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When my wife and I make love she just lays there, I am so sexually frustrated, we talked about this but nothing changes!...

Tagged as: Marriage problems, Sex<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (20 August 2008) 25 Answers - (Newest, 9 September 2012)
A male United States age 36-40, anonymous writes:

What do you think about this? I've been married for 9 years and we have four kids. My wife is a stay at home Mom which I give her alot of credit for. My Question is this...She has really never been into French kissing, Initiating Sex, Giving Oral or even a Handjob. I am sexually frustrated! We have talked about this and nothing changes. I find myself thinking about this all the time and wonder how I can stay in this Marriage. When we make Love I feel as if she's just Laying there. She has always been like this but I just kept telling myself things would change...but Nothing.

I could never get a Divorce I would not put my children through that. I'm not a very religous person but she is. I have asked her over and over is it her Religion? if something happened when she was young but she says no.

Is this normal? are there other women like this? I feel like my personalty is changing Depressed, Negative outlook on life, Rejected. I will be in my early Fifty's when my youngest turns 18. I'm in my 30's now do I just suck it up and deal with it?

View related questions: depressed, divorce, hand-job, kissing, sexually frustrated

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A reader, anonymous, writes (9 September 2012):

She has lost her passion for sex, you or both. You could ask her if she knows why. Since this is important to you, if she really cares about you, she'll do what's necessary (with you if required) to figure it out. This could simply mean thinking about it, therapy, or whatever works for you both. From there you both can choose to address the issue; this may be simple or a lot of painful work. If you're both not willing to work on it, you'll both have a tough decision.

Perhaps she's figured this out already but is too self-centered to let you move on.

I agree with the other posters; this is a serious red flag. This will not end well for you if you ignore or tolerate it.

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A male reader, ghost77 United Kingdom +, writes (29 February 2012):

im in the same boat mate so i have sympathy.im lucky if i get sex once a year,no joke.i always initiate sex while she just lays still praying it will be over soon.usually i get the pretend to be asleep routine or get pushed away.just wanted to let you know you are not on your own.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (22 August 2008):

LOL.. I get some real stupid ideas sometimes, ignore me.. untill I find a better one. I haven't given up, I'm still on the case, I'll try and think of something better.... lol

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A reader, anonymous, writes (21 August 2008):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

yeah that would be good! I can see it now my Buddy ties me up then my Wife goes to work on him so I can Watch and suffer. LOL

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A reader, anonymous, writes (21 August 2008):

PS: Please don't get down with this, I've had another idea. Why not get one of the guys at work to bandage up your hands and then go and take a bath. Call her in and say, please dear wife, I can't wash, can you use the soap and rub me with your hands.... Just an idea, sneaky, but who knows it just might work... :)

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A female reader, ready2bolt United States +, writes (21 August 2008):

You have gotten good advice here, let me just say "thank you" for trying to find an answer. You are obviously a good man who just wants to find a way to be close to his wife. Good for you and major kudos for sticking it out. If you can both work through this the rewards are enormous!

I would just ditto a few things - hormonal balance plus thinking sex is dirty plus being exhausted and not feeling sexy after taking care of the kids, house, hubby, etc. these do NOT add up to a good situation for physical contact. This happens ALL THE TIME and is perfectly normal. But it really can really hurt a relationship IF sex is made out to be a deal breaker by one of you. Esp. after all these years of her NOT being able to be aroused by you, she may think she can't be aroused - and you moving to other things like oral may freak her out completely. This is someone who doesn't seem comfortable with her body at all so you have to start elsewhere.

My guess is that your wife may be feeling perfectly awful about the whole thing but really unable to figure out how to change -- esp. if it seems like she is the one who is supposed to change and not you. This is a dance, so maybe you can try some new steps and then see how she follows. You can help her by telling her every day how much you love her and love how she cares for your family, kiss her every day, flirt with her but NEVER impose yourself physically on her, show her how much you respect what she does by lending a hand (there is nothing hotter than a husband making dinner or doing the dishes), being kind and gentle with your kids, making sure they see you giving her respect and unconditional love, and above all - make sure you enable her time to get out of the house. More than anything, she needs to not feel like a puritan MOM first if she can ever hope to see herself as a sexual person.

