Marriage Advice When Husband Not Attracted to Wife

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    What do you do when there are problems in the bedroom? And if things have cooled off because a husband is no longer attracted to his wife – what then?

    At Guy Stuff we work with couples dealing with these kinds of problems every week. 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, it can be especially painful and tricky.

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

    Below you will see a question from Tameka who is dealing with just such an issue. My advice to her follows. 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 be a 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 J.

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    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.

    My Answer:

    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 be attracted to.

    LEARN FROM OTHERS WITH THE SAME PROBLEM. FIND OUT WHAT WORKED FOR THEM

    What he finds arousing has been heavily influenced by his porn use. Most men do not 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 it has trained him to expect this for more than 20 years!

    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 is not 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:

    • Blaming him. 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, for not being romantic or loving enough, then if you listen closely enough you will start to hear all his emotional doors shutting. Men are attracted to women who can handle things, including their own happiness (this 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 and no make-up the attraction is bound to wane. Guys tell me all the time they like it when their partner dresses up.
    • Nagging. Men can be lazy. There may be good reason for a wife to nag her husband about taking care of dull chores, but just know that if that goes on All. The. Time. it won’t result in a wild desire for you.
    • Taking things for granted. Men also don’t show love the same way women do, or often in the way women want them too. That doesn’t mean they don’t show it though. Look hard at some of the things he does, you will probably see love for you embedded in many of them. Acknowledging those things will make him feel good, respected, and like he’s making you happy. This can ignite the attraction in a husband for his wife.
    • Waiting for him to initiate. For most husbands, a wife coming onto him and initiating sex is a huge turn on. If you are feeling like your husband isn’t attracted to you give it a try.

    Of course, if a husband isn’t attracted to his wife there are many things beyond these that could be causing problems. If you have 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 him learn to train his brain to become attracted to you again.

    Editor's Note: This post was originally published January 7, 2012 and has been updated with new information for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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