How to Be More Attracted to Your Spouse

Photo by Tanya Little

Photo by Tanya Little

If you’ve been married for any length of time, you know that attraction tends to ebb and flow in marriage.  Work stress, financial concerns, parenting challenges and many other issues all compete for our attention.  Throw in the myriad of symptoms from chronic illness and we can easily struggle with desire and attraction.

But what happens where there is a more pervasive loss of attraction towards your spouse and not just the occasional “not tonight dear, I have a headache” routine?  What happens when the attraction is gone or fading fast?

Dr. Corey Allan and Gina Parris did an excellent job of answering this question last week during their Sexy Marriage Radio show.  You can listen to the entire 30 minute episode here.

Corey and Gina outline three primary ways to become more attracted to your spouse and as you may have guessed, it starts with YOU.  It’s not about changing your spouse – overhauling a wardrobe, putting on makeup or losing weight.  It’s about changing your mindset.

1.  Channel all your sexual energy into your marriage.

Every time you focus on sexual stimuli outside of your marriage, you both lose out.  The most common form of sexual stimuli is pornography and other sexually explicit materials we’re bombarded with on a daily basis from the media.  What’s set before our eyes is intended to spark an appetite.  We’re beguiled into believing all the hype when in actuality, its pure fantasy.

When you become aware of responding to sexual stimuli (and you will because its everywhere and you’re human) channel that energy back to your spouse.  Acknowledge that you’re not as attracted to your spouse as you want to be, forgive yourself for your feelings and be open to the idea of being fully aroused by the person you love.  Keep the sexual energy in the marriage and don’t go anywhere else.  Remember the reasons that attracted you to your spouse in the first place.

2.  Live as attractive.  

Are you attracted to who you see in the mirror?  Confront yourself to the deepest parts of you.  If you’re a woman, present your beauty, strength and love to your husband.  Be fully feminine.  If you’re a man, present your power and strength to your wife.  Be fully masculine.  Being shut down in your sex life doesn’t honor anyone.

Women especially need to wake up in the morning already convinced their husbands are attracted to them versus primping and styling in order to become attractive.  A deeper knowing results in being confident in who you are and carrying yourself as such.

3.  Recognize that your spouse is still going to be attractive to others. 

Remember that there is still a competition going on.  Just because you got your spouse to say “I do” doesn’t mean the competition is over.  We often forget that our spouse is a sexual human being with attributes and components other people find attractive.  If you keep in mind that other people would jump at the chance to go out with your spouse, it puts pressure on you to up your game.

We all need to have the attitude that we can’t just sit back, settle in and coast.  We have to keep working.  We need to make the most of every moment.

A great question to ask yourself is “would I want to be married to me?”  Wrestle with that question for a while.  Sometimes the answer will be yes and sometimes it will be no.  Keep working on those aspects of yourself in order to become a better you.  Not only will you reap the benefits but so will everyone around you.

Thoughts?  Are there other ways that have helped you become or stay attracted to your spouse?  Please leave a comment and share!

 

For additional resources, check out Dr. Corey Allan at Simple Marriage and Gina Parris at Winning at Romance.

 

 

 

 

 

19 thoughts on “How to Be More Attracted to Your Spouse

  1. i’m feeling bored with myself, i’m becoming lazy, my baby is nearly nine months, i’m feeling ugly and i love my husband also but i really don’t give him my time but i really want to be more caring to my Husband as before marriage and to my baby also. please help me to be attractive to my Husband i love him so much. Please…. Thanks in advance Take care

  2. Since our son my wife’s sex drive has dropped dramatically. I used to start a fight about it than she would sleep with me out of obligation. An that isn’t very arising to me. I’m always the one who has to initiate the affections and or sexual stimuli and for once I want her to come on to me. So now I don’t try for sex or initiate anything cuz I feel like I’m forcing her to sleep with me. So now I’m building a habit with porn and I’m even less attracted to her. I know porn is poison in ones intimacy with there spouse but I’m a ball of sexual frustration and get very grumpy if no release. I’m working my end but how do I ask her too without hurting her feelings or make her even more insecure?

