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Husband Has Low Sex Drive

Question:

I got married a short time ago and my husband does not have much of a sex drive. He takes blood pressure medication and an antidepressant. I knew this about him before we married. I Thought he just wasn’t used to a loving relationship. He told me him and his first wife did not have sex very often and that he was not attracted to her. He claims he is attracted to me. We do not have sex unless I initiate it. We did not consummate our marriage for three days. Did I make a huge mistake??? He is a great guy otherwise but I feel sad about my sex life. I am too embarrassed to talk to my girlfriends. I talk to him about and he says he loves me and will work on it but nothing really has changed.

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Answer:

I’m assuming that you’ve talked to him about your longing for more sexual intimacy. If you’ve not done so, you should. Having mismatched sexual desires can become a serious couples issue which can put the entire marriage at risk. Much better to put it out in the open where both of you can discuss it and work on it, possibly with the assistance of a couples counselor/therapist. You know that your husband’s low desire has been happening for some time (because he’s told you that much), but neither of you may truly understand what has caused this low desire. It sounds like you thought your husband’s low sexual desire for his first wife was caused by his lack of attraction to his first wife, but that doesn’t appear to be the case now that he’s married to you and says he is attracted to you and yet the same problem is occurring.

A more likely explanation might be that some or all of the medications your husband is on are causing sexual side effects. It is common knowledge that anti-depressants have sexual side effects which include decreased sexual desire, difficulty sustaining an erection (for men), and difficulty coming to orgasm (for both sexes, but particularly for women). Depending on how long your husband has been on the anti-depressant, this medication may account for some of his desire deficit. Blood pressure medications may also have sexual side effects, but without knowing the names of the drugs in question, its hard to look them up (I do encourage you to look up the side effects profiles for the drugs your husband is using. www.rxlist.com is a good place to do so).

Then again, it is also the case that different people desire sexual intimacy with different frequencies, some desiring far less of it than others. It may be the case that your husband desires less sex than you do completely independently of the medications, and other complicating factors. If your husband is depressed, his sexual drive is likely to be suppressed simply by that fact as well. And possibly also, your husband is masturbating a lot and doesn’t have much left over for you.  Possibly, the problem has multiple causes.

The only way you’re going to be able to explore the actual causes of this sexual desire mismatch is through talking to each other. You need to be able to ask questions of your husband such as, "have you always felt this way, or did it change when you got on the medication?", so as to tease apart whether this is a lifelong issue or not. It is probably a good idea for your husband to go talk with his doctor so as to see if his medications can be adjusted so as to have fewer sexual side effects. You might also explore the possibility of a Viagra type prescription for your husband. This might be dangerous due to his high blood pressure, but it is worth asking about. Viagra-type drugs don’t increase desire but they do help overcome erection difficulties.

See if you can get your husband to agree to a regular date-night where you schedule time periodically to be intimate and have sex. This may sound incredibly unspontaneous and unsexy, but it might help too. Sometimes people who don’t have sex often forget that sex is actually a very rewarding and pleasurable activity. Having a regular opportunity to have sex keeps the rewarding qualities of sex in mind, and may make it more likely that both of you will want to have more sex.

I do encourage both of you to talk with a couples counselor about this problem. It is wonderful that you are talking about it with each other now, but so far, that has not helped you to make headway. A couples counselor who is familiar with helping couples through difficult sexual estrangements might have some ideas or techniques to recommend which can help you work this out. You may never find yourselves ideally matched in terms of your desires, but I’m confident that between a couples counselor and medication adjustments and your mutual affection and love and desire to please one another, that you can get yourselves closer together.

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Comments
  • Anonymous-1

    My Husband and I also just got married about 8 month ago. He takes blood pressure medicine. His very low sex drive is messing with me a lot. He keeps on telling me that it is not because of me and that we work on it, but nothing is really changing. The longer the Problem exists it seems, the harder it gets to talk about it. On one side because I don't want to put more pressure on him and I feel like he is avoiding that subject anyway and on the other side because I began to fear those conversations. I am scared that it is not going to change, I feel bad because he is so nice and is trying to do everthing right, and that makes me feel like I am a spoiled brad that never gets enough. And on the other side I know we have to work on it when we want to have a succesful marriage. My selfesteem end confidence is gone, it feels terrible. The one thing what makes me feel better is that I see through my research that I am not alone. I'm sorry for my bad grammar, but English is not my motherlanguage.

  • julie

    me and my husband have been together for 12 years the first year was fantastic but for the last 11 years my husband hasnt wanted sex and to be totally honest it is driving me mad and its not that i want sex all the time its why doesnt he want to make love we have talked about it time and time again it just goes round in circles it as been 4 months now since we were intimate it just doesnt seem normal to me, he has been to the gp and had blood tests and they have all come back normal. the only link we have is the same thing happen to his father but the gp said this doesnt mean anything. i have now mentioned getting help from a councilor but my husband says he doesnt know how they can help. i love my husband and dont want to split up but at the same time i cant live my life like this it does help knowing im not on my own there are other women out there with the same problem but if anyone could give me any advice on this matter i would be very grateful. my huband was only 27 when this problem started.

