Sexual Neglect


sexual neglectAre you in a sexless marriage?  Do you often get rejected by your husband?  That should have been one of my bad husband costumes “The sexual Negator”.  If you are, you have plenty of empathy from me.  It is unhealthy physically to be in a sexless marriage, nevermind the emotional toll it takes.  Your self esteem takes a beating over the years of neglect.  Unfortunately, this is a topic that often goes unaddressed.  I guess it’s still taboo.  Also, most women would have you believe their husband wants it all the time and they can’t keep up with his voracious appetite.  This may be true in some cases but not in as many as they would have us believe.  So if  you feel ashamed of the fact that your marriage is so far from this stereotype that you’ve forgotten what it feels like to be touched intimately, know that  you’re not alone.  With the children and their needs and demands, it’s easier to let it slide then to question what could be wrong.  But wrong it is.  If you are suffering this kind of neglect I recommend you address it immediately.  Nothing says dying marriage louder than “lack of sex”.

sexual neglect
Is it time to raise the white flag?

I was in a relationship as such and began to feel ugly.  I thought there was something unappealing about me.  I’m not a nympho by any stretch, but a normal, healthy woman.  However, instead of flourishing in my sexual peak, I was wilting away.  It didn’t matter how many expensive hai cuts, or how beautiful my clothes, I was not sexually desired by my partner.  I can hardly think of anything crueler in a relationship.

I was recently thinking about a trip we took to Italy several years before our separation.  I think we were together around 12 years at the time.  Some of our close friends had invited us to join them on a cruise of the Amalfi Coast, undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in the whole world.  Well I can tell you we didn’t have sex once on that trip.  He flew me half way around the world to neglect me in every way possible.  Even emotionally, I don’t recall sharing an intimate moment with him.  One beautiful day we boarded one of those tour buses to take us all up to the ruins of Pompeii, an incredible historical site.  But when we got on the bus, he continued to walk past me to the back, leaving me to sit alone.  When I looked around, all the couples sat together quietly talking.  The neglect was poignant being that it was conducted amidst the most romantic countryside in the world.

When I think about being in Italy all those years ago, I think of myself as the Lady in the Yellow Dress.  Because I have a picture of myself standing on the famous bridge over the Tiber River.  I’m wearing one of my favorite dresses a soft yellow, linen shift dress.  I didn’t realize at that moment how beautiful I really was.  Only now, when I see that picture do I realize my own lost beauty and the shame and waste I allowed by staying in a loveless relationship.

Where was Ray Drecker when I needed him?  click to view opening credits for HBO series “Hung” about a hot and sweet male escort who always pleases his clients;



I wanted to share this personal story with you because I think the importance of sex in a marriage is crucial.  Neglect of this sort can breakdown a marriage permanently.  sexual neglect

Today, I can be in sweatpants and a t-shirt and feel beautiful.  Even if I could afford the beautiful clothes I bought for that cruise, I don’t need them to incite desire from my partner.  In a sexually healthy relationship, you feel validated.  You feel beautiful and wanted.  It is a gift your partner gives you.  When intimacy is strong in a relationship, everything else will fall into place.

Maybe we can all learn something from Katie Morgan, and embrace our sexuality without shame!

Are you in a sexless marriage?  Did you get out of a sexless marriage?  Let’s start talking about this taboo subject.

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45 Replies to “Sexual Neglect”

  1. Thanks for sharing your story. I was in a similar marriage where the intimacy just wasn’t there. We are divorced now since his confession to me that he is not heterosexual. I was crushed but at the same time relieved in knowing the truth finally. I really loved him so maybe that’s why I didn’t see the signs. We didn’t have children so that made the blow a little easier I think. I think this is an important topic and I commend you for putting it on the table!

    1. Hi Sarah, Thank you for your comment. It must have been a terrible blow to go through what you’ve been through. Thanks for sharing. I think the more we open up about this kind of thing then the more people we are going to help.

  2. I feel my concerns are validated here. I’ve been in a loveless relationship and making excuses for staying in it. I’m seriously reconsidering my situation. Your whole site has inspired me.

    1. Hi Lynn, thank you for the feedback. I’m sorry you are in this situation, however I wish you the best no matter which path you choose. Come back and visit me!

  3. I can also relate to this article. It’s not fair to be in a sexless marriage. We shouldn’t have to go without. Unless you love your husband and can come to a “sex agreement” why suffer? I also enjoy watching Ray Drecker on the Hung series. But I’m too much of a good girl to really try it. Thanks for the insight.

  4. I checked out the Hung series after reading this blog. I really enjoyed it. He has a way of pleasing the ladies for sure. Thanks for the recommendation. Also, can I suggest to Jodi to maybe try Ashley/Madison site? I hear it’s safe. Maybe she can meet someone there. I know some people who have tried it and were happy.

