4 Things You Can Do When You’re Not in the Mood

not in the mood

So you’re not in the mood? It’s understandable. You got up in the middle of the night when one of the kids had a bad dream. Then just when your head hit the pillow, your alarm went off! The day was more of the same—rushing to get the kids to school, rushing to work, driving to sports practices, running by the store to pick up something for dinner, dashing into the kitchen to cook, cleaning up after the kids, getting everybody bathed, getting everyone to bed, whew! You’re exhausted. But you’re not finished yet. Your husband seems to have energy for one more activity…sex. So what do you do when you’re just not in the mood?

Okay, we know we’re touching on a sensitive subject here. On one extreme you’ll hear from those who say you should always have sex when your husband wants to, no matter how you feel about it. On the other side of the debate you have those who say that if you don’t want to, you shouldn’t have to. End of story. Here at iMOM, we tend to take the middle ground, so here are 4 Things You Can Do When You’re Not in the Mood.

1. Be honest.

There will be times when you really can’t have sex—you have a migraine, you got two hours of sleep the night before, you’re an emotional mess about the illness of a dear friend. At times like those, be honest with your husband about why you’re not in the mood.  Let him know that you love him, and that it’s nothing he’s done to cause your refusal. And try to let him know that you will have sex as soon as you’re able. You can even schedule a rain check so he knows you have good intentions. If there’s a bigger problem in your marriage that’s leading you to not be in the mood more often than not, talk to him about it.

2. When you can do it, say yes.

There will be times when you’re not in the mood but you actually can have sex, even if you’re not 100 percent into it.  You may be normal “mom tired” or maybe you have a lot on your mind.  In those instances, as best as you can, go ahead and have sex.

3. Do it for your marriage.

Studies show that couples who have sex regularly are happier. This is from a New York Times blog interview with researcher Denise Donnelly, “Happy couples have more sex, and the more sex a couple has, the happier they report being.”

So even if you’re not in the mood, the act of sex is good for your marriage.  And what’s good for your marriage is good for your family and your children.

4. Act as if.

A wise woman here at iMOM says she tries to have sex when her husband wants to because she knows it’s good for her marriage, because she loves her husband, and because she understands that his physical needs are greater than hers.  So what does she do when she’s not in the mood?  She pours herself a glass of wine and acts as if she is in the mood.  Often, she says, by the end of their time together she’s actually enjoyed it.

And if you think that acting as if is somehow insincere or unauthentic, think about what we do for our children, even though we don’t feel like it.  We do it out of love.

Need more help to get in the mood? Check out my ideas on What to Do When You Don’t Feel Like Having Sex.  Wonder what a guy’s perspective is regarding reasons we don’t want sex? Find out here.

We here at iMOM also want to recognize that there are some women whose husbands are not interested in sex. We will be addressing this issue soon in an upcoming article.

In The Comments

What do you do when you’re not in the mood?


  • Ruthieliz

    Brilliant article thank you…. but the liñk doesn’t work!

  • Sarah

    what do you do when its other way round?

    • Sarah, good question. I have not experienced that, my husband has more drive than I do, but I would love for any iMOM readers who have to weigh in. Do any of you have tips for how to get your husband in the mood?

    • Kenya

      Communication is key. There could be a number of reasons hubby is “not in the mood.” It could be he is trying to let you rest and be respectful of what he perceives to be your needs. Are you experiencing a very busy season of life? He could be experiencing stress at work leading to feelings of inadequacy, there could be a medical problem such as low testosterone, thyroid issues or depression. Try kissing him when he gets home and tell him, “I really want to spend alone time with you tonight.” See if that peeks his interest and seek follow through later that night – again communicate your desire for him. If that works, tell him how much you appreciated your time together and look forward to more of it. If not, have a quiet conversation, alone and express your need for physical intimacy. Choose your timing – both of you need to be in a good state of mind and as mentally fresh as possible. During the conversation, hold his hand, put a hand on his knee – show him physical touch. Women have been told often of their husband’s physical needs, but often men are not informed about how much we need and desire physical intimacy. Best wishes.

