What If I No Longer Find My Spouse Attractive?

Keren Kanyago

March 3, 2024

Sweaty palms, butterflies fluttering in the stomach, flushed cheeks, and giddiness may be some of the physical sensations you dealt with when you first fell in love. Your partner probably seemed perfect in your eyes. In the initial stage of romantic relationships often referred to as the honeymoon phase, partners' attraction towards each other soars through the roof.

As time peels away, new feelings, challenges, and opportunities for growth sprout up and the relationship evolves. As the relationship runs its course of time, it's not uncommon for attraction to fall by the wayside. Can this attraction be reclaimed? What can you do if you no longer find your spouse attractive? Here are some thoughts to consider.

Check Your Expectations

Our society is big on physical appearance. A study published in the Evolution and Human Behavior journal showed that people spend one-sixth of their lifetime trying to enhance their physical appearance. Besides, with so many media platforms at our disposal, we are constantly bombarded with unrealistic physical images that are unattainable to the average person. If we are not careful, we may live in this illusion and go to great heights to defy our bodies' natural processes.

While our culture idolizes youthfulness, aging is a natural process designed by God and we all go through it. In Psalm 37:25, David pointed out that he was once young but had become old. None of us is spared from aging which is after all a huge blessing. Proverbs 16:31 states that gray hair is a crown of glory and is gained in a righteous life. Besides, scriptures warn us against being fixated on outward beauty.

“Do not let your adorning be external - the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear. But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious.” (1 Peter 3:3-4).

God wants us to prioritize our inner beauty and not obsess over the physical. “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” (Proverbs 31:30). We need to embrace the right perspective where physical appearance is concerned and realize that our lives are fleeting. With this realization, David referred to his life as a few handbreadths in Psalm 39:5.

It is therefore important to check whether you have any unrealistic expectations where physical appearance is concerned. Did you perhaps think that your spouse’s physical appearance would remain unchanged? Are you overly concerned with outward appearance? Take stock of your expectations and align them to the word of God.

Consider Your Motives

Could you be comparing your spouse to a friend or coworker that you admire? Has your spouse really changed or could you be distracted by someone else? Has your physical appearance remained unchanged? Have you also neglected yourself? Are there ways in which you can also improve yourself? Be brutally honest with yourself as you sift through your motives.

...with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:2-3).

You need to be patient and bear with your spouse, no matter what has petered out your attraction towards them. The cause could be something within their control or not. Perhaps they have been battling an illness or they simply let themselves go. Whatever the cause is, part of loving your spouse includes supporting them, being patient, and bearing with their failings.

Remember that you too are not perfect. The Bible warns us against obsessing with the speck in our brother’s eye while all the while there's a plank lodged in our own (Matthew 7:3-5). Just as you would want your spouse to accept you without criticizing or judging you, endeavor to do the same. Remember that love always protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres. Love never fails (1 Corinthians 13: 7-8).

Rekindle the flame in your marriage

Attraction towards your spouse can wear off if the two of you are not intentionally tending to your marriage. At the onset of romantic relationships, there's lots of excitement and fun. As the novelty of the relationship wears off and life’s demands pile up, many couples forget to prioritize their relationship. With time, the couple starts drifting apart with resentment and discontentment slowly creeping in. Inadvertently, attraction towards each other also slips through the cracks.

One way of restoring attraction towards your spouse is by working to restore the connection in your relationship. Think about the things you did when your marriage was full of life. Retrace your steps and do them. Prioritize spending time together, sexual intimacy, communicating, showing affection, and trying new things together among other things. As you relight the fire in your marriage, attraction towards each other is gradually restored.

Communicate Gently

Sometimes when familiarity creeps up on a marriage, spouses may get too comfortable with each other and glide into a slump. Self-care may be neglected and couples may only perk themselves up for meeting other people. Although in marriage we have the invaluable freedom to be ourselves, we still owe our spouses the best version of ourselves.

If you have checked your motives and expectations and you are certain that there is something unhealthy in your spouse's grooming or  appearance, communicate with compassion. People tend to be harsh critics of themselves, so adding to that load rarely goes well. Marriage vows are for better or worse, and God calls us to be faithful even when things change for the worse. If you feel the need to address a concern, pass the message gently, respectfully, and in love. Your spouse should not feel criticized, judged, or demeaned. Truth must always be spoken in love (Ephesians 4:15). Your conversation should be full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to broach the subject with your spouse (Colossians 4:6).

Model the change you desire

Sometimes the best way to stir someone towards change is by modeling the ideal situation. For example, you can start by prioritizing self-care in order to present the best version of yourself to your spouse. As they watch you bloom, they will be challenged to work on themselves.

In addition, endeavor to take the first step in tending to your marriage without waiting for your spouse to initiate. You may be pleasantly surprised to see them follow suit. Scripture urges us to outdo one another in showing honor (Romans 12:10). As you seek to outdo your spouse in building your marriage, as they respond positively, many of the problems plaguing your marriage (like lack of attraction) dissipate.

About the author — Keren Kanyago

Keren Kanyago is a freelance writer and blogger at Parenting Spring. As a wife and mom, she uses her blog to weigh in on pertinent issues around parenting, marriage, and the Christian Faith. She holds a degree in mass communication with a specialty in print media. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram and/or shoot her an email at [email protected]

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