I was recently approached by a friend about the possibility of publishing an anonymous guest post on my blog. She didn’t tell me the subject; despite very rarely accepting guest posts and because it’s somebody I admire and know to be a good writer, I agreed without hesitation. The title of the article alone was heartbreaking: I’m not attracted to my husband and never have been.

When she sent me the finished piece, it was with a warning that I may never look at her the same way. I was curious and a little concerned just in case she was right – though I doubted it.

As I suspected, her story is a very sad one – but certainly not a reason to judge her harshly. Quite the opposite in fact: it takes bravery to acknowledge this truth and to share it, to speak candidly about such a taboo and difficult topic. But I’ve a feeling that this post will receive lots of comments showing support, and lots more anonymous ones empathising with the sad reality of not being attracted to one’s husband or partner.

Update: this post has sadly proven extremely popular. I’ve very newly created a support group for women affected by these issues, details of which are available at the bottom of this post.

I Don't Want Sex With My Husband
I’m not attracted to my husband, and I feel so guilty.

Over to my lovely friend…

Is Marrying Your Best Friend Enough?

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Most married people would probably call their partner their best friend. It’s natural isn’t it, to be best friends with the person you marry? But, for me, it’s different and for you to really understand where I’m coming from I have to go back a few years to the very beginning.

When I was a teenager I had a couple of serious relationships very early on. I don’t think I was in love but I really liked them, they treated me well and I was happy. But then, one evening I went out after work for a drink with a colleague. I had a boyfriend, I was seventeen and just going for a drink. I honestly thought at that point that a girl and a boy could go for a platonic drink. But one drink turned into two and before I knew it I’d been followed into the toilets and what happened after that wasn’t anything I consented to.

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I was so drunk and just didn’t say no, I don’t think I could say no. I didn’t say yes either but, the best part of twenty years ago things weren’t like they are today.

It wasn’t something I even thought to report – I felt like it was my fault for getting drunk. I had brought it on myself.

I somehow got home, went to bed and got on with my life. My colleague never came back to work and I never saw him again. Soon after my boyfriend moved away to university, we split up and I was in a pretty dark place.

In the months and years that followed I no longer cared about myself. Before that I had only ever had a physical relationship with people I really cared about and had taken time to get to know. After that I didn’t see what the point was anymore and ended up in a downward spiral of drink, drugs and random people. I was a mess, I was broken inside and I needed help.

But, instead of help I ended up meeting someone who would change my life.

I'm Not attracted to my husband - Couple

A man who wouldn’t use me, who treated me right and who loved me from the start. He was what I needed and over the next few years the broken mess inside me healed. We bought a house, got married and had children. Now, we are living the happy ever after.

I’ve Never Been Attracted to My Husband

Except in my head I’m not as happy as I should be. He is my best friend, I love him and loved him for saving me from my journey of self destruction. I love my husband, but I’m not sexually attracted to him But, I have never been physically attracted to him – and I feel so shallow for writing that.

I was with him because he was good for me, he was what I needed and he wanted to be with me. I had never really stopped to think about it any further than that.

The problem now, over fifteen years after we met is that I’ve never been turned on by him and when we’re intimate I find myself thinking about other things, trying to get my head into the place where it should be and not being entirely present.

I’m Not Attracted to My Husband

It’s nice, it’s fine, it works but there have never been fireworks and that ‘I want to rip your clothes off as soon as we get home’ feeling – I love my husband, but I’m not sexually attracted to him. It’s always just been fine – but no matter where we’ve been, what we’ve done or how we’ve done it, I have never felt completely satisfied. Something just isn’t there for me.

Is your husband you best friend? Is that enough? Marriage without physical attraction: What it's like to be married to a man you've never fancied. Will my marriage work if I'm not attracted to my husband?

But, our life is great. He’s an amazing Dad, we’re an amazing family together – and we’re happy.

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I Don’t Want Sex With My Husband

We have it all really and so I have tried to silence the little voice in my head. I know I can’t break up a family purely because I don’t want sex with my husband and that aspect of my life isn’t great. And actually I could quite happily have a platonic relationship forever – cuddles in front of the TV and our clearly defined sides of the bed.

But I know he wants more than that – he gets more than that – it’s just me that feels like there’s something missing. And I don’t know what to do about it.

I’m Still Just Not Attracted to My Husband

He’s my best friend and I love him like one. I can’t think of a better father for my children or anyone else I’d rather have by my side in life. He makes me laugh, he works hard and he’s always there for me and the children. It’s just, I’m not attracted to my husband. I know that in the scheme of things my issues aren’t that big at all. Some people spend their whole lives waiting to meet someone like the man in my life and would give anything for what I have.

But, when it always feels like there’s something missing, what do you do? Is marrying your best friend really enough – or should there be more to it than that?

If you’ve been affected by sexual assault you can find help and support at Rape Crisis.

Could you have written I’m Not Attracted to My Husband and Never Have Been? Do you find yourself thinking ‘I don’t want sex with my husband’, or is it an entirely alien concept? I imagine if you’ve found this post through searching, then you’ll relate and understand how devastating it is to feel you’re not or never have been attracted to your husband (or wife).

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Are you in love but not sexually attracted to your partner? I’d love to hear from you in the comments, and – of course – you’re welcome to share anonymously.

