7 Things To Do Right Away If Your Husband Doesn't Turn You On Anymore

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What To Do If He Doesn't Turn You On & You’re Stuck In A Sexless Marriage

A woman looking to decide if she should either stay in her marriage or have an affair recently wrote into an advice column with the following dilemma:

After living with her childhood sweetheart for several years, getting married and giving birth to a now one-year-old son, “Mabel” found herself in a quandary due to the fact that “his love-making no longer turns me on as it used to.”

Mabel noted that while she did not want to leave her husband because her son might be “terribly hurt” by her doing so, she had acknowledged to her herself that if the opportunity to cheat arose, she “might just go for it.”

I’m sorry, but what?!

The following questions immediately popped into my head as I thought about Mabel and the dilemma of her sexless marriage.

  • You have been with this man since childhood. Was the lovemaking not an issue that entire time, or is this an issue of wondering whether the grass on yards you never got to run through is any greener and more satisfying?
  • Where is the love for your husband? That emotion is not mentioned in relationship to him, even in passing.
  • What on earth would lead you to believe that cheating would cause less hurt for your spouse (not that you seem worried about his feelings), or worse, your child — who will surely face the consequences of that indiscretion at some point down the road?
  • Why would you make a decision about whether or not to be faithful or get divorced based on the potential hurt feelings of a toddler, as opposed to on your own relationship with his dad, your husband?

RELATED: The One Emotion That Can Save Your Marriage After Someone Cheats

I put these questions aside as I curiously moved on to read the advice she received, and, oh dear.

In essence, Mabel was told this:

  • There is a “catastrophic rift” in her marriage.
  • She must be careful not to let her husband sense her discontent.
  • She should try to be the one to take initiative.
  • She must have a serious discussion with her husband in which she gives him instructions for how to please her.
  • She should not keep secrets from her husband.
  • Marriage is not a “wild bed of passion.”
  • A good marriage like hers is worth fighting for.

Holy mixed messages, Batgirl! The advice was even more confusing than problem!

And yet, each of those answers provide the perfect backdrop for these 7 things you should actually consider doing if you've lost sexual desire for your husband.

1. Understand that there is a “catastrophic rift” in your marriage.

Marriages don't simply end because one person lacks desire for the other or because one person cheats. Desire fades for a reason — a physiological or emotional one — and affairs happen when a marriage has already begun to suffer.

If you find yourself either not feeling it for your husband or starting to feel it for someone else, take a good hard look in the mirror at what is really troubling you.

RELATED: If You’re In A Sexless Marriage, You Need To Read This

2. Stop the habit of hiding your feelings from each other.

Your husband is not your fancy aunt hosting you in her home overnight on beautiful-but-scratchy sheets. Make it a practice to act like the adults you are and share the true, mature intimacy of telling each other how you feel.

There's no need to whine or complain. You just need some straight talk.

3. Figure out your own sexual preferences.

Does it turn you on to grab your man and tell him it’s time, or do you prefer to be caught off guard and pinned against a wall? Maybe some give and take?

Learn your own sexual preferences so you won’t try to force yourself into a role that actually stifles your libido even more than it already is just because some relationship expert told you to do so.

Then apply this new information to step four below, telling your husband what you were imagining and asking him to share his own take in return. It has to work for both of you.

4. Tell him what you want in the bedroom without scolding him.

The last thing any man or woman wants is to be sat down and scolded like a child while being told what they do wrong in the bedroom, let alone what they "should" be doing to make things better.

Instead, try painting the picture for him through sexy texts, hand written notes, traded GIFs or images, or whispers in his ear at an unexpected (but appropriate and relaxed) time.

Just the act of figuring out what makes you hot is likely to make you hot, and fewer things turn a man on more than a woman who is already aroused. So let him know!

RELATED: How To Fix A Sexless Marriage Before It's Too Late

5. Stop keeping secrets from each other.

These discussions have to happen, and when they do, presentation, tone and intent are crucial. Your husband is your equal — your life partner. His feelings, wants and needs are every bit as important as yours.

If you want to be heard, you absolutely must let him know that he can trust you, and the only way to prove that is through your actions.

Hear him, consider her views and perspectives, be kind and don’t judge.

6. Expect that marriage isn't always a “wild bed of passion” — but that it should be at least some of the time.

Unless the two of you have some alternate agreement, when you get married your spouse rightfully expects to be the only man in bed with you for the rest of one of your lives, just as you expect the same fidelity from him.

That means that for a good 50-60 years to come, your only sense of sexual satisfaction will be your husband or yourself. That is a long, long, long, long (I really cannot add enough "longs" to sufficiently emphasize this point) time to go without some wild passion ebbing and flowing along the way.

You can't expect to maintain full throttle levels at all times, but as someone who's worked extensively with divorcing couples, I can guarantee that if you don't bring that passion to the surface more often than not, you will be headed to a family law practitioner's office one day in the not so distant future.

RELATED: Exactly How Much Sex You Should Be Having

7. Know that a good marriage is worth fighting for, and a really bad marriage is worth leaving

After reading Mabel's question in full, I had hardly concluded that she had a good marriage worth fighting for.

If you neither love nor respect your spouse, as Mabel's matter-of-fact consideration of an affair would lead me to believe was the case for her, there is no chance that either of you are being treated the way you deserve or giving the way you should.

There are few fates more hollow and numbing than a lifetime of chaste cohabitation with someone you probably wouldn't choose as your roommate, let along spouse, if you had the chance to do it all over again.

Arianna Jeret, MA/MSW, is a former divorce mediator and CDC certified divorce coach. After nearly a decade in private practice, she happily transitioned to a full-time position as Deputy Editor here at YourTango. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram for more.

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