married but sexually rejected


You’re married, but you feel sexually rejected by your husband. I’m sorry to hear that. I know that has to hurt. You start questioning yourself. “Am I not pretty enough? Am I not sexy enough? Not skilled enough?” There must be all kinds of things going through your head. You’re thinking, “I need sex too. I need fulfillment. Why does he not want me anymore?” 

Typically, when you feel that your husband does not want you sexually, or even if he says as much, you take it personally. You think there’s something wrong with you, and that increases the pain pretty dramatically. Hi, I’m Dr. Joe Beam. I’m with MH international. We work with marriages in all kinds of situations. When I earned my Ph.D., my Doctorate from the University of Sydney in Australia, I studied the causes and correlations between marital satisfaction and sexual satisfaction.

That’s why I’ve been on shows like the “Today Show” to talk about sex, particularly in the context of marriage. So let me speak as a sexologist, if I may, and an expert in relationships and particularly marriage relationships. For over a quarter of a century, I’ve worked with marriages in all kinds of situations, including those with sexual difficulties.


If you’re married but feeling sexually rejected by your husband, let me get you to think about a few things.

I believe I can help you understand what’s happening and potentially rectify the situation so that again, you and your husband can be making love to each other. There are some general factors to consider.


Look at your husband’s age.

He may be relatively young, but let me talk about this.

We know that approximately one-third of men, when they reach age 65, will stop having sex. Another third of men, when they get to 75, will stop having sex. We could say that the other third die happy. If it’s an age factor thing, then understand that it may have nothing to do with you, but it also has to do with health. Some men who have heart troubles actually might become afraid of sex. Thinking that if I do something like that, it may cause me to have a heart attack. “It may kill me.” They get afraid of the sex situation itself, thinking somehow it may prove dangerous for them. Also, people who are obese sometimes have diminished sexual capacity in the sense that the libido goes away quite a bit. They don’t have that drive within them.


What if he feels stressed constantly?

I mean, stress hitting him here, here, and there. All those things can be a factor.


It also has to do with timing.

You said, “what do you mean timing?” We would ask questions like this. Has your husband always rejected you sexually? Or has that started at a particular period in time? I mean, you may not be able to say the exact day of the exact week of the exact month, but if you can somehow pinpoint the time when it occurred, then we would tell you to start examining the situations around that. Did something happen shortly before that would have affected your husband emotionally or sexually? For example, perhaps his father died, or maybe he got fired from a job he liked. Perhaps he had a business snafu and wound up going bankrupt.

In other words, look at other things around. If there’s a time about when it started, try to see if anything around that time might lead to understanding why it happened and what changes occurred. Did your husband’s desire to make love to you taper off, or did he stop suddenly and abruptly? When you look at those things, of course, I’ll have to mention here that one possibility, and I’m not saying this is true of your husband at all: Is he emotionally and/or sexually involved with someone else that could affect his wanting to make love to you? Try to understand what timing factors are going around this and what relationship factors are involved. You say, “what do you mean?” Well, if you’re not getting along very well, maybe that has something to do with it.

You may have heard all your life, “no, no, no. Men want sex no matter what. Men use sex to finally fall in love. Women use love to finally fall into sex.” All kinds of adages like that are out there, but I wouldn’t put my money on any of them being true. 

Do you understand? Men can have sex just for sex, but so can women have sex just for sex. But men as women are complicated sexually. That’s right, believe it or not, men are just as complicated sexually as you ladies. So, you start looking at this going, “does he feel like I don’t know how to love him? Does he feel that I don’t respect him? Does he feel like I don’t like him?” When you start looking at timing, was it some external thing out there that we talked about already?


Did something happen to change your relationship?

