It’s heartbreaking that you’ve reached this stage in your marriage, where you have to learn how to deal with your husband not wanting you. Conflicts are bound to happen in a relationship every now and then, which may lead to a spouse losing interest in their partner.
One of the many reasons a husband doesn’t want his partner anymore, according to a recent research, is income. It was found that male psychological distress is at a minimum when the wives make 40% of total household income. The distress reaches at the highest level when men are entirely economically dependent on their wives. A lesser known reason for any person to lose sexual interest in a partner is if they are asexual.
To find out the other reasons a husband no longer wants to be intimate with his spouse, we reached out to psychologist Jayant Sundaresan. He says, “Before we analyze the problems between the spouses, we need to find out how long they’ve been married to each other. Time frame makes a difference. If it’s been just a year or two, then it could simply be communication issues. The longer the marriage, the more profound a problem could be.”
Why Does A Husband Not Want His Wife — 5 Probable Reasons
When a husband doesn’t want his wife anymore, it could create a ripple effect throughout the household. Below are some of the signs your husband is steadily losing his interest in you. He does not want a relationship with you if:
- He isn’t affectionate with you anymore
- He doesn’t share his feelings with you
- He is not curious about your life
- Quality time together has been ceased
- You no longer go out on dates
Jayant says, “If you are saying “My husband loves me but not sexually,” then you need to look at your marriage from a different perspective. How is your marriage as a whole? Is it just sexual intimacy which is lacking or are there any other stressors which are causing a disturbance to your sex life?” Before finding out why you have intimacy issues and what you can do about it, let’s look at some probable reasons for this behavior.
1. Mental health issues/stress
What does it mean when your husband doesn’t want to touch you? It could simply mean he is dealing with anxiety, depression, stress, or any other mental health problems. As we age, we tend to develop health problems that hinder us from enjoying certain things in life. He could be experiencing the same.
Depression is one of the leading factors for reduced libido in men. This could be one of the reasons that your husband won’t make love to you. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), about six million American men suffer from depression every year. A study on sexual dysfunctions in depressed men has proved that there is a decrease in sexual desire, problems in ejaculation, and in achieving orgasm when men have mental health issues.
Also, there might be unresolved conflicts at hand due to which the man doesn’t want his spouse anymore. This break away from emotional intimacy, once repaired, can bridge the sexual gap too.
2. Low self-esteem
Self-esteem is an essential key to loving yourself. When that goes for a toss, the general opinion a person has about oneself becomes questionable, which gives rise to insecurities. This can negatively impact your emotional well-being. When we asked Jayant for tips on what to do when your husband doesn’t love you anymore, he says, “The role of self-esteem in relationships is quite irreplaceable. Only when you love yourself, will you be able to love someone else fully. That’s why one needs to work on improving one’s self-esteem.
“Such a person thinks they don’t deserve love. They think they are not worthy of intimacy, especially if it’s with a person they’re in love with. They think they are unattractive and remain consciously ignorant of their partner’s sexual invitations. This is one of the major reasons he is avoiding sex altogether.”
Related Reading: 11 Signs Your Man Has Anger Issues
3. Performance anxiety
Sex is one of the most gratifying pleasures of a relationship. You are supposed to enjoy it freely, but many people go through performance anxiety before/during sex. We’ve received messages from readers telling us: “My husband hasn’t touched me in years.” If you constantly keep thinking about how well you should be doing sexually, it might lead to avoidance of sex.
When asked on Reddit about performance anxiety disrupting their sex life, a user shared their experience. They said, “I have been dealing with performance-related problems for years. It has been a very long road for me. I felt pathetic for a long time because I thought I was alone in the world.”
Below are a few tips to reduce sexual performance anxiety, as shared by a user on Reddit.
- Learn what your problem is and the reason behind it
- Don’t move forward if you aren’t comfortable
- Instead of believing “I’m not good enough for you,” be honest and share your concern with your spouse
- Indulge in foreplay if you are having second thoughts about your performance
- Don’t feel guilty or stress about it. Take it easy, it’s more common than you think
4. Alcohol, drug usage, and pornography
What to do when your husband ignores you? Avoid the consumption of adult films. The more frequently you watch adult films, the less your sexual drive becomes. Research suggests that terminating the usage of porn is sufficient to get back to your normal, healthy sex flow. If your partner is avoiding intimacy, then his alcohol and drug usage could be the problem. Excessive substance use on a daily basis can lead to a decrease in the production of testosterone. It doesn’t just affect your sexual functionality, it also leads to loss of libido.
