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I Want More Intimacy, but He Says He’s Tired

11 November, 2016
Q As-Salamu Aleikom. I am 19 years old now and married for a year. My problem is that although my husband is alhumdulillah so loving and caring (as well as my in-laws), he doesn't show attraction towards me. Sometimes he does, but often when I initiate to have intercourse, he refuses saying he is tired.I am so confused because he says he loves me. He takes me out for dinner, buys gifts, talks to me and gives me a lot of his time. But in bed, he doesn't show this love. I am not sure what the problem is as I am said to be beautiful, and I am a good wife as well. As a daughter-in-law, everyone is happy with me. I am facing this problem since my wedding day. He is mashallah totally healthy and has a perfect man power in bed. I also make sure that I make him realize he is so good in bed, but still on average, we have sex only once or twice a week. I have tried my best to make the situation better, but my patience is running out. Tell me what to do. Thank you.



As-Salamu ‘Alaikum Sister,

You have been in this marriage for a year only, therefore it would be too soon to conclude that your “husband is not attracted to you.” I think both of you are going through a normal adjustment of new couples and learning more about each other.

Honestly, your average intimacy is totally normal. I want to start sharing with you some data around couples’ sexuality provided by Kinsey Institute, which reveals that a couple age between 18-29 have sex an average of 112 times per year. That is 9 times a month, about twice a week. This is the average and yes, there are some people above and some people below any given, yet I provided this data so that you are not in any dilemma. It is important for you to keep in mind that as far as sexual life, your relationship is considered healthy or “normal”.  

In addition, your husband seems to be a great husband, so why you do not focus on the good things he does for you, and with patience you try to understand why he is not driven by sex as you or at least with the frequency you desire. It may not have anything to do with attraction, considering you have intimacy with him pretty often. He may actually be tired and not in the mood due to work and stress. Believe it or not, sometimes men are not in the mood and don’t have energy to perform!

In my practice, I’ve seen cases of couples who have intimacy once or twice a year. In your case, it is too early to “run out of patience” which is also a reflection of your need to increase in humility. You mentioned that your husband treats you well, shows affection, and is kind and loving. He does not seem to be cold or distant. Reading your question, I see the opposite that he is really trying to please you in many ways, and for that reason I believe that maybe communication might increase your sexual activity. Have you spoken to him about it?

You need to understand that everyone is different and some people are not into sex as much as others. Kindly explain your need to him, your expectations and ask for his. There are many reasons why a person might be less interested in sex; therefore by using efficient communication skills, you might be able to find out what are his reasons.

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When it comes to communicating, say something like “honey, I feel worried that you are not intimate with me more often. Is it a lack of attraction to me or are you tired? Please share with me your thoughts. I would like to be intimate more frequently. Are you open to that? What can I do to support that?”

There are many reasons one avoids intimacy with his/her partner.

Past sexual trauma or abuse. Those who have had trauma around sexuality tend to be blocked from enjoying sex or even approaching it. If that is your husband’s case, he should consider seeing a trauma therapist to overcome those blocks.

Obsessive Disorder. Some people find sex a dirty activity due to obsessive-compulsive disorder towards cleanliness and find it difficult to engage in a physically experience.

Getting needs met elsewhere. When people are getting their sexual needs met elsewhere, they show little interest. This can be due to affairs or usage of pornography. Pornography addiction numbs the sexual appetite and makes it difficult for the addict to get excited by actual sex, since real people, like a wife, will not have the novelty factor that pornography has.

Other factors to consider is his life, work, school, family’s relationship, and so on. However, I believe he simply feels stressed and tired from his regular activities. A man carries many responsibilities and it can be one more reason why he does not seem interested in sex right now as much you would like. You can kindly remind him of his husbandry duties and the most important, communicate with him. Please do not threaten to leave him but talk to him and try to understand why he is not as available for intimacy as you would like. You may learn something that is contrary to your suppositions.

May Allah (swt) guide you on your journey.


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About Aisha Mohammad
Aisha has a PhD in psychology, an MS in public health and a PsyD. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years at Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. She has worked with clients with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, panic disorder, trauma, and OCD. She also facilitated support groups and provided specialized services for victims of domestic violence, HIV positive individuals, as well youth/teen issues. Aisha is certified in Mindfulness, Trauma Informed Care, Behavioral Management, Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and Confidentiality & Security. Aisha is also a Certified Life Coach, and Relationship Workshop facilitator. Aisha has a part-time Life Coaching practice in which she integrates the educational concepts of stress reduction, mindfulness, introspection, empowerment, self love and acceptance and spirituality to create a holistic healing journey for clients. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocates for prisoner rights/reentry, social & food justice, as well as advocating for an end to oppression & racism. In her spare time, Aisha enjoys her family, photography, nature, martial arts classes, Islamic studies, volunteering/charity work, as well as working on her book and spoken word projects.