    • Rebecca

      My hubby’s libido wanes drastically after about 9:30 at night. We own multiple companies, and he works his tail off…thus his stress level is super high. We have discovered that if we jump in the sack right after we put the kids to bed, it’s the best time for us to be intimate. I would say have a nice long talk (or in our case, multiple talks), and figure out what works best for both of you. And BE PROUD of your libido, woman! I love the fact that I love sex, and my husband does, too. 🙂

  • Heather Novak

    I’m also the one who is more interested, or used to be….We LOVED the book 101 Nights of Grrreat Romance. Also, I realize my hubs has ALOT of mental stress about supporting our family…and that he also helps around the house a lot. SO…if I honor our budget and also try to get most of the house stuff done, he is more likely to have the energy to be in the mood. It rarely works, but I am betting that is the key for us.

  • Guy

    I’m having trouble with this one. So you are saying ladies it’s ok to fake it. Wow, there’s a self esteem builder.

    • Allison

      The difference between men and women, ladies. Right here.

  • Guy

    I’d rather have a rain check than my wife faking it! #3 do it for your marriage There’s a real self esteem builder.

  • Rhiannon Wallace McFlea

    im sorry but i find this article completely backwards. #1 is great, be honest! but then i really dont seem to follow the rest of it…
    “So even if you’re not in the mood, the act of sex is good for your marriage. And what’s good for your marriage is good for your family and your children”.
    like there wasnt pressure on mumma’s as is now your going to add having sex when you don’t want to? maybe if it was written something like “try and get yourself in the mood, know what you like and do it, tell him what you want him to do, your fantasies” etc but comments like “because she understands that his physical needs are greater than hers” actually just really confuse me. Is this IMOM woman you talked to saying that because hes her husband his needs are more important or that wanting sex is physically more demanding than not wanting to have sex? i guess i can understand what you are trying to say in this article. that relationships take work, including the sexual side of it. But wow i hope that there arent those women who are already down on themselves about their marriage/being a mumma, coming along to read this, as my goodness i do not see it doing an ounce of good… just my opinion!!

  • Suzanne

    Sometimes I just do it for my husband, I don’t want it at that moment, but I can…have sex. So we have sex and I don’t have an orgasm, he then starts to wonder what he did wrong, and he doesn’t enjoy it as much. Or sometimes I’m completely not in the mood, I’m tired, I’m stressed out, I worry about my mom and siblings, I worry about our dog, I worry about my job or money, or how we are going to pay back his parents.. etc. I am definitely not in the mood for sex when I feel like that, which is how I feel about 40% of the time. I do thoroughly enjoy sex with my husband when I am in the mood, but that’s only about once or twice a week. He does not get that I do not have the drive that I used to have, he has a problem with that. Keeps comparing our relationship to relationships ive had in the past before I met him, which is not fair. I am not a spring chicken, I don’t want to have sex twice a day like I had when I was younger. there is way too much stuff going on, I can’t concentrate. I’m honest when he makes attempts, he will have a few drinks and want to get all handsy, and I don’t like when he is like that, (it’s not a power thing, I know how this sounds, I just don’t like the alcohol on his breath, it smells horrible, it does not make me feel attracted to him) I will let him know why I don’t want to at the moment, and he will get mad and tell me our relationship is doomed, because I never want to have sex anymore. In all reality I do want to have sex, because I enjoy it, and he doesn’t want to have sex with me unless I’m in the mood, so what are my options. I either have to fake it which I don’t like doing because I’m being dishonest in our relationship. or I have to wait until I’m in the mood. Usually what happens when I’m not really in the mood, but I can sort of think about enjoying sex, is that I go for it, sometimes I get into it, sometimes I don’t, and I fake it. I do it to show him I can please him too, even when I’m not ready. I don’t really know of any way that I can get in the mood, if I’m not, other then to play a mind game with myself.

    I guess what has made me not want to have sex as much, is the constant pressure to have sex, the outside of the relationship normal work life stress, dry vagina, and the lack of affection and non physical intimacy in our relationship. I don’t want to feel like I’m a thing you can have sex with and then that’s it, theres no conversations, no understanding, or support or affection. just I’m horny why aren’t you, whats your problem? I shouldn’t have to fake it, if I’m tired. I don’t tell my husband to go mow the lawn when he is tired or sick. I don’t tell my husband to suck it up and get in the mood if he is stressed out. so why….should I have to do it? I didn’t really answer the question for this article. maybe start drinking heavily. that’s how you might get in the mood.