How can I be attracted to my husband sexually?

Low or no sex drive?
MommysTired
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How can I be attracted to my husband sexually?

Postby MommysTired » Thu Nov 10, 2016 7:42 pm

I am trying to find an interest in my husband sexually. The problem is, I don't think I've ever found him that physically attractive. I love everything else about him and I think I hoped that looks wouldn't matter to so much in the long run. But, we've been married 8 years and I still don't find him sexually attractive. A big part of it is he is over weight. He knows this is an issue but lacks motivation to do much about it. It's been a struggle for him most of his life. He wants our sex life to be better and so will at times (like once year) start to control his diet more and make feeble attempts at gym membership but this is always short lived. I feel a little shallow for making it an issue but I'm a very fit/health oriented person and I have a great appreciation for a man who takes care of his body- or at least wants to look sexy for his wife. I feel guilty that I married him sometimes. I knew I didn't find him that attractive physically in the beginning, but I'd been in so many shallow relationships based on looks including a physically abusive marriage in the past to my high school boyfriend, that a 'safe' nice guy with all the other qualities seemed a good choice. He was and still is head over heels for me and that makes me feel even worse. I've prayed about this for years. I've tried to put a blind eye to the physical attraction part but it continues to be an issue. I'm at a loss.

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Re: How can I be attracted to my husband sexually?

Postby ledgemoor » Thu Nov 10, 2016 10:23 pm

Hi and welcome to TMB.

I can relate to your husband. I was never fat, and I think my wife always found me attractive, but I was overweight, and looked a lot older than her. An associate of mine met her, and thought I had robbed the cradle. I decided to get in shape, so I took up mountain biking, tried to eat better, etc., but no real change happened. After much effort, I would lose a few pounds then gain it back.

Then I started having erectile difficulties. Long story short, I went on testosterone, which fixed the ED, AND had a welcome side-effect. The weight slowly but surely started coming off, and staying off. I FELT more like exercising too. I brought a better bike, and now am an enthusiast-level rider and even compete some. In my late 50's I am in better shape and more athletic than I have ever been in my life. I now think that I was a little low in testosterone most of my adult life, even though I had no sexual issues until my early 50s.

So, you might want to get his testosterone checked. If he wants to do this, start a thread on the Male Testosterone thread and ask for help in finding a good hormone doctor. In addition to testosterone, they will test body chemicals he doesn't even know he has. It turns out I have a minor and easily-treatable thyroid condition.

About exercise: Gym: BORING. Find something he enjoys. He doesn't have to master it or even be good at it. I've never come in in the top half of the pack in a bicycle race. But no matter, it is FUN. Doing fun exercise helps the body AND the soul.

One thing I have noticed as a man, when my wife or other female friend makes an effort to take care of herself, the effort matters more than the results in how it affects my perception of their attractiveness. Just the fact that they are making an effort helps, but even more so is that they feel better about themselves, and have a more confident bearing and mannerism about them. I don't know if it works this way with women being attracted to men or not, but it is possible that part of the reason you don't find him attractive is that he doesn't find himself attractive.
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Re: How can I be attracted to my husband sexually?

Postby SeekingChange » Fri Nov 11, 2016 7:39 am

When reading "Wild At Heart" by John Eldredge, he hit on the point about "safe guys" don't tend to be what women are, or stay, attracted to...there is something about a man who likes adventure, who is willing to step into danger to protect you or others, who will pursue, etc.

Do you think that it's really his weight issue, or do you think it goes down further into a heart issue in you, that his "safe ways" aren't addressing or fulfilling? I know for me, what makes men attractive to me has much more to do with their character and mannerisms then their actual looks. If they hit a chord on a deep need in me, like feeling protected, their "attractive" level shoots up in my eyes. I, and many women, need to know their man will protect them and fight for them.

