Why Won’t My Wife Initiate Sex?

Why won’t my wife initiate sex? My wife never initiates sex, what can I do? Is it normal for a wife to refuse sex on a regular basis? How do I deal with my partner not initiating sex? What can I do to get my wife to initiate sex? Find the answers to these and more related questions here.

Hi. My name is Sean Galla. I am a facilitator of support groups and support forums with more than 10 years of experience where we talk about issues affecting men, including emotional intimacy and sex in marriages and relationships.

Sex plays a vital role in any marriage. When one partner seems uninterested in intimacy, it can cause issues in the relationship. One of the most common issues in marriage is when the man is the only one who initiates sex.

If you are a man who finds himself in a marriage where the wife never initiates intimacy, you likely have a lot of questions. Getting expert advice is fantastic for any married man interested in understanding sexual issues in marriage. This article has the answers you need for Why won’t my wife initiate sex?

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Written by

Sean Galla

An experienced facilitator, community builder and Peer Support Specialist, Sean has been running men's groups for 10+ years. Read Sean's Full Author Bio.

Why won’t my wife initiate sex? – common reasons

This is one of the most challenging conversations for men. Trying to understand your wife’s lack of desire to initiate sex even in a happy marriage can bring about feelings of failure, low self-esteem and stress, which forces most men to ignore the issue altogether.

However, to understand why your wife’s lack of initiative, you need to get to the root cause of the sexual intimacy issue in the first place. There could be many reasons why your wife doesn’t initiate sex.

Some of the most common reasons include:

It is uncomfortable for her

Most women have not been taught how to be sexually assertive, which makes initiating sex uncomfortable for their egos. She might be in the mood for sex but is not confident in making the first move as she does not know how you will respond to her foreplay advances.


Men and women are built different when it comes to sexual needs. It is relatively easy for men to get in the mood and experience a million orgasms even when the world around them is burning. On the other hand, sex is very psychological for women. When she is stressed, it is difficult for her to foster an emotional connection or turn on.

Stress may be the reason your wife never initiate sex at the end of the day. Stress can be from different issues, including work, marital issues, motherhood or even illness and anxiety.

Communication breakdown

When was the last time you communicated effectively with your wife? A communication breakdown can leave your wife feeling unheard and issues unresolved, which may hinder her sexual desire.

Take some time and talk about your feelings to each other while cuddling as you determine what her needs are. Always keep in mind that communication is an integral part of solving any sexual issues in long term relationships.


Changes in the dynamics of the relationship

All marriages go through different phases. If your relationship is going through the stages of a dying marriage, it can affect the wife’s ability to initiate sex since her sex drive is low.

While in the beginning, physical intimacy was exciting, and you had sex often, life can get in the way as you settle into your married life full time, making sex the last thing on her mind.

Lack of sex drive in women is also a sign that she could be going through something and hasn’t found it in her to share with you.

Another reason she may not initiate sex with you is probably that her hormones were affected after childbirth if you are new parents. Menopause and birth control can also affect her sex drive.

Prescription drugs for mental health

Depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues are common causes of reduced sex drive among women. However, being on medication to treat these conditions can also affect her sex drive. For example, antidepressants can cause low libido as a side effect.


When one is tired, initiating intimacy is one of the things they struggle with. If your wife is suddenly too tired for sex, try finding out what is causing the fatigue. The exhaustion would come from her day-to-day activities at work or with family. One should not take it personally when their partner says they are too tired to have sex.

Mismatched sex Drive

When your wife does not initiate sex with you, it can also be because your sex drives are mismatched. While things may have never been a problem before, sometimes physical changes and personal changes can lead to a change in sex drive.

Why won’t my wife initiate sex – What to do

Just because your wife does not initiate sex does not mean that your sex life is doomed. Here are some things you can do to make it easier for your wife to initiate intimacy.

Talk to her about it

Sometimes, the reason your wife may not be initiating sex is because she probably does not know it’s important to you that she does it. Maybe she assumes you enjoy initiating sex and is, therefore, comfortable with how things are.

Opening room to have this conversation without shifting blame can go a long way in making it easier for her to start initiating sex. Let her know that you would like it too if she showed interest first once in a while.

Turn the focus back to dating

After being married for a long time, other factors in your day-to-day life can take over the relationship. The mental load of keeping the household in check mainly falls on the wife, and this can affect her sex drive.

To get her interested in sex more, a good piece of dating advice for men is to start dating her all over again. According to research, couples that create quality time for date nights or just time for each other away from their busy life have better sexual satisfaction and communication.

Dating your wife, even in marriage, is an excellent way of reigniting passion in the bedroom.

Ease some of her stress

Stress and tiredness are two common causes of sexless marriages. If your wife is constantly stressed or anxious, she probably will not be in the mood for sex.

One way to make it easier for her to initiate intimacy is by taking away some of her stressors. Consider taking over some of the chores and ease her load. This not only shows that you care but will also give her enough time to rest and stress less.

Ask her how you can improve sex for her

A lot of assumption goes into the idea of what women and men want when it comes to sex. Your wife is probably not initiating sex because she finds it hard to have her sexual pleasure needs met. Maybe she assumes you would not be interested in the kind of sexual stimuli she is into. Talking to her about it can clear the air and ensure everyone’s needs are met.

Giving her what she likes and wants when it comes to sexual intimacy will boost her spontaneous desire for sex since she knows her needs will be met.

Work on yourself

Sometimes you are part of the problem. It is easy to let yourself go after marriage. If you feel that your wife is no longer as attracted to you as she was in the beginning, you need to self-examine and see what needs to change to get her interested in you again.

Maybe you can become more attentive to her needs, work out more to stay fit, work on your mental health, and many other self-improvement ideas you can work on.

Consider going to couples counseling

If you feel that your sexual intimacy issues go deeper, it is always ideal to seek the help of a marital sex professional. Going for marital counseling is an important tip of how to save a relationship and can help unearth unidentified issues so that make it hard for your wife to initiate sex.

Going to couples therapy for couples counseling or seeing a sex therapist can help you get to the bottom of your issues and start enjoying your sex life again.

Join a support group

You can also get help from a sexless marriage support group for men.  

A sexless marriage support group is where like-minded people meet up and offer support to people experiencing different marital issues related to sex and intimacy.

MensGroup is one of the best marriage support groups for men.

Information about MensGroup


MensGroup is an online men-only sexless marriage support group that offers group support, help, and guidance to men struggling with different life issues, like lack of sex in a marriage.  

It is a supportive network of men ready and willing to help others like them through shared life experiences. MensGroup sexless relationship support group session will equip you with all the information you need to restore your relationship and start enjoying sex again.

As an online support group for men, the group meets virtually over video or chat, perfect for busy men who prefer to avoid attending physical meetings.


Why won’t my wife initiate sex? Numerous reasons can make a woman seem uninterested in sex. By getting to the root of the problem, you will understand why your wife doesn’t initiate sex and find ways to make the situation better.

Joining a support group like mensgroup.com is an excellent place to learn how to cope with sex issues in your marriage.