Has your wife gone from a sex-crazed wildcat to a docile kitten throughout your marriage? When there’s a shift in sex drive, and you find yourselves no longer on the same page, it’s frustrating! You probably feel discontent because your needs are unmet; she likely feels several equally negative emotions.
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Below are twenty-three potential reasons why your wife has lost her sex drive and what you can do to get it back. Remember, the person who knows your wife best is your wife. We will guide you in the right direction, but a definitive answer will come from your partner.
People and responsibilities to people can affect sex drive and libido in both men and women, especially when those relationships come riddled with pressure, demands, and overwhelming obligations or challenges.
You might be quick to conclude that external forces are causing her decreased libido and nonexistent sex drive, but sometimes that’s far from the truth.
Some people naturally have a lower interest in sex than others, and there may not be any underlining cause, nor are you to blame in this instance.
Asexual individuals experience a limited amount of sexual attraction to other people. They may still desire other forms of intimacy, such as emotional connection and physical closeness, and may want romantic relationships. Asexual individuals may still engage in sex.
Confusion may arise in people wishing to understand their partner using hard and solid guidelines, but sexuality is a spectrum. Your wife might fall somewhere on the asexuality spectrum and, thus, only okay with some forms of intimacy and sex.
Hypoactive Sexual desire disorder may develop slowly over time or be a life-long struggle. The vast majority of women with HSDD do not have sexual fantasies, are unresponsive to sexual stimulation, and are not interested in sex.
Unlike asexuality, HSDD is an issue because women with the condition want to change. They crave more sexual desires, sexual satisfaction, and physical closeness with their partner.
She does not want to focus on sex right now. There are times in many people’s lives when they want to stop focusing on their relationships with other people and instead look inward.
She could be on personal growth and development journey, and so hyper-focused on achieving a particular goal such as self-love or self-actualization that sex just isn’t on her mind right now.
It’s not unheard of for some individuals to take temporary vows of abstinence to pursue personal goals and do inner work. Ideally, as your partner, she would share her objectives with you and maybe try to drag you onto the personal growth train too. However, that’s not always the case. Some people look so inward that everything on the outside is pushed aside. It’s selfish to disregard a partner, but it does happen.
The root cause of your wife’s diminished interest in sex might have very little to do with the outside world and everything to do with what’s happening behind your bedroom doors.
That’s not to say you need to be a sex god for great sex; it’s to point out that many of us vastly overestimate our capabilities in the bedroom. After all, a desire for sex comes naturally to most of us, so shouldn’t great sex also come naturally? Sadly, no.
Your wife may feel her needs are not being met in the bedroom; thus, she withdraws from you and is unwilling to initiate sex. You might be a selfish lover who focuses more on your sexual gratification than mutual gratification or a well-meaning but unskilled husband.
Naturally, we change as people, and you may find that she’s no longer the person you fell in love with or vice-versa; you aren’t the man of her dreams anymore. When that happens, the connection can fade away.
More likely, you haven’t changed, but how you prioritize the relationship has. Initially, she drove you mad, and you did not hesitate to let her know. You spent hours talking to each other, discovering every fact from her childhood nickname, secret talents, and desires for the future. She, too, felt an intense urge for physical closeness, to know you, spend time with you, and satisfy every sexual desire of yours that she could. Ask yourself honestly, are you still in a romantic relationship with your partner, or are you now roommates?
A lack of emotional connection will sometimes get the relationship far, even to the altar to say I Do. Although infrequent, it does happen.
As much as we’d like to believe we base sexual intimacy only on compatibility, and emotional and mental connection, the results are in, and they say that’s not the whole truth.
Evolutionary psychologists have questioned the link between human mate selection and qualities such as physical attraction, economic status, and stability for decades. Although results vary, research suggests that men select a mate based on physical attraction, and women prefer to select a partner with economic status in mind.
That’s not to say compatibility, emotional connection, and how the person feels when they’re with their partner does not factor into the relationship.
However, there is reason to believe that some people select their partner with a high value placed on aspects other than connection.
This is a significant problem because women generally feel sexual desire toward people they are emotionally connected with, and there’s evidence to support it. Likewise, men feel an increased desire for sex with someone they are emotionally connected with.
Pressure to perform happens in both subtle and unsubtle ways. An example of a subtle action that may make your wife feel like she needs to accomplish something in the bedroom is when you ask the simple question, “Did you cum yet?” This question often comes riddled with subtext.
Unsubtle tactics include repeatedly asking for sex when she turns you down, asking for things that place her too far out of her comfort zone, or guilt-tripping her whenever she does not want to have sex.
