Not Enough Sex in Your Marriage: The Sex Starved Marriage [Video]

For those who are not getting enough sex in their marriage, Michele Weiner-Davis discusses some of the principles from her best selling book, “The Sex Starved Marriage.”

It’s been estimated that one-third of couples face issues of low libido, the impact of which is felt beyond the bedroom.  Unsatisfying sexual relationships are the all-too-frequent causes of infidelity and divorce.  Michele Weiner-Davis explains what to do if your spouse is not interested in sex, if your sex life is below average, or you’re worried that your intimate life is going downhill.

It’s been estimated that one-third of couples face issues of low libidos, the impact of which is felt beyond the bedroom: Unsatisfying sexual relationships are the all-too-frequent causes of infidelity and divorce. Michele Weiner-Davis explains what to do if your spouse is not interested in sex, if your sex life is below average, or you’re worried that your intimate life is going downhill.


Are you married to someone who’s sexual desire is completely different from yours? If you are, you’re not alone. Did you know that one out of every three couples has a sexual desire gap? This happens so often in my practice that I decided to write a book called The Sex Starved Marriage and I’m going to define what I mean by that, because it doesn’t mean the couples aren’t having sex at all. A sex starved marriage is one where one spouse is desperately longing for more, touch, more physical closeness, more sex, and the other spouse is thinking, “What is the big deal? Would you just get a life?” But to the spouse yearning for more touch it’s a huge deal because it really is about feeling wanted, about feeling love, about feeling connected. And when this major misunderstanding happens in marriage what also happens is intimacy goes out the door. They stop sitting next to each other on the couch. They stop laughing at each others jokes. They stop being friends, they don’t even spend time together anymore. And this truly places the marriage at risk of infidelity and divorce.

So what can you do if you’re in a sex-starved marriage? I’m going to give two tips: one for the low desire spouse and one for the high desire spouse.

To the high desire spouse, speak from your heart. So often when you’re feeling hurt, initially you’re speaking from your heart. You’re telling your feelings about feeling so disconnected, but when your spouse doesn’t understand very quickly your hurt turns to anger and frustration. So now you’re getting angry about the wet towel on the floor or the beer can in the den. That’s not what it’s really about, it’s about your hurt. So go to your spouse and say, “I feel so much closer to you when we connect sexually, and lately we haven’t been touching. It makes me feel distant. I want to feel closer to you. Can we please plan for more sexual intimacy? It really would make me feel so much better. Lets do it tonight.”

Now for the spouse who has low desire, here’s a tip that works very well all the time. Adopt the Nike philosophy, and Just Do It. I wish I had a dollar for each time someone in my practice has said to me, “you know Michele, I really wasn’t in the mood for sex when my spouse made advances, but once I got into it, I really enjoyed it. I had a great time!” This happens time and time again. And actually there’s some science behind it. Usually when we think about the human sexual response cycle, we think about it in four stages. First comes desire. You could be doing just about anything and you have a random lusty thought and you get together with your partner and there’s physical arousal. And then if your body is working right, you have orgasm. And the fourth stage is resolution meaning your body goes back to its normal resting state.

But for half of the people in the world, stages one and two are reversed, meaning that many people have to be physically aroused before their brains tell them, “I really want this. I have desire.” If you happen to be one of these people, it doesn’t mean that you’re not sexy or you’re not sexual. It just means that you’re wired differently than your spouse. And if that’s the case, my suggestion to you is that you’re receptive to your spouse’s advances, even if you’re not in the mood sometimes. I often explain this concept to couples in counseling, and one time one man said to me, “that’s my wife, she never seems to remember every time I approach her that she likes sex. I want her to write on her hand, “I like sex” so she remembers it for the next time.”

So speak from your heart and adopt the Nike philosophy and you’ll be well on your way to resolving your sexual desire gap.

Michele Weiner Davis is the creator of the Divorce Busting Centers, learn more on how you can solve marriage problems and stop divorce. Follow me on Twitter @divorcebusting, add my Divorce Busting Facebook Page, and subscribe to the Divorce Busting YouTube Videos for more advice and upcoming marriage saving events.

About mwd27

Michele Weiner-Davis, MSW is an internationally renowned relationship expert, best-selling author, marriage therapist, and professional speaker who specializes in helping people change their lives and improve important relationships. Among the first in her field to courageously speak out about the pitfalls of unnecessary divorce, Michele has been active in spearheading the now popular movement urging couples to make their marriages work and keep their families together. She is the author of seven books including her best-selling books, DIVORCE BUSTING: A Step-by-Step Approach to Making Your Marriage Loving Again, and THE SEX-STARVED MARRIAGE: A Couple's Guide to Boosting Their Marriage Libido. Michele's work has been featured in major newspapers such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal, and magazines such as Time, Redbook, Ladies Home Journal, Essence, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Woman's Day, Men's Health, New Woman, and McCall's. Michele is a marriage expert on Redbook's advisory board, and She has made countless media appearances on shows such as Oprah, 48 Hours, 20/20, The Today Show, CBS This Morning, CBS Evening News, CNN, and Bill O'Reilly. Michele's Keeping Love Alive program aired on PBS stations nationwide. She recently completed a reality based show for the BBC about helping couples save their marriages. Michele maintains that her true expertise in helping couples have great relationships is derived from first-hand experience. She and her husband have been married for more than thirty years.
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  • Resist

    OK. I am the husband and I am in a sex-starved (SS) marriage. I have watched your YouTube video many times, have your book, and have cruised the Net. Been with my wife since 1987 (high school). Have two great kids. Job, money, house, future…all good. We have a great relationship and argue some but who doesn’t. Nothing big. BUT she has low sexual drive. Per her, not just me. I finally spoke to her about it and even showed her the You Tube video. Things were better for a bit but now they are back to being not so great. I feel like I am “pawing” at her all the time. I drop hints, I play, I love to cuddle and hold hands and give massages. We do have sex but not very often and only when she wants to and it is usually at the same time and place (like John in the video). I have asked her, begged her, to tell me what she needs or what i could do differently. What if I lose weight? What if i clean more? She just sighs and says it is her. I am quite depressed about it but i dont want to sadden her by making her feel bad about not “doing her part”. If I even hint at it she apologizes and makes negative comments about herself. Each night I stare at the ceiling and feel alone while she sleeps. I am sick of rejection each time I try so I just dont try any more. Its not worth it.

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