Sexless Marriage, a conversation

Read and Discuss the Book:

"Escaping the Sexless Marriage"

This page is a conversation with our readers to understand and manage the hidden reasons for the sexless marriage.
We will provide answers and new insights to help you be happier!


  1. I agree with mooncusser, move on with your life. Trust me, you will only waste more time with this man. his satisfaction in life comes from depriving you of your satisfaction. Even if he had normal testosterone, he wont fulfill your sexual needs (or emotional needs) for that matter. His fun in this relationship is to see you suffer. A PA is a classic parasite and a covert meanie

  2. Stacey Bruno says

    Many thanks for so much useful information you provide. I was able to see my situation better, and stop blaming myself for the terrible things he said about me. I have a big sadness because this was our best shot at being happy, and now I realize it’s impossible. At least, I’m at peace with myself. Thanks again

  3. Nic,
    sorry to see your situation. I’m concerned about the long time you have waited. Why is this? because the longest you wait, the worst the situation gets…I don’t know if your husband could react to any of my favorite recommendations to make of him a real human being…like using the Whale Done technique. Please, get first some help for yourself, NOW. Get a coach, a therapist, a priest, someone who can help you recover some strong self-esteem.After you feel more positive about yourself, you can plan how to separate from him. And no, he will NOT go. Why should he? He was been all those years happily married, giving nothing and being himself. You need to change yourself first.

  4. iv realised in the last year about passive aggressive, my husband won’t have sex with me, kiss me, cuddle me the list is endless, and this has been going on for years now, he says its all my fault, I have 2 children, my oldest daughter now 11 he has never shown her affection and my 2 year old dosent want him to come anywhere with us, I can’t take this much longer, I want a divorce but don’t know how to get him to go

  5. mooncusser99 says

    And keep repeating your message for younger women. I do. I’ve lived it – no win situation. What a waste, ya?

  6. mooncusser99 says

    AMEN. Do it while you have your health and can get your head back together.. These spouses are “sappers.” They take everything from you, sapping your emotional and spiritual energy.

  7. mooncusser99 says

    it’s also called manipulation.

    Look, we can find all the excuses in the world for these spouses. Analyze them until the cows come home. But if they aren’t willing to fix what’s broken, your boat is dead in the water. Time to move on. It’s pointless to twist yourself into a pretzel to figure him out and how to handle him. We “handle” children. We *shouldn’t* have to do so with a spouse. If we do, something is wrong. Time to figure out how to move on.

  8. mooncusser99 says

    Cycle of abuse? Sounds like…. Are you in counseling?

  9. mooncusser99 says

    Why do you stay with him? Why not dump the self-absorbed slob?

  10. mooncusser99 says

    You said he’s your boyfriend. Good. Do not marry him, do not get pregnant on the off-chance he does have sex with you. Get yourself to a counselor and find the clarity you need. Get your ducks in a row and move on with your life. You are with this loser for 11 years and are accepting crumbs. You are being swallowed by his dysfunction. Seek counseling and get a grip on your own sense of self. It is much better being alone and occasionally being lonely than being with someone who clearly doesn’t care about you.

    What you see is what you get. What you see now and the history of 11 years will be your future. Beat feet out of there. Give yourself a chance at real love and a life.

  11. I’ve been trying a different approach lately with my boyfriend and things have been going really well I don’t blow up there anymore so there is much less drama. I ignore when he does something rotten and thank him and give hugs when he does something nice. I think he has noticed I am appreciating him a lot more, and is more inclined to help me. I have also noticed he listens to me more. These are great things, considering how upset I was a little while ago.
    Great progress!

    There is one thing I don’t know how to make better, though, Tom has not had sex with me in 11 years. He has been tested and found to have extremely low testosterone, so I know he has a physical problem…but that’s not the issue. He decided that since he no longer wanted sex, I wasn’t supposed to, either. As you can imagine, I cried and threatened and begged, but nothing happened. About two years ago, he found out that not having normal testosterone levels was bad for his health, so he started getting meds, but never used them as prescribed so his testosterone levels were never high enough for him to have an interest in sex. Of course we argued about it. Then they placed him on testosterone injections, which he resisted, we fought and he made me feel guilty about. It didn’t work. A new doctor said his dose wasn’t high enough and he wanted him to go off everything to get a baseline. Of course, Tom stopped happily and has never gone back to get that baseline.

