In many cases, the quality of a couple’s sex life directly impacts on the quality of their marriage. When their sex life is mutually satisfying, they are likely to have a good marriage also and are better able to resolve their marital and even personal issues more effectively. Thus, when there are issues with sex in marriage, before long, there could be serious issues in the marriage itself.

Sexual aversion in marriage is not uncommon, and, let’s face it, with the increased stress from work, family obligations and the myriad other issues confronting the average spouse in recent years, it can happen to anybody.

Sexual aversion in marriage is usually seen in the unwillingness of a spouse to get involved in sexual activity. It can be recognized as a lack of libido or low sex drive.

When a spouse begins to:

  1. Have a fear of engaging in sex
  2. try to make the sex act as short as possible,
  3. brace up just to get through sex
  4. come up with excuses to avoid or postpone sex
  5. feel depressed just before or after sex

there is a high likelihood of sexual aversion.

Sexual aversion can be lifelong or acquired. While the former may require professional help (therapy) to resolve, the latter, in women, can be addressed with some effectiveness, by a husband just understanding what the possible causes are.

Reasons for Sexual Aversion in Married Women

  1. Lack of sexual enjoyment
  2. Lack of trust
  3. Unhappiness or depression

Lack of Sexual Enjoyment

For now, we’ll just be taking a look at the lack of sexual enjoyment and some of the causes of this.


Contrary to some myth that for women, sex should be endured and not enjoyed, the Bible records in Genesis 18:12 that Sarah – Abraham’s wife, asked herself, after having been told that she would bear a son in her old age “…After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?”. Sarah clearly understood that sex is meant to be mutually enjoyable.

Could it be that your wife is averse to sex simply because she’s not enjoying it? I have found that a good number of men cannot attest to their wives’ sexual pleasure. Can you even remember the last time your wife had an orgasm? Can you remember how many times you’ve had sex since then?

I once heard a story on the radio about a newly married man who had sex with his wife four times on their wedding night. He claimed that despite the frequency of sex, she still wasn’t happy and wanted more sex from him. The question that immediately sprang to my mind is “If sex four times had culminated in orgasm four times, it’s unlikely that she would have wanted more sex”. Indeed, I suspect that, while the husband was able to come to orgasm four times, the wife was not able to have any – on her wedding night, for that matter. By the time a woman goes through this time and again, believe me, she would develop an aversion to sex with her husband.

There are men who have been married for years who still do not know if their wives have ever come to orgasm. In fact, I think such men know, but are simply reluctant to admit, even to themselves, that they have never been able to help their wives achieve an orgasm. When you consider that this husband is most likely to reach orgasm at every sexual encounter, it would seem unfair to the wife. Yet sadly, this is the harsh reality for many women.

The solution? Read up on how to give your wife pleasure during sex. People only reject pleasurable experiences they feel may be bad for their health. I make bold to say that a woman who enjoys sex is a woman who would be willing to have a repeat performance.


A man once complained that his wife had changed – she was no longer the perpetually cheerful, easy-going woman he had married. Our discussions revealed that she was, at the time, nursing a 3-month old baby and taking care of a 2-year old toddler – all within a 3-year old marriage. I was like “Seriously dude, if it were you, wouldn’t you also change?” Nursing a baby is like having a living, breathing appendage stuck to you 2/4/7. Nursing mothers – even the stay-at-home ones, are typically exhausted most of the time, so sexual relations during that period may feel more like a chore than a pleasure.

No doubt parenthood is a stressful responsibility, but motherhood can take that stress level to a new high. A woman faced with the challenge of juggling the often conflicting responsibilities of work and home life could very easily become averse to sex. Other stress factors like heavy commute traffic, work anxiety, looming deadlines or even coming home to an untidy environment are enough to make any woman averse to sex.

The solution to this is simple: help your wife alleviate some of these stress factors and she’s likely to become less averse to sex. There’s nothing stopping a man from helping out his wife with chores around the house. The sooner these are done, the earlier she can kick back and relax, thus making her more favourably disposed to his sexual overtures.

You may also want to encourage her to talk to a professional counsellor or therapist.

Physical Issues

In Africa, a good number of women are still suffering from the female genital mutilation they suffered as infants or young children. The idea behind this act was to cut off the clitoris to reduce sexual arousal in girls and women so that they would remain chaste for marriage. Unfortunately, this has resulted in many women being either incapable of, or having difficulty in experiencing sexual arousal and consequently, sexual pleasure.

Unfortunately, many women who have been circumcised do not even know or remember.

If you as a husband suspect that this may be the cause of your wife’s aversion to sex, you can communicate your thoughts to her and together, come up with a plan of action.

Physiological Changes

A middle-aged man once commented on how, during sex with his wife, he had lavished a lot of attention on her bust area, remembering that she was ultrasensitive there, only to ask how it felt and get the response “I’m not feeling anything”. He stopped immediately and engaged his wife in a discussion that made him realise that, after having nursed four boys, her bust area had ceased to be as sensitive and easy to arouse as before. He said he then had to start learning new ways of arousing his wife.

If this story seems similar to your situation, you may want to adopt the strategy he used and learn new erogenous zones on your wife’s body.

Pre-menopausal and menopausal women also experience some changes in their bodies and response to sexual stimuli, for instance, reduced vaginal lubrication, which can in turn result in painful intercourse. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a big problem and can even lead to a journey of re-exploration. Sex, like any favourite meal, should always be enjoyable, but doesn’t always have to be served the exact same way. There’s always room for improvement, tweaking and re-jigging.

Indeed, I make bold to say that sex is one instance where a re-invention of the wheel is highly recommended.

Want to know how lack of trust can lead to sexual aversion in women? Watch out for the next article in the series!

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