Tag Archives: lower drive wife

Q&A with J: “He Wants It Every Night…Several Times”

Today’s question is a doozy. It’s from a wife whose husband is rather insistent about his especially high sex drive:

What do you recommend for wives who do not become aroused during love making? My husband has a very high sex drive. He wants it every night and would like it several times a night not just once. We have been married almost 40 years. I [used] to enjoy sex but in the last 10 years I have found it impossible to become aroused. We still have sex even though he knows I get nothing out of it. I am just going through the motions. I try to keep him happy. I spoke with my Doctor but he didn’t have any suggestions as to why this happened. I am beginning to feel used because my husband doesn’t seem to care as long as his needs are met and on his days off hounds me for sex all day long even if we had sex the night before. If I give in, he then starts in a couple of hours later wanting sex again. It seems the more sex he has the more he wants. I am at the end of my rope. I want him to be happy but I don’t know how much more I can take.

Q&A with J: "He Wants Sex Every Night...Several Times"

Honestly, my first reaction was: Of course, you’re not aroused during lovemaking! You’re exhausted, honey. And he’s not considering your needs and desires.

Upon further thought, my second reaction was the same. But let’s break this down further. Because that thought — true as it may be — doesn’t lead to solutions.

His extra-high sex drive. One of the tough things when you’re dealing with an issue that feels off in your sexual intimacy is knowing what’s normal. You think to yourself, Is this how it should be? If you get your information from media (please, don’t), you’d think that everyone is either having sex constantly or that they experience a complete death of their sex lives upon saying “I do.” Neither of those scenarios is anywhere close to true. But you’re hardly going to take up your own research study and ask around about everyone else’s sex lives until you have a statistically significant sample and then draw conclusions about what’s healthy and normal.

But I’d read a lot on this subject, so let me assure you that a husband at his age who expects several times a day is atypical. Yes, men can continue with high libidos well into their elder years. But by this time, the desire is not usually as frequent and urgent. I wouldn’t be asking simply why your body isn’t aroused, I’d want to know why his body is on overdrive. For instance, is he on testosterone supplements and needs his medication adjusted?

It may not have a physical/hormonal cause, but I’d sit down with my hubby and explain that, while I respect his desire for frequent sexual intimacy, several times a day is just more than you can handle and more than men of his age typically want. Ask why he thinks his sex drive is so strong, and talk about ways he can release some of that pent-up feeling that doesn’t involve more sex than your body can take. I’m not talking about masturbation, but rather physical activity or meditation or a hobby that gives him something to do. If you think there could be a physical component, ask him to see a doctor and request to go with him for support and understanding.

You’re his wife, not his sex service. You say, “I am beginning to feel used.” I immediately wondered why you’d only just begun to feel that way. It sounds like he’s treating you as his sex service, more than his wife. Healthy sexual intimacy in marriage isn’t about either one of you being at the other’s beck-and-call. It isn’t about relieving pent-up stress with a “fix.” It isn’t about one person’s pleasure to the neglect of the other person’s pleasure.

While you have an obligation in marriage to have sex with each other (1 Corinthians 7:3-5), you also have the right to set boundaries. I can’t remember who said this first, but that scripture has been explained something like this: Yes, your body belongs to him, but his body belongs to you. Thus, he might expect your body to be up for grabs one night, but you could turn around and say, “Fine, but your body will treat my body in this way.” Bluntly put, he has part ownership of your vagina, but you have part ownership of his penis. He doesn’t get free rein with his body parts to subjugate your body parts.

Now I believe that if he only wanted a physical release, he knows he could take care of that on his own. He does want you, because he’s not simply pursuing sex, but sex with you. However, he may think that you’re not supposed to be as into this as he is, and thus it’s okay to treat your body the way he’s treating you. And it’s just not okay.

I hope you’ve explained calmly but firmly how his constant advances make you feel. If not, sit him down and talk about the kind of intimacy you desire for your marriage. Talk about that verse in the Bible and what it should mean in your marriage. Open up the Song of Songs and read together — seeing how mutual the sexual pleasure was for this married couple.

If he responds, great! If he doesn’t get it, set some boundaries. You don’t have to say yes every single time he proposes sex. And you can make suggestions back to him, like “I need time to mentally and physically prepare” or “Can we reschedule until the morning when I’m feeling better?” If he starts treating you like your his personal love doll, you can stop things right there and say, “I want to cooperate and enjoy this, but you have to respect me as a person and how I feel.” Be aware that when you set boundaries with someone, you will likely get some pushback — because you’re changing how things work — but if you can calmly stick with it, you can get the point across over time and alter the pattern of behavior.

Your arousal and satisfaction matters.Twice you said how you want him to be happy, and that’s great. Oftentimes that’s where we need to start with improving our sexual intimacy — a desire to give our spouse delight. But sex in marriage isn’t about one spouse being happy. God intended sexual intimacy to be a mutually satisfying experience.

You say: “We still have sex even though he knows I get nothing out of it. I am just going through the motions.” And your initial question was: “What do you recommend for wives who do not become aroused during love making?” I recommend you speak up and ask for what you need in the marital bedroom.