I may be off by going off of my own experience, and it could be a purely physical issue...keep seeking the Lord, He will give you wisdom and lead you to the answer.
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Re: How can I be attracted to my husband sexually?

Postby wolfsphoenix » Fri Nov 11, 2016 7:54 am

Both previous replies resonate with me a little bit, too.

One thing that ledgemoor's post made me think of is, can you find an activity that you and your DH can do together that will help him get into better shape, and be a fun bonding time for the two of you? Maybe bike riding, or hiking, or swimming, even walking your neighborhood in the evenings, anything like that. This could help him maintain the effort, if he sees it as a joint effort that the 2 of you are investing in your health, rather than something he needs to do in order to be attractive in your eyes. Similarly, perhaps the intimate time of a shared hobby, without the kids, might stimulate a deeper attraction in you after all as you see the effort he is putting forth and reconnect on an emotional level.

Like Seeking Change, it's the personality, character, etc. that adds to or detracts from the appeal/attraction for me, and while maybe there's nothing you can do about the "safe" factor, maybe more shared time together doing other things might rekindle whatever romance there was between the two of you in the beginning, or even ignite some romance if there never was any really there. Anything to get you seeing him in a new light.

I might also suggest listing a few things, every day, that you love about him. In times when I have needed to retrain my thinking about things, that has helped me. Look for those little things he does -- ex: my DH, before a business trip, always gasses up my car, goes grocery shopping or makes sure I have gone grocery shopping, changes the cat litter, sets the sprinklers to auto, etc. All things that I am quite capable of doing on my own, and in fact do for myself when he's here. There have been times when these gestures actually annoyed me -- "does he think I can't grocery shop? Gas up my own car?? Seriously?? I've been driving longer than he has!" -- but I started keeping this "things I love" journal and slowly began to see the intent behind these things. He's an "acts of service" guy, and these are his way of providing for me/us even when he's gone, making sure I am taken care of in his absence, showing me that even though he has to be away, he loves me and cares about how our home runs/cares about the goings-on of the home as much or more than work. Now, these gestures make me smile, as I acknowledge them for what they are -- love notes from a guy who doesn't speak "words of encouragement" but does speak "acts of service." All that to say, maybe spending a little time every day thinking about one thing (or 2, or 3) about him that you love might help you see him in a romantic/attracted way, as you become more attracted to his personality, character, self, probably (at least for me) the attraction to the outside will follow.

Prayers for you, though; I am sure it's a disheartening place to be right now.

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Re: How can I be attracted to my husband sexually?

Postby SeekingChange » Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:43 am

wolfsphoenix wrote:....while maybe there's nothing you can do about the "safe" factor,...

If this is the case, there are actually things that can be done, especially if he has a teachable spirit and is willing to work on changes in himself. My husband has made changes in this area, it took a lot of conversation, talking, listening and working at understanding, on both sides. When he saw how some of his actions (or lack thereof) were really negatively effecting me, and it didn't match his true heart, he wanted to change his actions to match how he really felt.
God can change what people do, behavioral patterns that have been in play for decades. He can change what we do to cope, find comfort, survive conflict, to count. Rahab had done a same old thing for years...then she did something new.

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Re: How can I be attracted to my husband sexually?

Postby poetess » Fri Nov 11, 2016 9:08 am

Following up on Wolfsphoenix:

I might also suggest listing a few things, every day, that you love about him. In times when I have needed to retrain my thinking about things, that has helped me. Look for those little things he does . . .


Look for those things, and verbalize to him what you find. For example: "It makes me feel so cared for when you gas up my car. Thank you!" Or "When we are walking and you move to the street side, I love it that you care about being protective." Or "Thank you that you are so faithful about going to work every day." It is so important to a man that he be respected (and appreciated) by the woman he has chosen. It encourages him (that word literally means "lending courage to") and motivates him, helping him to continue to do the hard work. If there isn't much to praise, praise what you find, and set your mind and his mind on that. Don't praise him as though he were a good little boy, but as someone you admire. Not flattery, but the things that are truly praiseworthy, even if they aren't huge things.
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Re: How can I be attracted to my husband sexually?

