Healthy Aging

How to Deal with a Sexless Marriage

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Every month in Sex at Our Age, award-winning senior sexpert Joan Price answers your questions about everything from loss of desire to solo sex and partner issues. Nothing is out of bounds! To send your questions directly to Joan, email sexpert@seniorplanet.org.

My wife and I are in our 60s, very active and in good health. We haven’t had sex in over a year and a half because of my wife’s lack of interest. I would like to ask her if we’ll ever have a sex life again, but she has a hard time talking about it.

We’ve been married almost 40 years and neither of us had any sex partners before we met. I’ve always wanted sex more than she has, though the first years were pretty satisfying for both of us. She started losing interest when our children were young—she’d be OK with sex once or twice a month, and only when she was in the mood.

When she was in the mood, my wife really enjoyed sex and had great orgasms, but that mood hit less and less frequently. I finally became frustrated with being turned down and just waited for her to initiate sex. She didn’t. So our sex lives dwindled until around 15 years ago she realized a more regular sex life might be a good thing. For a short time she’d schedule sex once a week whether or not she felt like it—but then menopause hit and sex dwindled again, diminishing to once or twice a year until we stopped having sex altogether.

I’ve read about vaginal atrophy and would guess she has it. We used lubricant but it still wasn’t very effective the last time. She’s been mostly dry since a few years before menopause.

As far as foreplay goes, either I don’t know how to do it or she doesn’t like to be touched unless she is in the mood. The most affection I can show without her being irritated is spooning for a short period when we’re in bed — I’d better not move my hands to caress her! — and hugs when one of us leaves the house. I’ve tried suggesting a date, but it’s hard to find something she wants to do or doesn’t cost too much.

There are always two sides to a story, and I don’t want to paint her as an uncaring wife. I know at times she’s felt my touching was just for sex, and at times she was right. She told me a few years ago that she felt sorry for me because of her lack of sexual desire. But at this point I don’t think her interest in sex will ever revive, so what would your advice be? Should I ask her what our sex future will be? How should I phrase it? Or should I just accept her celibacy and masturbate when I need release? —Frustrated

Joan Price Responds

I read the frustration and despair in your story and I thank you for being willing to share it here. I can understand why you’re anxious about talking to your wife about this, but communication is the only way you’ll get out of this impasse. The subtle ways – dates, touching, hoping – haven’t worked and although years have passed,  neither of you really understands yet how the other feels. Since I don’t know your wife and I don’t know anything about your conversational style or hers, I can’t give you the magic words for getting the conversation started. Here are some possible openings – finesse one or more of these to fit your comfort and style:

  • I really miss the intimacy we used to have when we were sexual. Can we please talk about how we each feel about sex in our relationship?
  • We seem to have fallen into a marriage without sex. I love you, but I am not happy this way. Would you be willing to see a therapist with me to learn how to talk about this?
  • I realize that I really don’t know your reasons for not wanting to be sexual with me – whether it hurts you, or there’s something I’m doing or not doing. I’d like to hear how you feel.

I strongly suggest that you see a sex therapist (find one in your location) or a sex-savvy counselor for guidance. Therapy will help you identify the issues underlying the lack of sex, teach you how to communicate more effectively, give you strategies for regaining your intimacy if she’s willing, and tools for coping if she’s not, and offer you the boost you need to work on your relationship.

You’re guessing that your wife might have vaginal atrophy, but you don’t know. Have you asked whether she experienced vaginal pain during sex? If it’s just dryness—which is common as women age—as well as using lubricant you’ll also want to be sure that your wife is aroused, even before any genital touching.

If your wife thinks she may have vaginal atrophy, I hope she’ll see a knowledgeable doctor or  pelvic floor therapist to get a diagnosis and treatment plan that can alleviate her discomfort. There are many reasons for vaginal pain, if indeed that’s what she’s experiencing, and getting the right medical help is essential.

You talk about your wife not being “in the mood.” That’s an elusive state when we’re not driven by our hormones. It’s important to understand the difference between spontaneous desire and responsive desire. As I explained before on seniorplanet.org, spontaneous desire just happens, while responsive desire only happens after a woman’s body starts getting aroused. Most women, especially in our age group, only experience responsive desire. That means you could wait forever for your wife to just want sex. But maybe if she’s willing to try your weekly sex date again, she might find that once you’ve aroused her, the mood sails in. (You might want to share with her an excellent resource about responsive desire, Emily Nagoski’s book “Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life.”)

That said, you should also think about how you’re trying to arouse your wife. You say you don’t know if you’re doing foreplay right. If you go too directly and/or too soon to her vulva before she’s aroused, she’ll likely just want to withdraw. I don’t know if that’s what’s happening for her, and of course the only way to know is to ask her. Working with a therapist will help you learn to ask her how she prefers to be touched and help empower her to guide you.

You’ve both gone so long without sex together and without understanding each other that it isn’t an easy fix. But don’t give up!  If she’s willing, find a therapist who will help you and your wife talk about this and really listen to each other—and if she won’t go, go on your own. Even without your wife, seeing a therapist will help you learn how to communicate with her, and give you new ways of looking at your marriage and strategies for coping. Meanwhile, I encourage you to keep masturbating. It’s good for your general health, your sexual health and your sense of well-being. There’s nothing wrong with giving yourself sexual pleasure.  I wish you the best.

Would you like to see more questions and answers? See all of Joan’s advice in Sex@Our Age.

Send Joan your questions by emailing sexpert@seniorplanet.org. All information is confidential.

joan-priceJoan Price is the author of several books including “The Ultimate Guide to Sex After 50” and the award-winning self-help book “Naked at Our Age.” Visit Joan’s  blog, “Naked at Our Age” and her Facebook page. For senior sex news, tips, event and webinar announcements, and special offers, join Joan’s mailing list.

COMMENTS

172 responses to “How to Deal with a Sexless Marriage

  1. Over 12 years no sexual contact. Weekly turned into Monthly then every 3 or 4 months question about sex. Answers where “we can talk about it” or I’m busy right now.
    Now masturbation does not work so well. So I explained this to her and said if she cannot work it out with me I would have to find some other way. A subtle way of saying I will date outside the marriage. A marriage I have no interest in ending, ever. I still love my wife dearly and I am committed to her but I have to take care of myself. 2 weeks later I spoke to her again and ended up asking if she knew what I was suggesting. She replied yes. Sigh… I don’t even want to see anyone else. I mean how do you do that if your married? I’m just sad and trying to figure things out.

    1. Just get out Stan. Have affairs and visit escorts. Women aren’t suitable for long term monogamy. They can go months and years without sex – and then the menopause hits and then they’re completely done.

      It all goes to show that marriage is worthless and now even worse because there is no sexual obligation. I’ve been teaching this to other young men for some time.

      Now man up, and ditch her!

  2. Being in a sexless marriage is great, we haven’t had sex, intimacy togetherness for 40 years. Married a little over 50 years! We try not to get in each others way and we haven’t had a conversation in years. It’s just not worth my time to talk to her, all I get is whining, complaining and that’s exhausting.
    I wish she would just go away and never come back, she’s got just about everything I own. But I have my workshop where I fix cars and my wood shop. People might think I’m lonely but I’m not, I work alone and I get all the right answers talking to my self.

  3. i feel for you my spouse stopped being interested in sex 20 years ago at my age 51,for many years we had some extrem arguments and are still having them,,, to no avail what do you do. i do not want to go outside the marriage so i guess living with the problem is the. only issue

    1. It may sound strange, but I actually take some comfort out of reading other people’s comments and stories: I am not alone… I also dearly love my wife and would never leave her, but a sexless life (10+ years) is the sad reality.
      I do raise the issue with her from time to time. She understands that it’s hard for me, but we both don’t know what to do about the situation. We’ve never had an argument about it, because I’m always careful not to sound like I’m accusing her. But it also means we’re in a status quo that just isn’t satisfying.

  4. I don’t know where to start. We dated for 30 years and finally got married. We never had sex before marriage and on our wedding night he rolled over and went to sleep. He snores so he sleeps in his own bedroom. We have been married 10 years and he has never touched me in an intimate way, or never had sex or even tried. He will once in a while hold my hand for about a minute and always gives me a peck on the check before he goes to bed. He has type 1 diabetes and is impotent so I can understand the no sex, but no hugs or cuddles or anything? We are starting to fight a lot and twice I heard him on the phone throwing me under the bus to someone. I told him I heard him doing that and I told him if he ever did that again I would divorce him. Every time he gets mad he threatens to move out. Sometimes I wish he would go. Please help.

  5. I am a married woman of 69 and my husband (also 69) lost all interest in sex quite some time ago. We’ve been married nearly 39 years and needless to say the last couple of decades I could have done without his aloofness. I have tried to keep myself in shape, etc., and he is certainly in fairly good shape too. In addition, he doesn’t suffer from ED or any other similar issue, but he seems to feel that sex is for procreation and once that part of life is over (as it surely now is), so is sex! Basically though, he refuses to talk about this issue with me – or anyone else, namely a doctor/therapist, and claims he likes our life the way it is. Unfortunately I don’t, as it seems we’re merely friends but certainly not lovers! In fact, I don’t even feel we’re friends at this point, as we rarely speak to one another (unless I initiate a conversation) and whenever I try and initiate any affection or even merely suggest sex, he bristles, becomes hostile and defensive and that’s that. He then sits and reads for hours on end. To me, he’s practicing classic avoidance and he simply closes up emotionally. This isn’t totally new for him either. It’s not that he’s a bad person – he’s not – but at this point he’s kind of like a zombie.

    I’ve always had this feeling from the first of our marriage that he felt somewhat uncomfortable having sex but that it was “permissible” if we were trying to procreate, but never just for fun or enjoyment. I thought during the first couple of years of our marriage that I was imagining this but I now realize I wasn’t (since he recently stated how we weren’t trying to procreate any longer, so why bother with sex.). He claims to love me and just wants to continue on with what I consider a rather boring, dreary – and certainly sexless – marriage! Really, I may as well just be rooming with a friend at this point in the game. Again, he has no interest in sex and doesn’t even like me seeing him naked – say getting out of the shower, or undressing, etc.. And, he remains curled up and turned away from me in bed at night. We may as well sleep in separate beds at this point. Frankly, I’m ready for a change of scene because this is like living with someone who it seems might be happier living off by himself.

  6. The situations here are not just issues for straight couples. I was in a 22-year same sex relationship in which sex dried up after we had been together about 5 years. She wanted me to be sexual with her, but would not reciprocate. Then she was diagnosed with scleroderma shortly before I had a kidney transplant. Sex ended, period. There were a lot of issues toward the end of our marriage, and we divorced. I enjoy sex, but I am often fatigued and have low energy. I hope to eventually meet another same sex partner willing to take her time and see what works. My ex is 70; I am 63.

  7. we have been married about 22 years. First few years sex was great. 2 children later sex was still fun. Well a few years ago sex began to get less and less. The wife does not want to start sex and me asking her OVER and OVER and OVER got to her and her rejections and excuses got to me felt like there is always some excuse. well, about a year ago she took it upon herself to say no more sex. she says when she and I are close she gets panic attacks and anxiety attacks. I ask why she said it is just how it is. well she decided we will not have sex, and to top it off, she has panic if she touches me and me touching her. I mean, we have a nightly generic kiss and slight hug say goodnight. that is all there is. oh when either of leave the house or return there is a generic kiss. But no cuddling, spooning, showers, surprise hugs or squeezes, in bed we may as well be cousins or brother and sister as we just sleep on our own side and no touches. there is NO physical connection PLUS no sex. so that leaves to so totally frustrated angry resentful and I hate to say it but it is beginning to I think turn to “I hate her”. So around our house it is whispered, why is he mad? why is he grumpy? He never smiles? He is always sitting alone. etc…. she and I cannot even sit on the couch and watch TV as she scoots away from me. Oh, and me driving the car, she has panic attacks and asks I don’t drive. Holy Cow, I have about had it. Divorce is not an option, But when the second son moves out to college there is an option I take his bedroom AND there is an option I go on an extended car road trip for a few months. I asked her how long will this take for you to get over this panic stuff. (she has seen a councelor) and she this has gone on for years and may take years to heal and maybe I will never heal. I said well, (while pointing to my head) by the time you “heal” I will have checked out up here, I will be looking at women and wondering if they would be fun to be with. She said, YOU WILL LOOK AT OTHER WOMEN?! I said I am a human male and I have basic needs. So our talking about this topic usually ends up in an argument or one of us so ticked off we could scream.