  • Anonymous-2

    WILL IT EVER GET BETTER?

  • Anonymous-3

    When we met it was awesome and he wanted me all the time. Then he got on blood pressure meds and it went downhill. I feel for u after u got married and had to wait. We did too. I was so upset. N it is still that way. We talk about it all the time but he makes me feel bad. He says it not u. But know i found out he has been watching alot pirn on his phone and internet. He says that doesn't work but why does he look at all the time. i wish i knew what to do. If anybody has any advice i could use it.

  • Anonymous-4

    "Sometimes people who don't have sex often forget that sex is actually a very rewarding and pleasurable activity."

    Sometimes people who do have sex and think it is the be all and end all of the world forget that other people do NOT find sex a rewarding or pleasurable activity.

    Yes it could be meds. Maybe it's just the way he is. We are not robots programmed to like and want the same things. Wha's good for one does sit well with someone else.

    You married this guy knowing full well what he was like thinking what exactly? That a piece of paper (marriage licence) was going to change him into someone else? Doesn't work that way.

    Some people do lose their drive over time for various reasons. Stress is the usual cause but there are many factors that influence people in their day to day lives.

  • qqq

    i share the same problem since close to 2 years now,the frequency is once a month.i wana ask you how have you coped for 11 years because it seems i am destined for the same fate,its very scary.is there not any medication (without side effects)for this condition which can be given to the affected person in his food without his knowledge because my husband doesnt believe that he has a problem.

  • Talia

    I think you should be with someone with a roughly equal sex drive. Its not fair in this day and age to force the other partner to go without such a fundamental part of life.

    I had similar problem with my long term boyfriend, who had impotence but refused to do anything about it. I decided I decided I wasnt going to be young forever so got out when I could.

    It was painful but within a year I was with the love of my life!!

    I dont regret it at all.

    You owe it to yourself to ask and negotiate the life that you want- its only fair

  • Anonymous-5

    Yikes.

    When there's this kind of a disparity in sexual desire between husband and wife, the literature tends to show that it is usually irreparable. As a rule, the low-desire partner controls. There is really only four choices for you. First is to leave your marriage. Second is to accept the fact that you will not get what you want sexually from this husband. As a woman, I couldn't do that, but maybe you could. Third, sublimate your desires somehow into a productive activity like gardening or cooking or chess. Again, I couldn't do that, sex is too important to me, but maybe you can. Fourth, find a way to satisfy your desires outside your marriage. I couldn't do that, but maybe you can. I also suggest you go to couples/sex therapy, just to make sure that you're not missing something. It is no panacea, and in cases where the communication is good but the sex is bad, doesn't tend to work. But at least you will have given it a good shot and can live with yourself more easily.

  • Anonymous-6

    My husband's sex drive dropped off a month after we met. It has been the most difficult 10 years of my life. He kept having reasons or solutions from depression, cholesterol, diet, lack of exercise, stress but nothing came of resolving any of those issues. He ignored the situation for so many years and went along pretending everything was great to everyone we interacted with. I would express my feelings to him all the time but he would act like the conversation never happened and another 6 months would go by. We are in counseling now but i feel like it is too late. We only have had sex once or 2x a year!! And sometimes not for 2 years. I get how some men have low sexual desire but this seems like something else. I just don't want to waste the rest of my life. But with 2 kids and not a lot of money divorce seems impossible. I would recommend to anyone else starting out in the same situation to get counseling now before you torment yourself for the next decade. I feel like holding it all in for sooo long has been really unhealthy.

  • Anonymous-7

    My husband no longer wants to have sex with me. I want to divorce him. My self image is destroyed.

  • kall

    we married for 18 year my husband had mentall illness before we got married which i did not know about his illness and he got erctile dyfusion with medicine we tried lots of homopathic medicine and ivf to have childern which does'nt worked. docter changed his medicine to improve his sexual drive but he had relapce four years ago now he is havind seizers with his medicine .now im very depreesed taking tablets for it im very tired looking after him.since we married im very lonoly i got no help from his family and my family do not live in this country .he cant menage him self i thinking to eave him im very confused please sombody can suggest anything what should i do thanks

  • lotsofdrive

    Maybe quiting all the medications would help. Tell him to stop feeling sorry for himself and to act like a man.

    The best advice to give anyone is do something that makes a man feel manly. building,camping hiking etc. When a guy doesn't feel manly he certianly won't want a woman.

    Fix the Blood Pressure with diet and excersize and get off the meds.

    Get some excersize and do some stuff that lets him feel manly.

  • Anonymous-8

    I am a male who suffers from low sex drive and this has been one of the contributors to my marriage failure. I could go weeks without sex but my wife wanted it atleast 1-2 times per week.