For example, did he finally reach a point in life when he looked around and this a timing factor and said, “I don’t think I’m going to accomplish all those things that I expected to accomplish in life”? Some people call that a midlife crisis. We don’t call it that because it can happen anytime, no matter how old you are. It can happen several times, not just once. So call it a midlife crisis, if you will, but it’s a different thing altogether. It’s a form of grief, mourning. It happens to women and men, but we’re talking about men right now. When a man finally looks around and thinks, “that’s it, the dreams I had will never be fulfilled,” he starts grieving the loss of those expectations.

That grieving and that mourning can lead to some different kinds of behavior. Like all of a sudden, they kind of act out and buy a new sports car they really can’t afford. Or all of a sudden, I’m paying a lot more attention to younger women. Anything can happen there. Is that happening? Is there a timing problem going on here? So you look at the timing, look at the relationship, look at the general factors we’ve talked about so far.


Finally, let’s look at the lovemaking factors themselves.

For example, sometimes men lose interest in sex because they’ve been watching pornography, and they start comparing you to those women on that screen. I hope you don’t feel that you need to compete with women on that screen, in those photos, or those films.

I hope that you don’t feel you have to compete with them at all. Understand that most porn stars are relatively young because that’s vernacular. They don’t go into it into their older age because we all know that as we get older, age makes us a little different physically. Things that used to be firm aren’t quite so firm anymore. Things that used to be proud now sag a little bit are all kinds of things happen there. 

While some men want to look at pictures of pornography with older women because they have a particular desire for that, most don’t. They’re looking at trained women who, if you will, do certain sexual acts and give an attitude that I’m ready to have sex anywhere, anytime, with anyone, and any way that you want me to have it. Any office you want to do it in, any place you want it to occur, and even they aren’t actually like that. So, if your husband is watching that enough that he starts comparing you to those porn stars, you might think, “well, that’s it. It’s all over.” No, it’s not. That can be overcome. All of the situations I’ve talked about so far can be overcome. You said, “well, wait a minute, Dr. Beam mentioned earlier stress. We can’t just immediately overcome that.” Maybe not immediately, but stress can be overcome. When you talk about health issues, there are some health issues we can’t do anything about. I understand that, but many health issues you can do something about. Most of the things that would be the potential cause for him not to want you sexually right now can be rectified. So far, we’ve talked about other things outside. Let’s start talking about lovemaking skills and talk particularly about you.


Let’s talk about you.

Does your husband want to do things sexually that you feel inhibited about and therefore you do not want to do? Before you get upset, I am all for beliefs and values. I want people to have a system of what’s right and what’s wrong. You may not necessarily think it’s like sin, but it’s something that you think you would be uncomfortable in doing. Like, “I don’t think I’d like that.” Or maybe even that you’ve had something occur in your background that turns you against that particular sexual act or scenario. Your husband wants some variety. Any couple that has been making love to each other after a couple of years will go into what’s called sexual habituation. You’re saying, “what does that mean?”

You get habituated to each other. In other words, I know what you’re going to do and know how you’re going to say it. I know what you’re going to feel. I know what you’re going to do to me next, all those kinds of things. It gets a little bit boring. In sexology, it’s called sexual boredom. 

Sexual boredom can set in, and then maybe your husband does not want to have sex with you, even if he feels a relationship with you, because he feels bored. In particular, if what he sees on TV or in pornography is leading him to think, “there could be so much more excitement going on here. So many other things that we could do.” Would it be a good thing for you to do some evaluation about “Am I inhibited? Are there some things that he would like to do that I shy away from, but really in actuality, I think it’d be okay? I might even possibly like it.” 

I developed a course a few years ago. It has seven and a half hours of videos in my teaching and actor couples talking things out. There was no sex on these videos, but actor couples talking out things that I’ve actually helped couples deal with sexually. 

In that particular course that seven and a half hours of videos, there are 12 different videos, but seven and a half hours altogether. In there, I also give some profiles. One thing I do is to help you figure out if you are sexually inhibited. There’s a profile on there to fill out. It’s the kind of thing where you’re watching the video, and I say, “stop and complete the profile. When you finish it, turn it back on, and I’ll explain to you what it means.”

