Hot, Holy & Humorous

When She Wants Sex and He Doesn’t (As Much)

It’s a great problem to have: I haven’t been able to blog lately because I’m in a crunch with a book deadline. My wonderful publisher, Baker Books, awaits the latest draft of The Higher Desire Wife, which will be released early in 2025. Since I’ve been steeped in this topic for a while, I decided to look back at the first-ever post I wrote about higher desire wives, way back in 2012.

While I have a LOT more information, insight, and encouragement in my upcoming book (so stay tuned!), what I originally said on this topic held up pretty well. I’d add far more reasons for a husband’s unwillingness to engage sexually, and more advice on how a wife can help her husband get on board, but for what I covered, I stand by it. And I thought it might be worth sharing again, especially since about 25% of marriages have a higher desire wife.

So here it is, originally titled She Wants, He Doesn’t Want (which is a line from the 1967 film Two for the Road, with Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney ).

Men are always the ones hot for sex, while women are lukewarm to cold much of the time. Right? That’s what society, and many churches now, tell us over and over. So it must be true!

No, it’s not always true.

Some wives go day to day questioning what’s wrong with them or their marital relationship because they desire a physically intimate relationship but their hubby doesn’t. It’s the hush-hush secret we don’t discuss that some men don’t care much about having sex, and their wives are silently suffering.

So what happens when a woman isn’t sexually desired by her husband? Most women start to question. They wonder to themselves one or more of the following:

“What’s wrong with me?”

If all husbands are panting and grabbing after their women 24/7 and my husband barely glances my direction when I don a sheer negligee, is there something about me that is distasteful? Am I not attractive?  Why doesn’t he find me physically pleasing?

You are likely a beautiful woman. Your husband desired you enough to marry you. As long as you are reasonably keeping yourself up, your husband should find you attractive. If he doesn’t, there’s something amiss with his standards.

There are things that many women can do to turn their hubbies’ heads (flattering clothes, presentation, etc.), but a man who has almost no sex drive is probably not going to respond merely because you throw on a black lace teddy tonight.

“Is he having an affair?”

If men think about sex every 7 seconds* and my hubby hasn’t thought about it in three weeks, is he getting his fix elsewhere? Is he not pursuing me because he’s already caught another woman?

Some men are having affairs. But if you have no other clues in that direction, this is probably not the case. Moreover, married men in affairs may continue to have sex with their wives, so lack of interest isn’t overwhelming evidence of infidelity. It is probably evidence of lack of interest, period.

“Is he gay?”

Is he simply not interested in sex with women generally? Is he desirous of another kind of relationship? Could he possibly be homosexual? 

There are no good statistics on how many spouses eventually “come out” as homosexual, but it isn’t common. Once again, if you have no other hints that your spouse could be gay, he most likely isn’t. Lack of sex drive is not a good clue for sexual orientation. 

“Is our marriage over?”

Does he not find me physically attractive because he is simply no longer in love with me? Does he not want a sexual relationship because he doesn’t want any kind of relationship with me? 

The marriage is not over. If you have a good relationship otherwise, you can most likely improve this area of your marital life as well.

If you are not experiencing a good marital relationship overall, and your sex life is also poor, you should seek professional help. If your spouse will not go with you, go alone and see if the counselor has suggestions for what you can do to positively impact you both.

Got a desire discrepancy in your marriage? We can help!

“Is something physically wrong with him?”

Is there a medical or emotional problem getting in the way of his sex drive? Is he too embarrassed to admit it? Is he simply okay with not having sex? 

This is the most likely reason for your spouse’s lack of interest! A sufficient amount of testosterone is required for a man to experience a normal sex drive; if he is low on this hormone, his sex drive will decrease.

Low thyroid, depression, high blood sugar, and other factors can also affect your husband’s libido. In addition, negative events of the past can impede a person’s desire and enjoyment of sex with their partner.

If a man was molested or inappropriately exposed to sexual material as a child, it can suppress his ability to engage in appropriate physical intimacy now. 

“What can I do to improve our sex life?”

If I bring up this subject, will I embarrass him? Will he be angry? Hurt? Even less attracted to me? Is there any fix available?