Please note I have very newly created a private, hidden support group for women affected by these issues. If you’d like to join, please like my Facebook page so that I can invite you to the group (this is not a condition of joining, but a measure of the group’s privacy and a hoop Facebook makes us jump through); you may also need to temporarily relax your profile security if it’s very strict. Once you’ve liked the page please message me here.

To clarify, currently the only way to find and access the group is via this post and by contacting me.


Marriage, Relationships, Self-Care

An award-nominated blogger and author, Kate is an experienced breastfeeding advocate, and expert baby sleep chaser. Her writing has appeared on Mothercare, Huff Post, and BritMums.


  1. Wave to Mummy Reply

    Wow. What a difficult situation to be in. I hope your friend gets her head sorted. There are all sorts of marriages, there isn’t one right type, and they can change over the years too. There is one thing I would say however. No marriage is perfect. Never. You just have to understand and accept that, and if you can’t, the marriage probably isn’t right.

    • That’s so true – mine certainly isn’t! But it’s worth it, 100%. My husband drives me crazy, and likewise I do him. But we’re also best friends and a fantastic team (most of the time!) – and will remain so to the end of time. Hopefully!

    • I appreciate you writing this article and would like to share my story in hopes someone would have some advice for me. I started dating someone when I was 14 years old. We had a common bond in that our parents were both divorcing so it was great to support each other in such a hurtful time in our lives. The first 2 years were great then he started drinking and from there became abusive mentally and physically. I stayed in the relationship due to fear as he threatened to kill me if I left and I believed him after he put a gun to my head. One minute he loved me the next he hated me, and I shared everything I was going through with no one. I was in this alone. One evening he was threatening to call my Mom and say horrible things about her, I heard the phone ring, I got out of bed walked into my Moms room and told her not to answer it, that it was Fred and I didn’t want anything to do with him again. By the grace of God I was able to leave this relationship after 5 years. We went and got a restraining order against him the next day. He tried begging me back, his family tried begging me back and I said “It’s over!”. I was introduced to my husband by a client of his and a client of mine. He is 7 years older than me and had been married twice with 2 children from the first marriage and I found out later his second wife was pregnant. I was impressed that he still desired to be married and didn’t label me to be like all the rest. I was happy to be with someone he wasn’t abusive. I remember thinking I wasn’t attracted to him but it was so desirable to me, to be married and have children so that’s what I did. Our children kept us busy and we didn’t focus on our martial problems. Fast forward 29 years later our children together are now 27,25 and 22. The oldest is married and all are living on their own supporting themselves. Now our relationship is the focus and we are going to counseling. I have shared with our therapist that I’m not attracted to him and never have been, I feel horrible saying that and I would never want him to know that as I know how hurtful that would be. There are things he is working on that could help this issue but I just don’t know. I would never leave him but it would be nice to be attracted to the man I’m married to.

  2. Susan Ricardo Reply

    You don’t know how helpful this article is to me. Thanks so much Kate!

  3. Yes! For 13 years I thought something was wrong with me. Why didn’t I want to be sexually active with my husband, who’s supportive, a great father, an involved Dad, etc. No he’s not perfect but he’s pretty dang close. It wasn’t until at a party I was speaking with another man, that an alarm went off. There it was, something I hadn’t felt in over 13 years. I thought I had been broken. I loved sex before my husband but I always thought I’d lost that side of me, maybe because of the every day challenges of adulthood and parenthood. I wasn’t sure to be honest. It never clicked with me until that night. I’ve read and researched until I’m blue. Even told my husband how I felt after soul searching. What I’ve found is people can have sexual chemistry and people can have compatibility. Some are lucky and have both. Those with only sexually chemistry usually, not always, don’t last long or have a ton of issues. Because the sexual chemistry doesn’t last long-term or years down the road it may not be enough because eventually you want someone you are compatible with. I’ve had a hard time coming to terms with what was beneath the surface all the years. Never had a clue, heartbreaking for myself and especially my husband. We are trying our best to make things better. We’ve had a lot of talks about turn ons/offs, etc. I honestly don’t know if that chemistry never existed if it can be created. Most articles say no. But I’ll be naive for now since I honestly had no idea what that empty feeling was for so many years. I’m trying my hardest to make something spark/connect. He deserves the best of me, as he has given the best of himself to me all these years.

    • Gosh, how heartbreaking, but I’m sure this will ring true for many people. And how wonderful that you have a strong enough relationship – in spite of any issues – that you’ve been able to discuss it with him.

      I wish you both the best.

  4. I am the husband in this situation and have no idea what to do. I want my wife to be as sexually engaged and excited about me as I am about her and don’t want her to live a life where she doesn’t have that. I can tell she thinks about other things while we are together and Injust wished it was me that made her excited. I am in better shape than when we were married and actually take better care of myself now. The types of men that make my wife feel sexually excited are types that are unattractive to her in all other ways. She wants to see me in a sexual way so badly, but after 14 years she feel it may not ever come. She was sexually abused and knows this is probably related. We make love frequently and she always climaxes, but it seems more like means to an end than true sexual connection. My sex life before marriage was mild because I wanted to save all my best, exciting love making for my wife, but she doesn’t get as excited with me. We are in counseling, but a lot of others issues take precedence over this.