    1. Man, that’s no way to respond to your wife, person you care deeply about who’s saying to you that they’re experiencing mental health crisis in your relationship. You need to talk to her and get to the root of what’s causing her panic and anxiety whenever she gets close to you; when she feels comfortable and that whatever major issue there is, gets resolved, maybe your sex life will return. I totally understand how lingering issues in a relationship make it ridiculously hard to want to have sex.

      1. Bull. Mental health issues don’t appear out of nowhere for no reason. Either something happened that made her feel that way or she’s lying.
        You need to be in the counseling with her because if there is no goal to overcome the issue then it’s just a feel good talk of sympathy and that’s not treatment.
        Yeah. I bet there’s either something from you, or she’s hiding a big lie.
        You need to know.

    2. I totally understand your story. I am 50 and she is 45 but she began having the same symptom that you described.
      It is sad and hurtful and I felt she only did me favor to have sex with me.. We have 3 young kids so divorce is not an option and I had been sleeping in guest room for almost 6 months now..

      1. It Might pass , 45 is menopausal years and I was once told by a friend older than me at the time that it can be like a light switch once you are through menopause and that can be true because what drives sexual desire , it has much to do with hormones and post menopause or during, a women losses a tremendous amount of hormones and hormone replacement ( they will many x use birth control for that) makes one sick or intolerant and I have read many articles in the past that hormone replacement can put one of high risk of cancer in older women, please I am far from a Dr. not even close, but this is what I have gathered along the way. You cannot force desire no matter what you do or if it is the other partner, same thing.

    1. Yes, life is complicated indeed, but I don’t believe there is a “season” for sex and then not a “season” for it. Just because one grows older doesn’t mean that sex is over. Life is complicated at every age but I think as people age, hormone levels drop – of course – and the baggage of decades gone by begins to weigh heavy on both parties. However this does not mean that sex should just cease and it’s quite difficult for one party in a marriage or long term relationship to just do without something like this because the other party has lost interest (or is depressed), or whatever. I think in many cases a therapist is in order but if only one party wants this and the other refuses to address the problem or go to a therapist, then the stalemate will undoubtedly continue unabated until well, divorce or death, whichever comes first!

    2. The Bible says to not deny one another because it leads to stumbling. It also says that we are to make our bodies our patents, not ours. This isn’t one of those seasons things, she believing a lie from the devil to her, to destroy your marriage. That lie: it’s not important, only if you want it. Satan worked this into the sexual revolution and feminism (not that either were inherently bad) so that his message has overtaken THE Word of God that says tons of times to do it and do it often.
      You should know the truth brother.

  8. As we age we need to look at things with a different perspective. Sexuality is just part of the human condition but a life partner who is no longer interested or capable of providing that experience must be respected and understood. It isn’t about the phone or computer. There is a lot more going on there

    1. The problem with respecting a partner who doesn’t want sex any longer, is that the other person who does want sex needs to be respected too. It’s a two-way street as are most things in marriage. Someone who spends all their time on the computer or their phone is looking for something or someone other than the person they are with. I agree, there is more going on than just someone spending all their time doing other things. They may be finding fulfilment on the computer/phone with others (just a guess) and so that’s a big problem right there. Counseling is usually the way out but unfortunately most people in a relationship don’t want to go that route (or at least one of them doesn’t). And there is another problem: When two people don’t want the same things in the marriage or relationship (like trying to fix what is wrong), then there is often no solution other than plodding along as before. That’s a depressing thought too.

  9. I am 62 years old and a healthy man with sexual needs. My wife and I lost our beloved son several years ago. It destroyed us and our marriage for all intents and purposes. Our devastation has completely made intimacy and sex impossible. The only relief that I get from my pain is physical pleasure. Drugs and orgasm. I need to be held by a mature woman and caressed and brought to orgasm. There is only so much I can fantasize masturbate and flirt. I tried internet sex and while interesting it is not enough. I so badly need a woman
    And really don’t know what to do. And please don’t tell me counseling.

    1. Hey Mike, I don’t think you need a woman, I don’t think drugs and orgasm are the best ways to deal with the pain dealt to you by the tragic loss of your loved one. You have your wife, intimacy is so much better than busting a nut and orgasming, why does this make us feel better? There’s more to life than that, there’s more to life than escaping…there’s connecting deeper with your partner, taking more trips, spending more time together, learning more skills, building or supporting others together, getting involved in your communities more!

      1. I would walk a mile in this man’s shoes before I offer advice. With out being rude . You definitely don’t get it. Very few people in my club and I sincerely hope not many more people join

  10. I am 64 and my wife has withheld sex with me for the the last 5 years. It makes me sad, and we have talked it out and sadly there is just too much sadness and pain in our relationship for this situation to ever be resolved. There is just so much fantasizing, flirting and masturbating that I can do. I have tried internet sex and it wasn’t bad but it wasn’t enough. I think that for me I need the human touch of a mature woman. So the time has come to find a willing older gal and have an affair and feel alive and like a man again…
    Thanks for listening

  11. The LW sounds like a loving and considerate husband. His needs count too.

    A sexologist is not going to be able to overcome a lack or imbalance of hormones.

    I cannot believe that is wasn’t suggested that the LW’s wife work with a functional doctor who can work with plant based bio – identical hormones that can probably increase her desire. Additionally, she should see an endocrinologist who can check her thyroid. It is very common for middle aged women to wind up being hypothyroid.

    I sincerely hope is wife is open to exploring options. If his wife refuses to explore solutions he will need to tell her the following.

    “Sweetie, I love you with all my heart and it saddens me that you have no interest in intimacy with me and refuse to explore any potential solutions. If that is the way you feel I will respect that, but I need YOU to understand and RESPECT my needs.

    Would you prefer I see prostitutes or have a girlfriend on the side to take care of my needs?

  12. I am 53 and my wife is 55. She started the menopause change about 3 years ago, however sex prior to that was maybe every few months for probably 7 years. We are both quite healthy but she has little interesting sex now. We do love each other though. Perhaps every month or so she gives me a handjob, rarely a BJ. The one thing she always wants when she touches me is that I come on her tits….which I love. We try vaginal sex sometimes but even lubing doesn’t help all that much. She doesn’t complain about helping me out but intercourse is quite painful for her and I don’t want to press it if she’s in pain. She has no interest in any positions other than missionary even though I love other positions. I literally want sex daily and extremely sleep deprived because many nights I am rock hard all night long. I don’t masturbate much because I would prefer to be with her. She knows this but never initiates. I guess my story isn’t as bad as many. Sometimes I just want fuck all night long but the woman I love has no interest. She mentioned that I find a sex partner…I don’t know.

    1. I can’t believe a respected Sex Therapist has “Keep Masturbating” as an answer. I know that feeling of the Phone etc being more important. My wife never initiates any form of Intimacy let alone Sex. I absolutely adore my wife/partner I love her dearly and would do anything for her. Sadly that BIG thing was “Give Up Sex” and just get over it. Why is it that Men are the ones left out in the cold Masturbating in the dark. I appreciate there are many reasons MANY reason wives don’t want sex and No one can or should force them to have to sex. But they can FORCE their partners to NOT have sex and No one seems to want to talk about that. None the less partners have to also accept it is something you don’t get used to or get over. There is only one person I love adore and desire. We have been together since the 80’s and there is No ONE else I want to be with. After being away for a month I lay there hoping to speak to to my wife and greet her in the morning after a long nights sleep. NO! The phone started beeping and making its different sounds at 630am. My wife sleeps through most of this so I try to keep quiet and let her sleep. Then she wakes and l turn my head to see her reach across pick up the phone and begin scrawling through and tapping away. I didn’t even get a goodmorning after a month away. I don’t understand. Women have all these excuses and fare enough many of them are legitimate but some of it is disconnecting. If it was the husband doing that wives would be screaming “How dare You”. I would love to be greeted with a smile, a cuddle a thoughtful touch but nothing. For me my wife has me feeling guilty and hesitant and re framing from touching her in any way. I am not allowed in the shower/bathroom when she is showering or changing. I have respected all she has asked and continue to do all I can to let her know I love and adore her. She is a poor communicator and no matter how much I ask she gives me the silent treatment and thinks its OK. I know we are very different people and and I am not trying to change her as much as letting her know the effects of being so distant and often dismissing my feelings yet I have to be totally responsive to her to keep her happy. We went to a therapist who separated us and I thought that might help her confidence. The therapist totally forgot about me as my wife did. 18 months later I was told NO sex, by the way we had not had regular sex for near 15 years, and Sexless for near 10. I have kept fit and kept busy. I demonstrate my love for her in so many ways, little notes, letters, flowers messages in song, other women including young women I work with say they would love to have someone who loves and respects their partner and relationship like I do. (That is very thoughtful, I do all those things because my wife is Special and I want her to be happy) I have always shared the housework and don’t mean picking up my clothes yes I am defensive because women don’t believe med do housework. I have done the majority of housework including doing the major role of raising our children from Pre school to leaving home. I cook and currently renovating the home again only to hear “That’s great, Now what about the bedroom?”. Sorry Mate. Got lost there. To see my wife go direct to the Phone on the first morning home and second morning home was very upsetting. I appreciate that No outside agency or individual can fix anything yet they get their fix of adulation with tired Info. I am so tired of these therapists and all there “lets support the one who doesn’t want sex but dismiss the one who is still in love and desires romance more than anything with KEEP MASTURBATING”
      Sorry Mate. Didn’t mean to lump all this on You but your comment triggered something.
      Take care.
      Regards Glenn.

    2. Ed if your still out there… I have the same view as you do on the phone and web. My wife I encourage to have her hobbies and she is a nice person. Not easy for her to open up and talk about things…been that way all of our married lives..43 plus years. But I noticed the past 3 years she has seldom initiated intimate relations, and I attribute that to she likes to use her ipad and play puzzle / word/ and brain teaser games and does surf her FB some. BUT I agree …If I was an electronic game, or a bead of some kind I would get some attention.. We have had a very good sex life up until a few years ago, and she has had many good sexual adventures. But this past 6 months I see things slipping and I feel we are not getting that closeness and are becoming more distant even though we do many things together.

  13. I think my wife [67] realises that with my having ED she no longer has any potential competition so isn’t obliged to have sex because I wont be straying…and I dont want her to feel obliged,thats as bad as no sex,so the answer, literally, is in my own hands

    1. Patty,

      While my wife does not do drugs or anything like that, she has lost the interest for sex. We had sex once last year and it had been a while prior to that, but she told me that due to the pain and all, she doesn’t want to do it any more. Truthfully, the solo routine is rather old.
      With all of that being said, I an understand your frustration.

  14. I am really starting to think that sex was not made for pleasure, but for reproduction and when the reproductive years end for a woman, so does her desire for sex diminishes or ends and men that still have a desire, suffer in silence or become broke from a divorce and visiting prostitutes. Seems to me that sex is more important to most guys than it is for a woman.

  15. I am a 52 year old woman who has had a hysterectomy and has gone through menopause and I have always had a high libido and still do. Nothing has changed. My husband has no sex drive at all. He is older than I am but even when we were younger, he was like that. A lot of my friends say their husbands are like that, too. So it’s a trope that the man is always the one with the higher desire and the one left frustrated. The difference is that men feel selfish and entitled, as if sex is only for their pleasure, something women do for them, hence the phrase “put out”. Sex is supposed to be for the mutual benefit of both partners, not one person using the other. When women feel used and men don’t ever reciprocate, of course they lose interest. I still love my husband because our relationship doesn’t revolve around sex and we can show each other love and affection in many other ways. It is frustrating, but I would never give up our marriage over it.

