Tag Archives: higher-desire wives

Q&A with J: When It Comes to Sex, My Husband Says I’m “Too Much”

Two weeks ago, I focused on some reasons why a husband might be saying no to sex in his marriage. In that post, I featured portions of three questions from higher-drive wives. Today, I want to cover one of those questions in more detail:

Please can you help me with learning how to cope with my husband who has been telling me “no” to sex? Can you tell me how I can understand why he acts uninterested and says he is tired? I know this is common now. Wives having the higher drive.

My husband said to me tonight no to sex because he is tired and that we just had sex last night. I am getting upset because we are in our early 30’s. I am 30 and just recently in the past 6 months have been more interested in sex. Six months ago, I initiated a whole conversation about making time for sex and increasing frequency. He seemed to try but now I see him saying no again and saying he is tired if I want it “too often.”

I can’t help but to feel unsexy, fat and undesirable even though I am somewhat back in shape I just had a baby turn one year old.  How can I get my husband to see my side of this? That I don’t like his attitude towards sex that he is not excited for it. Mainly he doesn’t seem to want to increase frequency. He says I am too much. It seems the tables have slowly turned and now I am the one who has to seduce him and initiate sex. I just want to feel wanted and loved.

Q&A with J: When It Comes to Sex, My Husband Says I'm "Too Much"

When a higher-drive spouse is dealing with a lower-drive spouse, perhaps the hardest step is simply getting that person to agree that the lack of sexual intimacy is a problem that must be addressed.

Most lower-drive spouses admit there’s a problem — but they often think that problem is you. If their higher-drive spouse would simply lower their expectations, douse their desire, and leave them alone, they think things would be much better. Therefore, many conversations about sex tend toward them either complaining about your “overdrive” or rebuffing the topic altogether.

But what you want is to somehow invite the lower-drive spouse to actually address the issue with you — to see that it’s a problem for your marriage. Start with that goal in mind: You’re aren’t trying to immediately raise their sex drive, but rather get you two on the same page of feeling that you have to work together on the problem.

I don’t have all the particulars of this situation, but here are a few tips that might help.

Talk about us, not me. Higher- or lower-drive, many spouses approach the issue by talking about how they are affected. “I’m not getting my sexual needs met.” “I don’t feel desirable.” “I can’t take this anymore!” Those are entirely legitimate feelings, but expressing those to your husband puts him in defensive mode. Especially if this is your go-to method of discussing sex in your marriage. You may have unwittingly contributed to this topic being an off-limits discussion, because your spouse emotionally shuts down the moment you bring it up, knowing they’ll be criticized.

You have to talk about us, in terms of the physical intimacy you want your marriage to have, the pleasure you want to experience together, the concerns you have about the obstacles he’s facing regarding sexual intimacy. In every way you can, address the issue of lack of frequency as a we problem in your marriage, and communicate that you are on his side.

Talk about goals, not grudges. Even though we’ve heard that love “keeps no record of wrongs” (1 Corinthians 13:5), many of us spouses have a difficult time turning off our long memory of being slighted by our mates. When contentious topics arise, we could easily tick off our spouse’s infractions one-by-one to build a case of why we’re right and he’s wrong.

You may have years of solid evidence that your hubby has been neglectful about sexual intimacy. I have enormous sympathy for your pain, and God knows your pain far more than I do. Yet He tells us, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:31-32). Tough stuff, huh?

Replace your longing to vent about your understandable hurt and consider your end goal. Do you want him to feel bad for making you feel bad? Do you expect to somehow establish your right to marital intimacy? Do you hope to win him to your side through forceful persuasion? You absolutely have rights to marital intimacy (1 Corinthians 7:3-5); however, your goal is for your husband to desire marital intimacy as well.

So talk about your goals of more connection in your marriage, shared passion, and sexual intimacy that honors your Heavenly Father. Set the first goal of you two being united in mind: “Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you” (2 Corinthians 13:11).

Talk about what you will do, not demand he will do. Grown-ups understand they can’t change others, but they can influence others. That means you can make decisions that positively influence in your husband in the right direction. Getting into your specific situation, let me suggest a few things:

Build your own self-confidence, without relying on his reassurance. Most husbands who don’t desire sex still believe their wives are beautiful; the lower libido isn’t about your appearance. While it’s important for husbands to help their wives feel beautiful, ultimately we wives must nurture our own sense of beauty. I’ve had a whole series on Feeling Beautiful with that in mind.

Feel free to let him know that you feel good about yourself, that you are taking care of your body, that you believe you’re a desirable woman. Confidence is sexy, and whining about our appearance . . . not so much.