If the two of you have not had a vacation away and alone - now is the time. But build up to it - don't just whisk her away and then expect hot sex overnight! Is there some way you can start having regular date nights where just the two of you get out of the house and reconnect? Even if it is in a bible study - I know that sounds crazy, but if it is something important to her and she sees that you are willing to make it important to you, that could be hugely significant to her (i.e. a major turn on!). The emotional connection you make with her is absolutely critical - for her to become sexually vulnerable and open to you, she has to believe you have her best interests and most intimate interests at heart. If she wants better sex, she really should talk to her doctor about it, but that may come later. If you push the sex issue all the time it is going to be harder for her to investigate her own solutions to the problem. SHe is just going to think you see her as inadequate, get depressed, the hormones kick in, etc. It's a bad downward spiral and trust me, no fun for her either.

I would start with date nights, and give her some regular time out of the house to get a massage, get her nails done, shop or do something that makes her feel sexy - even going to the gym, taking a class, whatever. Make sure that the two of you get OUT of the house for occasional weekends away or, at the very least, send the kids to friends and family on a regular basis. But don't push for sex and simply don't have sex if she is not in the mood. I don't mean you have to be abstinent indefinitely, but just let her know you are going to take the pressure off. You can let her know this is hard for you, but that you want her to love this aspect of your marriage as much as you love her. If she has been lying there unresponsive all these years just think of the negative conditioning to your touch she has received! You two need to reprogram your emotional and physical responses to each other. Be attentive to what does move her emotionally - is it movies? flowers? just your strong arms around her without any other demands? something sweet from the kids? Tune into her like you never have before and give her opportunities to be sexual in ways other than the bedroom. It can be in her clothes, the way she fixes her hair, perfume, those small baby steps are all essential - you just have to find what works for her and help her learn to take joy in her body and how the two of you fit together!

I wish you all the best in this endeavor -- it will pay off and I hope you two grow into the sexiest old couple around!!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (21 August 2008):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

anonymous, Thats the thing...I would say 70 percent of the time she does Orgasm. She likes when I foreplay her. She just wont foreplay me. I asked her if she was happy with her sex life and she says yes.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (20 August 2008):

Ms Anonymous is totally right, we've assumed that you've tried hard to please her, and that she dosen't enjoy anything you do. But maybe we are wrong. Focus totally on her enjoyment, massage from head to foot with body oil (anointing)really loosens a woman up and is a sign of love, with out the push for sex. Try to put your attention on her for a while, and give up your needs, including sexual intercourse. Maybe if you worship her body, she will realise that it's ok for her to do the same to you.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (20 August 2008):

I looked on the internet, but I couldn't find much, but here is a letter from the last pope about duties in marriage, he emphasises giving love to each other within the marriage as something you should do. http://www.ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2MAR.htm

There is also ton's of stuff in the bible, the songs of solomon is a great read, why not try to bring that into the bedroom to show her that God wants her to be happy and he wants her to enjoy sex with her husband... The Song of Solomon is a bit of religious erotica. It is very sexy and it is found in the bible. Try to memorize it and quote it to her. If she likes religion, then use her religion to prove that sex within marriage is good.

Here's the text... http://www.fourmilab.ch/etexts/www/Bible/Song_of_Solomon.html

And here is some favourable (erotic) understanding about it

http://www.angelfire.com/sc3/we_dig_montana/Song.html

Remember solomon had tons of wives and was blessed by God and is of Jesus's line, this might just help. Sorry, but your problem is very hard... But we're tried to help, and send blessings to you and your wife.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (20 August 2008):

Instead of pleasuring yourself, try concentrating on pleasing her. Try to make her orgasm. I doubt she will be able to keep still when she's in the throws of pleasure.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (20 August 2008):

I really wanted to help you with this thing, but it is really hard if your wife and her sister have been brought up to believe that sex is bad or dirty.

Your brother in Law has the same problem. Your wife is a Catholic. I've heard that some catholic girls believe that God is watching them when they are having sex and they are not allowed to enjoy it, but they are supposed to do it because they are married and they must have children. It's difficult to get such thoughts out of their heads. You should try to team up with your brother in Law and see if he and you can tackle this together. If they are Catholic, maybe you can ask for help from the church. Not all Catholics teach that sex is dirty and sinfull, maybe if you find a friendly priest, or contact a Catholic organisation you can find a sexual therapy group that comes from a religious viewpoint. I know some Catholic churches provide advice before marriage about how to have a happy married life. Find a church that emphasises sex in marriage should be healthy and happy and encourage her to go along with you, maybe as a foursome with her sister and brother in law, and help you reverse some of the damage that has been done.