    All this leaves me feeling ugly and unwanted. I couldn’t understand how someone who was supposed to love me could watch me hurt like that and do nothing. I just feel like my life is being spent with a man who really doesn’t want to have sex with me. It has damaged my self esteem so badly! He keeps saying he will go back and get his blood drawn and get on the correct dosage of medicine, but never does. Same old story all over again. Eleven years of it.

    What do I do? I don’t want a sexless marriage!! Why doesn’t he care that he’s hurting me so badly for so long? The other pieces of our marriage are improving, but on this point I am stuck and he is totally unconcerned.

  12. theblondepastor says

    I just “celebrated” my 39th wedding anniversary with my PA hubby. I am a Lutheran Pastor, he chose a different ministry route and not only has he withheld sex from me for more years than I care to recall, he gets very, very jealous of my accomplishments. Image is very important to my hubby and to his Mom who is still alive at age 93. Thank God she lives over an hour away and never learned to drive. Yet her strings on my hubby are made of the most unbreakable stuff…emotions. Anyhow, the way I can manage my hubby’s PA towards me is through image; I remind him of what the image will do. As for “behind closed doors,” I have stopped twisting myself around to try and fix things. Nope, I live with him as brother and sister and yes, I would love to have back the early days of the holding, cuddling, and true love-making , but if it’s not to be now then I will continue to go forward enjoying life and not focusing on what has been lost. It’s taken me a very long time and much self-discipline to reach this peace.

  13. Make arrangements to leave, move your stuff, then tell him you are gone. He will try tro pull you back in to extend the game. I am finally divorced after 5 years of trying to leave. You can’t wait for him to agree – just do what is right for you. I guarantee you will not be sorry.

  14. No joke, my ex used to shower twice a day!

  15. The Rebel Wife says

    If they are like my husband they masturbate all the time. This satisfy’s their needs and at the same time they can avoid intimacy

  16. I have asked this exact question many, many times. Even thought maybe he was gay. I still haven’t got an answer. When we discuss sex, well, you know, we don’t have it because…it’s me. Just not exciting enough. My head spins at hearing this…coming from the 5 minute, dullest man on earth (in bed and out). I can say though, I am the asker, he is the denier. And denies me EVERYTHING.

  17. My sexless marriage:
    H raised by iceberg, extremely religious, rigid, distant mother>>>H 110% PA>>>fears control and dependency to the extreme>>>refuses sex, any kind of intimacy, even conversations that touch on feelings or emotions.

  18. I get the same thing. When I tell him I want out, he says he will change. I even got tears on two occasions. But then it goes right back to the same old thing. I ask for something, he withholds whatever I asked for.

  19. I thought I was reading about myself. Every time I am ready to leave he pulls this emotional stuff on me. Dont leave, I dont want you to leave,etc….
    I am stupid and fall for it for awhile, then I have to start all over….

  20. It is the same book promoted here:

  21. NOT that, the one where we offered any one of you a free pre-publication copy of the new book….you can read this letter here:

  22. I feel the same way! My PA husband does not withhold sex, but it is very quick with no care to my pleasure. It’s all for him, just like the rest of his life. He seemed like such a nice guy. I never thought I’d feel like a prostitute with him, but that’s exactly how it feels. He just wants sex, no emotional connection whatsoever. I’m planning my exit.

  23. I did receive your email with the link to “I need you, physically”. Thanks =)

  24. Nora Femenia says

    Dear Simm,

    I have been inviting people to read my last ebook, about love, sex, and passive aggression, for free, as a pre-publication….I answer that issue there. Did you get your letter?

  25. I just read your post about your conversation with Carl. Bingo! I got my answer to question below. I think PA is directly linked to a controlling needy parent or person from the past. PA is a learned coping skill as a result. Knowing that helps me let go of the emotional pain a partner carries but it is so deeply engraved into our partners, I don’t see much hope for change. Lack of being taught empathy for others I think plays a big role. It is a shame.

