There are a number of reasons a person might lack sexual desire for their spouse. When you consider that sexual desire starts with what happens between your ears and then is greatly influenced by the marriage relationship itself, it is understandable that most of what is going to stall desire will be personal or relational in nature. There are, of course, some physical problems that can affect sexual desire too. The following list can be used to identify problems or potential problems.
Feeling bad about how we look steals our sex drive
Personal / Emotional Issues:
Poor self image, poor sexual self image, inhibitions - Our culture and, sadly, the church have played havoc with how we see ourselves and our sexuality. Feeling bad about how we look or how we might perform sexually can fill some with dread that steals sex drive. Being ashamed of our body, or feeling one part of it is too small or strange looking, is counter productive to sexual desire.
Fear of intimacy - wounds from past relationships can be carried into present ones, making it difficult to desire intimacy and oneness. Men may fear intimacy because they think it's "weak" or unmanly.
childhood sexual abuse, molestation, rape - In order to dull the pain, fear and shame associated with a previous sexual experience, many victims repress or fight their natural sex drive.
lack of privacy - living in close quarters with parents or (foster, natural, or step) children. This is more likely to effect women than men.
guilt from (false or genuine) sexual sin - guilt over masturbation, playing doctor, promiscuity, abortion, premarital sex with your spouse, non-marital sex before you met your spouse, viewing pornography, adultery, etc. can make approaching sex very painful. Growing up in a strict anti-sex household can make people feel guilty about normal and natural sexual thoughts and desires. Some even feel guilty about their desire for their spouse. Still others feel guilt over things they want to do with their spouse; things they themselves believe are wrong or "kinky," or believe their spouse would consider weird or sinful.
busyness, stress, anxiety - it takes a certain amount of time and relaxation to make sex work. Always being stressed out or having too much to do will eventually wear out your sex drive.
depression - depression puts the skids on everything in your life, including sex drive.
unforgivingness, deep grief, bitterness, fear, anger, hate - strong negative emotions steal emotional energy from the rest of your life. These emotions don't even have to be directed toward your spouse to have them affect your sex drive.
A lack of understanding of gender and personality differences can cause a good deal of friction in and out of the bedroom.
poor sexual technique, lack of knowledge about sexuality - a lack of understanding can cause things to go poorly in the bedroom. This can open the door to repeated disappointment and frustration which can in turn cause a lack of interest. A lack of understanding of gender and personality differences can cause a good deal of friction in and out of the bedroom.
lack of trust, betrayal, adultery - intimate relationships need a certain level of trust and commitment to operate well. When one spouse has abused the trust of the other, desire for intimacy is diminished.
lack of respect, abuse, manipulation, selfishness - it is extremely difficult to desire intimacy with someone who does not show genuine love or who consistently diminishes your worth and value in some way.
boredom - Most of us wouldn't get excited about eating the same thing everyday for years; sex is no different. Fear about what the other would think can keep these feeling from being expressed, and the boredom just grows.
Relational issues are a bit tougher to resolve as they involve two people, rather than one. But if both people are willing to work at it, difficulties can be resolved. Pray over your marriage. Read good marriage books and implement their advice or visit and learn from a happily married couple. Sometimes it is helpful to seek out a counselor to resolve particularly difficult problems.
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