3 Things Higher-Drive Spouses Long For

You might think the three things higher-drive spouses long for are sex, sex, and sex. But while I’m certain higher-drive husbands and wives would like greater frequency of sexual intimacy in marriage, I truly believe they want more. So here are three other, very important things higher-drive spouses long for.

couple sitting on bed, facing away from each other + blog post title

1. Recognition that their sex drive isn’t bad. When you want physical intimacy a lot, and your spouse doesn’t, you can get the feeling your sex drive is a bad thing. Sometimes, it’s just a feeling you have that you want sex more than you want to want it. And other times, it’s expressed by your mate with statements like, “Stop being so selfish,” or questions like, “Why do you want sex all the time?” — usually accompanied by a haughty tone and a sneer.

Rather than embracing your libido, you start to feel less-than, in your eyes and/or your spouse’s. And that’s a horrible thing to feel about something that should be considered a gift from God.

What does the higher-drive spouse want? Recognition from their spouse that this sex drive isn’t bad. It’s not inherently selfish or evil or disgusting. A strong desire to make love with your covenant mate is a beautiful thing.

2. Understanding that sex isn’t just about sex. Sure, I know some people who are completely into the physical side of sex and don’t understand the deeper implications. But I hear from many, many more higher-drive spouses who want sex not simply for physical satisfaction, but because it makes them feel connected, loved, and intimate with their spouse. If it was only about physical release — being candid here — the higher-drive spouse could take care of things on their own.

Instead, that husband or wife seeking more sex doesn’t see their mate as a mere tool for achieving a goal. No way! For them, it isn’t just about sex — it’s about so much more. Even if words fail them and they seem to default to talking about the sex itself, if you could dig deep and tease out what’s really happening, sex is powerfully meaningful.

They want the physical pleasure, but they want the whole package — physical, recreational, emotional, spiritual. And more than anything, the higher drive spouse wants to feel the love of their mate.

3. Commitment to try. The mismatch in drives can be frustrating, but what really hurts is a mate unwilling to even try. It pains the heart of someone longing to show love in the bedroom to be rebuffed and refused constantly, with no hope in sight of anything ever changing. What would help a lot is a simple commitment to try — try to talk about it, try to see another point of view, try to get in the mood, try to change things up a little now and then, try enjoying yourself in bed.

Most higher-drive spouses don’t expect an immediate turnaround in their less-willing mate. While it would be great to come home one day and find their lover with bedroom eyes, little on their body, and rip-raring to go, that’s not their expectation or intent. Rather, they long for the lower-drive spouse to love them enough to try to understand and meet their needs — just as you should each be doing in other areas of marriage. The higher-drive spouse isn’t looking for a quick change, but rather a long-term commitment to invest in sexual intimacy.

If you’re the higher-drive spouse, do you long for these things? And what else? If you’re the lower-drive spouse, in what way do you struggle with the desires or expectations of your higher-drive mate?

42 thoughts on “3 Things Higher-Drive Spouses Long For

  1. B

    Wow, J. This one really resonated with me. I wish my husband could understand this better. I am trying, really trying, to not take his rejection so personally, but it is so hard.
    This is selfish, but I really want to feel loved – by my husband! We have very different love languages and it stinks. He tells me over and over and over again how much he loves me, sometimes he says how pretty he thinks I am (though I believe none of it) – because of the lack of intimacy. He doesn’t want me physically. We are together once, maybe twice a week if I’m lucky, and I know he does it just to keep me happy.
    I’ve started praying to lose my sex drive. I’d rather be one of those perfect wives who doesn’t care about sex, and who’s husband wants them so badly and she can just keep saying no, than the one wife who would love to have sex with her husband every day, but needs to face the fact that he doesn’t want her that way.
    And you’re right, it’s not all about the release, it’s about being intimate together and loving each other and feeling the love.
    It’s hard when you realize as a woman you’re not good enough for your husband. He says that’s not true, but I’ve read about this extensively, and I know most husbands have a high desire for their wives, not vice versa. (It’s REALLY hard to read about all the perfect women who have a lower sex drive and feel all sorry for themselves. They know they are perfect in their husbands eyes and they should feel so blessed that their husbands want them so badly. If they only knew, the opposite is far worse).
    What’s even harder is the lack of reason. He’s not into porn, he doesn’t cheat, I’m not fat, I look about 10 years younger than I am, I’m not a supermodel, but I’m not ugly. But I sure feel ugly! Because if the average mom has her husband chasing around the house for sex every night, while my husband is asleep on the couch, there MUST be something wrong. No drugs, no alcohol, no medications, no explanation WHY, other than I must be repulsive to him in some way. I have had a couple children, and I do have stretch marks on my belly, so that could be a turn off, although he says it isn’t.
    He does love something more than me – work. Well, he doesn’t necessarily love it more, but it is FAR more important to him. He thinks about it ALL. THE. TIME. He talks about it all the time, and I enjoy listening, but he never lets it go. His stupid boss calls and texts him all the time and it’s so annoying – it’s like he can’t run his company without bugging my husband.
    I feel badly for being upset, but I wish he could learn to let work go when he is at home. I wish he found me more attractive than his job. I wish I meant 1/10th of what his job means to him. And he acts all sad and surprised when I admit I feel I rank far below his job. I don’t say it often, because I do try to respect him and all he does for us, but when I can’t take it anymore he tries to get me to feel bad about it by acting all sad. And I know, even with work stress, that if a woman he honestly felt attracted to walked in, he’d respond. So his claiming he’s attracted to me is a big. Fat. Lie. What man doesn’t want to have sex with someone they’re attracted to? No one.
    I’ve stopped initiating, which he says bothers him but I know it makes him feel a lot better. I’ve made – well, no, I’m trying to make- peace with the fact that I’m just not as alluring as all other wives. That and I’m praying for my sex drive to decrease and for my desire for my husband to go away. It’s just too hard.

