If you’re a higher-drive wife who read Monday’s post on The One Sex Tip I Give Husbands Over and Over, you were probably thinking: Slow down? Are you kidding me? If my husband moves any slower toward the bedroom, he’ll fall asleep halfway there!
While other wives are trying to figure out how to get their sexual mojo going, you’re on sexual overdrive and wondering why your husband won’t get in the race car with you. “Slow down” aren’t exactly the two words you most want him to hear.
For you — and for higher-drive hubbies out there — your spouse needs a different message: something to get them off the couch and into the bed, something to help them understand what you really want, something to launch a new era of satisfying sexual intimacy. So here are those two words for lower-drive spouses:
Once again, this isn’t the whole of the matter but a good starting place.
But “show up” isn’t only a matter of “Here I am.” Just as I did with Monday’s post, let me explain more specifically what I mean by these two words of advice.
Show up with your presence. Comedian and filmmaker Woody Allen once said, “Showing up is eighty percent of life.” He’s got a point. You have to show up to your job, show up to buy groceries, show up to study your Bible, etc. You can’t accomplish anything in life if you aren’t actually there.
God’s pretty clear that you’re supposed to show up to your marriage bed. Have you read 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 lately? “The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer.”
You have a “marital duty” to your spouse, the same kind of duty as feeding your children or working your job or going to church. “Do not deprive” means don’t stay away from the marriage bed for too long.
With this admonition, many low-drive spouses imagine being at the beck-and-call of a sex-addicted spouse. Nope, I’m not saying that. But consider that job again: You can call in sick sometimes, right? But if you call in sick over and over and over, eventually you don’t have a job. If you “call in sick” with the marriage bed again and again, eventually you won’t have much of a marriage. You might feel a-okay about things, but for your higher-drive spouse, your continual refusals to be present in the marriage bed feel like refusals to show up to the relationship at all. Trust that sex has a deep emotional impact for your spouse, and start showing up.
Show up with your whole self. I won’t name names, but one of my family members is currently having difficulty understanding that sitting in a desk at school isn’t a sufficient amount of showing up to actually learn anything or earn good grades. (Ah, parenthood!) Sometimes being present isn’t really showing up. Sure, you’re physically there, but everything about your attitude, your expression, your focus indicates that you’d rather be elsewhere.
And that’s how some spouses have treated 1 Corinthians 7. “Hey, I showed up. What more does my mate want?” Actually, quite a bit more. You wouldn’t like enjoy your spouse showing up to a conversation or a date night with a sourpuss attitude and no engagement in the experience. Likewise, it ain’t enough to give minimum effort to your sexual intimacy. If your spouse only wanted a physical release, he/she could do that on their own. Your spouse wants you — fully present and engaged and enjoying the encounter. Moreover, God intended sex as a gift to both of you.
Decide to be present — heart, body, and soul. Decide to cast off distractions and concentrate on physical sensations and close body contact. Decide to prioritize this moment and give yourself fully to it. Show up with your whole self. And you might be surprised how much more you’ll enjoy sex.
Show up on your own. No one likes having to drag their loved one to an event. Sure, some spouses do it (see that poor guy slumped in a chair outside the store dressing room?), but it’s not really enjoyable for anyone. Much more loving is to offer to accompany your honey when you know an event’s important to them. So your hubby likes to fish? Offer to go out on the boat with him. So your wife loves to quilt? Offer to escort her through a quilting show. So your spouse likes to salsa dance? Offer to take lessons together. So your higher-desire spouse wants to have sex? Offer to show up.
Yes, I mean initiate. Maybe you don’t have an independent desire for sexual intimacy. That’s okay. You can remember back to that time when it felt really good — those physical sensations and the embracing of your bodies — and let that inspire you. Or imagine how pleasurable it could be if you spoke up about something you’d like to try in the bedroom. Then prepare yourself as best you can your sexual event by removing distractions and setting the scene and awakening your senses.
Step outside your comfort zone now and then and initiate. Your willingness to show up on your own will go a long way toward making your spouse feel loved.
Now higher-desire spouses, what do you have to add to my encouragement that lower-desire spouses show up? And lower-desire spouses, what would help you to show up to the marriage bed more consistently and more fully?