Other than that, I think that you should definately look for Catholic therapy sexual books, or stuff written by ex Catholics. Unfortunately I'm not Catholic, but I know there is stuff like that out there which teaches how to have a good sexual life that is blessed by her God.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (20 August 2008):

Dear Poster

An excellent book that I have recommended to many with great results is:

The Complete Guide to Sexual Fulfilment

By: Dr Philip Cauthery and Dr Andrew Stanway

It is easy to ready, understand and full of practical ideas, suggestions and very helpfull.That is the book that I believe you and your wife will both benefit from; it is a book to read and explore togehter.

Best wishes and lots of SMILES.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (20 August 2008):

Good advice from StudentofLife. I have said several times on this forum that it is the responsibility of the man to make sure that the woman is good in bed. If the guy is good then the woman will probably be good. Of course, if she has a medical or psychological problem then the guy being good might not do much. Some woman take a lot of cuddling and foreplay before they are really turned on. Even if my wife is not in the mood, 20 or so minutes of gentle kissing, cuddling and giving her oral will usually get her in the mood. Sometimes she's not in the mood and she just tells me to screw her because she knows that after a couple of minutes that she will like it and probably have an orgasm.

Communication is really important in sex and realtionships in general. There is no shame in telling the other person what you like in bed. Partners have to be open with each other during and about sex. I think that most women just go along with what the man wants. My wife was like that for a long time until she opened up to her desires. Of course, I didn't make it easier for her by asking in the beginning.

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A male reader, StudentOfLife Canada +, writes (20 August 2008):

StudentOfLife agony auntInstead of telling her "I would like you to move more" have you tried this "Is there something that I could do better to please you even more?".

Most of the time when I ask that, they tell me what they would like me to do, or where i need to improve and they ask me the same question.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (20 August 2008):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

anyone know of a good Therapy book for this???

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A reader, anonymous, writes (20 August 2008):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Uncle Phil thanks for your story. My wife's family are also Catholic and go every sunday. It seems I am going down the same path as you did. laying there like a log really hits home!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (20 August 2008):

Just as a matter of interest:

Women who have little or no sexual desire can be seen from a psychosexual viewpoint as being young girls who are still under the control of their mother, or their conscience, and who are fearful of punishment, unless they behave sexlessly.

In such cases, the task of the man is to help liberate the woman from this "control"(way of thinking); somtimes these women have difficulty accepting help or advice from there partners; (thinking that they are just interested in intercourse);

BUT

if the man takes a real interest, is loving, patient and applies knowledge; dramatic changes can be experienced;

(THE BOOK THERAPY)

However if a women cannot make progress with the help of her partner, the services of a sex therapist/counselor might be required.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (20 August 2008):

You have gotten many good and helpful answers, but let me add my insight. I believe that it is either caused by hormonal problems or upbringing. I have had experience in both. My wife had most of her ovaries removed when she was young and has never initiated sex with me in our 29 years. That used to bother me, although I had the benefit of her loving sex once I got her going. We have an active sex life. I have just recently discovered the link between her somewhat lowered sex drive and the removal of most of her ovaries. Half of a women's testosterone production comes from her ovaries. Besides, she tells me that I never gave her a chance to initiate sex. :) Many birth control pills and most antidepressants cause a significant lowering of sex drive. Many times it doesn't even come back after stopping the meds for months or years.

I also had the experience of my testosterone being low. There were times whan I would not have any desire to have sex with or even hold my wife. That was the first time in my life that I ever experienced that.

She needs to be checked out by her GYN or endo if she has one to determine if it is a medical problem.

The next is upbringing. I have suffered through that problem. I was taught for years by my mother and some of her sisters how a woman was a slut and unworthy of anyone if she slept around. That caused me great problem with my wife when she told me that she had slept with 10 men in the 3 years between leaving her first husband and dating me. She was sort of taught the same things as I was and felt guilty about what she had done and just had to confess to me. This type of upbringing problem needs counseling to overcome. We haven't gone to professional counseling, but my wife an I talked obout it for months in the past year and I also talked to 2 women on this board who helped us through it for months.

UnclePhil told you to let her know how you feel and what it is doing to your marriage. I agree with that, but do it gently. Don't make her feel like she is responsible for ruining your marriage. That will just drive her farther away from you and make her refuse to talk at all. Suggest that both of you go to counseling together to try to determine why your sex life is not as good as it should be. Sex is a very important part of any relationship and good and loving sex that is enjoyable for both parties brings you closer together. Frustration from bad sex or no sex just drives partners apart.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (20 August 2008):

Dear Poster

I was going to send you a private message but I noticed you posted as Anonymous.