    1. J Post author

      It sounds like you’ve thought about this a lot and even talked to your husband about it. But I really feel like you’re drawing erroneous conclusions that it’s something wrong with you or his attraction to you. Especially since you mentioned his work, stress could be a big factor for him. Plus, I don’t think the effect of hormones is as well researched and understood in men with it comes to their libidos.

      I’d encourage you to give him grace and not draw conclusions that he’s lying to you or your “just not as alluring as all other wives.” Pray about this and read what I and others have written on the topic of higher drive wives; it’s more common than people think and it’s not a strike against you.

      Wishing you all the best. Blessings!

    2. Wifey

      Oh my goodness, I am sitting here welled up in tears reading some of these replies. To “B” and Amy, I could have easily written some of the very things you’ve written about. I am relieved to hear there are other women “like me”.

      I am thankful to you both for sharing your heart, and I am thankful for the encouragement offered by the others.

  2. Amy

    I’m a higher drive wife and I can relate to what B wrote, or at least I once could.
    It can certainly feel as if you as the woman are not desirable in your husband’s eyes and that perhaps he doesn’t find you attractive enough to chase you around the room. And yes, it HURTS! I’ve cried countless tears over not having my husband chase me around and want sex every day like so many others say their husbands do. I was so tired of reading blog after blog which simply told low drive wives to basically suck it up and just do it because husbands needs physical connection to feed their emotional needs. And I would think — well, I too need that physical connection and wonder what was wrong with us that it was me, the wife, wanting so much sex and not my husband.

    After trying to talk with him about my feelings, crying to him about it, pouting, throwing temper tantrums…basically doing everything to make him see how he was hurting me and making me feel rejected…I stopped and took a hard long look at what was going on.

    Ah yes, work — this is what it finally boiled down to as being the detriment to a more frequent love life along with his ED related and age induced lower libido.
    What hit home one day was when after a wonderful lovemaking session (and they always are!) I made a comment of how I’d love to do that more often and something about him not desiring me very much. He looked at me with a stunned and possibly a little hurt expression and said, “you really think I don’t desire you? Of course I desire you! It’s hard when one part of me thinks about making love more often but the other part doesn’t catch up!”

    My hubby has long, long weekly work hours which make sleep much more enticing and having to deal with ED is difficult for him too. So when he said that to me it helped me to focus on the fact that it is NOT me, it is a difficultly his has and actually something he wishes he didn’t have.

    Since that night I’ve softened up, haven’t cried poor-me tears and am focusing more on our time we have together even if it doesn’t include sex. I let him know every single day how much I love him and how much I desire and want him, but I’ve taken the pressure off of him by choosing to be happy and loving, not depressed constantly and standoffish because I’m not getting what I want.

    Do I wish for a more frequent sex life? Of course! And no it’s not about the release it’s about the close connection that can only come from sex with our spouses.

    So as a higher drive spouse it’s important for me to know that I’m desirable and attractive to him and although time may not permit more frequent lovemaking I need to feel he wants me.

    Great post!

    1. B

      Hi Amy,

      Thanks for replying. It’s nice to have someone who understands. I agree those other blogs about low drive wives are incredibly frustrating to read. I’d like to shake those ladies and tell them how blessed they are to be desired. It is so hard to be an undesired wife. So crushing. It makes me feel downright worthless. Then my husband wonders why I have so little confidence. Hmmm…

      Like you, my husband SAYS he loves me, and he SAYS he thinks I’m pretty, and he SAYS he loves my body, and he SAYS he finds me desireable. But because he never backs it up with action, I do not believe him. Anyone can say anything they want to, that doesn’t mean it’s true. So I feel pretty lousy most of the time. It is incredibly selfish and prideful of me, I know, but I long to know – just once – what it’s like to be desireable to my husband.

      If we talk about it, which I try not to because it upsets him, he acts all shocked and sad that I’m upset and hurt. He’ll say “I just want you to be happy.” Okaaaayy…. Well then why do you try so hard to make me unhappy? Why keep lying? Why not just admit that I am not your type and you do not find me desireable, or better yet, tell me what I can do to change myself to be more your “type” and I’ll do it. And he acts all surprised and weirded out that I even think that way. I’ve gotten much, MUCH better at keeping my mouth shut, but in the past I’ve offered to dye my hair, get butt implants, get fatter, get thinner, get a face lift, get veneers, get brown contact lenses – whatever would work! And he looks at me like I’m insane and then acts upset that I’d even think about it. But something is obviously wrong at it infuriates me that he refuses to say what it is.

      If work is an issue, I wish he’d get a less stressful job. I’ve told him I’d rather be poor and have him be happy every day, then have money and have him be stressed to the point he hardly sleeps. It’s just a vicious cycle that I don’t think will ever end. Things get better for a bit and then they get worse.