According to a study on the effects of drugs on male sexual function and fertility, it has been found that drugs can have negative effects on male libido, erection, ejaculation and orgasm, as well as on fertility. Jayant adds, “Also, when you are addicted to pornography, you become selfish and indulge in self-gratification. You feel disconnected from real life. There will be no inclination to do anything for your partner’s pleasure. You satisfy yourself and you don’t see the need to satisfy your partner.”
5. Major life changes
Jayant says, “If your partner avoids you, then don’t take it as one of the signs your husband is planning to leave you. It could be due to major life changes. When such changes take place, you tend to look at your partner differently.” Some of these life changes could be:
- Moving to a new city/country
- Children getting married
- Birth of grandchildren
- Becoming devout and religious
- Thinking they are too old to have sex (aging)
9 Ways To Deal With Your Husband Not Wanting You
Jayant says, “Marriage is a living entity. You have to work on it every single day. You can’t be affectionate today and be aloof tomorrow. You can’t say “Oh, I was nice to you yesterday. Today, I am expecting affection from you.” Marriage doesn’t work that way and it isn’t as simple as that. You have to consciously contribute to make it work. It’s the little things that make your marriage stronger.”
How can you make your husband fall in love with you again? To answer that, let’s look at the possible reasons that your partner doesn’t want to be intimate with you, and at the stressors that are building a wall between you and your partner:
- Conflicts on how to bring up children and how to discipline them
- The amount of freedom each spouse has in the marriage
- Rules on dos and don’ts of a marriage
- The extent to which they are living their individual lives
- Expectations could be getting in the way
- Not articulating your needs clearly
- External factors like in-laws, work-related pressure, and mental disorders
- Money issues could be one of the root causes of your marital problems
When you see the signs your husband is not in love with you anymore, don’t lose hope yet. Here are a few things you can do to revive the love again and cope with your husband not wanting you:
1. Communicate more
If your husband avoids you, then you need to find out why. When both of you are in a good mood, sit down and talk about it. The more you communicate with your spouse, the more peaceful your marriage will be. Jayant says, “Communication is a two-way street. Both parties should participate equally to understand and clear each other’s doubts. Every relationship where there is unconditional love will have partners willing to communicate on difficult topics.”
A study on marital satisfaction and communication skills has found that “Couples who have effective communication skills express their desires more effectively, resolve their conflicts, share their thoughts and feelings more easily with each other, feel more intimate and close to each other, and finally, they experience a higher quality of marriage. A high quality of marriage helps couples to be less at risk of marital burnout.”
2. Increase the comfort level
How comfortable are you with your partner? It’s important you understand that being best friends with your spouse can enhance your relationship in incredible ways. Lack of comfort can be harmful. The two of you aren’t just sharing a home. You are sharing your lives together. If you are saying “My husband loves me but not sexually,” then maybe he isn’t comfortable with you anymore. You need to build mutual intimacy by:
- Establishing an emotional connection with the help of deep conversation topics
- Being vulnerable with each other
- Learning each other’s love language
- Trying to become each other’s best friends
3. Identify the issue
Jayant says, “This is the main solution to your ‘how to deal with marital problems’ concern. You won’t know how to get your husband to desire you if you don’t narrow down the problem. Only then can it be addressed in a positive way.” The issues could be:
- He’s losing interest due to your unwillingness to experiment in bed
- He’s put off by your sky-high relationship expectations
- He’s not in love with you anymore
- He is having an affair
- He’s not interested in sex anymore, which is something that needs to be talked about in a non-judgmental way
4. Focus on other things
Jayant says, “Stop fixating on sex for a while. Hit pause on that particular problem and focus on the rest of your life. Do you think sex is the only good thing about your relationship that’s keeping it together? Wrong. Although it’s one of the contributing factors, there are many more dimensions than sex in a marriage.
“You can go without sex for a few weeks and just enjoy each other’s company. Go on a trip together. Help each other out with household chores. Focus on your career and personal achievements. If you have children, find ways to become better parents. Otherwise, your own behavior that’s toxic will be mimicked by your kids when they get older. Sex cannot be given prime importance when there are so many other aspects of your marriage.”
How to deal with your husband not wanting you? Look for things other than sex that keep your marriage afloat. According to a study by the University of Rochester, a marriage based on love and respect doesn’t just ‘happen.’ Both spouses have to do their part. Marriages take work, commitment, quality time, trust, accepting flaws, learning to forgive, and love.
