Could A Low (or No) Sex-Drive Ruin YOUR Marriage?

I was reading an article in one of my mother’s old retirement magazines about this woman whose husband just up and left her after twenty-five years of marriage.

Why? Because she lost interest in having sex with him. I mean, REALLY lost interest. It all started when she went through menopause. Her doctor prescribed medication which worked on her hot flashes and sweats but not on her libido. It simply didn’t exist. “It wasn’t like I wasn’t attracted to [my husband],” the woman, Joanna, explains, “it was more like I just didn’t want sex, with anyone, at all.” Joanna’s husband, Paul, was understanding…for awhile.

Then he started taking it all personally, continuously asking her if her lack of sex-drive meant that she didn’t love him. He kept asking her if she wanted out of the marriage or if she was seeing someone else; both answers were a resounding “no.” Then, one day, after almost a year of no sex, Joanna’s husband said he wanted a divorce. “He said he didn’t want to cheat on me and that if he stayed in the marriage he was afraid he would,” Joanna explains. Some women - myself included - would see this as a bad sign and run for the nearest doctor’s office and ask for some libido-increasing substance for women.

Try a hot oil massage or something to get you in the mood, ANYTHING. This woman seemed not only turned off by sex, but she wasn’t even interested in fixing the problem. At the end of the article, the couple was still in the process of divorce proceedings, but the question arose as to whether or not her husband was a normal man with needs, who waited as long as he could and then kindly stepped out of the marriage instead of having an affair, or if he’s a selfish horny toad. I am torn on this issue.

I wouldn’t think much of my husband if he left me simply because I wouldn’t put out, but then again, if my husband refused to have sex with me and didn’t seem inclined to get help for the problem, I might get fed up and leave. I don’t know. What do you guys think: is a sexless marriage enough of a reason to divorce?

I am going to be blunt: without sex, the relationship will suffer a lot, if not wither altogether. A healthy male cannot do without sex.

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Yes, it most definitely can ruin a marriage. Sex is an important part of a healthy marriage…and while there will be times when you’re out of sync sexually, it should NOT be a constant thing. Sex in marriage creates a bond and intimacy…if it’s not there, or if you have to beg for it, as I have had to before, that’s a BIG piece missing.

I don’t remember the last time we had sex. Our sex life has never been very good. Now we’re such strangers we don’t know where to start. We’ve done a year without sex a few times. Now we realize it was a symptom of a bigger problem. If the party not interested isn’t interested in trying to make the problem better, then that isn’t fair to the other person. I don’t blame him for leaving, and I think he did it in the most gentlemanly way I could think of. Its hard to be sentanced to celibacy when it wasn’t your decision!

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I agree on all points here, however, some women experience devastating changes that come with menopause. Non-existent libido and very painful intercourse is a reality for many post menopausal women. And IF you can make it through the excruciating intercourse to satisfy your husband, you end up with a urinary tract infection. So who is the final benefactor here? This scenario is very real. It is devastating to a marriage. Nobody talks about that, they just say that sex is important in a marriage. Well, duhhhhhhhhh on that one. I speak from experience. We are on the verge of at least separating because these were the changes I experienced in my body from menopause that has driven my husband away… So my husband moves out of our bedroom (his choice) and into the guest room and says he did it because he ‘can’t have’ me. I mean, wow. It’s all come down to this in our marriage? Only sex is the determining factor as to whether or not our marriage will continue? 38 years of marriage that, before menopause was a good and fun sex life and I had a normal libido! I was the one (not my husband) who used to call my husband at work and ask him to come home for ‘lunch’ (wink wink). Not like he married a prude or someone who didn’t enjoy it! Think about this guys, please. I had no control over the changes menopause caused in me, yet I’m being ‘punished’ for it. If sex is the ONLY reason he leaves, its probably just better that he does.

Ok, so I’m going to put the shoe on the other foot here. Let’s say you are a man and your testosterone levels bottomed out to the point where you had no libido and your parts no longer worked. And even if your parts somewhat worked, it caused great pain. And your wife left you because of no sex. Let’s discuss this scenario for awhile…

Alright … so my husband (at the time married 20 years) cannot maintain an erection during sex, and I have had a hysterectomy. As often as I tried to discuss the situation, and he avoided discussion, I gave up trying to have sex. I tried to be sensitive about his feelings and thought that maybe we could be married without sex. We were best friends and I had planned on our marriage surviving because we had loved each other through everything so far. Seven years in the future, without discussion, he leaves me for a woman half his age??? He is 75 years of age and he leaves me for a woman aged thirty-something, someone younger than his youngest daughter. How creepy is that??? Everyone suspects she’s with him because she is essentially a Mexican pauper who has just struck it rich (in her mind). There are so many issues here, but his wife did not leave him because of sexless marriage. He left his wife … and he told his wife that it was because he has finally found intimacy and he still has no libido. Go figure!