      Last night our kids were out, and we were supposed to have a nice evening together. I looked forward to it all day. We got something to eat and then came home and he fell asleep. Why do I even bother?? He wants me to understand that he loves me, and yet he won’t seem to understand how unloved I feel. I just want him to realize that constantly saying “I love you” is meaningless, and NOT the same as actually loving someone.

      I know I sound b*tchy, but it’s because I’m venting. I don’t complain to him very often, and I try my best to act happy, I try very hard to keep my mouth shut. I want him to be happy, but yes, selfishly, I wish the desire went both ways.

      1. J Post author

        I wish I could just take you out for a whole spay day, and we could pamper ourselves and talk about this issue at length. Because the hurt is so deep for you — I can hear it in your comment. I would (1) reassure you that you are beautiful and worthwhile and God’s lovely creation, (2) suggest your accusations of him lying may hurt him very deeply too, and (3) explain how you need to change your attitude far more than you ever need to change yourself (butt implants? really? don’t do that). I’m praying for you.

      2. Lauren

        What are both of your ages? Also does he work weekends?? Maybe the weekends can be your go to chance for initiating sex. Do you try initiating? If so, just try to seduce him. Try to do this before you notice he gets tired. Say your watching a movie at home and you know he may fall asleep during the movie, you can start initiating kisses and etc halfway through the movie. There is always a way. No one mentioned this but does he watch porn? Make sure he is not watching it in secret and getting his sexual energies out with that instead of targeting them to you. Your needs aren’t being met and I wouldn’t otherwise condone spying, but you need to get down to what is wrong. When is the last time you had sex with one another and what is the frequency. I hope you can get past this ” phase”and things will work out.

      3. Lauren

        B,

        How do you know he doesn’t look at porn? Maybe he doesn’t though, but anyway these guys physically need that release right? If they can go days without having sex are they ejaculating in the bathroom before the morning shower??

        What’s going on? (If I stop initiating, mine can have sex with me Sunday and skip the weeknight and go right to Friday sex)

        Because my story is just like yours. Husband works a lot. I pretty much know he doesn’t look at porn because I am with him when he gets home and we fall asleep together. The only time he is alone is in the morning when I am sleeping and he gets up for a shower.

        I’m in that same boat. I am ready and willing for sex all the time. I talk about sex a lot and always trying to improve stuff and frequency. He went as far to say to me that I am a “sex addict”. It’s so sexist to say that because a women wants sex and has a high drive that she is a sex addict. It’s so sexist and judge mental as ever. But a guy is allowed to have a high drive and that’s okay.

        We have three kids and it seemed weekend sex was our thing. Usually Friday and Sunday. I do try to get in a week night and have made it a point that it’s important to me. He is starting to understand now.

        How many children do you have? Tell your husband that spouses come first. You need to be happy before you can be a loving mother and wife. You will be happy regardless I mean other people should not determine your happiness. But I mean you will be the best “you” if you are on the same page. Your husband is apparently not on the same page sexually. He is all about work. Mine is too. But the spouse needs to come first. Sex is a great aspect and gift of marriage that spouses need to prioritize and stop taking for granted.

      4. Anonymous

        B – I’ve been trying to respond since last week but it won’t let me leave a reply, so I’m trying it by using Anonymous, but this is actually Amy from Life Inspired Thoughts!

        Anyway, I have lots of things I’d like to say but will keep it simple — it isn’t your husband making you unhappy, it is your own self. I know that is very harsh and blunt, but I say that because how you feel and act is what I did also.

        Yes, my hubby tells me he loves me, things I’m pretty, etc, etc, but then I’d feel like you — if he thinks those things why doesn’t he desire me more sexually I’d wonder.
        And the fact is, my hubby wasn’t/isn’t lying when he says those things, and I’m going to assume your hubby isn’t either. I just wasn’t willing to believe him and tried to turn it all around so I came to think he was lying otherwise he’d want sex all the time.
        But reality is, the two aren’t necessarily related.

        What I mean is, my hubby (and I certainly cannot speak for yours) truly does love me, thinks I’m attractive and likes my body — and he does like sex, just not as often as I would like. Does that mean he doesn’t desire me? NO!
        And I realized one day that the more I focused on trying to make the two connect, they just didn’t — it was ME that had the problem. I needed to stop thinking of him as lying to me and start believing and thanking him for saying those wonderful things to me!

        As far as the lack of desire for sex, well, my hubby expressed one day to me how it’s not that he doesn’t think about it or want to more often, it’s just that his body doesn’t always catch up with his brain. One part really wants to, but the other isn’t up to speed.
        So I started giving him some slack. I stopped being so grumpy over it, stopped pouting about not getting my way and started just loving him and enjoying our time together.

        Your date night — instead of being upset he fell asleep, first off, did you make clear what your expectations where for the end to your evening — sex?? We women often think our men know what we want or already assume that’s what we want to happen. Or it could be he just had a really long day at work and simply feel asleep — how often my hubby will do that too!
        yes, it’s frustrating and then those feelings that he just doesn’t desire you start setting in and pretty soon you have made a mountain out of a molehill.
        So while he snoozed on the couch you could simply have snuggled up to him and just been there beside him. Perhaps with you snuggled up he might have woke up and then you could let him know you’d been hoping for some much needed lovemaking — ya never know his response. And if not then, set another date specifically for that and mark it on the calendar.