Postby jokerman » Fri Nov 11, 2016 9:34 am

What kind of "protection" are people talking about? As the sole breadwinner, I offer economic protection to my family. I offer emotional protection as a person who has learned to be even-keeled as I get older. Is that what people are talking about? Because those things also seem relatively mundane. And it sounds like women don't like mundane but want a little adventure. It's not like I live in a culture where I'm called to fight off wolves or pirates. I'm getting a romance novel vibe from some of these comments.

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Re: How can I be attracted to my husband sexually?

Postby SeekingChange » Fri Nov 11, 2016 11:26 am

I am personally speaking of a strong, confident presence with a physical protection. Not a passive man, who will remain quiet or not take action if their wife (or others) are being attacked, or are in danger.
God can change what people do, behavioral patterns that have been in play for decades. He can change what we do to cope, find comfort, survive conflict, to count. Rahab had done a same old thing for years...then she did something new.

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Re: How can I be attracted to my husband sexually?

Postby Unfulfilled » Fri Nov 11, 2016 11:30 am

With regard to the romance novel comment.

Safety is a huge. See for most women. I think what the above posts are saying is that once the safety need has been met, women need something more. I do not believe it is visual attractiveness. Rather I think it has more to do with a man's "posture". I'm not talking about sitting up straight in a chair. But the way a man holds himself, views himself and confidence but not arrogance.

What struck me most about the OP was that she basically stated as I inferred into it that her safety need has been met. But that her husbands lack of motivation and self confidence and drive is what is causing the unattractiveness. It has less to do about his weight, as it did about his lack of discipline and drive to continue to go work out or stay on a diet. It is the lack of "life".

I believe it is hard to love a person who does NOT love him or her self. And the OP is seeing in front of her eyes and demonstrated daily a man that appears to not love himself and has no goal or drive or ambition. I can see where that combination would NOT be very attractive.

How can a wife (in this case but the reverse is also true) follow her husband, when he appears to have no destination or goal in mind. He is driving aimlessly. Sure he is driving safely. But if you don't know where he is driving to or why, you are just out for a drive.

The extremely successful people seem to have very physically attractive spouses even though they themselves are not "hot". Ow maybe some of that is just vanity with say a hot woman just trying to marry into money in the traditional gold digger role. But I think some of it may be the fact that this successful man has so much drive and ambition and zest for life that it is extremely attractive. And he is able to attract women that are otherwise out of his league. It. Ecsuse of his money. But because of how he lives his life in confidence. Many times when you look into the lives of some of these extremely successful people. They got married to that "not" woman WAY and years BEFORE He was rewarded with lots of money. The only thing that explains that is how driven and full of life and ambition he had. In other words the man's motivation far outweighed his physical attractiveness of the man.

An uglt cover of a book can easily outweigh the cover of the content of the book fulfills. But even a pretty cover cannot make up for boring content.

As always what I state above can and does equally apply in the opposite gender/spousal roles.

That is just my reading of the tea leaves and I may be completely off base.

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Re: How can I be attracted to my husband sexually?

Postby poetess » Fri Nov 11, 2016 11:39 am

Jokerman,

As a man you may well have a very different perspective here, which might well be helpful. But no, I don't think anyone is trying to give a romance novel vibe. (I don't really read romance novels, so it's not like I'd do a good job at that one!) The idea is more that this man probably sees himself as a failure and unattractive (if only through his wife's eyes), and his wife sees him the same way. Since this is her husband, and she has no grounds to walk away from him, it is time to change what she is telling herself (and him) about him. It might help to focus on the positive and not the negative.