Ultimately, you must bring up the topic if you want to see any improvement. If you are concerned that he will be embarrassed, angry, hurt, or whatever, I recommend scheduling a therapy session with a Christian marriage counselor and addressing it in that safe environment. If you can address it with him alone, select a time away from the children, household interruptions, etc. and find a place with privacy and quiet.

In either setting, don’t complain about the lack of sex or unleash your theories about why he doesn’t desire you; rather, explain that you are concerned about your physical relationship, that you desire greater sexual intimacy, and that you want to address any and all issues that affect your lack of connection in that area. If there was a time when things were better, you can reference a “Remember When…” and explain that you want to experience that closeness again. 

“Is this as good as it gets?”

Am I relegated to a sexless marriage? If it never gets any better, how can I remain in this marriage? How can I be okay with that? 

I wish I could answer this one. A sexless marriage is NOT what God intended. Having said that, if my husband was physically injured tomorrow in a way that made it impossible for us to be physically intimate, would I stay? Absolutely!!! However, I understand that being unable to perform and unwilling to engage are two different things. I simply advise that you spend time in prayer asking for God’s help to work through the hurt and the loneliness you likely feel during this time. Sex is not the only reason to get married; there are many other benefits to having a relationship with your spouse.

Frankly, I don’t know if men ask these questions of themselves when they are living in a sexless marriage. Not having yet cracked the code of the male brain—which my husband swears is a relatively simple connect-the-dots puzzle—I still don’t understand guy thinking. (For instance, when a man says he is thinking about nothing, apparently he is. How is that even possible?!)

But women whose husbands have physically neglected them are probably going through a self-evaluation more extensive than the battery of tests given to a patient on psychiatric commitment. It is okay to ponder the problem, but not good to obsess and question every little thing about yourself or your marriage. Address the issue, seek help if needed, and pray for greater physical intimacy.

41 thoughts on “When She Wants Sex and He Doesn’t (As Much)”

  1. Higher libido husband married to lower libido wife here. If this keeps up my sex life is going to have to file for unemployment. Always enjoy reading the female perspective on things though. ☺️ I liked your idea about scheduling sex a few posts back. Working on that with the missus.

  2. “(For instance, when a man says he is thinking about nothing, apparently he is. How is that even possible?!)”

    At a professional presentation on the brain, we learned a generality, by no means a strict rule: Men have narrow corpora callosa (that is the single path that connects the two hemispheres of the brain), while women have wider corpora callosa. My own corpus callosum, since I am a man, allows me approximately one thought at a time; there is scarcely room for anything else. A woman’s corpus callosum, being wide enough, can handle a pair, a few, or even a handful of thoughts at a time. I would tell my students that a woman might be thinking of fixing the hems on those pants, what to make for dinner tomorrow, how the taxes are going to get done, why the dog is acting up, solving world peace, and three other things besides. How does she ever fall asleep at night?! Because the corpus callosum traffic, for her, almost never stops. By contrast, I focus on my task or my present joy or my single anything. Then I shift to the next thing. Or, I can think of absolutely nothing; it is as if the traffic cop in my corpus callosum has put up a stop sign both ways and told the traffic to take five. It’s quiet, it’s restful, it’s peacefully dark–and there is a sign that says, “No girls allowed.” Females can scarcely do that, in general. That is what helps make men hunters, because one must focus on the prey, and that is what helps women take care of several things, all at the same time. It is also what drives me crazy, because while I was doing this thing here, I neglected to do that thing there. Oh-oh! But all this can also drive her crazy, because there is so much that is bugging her all at the same time! It is why, when we teach a class of only boys, we teach best when we have them solve a problem, like hunters. “Can you do this?” Girls, by contrast, can learn in such a variety of ways–they are amazing! It is one reason why we fellows love you, even worship you. What, then, should a teacher do with a mixed class, of boys and girls? Teach to the boys–because the girls can adapt. You females can do anything! We love you! Not allowing for differences made Henry Higgins sing, “Why can’t a woman be more like a man?” (That song, “A Hymn to Him,” is in Lerner and Lowe’s “My Fair Lady.”) No, Henry: You don’t really want that. Vive la différence! Now I am tired after writing such a long paragraph. I might sit here and think of nothing for a bit. Or I should focus on making my breakfast—-

    1. Very interesting stuff! I did have a brief period where I had “man-brain,” as I called it. Thought it was actually because I was having brain fog from an illness and could only manage one thought at a time. Lol. I could also nothing then too, and although I (thankfully) no longer have brain fog, I’m still able to shut down my brain for two, maybe three seconds tops. I savor those brief moments.