        Yes, we want to be desired and chased around the room, but it may be that we have husbands who won’t do that and we need to be the ones to let them know how once in a while we really need them to.

        I’m praying for you dear sister to be able to choose a different attitude because honestly you’re only making yourself miserable and causing the unhappiness in your marriage.

        I know, BTDT, and I just let myself slip the other night too. 😉

        1. J Post author

          Thanks for your diligence in leaving this message! My apologies for your struggle, but unbeknownst to me, my blog software updated and shoved out the possibility of leaving any comments. I believe I’ve now fixed the problem, but I hate that anyone had difficulty on my site!

          Anyway, good thoughts, and I’m glad you shared them, Amy!

      5. Anonymous

        This is how I feel also, but I’m the higher drive husband.
        Perhaps some of the lower drive wives could better understand the pain when they hear it from a woman.

  3. B-L

    B,
    What ever you do – don’t pray for GOD to take away sex drive – HE DOES ANSWER PRAYERS!
    Let me explain – what you said above pretty much are thoughts I have had – only difference is my wife is the one that thinks “that’s all you think about”.

    Both J’s post and yours brings those feelings of loneliness back to the front.

    I DID pray for GOD to take away my desire so I would not drive my wife to feel she had to have sex even though she didn’t want to. FORCED SEX = RAPE, even in marriage. I feel due to my prayers to decrease my sex drive that God allowed me to have prostrate issues. Finally found I did not have cancer, but one of the procedures caused it so I have a mild case of ED and I can no longer ejaculate – THIS HAS REALLLY destroyed my self esteem.

    My wife was abused as a child and that is what leads to a lot of the problems with her drive – and also has caused a lot of problems in my life – so many struggles and issues. Every mans battle helps cover some of my problems.

    Have to curt this short time to go back to work. But please keep praying for the both of you to come closer together.

    1. Jessica

      Hey B-L – I think we can beat ourselves up sometimes and feel like our problems are some how a result of sinfulness or praying the wrong prayers. Hear me though. God is loving and kind and I really don’t believe that you would be experiencing the problems you are talking about because you prayed for your sex drive to be lowered. I’m sending prayers your way today for grace and encouragement from God for both you and your wife. Don’t give up! God can still help you both to enjoy your marital intimacy.

  4. wallywood

    These three things are great insights.
    Men and women need to feel desired and feel respected.
    Treating your desire for spouse with contempt, is deep deep dis-respect.

    Everyone has courted someone who was less interested, less in mush, and less in lust.
    Few of us stay long with anyone who never liked us, never wanted us and never enjoyed us.
    We all marry someone we think and feel in loves us like we love them.

    What is different in this generation, is sleeping next to someone who USED to want you, and USED to enjoy you and who has gotten over it. It feels like you got ugly and it feels like you got incompetent, because you WERE attractive, and you DID satisfy that person who is now indifferent, bored, or even disgusted by your advances.

    We demand that married people resist any attractions to other people, but we act as if loss of attraction for one’s spouse is beyond control and should not be resisted.

  5. D

    This post is excellent! Everything you said is so true. I think I’m the higher drive spouse – though my husband isn’t a gatekeeper by any means. I just initiate about 75% of the time, which is, I mean, ok…but as a woman, I kind of miss that hot pursuit only a man is naturally programmed to do.

    Being a wife with a higher sex drive is social purgatory, so it’s difficult not to feel like an outcast by my own gender. All these other women are complaining about being desired DAILY and I’m over here prancing around naked and grabbing him so there’s no confusion, but he just smiles and keeps doing whatever he’s doing at the time. Awesome for the self esteem, that. ?

    So, yeah, I hate my sex drive fairly often because it makes me feel grossly needy and trapped in my sexuality like some poor animal. There’s a sad desperation inherent in our struggle and I definitely think all the points you touched on are the beating heart of this issue. Great job, J!

    1. J Post author

      “Social purgatory” — what an apt phrase to describe how many higher-drive wives feel. Thanks for sharing your story! Many blessings.

    2. Lauren

      D,

      How often do you have sex? Frequency is a big question regarding to high drive and low drive? It is confusing when both partners are not on the as
      Page. I myself wonder what is
      Normal for everyone else in the world. Do guys really want their wives daily?? In my world and yours that is just some fairy tale. My
      Husband has told me that’s a lie. He said that sounded crazy to for a guy to want sex every day or all the time. I just hate how he is in denial and using his own “low drive” as a
      Basis for all men. You know? I guess he thinks he’s normal. Anyway the frequency is important though. I am at the stage of our marriage where I noticed sex was limited to just weekends. I felt that so wrong was up. I slowly started to change this by initiating, something many women do
      Not want to do. We like to feel chased and lusted at. But we need to initiate like you said you do 75% of the time. We do need to get rid of the old fashioned notions. If husband has a low drive we simply cannot be chased all the time. We are the alpha female in the bedroom now. The dominant one. Just like I verbally tell my husband prior to ask maybe that day or the day before of the positions I want to try, I can’t expect him to remember to do it that day. I need to take control and make things happen. There’s so much to say on this topic. I tend to take a back seat and wait for him to initiate on the weekends. If he doesn’t, I will. I always give him the chance though since I initiate more. Does your husband also have the same pattern of initiating on weekends?