  5. I can also relate to this subject. I always felt embarrassed when my girlfriends talked about how their husband always wants to have sex. I felt like there must be something wrong with me because mine hardly wants to. This article helps me realize I’m not alone and hey, it might be more about him. We’ve tried counselling but still I’m unsatisfied. Thx for the article. I have to figure this out.

    1. Hi Judith, Thank you for your candid comment. I remember feeling this way as well. Only you know what is best for your situation, but you shouldn’t have to suffer neglect. I wish you well whatever you decide. Check out my “..Thinking Place” blog (Nov.), to help you contemplate what your heart and gut are telling you.

    2. thanks for your contribution to marital issues in this topic many people fail to discuss it despite the fact that it causes destruction to several marriages. I really benefited from it .

  6. Hello. I think something that has not been talked about here is EMOTIONAL intimacy, which I feel is equally important. My wife of 2 and a half years doesn’t get it. She would have you believe that since I am not giving her the “gift” of sex, I am obviously cheating on her. But here’s the thing: she is verbally abusive towards me, and it has caused me to shut down. For me, sex is better when there is a loving emotional connection. I’m not just some heartless guy with a zombie dick that can perform when called upon. So it goes both ways.

    1. Hi Ben, It’s great to get a male perspective on this, so thank you for your candid comment. I agree with you that emotional and physical intimacy are highly related. Usually, women need this more but we’re all human. The last thing we feel like doing with someone is touching them after they’ve called us names or put us down. I hope you get some help with the abuse in your marriage, believe me it takes a toll over time and you won’t recognize yourself. Wishing you all the best.

  7. I feel like an ugly and unwanted person. My husband has neglected me for years. I can truly relate to your story. I am scared, unhappy and lonely.

    1. Hi Sally, I’m so sorry you are suffering like this. Sexual neglect really does erode our confidence. If you’ve tried counseling and talking specifically on this issue and nothing is changing, maybe another path has to be taken. Some couples make ‘agreements’ where they stay together and find sexual satisfaction elsewhere. However your situation sounds loveless. When you are ready to make a change you will make it with confidence. Until then remember, no one deserves to live like that.

  8. Finally, someone has admitted it! I am in the same situation right now. The lack of any kind of intimacy, especially the blatant way he ignores me makes me feel cornered and trapped. When there was sex in the marriage I could forgive him just about anything, now I feel it’s the beginning of the end and this time I doubt if we will come out of it.

    1. I know, this subject is really taboo. No one wants to talk about it because it is so personal not to mention that everyone assumes the husband wants to have sex more often than the wife and when this is not the case you feel like something is wrong with you. I assume you’ve tried talking about it and therapy? The bottom line is, it is unhealthy. It is damaging over time because sexual contact is a basic human need. Without it there can be health consequences. I hope you work something out or are able to move forward. Thanks for sharing!

  9. I feel neglected. I always feel like ok its not always about sex but a woman needs it too. i feel like i’ve been going through what u described and i looked in the mirror n saw that i was still beautiful. i just wanna make my marriage work but it’s hard being sexually frustrated..

    1. Yes, you are beautiful! It’s unfortunate what sexual neglect can do to a person’s self esteem. You shouldn’t have to suffer. It’s not healthy to go without sex. If you want to make your marriage work I suggest a sex therapist. A good one can work with both of you and help you through the sexual blocks. Good luck!

  10. I find myself wondering why this is only addressed to women and not men as well? I doubt this topic is “one-sided” as women sometimes don’t want to be intimate as well…Hmmm…


    1. Hi David, well, you’re right and that’s the point. Usually it is the women who want sex less and that’s why it is taboo to hear about marriages or relationships where the man doesn’t want it…if you scroll through the comments there is one from a man who experiences verbal abuse from his wife and this has changed his desire to touch her. Interesting scenarios abound. Thanks for your comment!

    2. David,

      I agree with Lisa, David you are right. I just want to add that even thought its taboo to talk about, women are still much more vocal about it. Women will talk to their best friend, sister or mom, I don’t think men talk to anyone, they don’t really discuss it.

  11. I haven’t had sex with my wife in over 12 years. She was diagnosed as mentally ill 2 years after we were married and it was shortly after that intimacy…ALL intimacy dwindled to zero. I’ve stuck by her now for 14 years and I’m so miserable I’m not sure what I want to do.
    I’m a strong, virile man who has never even considered having an affair to meet my neglected needs, emotionally and physically.
    But now I’m so very sad. There isn’t much to my marriage but I can’t bring myself to end it. Maybe I feel sorry for her condition(s), maybe I feel I’m too old to start over (48), Maybe I just don’t want to be alone.
    Whatever the reason I’ve come to accept this as my misery rather than venturing out for a change.
    I don’t even know why I’m writing this – perhaps because I have absolutely noone to talk to; no friends and no spouse (to speak of).