5. Have the expectations talk
How to deal with marital problems that are so deep that it’s not even a healthy relationship anymore? Talk to him about expectations. It’s the unspoken expectations that ruin a relationship. It sets you up for failure because when they are unmet, you tend to develop resentment toward your partner. When you thrust such unrealistic expectations upon them, they might feel trapped in the relationship.
Jayant says, “Expectations in relationships are a breeding ground for negativity and disappointment. You can’t expect your marriage to be how it was in the initial stages. Every relationship has to witness mundaneness once the honeymoon phase fades. If you can’t talk to them in person about this, you can text to make your husband want you back by aligning your expectations with each other’s capacities. Keep your relationship healthy by not letting sky-high expectations create relationship problems.”
6. Cultivate empathy
Be understanding of what your partner is facing. If he is battling an addiction, stress, erectile dysfunction, or any kind of mental health issue, support your husband on the journey of recovery. You can’t just stand there and expect him to get better on his own. Let him know he’s seen and heard. When you don’t have empathy in your marriage, you will soon start developing intimacy issues as well.
When asked on Reddit how important empathy is in a relationship, a user shared, “Empathy for me leads to an understanding of a variety of humans; it allows you to make decisions based on not just your own feelings, but that of others. This doesn’t mean you have to cry with every person who’s going through heartache, but understanding their feelings and being a support in that respect is pretty solid.”
7. How to deal with your husband not wanting you? Spice it up
Jayant says, “How to get your husband to desire you? Up your bedroom game. Shake things up. It’s a possibility that your husband could be bored of repeating the same thing every day. Resolve issues related to intimacy by throwing boredom out of the bedroom. Surprise your partner. Flirt with him and seduce him.” Some of the things you can try to get rid of the boredom in your bond:
- There are erotic things you can say to your partner through flirty texts
- Change of scene – book a hotel and go on a vacation
- Make your husband want you by discussing fantasies, likes, and dislikes
- Role play and toys
- Create a sex playlist
- Massage each other
Shayla, a 40-year-old nurse from Los Angeles, writes to Bonobology, “I have to beg my husband to sleep with me because we had relationship issues that created a physical and emotional distance between us. I don’t know if this marriage has any positive aspects left. I feel unwanted by the man who swore to love me till my last breath.”
If you are having similar problems, then try to make your husband feel loved by experimenting in the bedroom. Ask him what he would like you to do and vice-versa. Don’t let him feel like you only care about your physical intimacy needs. Take care of his needs as well, and your husband might respond to this in a positive way.
8. Build intimacy
Jayant adds, “What does it mean when your husband doesn’t want to touch you? Maybe he wants to be close to you emotionally. Try to build an emotional attachment with him. Connect with your partner on a deeper level by helping him let his guard down. Bring a little tenderness into the relationship. Hold hands. Touch each other’s cheeks. Run your fingers through his hair. A man really appreciates it when he is being shown love.”
If your husband avoids you and there is no emotional or physical connection between the two of you, then here are some ways that have been known to increase closeness between couples:
- Express love by cooking for him
- Get him a small gift
- Appreciate him for everything he does
- Small gestures like asking open-ended questions will make your husband feel loved
- Support his dreams
- Spend time with him without any technology interfering
- Show physical affection. Touch his waist, hold hands, and run your finger through his hair once in a while
9. Seek professional help
If nothing works out, you should try to get professional help and work on the issue. They will have a better understanding of the whole situation. Whether it’s a difference of opinion or a genuine lack of interest in keeping the relationship alive, a therapist will understand the root of your problems in a better way. If you’re looking for professional help, Bonobology’s panel of experienced counselors is only a click away.
5 Things You Can Do To Improve Intimacy In Your Marriage
Lack of intimacy can directly lead to a loveless relationship. You don’t choose to be trapped in a sexless marriage. It can happen to anyone due to the many factors mentioned above. You begin to feel unloved, insecure, and it takes a toll on your mental health. If you don’t know how to deal with your partner not wanting you, then these tips can help in improving intimacy between you two:
Related Reading: Personal Space In A Relationship Holds It Together
1. Date each other
Jayant says, “Bring back the feeling of how you were when you first met each other. Go back to the dating phase. One of the main reasons a relationship gets boring is that partners stop being curious about each other. When you are newly dating someone, you want to know every single thing about them.”
This should be the first step when you are trying to cope with your husband not wanting you. Be fully present when you are with him. Keep your phone aside. Take time out to have some ‘us’ time. No kids, no television, and no work. Go on dates to rebuild romance. Recreate that magic of the first year.
