Updated: Sep 17
Husband mad because you have no sex drive? Find support in a judgment-free zone. Try these tips to understand why you have low libido and how to improve it.
Do you have no sex drive and your husband is mad? For us gals there are very few things worse than being at odds with your man over sex.
Yet many of us experience low libido in our marriages—especially during life events, such as after childbirth, due to stress or work overload, or simply due to natural changes in hormones.
Ladies, hear me out: it doesn't have to be that way forever.
I’m here to help you start your journey toward tackling this beast and help you figure out how to bring great sex back into your world (in a way that’s meaningful to you, too!)
I Have No Sex Drive and My Husband Is Mad
Let’s make something perfectly clear: it’s normal for people to lose their sex drive from time to time.
Yep, you read that correctly—there’s nothing wrong with you.
Emily Nagoski, Ph.D. and sex expert, explains in her deeply helpful book "Come As You Are,"
"For women, desire is responsive. That means that it doesn't show up until our environment and/or relationship feels safe and sexy. For men, it's the opposite—desire is spontaneous."
Maybe your husband isn’t helping to create a soft place for you to land, so chances are pretty low you’ll respond to his advances enthusiastically when he’s in the mood.
To better explain what I mean, here’s a few common reasons you might be experiencing a disconnect with your libido.
Relationship problems can significantly impact our responsive and spontaneous sexual desire. Women tend to need a rich emotional connection to feel attracted sexually to her man.
So many of us set the bar low and then don’t feel the connection. Issues like different parenting styles, unresolved conflicts, poor communication, resentment, or a lack of trust can create these problematic emotional barriers.
Learn about different love languages here.
When relationship issues persist, it becomes challenging for us to feel safe, secure, and emotionally connected with our partner—essential prerequisites for cultivating both responsive and spontaneous desire.
If our husband advances towards us and we rebuff, and we don’t know how to resolve it, conflict amplifies.
And let’s be honest, they don’t always respond well.
Chronic Health Issues & Stress
We are a whole person, mind, body and spirit. When our body experiences illness or stress, it releases stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline which cause a decrease in sex hormones like estrogen and testosterone. These hormonal imbalances can directly contribute to your reduced sex drive.
Check out my article about Sex and Mental Health: The Surprising Connection.
Self-Esteem And Body Image
We are so critical of ourselves, especially when it comes to the body. This right here is for real. Your body image and self-esteem can profoundly impact levels of desire, as feeling confident and comfortable in your own skin is often closely linked to your sexual desire and enjoyment.
Conversely, negative self-perceptions and body dissatisfaction can lead to feelings of self-consciousness, insecurity, and unworthiness, inhibiting your ability to be fully present and engaged during intimate encounters.
None of us feel sexy when we’re berating ourselves all the time! If you’re a “keep the lights off” kind of gal, you might want to check this!
We get on that roller coaster during puberty and don’t get off of it until we’re postmenopausal. Essential hormones, such as estrogen levels, testosterone, and progesterone, contribute to sexual desire, arousal, and response.
Fluctuations in hormone levels can occur due to factors like age, menstrual cycle, pregnancy, breastfeeding, menopause, or certain medical conditions.
15 Dos and Don'ts If You Have No Sex Drive
Don’t want to feel blah about sex forever? Give these suggestions a read and see what may be helpful to you:
1. Get your adrenaline pumping together.
During exhilarating experiences, the body releases thrill hormones like adrenaline, endorphins, and oxytocin. Together, these neurotransmitters lead to heightened arousal, pleasure, and bonding.
Find ways for you and your man to share thrilling moments together through physical activity or entertainment and see where things lead.
2. Journal with and to each other.
Writing to each other each day creates a safe and private space to express your feelings, desires, and concerns about your relationship. Rather than spending time engaged in acting out, this practice enables both partners to understand each other's needs and expectations better while fostering vulnerability and trust.
As you respond to each other's entries, they engage in a continuous dialogue, allowing them to address any issues, explore new ideas, and celebrate their successes. What a fun thing to read through when you’re old!
