Why Would My Husband Not Want To Be Intimate During The Trial Separation?

I sometimes hear from people who are very hurt and confused when they are on a trial separation with their spouse. Often, they were promised that things in their marriage weren’t really going to change all that dramatically. Often, they are told that they will see and interact with their spouse all of the time. Some even fantasize that they will miss one another so that things will actually improve so that the separation actually helps their marriage. When this turns out not to the case, it can hurt. But it’s even worse when you throw sex into the mix.

I heard from a woman who said in part: “I knew that I wouldn’t see my husband every day while we were on a trial separation, but I expected to see him regularly. And he assured me that we could date one another and work on our marriage. Well, we have gone on a few dates but we only see each other sporadically. The other day, we had a nice evening and I wanted to spend the night at my husband’s place. But when I tried to initiate sex, he turned me away. He said that he doesn’t think that we should be intimate during the separation because it would only confuse things. I thought that this was silly and I did what I always do to get him in the mood but he pretty much rejected me and sent me home. I am devastated by this. And I can’t help but wondering if he won’t sleep with me because he is distancing himself since he plans to make the separation permanent or to file for divorce. I can’t help but wondering if I haven’t slept with him for the last time. My friends say that I’m being overly dramatic and that maybe he just wants some space. Who is right? Why would a man not want sex during the trial separation? Because I don’t know many men who would turn down sex.”

There are a few reasons that a separated man might not want to have sex with his wife. And not all of them are negative. I will discuss some of the more positive possibilities, and how to handle them, below.

Sometimes, He Really Is Trying To Sort Out Of His Feelings And He Doesn’t Want To Confuse Things By Being Intimate:

People often have an assumption that a man can have sex regardless of what is going on in his relationship or in his marriage. Many men strongly disagree with this and will tell you that the emotional component and the health of the relationship actually matters very much.

So while he may still love you (and while he may actually want to have sex with you,) he may think that it’s unfair and unwise to confuse things by adding sex to the mix. I actually think that this is pretty admirable, even though I know from experience how frustrating it is.

He May Be Posturing Or Trying To See How You Will React:

I think that this possibility is less likely, but I feel like I should mention it anyway. Sometimes, you will see a husband initially take the “no sex” stance but then you will see him changing his mind later because his purpose in the beginning was just to determine how you felt about this topic or to gain the upper hand. Because if it appears that you want to have sex and he doesn’t, then you are in the position of the pursuer. This can make him feel as if he has a strategic advantage.

How To Handle This Situation:

I know first hand that it is very tempting to try and wear him down. The inclination is to focus your efforts on seduction because you know what he likes and you know what he can not resist. However, this can backfire on you if he doesn’t give in and you feel majorly rejected. And, it further shifts the power.

It’s basic psychology that when someone can’t have something, then they usually just want it more. So from my own experience, I think it’s wise to consider appearing to agree with him. You might tell him that you have been thinking about it and you’ve decided that he’s right. In fact, you agree with him so much that you don’t think that the two of you should have sex until you make a decision about your marriage and the separation. (This gives him an incentive to make the decision that you are hoping for more quickly.)

Then you make good on what you have said and you wait. You can still date and flirt and then see what happens. If you husband withheld the sex because he was distancing himself, then that will become arrant regardless of which strategy you use. But this strategy where you appear to agree gives you the best chance of success no matter what is the reason behind his actions. Because how can he argue your agreeing with him? But you have also put yourself in a position where he is ultimately more likely to pursue you. And I have found that to be the best case scenario during a separation.