    • Thanks for your comment Josh! A short answer to your question is that you can’t MAKE her wife desire sexual intimacy with you. She has to come to the conclusion herself that it is a vital part of any marriage. If there is no physical intimacy (and I use that word loosely because there are some illness that make intercourse almost impossible) then sadly you are nothing more than roommates. It is extremely common for a wife’s sex drive to drop dramatically after childbirth. She needs to talk to her doctor about possible treatments. If exhaustion, too much to do, poor body image are all reasons she is excusing herself from sex (and they’re all legitimate by the way), then reassure her and help her out at much as possible to lighten her load. You have already stated that you know your porn habit is poison to your initimacy and I agree 100%. Turning to porn is not the answer and will make things much worse. I have a couple of resources I want to mention – Julie Siebert’s blog Intimacy in Marriage is wonderful and addresses all kinds of sexual issues and apprpriate responses. In addition, Sheila Wray Gregoire has a fantastic ebook called 31 Days to Great Sex for married couples where she addresses all kinds of sexual problems and solutions. Please do not give up! There are people and resources out there that can help you have the fulfilling sex life you were both made for. Blessings! Helena

  3. I met a girl a few years back, fell in love, sex was amazing and we connected on almost every levels of intimacy. When she was pregnant with our child, she started being angry with me all the time and that led me to sexual intimidation. No matter how I tried, I could barely sustain an erection with her but on the other hand I get aroused easily by any other woman that comes around me. We broke up and started seeing other people, but we still loved each other greatly. We decided to get back with each other and work on our relationship and we are planning to get married, however my sexual intimidation still persists with her. I don’t know if I am the problem or if she is the problem, but I’m finding it very difficult to sustain an erection with her. I decided to find pills to use and it helped a great deal, but she does not know that I take pills to help achieve a good erection with her… No I do not have an erectile dysfunction because I get turned on by other women easily. I love her with all my heart and I’m planning my future with her but I don’t know what to do about not having a good erection with her unless I take pills which I’m too young to be taking… what kind of advice and help can I get?

    • Sam, I’m not quite sure what you mean by “sexual intimidation”. If it’s to the point where your fiancee’s anger is causing sexual problems, then it’s time to seek help. Not dealing with this before you marry is a big mistake…things will not magically improve after the wedding. Please contact a skilled therapist. I wish you all the best.

  4. I recently found out my husband is having an affair. He was taking with his x girlfriends and propositioning women on the internet for sex. Thankfully I find out before he actually has sex with them and he has since sought counseling and medication for serious depression. He said he was so depressed that he hated himself and so this was his way of dealing with it. He has since been very active in seeking my forgiveness and trust again, which both are slow to come, but now i do not find him attractive. His betrayal is deep, and I’m still struggling with enjoying sex with him. to make matters worse we are currently going through fertility treatments to start a family. Neither of us are young and I don’t want to lose out on the chance to have a family and I’ve decided to make or marriage work, but I worry I will never be attracted to him again. Help!

    • I’m so sorry for your pain! Infidelity is heartbreaking to any marriage and it can take a long time to rebuild trust. Mistrust, hurt and feelings of betrayal are all likely leading to your sexual intimacy struggles. It’s difficult to enjoy sex with someone you don’t trust! I would suggest you join your husband in counseling to work on your marriage. Starting a family is a huge commitment and your future children deserve emotionally secure and healthy parents. Wishing you all the best!

      • Thank you. I’ve been considering counseling for myself for awhile and you’ve convinced me it’s a good way to start. I have my first session in a week. I’m not sure yet if I’m going to be able to bring up my loss of attraction to my husband at this first appointment, but I’m hoping we can both work though it eventually. Thank you for your site, it is a refuge for people in need of help.

  5. Hi, my problem isn’t that i am not attracted to my husband, my problem comes from my birth control tablet trigestrel that created an hormonal imbalance for me, i have changed to a different pill but i don’t know how long it takes for my body to get back to normal. I use to be very sexual even after i had my daughter (who is now 5 ). anybody with advise. thanks

    • I’m sorry Simone but I’m not familiar with Trigestrel. Hope you’re able to find someone who can help you figure out the whole hormonal imbalance thing…not fun! All the best to you!!

