How Does A Woman Feel When Rejected Sexually & What To Do (2024)

Rejection hurts all people, regardless of their age or gender. But sexual rejection from a partner can especially hurt when you’re a woman. 

How does a woman feel when rejected sexually? And what can you do when you, or your female partner, is dealing with sexual rejection? 

In this article, we’ll explore these questions in-depth.

How Does a Woman Feel When Rejected?

Cultural and social norms often dictate how we navigate intimate interaction. Usually, it’s the male who takes the lead, and does the chasing and ‘hunting.’ 

When the shoe is on the other foot, and the woman is the one initiating, rejection won’t affect her in the same way. She can often take it more personally. 

This is because society tells us that male partners usually want more intimacy. Thus if a woman gets rejected, she’ll conclude that there must be something wrong with her.

Related: My Sexless Marriage Is Killing Me: 16 Solutions

How Does Rejection Affect A Woman? 

1. Lower Confidence

In most relationships, men initiate intercourse at a higher rate than women. This means that men also experience rejection at a higher rate. 

But because she’s not as used to it as much as her male counterpart, it can affect a woman’s view of her own attraction, and make her question his desire for her. 

2. Feelings Of Being Unloved

When the woman takes the leap to initiate intimacy with her partner, rejection can affect her feelings greatly. 

Intimacy is a form of bonding between couples. And women often use their partner’s interest in them as a means of validation – a way to see themselves as desirable. 

So, when a woman is feeling rejected, this can cause her to feel unloved. 

This frustration can be channeled towards herself in the form of negative self-talk and an unhealthy view of her appearance or body.

3. Confusion And Paranoia

Because the idea that men always want intimacy is ingrained in society, when a woman experiences rejection from her boyfriend or husband, it can raise suspicions. 

Most women might think that their husband or boyfriend is getting their physical needs met with another woman. 

This can cause paranoia – she may start wondering how many women you’re seeing behind her back.

How Does A Rejected Woman Behave?

How Does A Woman Feel When Rejected Sexually
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1. Irritability

Experiencing sexual rejection as a woman can hurt immensely, and make them more agitated and irritable in everyday life. 

She will question the lack of desire that her partner has for her. This hurt and paranoia results in a toxic cocktail of anger and irritability with her partner. 

She’ll communicate more passive-aggressively, and may stonewall her male partner in conversation.

Related: Intimacy Coach – 8 Facts Checklist

2. Jealousy

She’s made an intimate advance and was rejected. The frustration and hurt will cause her to question her partner’s fidelity. 

Suddenly every woman you glance at or have a friendly conversation with is a threat or competition. 

There may be a sudden increase in arguments about other women because of jealousy. 

She might not address the rejection directly, but she will likely blame it on her partner, and question his motives.

3. Sadness And Emotional Outbursts

A prolonged lack of intimacy is poison to any relationship. 

Intimacy means bonding. It means desire and validation. When a woman is constantly faced with a ‘no,’ it can lead to more emotional outbursts. 

The rejection hurts her, and she’ll vent by crying, or having angry outbursts more often.

4. Invasive Questions

Because of the paranoia that rejection can cause in a woman, expect that she’ll start to become a bit more invasive. 

She’ll likely assume that you’re intimate with a partner outside your relationship. So she’ll start questioning your every move. 

“Where are you going? What are you doing outside of the time we spend together?” 

Questions like these will come up more often.

5. Depression And Despondency

On the flip side of emotional outbursts and sadness, a woman who experiences constant rejection can become despondent. 

In a depressive episode, she’ll lose the enthusiasm for the things she used to love and emotions will feel too tired to even express.

This is likely because she’s feeling lonely by your rejection.

Signs When She Feels Rejected 

  • Increased frustration and irritability. When she’s feeling rejected, she’ll likely take it out on you emotionally.
  • Questioning the integrity of the relationship. In her mind, a lack of intimacy might mean that you’re getting your needs met elsewhere.
  • Attempts to make her partner jealous. She may spend time flirting with other men, especially in front of her partner, to provoke him.
  • Passive-aggressive comments about her partner. Because she feels that her attractiveness is under scrutiny, she may point out things she finds unattractive in her partner.