Don’t believe the “too much” line. In fact, if he gives that line, I might well retort, “My sex drive may be higher than yours right now, but I think it’s healthy that I desire you so much.”

Hey, I lived with a cloud over my head for years because I enjoyed sex more than the church ladies I grew up around would have approved, and I wondered if maybe I was a bit much. No, ma’am! In Song of Songs, couples are urged to “be drunk with love” (5:1). Other translations say “intoxicated.” The point is that, when it comes to sex in marriage, God gives us full permission to aim for “too much.”

Set up a plan for sexual intimacy. Tell him you’d like to have sex a certain number of times a week/month. Aim lower than you want, but higher than you’re getting. Talk about how this could be accomplished. Would he prefer to initiate when he feels up to it? Would he rather set a certain day each week that you can count on? Would he like for you to initiate?

Then follow through. If he doesn’t initiate, don’t demand that he meet the standards you set. Instead, initiate yourself, and if he balks, remind him that you waited for his initiation but you’d like to go ahead. Sometimes when lower-drive spouses know it’s coming, that anticipation helps them to prepare better than spontaneous advances.

Talk to God and trusted others. Lay your burdens before God. He knows your aching heart, and He binds up the brokenhearted (Psalm 147:3). Consider getting Christian counseling to help you sort through what’s happening. It may help to have a counselor, pastor, or mentor listen to your feelings and give you wise advice on what you can do.

I appreciate you letting me be a “trusted other.” So I encourage you to also read some of my posts about higher-drive wives with various specific ideas on tackling this oh-too-common problem.

Let me assure that you can walk through this dry season and find lush, evergreen sexual intimacy in the future. I pray that future is very soon.

Q&A with J: “How Do I Get My Turn?”

Today’s question is from a young wife frustrated that not only is she not having orgasms, her husband doesn’t seem to understand her sexual needs and desires:

I’ve been married 2 and a half years now and have struggled to experience orgasm with my husband since our wedding night. . . . I realized after our honeymoon that the female orgasm was harder to come by than I thought it’d be, but I tried so hard to stay positive and to wait for it to happen. But to date, I’ve never climaxed with him. I don’t think I’ve ever even come close.

I bought us a vibrator about 6 months ago to make it easier and quicker for him to stimulate me and he’s only used it a handful of times, all at my request. I may have had small orgasms during using the vibrator, but I’m not totally sure. And I made it a point to tell him a couple of times that I really enjoy using the vibrator because it wakes things up down there and allows me to get the full sensation of everything he does after that. That’s why I feel like we should use it more than we do.

I’ve talked with him about my difficulty responding physically 4 or 5 times – I’ve tried to be very sensitive – “It’s not you, I just need a lot of extra stimulation.” “I really enjoy being intimate with you, but I really need help learning to be physically responsive.” Things change for a couple of encounters and then go back to the way things were.

How do I get him to be interested in going the extra mile for me? He’s a great guy, but I’m just so unsatisfied in the bedroom and I really long to be able to share what he’s having (it really looks like it feels great) and I want to be able to make him feel like a stellar lover. Why do men feel like their orgasm is the closer for sex?? I feel like he doesn’t even think that I have sexual needs. I go to bed all worked up sexually while he’s snoring next to me most nights we make love. I hate to sound selfish, but how do I get my turn?

Q&A with J: "How Do I Get My Turn?"

Let’s start with making sure things are working the way they should with your body. Since this wife did have an orgasm on the wedding night, we know it can happen, but some physical issues could still be obstacles. Just so you know what’s “normal,” your sexual response should include heightened sensitivity of your genitals, lubrication (although you may need to add some), and swelling of your inner vaginal lips to 2-3 times their usual size.

But if you’re low on estrogen, you may not lubricate properly. If you’re on oral contraception, it could interfere with your sexual response. And there are other potential issues that could be hindering your body’s full participation. Talk openly with your doctor about your concerns and ask for a full physical exam and, if needed, options for birth control.

Assuming everything’s on the up-and-up with your body’s responses, you two still have to learn how your body works. Unfortunately, watching Hollywood scenes, reading magazine articles, and even hearing all the sex hype from happy married couples can make it seem like revving up the sexy is a fairly straightforward endeavor with guaranteed pleasure. Not so.

You may have experienced orgasm early on in your marriage because everything was awakened then and your body overloaded, so to speak. (Though some couples report more of a pfffft experience their first time.) But one orgasm does not a sex life make. And you want to want have that excitement again and again.

That means you have to figure this thing out . . . together. Perhaps your husband didn’t expect to have to work so hard at getting his wife to climax. He may feel that if you’re not responding quickly, like the gals do on the movie screen or in porn (just about every guy by the time he’s married has either watched it willingly or been shown porn by others), it’s not worth the effort. He may conclude he’s a poor lover, and who wants to do something over and over that you’re bad at doing? Or that the problem lies with you, and what can he do about that?

