What to Do When You Don’t Feel Like Having Sex

What do you do if you don’t feel like sex as often as your husband would like? This is a question I have been often asked with an expression of guilt. What most women don’t know is that this is normal. Men physiologically tend to desire sex more than women. According to WebMD and University of Chicago Professor Edward O. Laumann, there are several differences in the sex drive of a man and a woman. They are:

  1. Men think about sex more.
  2. Men seek sex more avidly.
  3. Women’s sexual turn-ons are more complicated than men’s.
  4. Women’s sex drives are more influenced by social and cultural factors.
  5. Women take a less direct route to sexual satisfaction.
  6. Women experience orgasms differently than men.
  7. Women’s libidos seem to be less responsive to drugs than men.

No surprises. But I would add one:

      8. Children are more of a distraction to women than men.

I have 5 kids so I think I am 5 times more distracted! And there are times when I just don’t want to have sex. 

But…I love my husband first, most, and forever.

That is a reality I need to remind myself of–I love Mark first, more than the kids, work, friends, and everything but God. I LOVE HIM. I just don’t always think about it. I take him for granted as a partner in marriage and parenting instead of making him a priority–a physical priority! If you are like me and you’re ready to take steps toward putting your spouse and your marriage first, here are 3 things to do when you don’t feel like having sex:

1. Have Sex Anyway.

My husband loves when I show him physical affection. It is his only love language—one of the main ways he feels cared for by me. So, saying no to intimacy means not loving him well in that moment. He ends up feeling rejected as a man and as a spouse.

Some of you may be thinking, “Well I can’t just pretend to want sex to make him happy!” And this is true. But if you love him and want to please him it is not pretending. If your child were hurt would you pretend to have empathy while you hold them? Instead of pretending, be honest with your husband, and then choose to put him first and have sex anyway! It’ll look something like this: “You know honey, I’m really tired tonight and I’d rather do it in the morning. But I hear you, and I want to love you well. So, let’s do it tonight.” This way, you aren’t pretending, but you’re choosing to find joy in putting his happiness before your own.

The bottom line is that my husband is wonderful. He fulfills my every need (most of the time). Spiritually, he leads and challenges me in my walk with the Lord. Emotionally, he listens and stands by my side when I need him. So, as a wife, I want to fulfill his needs as well, including his physical needs.

2. Get in the Mood.

If you’re still worried about not wanting to pretend to enjoy sex when you don’t really want it, then I have 4 words for you: Get in the mood! Send the kids to bed early, light candles, put on some music, have a glass of wine, and turn the lights down low. If romance is what you need, then do whatever it takes to put some romance in the air. Realistically, we have to realize that not every time we have sex will be magical. Not every time will have fireworks. And not every time will be as earth-shattering as it seems in the movies. But every time is still a chance to love your spouse well and become more connected with him.

3. Save Time and Energy for Him—the Love of Your Life.

There have been plenty of times when I’ve been too tired to have sex. It’s late at night when I finally fall into bed, and I want more than anything to just close my eyes and drift off into dreamland. But then I see my husband next to me, wide awake and ready to hold me close…and I feel awful that I can’t stay awake. Over the years, I’ve come to understand the importance of saving time and energy for my husband. When I go go go between my job, kids, and housework, I’m completely spent by the end of the day. So if I really want my relationship with my husband to continue growing, then I have to intentionally save time and effort to love him well and have sex.

And if I save time and energy I usually don’t have a problem getting in the mood!

Still feel like your husband doesn’t understand your differences when it comes to wanting sex? Enlighten him. If you need more tips on how to love your husband well, check out Lists to Love By for Busy Wives

What do you do when you don’t feel like having sex?

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