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Therapist Reveals The Main Reason Women Say They No Longer Want To Sleep With Their Partners

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wife doesn't want to sleep with her partner

Physical intimacy is an essential touchpoint for measuring the status of a relationship. There are bound to be ebbs and flows regarding how much sex you’re having in any relationship, yet keeping that spark alive is crucial to cultivating a healthy romantic partnership. 

Dr. Sarah Hensley is a social psychologist who’s studied the science of relationships for over 15 years. As a relationship coach, she utilizes the various attachment styles as a way for people to better understand how they relate to each other in relationships, particularly when it comes to sex.

The therapist revealed the main reason that women say they no longer want to sleep with their partners. 

“The primary reason women stop having sex with their husbands is because they don’t feel emotionally safe,” Hensley exclaimed, connecting the dots between people’s emotional needs and physical ones. 



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“The reason that they don’t feel emotionally safe is because their attachment needs are not being met inside of their relationship,” she continued. “Attachment needs are our deepest needs inside of a romantic relationship and if those things are not fulfilled, we will not feel emotionally safe.”

When women feel a lack of emotional safety, “they start feeling very unsafe giving their bodies to their partner," she explained. "They start to feel extremely unattracted to their partner — like they simply cannot get physically turned on by their partners anymore.”

Hensley explained that understanding your partner’s attachment style is crucial to understanding them, meeting their needs, and getting your own needs met, too.

For someone with an anxious preoccupied attachment style, their biggest need within a relationship is “love, affection, and reassurance.” 

Hensley said “They need lots of reassurance every single day that you love them, that the relationship is stable, and that you are, in fact, appreciative of them. They really have all the love languages, they just want lots of reassurance of your love.”

A fearful avoidant type’s biggest need is to “feel seen, heard, and understood in the relationship.” People with this attachment style need to trust that their partner will show up for them. By making space for their emotions, they feel held, which allows them the sense of safety and stability they need to open up physically. 

“For the dismissive-avoidant woman, it’s going to be space, autonomy, and lack of criticism — Peace and harmony inside the relationship,” she said. 

RELATED: How To Finally Restore Intimacy & Connection In A Struggling Relationship

When women feel like their emotional needs aren’t being met, it ultimately means their attachment needs aren’t being met.

Hensley shared that many of her female clients are physically turned off by their partners because they don’t feel safe on an emotional level.

“Could you open up your body and allow someone to penetrate your being if you feel disgusted by them?” she asked. “They feel like they’re violating themselves and someone is violating them.”

Hensley explained that she wasn’t trying to be one-sided, rather, she was trying to shed light on how women experience intimacy.

In a follow-up post, Hensley spoke to the alternate side of the issue, discussing why women should prioritize sleeping with their husbands.



She presented a common scenario she notices with male clients, saying, “I see a man desperately trying to meet his wife’s needs and she is still very much shutting down sexually and he does not know what to do.”

“Women really end up having this attitude that, ‘You just want to get your jollies off, this is just good for you, you don’t really care about me as a person, and I don’t really feel like I should have to meet that need because I just don’t feel like it,’” she posited. 

Hensley touched on the differences between how women feel connected versus how men do.

“For most men, they view sex as an incredibly intimate and emotionally satisfying activity,” she said. “What I have heard them say is that it feels like this emotional safety and connection that they just don’t get through talking.”

Therapist Reveals The Main Reason Women Say They No Longer Want To Sleep With Their PartnersPhoto: imtmphoto / Shutterstock

While women feel a sense of intimacy by way of emotional connection, men tend to feel intimacy through physical connection. 

“Sex cannot be viewed by women as just something a man wants because he’s selfish and he just wants to feel good,” she continued. “That is not what my male clients express to me —  It is so much more than the physicality. It is connection. It is intimacy for them and it makes them feel very loved and very safe inside of a relationship.”

Hensley held to the belief that avoiding sex in a relationship indicates that there are underlying issues that need to be worked out. She asks both men and women to investigate which of their needs aren’t being met and communicate with one another to find stasis

On the surface, it might seem like men and women approach sex from opposite directions: Men want to have sex to feel emotionally connected, and women need to feel emotionally connected to want to have sex. Yet there’s space in the middle of those two positions, found by checking in with your partner, expressing your needs, and working together to make sure you both feel held. 

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers social issues, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.