The point is you two need to go back to ground zero and figure this thing out together. And sensitivity is great, and I’m all for that! But I think most men respond even better to fun. That is, sometimes we are so concerned with our hubby’s feelings and so we talk it out and try to make him feel better and…la la la. When maybe your guy is more of an action speaks louder than words sort. Go with me for a minute here and think about team sports: Guys get in a locker room together, get a short, rousing pep talk, then take the field — which tells you something about what gets a guy motivated.

Think about what you can do to pep up your guy and make him excited about exploring your territory. That could be everything from leading up to sex with suggestive texts, flirting, fondling, etc. to drawing a treasure map on your body that he has to follow to get to the booty (literally and figuratively). Consider what your particular husband would respond to, and see how you can paint this exploration time as something exciting and fulfilling for both of you.

A couple more notes (specifically for the hubbies reading this post): First, he needs to ease slowly into lovemaking. Even after 20+ years, sometimes I still have to remind my husband that hugging, kissing, and touching me are surefire ways to shift my brain and body into gear. You can help him get the point by simple things like asking for him to massage your body with lotion or oil or suggest a slow dance (naked?) before you make love. And secondly, for orgasm to happen, he’s got to learn what a clitoris is and what to do with it. All orgasms are caused by either direct or indirect contact with her clitoris. Hubbies would do well to treat their wife’s ever-so-sensitive part like their favorite instrument and master playing it well. Guys, stop playing Guitar Hero and Rock Band and instead learn to strum your wife’s goodies to her heart’s delight.

One of the ways many married couples stimulate the clitoris is with sex toys. You mention using a vibrator a handful of times, but your husband is resistant to the idea. I think you should ask whether the sex toys are helping.

On the whole, I have a mixed view of sex toys. On one hand, I believe they can help couples that need an extra boost or deal with sexual arousal and erection issues, so they can engage more fully in sexual intimacy in their marriage. On the other hand, I think our culture is becoming more reliant on batteries and kink than relationship and intimacy. Some people using sex toys are looking for shortcuts — and they found them. I’m pretty confident a vibrator can get most women to climax faster than their husband’s hand. To me, the question when deciding whether to use a sex toy must be whether it increases intimacy or detracts from it.

When one of you is not on board, it could be detracting from intimacy. I know that’s not entirely fair, because if he’s going to balk about using a vibrator, he should step up and figure out how to help you climax himself. But have an honest discussion with him about it, asking what he’d be willing to try and what makes him uncomfortable. Respect his feelings on this, and then ask for solutions you could both accept. Maybe he could commit to trying longer to get you aroused, or maybe you could peruse some online Christian intimacy retailers together and find something you’re both willing to try.

And finally, you are not selfish for wanting to experience the height of ecstasy with your husband in your marriage bed. And he needs to understand that too. Hubby may have grown up with the oh-so-mistaken notion that sex is primarily to meet the man’s needs. To which I say, Hogwash! And a very large number of wives agree with me.

God gave you more nerve endings in your genitals than he gets in his. Your clitoris has a singular purpose — to give you pleasure. Your body is capable of multiple orgasms, while he’s got the one full-blast option (until he passes a refractory period). So nobody tell me God isn’t interested in her having a fabulous time in the marriage bed!

If you’re like many wives, you may have tentatively suggested this or that, asked for something more, and hinted at your dissatisfaction. I suggest you look your husband in the eye and say something like, “I love you so much, and I want to have a fantastic orgasm in your arms. I will do everything I can on my part to make it happen, but I need you to get on board. What can we do to make this a mutual goal for our marriage?”

Some other posts that might help your situation are Preparing Yourself for Sex, Manual Play for Her, and Orgasm: If Only I Could O. Also, my book Sex Savvy: A Lovemaking Guide for Wives has a lot more tips on revving up your drive and savvy in the marital bedroom. That could be a good resource for your marriage.

know I didn’t cover everything I could say, and I’m sure my readers will have more to add. But maybe something in here will help you get moving in the right direction. In the meantime, I’m saying a prayer for your and your marriage. Because yeah, you deserve a turn.

Does Your Husband’s Rejection Make You Doubt Yourself?

On Monday, I wrote Do You Make Your Husband Feel Guilty about Sex? My intent was to explain to wives (my main audience) how husbands say they feel in the face of their wife’s rejection or disinterest in sexual intimacy.

Of course, rejection goes both ways. There are a number of women that post didn’t apply to, because those higher-desire wives are the ones getting refused. And it hurts. I get it.

