Each Monday for a while, I will be responding to questions posed in my Q&A with J at HHH post. In the past couple of weeks, I received five comments from wives saying that they have a higher sex drive than their husbands. Rather than print the entirety of their comments here, this is the gist:
My husband thinks I am crazy cause I have a much higher sex drive than him!! What can I do to help him be more relaxed about sex and to get his sex drive up?
My sex drive is up the wall compared to him. . . He thinks I’m sex crazed and most times I think there’s something wrong with me . . .
Yes Yes, please help us wives who are the higher drive partner.
My husband and I are having a problem in our sex life. I think it’s serious, and he thinks it’s no big deal. I’ve tried talking to him about it, but he gets very angry at me, and it causes him to close up and not talk about it. I am a very sexual person, and [he] really doesn’t put very much importance on it . . . he makes me feel dirty for wanting it . . .
I yearn for him at night, and during the day I just stare lustfully at my husband. Wondering why he doesn’t want it as much as I do? I’m frustrated.
I have covered this topic some in previous posts:
She Wants, He Doesn’t Want – A look at why your husband may not want sex
Wives Want Sex Link-Up – A link fest with other marriage bloggers’ thoughts
Sheila Gregoire of To Love, Honor, and Vacuum also has a relevant post today on How a Marriage Changes.
Today, I want to talk about how to biblically and practically approach the issue with your husband.
Let me start with this gem: You cannot change your spouse.
Hey, don’t blame me. I wasn’t the one who created free will.
But it’s true. You cannot make your spouse have sex with you. The transformation in your husband must come from him.
There are, however, internal and external factors that influence our decisions. For instance, I eat when I feel hungry (internal) and when someone puts a brownie in front of my face (external). Don’t judge me. I won’t eat unless I make a decision to, but things happening in and around me impact my choices.
Internal factors are what’s going on inside your husband. Internal factors may include:
- issues (past or present) with pornography that distort his perception of sexuality
- low testosterone
- a history of sexual abuse
- stress from job or other responsibilities
- guilt from prior promiscuity
- a lack of self-confidence
Like your spouse’s hunger, you cannot control these things, but you can help him identify what’s happening. However, we often choose the worst ways to get him to recognize the problem:
- shoving information and research in his face
- sharing the story of your cousin or your friend’s husband
- over-the-top crying
- quoting scripture at him
- giving ultimatums
- saying “If you loved me, you’d . . . “
These tactics make conversation unpleasant and tense, and many husbands will run from that faster than the Roadrunner from Wile E. Coyote.
Yet 1 Corinthians 7:4-5a says: “The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer.” That verse indicates that it’s a sin to deprive one another; the Bible commands us not to. So how can we gently point out that sin?
Consider Matthew 7:12: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you . . .” If a husband is struggling with depression, a pornography addiction, past abuse, or whatever, he doesn’t want to be slammed on the head with what else is wrong with him. But he does need to deal with the issues. So you need to ask how to best create a safe environment in which the two of you can openly discuss your marital intimacy.
Find a good place and time to talk. Here’s a hint: The worst place is in the bedroom and the worst time is after you’ve offered sex and he’s declined. Choose a time when you are not sexually charged or feeling particularly hurt. Get away from the house even, although make sure you are in a private setting. Keep your clothes on. Men often talk more easily shoulder-to-shoulder than face-to-face, so try a fishing trip, golfing, a nature hike, touring a sculpture garden — whatever suits your fancy and his.
Don’t make statements. Ask questions.
- How do you think our marriage is going overall?
- Growing up, who were your role models for marriage? How do you think they influenced you?
- What do you wish you had done differently before marriage regarding sexuality? What are you glad you did right?
- What did you think our sex life would be like before we married?
- What would you like our sex life to be like?
- How frequently would you like to make love?
- What turns you on? What turns you off?
- How can I be a better lover to you?
Now don’t grill the poor guy. This isn’t the Spanish Inquisition where you expect him to recant his heresy and adopt your doctrine on the spot. Choose a question or two at a time and let the conversation unfold. It may take several outings and weeks or even months to get to the heart of the problems. But you aren’t simply gathering information. You are demonstrating by your attitude and approach that you are a trustworthy confidante regarding this topic and want the best for both of you.
Adopt a “we,” not a “me,” attitude. Whatever his issue is, treat it as a WE problem. Even if he had brought some problem into the marriage, it is yours to tackle together. You are married — one flesh. Indeed, he could return that favor if someday you struggle with hormonal issues or depression that affects your own libido. Assure him that whatever the issue is, you aren’t there to wave it around in front of him. You want to be the helper that God described in Genesis 2:18.
Express your desire for intimacy, not just frequency. No one likes to be used. Which is one of the reasons why a lower drive spouse can react like prodded cobra when the higher drive spouse says they want more sex. They may not feel loved so much as used to meet a physical need.
Of course, you know and I know that’s not the reality. If you only wanted to release sexual tension, you could get that done without engaging your husband. Sex, however, is a physical expression of closeness and also fosters closeness between you. Focus your discussion on how you desire to engage with your husband in intimacy because you desire that closeness.
Ask for a win-win. Ask your husband to help you find a win-win solution that is not merely a compromise but meets both parties’ needs and desires. You may require a mediator to find that win-win. Perhaps he’ll agree to meet a few times with a counselor or your pastor and brainstorm ways for both of you to get what you want out of your intimacy.
Pray. Cover every step with prayer. And don’t make it, “Dear God, Please change my husband from being a selfish, ignorant jerk to a sweet, passionate lover. Amen.”
Pray for your husband to have the delight of sex with you. Pray for you to delight in him. Pray for you to reach accord. Pray the scripture itself when words fail you, and when they don’t. For instance, pray Proverbs 5:18-19. Here’s my translation: “Dear God, I pray that my husband’s fountain will be blessed, that he will find reasons to rejoice in me and our marriage. I pray that he will see me as loving and graceful and that my breasts will always satisfy him. I pray that he will become intoxicated by my love.” Can I get an “Amen”?
So do my suggestions place the burden on you? Um, yeah. Remember how you can’t change your spouse? The person you can control is YOU! You have to decide to take that deep breath, commit to being the best wife you can be, and do what you can to create a more intimate marriage. In the end, if you did 90% of the instigating, but you both are 100% satisfied with a fabulous marriage and sex life in the future, you’ll be fine with that.
Now I would love to address the External Factors, but I was told that my word count is not allowed to rival the IRS Tax Code — at least not in a single blog post. So rather than give terse treatment to the remainder of this subject, I’ll come back next week with more! Here’s the teaser for next Monday’s post: How to Be the Brownie.