A Simple Script for Husbands Dealing with Sexual Rejection

One of the most common types of emails we receive is from a husband who feels sexually rejected by his wife and hopeless. He wants more sex, but feels like his wife isn’t interested and doesn’t love him. Frequent sexual rejection can be devastating to a marriage. Men are taught to hide their feelings and make it look like everything is “ok”, so rather than talking directly about our pain we often lash out in other ways: anger, annoyance, frustration, criticism, and withdrawal. These emotional responses mirror back to the wife the rejection that the husband is feeling by denying the wife what she craves from the marriage. This response creates a damaging cycle of rejection that hurts both spouses and the marriage.

We believe that it’s God’s will for every married couple to have a satisfying sex life! We recently wrote a post about how to talk to your spouse about sex, and that’s a good place to start for the general topic. The purpose of this post is to give a hurting husband a simple script he can use to discuss the pain he’s feeling because of sexual rejection by his wife.

First, husbands, as always, you must be in prayer. You should talk to God about sex ten times as much as you talk to your wife. The Bible says that marriage is a picture of Christ’s love for the church, so meditate on Philippians 2:1-11 and learn about Christ’s humility. Don’t just read it once — read it three times a day for a month. Then you’ll be ready to approach your wife in a Christlike manner. Jesus is a loving leader who God exalted because of his humility. Do you want to lead your wife? There’s no better example than Jesus.

Second, here are some words you can say to your wife. Feel free to change things up as appropriate, but remember to be loving, gentle, and honest.

I love you so much, and I want to have deeper intimacy with you. You may not realize it, but it really hurts me when I flirt with you or try to initiate sex and you rarely seem interested. Maybe on the outside I seem brush it off, but inside I’m really hurting. You’re the only person in the world that I want share my sexuality with, and when you reject me it feels like you’re rejecting my love entirely. Maybe you’re feeling frustrated or disappointed also. Can we talk about how to have a sex life that’s more satisfying for both of us?

That should get the conversation started!

See also: Sexy Corte’s advice for dealing with sexual frustration and how to talk with your spouse about sex.

If you have a tip to share, please leave a comment. Have you had this conversation with your spouse? How did it go?

15 comments

  1. Once again El Fury another fabulous posting! Thanks for the great tips and advice… I love how you and SC back up your writings with bible verses. You seem to give advice so many of us are wondering. I can’t wait for your next posting…

  2. What of she stil is not interested in having sex? I ve been asking for more than four years now, to please spent some time with me in the evening instead of watching tv. She s always reading in bed. I just can’t seem to let her realize I need more intimacy

    1. What a great question! I think the general advice is good for a sexually rejected wife also, but I’d be curious to hear other perspectives.

  3. I’ve struggled with this as well. It’s been a huge part of my prayer life. I’ve had the conversations with my wife without resolution. I’ve done what was stated above, but things have not changed. My libido is MUCH higher than my wife’s is, and my advances get rejected about 90% of the time. I also struggle in this because my love language is “Touch” so rejection hurts me for days. Some night I think, “I can burn with passion or I can burn as well as be wounded by rejection. Best not to compile the problem.”

    I desire to lash out, to announce this as sexual sin (I’m just not in the mood) and tell her she’s being selfish. My nature want to say, “well then fine, there’s a few commitments I’m not in the mood to fulfill as well.” That’s my flesh – wants to call out her sin that’s is selfish and hurts me. To say, “it’s a win for the enemy when sex happens outside the marital bedroom AND he wins when sex is rejected within it.” BUT here’s the thing. Scripture calls me to some very specific courses when dealing with the areas my wife (or others) struggle. First off, the areas she struggles in DOES NOT grant me permission to fail in my calling as a husband. When I said “I do” I agreed to be the best husband I can be which means “love covers a multitude of sins, love places the needs of others (my wife) above mine, love keeps no record of wrongs, love is patient, it is not dishonoring or self-seeking (1 Cor. 13:8-13). Also, scripture calls me to “Live with YOUR wife in understanding” (1 Pet. 3:7). There’s a reason she doesn’t want sex this time. I know for my wife it’s sometimes due to personal hygiene. Not that I’m dirty, but that sex for her leaves her feeling dirty. If she’s “so fresh and so clean” and we have sex she doesn’t feel clean anymore. If she’s had a long day, gone to the gym, taking care of the kids and has not had the chance to shower she doesn’t want sex because she feels dirty. For me it’s not an issue at all, but it is for her. I’m called to have understanding in what matters for her.

    Rejection SUCKS but it doesn’t disqualify me from the man/husband God has called me to be. So could I wave the banner of being the victim? That unfulfilled sexual desire opens me up to temptation outside our bedroom. All of us reading this could, but would that make a better marriage? Would that fix our problem of rejection? Nope. If I try and guilt my wife into sex it will only lead to resentment, which will lead to more rejection beyond our bedroom. We could rationalize it as an excuse to walk out, which would totally wrong.

    What I know is this, God is the one who changes hearts. He’s the change agent for this area of my marriage after my attempts have fails. Standing on the high ground calling out her failure would be wrong too. What I can do is this – keep praying for my wife. Be as patient with her as God is with me. Understand her the best I can and try to appreciate the reasons she’s rejecting sexual advancement, and anticipate when it’s a no-go night. Don’t set her up to stumble when I know she’s going to say “nope, not tonight.”

    This stuff is REALLY REALLY hard, I often feel cheated, I feel unloved, and it’s also stuff God is using to mold me. What Satan intended to hurt me and bring me down is actually a tool God is using to mold me more into the shape of Jesus. When I get rejected, but then respond the same way God does in my life when I fail, God gets the win. Men, some of the greatest victories we have in our marriage is remaining faithful when we’ve been wounded. Be faithful, pray, and patiently watch God work. This is still unresolved for me, but I have hope that God will change her as well as I through this struggle.

    1. Hello brother, I’m sorry to hear about your struggle. You’re right that the best thing you can do is pray — try tears.

      You wrote: “I’ve had the conversations with my wife without resolution.”

      But I’d encourage you to drive the conversation to a resolution. “You have not because you ask not.” Ask your wife for specific action, and get a yes or no from her. (And, of course, be open to her requests as well and make a good-faith effort to satisfy them.)

      1. “Ask your wife for specific action, and get a yes or no from her.” And when it’s no? There’s never any real solution(s). It’s all about how long a husband can carry the cross. That’s my experience.

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