    She felt rejected by my lack of desire and I felt pressured to have sex but if i tried I and wasnt able to maintain an erection she would also feel rejected and make me feel worse by then making me feel guilty.

    My wife was aware of my sex drive as we had been together 7 years before we married and have been married for 12 years. Over time this feeling of rejection has made her to fall out of love with me and ended in seperation

  • Realist

    This is addressed to those who have a low libido, to present a different perspective. I can't be bothered with sex. I've been there, done that, don't care, hope the (soon to be) ex-husband finds someone else who can be bothered. I'm sick of the nagging and finger-pointing.

    I haven't had much interest in anything relating to procreation. I don't understand what all the fuss is about sex. Orgasms are nice, but I just don't see the point when I can get the same sort of boost in plenty of other non-sexual ways. My mind is the fun part as I have a wicked sense of humour. Oxytocin does not play a major role in my happiness and I have never wanted kids.

    The problem is that breeders breed, that's how we get more breeders. Breeders (generally) must have sex to procreate, so who procreates?

    The sexual breeders.

    It's a vicious circle.

    And of course, who gives advice to those that are not that sexual? Why, the majority are breeders, so the odds are a sexual breeder will be giving you advice on how high your libido should be and what medicine, steps you can take to be more sexual like them.

    Historically, the higher sexed breeders were controlled by sexually transmitted and other contact diseases, which kept the human population in check. Now they just breed breed & breed their sexual DNA into the mainstream population because medicine prevents the natural culling of the promiscuous.

    The DNA of highly sexed breeders is said to carry through narcissistic behaviour disorders, thus increasing the irresponsible breeding and other poor behaviour we are now witnessing.

    Quite frankly, if you have a low libido, you should count yourself fortunate. Your brain can think about other things in place of sex.

    You need to be proud not to be a sexually motivated human. Do not judge yourself by measuring your libido against a breeders libido. Your DNA is probably still untainted mainstream DNA.

    Humans are the worst plague the Earth has ever encountered. Why add to the problem with futile sex and/or the results... more humans.

    Hang in there and seek out people that don't think it is a problem. You are not alone.

  • Anonymous-9

    My husband and I have been married for 4 years and we were together for 2 before that. We have 2 children and he's a wonderful father and husband... but the sex thing is a major issue. Like other women here, my self-esteem and confidence have all but disappeared... I feel unloved and unwanted. I've been waiting for things to get better... we've disucussed it more than I care to think about. Nothing works... and nothing's changed. I feel like I have no other choice but to end it before I put myself through another 6 years of this. At the same time... I think about our kids and the life we've built together and I just don't know.

  • Anonymous-10

    Reading your post, and reading all the comments following it, I completely understand all of you, and in a very twisted way I'm glad I'm not the only one in this situation. I ve been married for 8 months and sometimes I wonder why I gor married. He was fine and had a normal sex drive for about 2 months into the relationship (1 month being sexual) afterwards, it stopped. I don't understand why, I don't understand how can someone change like that, so soon. So I started quesyioning him, he said it was stress from work. Then we started a church course and we stopped having sex, cause the chiurch said it. So we got married (after 8 months of no sex) and he didint even want to have sex on the wedding night!!!! In fact we had sex after a week!!!!! and so it has been like that since then. We have sex once or twice a month.and is not passionate, mind blowing sex. Is the dullest sex I ever had in my life. He is not affectionate, I'm like a sister to him, not even a friend. And I'm tired. I'm exhausted, cause I am beautiful, and I can't wait and get old beside someone who will only make me bitter. Since we are catholic I will ask him to go to teraphy, and if doesn't work, we will have to divorce.

  • Anonymous-11

    My husband: no sex drive for YEARS! He is on both anti depressants & blood pressure meds. Got to love this question he'll ask me when I start to tell him how it all makes me feel horrible & unloved: "Would you rather me be depressed & non-functioning?" Well, NO way. (I believe he has some mood disorder issues too) He has major intimacy issues as well. Once he told me that sex is for "undignified" people who don't have anything else going on in thier lives....whatever! He doesn't understand intimacy, so he doesn't even know WHAT he is missing out on. My life is forever changed because of this lack of intimacy & love. But what to do? We have 3 kids, a comfortable lifestyle, etc.... Is it worth leaving over? I used to believe in true love but at my age (45) I think that leaving w/3 children would be just asking to inherit someone else's problems....everybody has something negative going on (or so it seems, right?) This situation has beat me down, doubted my faith in love, changed me forever. I'm considering having an affair...or something. I can't take it anymore. But-I do not want to hand over my kids to him on the wknds., etc....I WISH he was more loving-but he simply, is not. I'm beginning to believe MANY people live this lifestyle, but just do not talk about it. Husbands, wives...My idea has been to just fill my life w/activities I love, my kids, friends, family, etc....but if I die tomorrow...I will not have had real love for years. It's very sad. No good answer. Unfortunately.

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