  6. My sex drive plummeted after childbirth. I knew it and I was upset by it. But didn’t do much about it. I continued to have sex with my husband but was not into it and he knew it. I rarely initiated. He asked many times for me to work on it and in return I’d ask him to help more around the house. We would both change for about a week then fall into our old habits. Sex became boring. He kept trying to spice it up and I continued to revert to plain bed sex. After years of this he shut down. His ego is crushed. As a result he’s no longer attracted to me although he says I’m still “hot” and he still loves me. He does not want a divorce but we are afraid it will end that way because neither of us wants a sexless marriage. We went to counseling for a couple months but he can’t change his feelings towards me and he doesn’t think he will be able to. He does not want me to try and have sex with him because he’ll turn me down. He is not having an affair. I think until I build his confidence back up he won’t be able feel differently. But I don’t know how to do that without coming on to him. Any compliment I give him is going to sound like a desperate attempt to get him back. And of course now my hormones are back in line and I’ve never felt more sexual. We’re best friends but basically living like brother and sister. Any advice?

    • Yes…my advice is don’t give up! For now, I would respect his wishes and not initiate sex. Instead work on your emotional connection. Plan fun things to do together and work on building your emotional intimacy. Sex without emotional connection feels empty so focus on deepening your friendship. Hopefully over time, he will begin to feel some affection and attraction for you again. For a while, that may simply look like cuddling on the couch together while watching television or holding hands or long extended hugs. Take it slowly and hopefully his sexual desire will return. When and if it does, I highly recommend a terrific ebook called 31 Days to Great Sex by Sheila Wray Gregoire. It’s a sensitively written “how to” book that basically outlines how to go from no sex to highly satisfying sex. Each day you receive an assignment to try together. It starts off very low key and non-threatening so it’s a great book for couples who have been non-sexual for a while. Good luck and I wish you all the best!

  7. My husband of 6 yrs developed a chronic health condition which involves him reacting poorly to a large range of stimuli. We can’t go out, watch movies, listen to music or anything like that because of visual stimuli, noise levels, crowds etc.

    As a result for many years I couldn’t even hug him, hold hands, have long conversations or even touch him because he was feeling unwell so often. This of course has resulted in a sexless marriage; we are 28 and 32.

    While I understood logically that it was just his health causing the problem it still felt like daily rejection and after many years of pain and clinical depression I simply gave up and accepted the fact that this is the way our marriage would be.

    My husband has recently approached me and said he wants to work on our physical intimacy and regain our sex life, and even mentioned marriage counselling but I am no longer attracted to him. I do not want a divorce – we have a 5yr old daughter and are in the process of building a house. He is a nice guy and great father but my feelings toward him are that of a room mate or even sibling. The thought of even kissing him makes me physically ill.

    I don’t know what to do and don’t have anyone else to speak with for help on the matter. I want to love my husband and he deserves to be with someone who is attracted to him but I feel like it’s 2 years too late.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    • Michelle, I am so sorry for your pain. I can’t imagine what it must have been like for you not to be able to go out, watch movies, listen to music, hug, hold hands or even touch your husband for so long. It’s no wonder your desire for sexual intimacy withered away. I imagine you had to “deaden” that part of yourself just to survive in the marriage. As I already mentioned in the comments to another reader… don’t give up! For now, do not put any pressure on yourself. Instead, I would focus solely on increasing the emotional connection with one another. What can you do together on a regular basis that is fun? How can you deepen your emotional intimacy? Once you’ve built a solid friendship including the ability to communicate well and be emotionally transparent and vulnerable, try dating each other. Again, no pressure for sexual intimacy at this point. Your husband needs to court you and romance you…in effect, he needs to win back your heart. Hopefully over time, you will begin to feel some attraction towards your husband again. Take things slowly. I highly recommend a terrific ebook called 31 Days to Great Sex by Sheila Wray Gregoire. It’s a sensitively written “how to” book that basically outlines how to go from no sex to highly satisfying sex. Each day you receive an assignment to try together. In your case, you may want to try one assignment per week versus day. It starts off very low key and non-threatening so it’s a great book for couples who have been non-sexual for a while. I wish you all the best Michelle! Please check back with me and let me know how you’re doing.

