Today’s question is from a wife who’s struggling with her pleasure in the marriage bed:
Hi, I’m hoping you can give me some advice. My husband and I have been happily married for 11 years…I love him more than ever…the problem is I can’t really seem to get into sex. I know it’s important and we usually have sex twice a week but I don’t seemed to get turned on through it. I do orgasm most of the time but I just want to desire sex…I want to really want sex!!! I want to have the wet “horny” feeling but only very occasionally does happen. We do have 4 kids aged from 3-9 years so I don’t know if that has anything to do with it. I’m kinda hoping one day this stage will pass and I’ll all of a sudden be back into sex? Anyway, any advice would be great!
First off, yes, I think four children ages 3 to 9 years has something to do with it. Lots of wives report a decrease in their libido while their children are young, because that’s when we’re exhausted, distracted, and stressed. If you think that’s contributing, then check out my suggestions in When My Sex Life Sucked – Part 2.
But the libido and pleasure issues may run deeper, as they sometimes do for wives. I’ve talked recently about how in 15-30% of marriages wives are estimated to be the higher-drive spouse, but that still means that in 70-85% of marriages, he wants sex more than she does.
And many women have been sold the idea that they’re supposed to want sex like their husbands — with a burning need or intense desire to be experience sexual pleasure. They think the proper order of things is desire, arousal, sex, and then orgasm. But you know what? That’s not what the research shows. Rather, female sexual desire seems to kick in for many after the decision to engage and getting aroused.
Yet what concerns me is that you say, “we usually have sex twice a week but I don’t seemed to get turned on through it.” Yeah, your body should be more responsive to sexual sensations. That’s how God intended it to work.
So while I don’t want you to sweat not having that “horny” feeling before you start having sex, I do think you need to look into why you’re not enjoying the experience.
And for that, I’m actually going to turn you over to three trusted sources. Because while I’ve definitely addressed this topic (for instance, here, here, and here), these three ladies have gone above and beyond in reaching out to lower-desire wives. I believe they can help you get on track.
OysterBed7. Bonny Burns maintains the OysterBed7 blog where she says, “I blend science, scripture and stories of my own life to encourage and empower the low sex drive wife and her marriage. You write what you know and I know about low sex drive.”
Her honest, gentle approach is also biblically and practically based. While I suggest reading her blog, and listening to her on our joint podcast, Sex Chat for Christian Wives, she has a specific resource you might want to check out: Unlock Your Libido: 52-Week Sex Drive Transformation.
The Forgiven Wife. Chris Taylor defines the mission of her blog as: “to encourage Christian wives as they work to grow in their approach to sexual intimacy in their marriages. After 20 years of restricting the sex life in my marriage, I have learned to dance with desire and enjoy the full intimacy that comes with passionate and joyful sex with my husband.”
I know you’re not restricting sex in your marriage, but Chris delves into reasons why a wife would feel disengaged in the bedroom and unable to experience full pleasure, and then she addresses them with practical suggestions. You can also hear Chris on our podcast.
Boost Your Libido Course. Sheila Gregoire recently launched a new product, and I had the pleasure of checking it out fully. Her Boost Your Libido course not only deals with a wife’s sex drive, but her pleasure in the bedroom. This course has 10 modules with videos of Sheila explaining the main points in a wife-to-wife chat format, along with a fact sheet, worksheet, brainstorming exercise, and additional resources.
Sheila deals with such issues as “What Is Libido?”, “Making Hormones Your Friend,” and yes, “When It Doesn’t Feel Good.” I’ve really enjoyed Sheila’s blog and resources over the years, but I found this course in particular to be a great approach for working through the issues of low libido and enjoyment of sexual intimacy.
You can view the videos in the privacy of your home, or perhaps with a friend or two so that you can discuss and support one another. (However, you should each pay for your own course, for ethical reasons and to get the additional materials you need to make progress.) She suggests taking your time through the homework, but it’s not hard to complete. You can easily see the big picture and how progress will be made by working on these modules.