In that, I also developed a couple of instruments that can help you assess ahead of time whether you would like, or probably like, or not like, or probably not like a particular sexual act. It’s a straightforward little tool you can use, and it’ll help you figure these things out ahead of time so you don’t feel like you’re being taken advantage of. Again, as I said, it allows you to understand all kinds of things sexually. It even starts with basic anatomy. If you believe you might be inhibited, or if your husband’s telling you you’re inhibited, I’m going to recommend that you look into that course because it’s relatively inexpensive. It can give you a lot of things to understand. 

I would recommend that you do it with your husband. If he’s rejecting you sexually, you say, “I’ve run across this thing that’s video-driven. It’s online. There’s no pornography in it whatsoever. Can you go through it with me? Let’s watch it. Let’s do the little exercises and see what that does for our sex life.” I think that you’ll find that the results will be pretty dramatic. I cannot guarantee you that because I don’t know your husband, nor do I know you, but I’m telling you that the people who’ve been through it so far have said great, wonderful things about it. 


In addition to looking at your potential inhibitions, look at your skill level.

In other words, do you put yourself into it, and are you doing it in such a way where you can let go? That has to do with inhibition. 

I’m saying, are you to the point where you can trust your partner, your husband enough, that you can let yourself go and thoroughly enjoy the pleasure that should be yours in marital sex? Can you do that? If not, we want to help you with that as well. Think about your skills. Think about your potential innovation, if any, and then think about frequency discrepancy. It may be, for example, that the reason your husband is showing very little interest in you sexually anymore is because when he wanted to have it a lot, you didn’t want to have it much, and he’s been programmed not to approach you for sex. 

The number one reason that a couple will visit a sex therapist is frequency discrepancy. One person wants it more than the other. Then finally come down to this, and again this is not giving you all the answers, but hopefully, just from this video, you can find some answers even if you don’t get the other product at all.


Finally, think about your appearance.

When you make love to your husband, think about making love to all five senses. Provoke his sense of smell by wearing perfumes that you know he likes. His sense of hearing by saying things to him that you know would arouse him. 

It doesn’t necessarily have to be dirty, but it can be arousing. I encourage you not to be dirty but to be arousing instead. Your sense of touch, where you’re not just doing the minimum when it comes to sex, but you’re doing things all over his body, because everywhere there is skin, there’s an erogenous zone. Smell, hearing, touch, and taste, so that you can do things to your body so that when he does kiss you or caress you or lick you, you will be quite tasteful to him.

He’ll enjoy those aromas with a smell, but also the tastes that come with them. But also sight. Men tend to be very visually oriented. Therefore, the things you can do to be sexier in his eyes will make it more likely that you will arouse his libido. The more likely you will stimulate his desire to have sex with you. 

One famous minister’s wife years ago said to me, “you guys want us to spend $60 on something we’re going to for 60 seconds. It doesn’t make sense.” I said, “Think of it this way. Come Christmas, do you want your presents wrapped? The prettier they are, the better you’ll like it.” So wearing the right kind of lingerie, the right kind of makeup, the right kind of lipstick, the right kind of hairdo. All those things can be so very exciting. Then sometimes, with all of those things going on, you still need to sort of jump-start things. 

On one national talk show, I was on, they went into the audience and let the audience ask me questions about sex. This one woman said this very thing. “My husband’s not interested in having sex with me. How can I get him to come into the bedroom and make love to me?” I said, “simple enough, start without him.” The audience said, “Ooh!” The host was about to lose his mind, like, “what did you just say on national television?” 

I said, “If you’re doing something to yourself sexually, that he can hear and or see the fact that you have started, it can be quite arousing to him.” There are many other things out there, but I’m telling you to check out, “The Spark”. If you go to that link, it’s not very expensive at all. You can get this video series and ask your husband to watch it with you. Even if you don’t do the things I talked about in here, deal with those, but that is seven and a half hours. 

We hope you end up having a much better sex life for your own sake.


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