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An often-asked question from women who love their husbands, but don’t feel the need for much affection or physical interaction: I’m not attracted to my husband physically, but he wants to be closer. Here you’ll find four tips for increasing physical attraction in your marriage and building a stronger, more fulfilling relationship with your husband.
A lack of physical attraction is especially common after years of marriage — and not just because of familiarity with your husband and boredom in the bedroom! Work stress, money problems, kids, household management, weight gain, health issues, lower libido, diminishing hormones, and exhaustion all contribute to a couple’s lack of affection and interaction.
But, some wives were never physically attracted to their husband in the first place. This comment from a She Blossoms reader describes a relationship many women find themselves in:
“I married my husband because he’s a good, kind man and I knew he would be a great father and partner,” says Phyllis on 7 Signs Your Relationship is Worth Fighting For. “The problem is that I’ve never been physically attracted to him. I think our marriage is good otherwise and I want to develop those feelings. He’d like to have more physical interaction in our marriage. I feel guilty for not really caring if we’re more intimate and not wanting to be closer to him.”
Maybe I’ll share my own personal “top tip” for rekindling romance and keeping the flame alive in marriage. It has nothing to do with physical interaction — and everything to do with increasing energy, staying healthy, and continuing to build a happy marriage. I’ll also share a few tips from Dr Phil, bestselling author of Love Smart: Find the One You Want–Fix the One You Got.
How to Be More Physically Attracted to Your Husband
“When you make a decision, you’re accountable for everything that comes with it,” says Dr Phil in an ancient issue of O magazine. “You picked some important characteristics in a husband, but clearly you knew that you were settling for less than the full package.”
Harsh, perhaps…but true! If you marry a man you’re not physically attracted to, you’re still obligated to continue building a healthy relationship with him. This includes meeting his needs — as best you’re able — because you love your husband and want him to be happy.
1. Choose to love your husband as yourself
You love your husband and want him to be happy, don’t you? Of course you do. He’s a great father and partner. Your life wouldn’t be the same without him. After your husband dies or if your marriage ends, you’ll desperately miss him. Instead of letting your lack of physical attraction drive your thoughts and feelings about your husband, decide that you want to make him happy in ways that make him happy.
This is in alignment with Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages. Find ways to show your husband how much you love and appreciate him in ways that speak to him. Your husband may suspect that you’re not physically attracted to him — or perhaps you’ve even talked about it. You know he’d like more physical interaction in your marriage. If you make a sincere attempt to brighten his life, he will fall in love with you in a whole new way. This will improve your relationship and bring you closer together.
2. Focus on the things you love about your husband
“The good news is that you truly like your husband,” says Dr Phil. “There’s nothing about him that precludes you from feeling affection; it’s just not an instant reflex for you. But you can choose to feel differently. There is no reality, only perception — and you control your perception. You can become more physically attracted to your husband simply by changing your thinking.”
What are the qualities and personality traits you love about your husband? Highlight those. Reflect on them, tell him how much you appreciate his loyalty, responsibility, and faithfulness to you and your marriage. You might even practice seeing your husband with fresh eyes, the way you did when you first met. What attracted you to him? Let his positive characteristics nurture sparks of physical attraction.
If you regret your marriage, read How to Live With a Husband You Wish You Never Married.
3. Take action with yourself
Who or what are you physically attracted to? Explore the sensations and responses of your body. Do this alone. Learn about your body. What brings you alive and gets the juices flowing? If you don’t know what physical attraction means to you, you can’t expect your husband to meet your needs.
If your libido has always been low or you’ve never experienced physical attraction at all, you might skip this tip. If you don’t like being intimate with your husband because he reminds you of someone (such as a father, uncle, older brother, teacher), you might talk to a counselor about increasing feelings of physical attraction in your marriage. Learn what your resistance is. Maybe it’s deeper than just not being physically attracted to your husband.
4. Take action with your husband
You don’t necessarily need to read books about physical intimacy with your husband — but it can help! “Get active in your fantasy life and create some situational romance to help you bond at that next level,” says Dr Phil. “Without that reflexive pull towards physical attraction, you and your husband will have to work a little harder. But when you start setting up circumstances that are exciting for you both, you’ll begin to create a romantic history.”
Read The Naked Marriage: Undressing the truth about sex, intimacy and lifelong love by Dave and Ashley Willis. They encourage married couples to be authentic and honest emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Having an authentic marriage means undressing all the misconceptions society has used to cover God’s original, beautiful design for marriage. This book will help you rediscover your relationship in deep, meaningful ways.
“I bought this book for my husband, but actually we ended up reading it together,” says a reader. “It is such a great book!! It is very easy to read and has so may practical things in it to apply to your marriage. We have been married almost 23 years, and so many things in the book just spoke volumes to us. It has some funny parts and places you just can’t book the book down.”
You might also read a more spicy book as a couple. Learn about increasing physical intimacy and loving each other in different ways. Experiment and explore life and love together. Involve your husband in an adventure — in or out of the bedroom — that you haven’t taken as a couple yet. Being together in new ways, doing different things, may increase your feelings of being physically attracted to your husband. You may even surprise yourself!
Your comments and experiences are welcome below. Feel free to share your thoughts and feelings, or just write about your marriage. Writing can bring clarity and insight, and help you figure out how to cope with almost anything.
Blessings on your marriage,