    I guess that’s it – goodbye

    1. Mr. Anon, thanks for sharing your story. You’re not alone. It is time for a change for you, though. You can’t live your life in misery. Perhaps your wife would agree to fulfilling your needs outside the marriage (after 12 years I think that’s evidence enough that you aren’t going to get it inside the marriage). You’re only 48 and that’s far from ‘too old’. You have plenty of sex life left in you and I recommend you talk to a sex therapist to get started on the best path to take in getting you back in the saddle. Don’t give up!

    2. Hi Mr. Anon,

      I’m so sorry to hear about your situation.
      Maybe we all need to find some sort of a support group. It helps to talk to people who are going through the same thing. I guess the saying “Misery loves company” is true. People who are not going through this don’t understand! I asked my sister to try and go without sex or touch from their husbands/boyfriends for just one week so they will at least begin to understand what I’m going through, their response was: “Are you crazy?!” Maybe we should form a support group.

  12. I am going though sexual neglect also. My husband is loving and affectionate but sex is never an option. In my case I think he is lazy! He always tells me its too much work to have sex and he is tired. – this comment does a number to my self-esteem. I tell myself he is a great husband I should be happy. I am so conflicted.

    1. Oh my gosh, Cristina I feel for you. My ex used to say the same thing only difference, he was not very affectionate either. It does take a toll on the self esteem and besides it’s physically unhealthy to go without sex. Have you tried couples therapy specifically for sex? It might be worth it since he sounds like a good guy in every other way. If that doesn’t work then, you might have to discuss options to improve the situation. Bottom line is, you have to take care of your needs. Too bad there is so much taboo around the subject. It’s natural to want a healthy sex life! I think if we were all more open about it we wouldn’t have these issues. My ex never wanted to talk about it either.

  13. I was also in a sexless marriage and I’m currently separated from my husband. When I told him that I felt so neglected it felt like dying inside, he thought I was being ridiculous. When I asked my friends if they believe that a marriage without sex is still a marriage their answer was: “Yes, its called a sexless marriage” Personally I don’t feel that it is a marriage. My husband and I are trying to work things out for the sake of our daughter, but my husband has as much emotions as an ice cube. I wear makeup and heels, sexy clothes, but to get a hug and a descent kiss from my own husband takes a lot more, and I don’t know how much more. Maybe its time society understood that marriage without sex is not a marriage at all!

    1. Absolutely, Helen! This isn’t fair to you. I’m sure you are a beautiful woman without the heels and beautiful clothes. It sounds like your husband’s issue not anything to do with your beauty. Sexless marriage is missing a key ingredient. I wish you all the best. You may eventually have to end it or seek love and sex elsewhere.

  14. I can totally relate to this story. I was married for 12 years to my ex-husband and I can sadly say that I was in a sexless marriage. We went on a cruise on our 10th anniversary and we had sex only once and I practically begged. I lost over a 100lbs and no reaction to my new body. Now, I know the importance of a healthy loving relationship and I realize it was not me but him. I wish the father of my children well and I hope he finds happiness. My current partner is loving, affectionate and caring. Its the best feeling in the world.

    1. V, thank you for sharing such a positive story on this subject! I’m happy for you that you’ve found a loving partner. It makes all the difference in the world, I agree.

  15. I am going through the same thing. My husband treats me like i dont exist we have a 2 year old. i dont know if its because his father passed away the same year we had the baby. But he doesn’t like when i try to touch or hold him. Or when i try to make advances towards him. My hand gets pushed away. I feel disgusting. Reading all these stories make me feel like theirs no hope. i’ve been married to him 6 years and have been with him for 8. i dont know what i’m doing wrong. I get i’m annoying go away. I feel like cheating on him. We dont talk about anything when were home together its like were just there for the child. I can’t stop crying when I read your guy’s stories. I’m thinking of just leaving. i dont know what to do.

    1. Hi Lorelei, I’m sorry you’re hurting. It’s not you, it’s his issue however, if there is some hope for the relationship then the two of you should seek counseling and talk specifically about the sexual issues and lack. it might help get things back on track. It sounds like he’s going through something with the loss of his father. I’m not saying it’s an excuse but I am saying it might be worth getting some help. I wish you the best and you know where to find me if you do end up separating. There’s lots of support here and other sites for women going through divorce.

  16. I am recently married ( november 2nd,2013) to my partner of 10years and i really feel neglected by him. We rarely have sex and if i want to he refuses unless he wants it then its okay.
    He barely talks to me he will always be on his phone playing game or texting his co workers .
    I tried talking to him but nothing comes out of that… Its really hurtful especially when the only guy i really spend time with is my 4year old son and his father always doing his own thing

    1. You must wonder why he wanted to get married in the first place? You must feel very lonely. If he isn’t willing to change you might need to take the lead and make changes for yourself so you can be happy.

