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When Your Husband Is Not Physically Attracted to You

 

WARNING, LADIES: This post is a big-time trigger alert for some of you. If the thought of issue causes too much distress, and you are not emotionally/spiritually ready to read about it – please, please just skip it for now and focus on your identity in Christ and spiritual healing for yourself. 

I am going to share one wife’s story and how she believes God has led her to handle this painful issue. This may be a blessing to you if you are in a similar situation AND if you are emotionally and spiritually strong enough in Christ to face this thing head on. God may show you a different way to approach this issue and that is totally fine. 🙂 My prayer is that each wife will be sensitive to how God may desire her to handle her own marriage issues for His glory by His Spirit’s power. But the main point is that there is hope in Christ and that He can give us the power to face the fiery trials in our lives.

Sometimes women just have a lot of insecurities about themselves, their body image, and their husbands – and can’t receive the truth that their husbands truly ARE attracted to them. That is a difficult, painful, and frustrating situation for husbands and wives in that situation that is addressed in more detail by a husband here.

Other times husbands just feel so disrespected and controlled, that they lose their attraction to their wives because of this. This happens quite often, from what I can tell. Eventually, when a wife begins to learn to respect and honor her husband, the attraction often comes back in time.

Sometimes husbands face their own issues of medical problems with impotence, side effects from medications, stress, depression, shame (for some things that may be sinful and some that may not be sinful), porn addiction, or  other things that impact their libido that don’t have much to do with their wives. Or maybe they just have a naturally low libido. There are men who only desire sex once a week or even every 2 weeks or so – and it isn’t because they don’t desire their wives, they just have a low appetite.

But some husbands truly are no longer attracted to their wives physically and there aren’t any other issues going on. What an incredibly painful situation that is for both husband and wife. No wife ever wants to feel that her husband has no desire for her body. I am sure that most husbands feel awful about this, as well – and, if they are remotely good-willed, which many husbands are.

  • I think this may be one of the top fears many wives have in marriage. What can we do if we find ourselves in this situation? What would please God? What would bless our marriages? How do we maintain our own spiritual strength?

I’m thankful that a friend of mine is willing to share the wisdom God has given to her as she has had to navigate this issue in recent years in her own marriage. Perhaps it may provide some encouragement for other wives, as well.

FROM A DEAR 50-SOMETHING SISTER IN CHRIST

There is nothing like knowing that your husband is not physically attracted to you.

Maybe it’s because you don’t fit into the “dream girl” vision he has in his mind or maybe it’s because you have let yourself go. In other words, there are some things that are in your control and others that are not. Right or wrong, this is where he is at and if you want to be a blessing to him, there are things you can do to help the situation.

I felt like I had failed my husband as a wife because I was not able to provide the “eye candy” so many men crave.

I spent some time mourning when I realized I would never receive that look from him that says, “you’re beautiful.” I also experienced feelings of defeat when I realized I cannot compare with pretty women he encounters personally on a daily basis and via the media. Included with that was an apprehension to “woo” him, as I didn’t feel I had the ability to do so successfully.

My natural inclination is to want to withdraw from my husband because it seemingly appears to be a safe way to handle the issue. I constantly strive to fight against this attitude because it is not in the best interest of our relationship and would only serve to doom the marriage.

1 Corinthians 7:5 says I am not to deprive myself from my husband so I choose to focus on being open to providing opportunities to be with him as often as the need arises.

The Serenity Prayer:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

  • What you can control – weight, clothing, hygiene, your attitude, your spiritual growth, your obedience to God
  • What you cannot control – certain physical features, his perception, his sin, his obedience to God

Regarding the things you can control:

  • Are you overweight? Create new eating habits. Work out.
  • Do you tend to lounge around the house in your pajamas with unbrushed hair and teeth, no deodorant and unshaved legs? Get dressed every day. Use general hygiene. Shave those legs.
  • Hey, even consider putting on a little makeup to accentuate your features.

