What to do When a Spouse Doesn’t Find their Partner Attractive Anymore

Are you in a position where you don’t find your spouse attractive anymore? Maybe your spouse doesn’t find you attractive. In today’s episode of The Love Hope Adventure podcast, we’re going to give tips for both sides of this equation.

Transcription

Keelie

Welcome to the love hope adventure podcast where we talk about the marriage relationship, intimacy in marriage and how you can go deeper with your spouse. And this week, we’re actually covering a difficult topic. 

And that is, what do you do if you don’t find your spouse attractive? Or even worse? What do you do if your spouse doesn’t find you attractive anymore? So this is a question that I got. I’ve gotten this question a couple of times. And I’ve written about it some. 

So today, we want to kind of just sort of address this because there is this idea out there that every man on the planet is going to find their wives, incredibly attractive, naked no matter what. And there are women out there who have written into me to tell me that’s not the case. I don’t know if I’ve had any men write in and say that about their wives. 

But I don’t think that men quite have the expectation to always look amazing. So maybe that’s why they’re not writing into me. I don’t know. But I do have wives say this?

Austin

I don’t know. I’m sure there’s plenty of guys that think so. They may think that but it doesn’t appear that they’re totally heartbroken over it. Because I haven’t gotten the question from me, they’re just not bold enough to reach out to you about it.

Keelie

But I’ve had women reach out and tell me that without a shadow of a doubt, their husbands have said, I’m not attracted to you, you’re overweight, or whatever. You know, whatever that looks like. And so today, we’re just going to kind of talk about coming from both sides. What do you do if you’re in the position where your spouse doesn’t find you attractive? And what do you do if you have a spouse who doesn’t think their wife or husband is attractive? I do think I’ve had a male reader tell me he was no longer physically attracted to his wife.

Austin

Okay. Plus, I’ve had that happen into the equation reaching out? Yeah.

Keelie

Yeah. I think this is where we wrote a blog post once. And I think maybe you even wrote it about making your spouse your standard of beauty. Oh, yeah. So we’ll start by addressing you know, what do you do if you’re in a position where you no longer find your spouse physically attractive? And, you know, you talked about making your spouse your standard of beauty. I do remember having this conversation with you a long time ago.

Austin

Yeah. I got it from one of the positive takeaways from Mark Driscoll his ministry.

Keelie

I was gonna say, I know you heard this somewhere. Yeah.

Austin

I’m not familiar with Mark Driscoll just staying that way. It’s fine. Yeah. He used to be okay.

Yeah, yeah. Apparently, there were a lot of things that were not okay. That, if you just listened to him preaching on the podcast, you would never know. We’re problems. But he did a series on marriage and relationships and a series on Song of Solomon, I think it was. 

And I don’t remember the passage that he mentioned, but he talked about actually, I do it. You know, there’s some interesting stuff in the Song of Solomon. Your nose is like a tower. Your legs are like two tree trunks. Your hair is like a flock of sheep coming down, you know, it’s like what and and he used the bit about your nose is like a tower to just sort of take a sidebar and talk about you know, if your wife has a big nose, you should be all about big noses big nose. 

And that he just sort of took that idea and ran with it. But the idea was, instead of looking out into the world and saying what is beautiful, what should I consider beautiful for those kinds of things? 

Instead you look at your spouse and you say that is beauty. You know, that is or or handsomeness or whatever, is there. Is there a word for that handsome hand? psalmody I don’t know what if you’re beautiful, you have a lot of beauty if you’re handsome, you have a lot of handsomeness. 

Anyways, you take that and make that your, your standard. And like I’ve never had this issue or anything, I’ve never looked at you and said, oh boy, you know, she’s, she’s quite the looker. She used to be like, I’ve never thought that. If anything, I’ve had to remind you constantly that I didn’t find you attractive and you know, I like your curly hair even when it’s big and puffy or whatever. 

But I think that’s part of it is that, you know, take those things that they might see As a negative about their other physical appearance, and embrace that, you know, I always told you for years that I love you. And I love all of the parts that make you. 

So whether that’s, you know, your creativity or your smile, or your stubbornness, or your frizzy hair, whatever those things are. I love I love that about you. And sometimes we have this idea in marriage, that the things that you sometimes love about somebody, when you’re dating, are the things that you grow to hate within the context of marriage. I say flip that on its head, right? 

