I Don't Find My Husband Attractive Anymore.....

Updated on October 17, 2019
Q.R. asks from Mount Laurel, NJ
15 answers

My husband and I have definitely drifted apart over the years.
We have 2 girls ages 11 and 8.
I think we stay together for their sake, and well divorce is expensive.
He does NOT believe in divorce.
He is a good dad and a good provider, but not that good to me. There is just way too much to write in this post.
We have tried therapy a couple of times, and I've suggested going back, but he has no interest.
Over the last couple of years I have slept in the guest room because he snores loud enough to wake the dead.
He has gained FIFTY pounds. not 15, 50. I workout 6 days a week.
He comes home from work , doesn't join the family for dinner, goes to the bedroom and watches reruns over and over and over and over AGAIN.
He NEVER helps with anything around the house.
I've tried talking to him about this, but it always falls on deaf ears, so I just don't try anymore.
I like to keep the peace for the kids.
He lately has started smoking cigars. GROSS.

Last night he asked me to lay down with him while the kids were getting ready for bed. I was like WHY? He said, because you're my wife. I was stunned. Out of no where.
I did, and we talked, and he was massaging my back and stomach and I hated it. He smelled like cigars and booze (he had the day off and was out with friends watching the Bruins game).
I got up to go help the kids get ready for bed.

He was pissed. I'm sure it will be a fight today.

What am I supposed to say to him? You reeked? You're fat? You're lazy? You're disrespectful to me?

I actually don't want a divorce if you can believe that because the kids adore him. We typically do not fight and together we can provide things for them that apart we cannot. There will come a day that we do divorce, I just don't want it to be today.

What can I do next?

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answers from Washington DC on

i can't find one single thing in here on which to build something new and better.

attraction doesn't just happen years into a marriage, especially one with children. it's something you work on, preferably together. there are all sorts of ways to spark a dying ember, and volumes written about it.

but despite the title of this post, that's not what it's about. you and your husband seem to be actually hostile to each other, and don't even pull together in the harness to take care of family and household obligations.

i'd love to present you with a path forward. but i ain't seeing it.

good luck to you.


6 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Yes, you should tell him that you do not find cigar smoke or the smell of alcohol attractive. He is trying to connect with you and you are pushing him away. Don’t you think he deserves to know why?

Your marriage is in serious trouble, and the sooner you both acknowledge that fact the sooner you can either do something to fix it, or something to end it. You are both setting an example to your children of what marriage looks like, and you should both ask yourselves if this is really the example you want to be setting for them?

You have a long list of complaints about him, but the question you have to ask yourself is if you want to work on this or not. Do you want to find a way back to each other, or do you see the relationship as damaged beyond repair? Your list includes some serious health concerns, which could be approached as worry about him because of your love for him. If you can find some love in your heart for him, then insist on counseling again. Make date nights, let him know you want to reconnect but the cigars and alcohol make it difficult. See if he is open to seeking help for what sounds like depression.

If you are mostly just disgusted by him, if you can’t work up some genuine concern, then I think you should probably seek counseling for yourself to figure out how to end the marriage.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

From the physical standpoint, I get what you are saying. I find it frustrating that my husband doesn't seem to care about his body. He has put on weight (the kind that leads to diabetes and a heart attack), basically refuses to exercise or eat healthy, he is on a number of medications he wouldn't need to be on if he took some simple steps to take care of himself. He looks 10 years older than his true age. However, the difference is that I know that my husband loves me with every fiber of his being. He would drive to the end of the earth to get the smallest of items to make me happy. He writes me love notes daily, calls me to make sure my day is going ok, and once drove 10 hrs round trip because I was upset and crying (about something stupid) and brought my dog so I would feel better. He also trusts me implicitly - with our finances, with the money he earns (which is over double my salary), with raising our kids, with pretty much any large decision that needs to be made. He says his piece, but trusts that I will ultimately make the best decision for our family. If I'm wrong or make a mistake, he never holds a grudge or throws it in my face later.

Do you see the difference? My husband is beautiful on the inside. That is worth every second of my life that I am with him. Find someone who make it worth every second of yours.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

this isn't a marriage and this isn't what you want for your kids, is it? To believe this is a normal and a good marriage?

You need to tell him how you feel. You need to tell him things MUST be fixed/changed in order to make this marriage work.

His ears might not be so deaf if you plan your exit and leave. Start getting your ducks in a row, saving your money, looking at places to live, etc. and talking with a lawyer. The more you know? the better off you will be.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I once said to my husband would you do this if we just met? (because he was being a bit too overly familiar). We have a lot of guys in the house with my sons and it was just too much. He got the point. I think there has to be some attempt to keep things as it was when you first were 'courting' otherwise, the attraction kind of goes. Half the reason we're attracted to people is because they care about themselves. We like people who are confident. Or I know that's why I was attracted to my husband.

If you could word it that way to your husband, I wonder if it would sink in.

