Bible Question:

Is masturbation a sin in marriage? I have not had physical relations in eight months with my wife. It is very hard to cope with not being intimate with her.

Bible Answer:

Is your wife interested in having physical relations? Based on your question and in order to provide an answer, I have assumed the answer is “no.” While it is common for men to have a stronger sexual drive than women, it is not normal for a wife to have as little desire for physical relations with her husband as you are describing.


God makes it clear in 1 Corinthians that both husbands and wives have a need for physical relations. In the following passage, God tells a husband to meet the sexual needs of his wife and for a wife to meet the sexual needs of her husband.

Let the husband fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Stop depriving one another . . . (NASB) 1 Corinthians 7:3-5

He even tells us that the husband does not have control of his body. His body belongs to his wife and the wife’s body belongs to her husband. God does not mean that we can abuse one another and force the other to have physical relations. A wife is to accommodate her husband’s sexual needs and the husband those of his wife.

A woman once came to me for counseling and complained that her husband did not want to have physical relations with her. Therefore, she wanted to know what to do. Most wives want a physical relationship. How much varies from woman to woman and the same is true from man to man. It is not true that all men want sex all the time. That is a myth. The truth is that we are all different and God wants us to meet the needs of our spouses – male or female.

I suspect your wife is struggling with some serious issues. The issues may be with you, herself, or someone else. I would strongly suggest that you encourage her to go for counseling. I would also encourage you to start praying for her. If you are the issue, you should sit down with her and have a long heart-to-heart talk. It starts with prayer and listening.


The Bible never specifically talks about masturbation. But there are biblical principles that we can use to guide us. There are several very helpful question and answers on this site that we trust you will find helpful. They are Is masturbation a sin? and Is masturbation a sin if I control my thoughts?


Have you ever seen two rivers flowing smoothly and quietly until they meet and join to form one new river? When this happens, they “clash and hurl” themselves at one another. However, as the newly formed river flows downstream, it gradually quiets down and flows smoothly again. And now it is broader and more majestic and has more power. So it is in a marriage: the forming of a new union may be tumultuous – but, when achieved, the result is far greater than with either partner alone.

Suggested Links:

What does the Bible have to say about masturbation?
Is masturbation a sin?
Is masturbation a sin if I control my thoughts?
Walk In The Spirit