3. Try a little “self-love.”
If you and your man have a lack of connection, then take some time to simply focus on yourself. Engaging in self-pleasure may allow you to better understand your body, preferences, and erogenous zones, fostering confidence and comfort in your sexuality.
As you discover what brings you satisfaction, you can incorporate this knowledge into partnered experiences, leading to more fulfilling and pleasurable encounters. Masturbation also releases feel-good hormones, such as endorphins and oxytocin, which reduce stress and improve mood.
4. Use sensate-focused physical intimacy.
Sensate focus is a form of physical intimacy emphasizing mindful touch and sensory exploration rather than the pursuit of immediate sexual gratification. By engaging in sensate focused exercises with your partner, you can also strengthen the emotional connection rather than on performance or specific sexual outcomes.
I like to recommend this one because it reduces anxiety and performance pressure for the lower and the higher libido partner while fostering open communication, trust, and emotional intimacy.
As you and your husband become more attuned to each other's needs and desires, you can discover new ways of pleasuring each other and re-igniting your sexual attraction. You can find a great sensate focused exercise here.
5. Get support through online groups.
By participating in online support groups, you can find a safe and welcoming space to discuss your concerns, ask questions, and learn from the experiences of others who have navigated similar situations.
This can help you feel less isolated and provide a wealth of perspectives, ideas, and coping strategies you may not have considered.
Ohio has all kinds of great support groups, both online and in person. You can browse a list of them here.
6. Sleep separately for a while.
This temporary arrangement, while potentially scary or uncomfortable at first, can allow both of you to focus on self-care, personal growth, and reflection, which in turn can foster a renewed sense of individuality and independence.
The space may create a sense of longing and desire and an opportunity to miss each other. Separate beds can also help improve sleep quality—something that’s essential for maintaining a healthy libido.
7. Change your routine.
To become more open to responsive desire when your husband initiates sex, consider adjusting your daily routine to promote relaxation, self-care, and emotional well-being.
By creating a balanced schedule that includes dedicated time for leisure, physical activity, and personal hobbies, you can reduce stress, improve mood, and cultivate a sense of contentment.
Additionally, incorporating mindfulness practices, such as meditation or deep breathing exercises, can help you become more present and in tune with your body's signals.
8. Have fun together.
Enjoyable shared experiences help strengthen your emotional bond, create lasting memories, and reinforce the sense of companionship that forms the foundation of your partnership.
By prioritizing lighthearted, playful moments together, you and your spouse can nurture a deeper understanding of each other's interests, values, and sense of humor.
9. See your doctor.
A lack of desire to have any kind of sexual relationship while married may be a signal that something else is wrong. Schedule a comprehensive checkup with your OB/GYN to rule out any underlying medical issues contributing to the problem, like high blood pressure or diabetes.
Health conditions, hormonal imbalances, and medications can impact desire. By discussing your concerns with a healthcare professional, you can receive a thorough evaluation, including blood tests, a physical examination, and a medical history review.
10. Learn how to communicate.
When a couple goes through a “dry spell,” the communication usually dries up too. A womani-have-no-sex-drive-my-husband-is-mad-15-ways-to-deal experiencing a lack of desire while her husband seeks intimacy can lead to guilt, inadequacy, and frustration for both partners.
This disconnect can strain the emotional bond within the relationship and create a sense of isolation. Communicating openly and non-threateningly about your individual needs and desires can help both partners better understand each other's perspectives and emotions.
11. Don't look for answers outside your marriage.
While it may be tempting to seek answers or solutions to your low sexual desire for your husband outside of the relationship, doing so can come with significant risks and consequences.
Turning to external sources, such as engaging in emotional or physical affairs, can damage trust, compromise emotional intimacy, and potentially cause irreparable harm to your relationship.
12. Don't play the blame game.
That moment you know you’re going to have to turn him down, right? And then he gets upset. The blame game usually comes out in frustration, particularly when one partner tries to talk to the other partner about sex. Arguments escalate and increase our blood flow and before you know it both partners are pointing a finger.
Assigning blame or focusing on criticism can create a negative and hostile atmosphere, eroding your relationship's trust, intimacy, and emotional connection. Instead, approach the situation with an open mind and a willingness to understand your partner's perspective while acknowledging your feelings and experiences.