These actions often don’t help the situation and push you further from your goal of more sex.
Healthy relationships are intrinsic to sex drive in women, so unresolved relationship problems will gradually take a toll.
She Knows the Problem, But You Don't
Many women are peacekeepers who want to protect the harmony of the household, even if that means sacrificing their sanity. Perhaps something you did has been weighing on her mind, but she doesn’t want to bring it to your attention because it will start drama or an argument.
Perhaps, something small has built up over time. For example, many working women are discontent with the number of shared responsibilities inside the house. If you never cooked dinner, washed clothes, or cleaned, she might be highly displeased with the relationship and stressed.
Another likely scenario is she knows why she’s having sexual problems in the bedroom but feels discouraged from opening up and talking about it. There are many reasons why women do not always want to talk about their sexual health. It could steam from a strict upbringing where talking about sex was discouraged or shamed or personal beliefs causing her to believe it’s her burden and responsibility to find a solution without your assistance.
You Know the Problem, But She Doesn't
She might be unaware that her sexual behavior is negatively affecting you.
It’s blatant that your sex life has taken a severe nosedive into the depths of nowhere, but it might not be evident to her. For example, she might be so preoccupied with major life changes that she hasn’t stopped to realize that the last time she had sex was months ago. Maybe you’ve expressed slight discontentment with your sex life, but you poorly communicated the message, or it fell on deaf ears because she wasn’t ready to listen.
You Both Know the Problem
When you both already know the problem, you can more easily work to find solutions. Assuming she wants to find a solution.
When she knows that her desire for sex, or lack of one, is causing dysfunction in the relationship and wants to change that, she can help you understand the causes. Whether the reason is related to stressful working environments, dissatisfaction in the bedroom, life changes, or physical pains and ailments, the open conversation will help you both find a solution.
Women place importance on their looks, and how they look is tied to their self-esteem and self-confidence both in and out of the bedroom.
She might be more aware of the effects of aging and notice every bump and wrinkle that did not exist until recently or worried about how you think she looks after gaining a significant amount of weight, losing a lot of weight, having a post-pregnancy body, or any other causes of noticeable physical changes.
She might think you are no longer attracted to her and thus not want to initiate sex. On the other hand, she believes that you still are attracted to her but is so self-conscious that she does not wish to engage in sexual activity.
Over time, naturally, one or both partners can lose interest in the relationship. If she was once incredibly horny but now is showing signs of lost interest, it could be a sign the relationship is in danger. Common signs of lost interest include:
These signs certainly do not mean all hope for the relationship is lost, and they are not definitive proof that she’s no longer interested in you. However, these signs do warrant further investigation.
Sometimes, it’s not you or her that’s the problem; it’s everyone else!
Children are indeed a gift, but let’s not pretend they aren’t also a hindrance to good ole lovemaking.
Young children, especially, occupy a lot of time and attention. A crying baby in the middle of the night resulting in insomnia and exhaustion will affect your sex life. A toddler running into the bedroom thinking they saw a monster under the bed is a mood killer. And a school-age child plus the sound of breaking glass, slamming doors, or loud music is enough to make you jump out of bed and shout, “What the hell are you doing? Go to sleep!” Only to hear the same noises twenty minutes later and ultimately get up to investigate what nonsense your ten-year-old boy is up to now. It’s no wonder that your sex life has gone down the drain.
A dysfunctional family can cause a decreased interest in sex. General nuisances with your in-laws may be the root cause of her decreased interest in sex.
If it’s a death in the family, she may need more time to heal before engaging in sexual activity again.
Work is stressful, but the stress increases when you factor in future promotions, project deadlines, business trips, and deals. She might feel the need to spend more time focusing on her work instead of her relationship with you. When that happens, her sex drive might plummet.
Physical ailments and health issues can result in pain, making sex uncomfortable. Some prescription drugs taken to control the symptoms of a disease may also result in sexual problems.
If your wife is currently taking medication, it could cause low libido.
Several medications can result in low sex drive in women. Anti-histamines like Chlor-Trimeton and Benadryl, anti-depressants such as Prozac and Zoloft, and even birth control pills can reduce libido.
A chronic illness may not have a cure and requires ongoing medical attention. Be it in the form of treatments, therapies, or medications. Cancer, asthma, COPD, and HIV are all examples of chronic illnesses, to name a few.
Hypothyroidism, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), low iron, and even vitamin D deficiency can contribute to low libido.