      What It’s Been Like to Have “Man Brain”

    2. So curiosity on your comment got me interested to go look and what you said you learned about women basically being able to multi task and men not, showed that was a big myth. Women do not have a larger corpora callosa, their brains are not different in that way and the reason women generally multitask is social conditioning. Women are expect to juggle more balls then men are, its a social expectation and with all the neuro divergence we see because its finally being diagnosed, we also see that many women can’t easily multitask, they can’t focus on more than one thing at a time and men are the same, some can and some can’t. No teacher should be “teaching to the boys” because girls can adapt, that is actually a pretty sexist way to look at things.

      1. Thanks, S. I went and looked at the evidence, and you’re right that studies consistently show that women don’t have an edge on multitasking. I’m thinking through this research in light of my own life experience, because I can tell you that we did not socialize our sons to that expectation. And yet, I’ve seen differences, so… 🤔

        1. I can see where that might sound sexist but I’m also certain that wasn’t the intention, particularly not in favor of the males. If anything, it was putting guys down by saying that teaching mixed groups requires dumbing down the lesson so that guys can keep up.

          In light of what was said about it not necessarily following gender lines, perhaps it would go over better to say that you should teach for the most simple minded/easily distracted because the more advanced kids will be able to understand it just fine either way. That way no one assumes sexism where it isn’t.

          I know that I struggle with multitasking at times but my wife and my mom do, too. My grandmother likewise had a one-tracked mind. I have known men who excelled at it. Still, on average it does seem more common among women than men for whatever reason.

        2. Then I will no longer pass on that old—-and, apparently, outdated—-info. Thanks for clarifying! [This comment at first got stuck to the wrong post.]

  3. Wish I had the problem of my wife wanting to much sex and wanting to connect with me. How horrible that must be. Of course I am being sarcastic. As a man I wish I had good advice here for the Ladies out there suffering. As long as there is no abuse, pain or physical limitation I will never understand why a spouse who was willing to build a life with another and risk half of all their worldly belongings would refuse to help the relationship. When you boil it down its simple. Spouses will rarely have matching Libidos. So inevitably one spouse will be making concessions on occasion to fulfill the desires of the other. Sexual connection only makes the relationship stronger and provides a host of great benefits. I know that hundreds factors affect Libido and the Higher drive spouse also should make concessions for the low libido spouse. But it boggles my mind why its ok for one spouse to control the love making frequency without recognizing a responsibility to relationship. The responsibility is to continue help the relationship grow, Mature and flourish. No relationship is perfect in all aspects but every spouse in a healthy marriage should be willing to build and work on all areas of the marriage.

    1. I totally understand why some spouses don’t want to have sex (there are, as you say, a myriad of reasons; see 7 Reasons You Don’t Want Sex, for example). What I don’t understand is leaving a good spouse without reason or a desire to work on the issue. It wouldn’t make sense for someone to say that about other aspects of marriage, like communication, partnering in the home, etc., but some seem to have a carve-out for sex. And yeah, I understand it’s more vulnerable than housework (absolutely!), but it also matters to the relationship. If my husband said, “I just don’t want to talk, so get over it,” I’d be like, “Are you kidding me? You think we can have a relationship with zero communication?” That said, there are real reasons why a spouse doesn’t want to engage in sex (some of them very good reasons), and it does little to no good for the longing spouse to say they’re owed (see Are You Owed Sex in Marriage?)

      Anyway, I think we’re mostly in agreement here, but I always encourage those wanting more sex to make sure they approach this subject with love and understanding. As we should all things in marriage.

      1. I am trying to be understanding. I struggle with the rejection. I feel undesired and that is painful. I believe that somehow this is my fault and the more I read try to learn/ grow the more frustrated I become. Not frustrated at my wife but the situation. No Obvious reason for the lack of libido. We not on the same page when it comes to working on the issue. I’m offering any attempt, nothing off the table. Just have to name it. But the general response is ” Sorry, I don’t want to try anything and I don’t want you to feel rejected”. I don’t expect sex but I do desire a connection that I only get from making love.

