Remember the early days in your marriage, when you couldn’t keep your hands off one another? Everything is on fire with passion for newlyweds. In fact, after my wife and I conceived our daughter early in our marriage, the house was clouded in smoke. Maybe it was our passion, or maybe it was the neglected pot we left burning on the stove. (True story.) Even if your relationship wasn’t as intense as this example, most likely as your marriage settled, sex became less frequent. And maybe you now find yourself in a sexless marriage.
This is actually normal. Infatuation fades, schedules change, kids show up, and sex winds up on the back burner. Most husbands probably would like to have more sex with their wives, but first we have to figure out why we don’t. Here are 4 ways husbands can contribute to a sexless marriage—and what you can do about it.
1. By Not Defending Your Wife
Your wife may be the most autonomous, powerful woman in the world who can do it all in her sleep. Women are amazing at taking care of their families and standing up for their families out of unconditional love. However, some men feel embarrassed about making public stands. But sometimes, wives want us to defend them or their opinions, such as in conversations with a bitter doctor or a rude houseguest. If you muster your courage and stand with her by defending her, you expose your love through action. She’ll feel closer to you—and that’ll open her heart toward intimacy.
2. By Using Your Bedroom for Other Things
2020 was a weird year that had many people using their bedrooms as home offices. Using your bedroom for anything other than sleep or sex will dramatically decrease your chances of getting either of them. If you spend all day working in your room, you’ll associate your room with work (and probably also with stress). TV is another energy robber in the bedroom. Get rid of your TV, try working from another room, and take all phone calls and Zoom meetings out of that space.
3. By Not Making Time for Sex
Some men in a sexless marriage may wish to have sex twice a week while their wives would prefer once a month. Maybe you like to have sex right before bed and your wife prefers the early morning. These differences may seem small, but they factor into why married couples have less sex. Collaborate with your wife. Decide on a time that works well for both of you. Maybe you agree to have sex once a week. Schedule it. That sounds routine and lackluster, but it works. You’ll have a chance to prepare and can balance your preferences as a couple.
4. By Not Noticing the Details
How did you dress for your first date? I bet you tried your hardest to look your best, feel your best, and be your best self. You were trying to win over this woman who you knew was special. How did she look? Did she go all out to look her best for you? Those details matter, and throughout the marriage, they fade away as you become more comfortable with each other. That’s OK, but don’t get too comfortable. Continue to notice the details. If she cuts her hair or dresses up for date night, compliment her so she knows you are paying attention. Look your best, too, to help rekindle that first date “magic.” Maybe this time, your date night will end in the bedroom together.
Sound off: What else could cause a sexless marriage?
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What have you learned about marriage from me and your mom?”