  5. I feel like I could have written this article, except I was abused at 12 and was in unhealthy relationships ever since…many of them had the fireworks and passionate sex but no compatibility. I am now married to my best friend who know every thing about me (good and bad) and is crazy about me. He would have sex with me all day every day and he treats me like a queen. He is damn near perfect and he is a great dad to his daughter (my step-daughter). I can’t seem to get pregnant naturally (I think it is tied to the abuse at such an early age) but he totally accepts me regardless. I just can’t seem to get turned on by him though. I chose him because he is a good man and I made the decision to put take the sexual attraction out of the equation because I really didn’t believe I could have both chemistry and compatibility in the same relationship. I love my husband so much and we are very affectionate with each other but I don’t really want to have sex with him. I do it for him. 🙁

    • I am in exactly the same situation. I have children with my husband and he’s a great father and husband, but he just doesn’t do it for me. He never has. Even on our wedding day I wasn’t excited… I made the choice to marry him because he’s a good person and he loved me. I go out of my way to avoid intimacy bc it makes me uncomfortable. A complaint of his is that there is no spontaneity in our sex life and in my head I know that there never will be, bc I just don’t want it in the first place. There is no passion at all there for me. I’m able to live life normally most of the time and avoid romantic movies or books because they make me sad. I was in love once many years ago and I wonder if I’ll ever have that again. It would be terrible to divorce over this, especially because we’ve built a life together and have little kids. I couldn’t do that to my kids, but it hurts me to know that that part of life is gone forever.

  6. I am so so happy I found this article. I am going through the exact same thing. I am engaged to an amazing man. He loves me soooo much and every time he looks at me you can see the passion in his eyes…but nothing about him physically is attractive to me. He is just so good to my kids and I and I know he will give us a good life. I hope and pray this can be enough for me to want to be intimate with him. I love who he is as a man but not head over heels because I don’t feel the sexual chemistry AT ALL. I have had such great sex throughout my other relationships but they treated me like crap. I am now making a wiser decision but not necessarily a passionate one. At the end I know this is best for me and my children and I hope we can sustain and have a happy life together. After all we are compatible and complement each other extremely well. I just wish I wanted to jump his bones! 🙁

      • I have been researching subjects like this since I got married. Ive been married for 2 months now and at first I forced myself to be affectionate and sexual but now it’s getting harder and harder. He is an amazing man. He deserves nothing but the absolute best. I can’t keep holding this though. I need to talk to him about this but I don’t know how. I think he has some idea that I’m feeling this way but he’s maybe chopping it up to a phase I’m going through and we’ll grow past it. But it won’t. I love this man dearly but run when he tries to be affectionate because I know if I give it back it leads to him wanting more. I am so ashamed that I feel this way. I have prayed and prayed for God to show me how to love him like he loves me but nothing’s changing. Should I tell him and how do I do that?

  7. I have been married for almost 28 years to a man that I am not attracted to nor have I ever been. I had to talk myself into sex, while feeling like I would throw up. I did this because he seemed like a good man and I, like the writer, had some unfortunate dealings with men early in life so thought it best to go long. I was also pregnant after 3 months, which I thought was impossible before giveny activity. I know that hindsight is 20/20 and I have 2 lovely kids who are grown, but my worry is that my repulsion is solidifying into disgust. This man has great qualities but also we fight. I give him sex because he wants it and it makes my life easier, but I feel like a mother to him as well. Sometimes I think it would be best if I was dead and then he would be devistated but heal eventually. If I left now, I would cause more pain to him then my death would cause, because he relies on me for everything. I am trapped in a cage of my own making. I wish I would have listened to my gut all those times years ago as I made excused for his behaviour. Now the cement has set and I’m 40 feet under water, trying to improve my world by changing my physical world. IIam running out of options, and time. We have many times discussed how to make things better but there is no fixing repulsion. I can not stand his touch, and sex always leaves me in pain, but I do it when necessary to appease the man/child.

  8. This article put my thoughts and feelings into words. I too went through a dark time in my life. Boyfriend was emotionally abusive and when I finally broke free from that a family member who I was extremely close to and thought of as a father attempted to have sex with me. I didn’t tell anyone and just went into depression. Then I met my now husband. He was so kind and loving. We have 3 beautiful children together, but after 16 years I have finally admitted to myself that I’ve never been physically attracted to him. I feel so guilty, and have no clue what to do about it.

  9. I also am going through this exact situation. I have been with my husband for 15 years. I went right into a relationship with him while getting out of a bad one. He was everything my previous boyfriend wasn’t. ANd so I hung on for dear life! Now, we have 3 children and i am financially dependent on him. I don’t enjoy sex with him. I fantasize about other men. I am seriously contemplating a divorce just so I can be in peace alone! I feel so selfish considering this with our 3 children. He is an amazing dad and husband. He’s not very emotionally supportive to me, which is a big deal for us right now and we are in counseling, but other than that i have this huge secret I haven’t told anyone 🙁

  10. So glad to have found this article and thread. I’ve been with my husband for 14 years, married 11. He is a wonderful man…nearly perfect on paper. I think the world of him, but am not sexually/physically or intellectually attracted to him…nor have i ever been…this has resulted in a sexless marriage. I knew early on that something was slightly amiss for me…but i just brushed it aside and chalked it up to anxiety/jitters. I knew how amazing of a person he was…and you just don’t walk away from a good man who loves and supports you in every facet in life.