  4. I am firmly against obligation sex, as far as I can tell, because I am a pretty new reader, this page also is against obligation/duty sex, but believes sex should be mutually wanted and enjoyed and pleasurable for both. I know many couples struggle with unmatched libidos, and that is hard, but sex is so intimate, you are asking another person to share their body with you, and also expecting them to feel the same passions you feel and be as excited about the interaction as you are when they may not be feeling that way and no amount of being told well marriage needs lots and lots of sex will change that. I am not a higher drive wife. My husband has a higher libido than I do, but I do have a libido. My desire is almost always responsive other than one week a month where my libido is higher than his. I have rarely verbally turned my husband down, but he knows me so well, he knows by my responsiveness to his non-sexual touch thoughout the day, if its a go for sex or not and I love that about him. I know how my brain works, if I am focusing on problems my kids are having at school, worrying if the budget will stretch to cover an expense that popped up, thinking about a to do list I need to tackle before a certain time, etc., my brain won’t just shut that off so I can go have sex with my husband, and its not because I am being unloving, its not because I don’t care about the marriage, its because I know sex is not the only thing that brings us together, and if we can’t find intimacy and closeness in other ways as well, we don’t have much of a marriage.

    1. I think your response is directed to my comments. I agree with your comments. Without knowing for quite sometime I agreed to a lesser degree of duty sex. Never thought that I had a right to sex with my wife but did think I could earn it. I was willing to do most anything in general she wanted to at any time. Because I love her deeply and I saw that as my responsibility being her spouse. I have learned to view sex in a different light. If my wife has a libido it is very low. Month or more with making love is just fine. The rejection and lack of interest in working through the struggle is what hurts. I know that we see this from two different angles. I appreciate you responding as this may help me.
      I wish that I could read my wife the way your husband can read you. This would save me lots of hurt.

      1. I’m sorry for anyone who is feeling rejected. I was hoping, not just for you, but for anyone who has a lower libido spouse to share that for me at least, my lower libido is not because I don’t adore my spouse. I love my husband so much, I am attracted to him, and I love making him happy, but I can feel really connected to him just riding in a car and holding hands, cuddling under a blanket and watching TV, falling asleep with our legs tangled and him spooning me. Sex is great too, but I do not feel like it’s the biggest part of our marriage or what makes us connected. I don’t know how you can persuade a lower drive spouse to want it more, because pushing it more leads to obligation. Telling your spouse they really should try to meet the higher libido spouse feels like duty sex, so that makes it hard, but I do know that both people need to want to have sex, for it to be the kind of sex that’s good for a marriage.

        1. Regarding “how to persuade”: my husband and I are reading several Christian books on married sex. And it’s been so helpful getting a biblical understanding of what sex is supposed to be like and what it’s truly meant to do. Even though we had premarital counseling, we didn’t dig enough on this as we thought it’d be a natural process. Also, genuinely repenting is changing both our hearts. Realizing that sex isn’t always about erotic thrill chasing climax but serving each other, being sacrificial, bringing joy and comfort to each other, being most vulnerable, all of it just being reignited in our hearts is breaking chains. Asking God to break our hearts for what breaks his, and him meeting us with sweet mercy by showing us how broken we are, we are kinder to each others needs without harboring resentment. It’s a journey and a process but our goal is to get as close as we can to the image of Christ as the husband and wife as the church, including physical intimacy. Husbands are called to lead. And wives to submit. He never leads with brute force but we are commanded to submit, I believe including in physical intimacy.

          1. I don’t believe in husband only leadership and wives only submission. We are called to submit to each other. My husband and I lead our family together, we are called to be a partnership, we both submit to each other.

          2. What does it mean (for a wife, if I understood correctly) in practice to submit in physical intimacy.?

          3. I’ll take a stab and say it’s to willingly follow the lead of another. Unfortunately, “submission” has been misused all over the place! Scripture never tells a spouse to demand submission from the other, and sex should always involve full consent (not just at the wedding altar). I have written about the misuse of submission in the bedroom here: Submission Doesn’t Mean Putting Up with Sexual Misbehavior

        2. I think a major part of this is perspective. If we look at it thinking that we HAVE to have sex AGAIN even though we don’t feel any desire to right now… then, of course, it will feel like an obligation and breed resentment.