My husband has had depression and when he has, it was kind of what you describe. He retreated into his own little space, and we saw very little of him. He also didn't do a whole lot around the house, and was tired/lethargic. I was more active, and I think women hit a point where they are aware if they don't try, it's all going to go downhill from here on out ... whereas men go through a phase where they think they can still eat/behave as they did as teenagers ...

and then they hit this funk where it bugs them but they don't do anything about it. Or some do.

And then they are depressed because we aren't that into them. (For me it was menopause and of course having kids). So maybe you've hit that point.

I think being encouraging and supportive is the way to go. My husband found an activity he enjoyed, and from there, found another, and I just supported him and he also talked to his doctor and got help for his depression. It made the world of difference.

Just a thought. You could always schedule a date night to go see movie, or our for dinner. I like going out with couple friends. It keeps things light and fun. You see them for who they are, not just your hubby and dad to your kids. Puts them in a different light. Fun.

If he gets active, and the endorphins kick in, he should feel better. Can you go for walks even on weekends? take kids for bike rides?

Smoke - I agree - he'd have to shower. I would just say, it's the smoke that bothers me (try not to say you smell, but the cigar smoke smells - it bothers me). I hear you.


I love Elayne's "Some how you both became parents and domestic coworkers ,but no longer a couple. The couple is what fuels the family."

And I do agree, counseling for you to gain perspective.

If he's a jerk - that's one thing. If it's his health, and you're just in blame mode, and you're not giving him anything either (except being a mom and running house) - that's another. It takes two. You need to figure out if you want things to change, or just walk away. This limbo situation is not good for kids - or either of you.

You need to decide. You can do that in counseling. He needs a check up.

JC - "I think you should start dating him again. Get tickets to musicals concerts or whatever your thing is. Go out with other couples." - great advice. You see your spouse as a person - which is attractive. Don't talk about stuff around the house/kids/problems. Got out and enjoy yourselves - or go do something new (try a new activity). My husband and I go for a walk every time it's nice and we have spare time, to get out in nature. It does not have to cost a lot. Go grab a bowl of chowder (or whatever he/you like - switch it up). Go for dessert. Do it when your kids are occupied or at friends if you don't want a sitter. Just make it happen. Try that, and if all else fails - then think about a separation. Don't throw in towel until you've tried. If you really have no interest in trying - then ... that's different.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I think you should start dating him again. Get tickets to musicals concerts or whatever your thing is. Go out with other couples.

I’ve told my girls since they were little to make sure they never stop dating their husbands. (My girls are only 21 and 16 but I think it’s an important lesson to drill into them).

We have a hot tub on our patio. Having a drink with my husband is actually my favorite thing to do on a date night so it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. We also love having morning coffee together on the patio on the weekends.

IMO, the best gift you can give your girls is to have a happy and strong marriage. This is something you can work towards if you want it.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

He doesn’t have to ‘believe’ in divorce In order for it to happen.
It’s not like Santa Claus......You don’t have to believe to receive (court papers).

What do you say?
You be direct and tell him this marriage is in serious trouble.
Ask him what he thinks. Does he want to save it?
Tell him things need to change ASAP, and both of you need to make it happen. Or divorce will.

Some how you both became parents and domestic coworkers ,but no longer a couple. The couple is what fuels the family.

You say there is ‘too much’ to write in this post, but I can’t help thinking that is where you need to start.

Call the therapist again, even if he doesn’t attend, and get some objectivity on what you need to do to make yourself happy.

I agree with the others that husband needs a medical check up. Sounds like he is neglecting his health, neglecting his self-care, and very detached from his family (not much to give to a relationship). Sounds like he is in a bad place.

Did he have a strict workout routine in the past? What changed?

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

He won't go to therapy, but you will. So go.

He snores - he needs to go for a sleep study to see if it's apnea or some other very serious situation.

He smells of cigars and booze? He's not the great dad you claim he is.

He's not a participant in the household? He's not the great dad you claim he is. Is this the role model for you want for your children to teach them how men should behave and what women should tolerate?

You're passing off dealing with this "for the kids" which you have said more than once. How does this help your children exactly, to see one person's needs subjugated to another's?

You got the kids ready for bed, he's pissed, and you know it's going to be a fight? How is he the great dad you say he is?

He touches you (massages you) and you hate it.

Somehow, you don't want a divorce. So, are you willing to work by going to counseling? You think that raising healthy kids is about what you can provide economically? They adore him and you think that's what matters?

Please, go to counseling even if he won't.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

It sounds like you guys are not connecting and I think a big part of the problem is that you assume it is all his fault, but it takes two to let a relationship fall apart. I read a lot about what he doesn't do for you, what you think he should be doing for you, but nothing about what you are doing for him or what he thinks you should be doing for him. I think you both need to accept your faults and work to find some common ground again. Things actually really improved in my relationship when I stopped being angry about what I thought he should be doing for me and instead focused on what I could do to make him happy, and as I suspected once he was feeling happier he naturally started doing things he knew would make me happy because when we are happy we want our loved ones to be happy as well. Its hard to be the first one to try, but once I shallowed my pride and gave a little first it paid off 100 fold. But it is not going to work in just a day or two.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

You can't change him.
All you can change is your attitude and outlook.
While it's nice to maintain yourself somewhat - by the time we're 80 no one is looking so good.
A relationship based on looks is doomed for failure.