You know, if you’ve got a thing that maybe isn’t your favorite part of your spouse, or their, it’s not their favorite part of themselves, embrace that and make that thing that you love. So if your wife has a big nose, you’re all about a big nose. 

If your wife is super skinny, you’re all about super skinny, if your wife is blond, you love blonde, if you know, whatever it is.

Keelie

And that’s not to say you can’t find anything else in the world attractive. But that is to say you must expand, what do you consider to be attractive? So whenever I hear this, the first thing that flashes into my mind is how is the relationship? Because if you don’t think that your spouse’s body is physically attractive, generally, you can look past some, like imperfections of the other person when you have a solid relationship. I mean, that’s the whole idea behind, you know, love is blind.

Austin

Can I draw an overly pedantic distinction here?

Keelie

You’re gonna have to explain pedantic,

Austin

Can I nitpick? Can I be a word nerd for a second? We keep using the word attractive. Okay. And I was a moment ago, I was saying beautiful, or handsome? And I wonder if maybe we need to draw a distinction. Okay, because you said a moment ago, there’s nothing wrong with finding other people in the world attractive. 

And I think that maybe there is because I don’t think there’s anything wrong with me finding another woman. Beautiful. Okay. If I think she’s attractive. So there’s, I’m saying I’m attracted to her.

Keelie

So what you’re saying is attractive as in, I feel I have emotional, I am drawn to that. drawn, maybe it’s a physical feeling. But it’s but it’s being drawn, you’re being drawn to that person, you are being attracted to that person. 

Austin

And again, I know, I know, I’m splitting hairs here. But I think it’s it, it may be an important distinction that maybe helps out with this conversation, because you can be attracted to someone that you don’t find. 

They’re not the most beautiful person you’ve ever seen. Right. But you could still be attracted to them. Attraction is about more than physical appearance. It’s not not physical appearance, that’s that’s a part of it. 

But you can see someone here’s the thing. We do this in rom coms all the time, right. We take Sandra Bullock, and we put her in a frumpy sweater, and give her big, big thick glasses, do that. Make her act like a slovenly pig? Right. And she’s a police officer. Oh, it’s so beautiful. It does not matter if they try.

Austin

And then throughout the course of the movie, they make her more attractive. Right? Right. Or, or they take somebody there’s a movie back in the 90s with Janine garofolo. 

Who was? Yeah, she’s, she’s a comedian who was not and is not like a supermodel. Right? Sure. She’s an average looking woman. But she was the love interest in this movie. And throughout the movie, they judged her up, right. 

So she starts off like Sandra Bullock, you know, in a frumpy sweater or whatever. And throughout the movie, they made her more physically attractive as the character became more emotionally attractive, you know, got to know her etc. And so in the movie, to make it palatable for our culture or whatever, you have to make her physically attractive as well. And my point is, you don’t necessarily have to be physically beautiful. 

That’s not the only thing. So I don’t know who this helps more, perhaps the person on the side that says I’m not the person who is saying, I’m no longer attracted to my spouse.

Keelie

What they mean by this is that they are having a hard time having sex with their spouse or their spouses.

It’s not that I don’t think that my wife that’s my point. Beautiful, it’s I am really struggling to be sexually aroused.

Austin

That is my point. That is my point is that if you’re the person who your spouse says, I’m no longer attracted to you, or they’ve never said it, but you’re feeling it It may not be your Lux, it may not be the extra 10 pounds, it may not be the gray hair, it may not be the wrinkles. It may not be any of those physical markers, it might be something more, it might also be that, but again, that’s okay. 

So like you were saying a minute ago, what’s going on in the relationship because the attraction needs to be more than physical. It should also be physical. But it needs to be more than that. And, and a lot of times, you know, one of the smartest things that somebody told me before you and I got married, we were dating when we were young. 

And an older, an older, wiser guy put some things into perspective for my teenage hormone addled brain. He said, You know, you need to make sure that you know, whatever education, you’re going to get whatever job you’re going to get, and you need to make sure that you’ve got to get a life establishing everything. 

He said, I know you want to get married now. But he said, If y’all get married now, and I’m not saying it’s gonna happen, but you get five years down the road and something and you didn’t set your life up, right? 

And you’re not putting food on the table. He said, nothing’s gonna be happening in the bedroom. And I was like, huh, yeah. And that pumped the brakes again, on my hormone fueled brain. I was like, oh, there’s more to it than that. 