  8. I agree so much, the constructive way to “respice” the marriage starts with yourself. Change starts with yourself instead of risking hurting you spouse trying to change him/her.

    About five years ago I faced some of the same challenges of lack of attraction to my wife. We probably had the same challenges as so many others, lack of time and stress derived from high paced jobs and a lot of long days. Maintenance time to grow our relationship was limited, as was time to stay physically fit so we both got our share of “love handles”. The result was lack of attraction and intimacy. And maybe this is one of the areas in which us husbands can start with ourselves instead of criticizing our wives. Anyway, when it really couldn’t get any worse the recession settled in and the company I worked for went bankrupt. Facing another challenge I was now out of work, depressed and overweight. My wife’s a medical professional so her work was not affected by the recession, leaving her responsible for our economy and we nearly divorced. As a man and a husband it didn’t feel good at all but the irony is that it was the recession that showed me I had to start with myself and set a good example as a husband. It was an eye-opener to realize that I was about to lose her, that she was very attractive in the eyes of other men and that it was now up to me to step up the game.

    So, to make a long story short I began focusing on her and spending all the intimate and sexual energy on her. I stopped viewing porn and began regaining my attraction to her and not least giving her reasons to begin regaining her attraction to me. I started another education and got into fitness to the extent that I’ve never been in better shape than now, working out almost every day. And it really paid off, we’re starting to get back together, I feel more attracted to her while she has been given reason to be attracted to me.

    So yup, everything starts with *yourself*

    • Thank you so much for sharing your personal story…it is both inspiring and hopeful! As you say, it’s so easy to criticize our partner and want to change him/her but real change starts with ourselves. Congratulations on doing the hard work of getting your life, health, and marriage back on track. May you and your wife be richly blessed!

  9. Well….. This is certainly not the most comfortable topic for me to address but I need help before my marriage crumbles due to my sexual disfunction. That said, I have no problem preforming or getting an erection but my head is seriously messed up!! So, allow me to share some details with you.

    First things first, I am a 39 year old white male from the US originally and currently living in Brazil with my wife of 2 1/2 years. I moved here to be with her and can’t say I am a huge fan of Sao Paulo but that is just one of many issues. I am just saying this because I want to get everything out in the open. Like the fact that I do tend to see things in a pessimistic way. I am (and have always been) a sarcastic person. In fact, I have even been taking Prozac now for about two months to be happier. Is it working? Not really to sure. Like I said, a lot makes me angry here so (drivers, lack of the language, lack of steady work, barking dogs etc.) it is hard to be happy and positive all or even the majority of the time. I can also say that my wife and I are drinkers. We are not get wasted all the time part animals being almost 40 but a nightly bottle of wine is common. As is going out to tie one on once a weekend (sometimes friday and saturday). However, I don’t believe this has a whole lot to do with my problem but again, just trying to get all the information out there.

    (some other valid sexual history stuff. I lost my virginity at 15 to my then girl friend. Her mom found her diary and we broke up when I refused to sleep with her anymore being scared of her parents. She went on to date a friend of mine for 10+ years over which time we had sex again behind our respective partners backs for many years on and off. Well, until I finally confessed to my friend (I was 24) and lost him forever. He still won’t talk to me and she went on to mary another, kids, happily ever after etc. This had happened on the first visit home after my move, but I am getting there.