Any mental roadblocks, temporary or persistent, can decrease libido. Often, it may feel you caused this reduced interest in sex. However, in most cases, this simply is not true. Your partner requires emotional and mental support and may also benefit from professional advice if circumstances require it.
Mental health greatly impacts sex drive in both men and women. A pre-pandemic study of men and women determined that this generation has less sex than previous generations. Increased stress, anxiety, and depression rates have long been thought of as potential causes of sexual dysfunction and low libido in women and men alike. Researches note that sexual desire and anxiety are negatively correlated, which means that when one increases, the other decreases.
Increased anxiety can present as erectile dysfunction in men. Anxiety in women often presents as decreased sexual interest and inability to orgasm; some may even experience physical pain during sex.
Depression is also linked to decreased interest in sex. Women with depression often reduce social interaction, thus reducing their likelihood of creating connections and intimacy with others. They may have reduced desire for sex due to low self-esteem, poor body image, and insecurity. Women with depression may also have pain during intercourse.
This article discussing the link between sex and PTSD and sex and OCD might be helpful to you if your wife is experiencing either of these conditions, as these are topics we have not covered in detail here.
Women with a history of sexual violence may temporarily experience decreased libido, as any form of violence can severely impact mental health. Resources for partners helping their spouses overcome sexual abuse or sexual trauma can be found here, here, and here, as this is a sensitive topic that requires in-depth discussion. You may also find online support groups for men wishing to understand their female partner’s trauma.
Estrogen and progesterone are the driving forces in women’s sexual health. When these hormones are imbalanced or fluctuating, low libido may result.
Hormonal birth control directly affects hormone levels in the body, convincing the reproductive organs that the user is already pregnant. It’s a very effective form of pregnancy prevention but has a few undesired consequences.
Many women report a change in mood, appetite, and sex drive when starting a new birth control pill.
Changes in libido are a little controversial because there are very definitive studies on the impact of birth control on sexual desire, and there are differences in opinion among birth control users, with some women reporting no change, others reporting low sex drive, and others reporting an increase in sexual desire!
Pregnancy causes a surge of hormonal changes in the body. Your wife might experience periods of high libido and extremely low libido throughout the forty weeks of pregnancy.
Pregnancy is divided into three trimesters. During each trimester, the fetus will continue to grow and affect the mother’s body in several notable ways. Although every woman is different, pregnant women report specific changes that can lead to low sex drive. These changes include nausea, upset stomach, back pain, sore or tender breasts, poor body image, low self-esteem, swelling, and miscellaneous body aches that can all reduce a woman’s interest in sex.
During the first trimester, many women report stomach and digestive issues as the embryo implants on the uterine wall and release human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). hCG is the hormone detected in over-the-counter pregnancy tests, which will eventually cause a surge of estrogen and progesterone.
It is common for women to discover they are pregnant mid-way or late into the first trimester, around weeks 4-7 out of 12. Therefore, your wife could be experiencing libido changes and not know that pregnancy is the cause.
Your wife may experience low sex drive during the first trimester due to changing hormones, stress from starting the pregnancy, or digestive issues. On the other hand, it is not unusual for some women to experience increased interest in sex because of the excess of hormones, particularly estrogen.
The second trimester starts around the thirteenth week, and many women report increased sex drive and sexual desire. Your wife might be hornier than her pre-pregnancy state during her second trimester as morning sickness ends and estrogen levels remain high.
The third trimester starts around the twenty-eight week and will end in childbirth. By this time, she is noticeably pregnant and may start experiencing increased body aches, discomfort, insomnia, and swelling.
Additionally, in the third trimester, many women begin the nesting phase of pregnancy, in which they become hyper-focused on cleaning and organizing. She will likely have very little sexual desire during this stage.
It’s also worth mentioning that women with a total hysterectomy (removal of the uterus and cervix) who can not experience pregnancy can also have a low drive.
Menopause strikes most women by their late 50s, with an average age of 45-55 in most countries.
This natural process results in low sexual desire in many women due to falling hormone levels. This negatively impacts women’s sexual health by increasing vaginal dryness, mood swings, irritability, hot flashes, and night sweats.
If you’re looking for deeper insights into pleasing a woman and becoming the best partner she’s ever had, consider enrolling in the Best She’s Ever Had course, where you’ll learn practical advice for improving your sex life from how to actually eat a woman out and how to become a leader inside and outside of the bedroom. Access our free online resources and Facebook group, hear from other guys on our online forum, and read the Best She’s Ever Had, a best-selling book on Amazon, or invest further into your sex life by joining one of our exclusive 5-Day retreats and online academy.