13. See a couples counselor.
A couples counselor can play a pivotal role in helping you navigate conflict and foster a sense of calm and connection. By providing a neutral and supportive environment, the counselor can guide you in effectively communicating your emotions, concerns, and needs while promoting active listening and empathy.
A counselor will coach you through structured conversations and introduce evidence-based therapeutic techniques that address the underlying issues contributing to the conflict.
This process allows you to develop healthier communication patterns, enhance your understanding of each other's perspectives, and work collaboratively towards mutually satisfying solutions. It’s a win-win!
14. Don't turn away from your partner.
Emotional disengagement and distancing can exacerbate your issues, creating a wider rift between you and your partner and potentially leading to feelings of isolation, resentment, and misunderstanding.
Prioritize your partnership and invest in nurturing your connection as you navigate the complexities of desire and intimacy. This is really a dangerous place to land because turning away makes the ground ripe for emotional and physical affairs, which sharply escalated during COVID.
15. Don't give up!
Growth and healing are often nonlinear processes, and it is vital to acknowledge your progress, celebrate wins, and connect through the conflict. Recognize that you deserve love, intimacy, and happiness and that investing in your personal growth is vital to nurturing your relationship.
Surround yourself with support from friends, family, or professionals who can provide guidance, encouragement, and understanding as you navigate this journey. Stay away from strong opinions and lean on your man.
Maintaining a sense of hope and determination can foster resilience, empower yourself to overcome obstacles, and ultimately strengthen your marriage.
Understanding the Mindset of Your Husband
Before you curse me for this section, hear me out!
Your husband may be experiencing feelings of rejection, confusion, or inadequacy when confronted with the differences in your sexual desires. He may also be unsure how to approach the situation or express his emotions effectively.
Remember that these challenges are rocking both of you, so come to the conversation with empathy and compassion.
NOTE: listening to your husband's perspective on the matter does not necessarily mean you have to agree with it. Instead, the goal is to create a safe and open environment for both of you to share your thoughts, feelings, and experiences without fear of judgment or criticism.
Remember, understanding versus agreement is the first step towards bridging the gap in your intimate relationship and nurturing a stronger, more fulfilling bond with your partner.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it normal to not want to be intimate?
In my best Meg Ryan voice - Yes! Yes! Yes!
Sexual desire can fluctuate over time due to various factors, including stress, fatigue, emotional well-being, hormonal changes, physical health, and relationship dynamics. It is essential to recognize that these fluctuations are a normal part of human sexuality and can occur for both men and women.
However, suppose the lack of desire for intimacy persists for an extended period or is causing significant distress to you or your partner. In that case, exploring the underlying factors and seeking professional support may be helpful.
Can a relationship survive without sex?
Yep. And many do and both partners are perfectly satisfied in their marriage.
While sexual intimacy is essential to many relationships, it is not the sole determinant of a strong, healthy partnership.
Every relationship is unique; what works for one couple may not work for another.
For some couples, emotional intimacy, companionship, and shared experiences may be more important than a sexual connection.
As long as both partners are open and honest about their needs and expectations, they can work together to create a fulfilling and satisfying relationship that meets their desires and requirements.
How do I get my sex drive back?
It’s a marathon and not a sprint! Regaining your sex drive may take time, and being patient and gentle with yourself throughout the process is essential. Open communication, self-care, and mutual support can significantly restore your libido and enhance your intimate connection with your partner.
Putting It All Together
It can be challenging to deal with a lack of sex drive when your partner strongly desires it. But having open and honest communication is essential for finding a solution that works for both of you.
Open-minded and non judgemental communication will also foster an atmosphere of understanding, helping to alleviate guilt or shame.
Remember that these 15 ways to deal with this are just one part of the overall picture. Some options may work better for you than others; what helps could range from dietary changes to cognitive therapy.
I offer free 15 minute consultations, so book yours today.
Psssst - by the way, I have some great advice on my blog. Subscribe for more of Talking With Terri advice delivered to your mailbox!