    My other traumatic experience was dating a girl about 5 years older than me (I was 20, she was 25ish) that was fresh out of a 4 year relationship. We had amazing sex for about 5 months till she moved to another state far away. We stayed together for 3 more months, I bought a ring (luckily took it back first) flew to see her and was broken up with on the bus ride to her house upon arrival. Only to find out via her diary she had left out, that she had been screwing her roommate for the month prior. After this I was single/alone for over a year. Had one more relationship that ended badly with the girl throwing my CDs down a flight of stairs before I moved away from my home town and went on to be a complete slut for about 5 years… There is more but that is a good overview)

    Anyways, there are some issues between my wife and I as with any married couple but our dominant problem is sex and the amount of it we have more specifically. Seriously, it makes me feel like a real shmuck to know that if I simply had more sex with my willing and wanting wife my marriage would be close to perfect. Yeah, it makes me feel pathetic!! I thought men always wanted to have sex and women were the ones making excuses. Well, that is what society tells us, I know from personal experience that it is not true.

    Here is the bottom line… I am bored with my wife. Believe me know how horrible that sounds but it is the truth. To make matters worse, this has happened in pretty much every relationship I have ever had. Ever. It is always the same: I meet a woman, we fall in love, have great sex, probably end up moving in together blah, blah, blah. After 6 months to a year, my sexual appetite for them disappears. It has happened many times. My wife loves sex and if it were her way we would have it at least once a day. However, for me, once a week is about good. That said, I would be into sex all the time if had multiple partners on a regular basis. It is the hunt and kill that excites me (so to speak). Once I have concurred a new woman, I loose interest as if I was on a schedule.

    I can tell you that I even told my wife that I loose interest before we were even married. She figured, being the woman she is, that she could change my mind. It has yet to happen but I was always upfront with her. Not sure that is a good thing or not.

    I just can not seem to think of of her (them) in a sexual way. I mean, when we have sex it is good but I can not remember the last time I did not think of someone else to stay interested. I rarely if ever make a move on her and thanks to me rejecting her so many times (trying to be honest about my mood) she is a bit broken to initiate too. It is getting worse. I feel bad and like a failure, she feels rejected and like I don’t want her at all; It’s a mess!!

    Like this morning for instance. She woke my up (which I am not a big fan of in general) and gave me a very short lived blow job. I got up to go pee and came back to lay down. Now, in my mind I am already hoping she just let’s me go back to sleep; no chance. She begins caressing my legs and then kissing them and my feet. I am turned on but all I do is rub her back. this goes on for about 10-15 minutes in which time she never touched my penis. By the time she stopped and told me how much she loved me and how vulnerable she was at that moment I was already annoyed. I went from turned on to soft and pissed I was awake. What I should have done naturally was express that I wanted sex right then or just taken her. I didn’t. What the hell is wrong with me?

    After this she woke up to work but her student cancelled. I had stayed in bed then eventually (with in the hour) woke up. She was saying how she felt rejected but it wasn’t that bad… until I said something stupid like, “why didn’t you just have sex with me then. It was annoying that you massaged me to no out come”. Needless to say she is more pissed and hurt now!!

    I do not know how to remain attracted and interested in a woman. I have tried therapy by myself to no avail. We are in couples therapy now (for about 3 months) and that seems to be going no where! She thinks that we are just not sexually matched. Maybe she is right!!

    I feel horrible that I don’t show her love and affection or have the obvious attraction for her that she has for me. She can just touch my leg (she loves my legs), run her arm across my chest or stroke my beard and be wet and ready to go. Me on the other hand, I am stuck in my head most the time annoyed that she is touching me. I want to please he but sex is like a chore to me now and has been for the past two years.

    I have never cheated on her but it has crossed my mind. I am not the type to do that, I think it is very un cool. I know she has never stepped out on me either. However, she has even told me I should and just not tell her. Obviously she didn’t mean it but regardless I have a very guilty conscience that could never handle it! I have however had a love affair with pornography since I was a pre-teen and first found my dad’s magazines. I am even into some fairlt taboo stuff. I don’t look at or read it everyday and try not to masturbate regularly but even so it seems so much easier. I can go from thinking to aroused and completed in under 5 minutes. No long annoying foreplay, no having to fantasize just plain good and done. I have even traded pictures with a girl I know once. That was hot and in my mind it was gonna benefit my wife with my thoughts on fire. It did for that night but she knew something was up since I was unusually hard. I went on to tell her about the pictures I was sent.