I am currently in a sexless marriage. I made pass after pass at my wife. It started with sex twice a week, then a month, then once a month and then once every two months… right now I am on a 6 month drought of NO PHYSICALLY SEXUAL AFFECTION… we have 6 children, 4 adopted, so I don’t want to leave… but sex is important to me, and she has purposely shut it off… it’s caused stress to factor my health, and has caused me to slip into depression… like I’m not good enough to make love too… I feel ugly and worthless all the time… but I don’t want the kids I promised a better life to, to be let down… I’m stuck… it’s gone on so long that I want nothing to do with her anymore… a marriage CAN NOT and WILL NOT last without sexual inter course, PERIOD!!! Just wish I wouldn’t have saved myself for marriage, and dated someone I knew had a strong sexual appetite…

Big4MyKids, may I ask how long you have been married, is your wife going (or gone through) menopause (what is her age?) and has it always been this way?. These are significant clues. Please read my post above from Jan 2018 by CeeBee1. My husband based “attention and affection” on sex alone. I suffered through menopause silently; my husband was clueless. He was so clueless that he was completely unaware of the excruciating pain I was experiencing during intercourse. I kept this to myself for years. And my libido was G.O.N.E. It was devastating to me to realize that my husband was considering leaving a marriage of nearly 40 years b/c not having sex was more important than staying together. I couldn’t help the changes in my body but for years, I thought it was me just being “unhappy”. It wasn’t. But things have changed greatly for us.We came to a difficult decision…stay together or separate. Neither of us wanted to ‘start over’ at this stage of life, even though I still was very attractive. We had nothing to lose so we began seeing a therapist two years ago and I went to a hormone specialist and started hormone replacement therapy which made a world of difference of me, for US. Hormones are tricky and it isn’t always perfect, but we’ve had more sex in the last 6 months than we had in the 10 years prior. Depression is another major factor to consider. 6 kids, wow. This is probably a major contributing factor b/c i’m going to take a guess that some of the adopted children have challenges, which only adds to the stress. Get some help. Look at the big picture (I know its difficult to right now), and consider hormonal changes. If she is 40+ years of age, she is having hormonal changes. Perimenopause can take as long as 10 years, ending with menopause (generally) in the early 50s. If she’s had a total hysterectomy, then she essentially was “castrated”. No estrogen, progesterone of testosterone will completely wipe out a sex drive and oftentimes, causes just the mere thought of sex to be repulsive…I’m speaking from experience here.

The issue I have is not either the male or female low libido, the issue I have is when the person with the low Libido totally ignores the sexual needs of the other.
For the wife, if sex is painful, even starting a conversation about alternative approaches to sex would show that you are slightly interested in your partner’s needs. There are many other ways to bring sexual satisfaction outside of penetration. However, what I have experienced personally is if I can’t get it, you can’t get it either.
For the husband with low libido, on the low end, he can discuss introducing specific toys into the bedroom, or alternative means of sexual gratification. There are lesbians who testify of amazing sex lives without a real penis in the mix. Then on the high end, there are surgeries that can install artificial erections and then there is viagra.

The bottom line is, if the husband or wife is any at all concerned about their spouse’s feelings, they should stop thinking about themselves and try to please the other. We have that mindset for our kids who will run out from our wings after 18 years but find it so hard to be selfless for our own spouses.

Different couples will find exactly what works for then based on their preferences, but starting the conversation at least shows that you care.
Please care, for your marriage’s sake

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I think its apparent that, in my case, I cared enough to get us therapy (my own doing), going on hormone replacement therapy even with it’s risks (my idea and decision) AND having vaginal rejuvenation laser treatments (all without my husband even knowing). Basically, I did all the WORK to move to a better place…for our marriage (even though I was incredibly angry with my husband at that time). Please remember that the ‘deprived’ partner plays a significant role in all this too, even if they are the one ‘not getting any’. My husband could of taken a helping role in working with me to find some help. He didn’t. He turned into an adolescent boy who was more worried about getting some than anything else. He became irritable and angry, distant and cold because he ‘couldn’t have’ me. Wow. This was the only reason we were together, I guess? This in turn caused me to distance myself from him even FURTHER. I even told him to go find someone to have sex with if that would make him happy. You have to understand that when the libido is non-existent, the thought of sex is repulsive. It has been a very difficult journey for me but I made ALL the changes…he did nothing to improve things, only to reap the benefits. There’s much more to me than my body and sex. I’m an interesting, smart, energetic and talented woman. Too bad my husband doesn’t see any of this…just the sex part. If men are doing without, it could also be b/c they are doing something wrong or perhaps they just don’t deserve to have that woman…you can’t just love a woman b/c of what she can provide for you. Maybe taking a genuine interest in who their woman is and being a little interesting yourself would go a long way.

I’m in this situation only in reverse. I got married at age 50 after a very long engagement. My husband stopped having sex after marriage. We’ve had sex maybe three times in the last 11 years. The last time was 7 years ago. I have begged him to go get Viagra. I have to scream and beg and cry to make him even try to take it. And then it doesn’t work and he gets mad, storms out of the bedroom and watches TV. I have been suffering horribly. I feel like I’m hideous. I even lost 50 lb after we got married. He is still not attracted to me. He won’t even touch me. But when I tell him I want to get divorced he cries and begs me not to leave him. He promises that he will force himself to have sex with me but he never does. if I wear something sexy he gets angry and says, Ugh is that all you ever think about? I told him I feel like I’m one of those dogs in the shelter that nobody wants. l’m pressing my face up against the bars with tears rolling down and saying I’m cute, I’m loyal, I’m loving…but nobody wants me. I went to my doctor asking if there’s anything I can take that will totally destroy my libido so I don’t have to suffer. He said no. I was hoping and praying to God that going through menopause at age 58 would destroy my libido but it didn’t. All it did was remove the fear of pregnancy. I’ve never had a hot flash. Maybe it’s because I’m a vegan I never had any symptoms at all other than not getting my period anymore.
For the past two weeks I’ve been praying to God to kill me. I don’t want to live anymore. I’m 61 years old. How much time do I have left on this Earth to suffer like this? I don’t know if I should get divorced because no other man will ever want me either. Years and years of rejection have made me feel so hideous and ugly. I actually feel like nobody is ever going to want to have sex with me. My life is not worth living. I’m not going to kill myself but I honest to God really seriously want to die.