You and he need to talk.
Tell him you find boozy breath and cigar smell to be a real turn off.
Tell him you are interested in reconnecting and you want a regular date night with him every few weeks - where you have a sitter watch the kids and you and Hubby go out for a movie and dinner.
If he can go out with friends - he can go out with you at least some of the time.

At 8 and 11 the girls are old enough to help around the house.
The 11 yr old can start doing her own laundry, and both of them can help with meal prep, putting dirty dishes into dishwasher and putting clean dishes away.
You might not be able to get Hubby to do much but you shouldn't be building up a martyr complex over doing everything yourself
You have FOUR people in the house - you can get 3/4ths of them to shoulder some of it with you.
There's less to take care of if you downsize.
A mostly empty house is easy to keep clean.

As for the not eating with the family and watching tv alone in the bedroom all the time - what would he do if you and the girls brought dinner to the bedroom and ate with him in front of the tv?
When's the last time Hubby had a checkup?
If he's smoking. drinking, snoring, gaining weight a doctor might be able to point out some of the health repercussions of not taking care of himself.
He he loves the kids (and they love him) he should be wanting to live long enough to give them away at their weddings.
If he drops dead at a relatively young age you won't have to divorce him to be done with him.
If he won't take better care of himself you can start asking him about his funeral preferences so you know what to do when the time comes.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Wow Q., that's a tough one. I'm interested to read what the others say. I don't know the answer to this, because I believe partners have an obligation to at least attempt to be attractive to the other person if they are going to expect sex, and I would feel the same as you if I were in your shoes.

It's a little hard to talk about the weight, but I would feel completely within my rights to say, "Honey, I can't be intimate with people who smoke." The rest of it might best be discussed with a couples counselor, if he's willing. It's sometimes useful to have a third party around when you discuss certain things.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

I think you need to be honest with him.. sit down talk to him that he needs to take better care of himself. That cigarette and cigar bother you. Say you want a more physically fit lifestyle. Say his health bother you as well. And that you are not happy.

I am sorry I am not sure, do you work? Or he provides enough for you to stay home? Take that into consideration. While you go to the gym he works ( if you do not work) maybe get clearance from his dad and go together. Plan physical activities together.

Go for a nice park walk on days he doesn’t work. Go get involved in a class to cook, healthier lifestyle. He obviously eats what you cook, so change what you cook-make same dish but healthier, pack lunches etc.

Now if you want to give up on the marriage that’s different. But you should still talk with him. He has every right to know how you are feeling and where he stands. And both of you deserve to be happy, together or not.

My gf has similar aged kids when she cheated one on her hubby- she then realized it was not fair and filed for divorced. He became a better father. But kids did take it hard. So if your kids are sensitive or close to dad, it will hit them hard. Think things through.

Lots of luck in what ever you decide!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Well, since you have already decided that divorce is not an option you can pretty much say whatever you want, right?
I'm sorry that you seem to value giving "things" to your children versus a happy, healthy relationship and family. What a shame this is the example you have chosen to set for them, not to mention an utterly miserable way for you and your husband to live.
ETA: divorce isn't ANY easier on older kids, in fact, it's harder. I know because I've been there. If I had it to do over again I would have left my husband several years earlier :-(

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

You have to make a choice. You are wasting your youth and health with this person, you have divorce on the horizon.

Pulling the band aid off now or later is still going to hurt.

If you are just sticking around for the kids and financial security then make that clear to him.
Because that’s exactly how you put it, you are putting financial needs ahead of everything else.

You are sleeping in separate rooms and he doesn’t eat dinner the family. He is acting like a roommate.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

It seems as though you are already planning to divorce but you want others to understand why so you can go ahead and do it. But you don't want to. But you do. You both sound depressed. He does. You do. You both need a conversation. Maybe you work out to feel good. Maybe he drinks and smokes cigars and watches reruns to feel good .As always suggested go to counseling and if you want courage to leave it doesn't just happen. You just do it. And don't look back. Because you will always have regrets...

But- Do you love him even if you don't find him attractive? Are you wishing for sparks from him instead of you being the fuel line to your marriage? Only you know all those answers. And if you have to- write a letter to him. People can lose weight. People can quit cigars. People quit working out. Life is ever changing. People get older and get sick and have operations and they don't stay the same as they first did when they were married. I would guess most people here would say that neither of them look exactly the same as they did many years ago when they were first married. I would guess he doesn't like himself heavier and you wouldn't like yourself heavier if you stopped working out. See how similar you can be? The point is...before you make a major life change and it is truly major, talk to him and see what he really feels. Good luck...I know it's not easy.

1 mom found this helpful
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