And you know what? It’s $39. I know that’s more than a book, but $39 is a pair of shoes, one piano lesson for your child, a meal for two at a sit-down restaurant, and just 1/15th of an iPhone. Seriously, a total bargain. For more info, click on the pic below.
Let me assure you that I rarely do affiliate links. While looking into advertising some on my blog, I’ve been so reluctant to do so because I’m not willing to just throw products at my audience that I don’t entirely believe in. If I outright suggest something, I’ve viewed the entire resource myself and believe it’s a good deal for my audience.
So, while I write some about low libido, I know that it’s not my niche like it is for these three women I’ve mentioned. And I trust them to give you good advice. I encourage you to check out their resources.
6 thoughts on “Q&A with J: “I Can’t Really Seem to Get Into Sex””
Good on you for wanting to make sex a priority in your marriage. I totally understand where you are coming from. We had 4 children in 5 years, so I understand. Now that my children are grown up and are all in their 20’s I can look back and see the times that our sex lives got better. The first was when I went on the pill after #4 because I knew that I really needed a break from having children. We had used the billings method before this, and were obviously not very good at abstaining during my fertile time. Being on the pill helped me relax. The next big changer was when I had my tubal ligation. Now I was totally relaxed, I knew pregnancy was not going to happen. There have been lots of ups and downs but during our marriage we have always tried to focus on us first, children second. Sometimes this is hard, but now that we are in the transition to an empty nest it has really paid off. So my advice to you is don’t stress, keep making sex a priority even though you may not be feeling it. As your chidren grow you will get those wet horny moments, sometimes when and where you least expect them. One other point we are finding as our bodies are not getting any younger is that nutrition is so important, we can not go with out magnesium, vitamin C, and protien suppliments as a minimum.
This lady is just like me! I love my husband, sex usually feels good for me, but I have a really hard time getting into it, looking forward to it, being excited about it. I would just rather cuddle and go to sleep. That might have something to do with the fact that I still nurse an infant at night, but it does make me sad that I often am nervous going to bed, because I don’t know for sure if he’s going to want it (actually, he says he always wants it, but doesn’t think that’s realistic) and if I’m going to be able to work myself up to the right emotions/responses.
I read this blog and Sheila’s, but unfortunately don’t have internet except for some limited data on my phone, so I can’t do an e-course 🙁 I do follow all the great advice (except for giving quickies. Yuck. If I’m going to lay there, I’m going to at least try and be more than a quick sex fix. Maybe that’s just me… ?) Anyway….. I get pretty jealous sometimes of how easy and effortless sex is for my husband. It just feels massively unfair!
Ok, pity party over. I know I should be grateful for the fact that I can even orgasm easily, unlike many women! And I have an awesome husband who actually cares about my sex life, not just his. Just wish it wasn’t a constant struggle sometimes.
Blessings to you Four Under Four. Things do get better. You are exhausted, but you still have a conscience that your intimacy with your husband is important. Think of these times as putting money into a savings account…One of the most important things about finance is paying your self first, same goes for our marriages. If you can invest when times are hard, or you are dead tired, one day you will find yourself on the other side of this time with a very nice nest egg. And I know it seems a long way off, but you are also laying a very strong foundation for guiding your babies through the teenage years and then you have the empty nest to look forward to. The best gift you can give your children at any stage is your strong marriage, and a massive part of that is the investment you make in your sex life.
Yep this is totally like me, (not nursing a new born though) I wonder if it’s ever going to get better…so nice to know I’m not alone…and that it apparently gets better in time…I’ll just keep making it a priority!
Thank you for the encouragement. I do invest in our sex life. Barring sickness, we are active about every other day or more. We also talk, one on one, and (more than just planning our next day) every single day, even when he works 80 hour weeks. I just hate that sex is such a mental and emotional struggle half the time. I would love if my husband could walk into the bedroom, take off his shirt, and I would be immediately aroused and focused on sex, as is he in the reverse scenario. I hate the idea that this might be the rest of our life together and I just have to “get over it” 🙁
Luckily for me, we hope to have more kids – I am one of those weird women who have a much higher libido when pregnant.
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