  26. I have a PA partner who punishes by withholding sex and anything else I verbally request. His mother is also PA to the extreme. My partner is also a “Mother Enmeshed Man” or “Momma’s Boy”. I have done a lot of reading and reasearch on both topics and withholding of sex to punish and covert control is a common behaviour in both I see a correlation between PA behaviour and MEM behaviour. In both it is a fear of intimacy. The fear to commit totally. The fear of control and so many related behaviours. I am surprised I don’t see this correlation mentioned. I think one breeds the other.
    Nora, do you think there is any correlation here? I know that my partner’s PA is directly linked to his mother and his unresolved issues with her covert control and neediness but I am the one he resents for it. Just to note that my partner and I have come a long way in recognizing these issues and I do not enable his PA behaviour. It might be helpful to some women to take a look at the info regarding Mother Enmeshed Men or emotional incest to better understand why their PA partners treat them the way they do and validate that it isn’t anything they have done. Hugz to all. =)

  27. Has anyone experienced a man who is very demanding for it then throws lots of guilt if you don’t respond according to his expectations? Are there any women who feel like prostitutes being married to a PA husband.? Mine seems to want what he wants and will do what he feels he must to get it. Anger, guilt, whiny boy nagging, pressure…..

  28. After reading a lot about PA husbands, there seem to be no hope for your marriage to ever get better. After 50+ years thinking something was wrong with me, I find out it’s not me at all. At my age I’m not going anywhere, but I would tell any younger women to get out now, it just drags you down. and he won’t change. He’ll promise he will but he never does. I feel that my life and love has been wasted on a jerk.

  29. Of course! this is what we are talking about: there is no consideration of the wife’s needs; it only happens when he wants, he decides when and the wife’s needs in between are not existent…he ignores such an issue. Of course, verbally he can continue saying that he loves her….If you watch what happens when she initiates sex, you will find that he will find again any other reason to escape, or will get irritated and start a fake argument…all to frustrate her, without facing his own behavior as hurtful.

  30. claudiamatt says

    is also passive aggressive sex behavior
    when the husband has sex with his wife, but is in on
    isolated occasions, between very long intervals on time, and he is always
    defined when

  31. Yes, finally the game becomes one of “let’s never confront individuation, or loneliness,” by staying together. The main need seems to be not to be alone, forsaking the more basic needs of developing as an individual…

  32. We live in very demanding times, where the normal assumptions sometimes don’t hold water…I have seen cases where the main impulse was the wish to control and retain a partner…not having pleasure with this same person, but controlling her.

  33. What I am amazed by and just really don’t understand, is how do the Men go that long without sex? If every body has the same needs, and men supposedly need sex more than women even, how do they manage to create and live in a sexless marriage?????

  34. I have watched a dear friend of mine go through this for years. Though she has stated she will never leave him, so she tries to make the best of it, but it makes her suffer because she is such an affectionate person. Is there any way to get a husband to change after that many years, or is there a “point of no return?”

  35. mentsrna next

  36. Well, we have here several women telling the same story….of waiting, and hoping, and getting frustrated but accepting the status quo as the “normal way to be married…” Are we perhaps the children of a generation that refused to accept and defend that women have their own needs? we have denied and covered them for so long, in the hope they would become extinct, that now is quite a surprise to realize they never died, or went underground or got forgotten.
    Our needs for real companionship, for tender love and real skin to skin touch are here, as ever. How could we think that they would be postponed and whiter away? Who told us that it was possible to wait and wait without starving?
    This is a generation of women starved of the real nurturing of intense, real, person to person connections, necessary to live life to the fullest. We have become a shadow, in the wait for the fake sex life that passive aggressive husbands decided for us…
    The problem is that we have waited for too long the love never delivered as promised, that now it looks impossible to find satisfaction to those old needs.
    Whatever satisfaction to our love needs we can get now, the rage against the unnecessary and useless frustration is here;
    an indicator is the raising number of divorces for people beyond their fifties. Why are those people leaving old marriages?
    Basically because the end of the line is here; you decided not to wait any more. Does he want to pursue this simulacra of sexual life he always offered? no more is acceptable.
    There is a going back to the dignity of being single, of not keeping up with a facade of a marriage where there is not the basic sexual communication to guarantee a minimum of love…
    This generation, starved of good loving communication and good sex, prefers to live alone, and so stop the pretense of companionship where there is only solitude.
    Being in the truth, finally, brings a healthy sense of self-respect.

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