    1. Hi Mary
      Thanks for your candid note.
      I am in your same position but from the other side – I am a 64 year old healthy, active man.
      My wife of 43 years has no need for sex except very infrequently and then only quick missionary. I have to listen to her telling me I am fat etc.
      I love her but I need sex – I cant survive with masturbation, being with a woman and everything that goes with it is so important to me.
      I am starting to go to prostitutes – is this wrong?

    2. Hello Mary I can imagine how frustrating it it is for you.I am 65 years old and my wife is 64.My wife is on anti-depressants and she says that she has no desire for sex We have been married for 44 years now.I last had sex about 8 years ago My wife is a very beautiful woman and I am absolutely so frustrated and find that looking at porn and mastubating is not ideal anymore, What I need is a woman, but I am afraid to approach another woman for sex for the fear of rejection, I do not want to have sex with a prostitute

  16. I have suffered from severe sexual dysfunctions all my life, since I started having sex as a teen. When I was single I would simply break off a relationship when the sexual problems would start. But after putting off marriage until I was 40 it too became sexless right after the wedding. That was 28 years ago. The marriage is fine except for the sex. We went to a number of therapists but none were able to help. So I disagree when people say leave the marriage as soon as the sex stops. According to my research MOST sexless couple don’t divorce. They learn to accept the situation and carry on with life.

    1. I was married for 24 years. We signed for our first mortgage when she was in ICU with fourth-stage cancer. The last time I had sex was in 1997. Never unfaithful. Though she died quickly sex was never discussed and I can assure you my marriage was a bed of rock. Since abstinence for so long I’m wondering what will happen if a woman takes an interest in a 70-year-old man.

      1. I am 64 and met a 75 widower for 13 years whom exercises, takes a natural supplement to help with blood flow, and takes occasional viagra. We see each other on a daily basis staying busy to supplement our income and find time to make love once per week. Once we get a savings built up, we are going to enjoy life and enjoy ourselves even more.

  17. I think it was William Shakespeare who pondered what an irony it was that desire usually so outlasts ability. My wife and I have been married 20 years. We married late, were both 40, and our sex life was fantastic. Now both in our early 60s, she has lost the desire for sex and has pain issues as well. I have hypertension and medications have affected my ability to get an erection. But I still love my wife dearly and have no desire to cheat on her. I hear a lot of men on here talk of leaving their wives over this. I am sorry but I think that’s just nuts. Look, we have all pretty much aged our of sexual adventurism but our minds refuse to accept it. And it’s understandable, it’s a very hard thing to accept. But it’s not worth destroying something that you took years to build. Be grateful you were able to find someone in life to love and be loved by, many of us take this for granted not realizing how many lonely people there are out there who were never as lucky as we have been. Take stock of all the good things you still have in your relationship that you might not find again. And lastly, don’t discount masturbation as a solution. Technology is at an amazing point for this right now. I am talking about virtual reality and toys for Men like the flesh light, that can at least make the situation bearable. It has worked for me and I highly recommend it as an alternative to just giving up.

    1. Look, I am an RN and living with a man who is 5 years older than me. It’s not always the woman who has no interest. In fact, I recently read that most sexless marriages are due to lack of desire in the men.
      My 20 year marriage imploded because my husband completely lost his testosterone at age 55. It was not measurable in his blood. An endocrinologist told me he had never seen that before.
      I am 64 now and have had some vaginal atrophy, which made penetration hurt, but I take a vaginal pill twice a week. My sex drive is strong but now my boyfriend, who is 5 years older than me, is on hypertension medicine and his testosterone is on the last number of normal. He has no interest. He also has an enlarged prostate and his GP said that testosterone therapy could bring on cancer.
      I love him and am a bad lier, so using masturbation as a release.
      I have had a suspicious breast biopsy. When I have a follow up, with a surgeon next month, even though it is not cancer, I will discuss wether or not I should give up the vaginal hormone. I am beginning to think that we are supposed to get old. Hormonal therapy can give you cancer, stroke. Even too much Viagra can cause things like blindness.
      When a woman looses her ovaries and/or had a hysterectomy the sex drive goes. Why do you think Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt got divorced?? To the men out there, moaning about their wives loosing interest, think about how you would feel after loosing your testicles.

      1. It is not the loss of testicles as much as the loss of the prostate gland. Prostate cancer is the #1 cancer in older men and when the prostate is removed during surgery it makes a man totally impotent – no erection, no ejaculation, no orgasm plus total incontinence which means the post cancer patient needs to wear Depends diapers for the rest of his life.

    2. It’s one thing to have trouble with arousal, or other sexual difficulties. It in no way makes it reasonable or responsible to simply do nothing about it If you’re in a relationship, and you just throw your hands up and say, “Oh, sorry about your luck honey, but we’re just going to carve the physical intimacy out of our relationship, and pretend it doesnt matter, ” then YOU, my friend, are a cruel and selfish asshole.

  18. Here is what the problem is when it comes to SEX. Women fall in love with their husbands have kids and having kids taking care of the kids 99.99% and working full time or taking some class to better your job. When your husband keeps getting fired and he sits on the computer all day and rarely does anything around the house but bitches and complains about this or that and he puts you down and calls you names. When a wife who has to cook, clean, take care of the kids, do the laundry, pick the kids up from school and take a couple of classes she is too tired to perform another task after all that she has done in one day. Yes, he may have more energy then she does because he did nothing all day but insulted her and her lack of sex. When having sex she has to do most of the work especially when it takes him 45 minutes to get hard and all she wants to do is go to sleep because tommorow will come before she knows it or if one of the kids wakes up because they couldn’t sleep or they are sick. Who gets up and takes card of them? Not the husband it’s always the mom. Or when she does get in the mood again 45 minutes to get hard and going and he is done like always within a minute and he rolls over and goes to sleep. Not once does he try to get her off, he just rolls over and goes to sleep. I’ve read where most men think the woman should spice up their sex lives to keep the man from cheating and those kind of men are lazy. Really? After everything a woman does in one day compare to what most lazy men would say. I bet if a man did ever6a woman does in one day he would not bitch about sex he would pass out. If men want more sex the this is what you should do. 1. Help out around the house and stop making your wife do everything. 2. Get a better paying job so she doesn’t have to work her butt off. 3, stop calling her names and no more fights with give you more chances of having sex with her that night. Most woman will get turned off by men putting us down and there is no way we will reward you by having sex with you and if you wait until the next day to be s jerk after having sex with make less likely for you to get I. Between her legs the next time.4, stop watching porn if you know this makes her feel uncomfortable as we all know when men watch porn that will lead into you not being able to get it up for her because you have been watching photoshops porn and all you want is that fake lady so you go out and cheat on your wife then come home and accuse her of cheating and that’s why she is not having sex with you. If men put in as much energy they put in sneaking around spending money on hookers and put all of his energy on his wife by taking 50% of the household chores and helping his wife out with the kids and having him spice up their sex lives you will see more action in the bedroom then before as long as you are sweet and loving towards her you will always get lucky. Men you just need to treat her like you used to treat her before you married her every day and she will keep treating you like she did before you married her. Why waste your money and time on hookerd? And for the love of god stop watching fake porn. Make your own porn and watch that. It’s such an insult to your wife when you guys do that and .makes us ashamed of our bodies especially after having your baby we will never get our bodies back the same way it was before we got pregnant and you watching porn with photoshops were women to look at if they really look like that makes us feel you are body shaming us. Think before you do what you do.

    1. Unfortunately the one thing that was supposed to save civilization was the internet. Porn is the no. 1 use and money making business on the internet. That leaves us with so many perverts running around today inept at forming a real relationship, “fantasy is in” sadly. It is now marketers more to females also, which isn’t improving relationships.

    2. Oh stfu. I do most of the household chores, she doesn’t work outside the home, and hasn’t since we’ve been married i constantly compliment her looks,I have been striving for decades to “woo” her, and sex is now completely off the table, and she won’t even cuddle or kiss. She doesn’t even let me see her naked. We’ve been married for 26 years, she is 51, and she has had maybe 4 years total where she was interested in sex.

      Don’t you dare accuse all men of being selfish and unhelpful. I would be willing to bet the majority of men in our position have gone above and beyond to save our marriages, only to get a SELFISH wife to deny us to the point that we lose all our self esteem.

      I don’t know why your husband would even want to be intimate with you, you sound like a harpy.

  19. I hope the partner didn’t expect to share the celibacy. State your case, either put out or leave me get some on the side, because you don’t care. I can’t do that, divorce right away. Go be the cat lady then.

    1. I am 66 and my wife is 62. After menopause she lost interest in sex because of vaginal atrophy. She consulted with her doctor who recommended hormone treatment and her research on cancer had her rejecting that avenue. She would reluctantly use lubrication when I complained and promised to find a solution. She would still complain of pain. These promises went on for three years and sex dwindled to once a week, once a month then stopped altogether. She even stopped expressing affection such as hand holding, goodbye kisses, etc. Now when I express frustration, she will occasionally make a half hearted attempt, but rejects me at the last moment which has brought forth some lack of confidence for me and resentment towards her. I lived with her for a year after a very contentious divorce from the mother of my children who cheated. My ex was 16 years younger then me. My current wife was 49 and I was 54 when we met and sex was twice a day for over a year, When she proposed to me, I raesoned that she was a good friend and sex was more then satisfactory, so I accepted. I realized after marriage that I married her for the wrong reason, more of a rebound to fill something torn from me so abruptly, the love for my previous family(wife and children). Although she initially helped with my toddlers, she eventually lost interest and helped only occasionally. I did some self searching and recognized that the marriage had been one of convenience and the love wasn’t there for me. I have always been an affectionate person and have given affection but not received in return for at least a year. I understand that some people accept this type of relationship and just crave a good friend and companion for the rest of their life.
      My father and grandfather were active sexually(we discussed) into their late 70’s. I am not willing to live the last 15-20 years of my life without affection, at least.
      She has rejected counseling and even criticizes my masterbation or porn. She actually told me that my friend who went through a similar situation was in need of therapy because his wife caught him watching porn. I know couples who watch it together and I believe my wife and her friend are closed minded and in denial of their contribution, or lack thereof in being that person who can meet the wants and needs of their husbands.
      I realize this rant may seem to be about my needs, but I think I deserve the right to a fulfilling life. She may well become that cat lady a previous poster described. I see a divorce in the near future.

  20. Could I just ask the question? Why, in a relationship, is Sex so bloody important?
    I have (age 60+) gone right off sex. And its been going that way for years. My other half dosent get it and keeps going on and on about it. We have had a fall out now and it is the elephant
    In the room. Is it something we should split over? We dont really argue and enjoy each others company. Should I let him go elsewhere?
    Just feel I want to hide away as I know this is not normal .

      1. Thomas, I agree! My husband had 19 affairs. At 45 years old I met this man
        24 years younger than I. We were together for 14 years. At that time my job became demanding. So I backed off of seeing this person. We still talk, but that’s it. I’m 87 years young and my vibrator is busy. So, Thomas maybe your right they must be doing it wrong.

  21. Ive just seen this ,not sure when posted .ive tried so hard to get wife to have sex .she says menopause.then I gave up.but other we I had a beer and told her how I felt .silly beer a..so she been trying to start sex but my body has closed down to her .im worried ive turned off to her mentally.I do love her but shes noticed im not getting aroused like I used too .and now shes saying I prefer porn, but its how ive got by for so long.its really .mested up.im 53’sorry.

