DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: So, my husband & I have been married close to 4 years now. I love this man very very deeply but, I’m concerned that maybe he doesn’t feel sexually attracted to me anymore.
Maybe I’m not as pretty as I once before or maybe he’s even fell out of love me. I’m not sure what is going on at this point. All I do know is the way he has me feeling about myself is affecting me mentally, emotionally & physically at this point. Our sex life has almost stopped all together – meaning we have sex once around a month or two.
At first I was throwing it off on his health problems but, now after paying more attention I no longer believe this is our case. I’ve talked to him many many times about lacking in intimacy & sex department. Instead of having sex with me, he will sneak around my back & watch porn, or even Google search certain peoples body’s on Google image. No matter how many times I’ve begged & pleaded & even cried it will only change for a day or so then back to the same thing. He looks this stuff up every day or every other day.
I feel as if he has no sexual desire for me anymore. I don’t think he ever looks at me & thinks “She’s looking good let me lay her down & show her a good time.” I’ve tried sleeping naked, walking around the house naked && even moving to the center of the bed naked just to get close to him. I use to try to start sex but, after fighting so much over it & being turn down so much I’m honestly scared to even try to touch him. I’ve also told him about this issue & it’s like he can turn it on me somehow. “Oh, you could do it also.” Yet, I’ve told him that I no longer have the confidence to try because I’m terrified of being denied sex with my husband. ��It never fails either every day or two he’s searching up porn stars or celebrities & ogling over them. It’s killing me. I’ve gotten so depressed that I don’t even want to get up & take care of myself or make myself look nice because what’s the point when I’m married & cannot even catch my own husband’s attention? I will be the first to say I’m not a 10 by any means & might be a 4 at most. My stomach isn’t flat, my legs aren’t fit & honestly I’m just not as good looking as these girls that he’s constantly looking up. After 2 years of fussing & fighting over this & even trying to give him time to fix this issue nothing ever changes.
I’m not sure if I can save our marriage & I can’t stay in a marriage where I’m not looked at as sexually attractive. This is breaking my heart as this man is my world! I could never love someone as deeply as I love this man & I know this but, I do feel as if he’s no longer attracted to me & if someone better looking was to come around & show him attention at this point he would leave me for them.
What did I do to cause this man not to want to touch me anymore? He barely kisses me, hugs me or hold my hand. We don’t cuddle anymore & now it’s almost as if he’s a roommate instead of my husband. What can I do at this point to save my marriage? What can I do to spark that sexual attraction to me again?
I’m begging for help at this point because I’m beyond broken. I’m beyond depressed. I’m beyond lost & really just need some honesty & some help. Please respond back. My mental health is declining with every hour that passes & at this point I’m so exhausted with this situation.
Lost That Loving Feeling
DEAR LOST THAT LOVING FEELING:This is rough, LTLF, and I’m sorry you’re dealing with this situation.
Let me say this right up front: I don’t think this is anything that you did, besides be a person with a body in physical space. This isn’t a matter of “you did something wrong”. This is about him.
Now, one of the things that we don’t like talking about is that sexual attraction tends to fade from the heady heights we experience at the start of a new relationship. What the poly community calls “New Relationship Energy” is the stew of oxytocin, dopamine and endorphins that we generate the first time we have sex with somebody new. Those chemicals make us feel incredible, and they hit us square in the pleasure centers of our brain. We’re, quite literally, getting high off being around this new person. But humans are notoriously adaptable, and we can get used to anything. No matter how great the sex is at the start or how hot and heavy and intense our attraction is when we enter a new relationship, it becomes our status quo over time. Chemically, our brains just quit producing as many feel good hormones when we have sex. Emotionally, we get acclimated to things, and there just isn’t that level of novelty or discovery after a certain point.
To paraphrase Billy Bob Thornton – you can be married to the sexiest person in the world, but after a while it can be like fucking the couch.
And this is without getting into what writer Reta Walker calls “the Roommate Phase” of marriage, where you become less a couple and more people who share rent and also a bed.
But while sex can wax and wane in a relationship, there’s a difference between the normal decline of sexual excitement, loss of libido or attraction due to external factors (diet, stress, health, changes in medication) and what your husband’s doing. It’d be one thing if this was just a lack of libido. But it seems pretty clear that your husband’s still got those old familiar urges. The problem is that he’s choosing to jerk off instead of being intimate with you. And honestly, that’s really corrosive – to your marriage and to you as a person. Worse: he doesn’t seem to care how much this is clearly hurting you. And that’s a problem.
Now, I know that folks are going to zero in on the porn use, because I know lots of folks who are going to want to blame this on The Evils of Pornography. But between you, me and everyone reading this: porn, like communism, is a red herring. Porn didn’t make him fall out of lust with you. Porn didn’t flip a switch in his head and make him prefer masturbation to sex with his loving wife. Nor, for that matter, did porn make him act so callously towards you. That was all him. He made those choices, not PornHub or OnlyFans.
(I would refer folks who want to argue this point to the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists; they can go read some actual papers on the bullshit about dopamine depletion and other Harvey-Kellog-assed beliefs about sex and masturbation.)
And honestly, I don’t think there’s anything to be done here. I mean, look at how much pain this has caused you. Look at how much this has damaged your self-esteem, how much it’s taken from you. I know you love your husband, but be honest, if not with me, then at least with yourself: do you think that you’re going to be able to relax into his touch again if he did try to initiate sex again? Do you think that you could really see this as a crisis that you weathered and came through the other side together? Or are the scars too deep, the pain too severe for you to trust that any resumption of sex would be anything but temporary?
I’m not going to mince words here, LTLF: your marriage is over. It’s been over for a while, but it’s been shuffling along like a zombie. You know that, I know that, I’m sure your husband would realize that if he gave a six-legged rat’s ass. But he doesn’t. He’s cut off all forms of intimacy, even basic human touch. I think that tells you everything you need to know about how this is going.
It’s a painful, shitty thing to have to face, but the best thing you can do here is talk to a lawyer about getting a divorce. This is one of those times when the only way to fix things is to cut out the dead and diseased flesh so the rest can heal. You need to get clear of this relationship – and hopefully into a therapist’s office – so you that the pain can finally stop and you can begin the healing process. That can’t happen when you’re still stuck in the relationship that’s causing you so much harm. You need to prioritize yourself, your health and your self-worth and get out. The sooner you do, the sooner the pain will stop and the healing can start.
But I promise, the pain of ending this marriage will be shorter and end faster and heal cleaner than what you’re experiencing now. The only thing you gain by staying is more misery, and you’ve had more than enough of that already.
I wish I had better answers for you, LTLF, but sometimes there are no good answers, just a choice of which is less shitty.
You can’t save this marriage. But you can save yourself.
All will be well.
Please send your questions to Dr. NerdLove at his website (www.doctornerdlove.com/contact); or to his email, firstname.lastname@example.org