And there’s more to the the sex life than just physical appearance. It sure you know, it starts in so many different areas. So what else is going on in the relationship?

Austin

Yeah, what else is happening is the general relationship hurting and suffering? I think the more in love and the more connected you feel to someone, the more that you find them beautiful, or trying to say attract so handsome, although I don’t really like to say the word handsome. 

But this is even what happens. I think it’s silly to say the word handsome. So I try not to say it. So that’s why you go with attractive. Yeah. Cuz I don’t want to be like, well, that guy’s hot. Because that is also the wrong thing. I’m trying to communicate as well. 

That person has by worldly standards of physically, you know, longed for a body, I guess I’m not sure. But I think where it was even going with this. You’re like derailing me. I think that, you know, the other thing is, is like what is going on between them emotionally and even in friendships, even in like non sexual relationships, people that you feel connected to and bonded with or whatever, you’re going to find them more beautiful, or whatever that mean, this happens even with your own babies, I mean, you are going to thank your babies are cute. And you can think other people’s babies are not that cute.

Keelie

Yeah. But you’re definitely gonna think your baby’s cute, because it’s your baby, it’s your baby, and you have a connection to them. And you know, it’s the same thing that goes along with when you have a closer connection, even with friends. 

So if you are married to someone, and you are in that position, where you’re like, focusing so deeply on the fact that they are 50 pounds overweight, from having your children by the way, then that’s a big problem. 

Like you’re focusing on the wrong thing here, you’re you’re focusing on something that even if they lost that weight, their body still can’t stack up against a person who’s never had babies, or a person who has never had, you know, maybe cosmetic surgery or something, you know, and then there’s gonna come a day when you’re both very old. 

And it doesn’t matter how much plastic surgery you’ve had, or how healthy you are or how little you weigh, you cannot fix it, you’re gonna get old, you’re gonna get old.

So maybe you’re somebody who’s in your mid 40s. And you’re looking at the bride of your youth going well, that isn’t the body I’m married. No, and she’s not the same person. You married either. Yeah, yeah. And you’re not the same. 

Hopefully she is married? Hopefully neither of you are. Right. So for that person who is struggling to be sexually intimate with your wife, because or even husband No, because of the way that they look, you need to take a look at why do you feel this? 

What’s going on in the relationship? Where is the brokenness and stop focusing on the physical aspect of what they look like and acting like that’s the problem. It’s not probably the problem. Maybe the problem is, you want them to lose weight because you are concerned about their health. 

You’re concerned about their mobility, you’re concerned about them living with you, that is a real problem, that’s an issue. That’s something that needs to be addressed not, well, you know, you’re overweight, or maybe it’s a situation where something else in the relationship is not going well. 

Or maybe you guys are fighting about stuff, and it’s nothing to do with that at all. Or maybe you’re not having great sex and, and you think it’s because you’re not physically attracted to that person anymore?

Or maybe they’re not attracted to you. Who knows? Yeah. So that’s kind of what we would say to somebody who’s in that place, if you are on the other side of that, and your spouse has verbally told you that they do not find you attractive, and I want to really clarify this here, it’s really important that if don’t think that if your spouse doesn’t tell you that you’re beautiful, or whatever, as being them not finding you beautiful, because not everyone expresses the way they feel, don’t assume an absence of comp, right? 

So I think you’re beautiful or whatever, right? Because I have people write in and say, Well, my spouse, they never tell me that they think I’m beautiful, or that I’m sexy, or any of these things, and I’m like, okay, and maybe they don’t tell you that they love you either, because they’re not, they’re not, it’s not something they crave, it’s not something they’re thinking about that’s coming from a person has to like actually think about saying that kind of thing. 

Like I have to be really intentional. So it’s, so I have a lot of thoughts, I don’t share. But if your husband or wife has said to you, I feel like I don’t want to have sex with you. Because you were so overweight, and I can’t, like get turned on to have sex with you, or I don’t want to see your naked body. 

So let’s just have sex with the lights off or with your clothes on or whatever it takes so that we can do this. If you’re in that position, one, I’d truly recommend you get counseling, honestly, on both sides. But definitely, if your spouse won’t go with you, you are getting ripped apart in such a way that you really need an outside source helping you. 

Another thing is you have to begin really being despite what your spouse thinks of you, you have to grow confident in yourself. And I know that is very hard to do. It is very hard to do. I know it almost seems impossible, but you have to change your focus from wanting to get healthy, or improve yourself or whatever your plans are for yourself not for other people. 