  17. I’ve been in a 17 yr realationship-10 of it married…I’m so lonely I feel like I’ve died inside-I’ve tried everything only to be left feeling ugly and unwanted-we are so unconnected…my husband tries for a day or two and then it’s back to the same old self centered ass! We’ve spent the last year almost constantly fighting(yes he’s physically abusive too) I’m done…went back to school a few months ago,finishing my degree and leaving just pissed I’ve wasted all this time in the prime of my life( I feel gross but really I’m very attractive-I think he’s gay and doesn’t want to admit it!!!)I hope it’s not too late to find real love…just to feel wanted again would be heaven!

    1. I’m sorry you’ve been so lonely. The good news is that it’s never too late to start over and find love. You have to begin by self healing then think about romantic love, once you’re stronger and in a better place emotionally. Good for you for making the change in your life. Check out my book as it may really help you through your divorce.

  18. I’m in the same boat, for many years now. He never made intimate moves on me, never hold me, and pulls away when I gI’ve affection. He ditches me at parties his job have. He goes weeks without ever even holding me. Even on our honey moon, he never made a move on me or asked me to get in jakuzzi. I tried talking to him….etc, he just insults me. He drinks alot on weekends and will ditch me to go drink off with guys knowing we hadn’t spent no real together in months. It’s so bad. I been crying for years. He has seen other women, emotional affairs with them and maybe more. 2 months after married and went from their never talking to me or making love to me unless I pressure him. And it’s quick and done, very cold. I also suspect that he really is bi sexual and prefer men more. There is plenty of evidence, even the fact that he doesn’t deny it. I asked him, and he won’t answer the question. He ditches me for guys, and seem to flirt with them. He brags about how good look to guys, even flexing for them. I asked him to tell me why he treats me like this and he refuse.

    He will just leave the house without any notice and I never know when he is coming back and he won’t answer the phone. He’s called me every name in the book to my face. I believe he is seeing his private hair dresser as well. Her shop is in her basment a few streets from me, but he refuses us to meet and he goes there just to get a shampoo. When I do hair and can shampoo his hair. He won’t even tell me her name or answer his calls at home. His emotional and possibilu physical affairs led me to have one to. In which I told him I would if he continued. I then told him it was not right at all. And that im not going to be like him and continue any kind of affair. I found god ans saved again in my heart. So now again for countless weeks i have been alone, without a male companion. And he called me a whore and ditched me again for men, 3 weekends in a row. He justifies his affair by saying cause I don’t get drunk and smoke weed I’m boring.
    I believe he possibly has affairs with men he works with. There is many signs
    He doesn’t take care of me either and I always cook clean…etc. if I leave a few dishes I just used in sink he considers that sloppy

    I really think this is

    I’m going to counseling and now suffer from depression
    I am planning to leave as I got no chioce. There is not much of me left now.
    I am also disabled now with my back problem

    1. I’m sure the counseling will help but actually leaving the marriage will improve your life and reduce your depression in the long run. All the best to you Fedul!

  19. My story is slightly different. My husband physically and emotionally neglected me for about 12-13 years. I accepted my fate and had become emotionally numb which allowed me to function and be a good mom to our 3 children. My soul, however, felt like it was dying/near death. I guess you could say that although I was there for him by his side, I had “mentally divorced” him. I went back to school and now have a good-paying career. Now, here is where my story diverges. At 16 years into marriage, my husband now wants sex—every night. You would think that after being in a sexless marriage that this would be well received. It is not. His requests for sex are not positive. They precede with him drinking alcohol. If I don’t put out, I have to listen to him yell at me for a good hour or so, then I’m groped in my sleep for the rest of the night. It has affected my sleep, my work, and my mental well-being. I think this situation is worse than the neglect. I have asked him about what happened to elicit this change and he said that work stress caused him to be depressed during those years. He still works with the same people, so I can’t completely understand what changed. I know that I changed—I’m now very independent and rarely nag or complain. When I recently communicated with him, he told me that he is insecure. The internet tells me that I am supposed to do everything I can to fall in love with him (again). I am not sure if I ever loved him in a romantic way, but definitely as a partner and father to our children. I have become depressed and feel that I am trapped. I would never harm myself for the sake of my children, but believe that death is my only way out. If I asked for a divorce, I fear that my in-laws would try to sabotage my relationship with my children. I couldn’t care less about money, but my children’s mental well-being is much more important than my own.

    1. Hi Kristen, it’s time for you to get out of the marriage. Your mental health is more important than your children’s if it comes to it. Without your mental health intact, your children have no mother so how could that benefit them in any way? Get out, get help, live your life and your kids will always be there for you. Your in-laws don’t have as much power as you imagine them to have. All the best to you–sending you strength!

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