  22. I am also in a sexless relationship, same as others in our 50’s I’m in good shape and she’s overweight, out of shape and depressed. She will not go to any therapy.
    She told me after having foreplay she thinks her vagina is dead because nothing arouses her. She had a hysterectomy years ago do to cancer concerns, about 5 years ago she had a stroke like episode but there where no signs of actual stroke damage and she had started botox/steroid therapy in her spinal column for pain issues so there is suspicion that caused it, but because of a possible stroke they won’t give estrogen.
    She like others doesn’t want intimacy or sex, which I could deal with for the most part but then she makes remarks about me masturbating or watching porn. Now it’s gotten where I can’t get hard when I’m with her, I’m sure it’s mental causes. I understand women loss interest but still love there husbands and don’t want a divorce and most of the time it’s the same for the guy, I just wish women would be open to their husbands having discreet affairs, not prostitutes just flings. Guys need intimacy too as well as sex and we love our spouses too.

    1. Brother, your story sounds exactly like mine. My wife and my sex life was pretty damn good before she developed breast cancer and had a double mastectomy, even though she went through early menopause (in her 40s). After chemo and radiation, they put her on hormone suppression drugs, which reduced her libido a lot. But then she had a full hysterectomy to further reduce her hormone production, and from then on, sex has all but stopped.

      When we DO have intimacy, it usually comprises me masturbating until she finishes me with her mouth (which she still likes to do) and her using one of those power vibrators that sound like a jackhammer to get herself off. Her vagina is dry as a bone and she doesn’t like penetration at all, either from me or her own fingers. Even worse, because I’m larger than average, she can no longer handle my penis even if she wanted to.

      (Note to women reading this thread: though the accepted wisdom is women love big penises, I’ve found in my experience that it’s certainly not universal. Virtually every woman I’ve been with, and there weren’t that many, experienced a lot of discomfort with me penetrating them no matter how gentle and slow I took it, with or without lube, and regardless of how excited they were).

      Besides intercourse itself, she turns me away when I attempt to initiate some sort of intimacy by kissing or stroking, things she used to love in the past. I also went down on her regularly, and now she doesn’t even want me to try. It’s like she’s ashamed of her vagina. It’s maddening!

      Then there’s the masturbation/porn thing. More than once, our perfunctory mutual masturbation sessions were unsuccessful for me because I couldn’t get hard. It’s strictly psychological as I have no problems when alone or watching porn, which she is totally against. So I’m frustrated as hell, but I love her and won’t cheat on her no matter what.

      I’m over 60 and I’m learning to accept this is the way life is going to be for the rest of my life.

      1. My spouse of 40 years has no lnterest ln sex ,he does not touch me exsept when on the couch he puts his leg over mine and hugs me before we go to bed as l have scoliosis and need to sleep ln a diff bed we go to places together and we get along he says lt is his prostate which the Dr confirmed but l feel lf he really wanted to he could he says after an o lt bothers him ,l love him,but feel he ls angry at me for stupid mistakes l made in the past not cheating but as cracked up our car ,l just want to feel loved,he bought me flowers for mother’s day but l bitched as. He spent 100.00 on his mother as he forgot to get her a card why can’t he forgive me ? And feel that what ls what the real problem ls ,should l just exsept this he said lt to uncomfortable to have sex due to his prostate he never touches me l own the house but now he says he wants to put lt ln a trust ,as lf l die he gets lt and visa versa can u help me ,he hates talking about lt but made lt clear lt was not me but his prostate he ls also on. High blood pressure
        Medication also he ls good to me but his hobby ls everything to him he jokes around with me we are like room
        Mates but l want to .feel loved , should l hang lt up and move on ty

  23. In the real world things are very different. I am 64 years old and I have not had sex with my wife for about 7 years, she is 59 years old. She had here ovaries removed due to cancer risk, after sex was painful and pussy all dried up, tried lubes and no luck and still painful when my rock hard penis went in her sweet pussy. She does not like to give blow jobs or hand jobs, so I have to do it myself, jerking off and imagining sex with anyone. Prostitutes are not a good option since all the bad stuff in the sex industry world and I feel that I am too old to move on and I am not a chick magnet. If I was younger, much younger I would have more options. Who knows, maybe something will change as nothing stays the same. Good luck to you all and hope the juices start flowing soon for those that feel deprived.

  24. Hey People, when a woman no longer wants sex with a man, it means she is likely not attracted to him anymore. yeah, in the case of some women, there may be some other things going on w/ the body–who knows. I met a man at work a while back, he was attracted to me, he was in a sexless marriage (so he said). I found him to be the most attractive man I’ve ever met! He was several yrs younger than me, I’ve Never been married & I’ve had a half dozen BFs or so. Only once really in love. Anyway, I was so turned on by this guy (in love too)–that just seeing him or us simply hugging was a major Turn-On. So these women that men here are complaining about, it may just be the attraction towards the man is gone! As far as the guy I liked, nothing ever came of it. I moved on to another job, we did not keep in touch for very long. I think he wanted to stay in his marriage–mainly I think b/c his wife earns well (makes more money than him). Career-wise, she’s doing better than me, so he’s likely out-of-my-league anyway. Too bad, b/c I think I’d be better for him than she could ever be. I’d never treat him as she does! The guy is a magnet! So to the Men out there (here) complaining about their sexless marriages–Move On! Find someone who finds you attractive, become more attractive, get in shape (that’s key). Good luck.

  25. The comments given above is very true. Many marriages have been ruin, husband are sad, desperate, when wives started to isolate themselves. Husband even can not touch her, let alone touch to arouse her. What played in husband mind is that the wife do not care, do not want to have relationship, intimacy etc. What should the husband do.

  26. I never cared about sex when I was 35 or now at 76! Ya over 40 years with out not a problem. The wife was boring and I had to follow so many rules and regulations when it came to sleeping and sex together. Just told her I wasn’t going to follow all her B.S rule and moved out of the bedroom. Slept in basement for a few years until I built my own space that had an apartment and work shop. She has the house and I have my private place seperate from the main house.

  27. My wife of 35 years and I have always had difficulty sexually. I have difficulty ejaculating and often, cannot get erections with her. Together we have seen a number of therapists with not much luck but felt I owed it to her to try and fix things. Unfortunately a couple of years ago I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and under went surgery that shut me don sexually (I couldn’t even masturbate any more) This has killed all hope we had to try and have a sexually normal marriage.

      1. Well -they don’t. I stumbled here because my wife shows or accepts zero affection , caring or appreciation.
        Frankly; it’s time to move on and out . Living alone would reduce frustration of a non-response.
        Like I have a total stranger as a house guest.

      2. Absolutely! Intimacy isn’t about sex, it’s about being close in more ways than sexually. I’m 77 and if I felt my husband was dissatisfied with our sexless, but not loveless, marriage, I’d choose to be single. Our world is obsessed with sex and without understanding the unity of compassion, respect, close bonds after many years of being together. Praying for these husbands.

      1. I just had to click on this to see how times have changed. Well, it’s clearly only getting worse. This kind of “if the man would only be more __” advice saturates the internet and it’s usually written by people with degrees instead of wisdom. In this new gynocentric west, the only answer is to find non-western women or women who were not raised in the west. But whatever you do, never go to “therapists”. The vast majority are trained to be misandrists and far too many are grotesquely unethical.

  28. It took many years and visits to a lot of therapists to find out why I couldn’t perform sexually with my wife during our 30 year marriage. Turns out childhood trauma caused me to have an attachment disorder which in turn caused subconscious intimacy anxiety which would then cause me to suffer from severe sexual dysfunctions which turned out to be unfixable. I appreciate the fact that my wife has stayed with. She knows this is a psychological problem and doesn’t reflect how I feel about her.

    1. This was an enlightening comment and reflects what has been my marriage for 35 years. I had four children from a previous marriage, I had a tubal ligation reversal so we could have a child of our own, By serious good luck, we had one. She is 33. That was pretty much the end of a normal sex life, He had a horrific childhood, beatings, a suicidal mother (she cut her wrists in front of her children), infidelity on both sides. Suddenly it all makes sense. It doesn’t necessarily make it better – but it makes sense.

  29. I am 62 and my husband is 63. I have always loved sex with my hubby, but after menopause, that all changed for the worse. I became so dry that sex was painful, we tried different lubricants but nothing really helped much. This went on for years. It got to the point that he wanted sex badly and was about to lose his mind. I knew I had to do something. I found a wonderful woman gynecologist, and she put me on low dose hormone therapy. It literally changed our lives. I am happy all the time, my hair is twice as thick as it was before, I had urge incontinence, which completely disappeared, it cut my knee joint pain in half, and best of all, I love sex again. My hubby is one happy camper. All he needs is that wonderful little blue pill. I have the sex drive I had when I was 20, and I feel like me again. We use a great lubricant called Astroglide, to help things along, good stuff. I am aware of the risks, and am more than willing to live with them, rather than go back to how I was before. My doctor keeps a close eye on me too. She told me that women need estrogen their whole lives, not just up to menopause. I hope this is helpful to someone.

    1. If us men were all so lucky! My wife is 61 and I’m 57. She cut me off completely about 10 years ago and refuses to even talk about sex when I try to bring it up. So therapy would be out of the question, and she’d never think about going on anything like low dose hormone therapy. I’m to the point where I’d be happy with an occasional peck on the cheek. Some women have no idea of how belittled this makes a man feel, and it’s not just a matter of getting our rocks off since we can do that ourselves. Just had to compliment you on what you are doing for your husband, and I agree that sex makes you feel young again, and believe when you say that your whole body feels like you’re in your 20’s again.

    2. Thank you for recognizing a very very bad situation and trying to remedy. Your husband is a very lucky man. I’m 55 my name is Tom, I haven’t made love to my wife in nearly 9 years due to her having several medical issues. I love her more than anything in this world. I just can’t keep going like this.

  30. I’ve been reading a lot about this and not come across anyone with a solution apart from no proper sex or divorce.
    She says that it’s up to me to deal with it however I choose. I am 60 soon and dread having to try and start again. I am utterly fed up with being in the friend zone or occasionally doing it with what might as well be a sack of potatoes.
    Are there any people at all who have actually solved this any other way apart from no more proper sex or divorce?

  31. I’m 57 and my husband is 56 years old. We are both active and healthy. He shows no interest or emotional desire to engage in sex or affection. We does not seeem to need to hug or cuddle either. We have been Marie’s for 26 years. It’s been a slow process in development, heading to the place we have arrived in our relationship. I have both physical and emotional desires that seem to be building resentment towards him. I’ve communicated my feelings to him many times. He thinks that his low testosterone is the cause of his actions or lack of. I’m not convinced of this because he does not even initiate a kiss.

    I am fairly attractive and I. Food shape. I mention this so that you may not assume I’m ugly or out of shape.
    If I wish to continue my marriage , I guess I should just accept the situation and carry the cross of feeling unsatisfied. He treats me like a food friend and we do get along otherwise.

    1. Hi Addie,

      Thank you for sharing! I’ve lived through a sexless marriage myself. 7 years no sex!!! No intimacy!!! Married 10 years!!!! I feel so much pain amd resentment!!! Awful!!! I am going to be 42 years old!! I want to get divorced and he refuses to accept that our marriage just simply was never a Marriage. Behind heart broken!!! I just want to rebuild my life again, move on, be kissed and touched! Loved and desired! I do not wish this upon anyone!!! I am so angry at him too!!! I didn’t have children hoping and wishing things would change!!! Feel like I wasted my life!!!

      1. Thank you for sharing! I’m 54 and my husband and I enjoy each other’s company but he does not want to engage in physical affection or intimacy. I have tried to have a heartfelt conversation but he is not willing to talk about it. We started dating in high school and never separated. We went to separate colleges and this was before cell phones and computers. We’ve been married for 27 years and have 3 adult children. So I know him well, this is extremely painful and heartbreaking. Holding on and hoping we can work it out, for now I’m giving him space.

      1. Is the meds freak I’m a woman that actually wants it my newlywed husband has no interest but I can tell he feels bad but he’s ex military so he’s to prideful to get pills I’m 41 i been told a lot that I’m beautiful .. ok not going there but I know I’m a catch but even making him food in a nighty doesn’t work he says wow babe thanks am like …‍♀️

    2. Addie
      I wish we were closer because I would love to meet you. I am a little older but want intimacy so bad. It has been years since my wife and I have had sex. I have often thought about having an affair but I just don’t know how to approach going that direction.