    I’ve spent all these years not really knowing/realizing what was going on….i have kept myself distracted with work, friends, hobbies, travel, etc… I’ve pushed him further and further away emotionally in recent years and didn’t really understand why. Fast forward to this past year, i met and became friends with a man i am very very attracted to in every aspect. We became involved in a relationship for nearly a year…and sadly it took this experience for me to realize the huge lack in my marriage.

    I am so utterly depressed and heartbroken over it all. But knowing all that i now know and have realized this year, i don’t know if i can remain in the marriage….given that those key ingredients were missing from the start. Not sure that such can be cultivated at this point. At times, i tell myself it is shallow/carnal to consider leaving an outstanding person over lack of attraction…but i want more…i don’t know that i can spend the rest of my life without a deeper, richer connection….sex…intellectual stimulation…it’s just so difficult..but i think i know what i have to do.

    • I could have written your comment word for word. I feel so lost. Have you made any decisions?

    • I felt like I could have written this post. It describes my life perfectly. I am married to a great husband and father. Again, he’s not perfect but he’s better than most men out there. But we have no connection, no physical or sexual attraction either. I have 2 children and I don’t know if breaking up a family is worth it for me just to find that with someone else.

    • Your story is almost exactly like mine!! You said you think you know what you have to do? What do you think you have to do??

  11. Has anyone had any luck sorting this out? I’ve been married for 12 years now and have never had these feelings towards my husband. I thought that I just didn’t really have those and he was a ‘good’ guy why shouldn’t I be with him…. we have 3 girls and we are separated right now as I told him that I started having tingles for people but I’ve bever had them for him. I was hoping to we could pray and keep trying to move forward.. not what I expected to happen..
    I am going to counseling as I think I have some abandonment/detachment issues. He is supposed to go to counseling as he has had some codependency issues and we are going to dr Harvey from the marriage builders soon. I’m hopeful but feel a little detached from things.. idk…

  12. I saw you mention praying together about this and if you can that would be great. I can give you more details if you like; but I and my ex-husband and my sister and her husband went through marriage builder’s with good results for her. I on the other hand ended up divorced — not that I didn’t learn things in the process.

    One difference is this – my sister thought her husband was attractive (as in she saw how others could be attracted to him); she was just not attracted to him ever. So once they worked through other issues and addressed some relatively minor physical attraction issues (he wanted her to keep her hair longer and dress up more she wanted him to work on losing 30 lbs and to dress up himself.

    I on the other hand (and I feel horrible for writing this) never saw my ex as attractive at all to really anyone – and no matter what else was right for us. the physical part just never clicked and he tried a lot to do what he could but his weight was always an issue even after losing a lot. I found myself feeling sick because I was becoming embarrassed to be out with him and he slowly became less patient with me and resentful.

    So do you see him as just an unattractive man or an attractive man with whom you’re not attracted?

  13. Interesting article and bittersweet to me as well. I’d dated and had very passionate highly sexual flings but the passion and the brains never quite connected for me. I met my now husband of 20 years as a friend who I had a drunken fling with. But he was very sweet and respectful and kind. He seemed like a better human that I felt I was at the time and got me excited about healthier lifestyle changes and less destructive behaviors. We had fun together and enjoyed each other and were happy to see each other… always calling to see when he’d be home.. but I never greeted him with a kiss and we didn’t snuggle much or touch much… we had ok sex and usually it was after drinking even 10 years into the marriage.

    I don’t think we have the right physical chemistry but I wish that we did. I’m not sure that you can build chemistry/sexual attraction. It just is or isn’t there. He is lanky and athletic and his hugs don’t feel warm and close as lovers in the past.

    We have kids and I think we would both like to feel “in love” with each other but wondering if just family love can fulfill us as we are nearing our 50s. I wonder if we need to kiss at 70 or if we can enjoy traveling together (sexless) during retirement and find that fulfilling? I’d hate to lose him but my heart has never fluttered when he enters a room. He’s always felt like “home” to me, and like a partner and family, but maybe like a sibling? He has 3 sisters and raised by a single mom and I suspect he may also see me a bit sisterly some of the time. We don’t fight we do things together… we are both a bit attractive and stylish. I’m not gay and don’t think he is though it wouldn’t completely shock me actually…

