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Lack of sexual attraction to husband due to my husband's depression symptoms
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FaerySpirit3 posted:
Let me start off by saying that I truly love my husband unconditionally and want to do whatever it takes to try and work on our issues. The situation I'm dealing with is sort of complicated and have been trying to work on it for many years now and I'm just not sure what else to do anymore. Due to the issues that have been bubbling because of my husband's depression, I have lost the desire to have sex with my husband, yet, I still have desire for sex overall.

My husband and I have been married for 7-1/2 years and together for nearly 13 years. We were young when we met and we were pretty heavy on the PDA. We did wait several years before we had sex and we were both virgins when we became sexually active together. We moved in together about a year after we started having sex. In the beginning things were great. However, we both suffer from depression and it has taken a toll on our sexual relationship in varying degrees over the years. I am the type of person that, despite my depression, refuses to let it take over my life. I have taken steps over the years and am currently still doing so to try and keep my depression symptoms to a minumim. I try and stay active and I have a passion for life that is very high. I am a very passionate and motivated person overall despite the depression. My husband, on the other hand, has not had the same attitude towards his issues. Before we moved in together, he had so much more passion for life in general. He was more active and managed to keep his symptoms under control without any meds. After moving in together, he became complacent and his depression worsened to a degree that has affected everything including our sex life. My husband is now very inactive, over weight and has no desire to do anything beside play video games and watch tv or movies all day. Any attempts to get him moving and active fail. He has no passion to do anything and basically gives up and makes excuses for everything before he even does the simplest of tasks. He shows signs of health issues related to his depression and weight gain but refuses to get help despite my suggestion to get medical help and counseling.

My sexual desire is very much linked to having passion... not just in the bedroom but in life as well. My sexual desire in my partner is very much linked to seeing that motivation and passion in life. If I see motivation and a passion in the things you do and for life, I will be sexually attracted to you. What once was there is not anymore. And now, I am finding it very hard to want to have sex with my husband. I love him so much and don't know what to do. I still want to have sex. But I find myself fantasizing about other men rather than wanting to initiate or accept advances for my husand for sex. My husband still has a pretty high sex drive despite his depression. But he doesn't understand that his lack of passion for life is affecting my desire for sex with him. I have tried being open and honest with him and talking to him about all of this but it all goes nowhere. I have searched for a while about this issue but have come up empty on answers. Has anyone ever dealt with anything like this? Am I alone in all of this or does anyone have suggestions as to how to deal with my issues with lack of desire under the circumstances while I try to encourage my husand to take care of himself?
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Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD responded:
You are not alone. Depression robs people of the zest for life, and this affects their relationships. If you have done everything you to communicate the issue to him and he has not been 'getting it', then I suggest you try couple therapy. This is an extremely important issue that separates the two of you. Perhaps a professional can help the two of you bridge that gap.

I have one other thought/question: Could he perhaps be maintaining his complacency in part to keep you at a distance? - Has he expressed directly or indirectly his unhappiness about you or your relationship?
 
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queston responded:
Here's a really simplistic possible strategy:

The natural consequence of his lack of passion in life is your loss of sexual desire for him.

What would be the natural consequence of your loss of sexual desire for him? No sex.

I'm not a fan of game-playing and withholding, but I don't think that's what this is. You have communicated to him what this is doing to you desire for sex with him, and he is making a choice not to do anything about that. If sex stops, it's really his choice, not yours.
You say your husband still has a pretty high sex drive despite his depression--maybe this is one of the few things that would motivate him to action?


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