Marriage Advice When Husband Not Attracted to Wife


    5 Min Read


    Problems in the bedroom are some of the most difficult for couples to resolve. They’re extremely personal and can feel uncomfortable or embarrassing to discuss. And if things have cooled off because a husband is no longer attracted to his wife – what then?

    Sexual problems are inherently sensitive and difficult to discuss. But when it’s the husband who finds himself no longer attracted to his wife, even if he still loves her, talking about and resolving this sensitive issue it can be especially painful and tricky.

    At Guy Stuff we work with couples dealing with these kinds of problems every week.


    What Happens When A Husband’s No Longer Attracted To His Wife

    Recently, Tameka, who’s dealing with just such an issue, contacted us. She’s worried about what the breakdown in intimacy means for her marriage.

    Below is her question followed by my advice. Take a look and see if anything about her situation strikes a chord.

    Reader Question:

    I need some marriage advice. My husband has been with me for 8 years. He had/has a problem with masturbating and watching porn and he would watch or follow other women. He admitted this 2 years ago and since then he stopped and he said he felt relieved because he felt bad about it but it’s a battle everyday all day. What are men attracted to? Do other women have a husband not attracted to their wife? He said that I don’t get him aroused. Only a certain type that does it for him, he is black, but white skinned women with long black hair does it for him, and he was trying to feel this way for me for years and can't. He said that he loves me and does not want to lose me but he is afraid he can’t change what works for him and he spent years trying to get the arousal from me. He holds me, kisses, etc, but for sex he has to have images to stay aroused to do me. He couldn’t hold out he said, he was sexually frustrated and had an affair. Can you give me marriage advice? Can this stem from the porn he’s been watching since 8 to 29? Can it work for him to get aroused by me? He is afraid that he can never want me in that way, but is too selfish to let me go because he knows he loves me, and is guilty about using images to be with me. Should I accept a husband not attracted to his wife?” -Tameka

    Rekindling Your Husbands Attraction To You

    My Answer:

    Tameka is right that porn may be playing a role in her husband’s ability to feel attracted to her. And she’s not alone in her situation.


    Unfortunately, many couples can find themselves faced with sexual problems when porn has been an influence. But it’s not the only thing that may be affecting her husband.

    Sexual attraction is a combination of genetics and environmental factors. The answer to your question, “What are men attracted to?” has a lot to do with what they have taught their brains to find attractive.

    The things that arouse him have been heavily influenced by his porn use. Most men don’t understand, and greatly underestimate, the effects looking at porn has on their brain.

    Because of your husband’s porn use, his brain has learned to need repetitive stimulation from multiple sexual images to become aroused. And he has trained it for more than 20 years to expect this!

    The good news is that this can change.

    Yes, he can learn to become aroused by you.

    What his brain has learned to be aroused by can be unlearned and replaced with a desire for you.

    You don’t have to accept having a husband who isn’t attracted to his wife.

    Other Factors That Influence A Husband’s Attraction To His Wife

    While porn use can play a big part in creating sexual problems, it’s not the only consideration.

    Attraction and desire for one another can be affected by several other factors as well.


    Some of the most common are:

    • Misplaced blame. Some wives have a tendency to make their husbands feel responsible for their happiness – or lack of it.

    If you blame your husband for the rut you’re in, not feeling happy about your life, lack of romance, or not being loving enough, it can build resentment and lead to a major breakdown in communication.

    When the blaming starts (and you listen closely enough) you’ll hear his emotional doors shutting. Men are attracted to women who can handle things, including their own happiness. This, however, doesn’t mean he doesn’t influence your mood.

    • Becoming TOO Comfortable. Yes, kids, work, housework, cooking, etc. all take their toll. But if all he ever sees is you with your hair in a ponytail, sweats on and no make-up, the attraction is bound to wane.

    Guys tell me all the time they like it when their partner makes a little effort with her appearance. It makes them feel like they’re important enough to their wife for her to create attraction and therefore intimacy.

    And guys, this goes for you too.

    • Nagging. Men can be lazy. There may be good reason for a wife to nag her husband about taking care of boring chores, but just know that if that goes on All. The. Time. It can dull his attraction to you.

    So, try keeping actual nagging to a minimum and rethink the way you approach pushing him to do the mundane but necessary things.

    • Taking him for granted. Men don’t typically show love the same way women do, or often in the way women want them to show it.

    This doesn’t mean they don’t show it at all though.

    Look hard at some of the things he does, you’ll probably see love for you embedded in many of them. Acknowledging those things will make him feel good, respected, and that he’s making you happy. This can ignite the attraction in a husband for his wife.

    • Waiting for him to initiate. For most husbands when their wife initiates sex it’s a huge turn on. If you’re feeling like your husband isn’t attracted to you, give this a try.

    Of course, when a wife feels her husband isn’t attracted to her anymore, there are things beyond these that could be causing problems as well. These are just the most common.

    What To Take Away

    If you’re a wife who feels like her husband isn’t attracted to her it can be extremely painful. Just as Tameka.


    Even if it has nothing to do your physical appearance or anything else personal to who you are, it still feels like rejection.

    And one of the worst things about rejection is that it can cause the communication and therefore the connection to come to a grinding halt. When we feel rejected we automatically,

    • Take it personally

    • Feel hurt and sometimes embarrassed

    • Withdraw and put up walls

    Does any of that sound conducive to a healthy marriage?


    So, if you’re feeling like your husband isn’t attracted to you, remember:

    It may not have anything to do with you personally. There can be outside factors like porn, stress, anxiety, depression, or even a midlife crisis that are contributing to his feelings and behavior.

    There are also some common spousal behaviors that can dampen attraction (i.e. nagging, criticizing, taking him for granted). So, reevaluating the way you interact with him is wise.


    If you’ve explored all the options you can think of and things aren’t getting better, it may be time to try marriage counseling (with or without him) to get to the bottom of things. The right professional counselor can help you learn what else you can do to influence your husband’s attraction to you.

    Editor’s Note: This post was originally published January 7, 2012, updated on February 23, 2021, and has been updated again with new information for accuracy and comprehensiveness.


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