Why doesn't my husband initiate sex?
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Sex in Marriage Sexual problems are common in many relationships. This section is for discussions about sexuality. Please limit discussions to those asking for help with a problem and those offering advice. Any other threads may be deleted.

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Old 07-09-2012, 11:16 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Why doesn't my husband initiate sex?

My husband rarely initiates sex with me. If I had to count, I would say that we probably have sex 2 to 3 times a month at this point and that's usually because I make it happen. The problem is that we've only been married for 1 year! (and have only been together a little over 2) We are both in our mid-twenties, which I would have thought would be our sexual prime. I feel like we are too young in our marriage to be having this problem. As you can imagine, my ego is bruised and I'm very hurt by this. Every woman wants to feel "desireable" and I don't.

I will often "flirt" and make it apparent that I'm in the mood but he never meets me halfway. If I really want to have sex then I usually have to take it to that level myself. He has never really turned me down for sex but I still find it disturbing that he never initates it and usually doesn't respond to my suggestive behavior.

All of the parts seem to be working just fine. When we do have sex, he seems to enjoy himself and has no problem finishing the deed. I know for a fact that he masturbates during his alone time- he fully admits it. I realize that this is a typical behavior for most men and I really have no problems with my husband looking at porn except for the fact that he seems to prefer to do this instead of the real thing, which makes me feel even worse.

This has led to a number of arguments. I have questioned him several times and he is adamant that there is no reason. He usually replies "Maybe you just have a stronger sex drive than me", but I don't really see much truth in that because I'm by no means sex-crazed and if he is maturbating in his alone time, he clearly has a healthy sex drive. He doesn't think there is a problem here and tells me that I am just over-analyzing things. Maybe I am?? But I feel like sex is an important part of marriage and that it should be happening more frequently in the early stages.

My husband frequently tells me how pretty I am, how skinny I look, how nice that dress looks on me, etc, which is even more puzzling because I really do feel like he finds me to be an attractive person but apparently not enough to initiate sex. He is a very loving person and other than the lack of sex, I don't feel as though he has distanced himself. I realize that in some cases this could be an indication of infidelity but I have no other reasons to believe that he is cheating on me and that is not a concern at this point. On numerous occasions I have asked him if there's something more that he would like to try (i.e. new positions, toys,etc) or if there's something I need to do differently but his response is always that he's satisfied with our sex life.

I would love some thoughts on this because at this point I'm feeling very hurt and puzzled.
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Old 07-09-2012, 11:22 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why doesn't my husband initiate sex?

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Originally Posted by curlyfry View Post



I really have no problems with my husband looking at porn except for the fact that he seems to prefer to do this instead of the real thing, which makes me feel even worse.
And this is likely the problem. He has gotten used to relating to a screen or an object instead of the real thing. Was he like this when you all were dating to? Or did he change at some point?
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Old 07-09-2012, 11:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why doesn't my husband initiate sex?

OK, gotta reply because this has been the number 1 problem in my sex life, too.

I assume, before I fully respond, that you do not have a history of rejecting his advances. If you do - that would speak volumes about why he no longer wants to initiate. If you don't - here is my advice:

First thing - don't assume he should know you are in the mood. I can walk up to my husband naked with a condom in my hand and he still wouldn't get it. Seriously. Men can be dense (no offense intended). I spent a couple of years playing a game where I thought I was being plainly obvious that he could take me at any time, and he just didn't see my signals. So many years wasted! Speak to him plainly and clearly at a time when you are in a non-sexual situation about this. I sat my husband down at the dinner table one day (sans kids) and just told him - I would like to have sex this many times a week, this is what I have been doing to try to get your attention, what would be a better way for me to get you to understand I'm ready to go?

Second thing - is your husband an assertive guy in other areas of his life? My husband is not. He's not lazy, but he is shy and even though I am his wife and he should be comfortable around me, he still has a hard time initiating and being assertive and taking charge with me. I had a frank discussion with him and told him I would like to see more assertiveness from him. I said it in a non-confrontational manner, basically said - it would really turn me on if you would initiate things with me more often, I want to see that you are in the mood and thinking about me. My husband and I both talk openly about masturbating and we both know the other does it, and I know he has a tendency to assume that if I don't go after him myself, I must not be ready to go. So instead of coming to ask me he will just take care of himself. I asked him to stop doing that and to always ask me first. He has taken my request seriously - but beware! If you get him to come to you first, you may have no idea how much of a sex drive he really has. I have found that I have seriously underestimated the amount my husband must have been masturbating because he is coming to me 2-3 times a day at times! I work hard not to turn him down (I want to make sure I reward him for being so forward with me like I asked him to!) but yea...I am exhausted LOL. It's a good exhausted though.