For those things you cannot control:

  •  You need to accept that and not own his attitude. This is between him and the Lord and is no reflection on you as a person.
  • A bad attitude toward him will only increase the distance that is already there.
  • This doesn’t give you license to pull away from him.

It is natural to feel ill will toward him and to withdraw from him. I know you feel hurt, but you need to fight any urges to build animosity with him or to pull away from him. You need to continue to pursue a close relationship with him. This is what you are called to do as a wife. It is part of being his “helpmeet”.

It is important for you to continue to engage with him.

  • Flirt (if he is receptive)
  •  Smile
  •  Offer kisses
  •  Seek to be around him
  • Respect the good in him and the fact that he is your husband
  • Honor him

Keep in mind that all this has to occur without any level of expectation, though, on your part. The goal is to bless him, not coerce him into acting lovingly towards you.

I suppose I am in a healthy spot, spiritually, so dealing with this hasn’t been as hard as it may be if I wasn’t in a good place spiritually – probably because I do find my security, acceptance, and fulfillment in Christ. We all have things we deal with in life and this is where I’m at. But the main point is that I have been able to look at things through the eyes of Christ – which has given me the wisdom and power I need to attempt to handle my husband’s current feelings with grace.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

I think it can be a good thing to try to look attractive for your husband – within reason, of course. The best reason for us to seek to be healthy and to take good care of our bodies, in my view, is so that we are being good stewards of the bodies God has given to us. (It is possible to make our appearance, being thin, beauty, etc… into idols – so we do have to be careful not to make external beauty the most important thing.)

We can cut out sugar, junk food, fried things, and unhealthy foods – exchanging those things for water, fresh fruits and veggies, healthy fats, whole grains, and lean meats so that we are taking the best care of our bodies. We can focus on exercising 30 minutes/day or so. If you don’t have time to exercise – your husband may be willing for you to cut back your work hours or he may be willing to watch the children so that you can have some time to do this. He may even enjoy working out with you. Might be fun! If you have medical issues that are impacting your weight or your ability to lose weight, please speak to your doctor.

If food is an idol for you, and you turn to it for comfort – that is something to deal with before God. Christ is our greatest source of comfort, fulfillment, purpose, and identity – not food, not marriage, our husband, or anything or anyone else.

Something I did was grow my hair back out because Greg loves it long. I had cut it so short earlier in our marriage in total disregard for his preferences. But as I began to walk this road to become a godly wife, I realized that I needed to be be willing to consider my husband’s feelings, too, about how he liked my hair, how I dressed, etc… and not just my own preferences.

We can own our own attitude and be open, safe, calm, peaceful, respectful, warm, and even fun. 🙂 We can  get rid of any sin in our own lives and develop that feminine beauty that God cherishes so much – that gentle, peaceful spirit that does what is right and does not give way to fear. We can study godly femininity and seek to become the women God calls us to be.

 

BEAUTIFUL FOR ME:

RELATED:

For wives in very difficult, painful marriages, checkout Nina Roesner’s e-course, “Becoming a Woman of Strength and Dignity”

She Has the Stronger Sex Drive – Shaunti Feldman’s site, a 3 part series

When You Are Feeling Deprived in Your Marriage

The Devastation of Sexual Rejection in Marriage

25 Ways to Respect Myself

Is It Possible to Disrespect Myself?

I May Never Have Worldly Beauty

Roots of Insecurity, Sinful Jealousy, a Desire to Control, and Low Self-Esteem

Our Security Is in Christ Alone!

Finding Victory Over Feelings of Insecurity

My Identity in Christ

Godly Femininity

The story of Leah in the Old Testament – Jacob was not attracted to her, and yet, God noticed her situation and richly blessed her.

6 thoughts on “When Your Husband Is Not Physically Attracted to You

  1. Jessi,

    There can be issues with impotence for husbands – and that can be devastating for them and for their wives. Sometimes it can be hard for a wife to tell, at first, what is happening. I have a post on this topic here.

