Dear Frozen and Frustrated,
Dear Word Washed Wife,
I think my husband has fallen out of love with me. We are more like roommates than a married couple. When we first married he couldn’t keep his hands off me, but now he is very distant and cold. He never kisses me or hugs me. I initiate all intimacy. I’ve tried talking to him about sex but he brushes me off and says he “doesn’t want to talk about it.” I know I’ve put on a few pounds so maybe it is me, maybe I turn him off? I hate living every day in a cold, loveless marriage. I want to rekindle the passion, but I don’t know where to start. I am sure my husband would kill me for sharing this with you, but I have nowhere else to turn. Help, please!
Frozen and Frustrated
Dear Frozen and Frustrated,
Thank you for sharing your concerns with me and my readers. I hear this concern pretty often, so I am confident that your letter will help others. I doubt your weight has anything to do with the cold temperature in your marriage, so relax. Now that doesn’t mean your looks are not important. Per Dr Willard Harley, in his book, HIS NEEDS, HER NEEDS, men report their most important needs in marriage are: sex, recreational companionship, and an attractive wife. So, if you do not feel you are looking your best lose the 5 pounds. But as women I think we are often too obsessed with a number on a scale versus the sour expression on our face- which is almost always more off putting. 😊 Take a look in the mirror- give yourself a critical once over, then let that thought go. Let’s explore some more likely reasons for the cool temperature in your marriage.
When I hear about reduced sex drive in any man regardless of his age, I think a doctor visit is in order. If your husband is in good health it is less likely that there is medical condition hampering his sexual desire for you. But if your husband is inactive and has put on weight, he may be suffering from decreased testosterone, depression or any number of issues. This is diagnosed at your family doctor’s office through a simple blood test and some skilled probing questions by the MD. Please encourage your husband to speak frankly with the doctor. Most of us do not want to tell the doctor what is going on with us in fear that something could be seriously wrong. Praise your husband for making the doctor’s appointment and then remind him so he actually goes! If the issue is not medical, rejoice, but keep reading friend.
I often say “people don’t fall out of love, they fall out of repentance.” Is there sin in your marriage that is causing division? My husband and I had a rough period of time when our children were younger (read the Ugly Year). He definitely was not affectionate- I’m sure fearing he would draw back a nub 😊. So I would start with a time of confession. You start. Humble yourself and ask your husband to forgive you.
My next question to you is- what is the temperature of your spiritual walk? Are you faithfully living out the spiritual disciplines- prayer, Bible reading, fasting, worship, serving others, evangelism and rest? Is your husband? Is your faith working? Is your life producing fruit for the kingdom? If the answer is no, start here. Have a conversation with your husband about the spiritual temperature in your relationship and ask him to take a small step today, by praying with you. Praying and physical romance are the two most intimate things in your relationship. See where it goes from there. Be honest and confess the feelings of rejection and pray for God to heal your marriage.
One more thought, and I hate to keep bringing up pornography, but it is a real issue facing so many couples today. There is something called Pornography Induced Erectile Dysfunction (PIED). This decrease of sexual interest in a human happens after an individual has grown dependent on sexual fulfillment while viewing pornography. Stimulation while watching porn is very exacting, self-centered and unencumbered by human entanglements, other than shame and guilt, for the Christian viewer. If your husband has gotten addicted to porn he may withdraw from you for many reasons, but the most prevalent would be a sense of shame and he has believed the lie that “sex is dirty” and done in secret, not in the marriage relationship. I would never suggest snooping, but I would suggest a frank question about porn usage. “Do you regularly watch porn?” It has been my experience that a honest question typically receives an honest answer.
Please remember that love is a verb and sometimes the feelings of love diminish as the actions for love slack off. Ask your husband what you could do for him that would make his day better. Listen closely to his answer. He may very well solve the mystery right there. Then get busy and do it. If he feels neglected because all of your attention is on the kids and he wants his garage cleaned- become a garage cleaning ninja! If he wants a weekend away with you to reconnect, move heaven and earth to find childcare or funds to do just that. It is important that we listen to what our spouses say- listen to their words and hear their heart!
If your hubby has become so apathetic he can’t formulate a wish, is not addicted to porn, does not want to pray with you, is unaware of unconfessed sin and is medically stable- it’s time to get professional help. Find a Christian counselor. Ask your pastor for a recommendation. Do not let anymore time pass you by. Marriage problems very seldom start in the bedroom, but they often end up there. Get to the bottom of this one. Be prepared to forgive and love him well, no matter what the outcome.
Do not be discouraged my sweet sister. Warm yourself in the Word. I know God is big enough to heal your marriage, you only need to trust Him!
Have I not commanded you?
Be strong and courageous.
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
DISCLAIMER: In the interest of all reading, and with an intent to simplify some questions, I have taken the liberty to edit the letter. Because every marriage situation is unique and multi-faceted, I have personally reached out to each person who wrote me an e-mail to offer more specific details that address their needs.