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Wife Has No Desire

My wife was sexually abused as a child.  This has caused devastating effects on our marriage and her life.  Deep down, my wife is afraid to love.  She grew up in a home where if you didn't take care of yourself, you weren't taken care of.  Her mother died at an early age, leaving her father to raise three children by himself.  He didn't do a very good job of taking care of them however.  Mostly he left them to fend for themselves.  He might buy groceries for himself, but not for the family.

Anyway, getting back to the topic of this experience.  Although we had a decent sex life when we were dating, it went downhill after we were married.  It actually started going downhill before we were married, but after we were married it really became bad.  In the past year, we have had sex twice, and let me call it having sex, not making love.  When we do have sex, it is of the lets hurry up and get it over with variety. 

Only once in her life did she admit that she was abused as a child.  At this point in her life she tends to act as if it never happened.  She refuses counseling of any sort, although she has agreed to see a Psychiatrist for medication.  However, even that is problematic because she is never honest with the Psychiatrist, she tries to pretend that everything is just fine.

Anyway, that is my story.  Thanks for listening.
stinkcat_14 stinkcat_14 41-45, M 199 Responses Aug 31, 2006

Your Response


A good Psycologist is what she needs but until she wants to go, it's not going work. Perhaps a clergyman or a womens crisis center but unless she feels safe in talking it out she won't.

You might try simply cuddling with no intention of continuing beyond that. It sounds like she needs to feel safe and comfortable with you. It may be a long time coming but I'd say go slow and try to let her warm up to you.

Good luck!

That would be hard on both of you. I feel for her. But I also feel for you. Everyone deserves sex/love making. we all need release time to time.

I found out about my wife's childhood sexual abuse about 3 yrs into our marriage after we saw a psychologist. We've been married 15 yrs now and she still hasn't fully dealt with this issue and maybe never will. It has certainly affected my life in a negative way with all the destructive behaviors I have witnessed. But out of all the trauma I've suffered, including her substance abuse, overdoses, and infidelity, the loss of physical intimacy is the hardest for me to deal with. Now that she is in recovery, our sex life is completely extinct. She doesn't want to cuddle or be close to me in any way, and certainly won't touch me. Maybe I just have to accept the fact that some things in life just don't get better and I have to do what is necessary for me to regain my happiness. It's a hard decision when you love someone, have built a life together, have wonderful kids, and have the desire to help your spouse out of a crisis.

I can relate to your wife's side seems ms has affected my pleasure part of brain. No desire for foods, sex, medication & depression decrease the desire also. Sorry to hear you are going through husband is very patient but he is a "normal" man and can't understand how we were very active to very rare....we want our old lives back! Knowing that is very unlikely you have to let her know you love her no matter what. I can't speak for her but I miss it but i am in pain, afraid can't satisfy him I try too hard sending me in panic then frustrated I let him down.

Yours is an interesting post. We don't often hear from "refusers" as there are referred to on here. You have a medical issue, and even though you know what it's doing to your husband, you still can't muster up the effort to try to alleviate some of this issue. Was that statement incorrect? What are you doing to resolve it. This is a marriage shattering issue. You are sick, and that's a good potion of the marriage vows. He sounds like he's sticking to his end and standing by you. But there's other parts of that contract too, making him miserable is not one of them. What would you say to letting him have an affair? What would you say if you found out he had a FWB situation?

There are very recent breakthroughs in Mutiple Sclerosis that may impact your prognosis and medication ( This could ultimately mean that your depression will be lifted (if the studies continue to bear fruit and therapies are developed) and things have a chance of returning toward normal. Hoping for the best for all MS affllicted (and their spouses). Never stop reviewing the research results!

Being honest with the psychiatrist is essensial, Explain to her that it can't improve your relationship unless she is. She is at least willing to put effort into your relationship. Therapy and hurry up to get it over with both take effort and interest. You are lucky in that respect. She could be so totally self absorbed that it would be impossible to be aware that you have feelings. Impoossible to care if you did. That is the other direction from where you are going. There is hope. Good luck from the far end of the spectrum.

Accurately described my wife also. Very sensitive to light touch (in a bad way). 29 years married, love her very much, but essentially sexless marriage. Now dealing with her health issues. Ready to have an affair or completely just give up on sex. Living a life of quiet desperation....