  14. Stayathomemom Reply

    This is me. Definitely have some kind of issues from the last I can’t remember but I know happened and daddy issues a bit too. I met my husband at 27 and I was done with being promiscuous and never getting that relationship I really wanted. The one where I could feel safe. Well my husband made me feel like I was just so amazing and we married a month after meeting. He had a one year old son when we met and I fell in love with him but not my husband. Long story short we went to therapy where I told him this. It was hard but needed to be said. We talked about how I wasn’t attracted to him and felt like we are missing “that part” in our relationship. We went through some stuff over the last 9 years but have managed to stay pretty happy but that’s really because I just ignore the issues I don’t feel safe enough to discuss. Over time I saw how he would react when I tried talking to him outside of therapy. I got sick of him basically trying to throw me out of the house and bringing his son into the room mid sleep so he could see how I was leaving and how it’s all my fault. Ugh. There so much I could go on. So I just stayed so I could have stability and I stayed because his son became my son. He wouldn’t let me see him if I left. I don’t want to bring more trauma to him by leaving. I left two years into our marriage and came back basically because it was hard. No degree to get me a decent paying job. Out of work for those two years we were married. Just was easier. I was weak. I don’t consider myself to be weak usually but I’d say if ever that was the time. So here I am 9 years in feeling the same way i have always felt. He’s basically a good guy. Good dad to our kids and I one on the way. Thinking omg I can I really keep this up? I wanted another child and as soon as I became pregnant I realized I’m just potentially locking myself in for at least another 5 years. How horrible. I’m going to go back to therapy alone. I guess we will see what happens. I mean I’m definitely in a pickle but I don’t think it will be the worst thing to do what’s healthy for me if leaving is the answer. I know I hav sissies that I have to really make sure are not the reasons I feel this way. I know I’m not attracted to him in any way except for he is a pretty good dad for my kids. Part of me feels like ok I did it! I found a good dad for my kids and that’s all that matters. I can suck it up… forever? Idk but then I’m afraid he will be really immature and hurt them by saying stupid things do them about me. And dating right away which is what he does. He can’t be alone. He has do have a woman no matter how bad she is he will try to maleness it work. I feel like thats what he did with me. I don’t think I am really what he wants except that I’m a great mom to his oldest as well. His biological mom is pretty crappy and doesn’t see him nearly as much as she should so I’m here to fill in. Anyway. Yeah this sucks.

    • StayAtHomeMom2 Reply

      Stayathomemom- I feel for you. Your story is my story. I tried to leave him 3 years ago, but he threatened me. He told me he would take away my daughter. He makes all the money. I am completely dependent on him. It sucks so bad. I don’t have degree to get a good job. I feel so foolish for my mistakes. I married someone because other people said I owed it to him and that he was such a good guy. He knows about my issues with our sex life, we have fought about it many times, and he still won’t let me go. I don’t think I could keep someone captive like this. If my husband wasn’t EVER attracted to me, I would ask him to leave. It’s not fair to live life in the dark, which is how I feel. But, as long as I can keep my mind busy and I am okay. However, the moment always comes when we have to be intimate. We are great friends, but terrible lovers. We can laugh and have fun, until sex is what he wants. I have to think about other things to become aroused. He says he loves me so much and he does take care of me. He always wants me to be happy, but what that really means is for me to be happy WITH him. Oh, I am so tired of hurting. Forever does seems like a long time. It’s been 14.5 years and I feel like I’ve aged internally by a decade. Meaning I’m 35, but feel 45. I’m still nowhere near attracted to him. It makes me feel like such a gross person. Does anyone know what to do when you can’t get divorced? We are religious and we aren’t allowed to do so. Our entire family makes that very clear too. No one would support my decision to leave and my child would be heartbroken. I am in over my head. I’m so terribly depressed. Being deprived of fulfilling sex, this one thing that set marriage apart from any other relationship, is affecting every part of my life. I don’t want to be around his family, or partake in social events with him. I am embarrassed to be with him in public. People look at us and know we are mis-matched. I hate not feeling satisfied as a wife should with her husband. I wish there was a restart button. I’ve been to counseling too, but nothing helps. I’m living a lie every day. How long can I do this? Life is too short to be miserable, but I feel it dragging on with this issue. I would rather be alone than have to pretend one more day. There is really only one answer for people in this situation: (1) stay and endure half-hearted, unwanted, bad sex for the betterment of the family. (2) or leave and destroy your family, stability, and finances. Well…shit. Looks like it’s a lose-lose. Someone out there please tell us all how you’re coping.

      • Hello there – my heart goes out to you because I have been in exactly same situation as you in regards to family religion, beliefs and no support what’s so ever from anyone. But please please don’t make same mistake I did. After 24 years I’ve decided I can’t leave like this anymore, I’ve felt my soul was in jail and had to escape. I couldn’t take it any longer, I couldn’t lead a double life – pretending. So I’ve decided I’m going in holiday on my own for two weeks in the sun to reflect. This is something I never did before but felt I want more than anything. I have found some supportive friends through Women Therapy and they reassured me is ok to do it I have the right to do it . I left myself and my son ( nearly 14 years old ) with my husband and off I went. I researched before I went and prepared so I’ve booked half board so I don’t have to go out of hotel in the evening . Well I surprised myself to how happy and free I’ve felt. I read in the evening, reflected a lot prayed for clarity of mind . One day I have found someone 20 years younger and fell in love the chemistry and passion I’ve felt OMG I never ever felt before. I had the best time of my life ( I had more sex in the 10 days with this wonderful lover than I had in 24 years of my marriage) I came home told my husband I want to divorce, told him about the lover but I didn’t tell my family or friends apart from the ones from women’s therapy. I got myself a good therapist to talk to one day a week and she helped me a lot by saying I have the right to be happy. I have the right to not tell anyone about divorce until I am ready. I’m now in the process of divorce still but I know I owe this to myself. I become more spiritual since all of this because I seek more answers and discover more about myself. The young lover and I finally I’ve decided to let go because I knew it was not best for me in the long run. I didn’t want to get trapped again until I am fully recovered and know exactly what it will be best for me going forward. One thing I’ve decided is that I don’t want anymore children as I am nearly 46. I am going to trust that everything will be ok and have confidence in myself.
        I’ve learned that new opportunities can’t come your way when the door is shut. You need to trust and open that door and divinity will quise and support you just have faith.
        Don’t do this to yourself, set free and enjoy your life fully. If there is no love in your heart you’ll never feel truly alive you’ll never feel the joy and passion and connection until you’ll be with someone that gives you that. Now that I’ve experienced this I can’t not ever go back to what it was before. None of this can be bought with money. And remember this your family does not live your life. This is your path and is for you to decide what is best for your soul and your heart.
        I wish you will have strength and do what’s right for your soul. God bless 🙏