  32. It is so sad listening to mostly men talk about their wives not wanting sex. I didn’t either with my late husband Too much cheating etc. I am now dating a man in his 60s, I also am in my 60s and he can’t get erection so he shut down any sexual contact and I am dieing for a sexual relationship. We love each other but no sexual contact leads to a very frustrating relationship. I look good for my age and am so tempted to look for another relationship. I spent 36 years with a man who I was never good enough for and now in a relationship with a man who loves me and is so kind. But no sex. Don’t know what todo he won’t talk about his
    Problem or seek medical help

    1. Sadly so, leave! That’s not going to make you happy in the long run!!! If he’s not willing to seek medical help and take pills to be able to have sex, the frustration amd resentment will be so much. Not fun! Take care of your body and mind! Better have the most compatibly with someone ans have a happy fulfilling relationship. Best of luck to you!

    2. First, do not deny your needs any more than you would deny yourself your favorite food, movie, book or music. Most of my female friends in their sixties are married to men who just stopped having sex, wanting sex, initiating sex or any kind of intimacy. To me, that is emotional abuse. Many men and most women are connected through sexual intimacy. When I say intimacy, I do not mean just intercourse. Sexual intimacy is kissing, hugging, touching, petting, laying baked, masturbating one another, oral sex and that look of intensity that tells you that you are desired.

      As we age, women and men need to feel desired and appealing to our partners. I have read here about mostly women who do not desire sex, but let me tell you, men not wanting or giving their female partners sex is an unmentionable crisis in our homes. No one wants to talk about it. Males are not embarrassed about describing a frigid or non sexual wife, but they will never mention their own lack of desire and often get angry if their partner inquires as to why? Women won’t mention it because the rejection we feel each time he puts us off, says no or does not respond to our sexual advances chips away at our self confidence and our souls as being sexually vibrant women even in our late sixties.

      Even books on men not wanting sex place the responsibility on the woman. I don’t care what age this happens to a man, somehow the blame goes to the woman for not looking her best,gaining weight, busy with the kids, not willing to give oral sex and the list goes on and on.

      How about this? Whether male or female, each of us made a promise to love and honor our partners either through marriage or by living together. Even when a man has had prostate cancer, as my husband has, that does not mean he gets a free pass to close up shop and put his wife on the shelf the rest of her life. Same for women who refuse to engage in sex with their partners. You have made a commitment to one another to do more than go through the daily grind or process of pretending to have a mutual satisfying relationship when in fact, you are simply roommates!

      We all deserve to be held, to be touched, to be told and shown we are desired and needed for far more than cleaning a house, fixing a meal or providing a paycheck. I always thought by the time I retired, I would have both the time and energy to truly connect sexually with my spouse without worrying about kids interrupting, getting up early for work or that sex had to be scheduled. We could be spontaneous. I was looking forward to my sexual freedom and massive quantities of sex and orgasms.

      When we have been lucky enough to have experienced phenomenal sex with our partners and that has been cut off, that does not mean we stop wanting or needing sex and intimacy. It is more than frustrating it is emotionally and physically painful.

      Now after almost 50 years of marriage, I get two aging people going through the motions of life with a hug and a quick peck on the lips because to desire more means I am stressing him out or asking too much. I say bullshit to every man and women experiencing no sex in a relationship if they want it with their partner. It is time to say, “I am horny as hell, and I am tired of pretending I am not because I am over 50!”

      If your penis does not work, attempt to fix it. If your vagina is dry, find out why. Fix it. In the meantime,, get naked and take care of your partner’s needs because as you can see on this strand, there are plenty of people out there who will!

      Prostate cancer or vaginal dryness does not preclude you from meeting the sexual needs of your partner out of laziness and a lack of giving a shit. Our mouths and fingers still work! I remember when certain words did the trick. The idea that anyone has to resort to porn, masturbating or ignoring their own healthy needs and desires to actually connect skin to skin with their partner while exchanging looks and words of passion and enjoying, it is wrong. There is no excuse for boxing your partner in such a guilt ridden morally compromising prison.

      For many of us who have exhausted talking to our partners, asking to have their normal needs met, to be loved and shown love and to be valued and desired but have been met with silence, stares, okay, not interested, I am not in the mood or sleeping in separate rooms, your partner has betrayed your trust and your marriage with emotional and sexual blackmail. They have cheated on us with themselves and their selfishness!

      That partner who ignores your tears and tender pleas do not seem to mind your needs going unmet. Where is their allegiance to you? And somehow we have convinced ourselves sex has become less important to us as we age and replaced by the comfort of just knowing we love one another? No way!

      That partner has truly not kept theur vow, but have managed to put us in a moral quandary. Do we cheat and risk hurting our wives and husband’s? Do we risk our grown children finding out and not understanding? Well, our partners don’t seem to care they are hurting us.

      As the years tick away, I am reminded of going to sleep in one another’s arms, morning sex, spontaneous make out sessions and feeling desired. That never goes away for most women or men. We have been convinced to settle and accept less. Many of us could not conceive of divorcing because we have spent a lifetime waiting around to be shown once again that we are desired by the one person we have shared our lives with and still very much love.
      So we settle. Our finances are so intermingled that to divorce means we cut our incomes in half facing either no sex or no home or food. And the source of so many sleepless nights is that person who promised to love and honor us until death dobus part and who still possess a mouth and fingers and the ability to do just that. Honor us with attention and physical contact.

      So, let’s be clear. Quit excusing inexcusable behaviors by your partners. State your case to your partners. Be explicit about your needs and expectations. Let them know how their refusal to engage with you sexually has affected you emotionally, physically, mentally and pyschologically. Then ask them what they are willing to do about it once and for all. Get your answer. Then tell them what your plans are or not, but do not put your sexual and intimacy needs on hold the rest of your life because it is the sign you love someone. That partner depriving you of that intimacy does not give a damn what you do just as long as you do not bother them about it or it interferes with their favorite TV show! If they did, they would be taking care of business!

      By the way, I love, desire, and adore my husband, but I recognize I will never have my needs met after almost 50 years. I also recognize he has no intentions of changing. It works for him. He is selfish, lazy and quite frankly a self absorbed narcissist. I can live with that, but I can not live with never being touched or made love to ever again.

      1. I thank you for stating in so frank a manner every frustration that has engulfed me for over 40 years. At 73, my 69 year old wife fits the descriptions you have provided to a T. Just replace you, the wife, with me, the husband. I so desired to be held, touched, kissed deeply and often, all the things that love should be about, but it wasn’t to be. All through this past Covid year, only one time did she come forward an say “I need a hug”. i rejected it, because I have become detached, unhappy and frustrated. I was not going to reward her or fall into another hug with nothing more than a few seconds of holding, and then a push off. Now the difficult part. I have rekindled a relationship that ended over fifty years ago with a woman I dated right before I met my wife. She wasn’t as attractive or as fine a dresser, and my adolescent mind didn’t see her as the “choice” for my good looks. I was too vain and just average. But this woman kept me in her heart and mind for fifty years. I was her first love. We weren’t intimate back then, and a quirk of fate brought us together recently. Needless to say, both of us are feeling a renewed awareness of who we were and now are. I think I’m in love and there’s no turning back. I want to separate from my wife of 49 years. We have no children. Figures, right? I’ve slept in my own bedroom for 43 of those years. I caught her in a “flirtation” as she calls it, with her boss. She never apologized. I’ve been humiliated, rejected and told you can have love without sex, because, after all, cripples can’t have sex but they still have love. I rest my case.

      2. Neither partner should have to feel obligated to satisfy the other out of some outmoded quasi religious relief or instruction, my wife is wonderful in many ways but now has reached, she believes, a stage[67] where she has no desire, except release masturbation , thats my misfortune but I try to understand

  33. Thanks for pointing out that marriage therapy can also help with problems about having a sexless marriage. I’ve been thinking about wanting a second child seven years after I gave birth to our first one. Maybe I should start trying to ease my husband into this conversation because we have been having sex rarer and rarer these past few years.

  34. I’m 15 years younger than my husband. The females in my family have unusually strong sex drives. My husband and I both have gained weight. But his belly sticks out a lot and makes it extremely difficult to get in because of 3 things. I am dry (we tried lubricant) and he’s small (always been, but seems more so in his 60s) and he doesnt get or stay very hard at all. Do they shrink with age? I used to ride, but geez that gets old and is still a problem because of the size and lack of hardness. And I love doggie! Which now seems gone forever. We have tried many times and many ways to lose weight, but his belly doesn’t change much and he’s passed his growing stage of life. I love him as much as the air I breathe, but I just wish he would realize I’m suffering and offer that it’s ok for me to have some on the side. I wouldn’t even care if he watched or joined. I get tired of waking up because I realize I’m having an erotic dream and humping the bed. Thats a humiliating feeling. Although he acts like he doesn’t notice and maybe he don’t. It’s super annoying if he touches my breasts because I get aroused and then we just can’t get it going and then so much unanswered frustration comes. I’m in my 50s and after years without feeling that hardness inside me anymore, I often find myself thinking about the next 30 years without. And yeah I can pleasure myself, but that will never be like the real thing. I feel like it’s just my life now. I try to get used to it. But after years without, I can’t help but fantasize about past experiences, which makes me feel SO guilty. He got the pill from the dr, but with his weight and age, I was just too scared for him to try it. All I could think of was him dying because I had to have sex. I went elsewhere a few years back. Although i had told him beforehand that if it didn’t change I would get it on the side. But it nearly tore us apart. The more I got, the more I wanted. I cannot hurt him. He is absolutely wonderful father and husband. I love him more than the day we were married many many years ago. I’d rather die than lose him. He’s my best friend, the love of my life, an amazing Dad, my confidant and my everything. Except that one little thing…. So, I know my only option is accept this is my life from here on

  35. Foreplay doesn’t start in the bedroom, foreplay is EVERY day regardless if sex is on the table or not. Foreplay isnt just in the bedroom before sex. Affection (hold hands, rub shoulders, tap butt, arm around shoulder, hugs, kisses, winks, that special look, etc), compliments, please, thank you, inside jokes, cheerleader, cleaning, cooking, repairs, child rearing, activities together, exercise together, etc… will go a long way to leading to sex again. People get lazy and just expect sex to happen because they’re married. People need to be kept warmed up all the time before things can get hot again, they need to feel wanted, appreciated and valued before they actually want sex and are in the mood for sex. Marriage is hard work, but worth every moment when the effort is reciprocated. Start by losing the weight, shaving the body, washing daily, put some effort into you’re own self and for Christ’s sake, clean up after yourself.

    1. You are absolutely right, foreplay is an ongoing and wonderful thing, but for most women, after menopause, and the estrogen dries up, sex becomes too painful because of the dryness. I feel very blessed, because my gynecologist put me on low dose hormone therapy. It literally saved my marriage and maybe my life.

      1. Yeah. Hormones. Got thru menopause with that help. Then, I got a highly aggressive, estrogen- fired breast cancer. Four years of treatment, a fried heart valve replacement due to radiation…. I am not the same, never will be. I only basically feel good enough to have pretty good days. If I push thru to be happy and have energy, he expects me to be like I was 20 years ago. I’m 65 and just want a happy, peaceful existence and I cope with EVERYTHING 100% , except sex. I love him and want to please him even if I feel nothing or just help him reach release. The thing that’s in the way the most for me ISN’T all the atrophy, the breast surgery, the continuing oral chemo therapy, the fatigue that I have…. IT’S HIS POUTING and “defeatist” attitude! If I’m doing the very best I can and feeling pretty good about things, IT’S NEVER ENOUGH. I don’t clean enough, cook enough, keep on top of appointments, follow his assignments “since you’re retired now, you can do” and I get assignments. If I go with my friend (who is also not 100% and we have the same pace, easy and slow) he ridicules me that I have energy to shop, walk her dog or just sit and chat over some tea…. I get “you have energy for everyone but me.” I have 2 nephews, age 6 & 7, from my brother 13 years younger than me. If I spend time or money on them, I get ridiculed. I see my friend for an outing about 2X/month. My nephews, 1x/month on average, so I don’t over do with outside the marriage things at all nor overspend, AT ALL. If he would quit his demands, realize I’m not who I was, be cheerful and easy, love life and just lighten up, I’d make sure he is sexually satisfied WAY MORE OFTEN. I just CANNOT do things he EXPECTS from me because of how that makes me feel, ESPECIALLY when it comes to intimacy. I am NEVER ENOUGH so why even bother? Then, let the pouting begin.