Yes, unfortunately childhood conditioning often creates adverse response to sexual experiences.

There is more then one possibility; the mother could have treated sex as a duty and never really enjoyed it; this negative attitude gets carried over to specially girls.However, there is also the possibility that they were taught that it is "naughty" and wrong and not allowed to explore there own sexuality; the list is very long; that is often a very deep rooted psycological problem, as they have been conditioned(almost brainwahed) that way.

I do suggest you try the book therapy, with good communication; lots of love and understanding;

BUT

Otherwise I am afraid there is only one solution and that will be counseling; specially if she is having difficulty with the male anatomy.

You are welcome to private message me; it is difficult answering in too much detail on the site; there are younger readers too.

The more information you can give us on the situation the easier it is for us to try and assist you.

I can understand your frustration and we will try and help you to have lots more SMILES.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (20 August 2008):

All good stuff below. To answer your response:

My first mother-in-law had a strict Catholic upbringing and was educated by nuns. She brought up her only daughter (my wife) to believe that men would only ever want her for one thing, that sex was horrible, a dirty business that would hurt her and she should only do it for the purpose the Good Lord intended, ie. to make babies.

Maybe your wife's parents were of the same opinion?

She was also lie there like a log in bed, and sex was never that good. It always seemed to be a chore that she wanted to get over and done with as quickly as possible. I stayed with her for 19 years 'for the sake of the kids', but I'd have been a lot happier had the marriage ended a lot earlier than it did.

A happy sex life is a pre-requisite for a happy marriage and she needs to know how it's affecting you, so don't pull any punches when you discuss it with her. She needs to know how you feel about this issue and that your marriage could be at risk - and it will be, eventually, if this problem isn't resolved.

You've got many years ahead of you yet and you have to ask her if she wants a happy marriage with you or a miserable one.

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A female reader, Tisha-1 United States + , writes (20 August 2008):

Tisha-1 agony auntHi, Smiles has laid out a very good game plan for tackling this issue, so I'm just going to add some of my thoughts that are worth exploring with your wife. I think that sex is a very important part of a successful and intimate marriage, the bonding is so important to both partners. So why does she find sex so uninteresting or even distasteful? (Once you rule out any possible medical conditions.)

Does it hurt her? If it does, she's NEVER going to initiate, because that would just cause pain, and no one does that voluntarily, unless they are a masochist.

Does she feel unattractive or not sexy? Is she worn out from the trials of the day? If she's the mother of four young children, she may simply be exhausted from caring for them all day, to the point that she has nothing left to give you.

You say she's always been like this, did you two have sex before you were married? And if so, was it different then? Did you discuss what your sex life would be like together? I mean, what things you like to do and which things are off the menu forever.

Depending on how she was raised to think, sex may be something that is perceived as dirty, or something that men do to women, that is that men are just using women for their own personal pleasure. She may think that anything but straight missionary is perverse and that if she shows any signs of enjoying it, then she is somehow a bad woman or diminished in some way.

She may think that all women have to do is show up and lie there. She clearly doesn't realize that loving you means loving your body as well. That you feel rejected because she doesn't touch your body, your very masculinity at all in a loving way. That by not reaching for you she is clearly demonstrating her lack of desire for you. That must cut like a knife.

So instead of saying, 'why don't you do this for me?' you could try the tack of 'I feel unloved because you do not show any sign of desiring me, my body.' If you can get her to see things from your perspective, how much this hurts and how unhappy you are, she may get some glimmer of the importance of having a good sex life. I assume she knows you're unhappy, but for whatever reason doesn't want to or can't change the habits she has taken on in the marital bed.

Not being into French kissing? Hmmm. That suggests she finds it distasteful or dirty, the mouth on mouth or mouth on genital contact. Does she have a germ phobia?

Have you ever tried cunnilingus with her? Do you do your very best to arouse her, with lots of stroking and caressing and soft, loving words? And before that, have you been romantic and given her back rubs or rubbed her feet or drawn her a bath?

I expect in 9 years of this, you've tried everything....

Have you two ever gone away without the children for a long weekend or even overnight to a posh hotel or spa with nothing to do but spend time with each other?

I'm sorry, I'm full of questions, and not too many answers, just suggestions for things to explore with her and with a counselor, which I think you might indeed need if what Smiles has laid out doesn't work for you.

