In our fortnightly column ‘Great Sexpectations’ the Woman Alive panel answer your questions on sex, faith and intimacy. Drop us a confidential email on email@example.com and ask us anything. Here, we answer a question about lack of sex in marriage.
Dear Woman Alive,
I have been married for thirteen years, and my husband has gone off sex. He just doesn’t seem interested in me physically anymore and I am worried he is having an affair. When I try and talk about it he just says “it’s complicated” but is loving towards me in every other way. We are great companions, but I feel something must be wrong if he doesn’t want sex. What should I do?
While I can understand that you are concerned, you indicate that he is still loving towards you – so can I ask why you jumped to the idea of an affair straightaway? Have there been issues in the past, or is it one of your biggest fears?
It might be helpful to ask yourself why you are concerned about that in particular. Remember, too, that we do all go through different seasons where other things can affect our sex drive – stress at work, for example – so could you be jumping to conclusions?
Remember, too, that we do all go through different seasons where other things can affect our sex drive – stress at work
Are you able to talk about what is going on in each of your lives regularly together? When you hear him say “it’s complicated” have you been able to explain to him that that is making your mind go to all sorts of unhelpful places, and that you really would rather try and understand what is going on for him?
If he simply shuts down and refuses to talk further, it might be helpful to seek out the support of others that you trust. Do you have a couple in your church you trust implicitly that you could try and talk to together?
We don’t talk about problems with sex enough in Church, which can make it hard to find support, but it is so important, as most of us experience bumps in the road (so know you are not alone).
We don’t talk about problems with sex enough in Church
I know I said you might be jumping to the wrong conclusion, but I also feel it is important to raise the issue of porn, as a recent survey found that 70% of all men and 30% of all women in the churches polled watched porn at least once a month.
Read more on sex in marriage
This can have a huge effect on watchers’ own relationships – again, another issue we really need to be talking about more within Church.
I do hope you are able to communicate openly with one another and deal with whatever may be brought to the surface. At all times, be bringing your relationship before God and asking for his grace and protection over it.
Our Great Sexpectations column is written by a number of different contributors who make up the Woman Alive panel. If you have a question for us, email: firstname.lastname@example.org,uk