      1. D

        Just saw this reply! Sorry! We have sex once or twice a week, but that’s not written in stone. I guess that seems typical to most (and amazing to sexless couples!), but we’ve always been on the 5+ times a week side, so it’s hard to accept. In a sad juxtaposition, he now only initiates when it’s been 5+ days, so there’s his threshold. I think it’s higher than most men. Maybe we sexed out early in marriage, because seriously, there was once a lot of sex!

  6. G

    First — thank you for your wisdom, and for putting together a site to share it.

    I’m the high-drive spouse, and I mean HIGH drive. Though my genealogy is pure, pasty English, there’s got to be some Latin-lover blood in there as well. Whew. My poor, poor, wife.

    I feel for B — there’s a heartache only those who crave intimacy with our spouses can understand. It’s a pain that goes beyond a sense of rejection. We’ve all had disappointments and failure, but this feeling is different. It is so at the core of our being the pain has a way of resonating through your entire soul. I’ve broken plenty of bones, but this… this is a soulful, deafening pain. You feel as if every cell in your body is about to explode, yet even if that happened it wouldn’t stop the ache. You would feel just as miserable — you’d cover a lot more square footage, but still, miserable.

    The part I have just begun to understand is that my good, dear, and loving wife never realized the depth of pain I was experiencing; I didn’t vocalize it very well (kudos to those who mentioned how they spoke with their husbands about how they were feeling). I went about it all wrong. I trained our sexual relations to be almost purely solution-based — “Oh, the husband is grumpy and tipping over cars, I guess we better have sex and give everyone some peace.” My good wife was doing the best she could to manage her hulking menace.

    The last year I have begun to pray more (I too prayed for reduced desire — nada — proof once again that God is far smarter than me), research more, and talk more with my incredibly kind wife. Communication is beginning to be key. The biggest part for me was realizing our sex drives were not bad things: I’m not an evil, corrupted pervert for having a higher sex drive (still a perv, just not evil and corrupt). And my wife is not cold and uncaring. We’ve begun to understand each other. Her drive has increased as she now knows I want her; not a collection of body parts. Not just a release. I want her. My off-the-charts drive is for her. We’ve begun to have both more frequency and intimacy. I’m beginning to feel sexually fulfilled — my drive is showing signs of becoming manageable.

    I could not imagine God designing a better tool for our growth and development. In what other way could you be so vulnerable and trusting in another person? What else would cause prayer to become so sincere and specific (without an impending threat of loss of life)? We’re given an incredible laboratory to grow and develop, plus we have the atonement so we can learn without damnation. When my dear wife and I are being vulnerable and trying something new I often hear the spirit whisper “in nothing doth man offend God.” The process is miraculous. Painful, but miraculous.

    Thanks again for the great site. You’re doing some wonderful work.

    1. J Post author

      This was wonderful! I love how you said, “I’m not an evil, corrupted pervert for having a higher sex drive….And my wife is not cold and uncaring. We’ve begun to understand each other.” AMEN! I pray this every couple with mismatched drives, that they can see each other with grace and generosity and understanding.

  7. Pam

    This is such an important discussion. I’m so glad that you opened up the topic – since this is definitely not something that can be brought up at ladies’ Bible study. But it really is such a lonely place to be.

    My husband and I have been through this – we have been married 30 years – we’ve had job stresses, pregnancies, kids etc and we’ve survived it all ok. But we also had a season of him not initiating, responding or wanting sex. And yes, it was incredibly painful. I did not know what to do – but just try to be appreciative of him being a sweet husband and father. I felt all the things the ladies mentioned above – battling my own ‘selfishness’ – and feeling so unhappy deep down inside.

    But – a simple doctor’s visit (for an unrelated issue) revealed that he had a benign tumor growing on his pituitary gland. It affected his energy level AND especially his libido. He had been feeling flat, and we just thought it was due to work stress. He had no idea that I was crying myself to sleep at night because I felt so undesired. So he started medication to shrink the tumor and boom. His sex drive came back, and it came back strong.

    The thing I just wanted to share is that neither of us had any idea it could be such a subtle – seemingly unrelated – medical issue. It’s easy to assume that low energy and low libido are more stress related – or that something is undesirable about us. I would just like to encourage the ladies to ask their husbands to get checked out. It’s worth a doctors visit to see if it’s something that can be fixed with medication.

    Thank you J for your wonderful blog! It’s such a source of help and encouragement in an area that is not so easy to talk about. 🙂

  8. Dj

    I’m so glad I read this! As the “lower” drive spouse I sometimes feel like my hubby only wants sex for sex and though he tries to convince me otherwise he’s never quite articulated things this way leaving me feeling like he could (and maybe would) get sex from anywhere if given the opportunity.

    However I do have a question- how do you confront differences in drives when there are other issues such as trust? My hubby sometimes gets random attn from a female that I know has been a good friend to him in troubled times but now they live cross country and speak only occasionally (but she is also overly and overtly flirting with him). As the lower drive spouse I’ve worked on being willing to and being happy pleasing him even when I could do without but if I hear of this woman it’s an immediate turn off and he thinks I’m rejecting him just because even when I try to explain that I see her as a problem. Is there another way to approach this so it doesn’t become a bigger problem?

