10 (Fixable) Reasons Your Wife Won’t Sleep With You, According To A Couple's Therapist

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unhappy couple in bedroom

Do you ever get tired of me explaining women to you?  Hell to the no, you respond.  

So, today I explain some reasons why it’s easier to win the Powerball than to make your wife initiate sex, or even respond, or even not run away from you.

And, for a change, none of these are deep reasons for your lack of empathy or what have you.  And they are all really fixable! So fix them. Let’s begin.

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Here are the top 10 fixable reasons your wife won’t sleep with you:

1. You don’t smell good

Women are super sensitive to smell, even more so at their most fertile times. So brush your teeth (the number one “shallow” thing women complain about in couples counseling), shower before bed AND in the morning, and you’ll increase your likelihood of making non-malodorous love with your paramour. For bonus points, ask what scent she likes. Some women like this stuff, for example, and some like plain old soap.

2. You don’t act aggressively enough

You are always just kind of laying around. Women like to get up and go!  They like energy! If they see you laying around watching Game of Thrones, they do not want to jump on anything but the computer.

3. You don’t help with housework

I am not going to say that watching a man vacuum is traditionally sexy, but here’s what’s less sexy: me doing it all the time. Helping with housework frees your wife up to get relaxed and in a sexy mood.

4. You are boring

Every conversation is small talk, interspersed with rote entreaties for sex. If you want your wife to undress on purpose, for you, ask her some deep questions.

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5. You engage in frat house-type behavior

Here are some things that disgust women, especially the ones I see in couples counseling: burping, farting, grabbing their boobs out of nowhere, making scatological, misogynistic, or dirty jokes, and drinking till you throw up (more than let’s say once every year or two). But she used to laugh at this stuff, you protest!

Yes, well, you also used to be 25 with all your hair and a tendency to bring her flowers for no reason. Life changes.

6. You don’t notice anything

If your wife changed her hair color, lost 10 pounds, or started dressing up, and you didn’t mention anything, she secretly begins to resent you.

Try to do a body scan of your wife in the morning. If anything looks good, tell her so, using specific adjectives and nouns, like: “I really like that red shirt. I like that it’s form-fitting.”  Women would even prefer you say what you don’t like, as long as you’re nice about it, rather than saying absolutely nothing.

7. You are really negative

If people always call you a “devil’s advocate,” and your wife has ever said anything like, “I just shouldn’t even tell you anything,” then you can infer that your clever ability to find the crap side of any situation is actually not as charming as you think. Try to focus on the positives. Example:

Your wife: I bought this new necklace!

You, usually: And how much was it?


You, now: Hey, it’s really nice.

Guess which guy gets laid? Rhetorical question.

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8. You don’t support her in public

This is a really bad one. Never make fun of your wife in public. Hey, also, don’t make fun of her in private. Unless she herself has gushed over how hysterically funny you are when you comment about her to other people, assume that she would rather you just don’t make funny jokes about her messiness, lateness, tendency to yell at the kids, spending patterns, or anything else. 

9. You don’t care what your wife is attracted to

You were running five times a week and wore nice clothes when you were dating, now you’re 20 pounds overweight, wear clothes your wife hates, and you ask, “Do you like beards?” and grow one anyway when your wife says no. Where did women get this reputation as the deeper gender?  Everyone likes to be physically attracted to their partner. Try this: ask your wife to give you a makeover, and see if you get some more action afterward. Especially if her makeover involves a diet and exercise regimen and you adhere to it.

10. You don’t actually ask your wife why she doesn’t want to have sex

You’ve never had a sit-down discussion where you actually ask about the reasons for your wife’s constant refusal.  You just assume she’s tired or being difficult or something, but you have no real clue. It could be one or many of the aforementioned nine reasons, or something entirely different, including just “monotogamy.

So, send this list to your wife and ask which numbers apply to you. You may be surprised.  But we all know that men like to fix problems, and these problems are ripe for solving.  And your sex life will thank you.

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Dr. Samantha Rodman Whiten, aka Dr. Psych Mom, is a clinical psychologist in private practice and the founder of DrPsychMom. She works with adults and couples in her group practice Best Life Behavioral Health.

This article was originally published at Dr. Psychmom. Reprinted with permission from the author.