  15. In this situation, why does no one talk about an open relationship as an option? It’s 2019- we can define marriage however we want. I, like many of the other commenters, have never really been attracted sexually to my husband, but, again like many of the other commenters, we have a wonderful and happy life together. I’m not suggesting a free-for-all, but if we communicate with each other and set rules and boundaries, could I not have my sexual needs met outside the marriage without destroying the marriage? Or is this just a fantasy that will inevitably blow up in our faces? Has anyone in this situation tried some form of opening up the relationship? How did it go?

    • I asked my husband, he said no way. He would rather lose me, “the woman of his dreams” than share me sexually with another man. Unfortunately it will never happen for me, but it seems like an ideal scenario for an open-minded couple.

    • I brought it up. He started shaking really bad and said if we did that he’d have to be hospitalized for panic attacks regularly. It took him almost a hour to stop shaking.

      • Same here Rosie. He had a panic attack and almost went to the hospital!

    • Married10Years Reply

      I am actually in an open marriage, but not sexually attracted to my husband. Otherwise, our relationship is awesome and I am so happy to be partnered with him. He’s smart and kind and wild and a fantastic father to our two kids – I just never feel like having sex with him. I can go ages without it and he is soooo in love with me And fawns over me and would happily have sex with me all the time even though he also gets to have sex with other women. My fear is that in letting him know I feel this way (which he already suspects) we will lose something of what makes us US. I really do wish to go through life with this man. He’s my favorite person, besides our kids. But if he knows how I feel I think he’d be devastated. And if he could get over it, and we somehow shifted the scope of our relationship, what would be lost? I sometimes feel like I’d give up being able to date other people myself just to prove to him how much his partnership means to me. The weird thing is that he’s objectively attractive. Like, has no trouble getting dates, is tall and handsome and fun. Clearly, there’s something wrong with me.

  16. As the person on the other side of the situation, I would say tell him and tell him as soon as possible! My wife and I were married for religious reasons, but neither of us now practice. She told me after 12 years of marriage and 2 children that she had never been attracted to me. It came as a shock but once I realized she wouldn’t or couldn’t change, I knew it was over. She wanted to move out and try a separation. I told her I wanted a divorce as soon as possible. We agreed to a cordial divorce without lawyers, that we thought is fair to everyone and we split our time with our kids. It was probably the most difficult year of my life, especially the pain it caused my children. I’ve had some of the lowest points. It cost me financially, I couldn’t sleep, it effected my work, I felt I was unlovable and that I had no value. But now, a year later, I’m healthier, happier, and have a better relationship with my children than I’ve ever had in my life. I actually wrote her and thanked her. I only wish she had told me sooner. Even if I never meet anyone else or get married again, I’m so much happier. I hadn’t realized how depressed it was making me to waste my life with someone who didn’t appreciate me. Not having to worry about her or work constantly to try to keep her happy has freed up my entire life.

    You deserve better and your husband deserves better. I’m not sure what will be the outcome of your situation. I know you’re probably worried how it will effect everyone. But, humans are resilient, I’m confident that everyone in my family will be better off in the long run. My children are happier, I’m happier and I hope my ex-wife is happier. She still believes there’s a soulmate out there and I hope she finds him. We will probably never be friends, which is kind of sad, but I wish her nothing but the best. All we’ve got is a brief period of time on this earth and you’re wasting yours and his by not being honest with him. Good luck.

    • Thank you for this perspective. I am curious, Why can’t you be friends?

  17. I feel exactly as many women have communicated on this blog. It is our choice to stay or leave. It is a risk. The only thing that makes me stay, is the fact that we have a son together.. and we are a “happy” family. Mentally, physically, and emotionally, I’ve already divorced.. i am worried about the toll it (divorce) would take on my son (who is only 4).. and our extended family (husband is like a son/brother to my family, but on the other hand – I can’t stand his family.. which also is part of this crazy emotional mess). I feel like the ice maiden. I try to convince myself I have the ability to fix it.. but how I you “fix” attraction/chemistry when it never existed in the first place? I feel therapy is too late, but maybe we should try? Or just wait until our son is older and figure it out.. again, comes down to choices and risks

  18. I am in the same situation as well. What did you all decide to do ad how did it work out?

  19. This is what we have been doing for 2 years. It’s hard though – lots of insecurities and bumps. Counseling. It definitely isn’t a fantasy solution in a lot of ways, but I do feel like my needs are being met in a better way.

  20. This is /was my story. Met him right after a breakup. I should have taken my time! After a long distance relationship for a few months, we got married (after receiving pressure from family for moving in together). I wasn’t ever attracted to him physically, but rather what he stood for. We tried all sorts of things to make things spicy, but nothing ever worked. It got to a point where I was almost repulsed when he reached out to grab my hand. But, we manoeuvered adulting together starting at 23 and 21. So…. 8 years later, 2 kids and 1 angel baby, I filed for divorce. And I feel like I can breathe again. My heart breaks for my babies, but we have been cordial. I just pray for my kids now. I almost feel guilty for feeling so free. After so many years of not being attracted to anyone, I had my first flirt. Wow! I hadn’t felt that in almost 12 years (previous ex… Remember?)