    1. J Post author

      Girlfriend to girlfriend: Don’t you just want to slap those women who flirt with your husband? Don’t slap her, of course. This is a Christian site, and we don’t do that sort of thing. 🙂 But we’re also human, so I recognize that feeling.

      Anyway…I don’t know how to solve this, but I often suggest if lengthy emotional expressions and explanations aren’t doing the trick, cut it down to a few words and action. “I know you don’t understand why it hurts me, but I need you to stop talking about her.” Then if he doesn’t listen and starts chatting it up, you remind him and walk away. No yelling, no crying, no fit-throwing — just simple statements and action.

      You can’t make your husband break contact with her, and since there doesn’t seem to be improper behavior between them, you may just have to live with it. (Like when any husband has a friend you aren’t fond of.) But you don’t have to let it affect your life as much, meaning you don’t participate in conversations involving her — verbally or emotionally.

      That’s my advice, such as it is. (Note: I’m not a licensed counselor!) I’d be interested to know if others have good ideas. Anyone?

  9. Starchild

    WOW this discussion was awesome and just what I needed. Lately I consider myself as the high drive spouse! I’ve experienced all these things these ladies spoke about. Me and my husband have discussed the issue and we have a Dr. appt next week! Hopefully I can get some answers and we can become intimate more frequently. Pam I’m sorry to hear about your husband, however I’m glad everything worked out for the best.

  10. Keelie Reason

    I think commitment to try is really the key for a lot of people. Those with the low sex drive might find that it goes up if they really put in the effort.

    1. G

      Keel’s two sentences are the cure for so many ills in this area (IMO). My good, kind, and dear wife made a commitment to try. That’s all — just to try. We tried a schedule — I chose a time between M-W, she choses a time between T-S, and Sunday is a freebie. We are starting to see more intimacy and connection. We’re starting to have success, and it was all because she committed to try. No guarantees, no terms, just a try.

  11. Sherrie

    My husband said, he has a low sex drive. I have a high sex drive. About a year into our marriage we started to fight about it. One morning I found him watching porn. We fought bad that day. We went to a counselor at our church. I didn’t tell the counselor about the porn, and neither did my husband. The counselor told us that I just need to let my husband be like that and not to ask for sex. He never said, anything about how I felt. Just how my husband feel’s. I am in love with my husband so I just sucked it up. Now my husband well say, remember what the counselor said. The counselor was so wrong. Now, 8 year’s later, my husband is addicted to porn. And we are in a sexless marriage, well I am. I’d like to go tell the counselor he needs to read this article. My husband doesn’t think he’s addicted to porn & masterubation. So here I am, frustrated, hurt, angry, and starving for my husband touch.

    1. J Post author

      I think you need to talk to someone else at your church, and get some help. If your husband is relying on one person’s bad advice, you need to find another resource. Perhaps even a pastor needs to address him and call him on this. It’s not okay. There is nothing biblical about that choice.

      I’m so sorry for your situation. This is heartbreaking to me. It’s one thing when the church ignores an issue (bad enough), but another altogether when they contribute negatively to an issue (big ouch). I wish I could hug you right now.

      Hang in there, Sherrie. And don’t stop fighting for your marriage and intimacy! God wants that for you.

      1. Sherrie

        Thank you for the hug via my phone, and your understanding. I well not let the enemy take my joy thru this pain anymore. The more I have my husband read blogs and articles like yours the more his heart opens to me.
        Thank you so so much

    2. G

      Wow, I think we have a winner for Worst Counselor of the Decade. Whew. Can you find another one? The only, did I write only? I meant ONLY way your husband is going to change is to have his porn habit brought out into the harsh light of truth. That sin is like a mushroom — grows best when hidden in darkness. Bring it out into the light — he needs to confess what he’s been doing and see the harm it’s doing to your life. He made a promise to love you — he’s not, he’s loving himself. He’s loving something other than you. He may not be loving the plethora of women going across his screen, but he’s loving the superficial release it provides.

      Real intimacy is roughly a 1,000 times more challenging than the immediate gratification of porn. In short he needs to man up. Porn is play. Intimacy takes work. Boys look at porn. Men pursue intimacy. Lay down some requirements. Get a new counselor who knows how to deal with the cancer of pornography. I was the needy spouse and tried to satiate my needs with porn. That didn’t work. Open communication and love, and repentance, and reliance on the Savior has. It’s taken years, but it’s been a glorious transformation within our marriage. It takes patience, work, and forgiveness.

      He’s likely been addicted to porn longer than the eight or nine years of your marriage. Of course he doesn’t think he’s addicted — it does the cursory job of satisfying his needs. Where’s the problem? Right? While there’s work for both of you, he needs to change, and he needs to start now. God doesn’t want him involved with pornography and He doesn’t want you suffering.

      1. Sherrie

        Thank you, and yes the worst counselor. Finding a counselor who knows about porn addiction is what I’m going to do. Thanks again for the good advice. God bless you and yours.

