Need help breaking free from addiction?
Call 24/7 for treatment options. Ad Info & Options

I Think My Husband Has Sex And Intimacy Issues


I have been with my man for three years now and have been patiently waiting for things in the bedroom to change. He claims he does not like having oral sex performed on him. We never have any kind of foreplay, ever! He refuses to perform oral on me and whenever we do have sex, which is not that often, I initiate it. Also, he seems to have a problem letting me arouse him. He sort of just gets an erection and jumps on. He always talks during sex and, not dirty talk, either! We have talked some, after three years of marriage. After all, I have to say something. However, he gets angry with me and very often loses his erection quite quickly if anything distracts him. If that happens there is pretty much no going back! Sex will definitely NOT happen after that.

That said, he is wonderful man outside of the bedroom. He is supportive and generous and funny. He makes me laugh almost to tears everyday and he is my best friend. I find him incredibly yummy and want to have sex all the time. I will also mention that he is 13 years younger than me. I would be very grateful for any advice you may have for me.

This Disclaimer applies to the Answer Below
  • Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
  • Dr. Schwartz intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
  • Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
  • No correspondence takes place.
  • No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by Dr. Schwartz to people submitting questions.
  • Dr. Schwartz, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. Dr. Schwartz and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
  • Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.

The things that happen in the bedroom are not that different from what happens in the outside world, What I mean by that is that, if your husband cannot be intimate in the bedroom then it is likely that he has the same problem outside of the bedroom. His being funny and able to make you laugh is great but, how far can that get a person in an intimate relationship? To take this somewhat further, I want to point out that, what happens in the bedroom is not only sex but an expression of tenderness, sensitivity, caring and deep intimacy. Somehow, I doubt he is able to express these same things outside of the bedroom.

However, that observation will not help you very much because it still leaves you wondering what to do about the situation? One thing you can consider is marriage counseling. Perhaps, in the therapeutic office he can hear some of your concerns about the relationship. At the very same time, I can hear you responding to me by saying that he would never go to marriage therapy. If he cannot discuss sexual and intimate things with you, then, he cannot with a therapist.

As I read your E. Mail, I could not help to think to myself, “My, how sad, not only for you, but, for him as well. Look how much he is missing out on.” I suspect very strongly that he is unaware of what pleasures he is missing. The pleasures you are missing are clear and that is why you have written to us.

It is fairly safe for me to guess that your husband has all kinds of fears and inner prohibitions about sex and sexuality, including, how to be with a women sexually.

Here are some strategies you might try to help him feel safer sexually. I do not guarantee they will work:

1. Talk quietly with him about the pleasurable things HE is missing out on.

2. Gently tell him that you enjoy those things because you love him and that oral sex and foreplay are ways for you to express your love and affection for HIM.

In other words, try to express some of this in terms of what would be good fo him, not only you.

3. Gently bring up the subject of marriage therapy and tell him it is because you feel worried about the future of the relationship.

4. If he gets angry about any or all of these things try to quietly ask him why he is angry and that you feel confused about what is angering him. Tell him you do not mean to sound critical but want to bring the two of you closer.

5. Find some really good manuals and books on adult and marital sexual relationships (non pornographic) and ask him to read it with you and discuss it together.

For yourself, please keep in mind that this is more than a sexual issue but is also a relationship problem that can become much worse as time moves along.

I hope these things work. In the end, if nothing at all works, it could spell disaster for the relationship.

Good Luck

More "Ask Dr. Schwartz" View Columnists

  • Cathy

    From the things I have researched in my own life, very few people are asexual as in not needing sex so, maybe he is meeting his needs in another way - most often masturbation of some sort? Another thought is the "control". My husband was a "hop on" guy until I got fed up with that after realizing I was a masturbation machine! Sounds bad doesn't it? Men can easily get "control" in the bedroom. He may have some religious aversion to oral sex and I believe that kind of thing actually needs to be addressed before the marriage and that someone feeling that this is against their religious boundaries should not have to compromise them for anyone. As I told my husband, I have a lot of friends who care about me, make me laugh, etc. but the sexual intimacy is what would separate my relationship with him from my relationships with everyone else. His mom told him to never have sex but I told him that I didn't think she met after he was married but since I learned a lot about his family????...I am wishing you luck and would say if he won't address the issues with you and won't get counseling, you either live the rest of your life this way or kick him to the curb - love sometimes just isn't enough and most people don't realize that love is an action verb. My best

  • severin

    I agree with the previous post that sex is definitely more than just an "addition" to the relationship, in my opinion it is something crucial in an intimate relationship like marriage - yes, sexual activities are often the only clear area of our behaviour which make a difference between friendship, family relationships and romantic relationships. Anything else (love, hobbies, fun, emotional support, mutual help and understanding etc) can be done also with friends and family, just sexual matters are something which occurs only in a romantic relationship with our partners. Moreover, the choice of our partner is based on our sexual orientation, so relationships are largely defined by our attitude to sex, I suppose.

    The aversion to oral sex or intimacy in general can be very hurtful and the partner who avoids these activities usually cannot see how much he/she can hurt his/her partner in this way. Unfortunately, these people with strong aversion are very difficult to change. Only if they really want to do something about it, it is possible to modify their behaviour in at least a slight degree...but if they do not admit it is also their problem and if they think that it is just the problem of their partners who want such "bad" things, they can be really arrogant and it is questionable whether it is woth the effort to commit ourselves to such unwilling partners.

    People who are asexual or who have serious sexual issues should make it clear before entering a long term relationship with someone - you know, if I am a pacifist, I will not join the army, if somebody is "asexual" , he/she should think twice before getting involved in a serious relationship...

  • Anonymous-1

    I am living in this type of marriage, my husband has serious intimacy problems but he doesn't think he has a problem. I am in counseling for myself to care for myself as I understand the life situation I am living with since I married this guy. This is a second marriage for both of us and we are in our 50s and 60s. He refuses to attend counseling, denies he has any problems. I offer this advice to other women-if you can get out, get out! I am basically stuck with this life because it is too late in my life to start over. I am protecting my financial position for later in life so I am not poverty stricken when I am 70 or 80 years old. If I thought I could leave I would be gone in a heartbeat.


Call the Helpline Toll-FREE

To Get Treatment Options Now.

1-888-993-3112 100% Confidential

Get Help For You or a Loved One Here...

Click Here for More Info.


Call The Toll-FREE Helpline 24/7 To Get Treatment Options Now.

100% Confidential
Get Treatment Options From Your Phone... Tap to Expand