          If we look at it as, I don’t personally feel any desire for sex right now but I do want to bless my spouse and foster a close and intimate relationship and I know that sex is what they need for that to happen, so I am going to be available for both of our sakes…, then it becomes about both of us and how we can grow and strengthen our marriage and relationship. Presumably you both want that and sex is both the way to get there and just a very effective way to bless them as well!

          Think about this for a moment. You don’t particularly want sex that often and don’t see a need for it. It is a minor part of how you feel intimate, so why would you see it as a big deal, right? But maybe you do value cuddling, holding hands, dates, intimate conversations where you are both deeply open and honest about anything and everything. THESE things make you feel special and loved!

          Now imagine that your spouse decides that they don’t see why these things are so important (yes, I realize that this often does happen but we’re looking for how this makes you feel, so stay with me). They might hold your hand once a month, they never cuddle, they spend most of their time away from you and only talk to you after you have badgered, pestered, nagged, (and any other synonyms you want to throw in there) them for weeks, months, maybe even years. But… they keep the conversation short and refuse to discuss anything personal or deep because they resent that you won’t stop asking them. Yet, they insist that they DO love you and are frustrated that you won’t believe them, especially if they are giving you frequent and passionate sex.

          Odds are, you feel rejected, unloved, generally unwanted, and depressed. You might wish you could divorce them or just die to escape the relationship, even if you don’t believe in divorce and do believe suicide is a cardinal sin.

          The reality is that what I have described is the same situation but from the perspective of two different people who are designed to express and receive intimacy in two different ways. The way we feel and respond is virtually the same except for some variation for personality, upbringing, etc.

          We all need to learn how to reach out to our spouse in the way that THEY NEED us to in order to foster intimacy in our marriages. If your spouse needs romantic gestures such as hand holding and weekly dates, DO IT! If your spouse needs long, deep conversations on a regular basis, MAKE IT HAPPEN! If your spouse needs sex more frequently than you, MAKE IT A PRIORITY! Most likely there will be a combination of these or other things I didn’t mention but, for the love of your spouse, for the love of your marriage, for the love of yourself (believe it or not, it will benefit you, too,…a LOT), learn what they need and do it.

          1. I agree with so much of this! What I will also say, however, is that the best way to “reach out to our spouse in a way that THEY NEED us to in order to foster intimacy in our marriages” is to develop a genuine interest in each of those things that spell love to your spouse. A small example: I used to feel that getting my husband a drink made me his maid. (I was raised by parents who had a very unbalanced relationship.) Once I realized how Acts of Service pinged something inside my husband that made him feel valued and loved, I started getting him drinks whenever it was convenient for me. Over time, I have come truly enjoy bringing him a beer or a cup of tea. It’s always my choice, but as you say, I like blessing him and it makes me feel good too.

            In the same way, it’s best if we can foster enjoyment of meeting one another’s needs; that is, learning to appreciate romance, deep conversation, sexual intimacy, etc. for its own sake as well as what it means to your spouse. I suspect you’d agree!

          2. Martha and S,
            I agree with J. By submit, I think working with your husband’s lead on this through prayer and wise counseling. God created Eve as helper to Adam, and the word helper in the Bible is the same helper Jesus said when he said he’d send a helper to us, the Holy Spirit. It’s not “the help” as in like a house maid. But someone can only help you in areas you lack in if they’re more skillful in that area. So the Bible teaches that he absolutely loves women all throughout the Bible and certainly by submit, it’s not meant as give obligatory or duty sex whenever. However, it IS still clear, husband is to lead and wives are to submit. Husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church, to his death with grace, love, patience and wisdom. And wives are to submit to husband as church submit to Christ. In trusting, supporting and in intimate fellowship. Because the Bible is clear on sex, if wives are with a lower libido husband and lacking in intimacy, we should encourage our husbands to pursue holy intimacy and if husband has the higher libido, they should lovingly try to meet them in the intimacy and both should be gracious to each other in expectations of frequency. But sex is meant to be enjoyed and at regular intervals. That’s what the Bible teaches us.

          3. @J

            I absolutely agree! At some point the discussion of making lunch came up and I told my wife it would mean a lot to me if she made a simple lunch for me to take to work. I’m not sure what experience formed but, based on her answer, I think she has a similar view to what you expressed. It would mean a lot to me but said that she hates making sandwiches. Maybe someday she will feel it worth making my lunch. That would be a blessing but not actually necessary. It’s one of those points on which our different needs had to be weighed and we had to decide which was more important. So I prepare my own lunch.

          4. Sorry A, but I don’t agree with your interpretation of what submission is or that men are to lead and wives are to submit and be just helpers. Marriage is a partnership, not a hierarchy. It’s okay for us to disagree. Submission in my marriage is mutual, we both submit to each other and we lead together.

          5. I’m what’s often called “soft complementarian,” but I consider egalitarian believers my brothers and sisters in Christ!

    2. If that works for you both, I am glad for you both. That doesn’t work for everyone. I wish I could meet my intimacy and closeness needs in other ways when sex isn’t on my wife’s radar. That doesn’t work for me. Other ways can help a little, like chewing on some kinds of bark can help someone starving get a little nutrition and distract themselves from the gnawing hunger, but it does about the same to satisfy my needs. The men who can truly be satisfied with mostly other ways and only occasionally getting physical intimacy when their wife is rested and stress free is a minority. The rest of us feel something akin to starvation like that.

      I’m not arguing for obligation sex, as it is known. I’m saying there must be a way for a “lower drive” spouse to meet their “higher drive” spouse’s physical intimacy needs out of a heart of love and a desire to be a blessing to them. The despair of a sex starved “high drive” spouse is beyond my ability to describe. I firmly believe that a spouse unwilling to find a way to meet that need either has no comprehension of what they condemn their spouse to or does not love them at all.

      Again, there are a few men who are fine with that. I’m guessing your husband is and I am glad for both your sakes. I just want you to know that most of us can’t be satisfied with that. It isn’t that we don’t want to be satisfied but that we simply cannot.

      1. I’m sorry to say I just don’t understand how a person doesn’t feel very close and intimate with kissing, cuddling, sleeping in each others arms, flirting, holding hands, and so many other things that don’t involve an orgasm. Comparing other forms of intimacy to chewing bark to keep from starving is such a negative way to look at other things that should also be very important to your marriages intimacy needs. So no I do not understand and not truly enjoying those ways of being intimate. That to me seems very unloving.

        My marriage is not sexless, we have a good sex life, we talk about our desires and how we are feeling often. Yes my husband could have sex daily, I can’t, nor will I give him one sided sexual release that would make me feel used and he does not want that either, I know early in our marriage I offered, he declined. We are happy and try to come together with sexual intimacy at least once a week, if I think I can be responsive more, then I’ll initiate. Recently we went on vacation, my stress was minimal, my to do list was small, and we had a suite so kids had their own room, it was like a honeymoon again each evening and we enjoyed ourselves, but not something we could continue once real life kicks back in.

        It’s easy to say bless your spouse and just have sex, but not easy to just make yourself responsive when the desire is not there.

    3. As a higher libido wife to lower libido male, for me, not having physical intimacy brings me to tears. I give myself freely to him because he is my husband. The most intimate and vulnerable thing I can do. The fact that he doesn’t want to have the same vulnerability with his wife makes me so upset. As Christian, I do believe that sex is essential in a healthy marriage as God has designed it. A whole book in the Bible is a beautiful love song about physical intimacy and it’s celebrated. Corinthians tells us we do not own our body from each other. It says unless it’s for specific season of time dedicated to prayer and fasting, we should not go long without having physical intimacy as it gives room for the devil to tempt us and it’s because we are weak and sinful by nature. Sex is not the most important aspect of a marriage but marriage without sex is also not a marriage God had in heart for us.

