then, as you do with all outside things that threaten your relationship... Tackle it together! You could try a psychologist, a sexologist. I wouldn't advise couples therapy unless if you can't get it through to him you see the problem as being with you and need help.

In the end, if nothing works, you should consider his physical need as something that needs to be treated. If you are unable to do so, use a professional for help. It's pretty similar to him having a wound, say having cut himself: if it's not too deep, you clean it and bandage it. If it's festering or too deep, you are unable to help and need a medical professional to do it.
When it's about sex, the professionals are prostitutes... A taboo, unfortunately. If it comes that far, it will be up to you to choose between breaking your husband, breaking your relationship or breaking the taboo. Rationally, that's an easy choice - emotionally, not so much.

If you want to read about the man-side of it and gain better understanding, there's a great testimonial here: