Have you ever caught yourself waiting for your husband to fall asleep before getting in bed? Or telling white lies to avoid sex? It may be even worse than that: you might literally feel like your skin crawls when your husband touches you. You may be surprised to hear it, but this is much more common than you might expect! I have had countless clients come to me describing the same exact dynamic in their relationships. Often they were ashamed to even admit that their once-passionate sex life had fizzled out of existence, and worse, they were wracked by guilt that it was somehow their fault!
Let me start by making something clear: it wasn’t their fault, and it’s not your fault either. There is nothing to feel guilty or ashamed about. This is a completely natural situation, and it happens all the time! Of course, that doesn’t change how unpleasant it is to live in a relationship when you’re avoiding sexual contact with your partner, or how scary it is to wonder about what this means for the future of your marriage. I know it’s a terrible feeling, and I’m sorry that you’re in this position. The good news is that you’ve already made the first step. You’ve looked yourself in the mirror and admitted it: ‘I don’t want my husband to touch me anymore.’ So what now?
Here at Happily Committed, believe me, we have seen it all. And I’m here to tell you are not alone in this situation. I have worked with plenty of women who were convinced that intimacy with their partner was beyond saving, or that they themselves would never again experience a satisfying sexual life. But once we worked together to dig deeper and find the source of the problem, things turned around, and they proved themselves wrong. There is always a way out! In today’s article, I want to help you look at this unpleasant situation with a fresh perspective, so that you can pinpoint the root of what’s wrong and take steps towards a healthier dynamic for you and your partner.
I don’t want my husband to touch me anymore: Help!
I want to start with an example. Recently, I had a client named Stacy who had come to me with this very same situation. She and her husband, Calvin, had been married for 15 years, and during that time she felt like her libido evaporated completely. The problem wasn’t a lack of attention from her husband. In fact, the problem was just the opposite: Calvin’s desire hadn’t changed one bit, but Stacy felt turned off, uninterested, and sometimes even disgusted whenever they had sex. She didn’t want to create issues or hurt his self-esteem, so instead of confronting the problem, she kept it to herself and quietly tried to avoid any situation in which Calvin might try to get intimate. She would find herself changing her schedule to avoid going to sleep at the same time as him, or getting dressed in the bathroom to avoid exciting him by changing in front of him. She even told him that he had a problem with snoring, just so she could slip away and sleep on the couch!
Of course, Calvin noticed, and their relationship began to suffer. By the time Stacy came to me, their relationship was teetering on the edge of divorce, and she was wracked by guilt because she felt that it was her fault. She still cared about him, but simply couldn’t explain why she felt the way she did! I’m happy she came to me, because that’s precisely what I dedicate my life to: helping others find a way to live the romantic life they deserve. Stacy didn’t deserve to feel so awful about something she couldn’t help, and I knew there was a way out for her.
Stacy truly believed something deep down inside of her was broken or missing, but I explained to her the same thing I want to say to the person reading this: it’s not a problem with you. Most of the time, it’s not even a problem with sex, or sexuality itself! The first thing you need to understand about this situation is that usually there is something else underneath the surface of the relationship that’s causing the physical disconnection between you and your partner. At first, Stacy tried to reassure me that everything else between her and Calvin was fine, but once we took a closer look, it became clear what was wrong.
In Stacy’s case, it turned out that they had fallen into the same trap many others fall into: routine. I don’t mean that they were bored, I mean that routine had masked a lot of problems that had developed in their relationship. In the monotony of their day-to-day lives, she and Calvin had forgotten how to communicate! They would share a few brief words before and after work, but they didn’t open up to each other anymore. We discovered that, deep down inside, Stacy felt unloved and neglected, and although Calvin had been trying to engage her sexually, he wasn’t engaging her romantically. He simply wanted sex, not intimacy! It’s no surprise that the resentment and hurt she was harboring towards him manifested as sexual avoidance. And, of course, this only made things worse: Stacy withdrew more, and in the silence that was growing between them, that initial romantic flame that had brought them together 15 years ago was quietly dying out.
At this point, it won’t be a surprise for you to hear that the solutions that helped Stacy and Calvin rekindle their relationships didn’t center around the sex itself! I worked with her as she finally tackled the underlying problem head-on. Her first step was simply opening up to Calvin, and asking him to do the same. They had to relearn how to communicate as partners, and once they did, they worked out a lot of the small things that had been eating away at both of them over the years. They discovered that root of their problems in communication was the routine that had swallowed their once-exciting relationship! If this is sounding familiar to you, feel free to check out our course in how to Overcome Routine. Ultimately, once these deeper issues were put to rest, the physical side of their relationship was free to blossom again without anything holding it back.
Digging Deeper: Finding the Roots of Sexual Aversion
Every relationship is unique, which is why our coaching sessions here at Happily Committed have to be so personalized in order to find the solutions that are right for each individual who comes to us for help. At the same time, there are common themes that run through relationships suffering from the same problems, and Stacy’s story is a good illustration of how we can tackle this particular problem and find a path towards a more gratifying sexual life.
The first thing you need to do is to ask yourself some hard questions about the dynamic of your relationship, in order to see what the problem is, and to rule out what the problem is not! Once you have a clearer picture of what you’re working with, it’s a lot easier to come up with a game plan for making things better. Here are some of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself to try to pinpoint the root of the problem:
Do I only feel disgusted when my husband touches me, or am I actually uncomfortable around him most of the time?