      1. As a higher libido spouse who wants more sex you are assuming his lower libido is somehow a reflection of his feelings, and vulnerability. Is it vulnerability to make yourself have sex you don’t have a desire for? I have a lower libido than my husband. I try to get myself into a responsive mood once a week, he could probably be ready to go daily. I love my husband, we flirt and touch, talk, kiss, and cuddle every day, but i know how I feel after talking myself into sex when I have other things on my mind, my to do list is long, or I am dealing with the anxiety I have, I don’t feel closer, it makes me feel used, so I don’t hurt our marriage by making myself have sex when I know I won’t be responsive.

        1. S, my situation was more complicated than just lower libido as he took to pleasuring himself instead of having sex with me because it was easier and less messy. But even before I found out, I felt absolutely lonely and rejected even though the other area of our marriage was great. While I longed to be desired by my husband, to celebrate our sex life the way it’s described in Song of Songs, I wasn’t prepared for the wreck it had caused to our marriage over the course of ten years. When I was ready to give up on our marriage and my husband also, it was then I went to God with a completely broken spirit and he met me in sweet kindness that led us both to a road of repentance.

          I had prayed about our intimacy to God for 10 years. But this time, I asked God to show me my sins instead of going to God asking for help to “fix” this problem. The prayer was to break our hearts for what breaks his. To show us how ugly and heavy our sins were, to teach us what he envisioned for us in sex, to teach us how to love each other well, to draw us closer to him whatever his will was for us, was when this chain felt lifted.

          We realized we were pursuing sex for pleasure. Not pursuing sex for holiness. We wanted satisfaction instead of intimacy that God had wanted for us.

          There’s no magic or right number of sex in a week. I think it’s about serving each other from a place of love and generosity. If your husband feels lonely and rejected due to frequency of sex, it means he’s hurting. I think you can ask God to work on your heart and body to reflect his loving spirit so that you can love and serve your husband better. Instead of digging your heels with the posture of ‘this is what’s comfortable for me’, ask God to break your heart for what breaks his. Ultimately, it’s not about satisfying your husband’s needs but worshipping God with your heart, to be more like him, to live his best for us and not our best for us, which is infinitely better.

          There’s also practical ways to try to see if you can help your body and mind shift towards intimacy, such as seeing a counselor, checking your hormone levels, reading books and listening to Christian marriage podcasts with your husband. Just the act of trying to love him where he desires to be met would be such a blessing for him, and truly, for you too.

          In the end, Jesus is the answer. He’s always the answer for everything. It’s not about what’s right for me or what’s right for him, it’s about the inerrant word of God and pursuing a life that grows in faith and intimacy with God.

          All the best.

          1. I’m good, so is my husband. We have wonderful communication and strong love for each other. Thanks though, I’m not a selfish wife just because my libido is lower than my husbands. Sex is an ingredient in marriage it is far from the most important thing. Marriage is about love and happiness, intimacy, closeness and partnership. We do seek pleasure in and from each other when we have sex and that is not wrong.

      2. Exactly. Because it is more often the husbands with the higher drive, it is usually assumed to be a male issue and that we just don’t understand how it hurts the wife for us to push for more often than she would think to do on her own. The reality is that it is not gender specific and there are men who don’t see the need for more frequent sex, too. In truth what usually isn’t understood is how it hurts the higher drive spouse to be denied sex and then accused of being callous when we ask for more. For those of us who don’t believe in divorcing over this issue and moving on to find someone more sexually compatible, it is a dark and painful life and despair is our frequent state of mind.

  5. I wasn’t going to comment, but I don’t believe this is taking a turn that reflects biblical truth. And yes, may get ridiculed for this. That is OK. I have thick skin. Physical intimacy is an obligation, a requirement for any marriage. I’m not thrilled with the idea of obligatory intimacy. But I do have to say it is a right of both spouses to expect physical intimacy. Not an option but a right, as soon as the vows are said. What is absolutely an option is how often that connection occurs. That is a negotiation between spouses. The question is, do you want a close relationship with the one who longs a physical connection, which is also an intense emotional connection, or is it really not important to you? I can’t answer that for anyone else. It certainly has impacted my relationship with my wife, even though we generally have physical intimacy every couple of weeks. Even when we are intimate, I know it all about her schedule, which has removed the emotional connection. It has become rather empty, like when she asked me why I couldn’t be satisfied with just sex, meaning oral was something she wasn’t interested in. It is up to her, but it does impact our relationship and how close I feel to her, as well as how close I will allow myself to get to her.