    We definitely don’t want to get into a mindset of wanting our husbands to worship us. That is a good point. And it is also a great reminder to use the pain we have when we feel rejected or unwanted to think about how God may feel when we ignore and neglect Him.

    Thank you for sharing your insights, my sister! 🙂 I appreciate it so much!

  2. Hi April, I haven’t had counseling, I didn’t know how deep the rabbit hole went until now. I will have to find a good godly counselor but at the same time, I am terrified of how it might unravel me but I rather face the pain and be healed properly than walk around with these deep wounds. Some times I get so upset at the irresponsibility of people who hurt children but then I remember that they must have been hurt too….I will not pass that onto my children and I will not let this hurt the man I love more than anything else in this life so I will get the help I need and hopefully, he will be willing to do it with me. Thank you April for your ministry.

  3. Hi Peacefulwife,

    I would like to go through these questions but I honestly don’t feel comfortable doing so in a public forum. I will be contemplating them and I appreciate your insight. It helps just to share with someone.

  4. anonymous today,

    I agree with your advice about a porn addiction this severe (from what this wife described), my dear sister. Thank you so much for sharing. 🙂

    And yes, I do have disclaimers where I encourage women with severe marriage issues – unrepentant adultery, active addictions, abuse, uncontrolled mental health issues, etc… to seek appropriate counsel or medical help and resources. I am not writing for wives with really serious issues. The Word of God is applicable to all of us – but those dealing with extreme issues will often need specialized counsel and – I believe – one-on-one guidance, prayer, wisdom, and help from experienced godly counselors.

    I also agree that if a man is severely addicted to porn – it may not be possible for a wife to submit to her husband. She can be respectful. She can desire to honor his right leadership. But if there are severe unrepentant sins – there are times a wife may need to separate and establish healthy boundaries to keep herself and her children from the continual toxic effects of the husband’s sin.

    (With minor porn addiction, or minor porn use – I don’t believe separation is usually necessary to lead to healing. But with a severe addiction, there are certainly times it may be necessary for a wife to ask her husband to get the help he needs, but if he refuses, she may have to ask him to leave. Sometimes that is a wake up call that causes a man to realize how bad things have gotten and that he needs to change.)

    A note about “women on this site who tolerate their husbands having girlfriends at work” – if a husband is sexting, flirting, or clearly romantically or sexually involved with another woman – I believe something like that needs to be firmly, yet respectfully addressed by a wife. Some of the women who have shared here have husbands who are texting coworkers who are female. Sometimes it is completely innocent. Sometimes it starts to become more of a friendship. There is a continuum. There can be times when things are pretty innocent and primarily a matter of personal conviction that a wife may not want to make a big deal out of her husband texting a coworker. I have seen wives completely freak out over a husband doing something that is innocent – and repel their husbands from them and toward the other woman. A wife responding with screaming, uncontrolled negative emotion, name-calling, ultimatums, demands, etc… at this point are, in my view, causing a lot more harm than good.

    If she truly trusts him and he is not doing anything specifically wrong. She may want to respectfully share if she has concerns so he is aware that he may be entering potentially dangerous territory. A prudent man will seek to guard his heart and his marriage when approached respectfully by his wife. If he is clearly romantically involved and emotionally involved and talks about her being “his best friend” or he is texting a lot, not just occasionally about work – there is a point where a wife may need to confront her husband.

    Here is a post about confronting our husbands about their sin.

    This post, “Spiritual Authority,” also addresses if a husband is involved in unrepentant sin or asks his wife to follow him into sin or to condone sin, that she cannot do that. She must submit totally to Christ. Submission to a human God-given authority is never absolute. Only our submission to Christ is absolute.

    I pray for God’s direction and wisdom for wives who are in some of the really gray areas that can be difficult to discern. And I pray for those wives who do need to take a firm stand against sin for God’s wisdom, power, strength, and courage to do what is right in His eyes!

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