My ex had a lot if pain, and was a refused, I finally had to choose me! I wanted that connection and with no sex we didn't have that connection, I felt he was very selfish, and his aches and pains became my issue! I love hun, but sex and intimacy are powerful!

billy u dont have pain!U have feelings

i feel for you. my love has a very similar experience with his wife. they dont have a love relationship, now i am his and we are all very happy together. she actualy has a relationship with my dad who is much younger then her, and i am in love with him. i may tell my story soon

That would be an interesting story to read but confusing so explain it well so we understand how someone with no sex drive would need a second relationship with your dad.

you may find it helpful to visit

its a site for people and partners in this area.

you can converse with other partners....similar to what we do in EP.

take care. be well.

Finding early childhood ****** rape help is very hard. I don't think working on past or repressed memories helps. She has been avoiding this mess for two decades. There are support groups but key focus is on the past. How does one move forward

You (and she) are not alone. Pretty similar to my situation, wife was a vixen in bed when we met, then the repressed memories surfaced. Therapy, anti-depressants, etc, all failed to help.

Nothing much has changed over the years. Just concentrate on the other things that she does really well, it will help her feel like a better person and maybe one day she will heal enough to show affection again.

I was sexually, emotionally and physically abused as a child. I lived with a grandmother who didn't want me, but had no choice to take me in at 5 yrs old. At 10 I went back to live with my mother who tuned out to be bi-polar and schizophrenic, and it was a wild 2 years with her and her boyfriends. Sometimes not knowing when I would eat, or how long I would be left alone when she went out to buy cigarettes. It was usually days. I learned to close my heart at a very young age. I closed myself off from feelings for many years. As I got older I thought the only way I could not feel lonely, was to have sex (yes there is a difference between sex and making love). I have been married 4 times. I have had affairs, gone from one man to another, and still didn't know what it was or how to "get" happy. It has been a very long road for me, I am now happily married to my best friend, he was the first person to "listen" to me and to what I went through. He realizes that he can't change my past or how I have perceived it and how it shaped me into what I am today. He just loves me for me and that keeps me happy and content and yes I am sexually happy as well. You may love someone, but if you can't reach inside them and really understand their deepest thoughts or emotions, then give up, because you will only make yourself and your spouse miserable.

Exactly. Seems to be only solution. Even talking about trying sexual intimacy creates a very tense emotion and the mad can last for 2 weeks

rv02tx I hear you! I get the same response from my wife. Whenever I bring up that it's been a while, like 6-8 weeks or so, she gets angry at me for "bullying her", just because I brought up the subject. I am in a cyclical trap, if I don't say anything the non-sex will go on indefinitely, if I do say something then she will get mad and refuse any physical contact for 2-3 weeks. Then repeat.

Some medications--all of the SSRIs for example--have horrible affects on sex drive. Some of the latest research I have read is that if you are on those drugs for a long time, it can permanently destroy sexual desire. At one point in my life, I was on such drugs and I felt a physical change in my body...libideo went right down and fast. After this experience, it took months for things to come back. I count myself lucky because I was not on the drug for long.

Just be aware of this.

My heart goes out to you. There are a lot of people in this situation, and sometimes the answers are so far and in between that it can be heartbreaking. I wish you all the luck I can, and God bless. It seems like you love her, and she is a lucky womand to have you.

Hopefully she can somehow get some counseling. Marriage is suppose to be delicious--not drudgery and sexless.

This is matching me too. We have weaned off meds but no change after a full month. Could getting Zoloft 200mg for years take more time

YES, cold take more time. I read something recently from the medical community that sometimes the affects can be permanent. Full medical checkup is in order,...and make sure the blood work for both man and woman includes free T levels. If you don't have that, it will mess with libido really bad.

There are clinics in my area, called "The Athena Clinic" where there are actual specialists who focus on sexual desire and uncovering any phisiological reasons that contribute. Look for something like that,....not necessarily just a general practictioner, but a group that specializes. That is my recommendation for the best results...

I feel your pain.