    Worst of all, I have no secrets. My wife knows that if any other woman was trying to get me aroused and interested it could and would happen immediately. I would be very into it as well. Honestly, I would sleep with any woman because I really do love sex, it is just with the same old toy that my head messes with me. I am quite perverted and would screw the whole world if I could!!! I love the idea of sex with a new partner and would love to do it. However, I really do love my wife and wish I could get over these thoughts and just please her like she wants. She is attractive more than willing to try almost anything. She has asked me to buy her sexy stuff, talk to her in bed (which I don’t at all, I am silent and she hates that too!), talk dirty, take advantage of her, put the restraints I bought back on the bed… etc. She would be into anything. Shit, if I had more sex with her she would even try harder to have more 3 somes for us. (we had one, once) However, as she has said, if you don’t please me why would I go out of my way to please you. She knows I would love to sleep with another woman too. I am not sure that makes me feel good or not. In fact, knowing how much I have hurt her and broken her confidence and ability to feel sexy and wanted I just feel like an asshole most of the time. Instead of making me want to change though her words and my thoughts make me crawl deeper into my hole.

    The bottom line is any man would kill to have a wife like mine!!! She wants to do it all, all the time and I would rather read dirty stories and play with myself. I can not even have sex with this beautiful person without pretending I am with someone else and even then I would rather not be bothered to do so.

    What the hell am I gonna do?? I have a serious problem and I am running out of places to turn. Why can’t I just fall in love with my wife’s body and turn my mind off to the rest of the female race. What the hell is wrong with me?!!

    Well, I hope that paints a detailed picture enough for now. Please help me and I am obviously open to give you any more details that you may want to know.

    • The short answer to your question “what the hell is wrong with me?” is this – you have a serious pornography addiction. Your symptoms are classic textbook. The porn industry (which rakes in $14 billion annually) will have you believe that porn is harmless and used “correctly” can actually improve or enhance your sex life. Nothing could be further from the truth. You’ve bought into a big fat LIE aimed at keeping you hooked and handing over your money. I’ve seen numerous marriage destroyed by pornography over the years – clients as well as close friends and it’s devastating to all involved.

      Pornography addiction is no different from any other addiction. You start out a “recreational user” trying to avoid painful feelings or past trauma. Once you build up tolerance, you need more as well as diverse exposure to reach the same level of high. It’s never enough and soon your life becomes completely consumed by it. You’re filled with shame and despair as you helplessly watch your marriage fall apart.

      Here are my recommendations:
      1. Tell your wife you have a pornography addiction. Research the symptoms together and discuss how they are playing themselves out in your marriage.
      2. Seek help immediately from a male therapist experienced (with a proven success rate) at helping men overcome pornography addiction. I don’t know anything about mental health in Brazil so you will need to do some research. Another option is to consider an inpatient program here in the States. They do exist and they’re effective.
      3. Have your wife seek help from a therapist experienced in working with women married to sex addicts. She too has all the classic symptoms – believing she is to blame for you not being attracted to her, low self-confidence sexually, hurt and anger, etc. She needs to recover and heal as well.
      4. Consider joining a Sexaholics Anonymous in your area. You will need support and community to succeed.

      I’m not sure couples counseling is even effective right now to be honest. Until you both do your work, it seems premature. As far as your current therapist, you don’t say whether she is insinuating that you separate due to being “sexually unmatched”. If so, run and find yourself another therapist. No couple is sexually matched when pornography is involved. My guess is that your therapist doesn’t know about the pornography. You need to tell her. If she views pornography as harmless, once again, find another therapist.

      I know it took a lot of courage to write down your story and I applaud you. I can hear the desperation in your words and I want you to know there is hope. It will take time and a huge amount of work and commitment on your part but you can conquer pornography addiction. You can have a fulfilling life with a good marriage. It’s clear you love your wife very much. Let that be your motivation to get the help you need. Don’t wait…do it today! Please let me know how things turn out.

      Helena

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