  12. Anonymous

    Thank you for this article. I too am sick of the stereotypical “I wish my husband would let me sleep rather than want to make love with me more than once a week” complaints so commonly heard, and of feeling like a freak because I relate more to the men than women in this area.
    I agree that sex is not just about the physical act. I feel loved, close, intimate, special and like we are sharing something sacred that we cannot share with anyone else when we make love. I love lying in his arms and just feeling ‘wanted’-not just physically/sexually, but right down to the core of my being.
    I also am dealing with my husband noticing other women, yet not me. I can dress up and do my hair, makeup, etc. and unless I ask how I look, he just says ‘Oh, you’re ready. Let’s go’ Yet while we are out, he sometimes gets distracted by other women. Their body type is totally different from mine, and I now am trying to accept the fact that I am not his standard of beauty. He loves me, yes. He says he desires me. Yet my initiating is turned down 70% or more of the time. If I wait on him to initiate, twice a month would be the norm. Actually it went from a week to a week and a half to two weeks when I don’t initiate. Sometimes he initiates for my sake–so of those times, he probably desires me once a month or less.
    So I feel a depth of rejection that reaches into the core of who I am. My husband does not delight in me. Sometimes I am angry. Right now I’ve decided I will not keep asking for change. He knows how I feel, and if he still can’t bring himself to make love with me, I will have to learn to live with it. I am resigned to living in quiet desperation.

    1. J Post author

      Cry out to God. He hears. He knows.

      And hang in there. Don’t stop pursuing something better for your marriage. Perhaps it needs to be quiet pursuit, but not quiet desperation. May God bless you with the intimacy you deserve to have.

    2. David Justin Bibby

      To the anonymous wife who posted that her husband looks at other women. I really feel what you’re going through… having talked to men on the receiving end of spouse with a wandering eye. A friend of mine once said: “My wife is ogling other men right in FRONT of me!”.

      I suggested that he approach her this way… before they go out in public again. He should say “Honey, we’re going to a place where people tend to dress a little more provocatively than usual. So if you happen to catch me looking a bit too long in the direction of other women… I want you to pinch me! That will remind me that YOU are the one I want to be paying attention to. So pinch me if you see me doing that. Be careful though… because if I catch you looking at other men… I’m going to pinch you as well!”

      Now.. in your case… having a husband looking at other women doesn’t feel very nice. I’m certain that he knows you don’t like it. So the above approach might work to raise his awareness of it. Another approach may be to talk with him about his thought life. You could ask him, “What is it about that woman you were looking at that turned you on?” “Is it purely her looks, her hair, her body parts?” “Is it her confidence or way of carrying herself?” His answers to these questions will tell you how deep his character and integrity is.

      I also highly suspect that your husband is addicted to pornography. It has a way of cheapening your marriage and for him to become LESS satisfied with you. Whatever you can do to rid your home (and his mind) off of that influence, would go a long way towards him looking in your direction.

      Look into the archives here for more of J Parker’s blog posts… she has a lot to say on this subject.

      I’ll be praying for you (and all women who are burdened by a husband’s lack of desire).
      David

  13. David Justin Bibby

    Thanks J for posting this article.

    I heard the phrase “Is sex all you think about?” many times in the early years of my marriage (now going strong over 20 years!). It was clear that my sex drive was much higher than my wife’s. This actually caused quite a few arguments back then, because I wasn’t ever letting her off the hook, so to speak. The problem as I came to learn, was that I was needy. Having a high sex drive isn’t a bad thing… UNLESS it’s a selfish and needy thing… like mine was. I wanted intimacy at completely inappropriate times… and I was constantly initiating and/or pushing for intimacy because I didn’t TRUST that she would do it on her own. I never gave her the chance!

    I took steps to purge selfishness, neediness, and other undesirable behaviors from my being. With prayer, talking with other Godly men, and lots of hard work. I now understand what true intimacy is… and as a consequence both our drives are very high. I’ve heard intimacy is better at age 40 than it is at age 25… I believe they are right!

    David

    1. J Post author

      Ooh, thanks for sharing that perspective! Yes, a higher sex drive can become a selfish thing, and it’s great that you figured that out and worked on your intimacy.

      Let’s go for the whole package, I always say! Frequency, pleasure, intimacy…all good stuff in our marriages. Thanks, David.

  14. Jules

    I’ve always been the higher drive spouse. My husband is the lower drive one. I have usually in the past indicated most of the time, but is usually rejected a lot of these times. So at one point, I took a back seat and just let him indicate whenever he was in the mood. It is still the case today, (although I still indicate every now and then). It’s hard though because it’s not just because of the physical pleasure that I want, I want to have sex WITH & FOR him. I love the emotional and spiritual connection that sex brings between us. He has seen a doctor and he is on meds to help with his sex drive, but it doesn’t always help. He is bipolar so there are days where his “moods” overrule everything else. He always tells me that I am sexy, I am beautiful. I’m the only one that he wants. He doesn’t look at women when we are out on a date. He has stopped using porn and masturbating. So this is an issue that we are continuously working on together. We have had some amazing days/nights where sex happens and it’s really awesome, and other times, it’s just like you know whatever. We still talk about it. We don’t really schedule sex as he is on shift work for his job, and I am the one that stays home with the kids. We do pray to God individually and as a couple to help us increase our marital intimacy and sexual drive together. We have worked on other areas of our marriage, and it has also helped with bringing in more romantic spark in the sexual department as well. I continue to be patient, and understanding on the days that it doesn’t happen, and am over the moon and really blissful all around my husband when it happens and afterwards. We are both treading this with care, compassion and grace wrapped in love. We’ve been together for just nearly 14 years, married for nearly 9 years. I love that we are working in this together and we continue to try. 🙂

  15. Kelly

    I’m the higher drive spouse. Always have been even though when we were young and newly married, I didn’t realize it. Having come to our marriage a virgin (as was he), I just knew I usually was the one asking. He almost always said yes, so we were both happy.