Third thing....ask him if there is anything new he would like to try in the bedroom. Do you think your sex life may be stale or boring? What kind of porn is he looking at, is there something you think he might be wanting to try that you've shyed away from in the past? I would make an emphasis to him that you are open minded (with certain limitations...whatever they are), that you want to please him, that it turns you on to please him, and that you want to make him excited about your sex life. Make sure he understands your enthusiasm.

If you can have an open discussion with him, it should help things. Make sure you frame the discussion in terms of "It would really turn me on if you did _____." instead of questioning "Why are you always looking at porn? Why don't you initiate more often?" My husband will clam up if it seems like I am finger-pointing.
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Old 07-09-2012, 11:40 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why doesn't my husband initiate sex?

How is he with you in other areas of the marriage besides sex? Does he connect with you emotionally? Is he sensitive and attentive?
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Old 07-09-2012, 12:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why doesn't my husband initiate sex?

Quote:
Originally Posted by curlyfry View Post


I know for a fact that he masturbates during his alone time- he fully admits it. I realize that this is a typical behavior for most men and I really have no problems with my husband looking at porn except for the fact that he seems to prefer to do this instead of the real thing,
This is the problem. Of course there is nothing wrong with masturbating, but when it replaces real sex with your spouse, it is a problem. He's getting his sexual needs met by his hand and a computer screen so there's nothing left for you. This is what happened in my marriage until I had a talk with my husband and told him I refused to be replaced by images on a computer screen.

If he wasn't getting his sexual release masturbating to porn, he'd need to have sex with you more often.

BTW, he will absolutely deny that porn and masturbating is the problem.
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Old 07-09-2012, 12:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why doesn't my husband initiate sex?

When we first started dating, we had sex multiple times a day. We did it whenever and wherever we could but as time has passed, this has obviously decreased. He watched porn long before I came around and from what I know, he had an active sex life too. I'm not really worried that my husband has a porn problem. He doesn't get a ton of alone time because he often works OT and I am generally home when he is. So I kind of think that alone time is just his "special treat" and that is usually when the porn comes out. I can understand and relate to the pleasure of porn but I would never prefer it over the real thing. I guess what is frustrating is that we haven't had sex in 2 weeks and yet when I went to the gym Saturday morning, he watched porn.

I would say that my husband is a very affectionate person. I know he loves me and he will do anything that I ask. He's not shy and I would definitely say that he is assertive. What is further frustrating is that I am very open-minded and have tried to make it clear that I am willing to do more/different things if that would make him happy but he acts as though he is satisfied with things the way they are.

I know that men don't always read hints but I really do think it's obvious when I want to have sex. For instance, if we are on the couch watching television, it is not uncommon for my hands to wander. I feel like his failure to respond or meet me halfway is an indicator that he's just not interested. I have blatantly told him before that I need more and it will get better for a week and then it always comes back to this.

A part of me feels that maybe I am too sexually avaiable? Maybe I should quit all suggestive behavior and let him come to me? But based on the way things have been going, I'm afraid he still won't initiate sex and that will just hurt my feelings even more.
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Old 07-09-2012, 12:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why doesn't my husband initiate sex?

Thats great if you have no problem with porn, however it could be that he does. His problem could be he prefers it to you. That IS a problem. It would be interesting to see how long he could go with out porn, and if he would even be willing to try that. Of course he thinks things are fine and sees no problem ,because HE is enjoying what he is doing. He is disrespecting your feelings on the matter IMO. If you want your husband back, it might be time for an ultimatum, that is as long as you follow through.
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Old 07-09-2012, 12:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why doesn't my husband initiate sex?

I am about 99.9% sure that PORN is the problem.
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Old 07-09-2012, 01:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why doesn't my husband initiate sex?

If he feels there is no problem, then ask him to not look at porn for a whole week. Whether its internet porn, porn vids, mags, porn on the cell etc, ask him to do away with all porn for one week and then see if he feels there is no problem. If he makes a excuse or looks at it after he told you he wouldn't, then there is probably your answer as to why he wont initiate sex.
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Old 07-09-2012, 01:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why doesn't my husband initiate sex?

Curlyfry, you are doing nothing wrong. Your husband's problem is porn. As a guy, i occasionally look at porn and i masturbate regularly, but i always respond if my wife gives hints. If i unfortunately recently masturbated when my wife starts dropping hints, i let her know and promise to save myself for her the next day. Your husband needs to cut out the porn and improve his communication skills. It is not fair to you what he is doing.
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Old 07-09-2012, 02:13 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why doesn't my husband initiate sex?