Related: Turnaround Strategies When The Intimacy Stops In A Relationship

What To Do When You Feel Rejected Sexually

If you’re the one who is getting rejected constantly by your partner, it can sting and even be a blow to your confidence. 

Here are some possible reasons and solutions to this issue.

How Do You Deal With Intimate Rejection? 

How To Deal With Intimate Rejection
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First things first, it’s okay to feel hurt by rejection. Don’t deny your feelings or try to put on a brave face. 

Any therapist will tell you that intimacy is an integral pillar of a successful relationship. 

In relationships, the male partner is often expected to take the lead when it comes to initiating intimacy. 

The dance often goes like this: the man has a desire, and then initiates with his partner; the woman is often not aroused immediately (she operates on responsive desire), and so the build-up to intimacy begins. 

When women take the opposite role, and initiate intimacy, there’s an expectation that the man will respond immediately. 

When it doesn’t play out like that (for any number of reasons), it’s hard to not take it personally. 

In order to deal with the rejection, let’s first explore the possible meanings behind the rejection.  

What Does It Mean When Your Partner Rejects You?

1. No Desire For Intimacy

Similar to women, men can also go through periods of low libido. He just doesn’t have a desire for intimacy. 

And as it is your right to reject your partner when you don’t want to have intimacy, it’s also his right to reject when you initiate. 

Sometimes things can be as simple. He doesn’t want to have intimacy because he doesn’t want to have intimacy. It has nothing to do with your attractiveness.

2. Intimacy Issues And Complications

For male partners, there’s often a great deal of pride and ego when it comes to their intimate life. 

So when he encounters an intimacy issue (such as erectile dysfunction), it can be hurtful to his identity as a man. 

Problems like these can kill his desire for intimacy. 

And because it’s so sensitive to him, it’s easier to brush it off with rejection, than to address the issue with you and find a solution. 

3. Response To Past Rejection

When he rejects you, it might be a form of protecting himself. 

Maybe you had a period in your relationship where you didn’t really want to be intimate with him, and he was experiencing regular rejection. 

Because he was feeling rejected for a long period of time, this can cause him to put up walls when it comes to intimacy. 

Rejection hurts all parties involved, and as a means to avoid hurting from rejection, he might have turned the tables on you.

Related: Signs You & Your Partner Are Growing Apart & Solutions

4. Life Responsibilities Are Overwhelming

As crazy as it sounds, men can go through times when intimacy is the last thing on their minds. 

This can be caused by various events, but it’s often due to stressful work responsibilities and big life changes (such as a new baby, or death in the family). 

When his mind is on other things, even the idea of you initiating might not turn him on.

Steps To Take When You’re Feeling Rejected

  • Bring the topic up in a neutral setting and mood.
    • This can be in a room in a house that you associate with positive feelings and good memories. Or even outside the house, as long as you have some privacy to open up
  • Communicate how the rejection makes you feel.
    • Before you try to accuse or blame him, first communicate how the rejection affects you
  • Don’t bring up past fights or accusations.
    • Whatever you do, don’t bring up unrelated topics and speculations about why he’s not feeling desire. Especially don’t bring up arguments and conflicts from the past
  • Be open to hearing his response with no judgment. Maybe you won’t enjoy what you hear, but it’s important to give your full attention and focus on listening
  • Accept that there will be dry spells in your relationship. That’s just how relationships go.
    • If you’re in a long-term relationship, understand that desire will come in waves, and try to find ways to cope through the dry spells
  • Try therapy or mediation. It’s helpful to have a relationship therapist lead you in difficult conversations

Related article: Benefits Of Embracing Rejection & Strategies

What To Do When Your Partner Feels Rejected Sexually

If you’re the man in the relationship, sometimes it can be hard to express your feelings about why you’re putting your partner through regular rejection. 