I don't believe that a past abuse will prevent any woman or man from having sex. My soon to be ex-wife told me in the beginning of our marriage that she was abused and raped by a former boyfriend. She told me that she was not keen on sex that often. So i accepted the fact that i would be living a life of extremely minimal sex and intimacy.

10 years down the line i am now progressing with divorce proceedings due to my wife having multiple affairs for a few years.

If it helps... truely understand your pain and where you are emossionally , mentally and physically. been there and done that.

These words mught sound harsh....but be honest with yourself... is it worth all the pain to go

there is a world out there full of woman who will give anything to be with a man such as yourself.

I am on the road to recovery...heart broken and shattered but i am entering a new path.

Stay strong - however- IF YOU WANT A CHANGE...MAKE THE CHANGE.

I disagree and agree with you........

Past abuse has a direct affect on one's capabilities for an emotional connection, but it does not affect as much one's ability to have superficial sex.

She had the affairs because they served superficial needs, but if she were to marry either of those men,. they would eventually be in your position,,,,where a deeper connection is improbable if not impossible.

I also have married such a woman,.........and like yourself, am heartbroken and shattered.

stay strong

I'm sorry you all have gone through this. It is surprising to me that there actually ARE women who like sex. My circle of friends is so constricted with "propriety" that I am not aware there are many women who actually like sex, superficial or not.

Anyway, it is unfortunate that such things happen. I hope all of you on the other side of the tracks--the adultery side--who are victims of infidelity, can heal and walk a pathway that leads to joy and completion.

I disagree. I have been molested and raped twice. But I love, and I love emotional intimacy, and love pleasing a man beyond his wildest dreams. I don't let my past haunt me or change me into someone I'm not. It is my choice how I allow things that happen to me affect me. I have learned from them, and I have learned to forgive. I have a big heart. Yes these things happen and they are awful, dreadfully awful! But you can come out the other side. I did! And I'm forever greatful for it.

Rob4Hope, yes, there definitely are women who love least this woman does. My husband has much less of a sex drive than I do, which has made many challenges for us...and I was the one who was abused.
I hope things work out OK for you. Wishing you all the best!

1 More Response

You don't have to live without sex. Have an affair. Just be smart about it. I guess I am very lucky to have found a married Guy in the same boat as myself. We have been having a sexually fulfilling affair for 7 years. Its still as passionate today as the first day! Good luck!

Not sure if souls that were abused as kids ever recover. You have YOUR sexual needs to take care of. Life is very short. I am married to a man who is not into sex at all. As I get older I want to experience 3sums etc. I took on a lover a few years ago and have never looked back! He is married and I am happy to report I had my first 3 sum 4 months ago and it was AWESOME! White men ROCK!

our like too. my spouse

Both my sexually incompetent hubby and I have never been traumatized, physically or mentally in our lives. He's simply lazy, and i'm way curious. I feel my level as curious is soon going to be full on 19 y.o. lesbian!!

My husband and I used meth occasionally, to enhance sex. After a few times he started wanting me to get on line and tease horny men. It was kind of exciting, and I enjoyed it. Knowing I was safe from any real adultry. One night, was hella tweaked and horny. I told a guy I'd come model some lingerie if he got me high. I felt like a little *****, and I got ****** real good. His cockwas SOO much bigger than dale's and I let him know it, as I begged for that fat,hot, throbbing, huge and new ****!! I felt like such a ****. I've gone bac at least 15 times. I'll never tell hubby..i'm just a little horny, married ****. I"be decided to become a lesbian now. I love it. My mommy in law and I pretend i'm her biological daughter. We both wish this was true. That would be SOO wrong!! I love my mil..." mommy"...**** me again please!!"

I wish my wife was a little sexpot like you. Too bad he is not banging you every night or bringing in a pinch hitter.

Bigger IS better...Isn't it?

I too am in a relationship where my spouse was abused, both emotionally and physically, and she has major issues with sex.
How do you cope? Are things getting better?
I welcome any and all advice. I do love her and I know she loves me but it doesnt change the fact that this is a sexless marriage. :-(

Tough deal,stink, you may need to start thinking bout sum strange.