I didn't read all replies, but this reminds me of how I felt for a time in my relationship with my wife. Porn doesn't help, but there's a possibility it's not 100% of the answer.

Some men are a little more sensitive about their "sexual performance" than others.

That kind of behavior can start with rejection. When a man, like myself, is rejected, it's pretty hurtful. When it happens often, it can start to create a feeling of fear of rejection. If you initiate sex, he knows there's no rejection coming. If he tried to initiate, he might be afraid of rejection. Sexual rejection to a man can create bitterness, and frustration and anger. He might have completely stopped because he doesn't want even the CHANCE of you saying no. Sure, he might need to overcome that fear, but to answer you question, that could be the problem.

Here's what I would try. I would try telling him that you will have sex with him if he doesn't masturbate that day.

Masturbation is such an easy way to get a quick fix. I've done it before, and it has made me feel that maybe I don't need/want sex.

You need to withhold some sex if he's constantly looking at porn. I PROMISE he will grow tired of porn. Believe me... I have. If he gets some sex in the bedroom, but he can still get off on porn when he wants, he has no reason to change. He get's the best of both worlds. He ultimately wants YOU, but if he can have both, why not?

You don't need to piss him off. You just need to let him know that you think the porn might be effecting your sexual relationship and you want him to take it down a notch, and that you won't have sex with him on days where he touches himself. You don't have to say it in anger. When a man see's a problem, and see's a solution, then he knows there's something he can do. It's when a woman has problems, and provides no solution that things become frustrating from out point of view.

"You don't masturbate today at all, I will give you some awesome sex tonight. But you HAVE to stay away from porn! Let ME be your porn."

I mean, heck, I would have stopped if I was told that. lol.
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Old 07-09-2012, 02:24 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why doesn't my husband initiate sex?

An alcoholic connects with a bottle. A drug user connects with pills or needles. A gambler connects with money etc. They all have one thing in common, they connect with objects. Its the same for people who connect with porn instead of their partner. IMO, he will need to do away with the porn in order to have a clear understanding of how you feel, your emotions etc. Porn is fogging his mind right now. He needs to learn to communicate with a real person not a object. If it means getting a third party involved such as a counselor then that may be a good place to start.
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Old 07-09-2012, 04:10 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why doesn't my husband initiate sex?

I really wish I could help. My wife rarely initiates and probably for three reasons:

1. She has responsive desire (many women do). This simply means that she really does not think about sex or even desire sex all that much UNTIL I make the move. Then she gets into it.

2. I really don't give her much chance to initiate.

3. The responsibilities of life and the stress of her job get in the way. She comes home exhausted. I know this because when we are on a romantic trip away from all of that, she is all over me!

Now for you. I can't, for the live of me, understand why a guy would use porn over a hot willing wife. I just don't get it. Maybe it is time for counseling, or an ultimatum. You are perfectly willing to have have sex with him any time he wants, but he MUST give up the porn.
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Old 07-09-2012, 08:26 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why doesn't my husband initiate sex?

I really, really appreciate everyone's thoughts. It sounds like the general opinion seems to be that porn is getting in the way of our sex life. Maybe it is but I'm still a little skeptical, my reason being that we are together a majority of the time when not at work. Especially right now because I am off for the summer so when he gets home from work, I am generally here and there isn't an opportunity for porn.

If porn truly is the problem then I'm not sure how to address it. I guess my attitude towards porn/masturbation is that it's probably going to happen with or without "permission" from your wife so it's easier to just accept it than to forbid it. I guess I am just choosing my battles.

Things could be a lot worse. He's not blatantly rejecting me. He just often doesn't acknowledge my advances or initiate things himself. Another idea that came to mind was that maybe he's just sexually selfish, for lack of a better word. During our most recent argument on this topic, he did describe masturbation as "quick and easy". This sort of leads me to believe that he doesn't initiate sex because he doesn't want to have to fool with getting me off because, unlike him, I require a bit of effort and patience.
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Old 07-09-2012, 11:22 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why doesn't my husband initiate sex?

Yes, he is being selfish. It's ok to do quick and easy sometimes. Nothing wrong with masturbation, but only caring about quick and easy and his own needs all the time has no place in a marriage.

I'm even more sure the porn and masturbation are the problem. Some guys can watch porn and maturbate, but not to the point of choosing it over real sex with their wife. Guys that neglect their wives because of it have a problem.
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