Re "protection" (that it looks like two other people have answered while I was posting): security is very important to most women, and yet sometimes a wife can take for granted things that are actually very important to her, like a husband consciously looking out for her safety. If they live in a totally safe area, this one might be totally irrelevant, but even there a husband's choice to look out for his wife's safety is a very strong indication of his love. Therefore it was one of the random examples I came up with. . . .

(edited to delete some personal info once my post had had a chance to be read)
Last edited by poetess on Fri Nov 11, 2016 7:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How can I be attracted to my husband sexually?

Postby wolfsphoenix » Fri Nov 11, 2016 2:10 pm

jokerman wrote:What kind of "protection" are people talking about?

For me, it is things like gassing up the car. Locking the doors at night, and being the one "on alert" so I can relax (not that he needs to be, but it find it emotionally draining when he is away from home, realizing the safety of our family rests with me). The fact he stands up for me if someone says or does something rude, even just encouraging me as we talk about family that has upset me, I know he is on my side. Which doesn't mean he always agrees with me, but means if he disagrees, I know it is from a place of loving care, not just "taking their side." Things like chivalry, wanting me to text him when I reach my destination, being the one to kill the spiders, treat the ant beds, spray the wasps, relocate the snakes, help me up a steep incline, or down one, if we go hiking (and help our boys as well); I could go on and on.

Yes, they look like mundane things on the surface, and he certainly doesn't do them out of any sense of wanting to be a hero, it's just who he is. But all of those mundane things, added together, when I realize they are motivated by his love for me and for our kids....that right there is swoon-worthy love, at least to me. The simple, daily consideration of my needs and our kids' needs, before his own....that he provides and protects us financially, emotionally, spiritually, and in the mundane. That is exactly the stuff I mean, and if it sounds like a romance novel it's just due to how very much in love with him I am.

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Re: How can I be attracted to my husband sexually?

Postby MommysTired » Fri Nov 11, 2016 6:39 pm

Thanks for all the advice everyone. It could be low testosterone, so maybe I can somehow convince him to get that checked. But you are right in that the weight is only part of the issue. I try to encourage him and compliment him when he makes the effort to lose weight, but he hates exercising and dieting has always been a struggle. No matter how healthy I cook, I can't keep all the snack foods out of the house with little kids around.

Anyways. Yes, he has low self-esteem and is poorly motivated and easily discouraged. He's a sweet sensitive type of guy, but one negative comment and I've ruined the night. I can say that he is getting better at helping me around the house and with the kids. At one point I was very frustrated because not only do I work 30 hours a week and go to school for my B.S.N, but I did all the housework, errands, yard work, and childcare! I started to really resent that all he seemed to do was come home from work and plop down in front of the computer for the next 5 hours, only to get up for dinner and help put the kids to bed :( It was a huge turn-off but we talked multiple times and slowly there's been some improvement.

I like a man with drive and confidence. Two things my husband seriously struggles with. These things along with the weight issue, I find myself judging him as 'lazy' and it turns me off. I'm not perfect,trust me. I have trust issues and emotional walls that needs breaking down. It's easy for me to look at sex as purely an act and struggle with how to have passion without lust. He's the only christian relationship I've ever had and I feel like damaged goods some days. But I want to want him and find him attractive. I'm not asking for a 6 pack, just not a beer gut..

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Re: How can I be attracted to my husband sexually?

Postby tjw » Sat Nov 12, 2016 6:09 am

one negative comment and I've ruined the night.

This statement is revealing. One negative comment doesn't "ruin the night" unless it occurs against a "backstory".

he has low self-esteem and is poorly motivated and easily discouraged.

Yep. And, there's a reason, more likely multiple reasons, why. Low self-esteem and low motivation do not come from God and are not
implanted in people prior to the womb. They come from life experiences. Low motivation comes from belief that change isn't possible.

I'd been in so many shallow relationships

I'm going to hazard a guess.... your husband was the exact opposite, having very few relationships other than you, and this can cause feelings
of inferiority in him. Or, if he he had premarital relationships, they may not have been good ones.

