Q: “My Wife Masturbates Excessively. What’s Wrong With Our Sex Life?”


My wife of 35 years is always too tired or to sick to have sex with me, but I found out that she is masturbating every night, giving herself many orgasms every night, and has been doing so for years. I always make sure she has an orgasm every time we have sex (one way or the other). Why does she like sex with herself more than with me?


The only way to know the answer to your question is for your wife to tell you the truth about the “why.” Because I cannot know that answer, all I can do is give you several possibilities. Though I do not want to offend you, be aware that some of the answers may not be to your liking.

The first thing to consider is that it has nothing to do with you. It may be that your wife learned early in life to enjoy pleasuring herself and has continued to do so.

However, masturbating every night to several orgasms doesn’t fit into the expected pattern.

If a person is masturbating that much, there may be a much deeper issue going on. For example, one lady we worked with grew up in a home where her parents were “swingers.” Though they were a good church family by day, at night her parents brought other couples home to their bedroom. As a teenager, she heard through the walls what was happening and was both repulsed and excited by it. She began to masturbate to the sounds. Now, as an adult, even though married she masturbates about a dozen times a day. Until she deals with what we sexologists call her sexual self-schema, she will never be satisfied by sex with her husband and will continue to masturbate to excess. Sometimes we’ve seen the same type of thing in women who were sexually abused as children. Think of it this way, her sexual wiring may have gotten crossed earlier in life and she will need professional help to get it back the way that would be best for her.

If that is the case, you will have to make it extremely safe for her to tell you about her previous experiences. Because she has not yet done so (I’m assuming), then she doesn’t feel safe enough. You will have to be extremely understanding, very patient, and listen with great care. No blame. No accusations. No shocked expressions. Allow her to tell you why she wants to masturbate that much. Promise her (if you honestly can) that there will be no negative repercussions. If she does, you will need to gently lead her to the right professional help for what she has experienced.

On the other hand, she may have what sexologists call hypersexuality or even what some call sex addiction. Be aware that I am NOT saying this is the case. However, it might be a consideration. Go to a reputable site such as WebMd and type in hypersexuality or sex addiction to see what they have to say about that. Some people masturbate excessively to deal with the stresses of life. Again, IF this IS the case, then a professional needs to help.

Now let’s think a minute or two about what you might be doing to contribute.

In a survey I did a couple years ago, I asked respondents if there were anything that significantly negatively affected their sexual attraction to their spouse. Nearly 28% of men listed at least one reason. Just over 34% of women listed at least one reason.

These were the most common reasons listed by women. The percentage next to a reason was the percentage of women listing that particular problem. (They could list up to three.)

  • Relationship problems – 45% 
  • Husband’s grooming or hygiene – 17%
  • Age, sickness, health, stress, fatigue, etc. – 12%
  • Husband’s lovemaking techniques and the like – 11%
  • Matters external to the relationship (outside problems) – 11%
  • Husband overweight, not fit – 9%
  • Lack of desire on the wife’s part, inhibitions, etc. – 9%
  • Lack of romance on part of husband; he puts sex over romance – 6%
  • Woman’s self-perception or self-image – 3% 

It might be good to use this list as a starting place for your conversations. However, because she masturbates every night to the point of several orgasms, I doubt that any of the above reasons are the root. One or more MAY be affecting your sex life, but I’m guessing that the problem is deeper.

Finally, do NOT view you wife as broken, weird, sick, or anything else. She is a human being that you love. Help her with compassion and understanding.