But understand that if women are not given a clear reason and conversation about it, it’s easy for them to make the worst assumption.

How Rejecting Your Spouse Affects Your Marriage Or Relationship

1. Bitterness And Resentment

When your problems are not addressed and overcome together, they will fester into resentment. 

Resentment and bitterness are poison to any relationship, especially a marriage.

2. Intimacy Avoidance

When you’re not talking about and addressing the reasons for regular rejection, the hurt feelings will eventually turn into bitterness and anger. 

That means that eventually, all talk of desire will trigger the memories and feelings associated with the rejection. 

And because it hurts, the subject and act of intimacy will inevitably be avoided entirely.

3. Damaged Emotional Bond

Intimacy represents more than just physical release. It releases chemicals such as serotonin and builds the connection between partners. 

When intimacy in a marriage comes to a halt, emotional ties are also affected. You will start to feel not as close anymore.

4. Increased Chance Of Infidelity

When women feel undesirable by their partner’s rejection, it will be refreshing for them when they receive that validation from someone else. 

Sometimes even a full-blown physical or emotional affair can happen.

Related article: Tips To Know That You Are Good Enough

Steps to Take When Your Partner Feels Rejected

When Your Partner Feels Rejected
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  • Communication is key.
    • Let them know how you are feeling; it can be difficult to open up about the reasons you don’t desire intimacy. 
    • But remember that you’re talking to someone who loves you, and wants the best for you and your relationship. If you can’t open up to your spouse, who can you open up to?
  • Reassure her of her attractiveness.
    • If your lack of desire has nothing to do with your attraction to your partner, let her know. Assure her of her desirability. 
    • Many women can come to the conclusion that they’re not good enough when they’re rejected. Let her know that’s not the case.
  • Remember how rejection can easily affect you and your partner’s feelings.
    • Be careful in your word choice. If it’s a few things about your partner that affects your desire, be careful to tell her in a tactful way.
  • Suggest something that you ARE in the mood for that you can do together.
    • When you don’t want to be intimate, it can help to come up with something else to do to strengthen your bond. Consider a date night, or even just a foot rub.
  • Prioritize emotional intimacy, even when you have no desire for physical intimacy.
    • Intercourse often represents emotional intimacy for a woman. 
    • When you don’t want physical intimacy, bond with her on an emotional level with intimate conversation or other activities that can help you to open up to each other.
  • Consider scheduling in time for physical intimacy.


What are the signs of rejection in a relationship?

When you’re being rejected for physical intimacy, your partner will often avoid topics or situations that might lead to more intimacy. 

They might stay up until you fall asleep. Or quickly change the topic if you even mention intimacy in conversation.

What does it mean when your husband doesn’t want you sexually?

It can mean many things, and not necessarily the worst-case scenario. 

He could be dealing with an outside stressor that kills his mood. Maybe it’s also due to lifestyle changes or events. It’s best to ask him before jumping to conclusions.

Related: How Long Is Too Long Without Sex In A Relationship?

What is wife rejection syndrome?

Wife rejection syndrome is a term for when a husband projects the anger and guilt of his trauma onto his wife. 

This leads to a chain reaction of trauma over a period of time that eventually ends the marriage.

What to do when you’re tired of being rejected by your husband?

When you’re tired of regular rejection from your husband, the best place to start is by talking about it. Finding the problem and thinking of solutions. 

If it’s difficult to bring up spontaneously, try using a mediator such as a therapist to lead a healthy conversation.


Sexual rejection can greatly impact a woman’s self-esteem and lead her to feel lonely and unloved. 

In this article, we explored how that manifests in a relationship, and how to navigate this dry spell, for both parties. 

If you found this article useful, please share it with those who may need it!

About The Author

Bijan Kholghi is a certified life coach with the Milton Erickson Institute Heidelberg (Germany). He helps clients and couples reach breakthroughs in their lives by changing subconscious patterns. His solution-oriented approach is based on Systemic- and Hypnotherapy.