Wow! These stories are a revelation to me. I am in the same boat as you. My wife has stated in the past that she just has no desire and no interest in sex. She said that it has nothing to do with me, that it is just her lack of interest. Like ray3218 said, she is totally oblivious to the damage this causes to me and to our marriage.<br />
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She would vehemently claim that she was not sexually abused as a child, but your story and some of the comments made me realize that she has a very similar problem. <br />
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She is extremely sensitive to any touch that might be even slightly resemble tickling. She absolutely hates to be tickled and often reacts very strongly, almost violently when she even suspects that anyone is trying to tickle her. She is also very quick to condemn tickling and to loudly label it "abuse" when anyone tickles a child etc.<br />
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Now it has finally dawned on me what the real meaning is of her aversion to tickling. Your story and some of the comments helped me to finally understand that what she experienced was abuse at the hands of her father who used to tickle her unmercifully when she was little. What that man did to her was perhaps even worse than what we typically expect to be involved in sexual abuse. She may have been scarred even more deeply because it was harder for her to find protection against his treatment of her since it did not involve removal of clothing or touching of genitals etc. The proof is in how adamant and ready she is to protect others from the torture she endured. (And tickling can be quite sexual too, can't it?)<br />
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By the way, my wife is also perfect about never mentioning anything to our counselor/therapist, her doctor, psychariatrist etc. She is very good at pretending that everything is fine. She will not even go to see those professionals in most cases. In other situations and with other topics, even about things that you would expect to embarass her, she always blabs everything. <br />
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Sharing in other people's experience has helped me cope and given me a few ideas but it is too sad that there seems to be so little hope of successfully dealing with the issue of no desire.

Wow, you just described my wife to the T about her sensitivity with touch (tickling) . I have often tried to figure out why and you might have just answered it for me.
Thank You

I feel my husband is also emotionally damaged as well. He is the eldest of six children, and his father left when he was 8. As a result, he was denied the love, affection and warmth I was lucky to have, and spent his youth washing diapers, cooking and cleaning while mom worked two jobs. Contrarily, many of us on this board (not all) were raised in homes where hugging, kissing and loving support were as natural as breathing. I know in my case I thought of myself as his "savior", trying to show him what unconditional love is. But like your wife, they've built up thick shells to hide their hurt and vulnerabity. I wish I could tell you it's easy to crack their shell, but it's not. I can understand why she is uninterested in intimacy, but I have no answers (if I did, I wouldn't be part of this group). I suggest you visit the library and read up on the psychology of the victims of sexual abuse; knowledge is power. All the best and a big fat hug.

My first choice would be that she get it solved. I hope she loves you enough to allow you some sex partners and you can still love her and be with her.

I love your story

I can fix this..

Get the sex clear in your relationship.<br />
She hates it.That is ok.You love it.That is ok too.<br />
Just agree to disagree.It can be ok.<br />
She should respect your desires and let you have sex with who you want.<br />
You love her but leave her alone sexually.<br />
I have been married 41 years and we do it that way.<br />
She was raped twice.<br />
I adore sex and have it all the time with men and women alike.<br />
I leave her alone and she is at peace.<br />
Louise CD<br />
P.S. be my friend and we can share more.

how do you keep your sex life seperate from each other? My partner and I touched on the subject but she says that she sees it as cheating and not allowed. So I just have to go without as long as I am with her.

Can I say something?<br />
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I've been a survivor of sexual molestation from a family member and rape, both on separate occasions and by two different people.<br />
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There is no reason why a woman can't overcome this, I did, so can your wife.<br />
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Tell her to stop being a victim and start being a strong woman. I went to therapy, I sought help... Tell your wife that its time to facilitate healing instead of having her lick her wounds all the time.<br />
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I know that sounds harsh, but it's coming from a woman that has walked down that dark road. Sometimes you have to be firm and make them care a little about the world around their victimization. <br />
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After all, she is no longer being abused-tell her to let her past heal by seeing a therapist or seeking a spiritual healing, which ever she prefers. Its better than nothing!

I wish the others could have your outlook. My wife was raped as a teenager and it has had devastating results on our marriage.

my wife gives me the different problem.all she wants is sex. at 55 she is still hot.we go to clubs and she picks up men .when we get them home she has sex with them while i watch . and yes i said them ,more than one at a time. when they leave i enter her and feel many loads inside. she is never satisfied.<br />
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