Let us know if there's anything else we should know, and how you get on with her.

With best wishes.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (20 August 2008):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Smiles, you did touch on something about "due to strict or conservative upbringing" my brother in-law has complained to me about the same thing. my wife's sister is the same way! I never told him anything about my wife to personal i thought!

how can you be brought up like this? it seems weird you can raise your kids to be like this. what do you tell them that sex is gross?????

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A reader, anonymous, writes (20 August 2008):

Dear Poster

I have empathy with you; you are in a very difficult situation;

HOWEVER

Do not feel alone; there are lots of couples with the same or similar problems.

You might not like everything I am going to say or suggest:

BUT

I am not trying to upset you; I am merely giving you advice to the best of my knowledge and experience from the little information available in your posting.

Has she got any medical conditions; is she on any medication?

What form of contraceptive do you use? The birth control pill?

This can have an affect on her hormones; which can have an affect on her libido;

Once it is clear that there is NO MEDICAL REASON for her lack of libido;

I SUGGEST

It can by psychological or it can be (and for give me I am not trying to upset you I am merely trying to help) inhibitions (often to due to strict or conservative upbringing) and/or lack of sex education.

If she has always been like this; she might not have had sexual experiences before you got married and might not know how to do what you want her to do;

I SUGGEST

You get a good SEX MANUAL and read through it together; try and EXPERIMENT the different suggestions and ideas around FOREPLAY; ORAL SEX and different sexual positions;

(Doing this exercise might sound stupid by it has helped many couples); COMMUNICATION is vital when doing this; to talk and to find out more about what please and arouse each other; the IMPORTANCE of this exercise is to EXPLORE sex and your bodies AS IF FOR THE FIRST TIME.

To get to know each others likes and dislikes; to get comfortable with each other; not to criticize each other and to learn from trial and error; to laugh and have fun for example in trying to discover the G spot.

Always keep in mind: It is VERY important that you ensure that she FEELS LOVED; (meet her EMOTIONAL NEEDS); at all times, not just before you want to have sex; a woman cannot just suddenly be switched on; she need to feel loved; give her lots of affection; a hug a kiss a cuddle; pay her compliments.

If all the above does not help; change or improve the situation;

I SUGGEST

You have NO OPTION but COUNSELING; there might be something deep rooted from childhood that she is unknowingly suppressing.

Best wishes; go get a good sex manual and start having lots of fun and enjoyment.

Keep SMILING.

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A male reader, StudentOfLife Canada +, writes (20 August 2008):

StudentOfLife agony auntPersonality and depression is 2 different things.

Speaking of which, I think your wife may have a strong Peaceful Phlegmatic personality. You are a lucky one if she is!

That personality is the most peaceful of them all, they live life as it comes and they don't worry about a thing.

Here a short poem about that personality to see if you can put your wife into it a bit (know that nobody got 100% of one personality):

The stability to stay straight on course.

The patience to put up with provokers.

The ability to listen, while others have their say.

The gift of mediation, uniting opposite forces.

The purpose of peace at almost any price.

The compassion to comfort those hurting.

The determination to keep your head, while all around are losing theirs.

The will to live in such a way that even your enemies can't find anything bad to say to you.

---

What does it have to do with sex you ask. Maybe nothing, maybe everything.

Lets talk about you, do you do special things to make yourself attractive (Gym, nice clothes, nice shave etc)? Are you making love to her or are you demanding sex? Have you ever asked her if there's something special that she would like from you? (Sex position, activity, fetish)

Sometime we tend to accuse people when it's our own fault, take the blame and do something about it.

Try something new, if she's a strong Phlegmatic, she'll endure things even though she doesn't like them. Try new things and look if it change anything, if she compliments you it means that its working, if she doesn't ... it doesn't mean that it's not working because the phlegmatic personality doesn't compliment much even though they like something. If you know that the change is for the better, do it anyway (like shaving, better clothing, gym etc...)

Don't ask yourself what I can do to change her but what can I do to be a better me for her.

"Life is not about finding a perfect person, it's about loving an imperfect person perfectly."

That quote must have come from a phlegmatic since they're the ones that live life as it comes. But I think it's something we should all follow.

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A female reader, Onlyofyou1039 United States +, writes (20 August 2008):

Youre not alone. This happens in a lot of marriages. Maybe you should try talking about going to those sex classes with her. Sounds cheesy but you never know.

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