  36. I am 60, and my husband is 65. We have been married 38 years, and we love each other very much. Our marriage became almost sexless in 2006 when our 17 year old son was killed in an accident. You both shatter into a million pieces, and when you emerge from the depths of pain for air, you find that though you are still in love with each other, nothing will ever be the same again. We had enjoyed a lovely sex life, with the usual speed bumps (kids, work,etc) but we never stopped. The night my son died was when my loss of interest began, in fact it vanished, period. We have had a lot of therapy through the years, but even after all this time I feel sexually numbed, completely disinterested and unable to respond.i still feel the need to be held by him and I love him so much, I felt so guilty. With a lot of talk and communication, we have made peace with our sex life. We still find a way a couple of times a month, but it took my husband a long time to not feel he was at fault. All I can say that my sexual desire was immediately and irreversibly shut off like a light switch. As for porn, I don’t mind it at all when he watches it (though he thinks I never see him), after all, we are all human and have drives and needs.
    But wasn’t it lovely when we were young and lithe and our bodies would do anything we asked of them? Best to all.

  37. I have suffered from sexual dysfunction ever since I started having sex at 15 back in the mid 1970’s. My functioning would be fine when engaging in sex with a woman for the first time, paid sex, and one night stands. However, whenever a relationship began getting serious my body would suddenly shut down- no erection, no ejaculation, no desire. When I was single it didn’t bother me I just figured I was easily bored sexually. It wasn’t until I got married at age 40 that I realized that my problem probably wasn’t sexual boredom but something else. Our marriage was sexless because I couldn’t perform so we started seeing various kinds of Therapists but after 5 years we had no luck. That was 20 years ago. I appreciate the fact my wife has accepted our sexless marriage but I wish I knew what was causing these awful dysfunctions that make sex impossible,

  38. Oh my the first paragraph is me and my wife all over just had silver anniversary it’s been sexless since I was about 35 I’m 52 now she no longer initiates intimacy won’t kiss or cuddle hates being touched no toutching or anything of that disgusting behaviour treats sex as dirty and says I’m old enough to know better gave similar resolution said find someone else but canot as I’d be cheating I love her but this is not living promised change every year on Holliday well do it when we get away never happens maybee I am selfish for wanting intimacy with her but won’t talk about it were just stuck in a rut it’s a cave and were going nowhere I’m still fit keep trim and look young I have a young outlook whitch she hates but hey ho good luck all I feel less frustrated reading some of these comments xx

  39. My husband who is 80 is 15 years older then me and has health problems so on a lot of meds our sex life finished 4 year ago going down hill gradually I get very upset as there seems to be no affection between us at all he seems quite happy living like this I love him dearly so would never leave him but it’s hard for me every day

    1. Oh bullshit, a womans answer to wife problems is communicate how you feel to her. Wtf do you think he has been doing. He already said she feels bad for him so she is aware of the problem. I have the same problem and there isn’t a answer. So I cheat. If you think I’m going to live the rest of my life without sex your absolutely out of your mind. I love it communicate, tell her how you feel. Just shows how woman don’t know anything about other women. They think they do

      1. Men expect women to get hormone therapy to fix the hormone problem. Those hormones can cause cancer. Cancer is pretty much a death sentence. So, basically you’re saying, “My needs outweigh your life.” “I don’t care if you die, so long as I get 3 minutes of pleasure.”

  40. I am 55, my husband is 59. We haven’t had sex in months. We have not slept in the same room for years because of his snoring. I suppose that his stomach, which is huge, the fact that he can’t really get hard, and the fact that sex takes forever are some of the reasons why I no longer want to have sex. He retired a decade ago against my wishes. He sits around the house and watches tv all day long. He expects lunch and dinner to be made for him every day, He drinks beer by the gallon and he gives nothing to this marriage. He tries to manipulate me about everything and after 30 years of marriage I am over it. We had a normal sex life up till last year 3/4 times a week, but at Christmas, during the middle of the day, where our 2 daughters could have walked downstairs and seen him, I happened to come around the corner near his office to see him standing there watching porn and masturbating, after we just had sex that morning. He didn’t see me and since that day, my attitude towards him has changed. I could care less what he says or does. I would divorce him but what’s the point. Too much trouble.

    1. I’m guessing because you are complaining that your 59 year old husband is fat, lazy, snores and is demanding is the reason you don’t have sex anymore? Are you a fit 55 year old woman with a high sex drive? Just aren’t attracted to him anymore? I’m in the same situation with my overweight, lazy, 48 year old wife. It’s been over three months since we’ve had sex. We’ve been married 27 years, sex
      Is like 5 times a year.! I didn’t sign up for this garbage!

      1. I agree 100%. I have been married for almost 30 years and except for 3 wonderful children our sex life has been hit and miss. My wife weight has ballooned once the kids were born (25 years ago) And she has never wanted to lose it but just accept it. Once menopause hit her desire for sex evaporated. She said that I can take care of myself in the shower and that is just fine with her. I can’t believe I will be in this misery for the remainder of my life and I am only 55. Hopefully I will die and be out of this misery

      1. I think it is true that having sex with your partner is part and parcel of the love you feel for each other… otherwise it just seems to fade. I’ve tried to convey this, but without success. I don’t know what to do!

  41. Lack of interest does not equate to lack of love. Back issues and menopause have completely removed my interest in sex. My other half sees it as rejection and makes angry threats. Why is a man’s focus so connected to his ability to use a woman’s body to empty the contents of his balls? How about just being happy with love and affection? What about the emotional security of being held while you sleep? What about the years of devotion? How about finding self-worth in volunteering at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen? How can a person be so shallow that they base their lifelong relationship on whether or not their wife can help them empty their balls? I’m throwing my partner out the door due to his rants and anger over lack of sex. He doesb’t accept the limitations of my back injury. Too bad; I truly live him but I don’t need the stress.

    1. Are you serious? I’d be interested to find out your age. Men are very simple to please. Food, sleep, sex. A woman figures that out, she’ll be HAPPILY married! Most don’t ever have this figured out. Sex is a HUGE part of a marriage, are you kidding me? I say I know exactly what you’re taking about because my wife has had four back surgeries and we have sex RARELY! Right now I’m going on over three months since she’s wanted sex. It’s ridiculous. Woman think if they don’t want a penis inside them that that’s it, no sex. I haven’t had a BJ for about 20’years, my wife won’t even touch my penis so a HJ is out of the question too. Lame! I never signed up to be married and not getting sex.

      1. Hello Hawkeye
        Sorry about no sex demise. But many times women holds back based on how they are treated. It is more like a revenge. So maybe try treating he how you did when first met. goodluck!

  42. I read these comments and feel for all of you, especially the men who I share with of which I have similar experiences.
    My wife and me have been married 9 1/2 years and entered a phas of no sex about 6 months ago.
    When we first met, we had sex 2X a day morning and night. Around year 3 it was 1x week and that lasted another 5 when it became about 1x a week. She would use the excuse of my children may interrupt, although I would point out we have a lock on the door. We have never had oral sex, partly because she informed me she had contracted fenital herpes from a prior relationship, but was under control. I was disgusted with the thought of my tongue in that region. She reached about 58 and went through late menopause which brought on vaginal dryness, solved with a doctor recommended lubricant.
    Soon thereafter, she lost interest altogether and would reject me, citing we would schedule a weekend session which never occurred. I asked her to consult with her doctor about her sex desire and they may prescibe hormone therapy. She is a vegetarian and a purist in many ways, rejecting hormone therapy because of the published risks of breast cancer associated with hormone therapy, though small, my doctor stated. Each year for three years, she assured me she would seek help from a wholistic doctor, which never happened. She even went from sleeping naked in bed to full pajamas and on the rare occsion she would have sex to me, remove only her panties like a robot. I have a high libido and masterbate frequently, which I know she is aware of. The last time we had sex with lubrication, she complained of pain and suggested that beyond a few minutes, she was not interested. I told her that men my age generally took longer to orgasm and for sex to be mutually enjoyable, we both needed to have pleasure. Moving forward, the endless rejection led me to stop trying to initiate sex, because the repeated rejections is having an effect on my confidence and self esteem. I have noticed in the last two months that most forms of affection have dissapeared. She has become a roommate and a friend, but not a wife that gives me the joy and love we used to have. She is against the idea of therapy.
    As a socialite in many women sponsored events, I believe her marriage status is important in her social circle than her marriage itself. The children I mention are my children from a prior marriage and I do 100% of everything for them without any help from her. I have joint custody with my ex. I am at my wits end. I am retired on social security, having spent my entire returment funds on an expensive divorce and a protracted hospital stay and heart and brain surgeries. I have a consulting business in devlopment now, because Social Security isn’t enough to save money. She has her own retail business, which cash flows, but has hasn’t turned a profit in the last 5 years. Our finances have never been merged and the only money between us has been my initial investment in her business. She is somewhat stressed by the reduction in lifestyle we have been reduced to, after years of six figure income for both of us. I am planning a divorce, as I won’t live out the remaining 20-30 years of my life without love and affection.

    1. Hello David,
      Sounds like case of no money no honey. Maybe when she met you she saw a very rich lifestyle that has not panned out. Sounds like you were already successful and that attracted her to you. But now living with you is not what she thought it would be and she closes shop on you. Sounds like you should try therapy.

      1. I was disabled when she met me, so I’m it can’t be because of money. I completely recovered and had to start my own business to share in the household expenses. I own real estate property with my sister which provides some income. I retired early to get Medicare and redusece medical expenses. Our house is free and clear which is due to my earning a lot over 30 years and being conservative with money. She put in over $300K on our $1M house and I told her we may need to sell it when my youngest graduates high school. She isn’t enthusiastic about that idea. She has owned her own retail furniture store for 10 years and has expressed her desire to sell and get a job until retirement. My career came to a halt after my illness, due to a stigma related to my heart problems and brain surgery. Also, I have experienced ageism in the job market. I am now trying to get into health club manament and the barriers for that seem less difficult. My avocation has been fitness for over 50 years and I love the field. I can’t make the same wages I did before my illness, but added to my retirement money, it can get close.
        I will probably need to work into my 70’s or as long as I am able. The health setback added to a divorce and two children to support has made life difficult.
        Feeling loved and getting affection, including sex is important to me. I could do as well financially as a single person and there are women who would be happy with what I can provide, both financially and intimately. I want to have a joyful life not just be comfortably numb.

    2. This whole situation sucks for all of us. I actually envy those that are single. What is the point of being married if there is no intimacy? We are just roommates. I need love that bad to hang on to a partner that never wants sex? There are many exceptions, but if you don’t want me let me go elsewhere. I have spoken to my wife several times. Some nice and some angry! Each time she claims to like having sex, but is just tired! She NEVER asks but will tell me I can have it whenever I want. Recently she will get naked and say I just want you to cum. Not sure what feels worse, not getting any or getting it with her just laying there. I work full time, do personal training after that, and run a business. I pay 90% of the bills, cook most of the meals, and clean (wash my own cloths). She won’t do therapy and I don’t want sex because someone forces her to. I’m leaving when I can stash away the cash. I have spent most of my life not being spoiled by anyone. I spoil her all the time. As a kid I grew up without Christmas or birthdays. I refuse to live out my life not feeling special.

