6 Unsexy Signs Your Husband Is Sexually Frustrated

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frustrated man looking at the camera

“Will I ever have sex ever again with my wife?” is a phrase that often runs through the minds of many married men, especially in their late 40s and 50s.

It’s not just intercourse they mss, but intimacy in general. And a lack of that intimacy and affection is likely to cause some understandable sexual frustration.

We men know and understand that women have their own frustrations when it comes to their husbands and sex. But there are some unique issues facing men today that their fathers would have never dreamed of.

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Men today are more involved with their families than in the past, and as intimacy can begin to wane over time, these symptoms of sexually frustration may feel like even more of an affront if they feel their needs aren't being taken into consideration.

6 signs of sexual frustration and how they may be affecting your husband

1. He seems totally disconnected.

Have you noticed you don’t hug as much as you used to? If it’s really bad, you barely acknowledge each other or even look up from your phone or say hello.

2. He's seeking fulfillment elsewhere.

“To have and to hold” is something men take very seriously once they have chosen to take someone's hand in marriage. When they don't feel fulfilled or able to fully express themselves in the context of that space, they are likely to seek meaningful and validation elsewhere, whether that means in an affair, a new hobby, or doubled-down commitment to work.

To put it more succinctly, in her book "Mating in Captivity," couples therapist Esther Perel says this: “So much of masculine identity is predicated on self-control and invulnerability. Yet I have also observed that these very restrictions leave men to other venues of self-expression. In the absence of a more developed verbal narrative of self, the body becomes a vital language, a conduit for emotional intimacy... Through sex, men can recapture the pure pleasure of connection without having to compress their hard to articulate needs into the prison of words."

3. He's started questioning his sexual abilities.

Since men produce 90% more testosterone than women, they tend to think about sex more — almost twice as much — and less about love and intimacy. When his partner lacks interest in sex, sometimes a man can feel like he's just a roommate.

A 2013 study published in the Journal of Sex Research found that men aren’t only concerned about their own pleasure, but also about pleasuring their partner.

Study co-author Claire Salisbury, MSc, then a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at Western University in Ontario explained, “Men feel they have the physical responsibility to stimulate their female partner to orgasm. If it doesn’t happen, then men may begin to question their sexual prowess."

And in 2017, researchers Sara Chadwick and Sari van Anders saw similar finding.

"Our results showed that men felt more masculine and reported higher sexual esteem when they imagined that a woman orgasmed during sexual encounters with them, and that this effect was exacerbated for men with high masculine gender role stress," they said.

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4. He's looking for variety.

In the end, your husband would probably take what he can get if he could have it more often, but if what he can get is nothing, he may start suggesting the two of you try to spice things up in order to break you both out of the rut.

If sex feels more like an obligation than an enjoyable intimate act for either or both of you, chances are good he's getting frustrated.

5. He's looking for an extramarital tryst.

This probably isn't his first choice, but if you have indicated loud and clear that sex between the two of you is no longer an option, there's a good chance he's going to seek out pleasure elsewhere, even if it risks his marriage.

According to an article in Psychology Today, testosterone conflicts with the hormone-bonding effects of the "love" chemical, oxytocin, and therefore a high testosterone level in men makes taking the risk more plausible.

6. He's depressed.

He may hide it well because he’s poured most of his time into his work or supporting the family to keep busy, but the lack of intimacy may very likely have left him depressed.

When he tries to bring up the conversation about sex, or even attempts to be flirtatious and his partner doesn't reciprocate, creates a diversion by changing the subject, or gets into an argument that will kill the mood, he knows why.

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If this is shocking to hear and you see your marriage going down this path, what should you do to alleviate these challenges in your relationship?

What to do if your husband seems sexually frustrated

1. Get to the root of the problem.

If a partner loses interest in sex, the most important thing to do is to acknowledge it. Never try to sweep it under the rug, minimize it, or create a diversion and ignore it altogether.

By not talking about it you avoid something that could be solvable. For example, a partner may no longer enjoy sex because he doesn’t shower before he goes to bed like he did earlier in the marriage. Well, that’s an easy fix, as long as it's brought up.

There may be some underlying issues that may require a therapist to unpack, but you owe it to your partner to explore it. It may be worth seeking help from a couples counselor or therapist at this stage.

2. Talk about the really great moments you've shared.

There are a lot of events that can impact how much someone desires their husband. Instead of focusing on those, partners should sit down and talk about the intimate moments that were truly great. What were the two they wearing? What type of smell was in the room? What sort of activities led to finally having sex? What was said? Was there role-play? Or flirting?

Whatever the answers are, set the intention to make those things repeatable. It may not be perfect the first time, but just trying may be all that's needed.

3. Don’t try to make up for lost time all in one night.

A sexless marriage doesn't happen in one night and a sex-plentiful marriage won’t happen in one night either. It's vital to discuss expectations when sex is back on the menu and create a schedule until the act becomes more spontaneous again.

Establishing emotional closeness is vital. This may be the most critical piece of the puzzle. Neither partner will enjoy any sexual activity if they're not relaxed. Anxiety kills the mood and performance.

4. Be open to non-traditional solutions.

If an open relationship is the only option then that must be discussed in advance. There will need to be "Do’s and Don’ts" if partners choose to enter into this arrangement. Things like sexual boundaries, strict parameters, emotional support and verbal consent are crucial in making this work.

A husband’s sexual frustrations aren’t just his problem. Having a series of conversations to get back on track requires clear and honest communication within a marriage.

If the obstacles stem from sexual dysfunction issues, then it’s imperative to work together, get it resolved and seek professional help if necessary.

Don’t let his frustration about “never having sex again” end a perfectly good marriage.

RELATED: 4 Scientific Reasons Women Feel Sad After Having Sex

Keith Dent is a certified relationship coach and author of "In The Paint: How to Win the Game of Love."