When low sex drive is mentioned, the spouse with the problem is usually categorized as the wife. However, there are many husbands who aren't interested in sex with their wives.
Although many men don't want to talk about having a low libido, it creates a lot of anxiety and heartbreak in their wives. Discrepancies in sexual desire can cause tremendous frustration. If not dealt with, this issue can destroy a marriage.
According to Barry and Emily McCarthy, "inhibited desire is the most common sexual dysfunction, effecting one in three couples. Desire problems drain intimacy and good feelings from the relationship. One in five married couples has a non-sexual marriage (being sexual less than ten times a year). Three in ten non-married-couples who have been together longer than two years have a non-sexual relationship."
Wives' Comments:These comments from women in this situation show the damaging consequences of this situation in a marriage.
- "The only time you hear of sexual discontent in a marriage is when the woman's sex drive has diminished and it's the man that wants more. Oprah is all the time doing shows on it. The media emphasis is always on the man needing more, not the woman. The only time you hear anything about men having diminished sex drives is when impotence is the focus. Thanks to you folks on this forum, I'm starting to believe that maybe I'm not the only wife out there sobbing in her pillow every night for lack of physical affection."
- "I felt like I was begging , really begging for him to touch me, show me some affection ... I just felt like such a loser, such a chump."
- "I feel rejected and not accepted by my husband, and, as someone else said, 'unattractive, unloved, uncared for ...' etc."
- "It's difficult to be married to a wonderful guy whom I love and respect, yet he has little interest in intimacy. We've slept apart for 15 of our 16 year marriage, with occasional sex. We get along well, share similar interests, rarely argue. But in the bedroom, the deep sadness I feel has become more than I can bare. Everyone thinks we're the perfect couple, and it's all a sham. I've had several deep heart to heart talks with him about my needs, only to have a loving, polite "we'll work on this" response, and no change in the relationship at all. Being lovingly ignored is agony, there is no place to release my frustration. I have finally accepted the fact that my husband and I are just wired differently. It doesn't mean he is a bad person, it doesn't mean he doesn't love me. It just means he shows love differently and has different needs than I do. Having said that, it also doesn't mean I can live like this for another 15 years. That's where the sadness comes in. I don't want to leave him and give up the life we've built together, but this is a big part of life, and not having it is a big price to pay."
- "It's such an embarrassing, humiliating experience."
- "For so many years, I thought it was my fault that my husband wasn't as interested in intimacy as I am. Maybe I wasn't pretty enough or sexy enough. Maybe I wasn't a good wife. So I tried and worked to perfect being the ideal wife. My self esteem got lower and lower, but I kept myself busy building my business. Two years ago, there was nothing left to sink myself into ... In this last 2 years I've had to face my sadness and depression about it all. Some people call it a mid-life crisis, I call it a reality check. I even went into counseling for a couple of months. I was still trying to fix ME, I thought it was MY problem."