Often we don’t want to answer questions about the quality of our relationship honestly, because we’re scared of what we might find! It can also be overwhelming to try to characterize your relationship as ‘healthy’ or ‘unhealthy’ all at once. However, it’s vital to be frank with ourselves about the way our partners treat us, and the best way is to look at the details. Ask yourself, do I feel cut off from my friends and family? Does my husband belittle me? Are my boundaries respected? Keep an eye out for the blame game, too: one of the surest signs that something is wrong is when everything bad always seems to be your fault.
If you feel cut off from your friends, belittled, or constantly blamed for everything, it might be time to accept that your relationship has become toxic. If it has, the fact that you don’t like being touched anymore is a completely natural and healthy self-defence mechanism! The solution is not to try changing your aversion to sex, but instead to work on the relationship itself, or to consider moving on in pursuit of something healthier. If you’re in this situation and don’t know what to do, feel free to reach out to me or any of the other coaches at Happily Committed anytime to help you make your next step. You can also check our course in how to fix your relationship.
Is sex with my husband all about his needs?
When you have sex with your husband, do you ever feel like it’s all about his pleasure? This is an unfortunate reality for plenty of women out there, but if you’re feeling disgusted when your husband touches you, it might be time to take an honest look at whether you feel valued in the relationship at all. Often this feeling comes from a place of resentment, because one-sided sexuality on his part might be just another extension of him always putting his needs ahead of yours. In this case, it’s no wonder that you’re not interested sexually! You need to feel respected and valued before you can expect yourself to open up to him physically.
Could it be that I don’t love my husband?
This is by far the hardest to answer, but any strong marriage should bear the weight of being put under the spotlight. If you’re feeling like you simply may not be in love with your husband, it’s important to know that the feeling of love fluctuates, and it’s normal to have moments when you’re less in tune with each other. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should simply accept things the way they are: left unaddressed, quiet problems like a dead bedroom can grow into more serious issues between you and your spouse that all but guarantee an unhappy ending to your story together. That’s not fair to either of you: it’s always worth trying to improve a relationship before accepting that it doesn’t work.
So, if you’re feeling like the flame is growing cold, remember that there are plenty ways to reignite your chemistry. For one, you can work with me or any of the coaches here at happily committed to create a tailor-made action plan for you and your spouse, or you can also check out our course in bringing love back by clicking here. The most important thing here is to recognize that you’re reading this article because you’re trying to find a way to solve this problem, which is already a healthy sign of having the attitude you need to succeed.
I’ve pinpointed why I don’t like being touched by my husband: What now?
So, now that you’ve taken a hard look at the quality of your relationship, you should see one of two paths ahead of you. The first is for those of you who have identified underlying elements of your relationship that are unhealthy: the root causes of why you don’t like being touched by your husband. Addressing those issues is going to take a lot of time and dedication, but once you do, you’ll find that your sexual relationship with your husband will become healthier on its own. However, at this point I really want to make something clear: he’s going to have to meet you halfway! The two of you decide the dynamic in your relationship, and it’s impossible to fix anything without the cooperation of your partner. As always, the biggest determining factor is how well you two communicate! If communication is a problem in your relationship, you can take a look at our courses in communication for some tips on how to create a healthier dialogue with your husband.
The other path is for people who ask themselves the three questions above, and are lucky enough to find themselves in a relationship that is loving, attentive, and healthy. It may surprise you, but many people in healthy relationships still face this very same problem: they don’t like it when their husband touches them! They’re happy, but they’re not sexually interested in their partners, and they’re scared of the problems that this might lead to. If you’re one of these people, don’t worry, there are solutions for you, too. I would recommend asking yourself, is it just your husband that you recoil from, or are you simply less sexual now than you used to be? Oftentimes an outward problem in a relationship is actually an externalization of an inner unmet need. It’s so easy to get distracted by the routine of our lives and to neglect the self-care and self-confidence that we all need for our sexuality to flourish. Sexuality is something that comes with confidence and self-love, and both of those things need to be regularly maintained throughout our lives. It’s natural to have periods where they get put on the backburner, but it’s not healthy in the long run. If this sounds like you, I’d recommend checking out our courses in confidence building and overcoming routine.
I hope now it’s clear that you can fight this feeling, and get your relationship back on track! Let’s go through the questions you need to ask yourself to help pinpoint the problem:
#1 Do I only feel disgusted when my husband touches me, or am I actually uncomfortable around him most of the time? Be honest with yourself about whether you’re in a toxic relationship.
#2 Is sex with my husband all about his needs? If he puts his needs above yours in every part of your life, then the root of the problem might be resentment.
#3 Could it be that I don’t love my husband? Don’t be afraid to ask yourself the difficult questions.
Once you have the answers to these questions, you’ll know where to focus your effort, and with some hard work you CAN get yourself out of this uncomfortable situation. Once you do, you’ll be living a life that includes the healthy sexuality that we all deserve.
Of course, please reach out to me or any of the other coaches here at Happily Committed if you need help creating a personalized game plan to help you achieve your goals. I’m wishing you all the best, and I know you can do it.
Your coach when you don’t want your husband to touch you anymore,