    Choosing what to do can be hard. If you believe in God, I like to say anything is possible… But this kind of chemistry cannot be created out of thin air.

  21. I searched for this. Googled it. I’m in my mid-30s and pretty sure I eventually want marriage and kids. I finally found an incredible, kind, creative, talented, practical, spiritual, humble man who would be an excellent husband and father… but I have zero attraction to him and never have. Not an ounce. He’s handsome most of the time to me, but not sexy, not ever. We’ve been dating a year. He’s insanely timid, won’t come on to me even when I used to beg for him to. Now I just don’t want to have sex with him at all. When he tries to come onto me it feels scripted and tense and just… off.

    I’ve never been turned on by him one single time. I have sex out of a feeling of obligation because he’d leave me if I didn’t and I’m not sure I can let him go. He wants it all the time… apparently. That’s what he says verbally, but I have never gotten any sexual energy, body language, etc. he’s very in his head. Sex feels like him trying to perform for me hoping I’ll approve of him. It’s heart breaking to not be able to give him that unquestionable validation… he’s such a good guy. But it’s also heartbreaking to consider entering into a life of sexual numbness for myself.

    He has a past full of emotional abuse for his mother and sex-is-dirty from catholic school and an ex wife who was raped and they stopped having sex as a result… for years. So he has a lot of baggage. Meanwhile I’m a very sexual person, done a lot of work to heal from my own sexual trauma, and have always always enjoyed my sexual relationship with past partners… so this is a first for me. I don’t know what to do. I feel like if I decide a best friend, husband, and father in a largely sexless marriage is good enough, that I’ll end up cheating and/or leaving. It’s hard to imagine turning down someone who I’d have good chemistry with as it is.

    • Don’t do it. Please…learn from this article and the replies. It’s not worth it.

    • I married my husband under the exact same circumstances. I could have wrote this.

    • Twisted Princess Reply

      This is me. I’ve been with my husband for almost 10 years. We were actually best friends for a year before we started dating, and, for a while, I was a little attracted to him – but nowhere near what I’ve felt for other people. We had regular sex for the first year or so… Then it started being less and less often, and not on my account. The thing is, I was a virgin when I met him, and I had no idea sex was supposed to be better than what I had with him. So, when that’s all you know, you want it, right? He, on the other hand, was never that active sexually. After the honeymoon period faded, he started getting less and less interested in sex, and that itself was a turnoff for me. But then we had a few problems in our relationship, and I gave him an ultimatum to get better. It didn’t work, so I tried to break up but he wouldn’t have it, so I ended up cheating on him. The sex with the person I cheated on him with was mind-blowing. I had no idea sex could be like that. He forgave me for cheating because I did try to break up, and he hadn’t improved anything I’d asked him to. But because of what happened, I learned that my husband and I were incompatible sexually. We still have sex, but the frequency is much less than ideal for me and, honestly, I’m not atttacted to him at all. Everything he does in bed is unattractive to me. When I read or watch romance, it breaks my heart, because I love him dearly, but there is no spark. I don’t want to tear his clothes off, I’d rather he kept them on. He’s a wonderful person and everything else about our life is great…I don’t know what to do.

  22. It’s comforting to see that others have obviously put the same words into a search engine. I’m 54 and after 27 years of marriage have just now been able to admit this truth to myself. Like some of the others here, I am having trouble imagining or justifying leaving a good marriage because of sex. I have brought up an open marriage but he doesn’t think he could handle it. I don’t have the answer, but here is what I am thinking about today. When he touches me in a sexual way I experience aversion. It’s been getting worse. I’m starting to see physical attraction as something that is hard-wired, and when I engage in spite of how I feel it’s like I’m overriding my natural system. In some ways it’s like it’s against my consent. This cannot be good for my body, mind or soul.

    • Amy, I feel exactly the same way, and I am one year older than you. You wrote it very well. What can we do? Al

  23. I was attracted to my husband and we had lots of sexual tension and desire when we were dating. I was raised in a Christian church that taught purity and saving yourself for marriage. I couldn’t wait until I was married to have sex with him, but we did wait and we’re both virgins when we got married. Then we got married and literally since the night our wedding on I did not enjoy or want sex. My desire has gone down each year and sex feels like a chore. Worse than that it hurts because I can never get turned even after hours of foreplay. Sex takes so much effort for us that he doesn’t even want to try most days either, there is no such thing as a quickie for us. I thought maybe I have a medical condition, but the doctor says it’s just stress. I guess I’m the only person in the whole world to have 10 years of stress that can’t be relaxed enough to even have sex. I fantasize about cheating all the time because I feel like I could easily get myself there with another stranger just because of the excitement of something new. I love my husband in every other way and he is amazing, but we can’t even have sex enough to have children let alone have any fun. My case is so extreme that I don’t know who can even help me. I’m depressed and feel cheated that my religion told me I was honoring God by saving sex for marriage and now I wish I had been a dirty slut in college because at least then I would know what sex feels like and why it’s such a big deal to everyone.

  24. Adding this comment for anyone who may be signed up to be notified of new comments.

    I’ve newly created a private, hidden support group for women affected by these issues. Please revisit the post for details of how to access.