    As the years went by and children came along, and my drive naturally lessened due to lack of sleep and demands on me as a mommy, I stopped asking as much and he didn’t take up the slack. So sex was less and less frequent. Then one day he had trouble getting an erection, and that was that. Game over.

    I understand now how powerful that is for a man and how devastated it must have been for him. At the time, however, I was “if at once you don’t succeed, try, try again!” and couldn’t understand why he wasn’t willing to give it another go!! So time marched on, as it will, and weeks became months and months became years and before we knew it, a dozen years (YES TWELVE YEARS) went by and we had not had sex. Now that isn’t to say we didn’t discuss it, argue about it, ignore it, etc, etc, etc. But nothing changed except my resentment and my feelings of inadequacy grew.

    Finally, I said enough is enough, so four years ago, I dragged him to his doctor and insisted they have “the talk”. He got a prescription for ED and all was well, right?? WRONG!

    Turns out I’m still the higher drive spouse, and he just doesn’t care if we go weeks on end without being intimate. Combine that with the fact that he doesn’t enjoy touching, or kissing, he’s never touched me intimately with anything other than his “manhood”, he’s never brought me to orgasm any way other than intercourse, he’s never performed oral on me and a host of other don’ts. Not only that, but he doesn’t want me to do oral on him, touch him too much down there, kiss him intimately (i.e. with my tongue) or use any position other than missionary. He wants a certain type of lingerie, certain type of lighting and gets very impatient if I ask for him to touch or kiss me a certain way, talk during sex, make noise during sex, etc, etc.

    Yes, we’ve gone to counselling. No, it didn’t help. It won’t when one spouse won’t read the resources suggested or listen to the CD’s provided or look up the websites recommended. In other words, he just doesn’t care that much. He loves me, I know he does. But we’re primarily roommates with occasional benefits. When we do make love, he claims he enjoys it and while it leaves me wanting more very soon, it seems to have the opposite effect on him.

    I’ve prayed for God to take away my desire, I’ve prayed and begged for God to give my husband desire for me, I’ve gotten mad, sad, depressed, resentful and every other emotion known to man. Nothing sways his position. We have a talk every few weeks when my resentment and sadness spill over and I can’t hide it from him. He promises he loves me and wants to try. So I get my hopes up once again, but as time goes on, he reverts back. I honestly don’t think he’s addicted to porn, or is having an affair or anything of the sort. He just doesn’t want it.

    We will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary soon and even though I love him with all my heart, I am realizing how much we’ve missed out on in our marriage. It could and should be so much more but I am just about to the point of completely giving up. I don’t want a divorce, don’t want an affair but I also don’t want to have to do without intimacy for the rest of my life. Occasional sex to release his random need is almost worse than the dozen years we had nothing. At least then I wasn’t on this roller coaster of hopefulness followed by weeks of hopelessness. I honestly don’t know what to do any more.

  16. AGN

    I have been looking for resources for such a long time, it seems. And this article is spot on.

    My husband and have been married for 9 months, now. We waited until marriage to be sexually intimate, but when we were engaged we had a few discussions about what we expected. I had built this idea in my head, that I would be pursued by him sexually at least 4-5 times a week– we are newly weds, for heavens sake! Much to my immediate dismay, my husband and I didn’t even have sex that many times the first week we were married. His thresh hold seems to be about 6 days. Mine is more like 2.

    I am so sick of feeling guilty for having a higher sex drive. I didn’t ask for this. I would love to be content with what he is, but I have tried, and it leaves me feeling unwanted and angry.

    I have prayed about it. We have talked about it. He seems to try to understand, but it hasn’t changed much. He isn’t watching porn, he wasn’t abused, and when we are together things are good. I want to feel wanted. I want to feel like his love is so great that he can’t hold himself back. I am sick of initiating almost every time. I am sick of him forgetting how long its been, when I can always recall.

    I know he is always stressed out, and he is tired. I have tried being spontaneous. I have suggested that since our work schedules don’t always sync up, that we might try to have sex during the day. But, he really seems to only feel comfortable when its in bed at night.

    I fear that since we are having so little sex now, that as time goes on it will just continue to decrease, and he won’t be the least bit worried.

    I just want to express how much I love him, I want to feel the same expression back. We did figure out each others love languages, and we try to use them. This is the biggest hurdle we have run into, in my eyes. I cant even tell how worried he is about it.

  17. anonymous

    @ David, thank you for your response. I am at a point right now where I am trying to resign myself to the fact my husband simply is not attracted to me. I don’t think he has opportunity to use pirn, but am praying about this as it would make sense.
    @J, if I continue to pursue this, I continually open myself up to rejection and it is far too painful right now.
    So for me, acceptance he married me but isn’t attracted to me is the only choice I feel there is that I can live with. It is too hard to watch him watch other women, and know he never looks at me like this.

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