  43. After 8.5 years in my sexless marriage, I almost found the phrase “You’ve both gone so long without sex together” funny, though it is far from that. A year or two is nothing. I don’t mean to downgrade the pain someone feels with this, but there are levels to everything. Fundamentally, it comes down to 3 choices: leave, cheat, or suffer. If you love the person you will probably end up in the “suffer” category, unfortunately. My wife and I have been in couples therapy now for about 3 years, and while it has helped our relationship a lot, nothing going on sexually. This seems to be the one thing that cannot change (no medical conditions preventing sex). Since husbands are usually thought to be the problem regardless of whether the wife or the husband doesn’t want sex, I should say that I do my fair share (50%+) of house chores, am emotionally supportive of her, and a nice guy, but that is irrelevant. I have asked her why she makes dinner for us even though she hates doing it, and she says it’s because she loves me. (For the record, I would cook, but I’m terrible at it). Hmmm. She does something she HATES because she loves me, but can’t do something she supposedly ENJOYS for 8.5 years. Hmmm. I appear to have some value to her as a friend, roommate, handyman, gardner, earner, companion, but not in any intimate way. Is it so horrible for me to want to passionately kiss her if it doesn’t even lead to sex? Is it so horrible if I want to snuggle with her? We have talked and talked with and without therapist, but it’s just talk. Initially, it probably was mostly about the sex. Now, I just want to be wanted by her. Knowing I will never be wanted again in that way by her or any woman corrodes my spirit a little more each day. I have given up trying since the rejections and sometimes total indifference is devastating. There has to be more than just telling people they should talk about it.

    1. Husbands (and I was one) are men who figured out too late that they are being played for fools. We were easy pickings since that biological clock was ticking louder and she still hadn’t landed Chad. As long as we had a steady job and didn’t look like Shrek, she’d settle for us. A little flirting, some sex, and she’d start pushing for a ring. Before the ink was dry on the marriage license, she’d already decided she was done being nice. You’d do things her way, when she wanted it, or else it’s divorce rape in the courts. If you didn’t leave before the first kid arrived, you were in for a life sentence.

      Stay single, young men, Marriage is not for you.

    2. I understand completely!!!! Super heart broken!!! It’s incredibly painful!!!! I do not understand why they got married in the first place!!! I want to divorce my husband!!! Feel like I have him a lifetime!!! No sex 7 years!!! I’ve moved on!!! Even if he can’t accept the divorce is coming!!! Very sad!!!

    3. Would you expect your wife to attach as much emotional significance to cooking dinner as to making love? For many of us, male and female, the virtue of sex resides in the shared experience. It’s “dinner” cooked and eaten together, with enjoyment on both sides. Post-menopausal sex, for many women, is a meal offering little flavour or nutrition. To some it may even taste nasty.

      Denied the enjoyment, should they be expected to put the same effort into the preparation? Should they chew the food and pretend it tastes wonderful? Should they swallow it just to make you feel good? It might be seen as an act of charity on the woman’s part, but is it really a healthy recipe for life?

      It is equally open to the man to be charitable by eating alone. The man – in solitary pleasure – can flavour his immediate physical sensation with the remembrance of shared pleasures, whereas the woman – in giving but taking no pleasure in sex – finds her memories of shared pleasure to be sullied. This can be emotionally wounding for her, and the man too if he has empathy.

      I chose the platter for one. My wife and I now both sleep with settled stomachs (and I don’t wake hungry in the night).

      Resentment is destructive.

      1. Thank you, Harry. I am a 58 year old woman. Loved sex–I mean with exuberance and joy. Then menopause dried it out and the muscles resist and joints spasm, so its painful. Never thought it would happen to me, but it has, plus some other medical problems that leave me exhausted. Trying to feel sexual and struggle through it and “pretend” is so hard, and brings me only sadness that I have to pretend after years of being honest. It is indeed like forcing down a tasteless meal for someone else’s sake. I am fine with him pleasuring himself and even using porn is fine. I like cuddling. He is a kind man and I love him. But he keeps wanting to “try” and “work on it” and cant seem to accept that I’m changing as I grow old. He’s changing too–isnt capable of long walks or hikes anymore, which is still something I love to do. So as partners age, sometimes we have to stop asking for what is too painful for them to give. That is love.

  44. Keep it as quick as I can at 41 I had neck surgery, nothing below waist working very well, had penis pump install, went from 6 to 3 (maybe) tip flops around can’t penetrate vagina….she at time started Menopause and wasn’t really interested anyway

    I Got tired of rejection and told her when she wanted to come find me she felt sorry for me and we tried sex toys and one was to big, hurt her but she tried but I could tell.

    10 years of this and going on5 years since last try, don’t sleep in same be, snoring medical issues up down. So now a hug one a day (maybe) and pecks on lips when leaving house.

    I miss the sex, but I miss even more holding her in my arms snuggling with her just touching her maybe copping a feel she sexy. I miss the simple things

    But she works in a male-dominated field and loves to flirt this drives me bat shit crazy as I know I will never be there with her again.

    Only 50 at wits end, I don’t want to start over, but I don’t want to go another 10 years like this either

    I can’t talk to her about it be cause she has tried it didn’t work, but no physical contact and her liking other guys attention just makes it unbearable

  45. Between the undesirable side effects of the meds I take for depression and the unfortunate consequences of menopause, my sex drive is just dead, and I neither care nor have any desire whatsoever to revive it. I do, however, feel like absolute shit about the negative impact on my husband who is six years younger than me and who has always had a high (higher than mine, anyway) sex drive. Quite frankly, I feel like he has been and is being cheated. So, here’s what I did—

    1. I offered my husband a quick and easy as possible divorce. He (so far) said no.

    2. I told him if he didn’t want a divorce, he should feel free to find date outside the marriage, and if anything serious developed, we would revisit the divorce option. He (so far) said no.

    3. I told him we could stay married/faithful to each other without any type of sex/sexual contact. Ever again. He said he’d think about this.

    We’re currently stuck at #3, but I have a feeling #1 is gaining ground and will ultimately prevail. And I’m okay with that.

    Best of luck….

    1. Dear PRK,

      This sounds exactly like my situation although I am the husband. My wife has offered to let me move on, the problem is I love her and everything else about our relationship. I understand all the reasons she doesn’t want sex except one, if she actually loves me wouldn’t there be some effort? I’ve been accepting of her feelings and expectations. We have done counseling and it always comes back to my issues which I work on but have never seen any change from her. I feel I am supportive, helpful, etc but know I’m not perfect. My guess is she’s been trying to rid herself of me for many years but wants me to be the one to leave so she can save face with friends and family. I really just want to be wanted the way I want her, sexually or not, to just be valued as a committed, loving husband.

  46. I am a 64 year old woman who has lost all interest in sex. My 76 year old husband has not. When we were young, we had sex every single day. The frequency began to dwindle a few years back and now has been more than a year since we have had sex. My problem is my husband is still very much interested. He masterbates quite often and I have come home to find him watching porn on the couch and masterbating.

    Now, for the past several months, we go to bed together and after I have fallen asleep, he starts masterbating and the shaking of the bed awakens me. When this happens I can not go back to sleep so my sleep is totally disrupted to the point of causing me to be unable to go about my day normally. I work part time at a day care and I find that when I haven’t gotten sleep the night before, my patience with the kids is really tested.

    I don’t want to sleep in separate rooms or even separate beds. Am I doomed?

  47. Been there, done that. Tried all the hormones, the therapy, the talks, and yes, even the threats of stepping out if things don’t improve.

    Let’s face it, as women age, many lose sex drive, along with experiencing a good number of other sexual problems. When it gone, it’s gone. She may give in from time to time to satisfy her man, but the drive is gone. What men want is for her to have some of that drive back. Men don’t want to force their wives into sex, nor do they want to beg for it.

    We might as well bring up the time tested alternative. Someone on the side. Only you can decide if this is right for you. But we are kidding ourselves if we somehow justify a woman’s position requiring fidelity in a sexless marriage. That’s abusive and hurtful too.

    1. Reading some of the commentary I can identify with the concerns.I fantasize frequently about past relationships and what might have been but I only become sadder. At 78 and after 47 years of marriage I kind of resigned myself to a sexless marriage.My rabbi was married over 55 years and said he had 4 good years sohe was not complaining.He also said over 90 percent of members of the congregation were miserable in their marriages.I guess he and I

    2. Hello Dave,
      Both men and women lose sex drives some times, but with proper nutrition and exercise etc it can be reclaimed. But the giving up on relationship and each other is what happens. If 2 people really love love,then they will find ways to please each other. If there is resentments in the home then it will not happen.

  48. Dear Joan,
    I am partly replying and partly commenting on the many very earnest and difficult sexless relationships discussed here.
    There is one category which never seems to be covered in these kind of forums, that is where one partner is both medically unadvisable to have sex. Add to that some other longstanding unresolved low sex drive and relationship problems caused by their mate (me) in the past, and strict un_affectionate anti_sex parents in her upbringing.

    We are 64 and 66 age, with my wife having a mitral valve replaced 30 years ago from childhood rheumatic fever and poor medical care, after our son was 6 years old. After my heart surgery 2 years ago for the same valve, we found the same surgeon who repaired it robotically and I was able to care for her pneumonia 2 weeks later and a year later heart failure, improved by a TAVR Aortic valve replacement last spring.

    I was active outside a few times with permission, after 7 years of zero sex, and was not having problems engaging in it, but that had to stop when I tried to help a person I was seeing was caught. Even before this, she told me she does not want to nor have any desire for sex or intimacy with me or anyone. Furthermore the AFIB and some remaining heart failure issues make sex not safe to engage in, even if counseling could resolve our relationship issues from the past.

    I still plan/need to continue working in a high tech job many hours a week, with excellent insurance, which is fortunate, and there is no way she can drive or work for several decades now. Put simply, she needs me as a caregiver and husband, as our son and 5 grand kids moved away for church school 2 years ago. We are happy for the days she has some energy and good enough oxygen levels.

    I am very sexually frustrated and a different Danish upbringing with a healthy attitude. contrasts what my Wife and her 7 siblings and and an unstable Mother made her as the oldest have us take in 2 of her brothers early in our marriage. This put stress on things as did a lack of acceptance from my mother, to my Wife, until she died at 97.

    So in summary, WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS IN THIS KIND OF SITUATION? For the months it was possible, I felt like a real man again, and much stronger at home and work. Now it is back to looking at every other couple as maybe having something unattainable for me and my Wife.

  49. Married 36 years, neither of us had sex with anyone including each other until our wedding night: It was tough, but my choice. We had a fantastic time learning each other and how to do it together! I think because I really enjoyed masturbating from my semenarche to marriage, I brought in a healthy way of looking at sex. My wife says she’s convinced that my strong sex drive saved our marriage that got us through our in-laws, the deaths of 2 of our children, accidents, emergencies, seriou surgeries, any one of which could have destroyed us. But, here we are with 13 grandchildren from the strong marriages of our 9 surviving children.

    My point is, most of the sexless marriage problems are from the man not ruling. I ruled our marriage & family and still do. During our engagement I made it crystal clear that my sex drive was high & she was the perfect woman to relieve it. Sure she was sore & tired particularly in the beginning, but she didn’t make it a habit to say no because she knew my hand was nothing like her body that I craved.

    The man must rule by demanding to get what he wants. When he gets it, his wife & children are covered in security & abundance. And everyone under his authority flourishes. Not so in an egalitarian or woman-dominated ‘marriage’ where she gets what she wants that always ends in dysfunction & misery.

    1. Will, I don’t see “ruling” the relationship and demanding that a wife “relieve” her husband, even if she’s sore or unwilling, as a solution to anything except an unhappy wife. I respect your right to your opinion, but to say that an egalitarian relationship “always ends in dysfunction & misery” is unfounded and far from true.

      1. Will’s comment is more true than not (and certainly not “far from true”). See the New York Times story, “Does a More Equal Marriage Equal Less Sex?”

