Why Your Wife Doesn't Want To Have Sex Anymore, Even Though She Loves You

"Not tonight" doesn't mean never. If your wife doesn't want to have sex anymore, it could be for a number of reasons.

Last updated on Mar 30, 2023

wife rolled away from angry husband in bed VGstockstudio / Shutterstock

Far too often, people in long-term relationships find themselves experiencing a dwindling sex life. Experts often blame the dampened coals of passion on women having a vanishing libido post-marriage. Their keen focus, the legend has it, is hyper-fixated on raising their little ones, causing them to ignore their husbands. But is that true?

"My wife loves me but doesn't desire me."

The phrase above is one I hear all too often, as do so many therapists, counselors, and friends of married men whose sex lives have changed for the worse for their marriages. And sadly, much of the traditional advice about how to get your mismatched libidos back in line is wrong.


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Why doesn't my wife want to have sex with me?

It's a painful question because it brings up so many deep feelings of rejection. Not just sexually but also physically. "Am I not desirable?" or "Is it my body?" many guys ask. Body insecurities happen to men, too, you know!


The deeper, more painful question men face when their wives reject them sexually is, "Maybe my wife doesn't love me anymore?"

But these are likely not why your wife doesn't desire you sexually.

Think about the daily tasks and responsibilities of your wife. She may be stressed, worn out from caring for the children, and overworked from her job. To add to all of that, how is her physical and mental health?

Many women suffer in silence because they are taught to keep going. Maybe she is learning her body, what it needs, and how to feel pleasure. As a result, she may be apprehensive when acting or not acting on her desires for fear of judgment or anger from her partner.


Women (and men) need to feel safe in their sexuality. The last thing they need is to feel criticized for saying, "not tonight." Being human is complex, with emotions and desires crashing into our bodies. Being in a relationship is even more complicated; it requires two people to work with each other's shifting emotional realities, both together and individually.

Sex becomes more frequent in a relationship of loving responses. It cultivates trust and togetherness, leading to more erotic and passionate lovemaking.

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If you make it more than okay for either of you to say, "not tonight," there will be many more nights when both of you will say, "yes!"


According to John Gottman's research, it has to be okay, even rewarding, for either partner to refuse sex. Paradoxically, this leads to more sex. Many people find this confusing. I know I did. But relationships are complicated. That's what makes them beautiful. They require understanding and working together.

Here are 3 reasons your wife may love you but not want to have sex with you — and how to fix them:

1. You are taking her no's too personally.

Realize that a lack of a sexual desire for you isn't all about you — and doesn't necessarily mean that your wife isn't interested in you sexually anymore. Stress from work, health issues, and general exhaustion drain us from having the energy to get it on.

How to fix it: I recommend using an arousal scale for most couples. It allows partners to realize that desire can be different among partners simultaneously, but it doesn't mean the relationship is less passionate. It just means you're not getting it on tonight.

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2. You don't pay attention to how your behavior affects her.

How do you react when she says "no" or "not tonight"? Even if you think you're hiding your disappointment well, she may be picking up on it. How does she act? What does she say? Are you paying attention — and if so, how are you reacting?

She may be hurting, scared, or confused, too, and you probably haven't even noticed.

How to fix it: If you become angry, frustrated, or resent your partner, become curious as to why. Why is being told no to sex once such a big deal to you?

Sex and love are full of private meanings. In my early twenties, sexual rejection meant I was inadequate and unworthy of love. Sex was validation of my self-worth, not a mutual act of appreciation and love. I had to dig deep into that to understand myself better.


Once you've looked at yourself, talk to her and notice how she's feeling. Step out of your hurt feelings and into her world.

3. You're too focused on the sexual aspect of your bond.

Sex requires communication, understanding, and appreciation, even when things are not the way we want. Love is about loving your partner unconditionally, with or without frequent sexual interaction.

How to fix it: Recall the happy moments in your relationship to help cope with rejection. Realize that your partner doesn't want to hurt you and merely tells you how they feel.


Their behavior has little to do with you and more to do with them; just as your behavior and feelings have more to do with you than your partner. Reflect, ponder, and get to know yourself better.

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Kyle Benson is a relationship coach fascinated with the science of love and relationships.