I see this a lot on sites like Instagram or whatever where people go, well, my ex is going to be so you know, like they’re going to be regretting getting rid of me because they’ve dropped like 100 pounds. 

And that’s, that’s the wrong. I mean, maybe that is your motivation. But I don’t know that you’re going to feel very happy with yourself if that’s your only motivation to make other people who dropped you when you’re in that place. And honestly, maybe they didn’t get rid of you because of the way you looked or your way. 

Maybe it was because you just weren’t a good fit for each other. Shouldn’t have continued with that relationship. You’re a horrible person. I mean, not everybody should stay together even if they’re both really great people. And you have to focus on body acceptance and tune out what anybody else out there tells you Yeah. Now if you have a spouse who is generally attracted to you and generous with their speech or whatever like in my I have, what is it like how to feel beautiful? 

I say ask people, like especially your spouse or whatever what they really truly think about you and then believe that. So if your spouse is already telling you you’re not attractive, then maybe you do ask a friend, maybe you do ask someone and then believe them, but you do have to shut down any outside sources and stop spending all day long looking at ideal body types.

Because even if you get to be the same way as that person, your body is not going to look the same as them. So one thing I’ve had to learn for myself is that I look the way I look and I can pay somebody a lot of money to do my hair and makeup but I’m still just going to look like me.

I’m not going to look like the picture of that girl that I saw in the movie or on Instagram even like saying okay, well it’s not realistic like in the movies. I would say that with filters in the way your camera looks even that’s hardly realistic, but I’m only able to look the way I can look. 

Yeah. And so if you spend all day long craving your hair to look like someone else’s or your face to look like someone else’s or your body to be like someone else’s you are already losing. You have to focus on what does my body look like and what Does my body look like when I’m 100?

And whatever pounds and when I’m 100, and whatever else pounds or 200 pounds, or whatever your weight is, like, you have to ask yourself, What does my body look like at that? And more than anything, what do I feel like? How do I feel like when I eat certain food, or when I work out versus when I don’t work out, or when I sleep, or when I take care of myself, don’t allow what somebody else is making you feel, you know about your appearance be your your only motivation, your motivation should be, I want to feel better for me, right.

And the chances are, if you’re writing into me telling me that your husband or wife doesn’t want to have sex with you, because you’re overweight, or because you have sagging skin, you probably don’t feel good about yourself. 

I mean, nobody is going to write and very few people write in to me to tell me they feel great about themselves, or their relationship, right. So you have to focus on the way you feel. Because no one can take that from you. 

And even if you spent a lot of time losing weight, because I did have a reader tell me, I feel motivated to lose weight. But at the same time, I know when I get done losing his weight, I’m going to have very sagging skin. I already have C sections, my stomach hangs down anyways, I’m going to have dropped 50 pounds, and that’s going to be worse. 

And basically, what she’s saying is it’s not going to solve this problem. Because my body is not attractive now that I’ve had kids and I’m overweight, I can lose the weight. Now I’m gonna have sagging skin, and so it is still not going to be beautiful, based on what the world you know. So at least she has the presence of mind to say, I can lose the weight, but it’s not good. I think that you have to do what’s best for you, and not make yourself happy. And I think that goes against so much marriage advice. 

You know, like you do this because you want to be a good spouse and be you know, make your spouse happy or whatever. And like, you know what, they are in charge of their own emotions.

Austin

You got to do Yeah, you gotta do what’s good for you, because that’s what’s healthy, and it will hopefully, you know, fear unhealthy relationships will positively impact your marriage. But hopefully, yeah,

Keelie

It’s very, very, very tough. So this was kind of a tough question to answer and one that is not spoken about a lot. So I really wanted to come on and address it because I’ve had people say, I feel like I’m alone in this and you’re not. Whether you are on either side. There are people out there, they’re in these positions, and these are some things we recommend. 

Thanks so much for joining us today. We hope you check out our lovehopeadventure.com and also sign up for our newsletter if you haven’t gotten what it’s like with a venture.com/newsletter and we’ll send you a copy of our free sexy tweaker dare bedroom game. Plus, if you want to ask us any question, you fill out our anonymous questions form, sign up for the newsletter and we’ll send the answers out each week in that newsletter. Thanks for joining us and we can’t wait to talk to you later.

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