        Marriage, at its core, is a compromise that trades each partner’s strengths to make both better off — but at a cost. Men provide protection, stability, and resources. Women provide fertility, nurturing, and resourcefulness. For men the cost is being far more productive than he’d need to be if caring only for himself and to forsake all other partners in pairing with his wife exclusively. For women it’s submitting to the protector of her choosing and bearing only his children.

        It is an axiom of mate selection in nature that males display and females choose. Females are elevated to the superior status of the male they pair with — the reverse is not true — receive the protection and provisioning of that male, and enjoy the primary bond with the children. Should a wife forsake any of these advantages for the principle of equality?

        Men empathize with women in a way that women do not with men; men *want* to make decisions that benefit women, individually and as a group (the “Women are Wonderful” effect, which both men and women exhibit). Men must risk themselves, including sacrificing their own lives if necessary, to protect the women and children in their care. This is how civilizations are built. But men also have 12-15 times more testosterone than women — far higher sex drives — and are capable of siring hundreds of times more children than women are capable of bearing. A husband must shoehorn that sex drive into the confines of marriage, where only his wife can accommodate it. Should a husband and wife have equal weight in decision making when the husband shoulders ultimate risk for the consequences? Must he provide her preferred amount of resources (which is much higher than he himself needs) while also accepting her preferred amount of sex (which is much lower than he himself needs) under the guise of equality?

        You begin to see the problem. Equality sounds great in principle — people should be equal, right? But in practice, no one is equal. Because then who leads? Who sacrifices? Who risks? Whenever equality or egalitarianism gets discussed in the context of marriage, you can be sure this will involve benefits/advantages, whether natural or societal, that men have that ought to be shared equally with women and not benefits/advantages, whether natural or societal, that women have that ought to be shared equally with men.

    2. Will: I was very disturbed to read your post. I am a man who has been married for 48 years and to read “The man must rule by demanding to get what he wants” suggests a serious mental illness. No human being should “dominate” another person. Love and mutual respect must be the basis for any human relationship.

    3. Wow!!! You should be glad that your wife is still with you… your ass would have been out the door the first time you ever tried to tell me what to do… oh and by the way I’ve been married 20 years and my husband has NEVER told me what to do… we both have great paying jobs and are very independent… I have a Daddy and he stopped telling me what to do when I was 17.

      1. But, as we have read many time here, that it is OK for the woman/wife to force her husband into a sexless marriage. Talk about a double standard!

    4. Will…sounds like you live in the stone ages…works for you….but most woman like a say in whether they would like to be touched or not. BTW…some in your wifes position build great insurmountable resentment.

  50. I read this with interest. Masturbation in the case of a marriage where one party is no longer interested in having sex and actively resists any overtures along those lines would seem to be the logical course of action. But to then take into account the Catholic Church’s stance on that interjects another sticking point, if I may use that term. A person wants to, and intends to, stay faithful to their spouse in a sexless marriage “and” be a “good” Catholic at the same time is faced with, what seems to me, a no win situation.

    Suggestions, thoughts, comments?

    1. You’re describing my dilemma to a tee. I don’t know why I’m still here. She told me years ago that “we’ve had all the kids we’re going to have, what’s the point?”. As if I was only there as a sperm donor.

    2. Doing that just causes me to be resentful of her, and the fact that I’m now reduced to doing this nasty little juvenile thing for myself. That feeling lasts for several days afterwards. Now I’m in my mid-50s, but have no problems whatsoever getting primed for sex. I can literally be ready with just a thought. She displays no interest at all and hasn’t for years. Haven’t had regular sex in years, just a HJ or BJ on 8 or 9 month intervals typically. I love her to death, but I’m sick of the constant rejection.

  51. I’ll keep this short, but I could write a short novel. Married 50years and our sex life never really got going. We did have sex on occasion but we would go months in between, not my idea, finally he ‘stopped and said he had no more interest or ambition to have sex. He just didn’t want me and wanted to be left alone, in his world. He worked constantly on the mid night shift away from me. I had to fend for myself, and I could have done that before we were married.
    I’m in my 70’s now and don’t care any more, he’s retired and works in his shop on cars mostly.

  52. We are both in our Sixties now and have been married for over 35 years and apart for a few occasions, birthdays etc my wife just hasn’t been interested. I feel very bitter about it and although there have been compensations in our marriage- children and now grandchildren I have found her lack of interest difficult to cope with. I end up feeling bad about this as I think I should not be ‘obsessing’ about it as she often says. She basically views it as an immature fixation and that as a married man I should concentrate on more important things.
    I have been a loyal affectionate hard working husband ( I would say that!) and I feel I have been cheated. Once the children appeared on the scene I would never have done anything that would risk us splitting up. And now we are old and the chance of my wife changing are now nil. We both have health issues
    My advice would be to sort these problems out before the years pass and certainly before there are children as I think most men have a stronger sense of loyalty and decency than they are often given credit for and are willing to forgo what is a very primal need for the sake of a stable relationship.

  53. Hi, Nice advice. I go through the details of your sexual life. Really it’s happening with many couples as the year goes and children born the interest goes down. But it should not stop like this as it hampering your life. So all should take care on this. Nowadays due to the requirement of Adult Men’s Sex Toys, different kind of online retailer store like Lovecubby available for a variety of high-quality sex toys for men & women that everyone can love. Hope now your problem will be solved.

  54. It’s all a crock. When they stop they stop. My husband stopped 25 years ago when he couldn’t get it up. I think it was a relief for him because he was not much into sex. I am sorry I stayed, but life, illness, dementia parents and a son kept me in this sexless marriage. Now it’s too late. Bitter? You bet. Take what you can, now.

    1. Demetria,

      I agree, once they stop there’s nothing that’s going to get them interested or willing to do it again. With my wife it was menopause. But I do like your advice, don’t waste time with them and take whatever you can get now. Life is way too short!

    2. Demetria, so how old are you now? Just curious. I am 60 and my wife has zero interest in sex, was never real sexual, but after menopause, it is zero. I feel I am too old to move on by myself, most everything in our relationship is good, but sex is very bad.

      1. My husband never had my love of sex. I haven’t found a way to replace that feeling of a man. I feel I’m too old to do anything to cause me to have to be alone. Isn’t it such a shame that Bob here, says he masturbates 3x a week and I’m sitting here daydreaming what it would feel like to have it again after years that my husband just can’t. I think if my husband was interested in sex, even if it is too small and limp now, he would at least try to help ease my throbbing desire. It’s like he just doesn’t think about it ever. Don’t men throb? Or when it doesn’t really get hard, does the throbbing stop also in men? It feels like torture just coming here and reading because it makes me want some so badly I don’t know what to do. My shower massagers has gotten me through years but it never will replace that hard feeling down inside me that I long for, yet believe now I will never feel again and I’m only in my 50s. And he wonders why I’m ill sometimes?? Seriously? I have a TON of frustration that has built up for years. I gotta stop coming here and reading this. It’s just torturing me for no reason

  55. My wife lost interest in sex years ago. She continued to have sex for a while but that eventually ended and we haven’t had sex now in over 5 years. She has absolutely no interest in it. I’ve tried everything I can think of but I’ve given up. The only thing I have now is masturbation about 3 times a week. She’s always saying how bad she feels about it but but never offers to do anything. I’m only 63 and I’ve pretty much just given up.

    1. Bob, my wife is the same way, says she feels bad she has zero interest in sex, but doesn’t offer anything like oral or HJ either. I am free to masturbate without hiding it, just don’t ask for sex, ever.

    2. I have the same problem, my wife and I are 73 years old, 7’years ago she told me she no longer had an interest in sex, so,it has been 7 “dry” years, she told me I was free to,find someone to have sexy with!! I told her that I did not want that, That I only wanted her but she said she loves me but has no sexual feelings, it is slowly destroying me and I do not know what to do, she refuses to talk about it, will not spoon in bed and pulls away from any hug.

  56. I think that the advice to seek a trained sex therapist, and the encouragement to increase communication between this man and his wife is appropriate and excellent. But if neither of those possible remedies to the sexless marriage proves satisfactory, then perhaps the couple should agree to allow the husband to seek sex outside of the marriage. If done with the full knowledge of both partners, and always using safe sex, this would provide another solution to their dilemma.

    1. At this stage, you may be right about getting help. For others that are on the borderline of this happening:
      Suggest to her that she will have control of the situation. Choosing a date of the week for example, in which she will be the one to request it. For a woman, as she ages, she needs time to get into that sexual mindset and anticipation is a great aphrodisiac.
      Scented coconut oil is a great way to give her a message. Dont worry about having sex for a long time. Quick and fast is also good. lol.

  57. Bonnie, thank you for commenting. Withholding sex as punishment is hostile — you deserve better. I suggest to you what I advised Frustrated — see a therapist right away. You’re right that it’s a huge, painful problem. Please ask your husband if he’ll see a counselor with you to save your marriage. If he won’t go, go on your own to express your feelings fully and evaluate whether you want to be in this marriage and, if so, what can be done to improve it. I urge you to seek help now.

    – Joan

  58. Hi
    My husband has showed be very no closen in for years. I tried to think that it was OK, I still had company and friendship. I though it was my age, now I am 65 look OK, but not yong any more. But if he cared for me a hug would be nice. I finally asked him he said I was crab and mad all the time, I have a lot of pain and take a lot of meds sometime, and yes I am very unhappy with my life, but I try to hid it. He has with held sex before, once or twice when he was mad at me a couple of times in the past 18 year, that was my punishment. This is a huge problem, how can I live with someone who feels this way? Is there anything I can do. It makes me feel sick.

      1. Keep it as quick as I can at 41 I had neck surgery, nothing below waist working very well, had penis pump install, went from 6 to 3 (maybe) tip flops around can’t penetrate vagina….she at time started Menopause and wasn’t really interested anyway

        I Got tired of rejection and told her when she wanted to come find me she felt sorry for me and we tried sex toys and one was to big, hurt her but she tried but I could tell.

        10 years of this and going on5 years since last try, don’t sleep in same be, snoring medical issues up down. So now a hug one a day (maybe) and pecks on lips when leaving house.

        I miss the sex, but I miss even more holding her in my arms snuggling with her just touching her maybe copping a feel she sexy. I miss the simple things

        But she works in a male-dominated field and loves to flirt this drives me bat shit crazy as I know I will never be there with her again.

        Only 50 at wits end, I don’t want to start over, but I don’t want to go another 10 years like this either

        I can’t talk to her about it be cause she has tried it didn’t work, but no physical contact and her liking other guys attention just makes it unbearable

    1. I have a similar problem but my situation is somewhat different as I am not on a lot of meds, and I am not unhappy with my life as an individual, but with my husband well, yes I kind of am unhappy with that aspect of my life. I honestly don’t know what happens to men as they age. Many claim that it’s women who become dis-
      interested in sex as they grow older but I find that to be true of men as well – at least in the case of my husband! He is 69 (as am I) and we’ve been married 39 years and for him sex is a thing of the long past! He does not have ED or any similar issue, won’t see a therapist or talk about this, and he becomes angry and defensive if I bring up sex or hug him or show any affection. I wonder if it could be depression (something he wouldn’t admit to), but it’s been going on a long time.

      He seems to think (as far as I can surmise) that sex is just a little bit dirty or should only be used for procreation purposes. At age 69, we’re certainly way beyond the procreation stage. I actually considered early in my marriage that my husband might lean toward being gay and that’s why he was somewhat uncomfortable having sex with me. Anyway, I think when one person in a marriage comes to the point my husband is at – and apparently yours is too – a therapist is really the only answer. Of course mine won’t go to a therapist no matter what so apparently the problem will persist. I think it is up to me to possibly leave my marriage because my husband is not about to change, discuss any issues, or ultimately have sex.

      It’s a shame when a marriage reaches this point because so much of both people were invested in it at the beginning and for quite a while. It seems a waste in the end. Wish I could off you more of a solution but I think things either go on the way they are or there has to be come conclusion. If both parties don’t want to change things (and only one does) then unfortunately the situation is probably doomed.

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