    Wishing you all well.

    Kate | The Less-Refined Mind

  25. Another Anon Reply

    Reading through this post and all the comments has been extremely helpful to me, a man approaching my 40’s, who’s been married to a woman over 15 years whom I’ve never felt attracted to, but have considered my best friend since the day we met.
    I was teased and shunned in school because I was considered ugly (overtly thin, poor posture, relatively short) until the very last years of high school, and was among the worst students in class irrespectively of the subject. I grew a lot in height during my final teenage years, gained muscle mass and got my posture mostly fixed, and suddenly women started showing interest in me and I became very popular. I dated a lot and loved two women (not simultaneously) with all my heart, truly wanting to spend the rest of my life with either of them. Unfortunately, neither wanted me in the end, which elevated my sense of poor self-esteem that I’ve developed during early childhood.
    I thought that the solution was to date more people, casting an ever-widening net – and I did. I had several causal encounters and even a few friends-with-benefits deals. One of those was in the process of ending disastrously when I met a new wonderful woman. She was extraordinarily intelligent, sophisticated, we shared most interests, we had similar life goals, and she became my best friend within days – and is that to this day. From a purely superficial looks standpoint she met my three absolute minimum criteria, but also came with three features that are among my biggest turnoffs and only one of them can be changed and requires great effort.
    During our time dating I wanted to split up twice. The first time I didn’t because I didn’t want to break my best friend’s heart as I was afraid it would have ended our friendship. The second time I didn’t because she had lost her virginity to me and I felt like I had taking advantage of her if I left then. I was excited when I proposed to her a few years later, but always felt like it was a bad idea deep down and yet something I had to do because we lived in different countries.
    After our first two children were born things had reached a boiling point and I was ready to divorce, yet ended up staying because of the children. Same happened after the next two children and I started dreaming about what my life would be like if she wasn’t alive, but quickly realized that I would be totally doomed, since there’s no way I could take care of the kids while working – I rely so much on her. I started thinking about how to commit suicide instead and even got a very large life insurance policy with the goal of waiting it out for three years and then killing myself, making sure she and the children would live comfortably without me having to endure the lack of attraction towards my wife. I was too much of a coward to do this and ended up canceling that policy.
    We have sex varying from 1-2 times per week to once per month, although both her and I have high libidos. She repeatedly complains about the lack of sex and I’ve taken it as a chore to ensure that she gets enough of it, even though I practically have no interest in having sex with her. She knows something is wrong and has accused me of porn addition, low testosterone, depression and being too dedicated to work to engage in sexual activity. Everything else is false, but I confess being sad almost all the time mainly because I’m married to someone that I find physically rather repulsive.
    Our relationship has developed a balance where she gets up with the kids to make them ready, we both go to work, and after we come home I spend my evening with the kids and put them to bed while she engages in kid-free relaxing activities. If we end up crossing paths in the evening there’s a 1/4 chance we’ll end up having sex, but usually by the time the kids are all in bed she’s luckily asleep and then I can blame the lack of sex on us having no time for it. When we have sex the only way I can come is sadly if I think about some of my exes or some other women that I find insanely attractive and that’s after great difficulties. She comes practically every time seemingly effortlessly.
    I keep reading stories about people getting married without loving each other and around half the time the parties eventually “learn” to love each other, but whenever I read stories where one party isn’t physically attracted to the other that attraction almost never seems to materialize later on – unfortunately. It’s incredibly painful to be in love with someone who you’re not physically attracted to and who you could spend an endless amount of time cuddling or eating with or going to the movies, but never want to kiss or to have sex with. I truly wish I could love my wife the way she loves me – wholeheartedly and both platonically and physically – but I can’t. My life is otherwise great with many healthy children, very high annual income, great living conditions, very few problems, but at times I feel like I could give it all just to be with someone who I love the way my wife cares for me.

    • I totally get it. I married such a great man and he cares for me so well. He’s honestly not that bad looking, but he has never done it for me physically. Sex is a chore. I feel horrible for feeling this way. It bothers me all the time and I cry in private and have also considered the suicide thing, but that would hurt too many people.

  26. I’m at a loss. I thought I was the on.y one. I thought I was broken. I’m devastated that this is my reality. And the thought of this being my forever is so sad. But I feel selfish to leave someone who is such a great friend and provider. And I’m trapped because I’m older and need him for my security. I’m such a sexual and passionate person. I would love to have an open marriage, but he could never survive that. What do we do?? I know so many people have done at his…I just never thought it would be me.

  27. I have just been told that I’m the unattractive husband. Similar story married 14 years, both been faithful, kids, we are great friends and have a healthy social life together. I’ve always known that I married ‘up’ as she is a beautiful woman but I feel like I can hold my own physically too. I’m funny, charming, successful and seem to have the attention of the woman in the office BUT she has never been very sexual with me and I felt she was just generally cold and disinterested. You question what is wrong with you, could you work out more, am I not tall enough (she is taller then me) but I never imagined she felt as others on this board do that I’m just not attractive to her.

    I am happy to field questions about what it feels like on this side and maybe bounce ideas off me for building that attraction but as we go to counceling in a few days, I feel hopeless with the love of my life and long term goals all feeling extremely uncertain.

    Has anyone successfully managed to become attracted to their partner for the first time after being with them forever?

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