Some of these wives wrote about their experiences in the comments, how they were the ones made to feel guilty. I thought about that for a while — why I’d heard about guilt from husbands before, but not so much us ladies. And I think it’s because I more often hear from higher-desire wives about doubt.

Maybe because we ladies are often constant self-evaluators, maybe because society proclaims (incorrectly) that “normal” is a horny husband and a reluctant wife, maybe because stories of cheating husbands are so prevalent . . . maybe. But for whatever reason, I suspect that higher-desire wives whose sexual advances are consistently rejected, or perhaps merely tolerated, by their husbands tend to experience severe doubt. About what? Well, here are some pangs of doubt brought on by a husband’s rejection of his wife’s sexual desire.

Doubt about her appeal. This wife worries there must be something unattractive about her. After all, hasn’t she heard all her life that men are flooded with sexual desire the moment they see a beautiful woman? Naked flesh? Even a hint of sexy stuff? Yet, her husband doesn’t respond to her. So maybe the problem lies with her lack of appeal.

This is highly unlikely. Sure, a person can let him/herself go to the point they lose attractiveness. Yet, most spouses are surprisingly reasonable about their mate’s looks — still highly pleased and aroused by their beloved, even as their bodies change through the years. It’s far more likely that you, wife, possess distinct beauty and appeal.

Besides, doubting your appeal won’t help your sex life. If you personally want to improve your health or appearance, go ahead and do so. (Better health never hurts!) But hold your head high and your body erect. Be confident that God knit you together beautifully (Psalm 139:14). You are attractive, and your husband’s lack of interest probably isn’t related to a lack of appeal.

Doubt about the relationship. This wife feels her marriage must be failing in some way because her husband doesn’t want her in the bedroom. Perhaps there are some horrible kinks in their relationship she can’t see, something she’d fix if only she knew what it was. The marriage is sinking, and she can’t even say just when and how the hole formed in their relationship boat. A sense of doom creeps over her, and she wonders if they will ever be okay again.

Did anyone else read He’s Just Not That Into You? It was a relationship book that was all the rage a few years back, and one of its premises was that if a man isn’t trying desperately to get you into bed, he’s just not that into you. That’s a prevalent notion out there, that if a guy isn’t like a bucking bronco in the chute when it comes to sex, he doesn’t want to take you on any kind of relationship ride, period.

Hogwash. There are a number of couples who have good marriages but honestly haven’t worked out all of the issues in their marital bedroom. Perhaps a spouse’s resistance to sex stems from unhealthy teaching in their past, a history of sexual abuse, physical or hormonal challenges, mood disorders, or a heavy blanket of stress in their lives. Sometimes, a person’s lack of sexual interest isn’t about their spouse, it’s just about them.

Now, of course, whatever affects one spouse affects both of you. Once you say “I do,” his problems are your problems, and your problems are his, and it’s a beautiful thing to have someone on your team who’ll do everything they can to help you work through your issues and overcome. So sexual problems in marriage, regardless of how they came about, are a we thing to resolve. But their existence doesn’t necessarily indicate some relationship hammer about to drop.

Doubt about his faithfulness. This wife wonders if his lack of sexual desire in their marriage means he’s getting sated elsewhere. Is he carrying on a physical affair? Is having an online affair? Is he looking at porn?

Yes, there is some percentage of husbands for whom this is true. But there are also plenty of men out there whose desire simply isn’t that high. They aren’t getting fulfilled somewhere else, because they require much less filling to begin with. They might be content with sex now and then. And feel quite devoted to their wife.

Is this a problem for you both? Yeah, sure it is. When there’s a severe mismatch in sexual drives, or there’s just not much sex happening, both spouses need to address the issue and seek a mutually satisfying resolution. (Preferably a lot more sex. In almost all cases.) But just because he’s not looking your way as often as you want, doesn’t mean that his eyes have strayed to someone else.

Woman DoubtingBeing constantly rejected sexually by her husband can make a wife doubt herself and her marriage. It takes inner strength to fight against the negative messages that swirl around in your brain when he says no.

Yes, long periods of sexual rejection, refusal, and disconnect will negatively impact your marriage. Yet, have confidence in yourself and your ability to grow through your circumstances. It may take time, research, effort, conversation, prayer, and much more, but change can happen.

Every single day, marriages improve. Spouses break through obstacles, connect where they were divided, reignite the spark.

And where you feel doubt, you can always find confidence in the Lord.

“I cried out, ‘I am slipping!’
but your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me.
When doubts filled my mind,
your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.
Psalm 94:18-19

Two Words Your Higher-Desire Spouse Needs You to Hear

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:

show up.

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?