I find myself judging him as 'lazy'

There is nothing hidden between marital partners. How you feel about your husband is clearly evident to him. He KNOWS you don't find him attractive. He KNOWS you judge him as "lazy". Satan may try to convince you that you can think one thing and speak another. Make no mistake about it, what you think is what you have to change, because your thoughts will be evident in your words and actions.

You cannot change who your husband is, but you can, and must, change how you feel about him, if you can ever have any expectation of a successful sexual life in your marriage. You have received some very good advice from folks here. The bulk of the work in your husband has to be done by God. But you can decide whether you will help God or hinder God with your thoughts.

He's the only christian relationship I've ever had and I feel like damaged goods some days.

My beloved daughter-in-Christ, "damaged goods" is what we ALL are. "Damage" is the result of our sins and of the sins of others close to us. Your husband also feels like "damaged goods" But, I want to tell you that there is HEALING for that damage to be found in Jesus. Some of us, like me, are still seeking healing into our seventh decades.

It's easy for me to look at sex as purely an act and struggle with how to have passion without lust.

Yes, that is one of the main things which happen in illicit sex. The responses get "trained" in a way which cannot then be provided in the marriage. However, this can be un-learned, and your responses re-trained toward your husband.

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Re: How can I be attracted to my husband sexually?

Postby Unfulfilled » Sat Nov 12, 2016 8:19 am

Sounds to me like the husband COULD be depressed. This can also be a symptom of low T. Lack of motivation, energy, drive in general and sex drive in particular and a strong apathy to have any motivation to want to do anything about it.

One of the hardest truths is that we cannot change anyone else. We can only change ourself. And Hid knows changing ourself is tremendously difficult on its own.

I think getting good marriage counseling and possibly individual counseling for BOTH your husband and yourself would be great. You cannot force your spouse to go to counseling. They have to want to do it for themselves and for the marriage. I would recommend that regardless if your DH goes to counseling or not. That you seem counsel for yourself alone if need be. Making this step will be good for you and will provide an example that DH will see about how serious this situation is. And it COULD serve to be the judge your DH needs to get tested for low T and possibly to begin counseling together and for himself to overcome his self esteem and depressed behaviors.

Just my thoughts based upon my experiences. I have different but similar problems with my wife. Who has. no drive sexually, has low T and hormone issues and won't act on getting them fixed despite my request. We were in counseling and then about a year ago she stopped. I have been unable to interest her to go back to counseling. So I understand how hard this can be. I understand how hard it is to work on myself to help at least create the conditions where I'm not contributing to the problem. But it seems even if I do all the things "right". It will only result in so much improvement. The real heavy lifting must be done by the spouse.

You can bring a horse to water, it youncannot make them drink. You can put salt in the horses oats, to possibly motivate them to take a drink. But ultimately the horse must decide for themselves they WANT to drink.

Doing what you can do to become the best you by working on yourself is like putting salt in the oats. It provides an example and MAY create the incentive for your spouse to begin to undertake the hard work to change themselves.

So like other said. Change what is the only thing in your control. And that is yourself. The fact you came here seeking help is a positive sign you in fact genuinely want and desire to improve things. Use that to at least initially work on yourself.

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Re: How can I be attracted to my husband sexually?

Postby tjw » Sat Nov 12, 2016 8:38 am

But it seems even if I do all the things "right". It will only result in so much improvement.

Yes. And the belief that the achievable improvement won't be "enough" is where the depression comes in.

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Re: How can I be attracted to my husband sexually?

Postby Vanna » Sat Nov 12, 2016 5:58 pm

Some good advice in these posts. :) I would suggest that you consider reading Personality Plus for Couples by Florence Littauer. It is really a helpful resource for helping smooth out communication, interaction, and motivation differences in marriage. It really helped my marriage when I found I couldn't stand my husband and wanted a divorce. It might help yours too.
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