    1. Physical intimacy where one spouse is feeling like they can’t say no, they have to say yes, because they are obligated to give their body to their spouse does not lead to the kind of sexual connection that God planned for marriage. It leads to one person feeling like they are being used. Married sex should be mutual, intimate, pleasurable and wanted by both. Saying well I just have to give my husband or wife my body because saying I do was consent to sex even if I have zero desire at this time and won’t feel loved or connected by forcing myself to make my body available is not what sex in a marriage should be. I don’t know how to explain it either, other than your autonomy doesn’t go away once you are married. Becoming one flesh can’t happen with obligation. Yes sex is important in a marriage, but telling a lower libido spouse that they must meet the wants of a higher drive spouse is not good sex. Does anyone really want their spouse to consent to sex they don’t want to have?

      1. I agree with what you say here, S. But Anonymous recognized his wife’s autonomy and said he didn’t like the idea of obligatory sex. To my mind, two things can be true at once:

        1. We have an obligation in marriage to pursue sexual intimacy. Not having that negatively impacts the relationship.
        2. Neither side should ever pressure the other to fulfill that obligation. It should always be an invitation from your spouse.

        Historically speaking, too much has been said about an obligation to have sex in marriage without talking about all of our obligations as Christians to be loving, compassionate, kind, forgiving, selfless, etc. I’m among those who’ve tried to correct the record and will keep doing so!

        Thanks for your explanation that nails a lot of this too.

      2. I hope I didn’t come across as obligated sex is desired. I apologize if that is how I came across. My point is that sometimes you do things for your spouse whether you feel like it or not. I open the car door for my wife, every time, whether I feel like it or not (I know, minor thing). I make the coffee in the morning because I know she appreciates it. I let the dogs out, after feeding them, first thing in the morning (not such a great way to wake up as we have three dogs). Now, there are things my wife does for me that she likely doesn’t feel like doing. She does most of the laundry, though today and last week is an exception (she has been a stay at home mom for over 30 years). I can’t help but think there are days when she doesn’t want to do the laundry. I hope that clarifies my thoughts.

  6. Regarding the brain comments I think you have to really carefully read any conclusions that are made regarding differences in women’s and men’s brains especially if it is based on fMRI scans. These findings are concluding averages of hundreds of scans. There is currently no ability to do a scan on Mary and determine whether she is good at multitasking, is very verbal or would be good at engineering. I was reading about neuroscience a while ago and found out that left handed people are often excluded from research projects because it could throw the findings off. My son is left handed as are several people in my husband’s side of the family so it makes me think twice about what people might report as “truth” about the brain.

    Agree with S’s comments regarding multitasking etc.

    I am certain that some lower drive men as well as lower drive women are just physiologically different from their higher drive counterparts. Could be from medical issues or just different wiring.

  7. Wow. This is me and my husband going on 10 years of our 10 year marriage. Throw in a porn addiction there and it’s chaos. To have a loving husband…who chooses porn over his wife for physical pleasure…knowing his wife is depressed and lonely from lack of physical intimacy….if you want to pick my brain, I’m all for it for your book. Let me know 🙂

  8. Anonymous Husband

    In the early years of marriage my wife struggled with issues of control and fear, resulting in her often trying to control me. I felt like she treated me like a child and that tanked my libido. I was lower drive for years because she not only sought to control my friendships, free time, and media consumption habits, she also controlled our sex life and what activities were permissible. I felt suffocated and did not desire frequent intimacy as a result. We eventually worked through her control issues and my drive increased as a result. However, a controlling spouse affecting marital intimacy is not an issue I’ve seen brought up in blogs, podcasts, or books.

    1. Thanks for sharing this. I’ve been writing a book for higher desire wives, and this is something I cover there. Here’s a snippet from the manuscript:

      “If I could sit down with the husband, I might hear that he finds his wife attractive and wants to have sex with her—if only she’d stop micromanaging him. With every step of his numbered and measured, his wife feels more like a mother. And no sane man wants to have sex with his mother.”

      The controlling side leaking into the bedroom is interesting, and I get it. I hope you’ve both moved past that. Blessings!

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