2. Attract him physically
How to deal with your husband not wanting you? Get a new look. Get a haircut, a new outfit, put on his favorite scent, or put on makeup when you’re at home. There’s nothing wrong in changing your hair color if that will make your husband notice you. He might be busy with work and this little change might spark romance between the two of you.
Jayant says, “It’s not a big deal to do little things for your partner. It’s only concerning when you change your personality for them. A level of physical attraction through dressing up or even non-sexual touches is necessary to sustain a relationship.”
A Reddit user shares, “Physical attraction is extremely important in a marriage. If you don’t feel any attraction to an individual, do them and yourselves a favor and refuse the proposal. You are not going to have a good time building a lifetime together if you are having doubts from the very start. Your personal preferences do not have to adhere to the conventional take of pale skin, slender build, or straight hair. But you should feel a spark at least.”
3. Practice other kinds of intimacy
If you are saying “My husband hasn’t touched me in years” or “My husband neglects me,” then maybe he isn’t feeling secure or is feeling distant from you. Prove yourself to be a trustworthy partner who he can rely on. One of the next steps you can take is by trying to develop other kinds of intimacy.
Be vulnerable with him by sharing your weaknesses, secrets, traumas (if you’re comfortable), and desires. There are many things that happen when a man is vulnerable with you. He becomes more authentic and he will communicate better. He might just reciprocate eventually, with time and no pressure. Create emotional, intellectual, and experimental intimacy.
4. Show appreciation
Let your partner know from time to time that they are loved, valued, appreciated, and accepted for who they are and as they are. Simple words of affirmation go a long way in keeping the relationship harmonious. Show you are grateful for their presence in your life by appreciating them.
Here are some things you can do to show appreciation to your husband:
- Thank them for being a part of your life
- Have dinner together every day
- Find out your partner’s love language and try to tap into it
- Show that you are in this together
5. Make each other happy
Make each other laugh, watch a few funny movies or videos, and go and play with animals at a pet center. Shared smiles and laughter can help you build back intimacy with each other. These are the simple rules for a happy marriage.
Jayant says, “How you keep each other happy is the crux of the matter in a marriage. Either way, you have to do it for yourself, and for your partner. If you love someone, you want to make them happy. Not because they are demanding happiness from you and vice-versa, but simply because you want to keep them happy.”
What If Nothing Works?
Many couples go through this phase where marital problems and intimacy issues have infected the relationship deeply and can’t be taken care of. You don’t feel loved by your husband and you don’t know how to cope with your husband not wanting you. You tried your best to give this marriage another chance but your husband had given up on you long back. He’s stopped caring about where the marriage is headed. If you are going through a similar situation, here are some things you can keep in mind when nothing works:
1. Recognize and work on your faults
A high-conflict divorce means traumatized participants. It’s not just the husband and wife here. If you have kids, they are also equally suffering. According to studies, the most major contributors to divorce were lack of commitment, infidelity, and conflict/arguing. The most common “final straw” reasons were infidelity, domestic abuse, and substance use. If you have done any of these things, it’s time to work on these issues for the sake of your close circle as well as your future relationships and friendships.
2. Forgive yourself
You did everything you can to save your marriage. When nothing worked, you decided to leave your loveless relationship. It’s only fair you forgive yourself and not let the past trauma keep haunting you in your new life. Don’t let these things affect your future decisions and perspective. Your peace of mind is important.
3. Let go of all the anger and resentment
These are negative emotions that won’t do you any good. The more you harbor them, the more they will weigh you down. They will make it harder for you to co-parent as well. Stop the husband-bashing right at some point and understand that ‘it is what it is.’ Here are some tips to let go of resentment in a relationship:
- Journal your feelings
- Understand your anger. Where does it stem from? Is it because your husband left you or because he fell in love with someone else? Is it really the divorce that’s bothering you or the rejection?
- Practice self-care
- Find support from friends and family
- If a man doesn’t want his spouse sexually, he probably won’t be affectionate toward them either
- Low self-esteem, mental health issues, unresolved conflicts, or lack of other types of intimacy could be some of the reasons for a man’s distance from his spouse
- Tackle this issue by dating each other all over again
Remember, you can’t place the responsibility of your happiness on another person. If you want to be happy in life and in marriage, you need to learn how to get started on that yourself. Marriage takes a lot of communication, trust, and the ability to let go of a few things. In a healthy marriage, you will fight, forgive, and forget. Ultimately, we hope you find your way back to each other.
This article has been updated in March 2023.