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This article is based on scientific evidence and clinical experience, written by experts and fact checked by experts.
Josh Spurlock, MA, LPC, CST is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Sex Therapists with over 10,000 hours of clinical experience. Josh specializes in Marriage Counseling and Sex Therapy. Click here to schedule an online counseling appointment with Josh.
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Men and women are different. One of the differences is in the way fatigue affects sexual arousal in women. Both men and women’s physical arousal is affected by fatigue, but women’s bodies are affected to a much greater degree. If a woman is exhausted physically, her body won’t respond sexually, which means she won’t want or enjoy sex. If you don’t enjoy connecting sexually – you won’t want to connect sexually.
You are not superwoman!
The first step in overcoming fatigue is recognizing that you are NOT superwoman. God did not design you with an infinite amount of energy. The amount of energy you have each day is pretty well fixed. Some days you may have a little more or a little less, but it pretty much is what it is. So the question is: What will you do with the energy you have?
Steward Your Energy
There’s never enough time or energy to go around. There’s always more things to do than there is time or energy to do them. You have to learn to steward your energy so the most important things get the attention they deserve. Imagine you have an Energizer battery on your back and a little wristwatch with a meter showing you how much juice is left in the battery. Each day you start out with basically a full battery. It’s up to you to decide how you will use that energy. When it’s gone, it’s gone, game over, put a fork you in – you are done.
There is Enough
There is no way you can accomplish all the things you think you have to or others want you to and still have the energy to share with your spouse. There’s just not enough hours in the day or energy in your battery. There is, however, enough to accomplish all the things that are important to God that you complete. God doesn’t ask us to do more than we can. There are enough hours in the day and enough energy in your battery to do everything that is important to God for you to do.
Is it more important that the floor gets cleaned or your children get fed? Is it more important that you don’t disappoint a friend who wants something from you or that you have quiet time with the Lord? Is it more important to check another couple items off your to-do list or to nurture your relationship and stay connected to your husband? What do you think God’s priorities for your time are?
Saying NO to good things and good people is tough. You have to do it. There’s not enough of you to go around and every YES you say is a NO to something else. If you’re saying yes to things you need to say no to, de facto you are saying NO to things you should be saying YES to.
Discerning what God’s priorities for your time, so you don’t steal from the things that are important to Him, can be challenging. Especially if you have a people pleaser personality. You don’t want to disappoint anyone, but you end up neglecting things that are important.
Stress is a major cause of fatigue in a women’s life. If you’re not actively managing stress, by placing limits on stressors and doing things that mitigate the effects, it’s going to kick your butt, killing your sex drive.
Self-Care Isn’t Selfish
You cannot give what you do not have. If you are going to be a blessing to the people in your life, children, spouse, friends, family, co-workers, neighbors – you have to take care of yourself. The Bible says to love your neighbor as yourself- would it bless your neighbor to take care of them the way you do yourself?
If you don’t take care of you, you can’t be there for others. You won’t be able to be your best self and you’ll rob those around you of the blessings God desires to give them through you.
So how do you go about this self-care stuff?
Here’s a short list to consider:
1on1 Time with the Heavenly Father – You need spiritual refreshing. Quiet time in His presence to align your heart with His each day and tap into His energy for you.
Exercise – Your body needs at least 20 minutes a day of some light cardio (get that heart rate up) along with some stretching and light lifting. It doesn’t have to be hard core, but to metabolize stress hormones, boost your metabolism, and promote good brain chemistry – you need this. Brisk walk, take the stairs, yoga – get some movement in.
Good Food – Feed your body, it needs fuel. I’m less focused on the specific diet as the need for a variety of foods, that supply your body with the fats, proteins, vitamins, fiber, carbs in balance that it needs to be healthy.
Recreation – God created you to need play. No one has to teach it to you as a kid, you instinctively do it. As adults we can get “too busy” for play – and it hurts us. Carve out time each week to things that are life giving to you.
Friends – Hang out with friends that make you feel good. Some people pour into you, others suck life out of you. Make sure you are surrounding yourself with and making time for people who pour life into you.
Nap – Yes, sometimes it is OK to take a nap. Your body needs it sometimes. If you’re tired – sleep. If it means you have energy to feel frisky later in the day it’s a great trade off.
Sleep – God designed your body to need 7-9 hours of sleep out of every 24. You can’t cheat your body the sleep God designed it to need and not suffer the consequences.
Date – You need time outside your roles as mom & dad to be lovers and friends. Without this you’ll be emotionally drained, which will manifest in physical fatigue.
Save a Little in Your Battery for Your Husband
Start with the end in mind. If you plan ahead for times of intimate connection with your husband you can save a little energy to share with him. Planning in advance also gives you something to flirt around all day which helps build anticipation.
Work with Your Husband
Help your husband understand you only have so much energy. If he wants to get frisky he needs to help you with the things that have to get done before then so you both can be mostly awake when it’s time to connect.
You might experiment with trying to connect earlier in the day. Maybe you can pull off some morning sex after the kids leave for school or a nooner over lunch break. Connecting earlier in the day means you have more energy in the battery and are thus more likely to enjoy the experience.
There’s no way around it: You’ll never enjoy a passionate, healthy sex life if you are chronically fatigued. It’s like trying to start a car with a dead battery – it just isn’t going to work.
- Basson, R. (2001). Using a different model for female sexual response to address women’s problematic low sexual desire. Journal of Sex &Marital Therapy, 27(5), 395-403.
- Kaplan, H. S. (1977). Hypoactive sexual desire. Journal of sex & marital therapy, 3(1), 3-9.
- Hayes, R. D., Dennerstein, L., Bennett, C. M., Sidat, M., Gurrin, L. C., & Fairley, C. K. (2008). Risk factors for female sexual dysfunction in the general population: Exploring factors associated with low sexual function and sexual distress. The journal of sexual medicine, 5(7), 1681-1693.
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