You say that you used to enjoy sex, so you know what arousal and enjoyment feel like. But you’ve lost that lovin’ feeling because your arousal and enjoyment has not been prioritized in your marriage. Your husband obviously has no problem requesting (again and again) for what he wants in the bedroom. There’s nothing wrong with you advocating for your sexual pleasure.

Want examples?

“Honey, I’m open to making love tonight, but I cannot just go through the motions. I want to feel pleasure in your arms. I need you to slow down tonight and help me feel truly aroused before we begin intercourse.”

“I remember enjoying sex so much in the past, and I want to enjoy it again with you. Can we please work on helping me climax? I think that would increase my enjoyment a lot.”

“I want you to be happy with our sex life together, but I’m not happy with the lack of pleasure I feel. I need your help to get my body back in the game. I promise we can make love later, but for now, can we focus on what makes my body aroused enough to crave sex with you?”

You should also feel free to speak up in the moment with comments on what feels good, where you’d prefer he move his hand, what sexual position you’d like to try, etc. Take charge sometimes so you can learn what you like and he can see that you’re trying to get involved but you won’t settle anymore for sex not feeling good.

Get your own body checked out. Usually, I start with this one. But given your story, I think the more likely cause of your lack of sexual responsiveness is the dynamics in your marriage. However, it’s worth asking your doctor again if everything’s going the way it should. We ladies can have issues as we age, especially with dryness. Make sure your hormones are balanced and your vaginal walls are secreting properly. If your doctor waves it aside, be a little more insistent. Tell him this is causing issues in your marriage, and you want to know without a doubt that everything is fully functional.

As you can see, a lot of what I say here equates to being your own advocate. I believe God intended you to have a beautiful experience in the bedroom as well. While we should absolutely serve one another in our marriage beds, sometimes the balance shifts so drastically, the neglected spouse needs to speak up. I think that’s where you are in your marriage, and I pray that you find the godly wisdom, the right words, and the loving actions needed to make healthy changes in your sexual intimacy.

Q&A with J: Waking Up to His (Forceful) Advances

Today’s question is from a newlywed wife who is struggling with how sexual intimacy has gone thus far in her marriage. Her husband has an extremely high drive, but it’s the way he makes his advances that seems to be the biggest issue at the moment. Read on.

We both waited until marriage to have sex — which made it for somewhat of a painful honeymoon, since my husband was under the assumption we’d have sex every day for 2 weeks. It wasn’t the best way to start out a marriage, given the frustrations and lack of understanding.

My husband is the super-high drive spouse whose love language is physical touch; whereas I am the low drive spouse who feels appreciated and loved through words of affirmation and quality time…

A majority of mornings I wake up to my husband trying to put his thing in between my legs and get in my vagina from behind. It hurts. A lot. And is such an unpleasant way to wake up, especially for someone who is not a morning person. I can’t count the number of times I’ve explained this to him. He just doesn’t seem to listen or care. I understand that men have high levels of testosterone levels in the morning and can wake up aroused, but shouldn’t a husband be respectful of his wife’s body? I don’t climb on top of him in the middle of the night while he is sleeping and start riding him when I want to have sex. Perhaps I should?

I am very mindful that denying my husband of sex can be extremely detrimental to our marriage. If I don’t engage in sex at his desire, it quickly leads to resentment, emotional distance and eventually hurtful words. There are plenty of times in the morning when he tries to come from behind and I’ll ask him if he could enter from the front because it’s less painful. But even that makes me cringe and do everything in my power to not cry and feel as though I’m being raped, as he thrusts full force in and out… all the while I’m trying to figure out how I am going to make it out the door in time to get to work.

A few months ago we sought counsel from our pre-marriage counselors. As well, I have looked into possibly seeking a MFT counselor with the way things are going. However, I would be grateful for any advice, wisdom or recommended resources that you’d be able to share to get over this hurdle!

Q&A with J: Waking Up to His (Forceful) Advances

I’ve been called a frank woman at times. I’m going to now live up to that reputation.

OF COURSE THIS IS NOT OKAY!!! Yes, he should respect your body. You are not his sex receptacle, you’re his wife! And you also get say in how your sexual intimacy looks and feels. This husband probably has no idea what he’s doing, but honestly I just want to smack him upside the head, jiggle something loose, and hope that sense enters his over-driven brain. Because noooo! Just no.

Okay, I got that out, so now I’m going to calmly go through the issues I see in this question.

Dealing with his high-drive. I’ve written before that, at the moment, I’m the higher-drive spouse in my marriage. I understand how intense and urgent sexual desire can feel, but it is not imperative that a spouse immediately fulfill that longing. Even if you compare it to something life-giving like food or water, we all know that we can skip a meal or stay thirsty for a bit without damage.

Higher-drive spouses absolutely need to be appreciated, validated, and sexually satisfied in their marriages. However, their drive doesn’t give them license to force or pressure their spouse into sexual activity. Sex as God designed should be a mutually engaging experience.

So that means that a lower-drive spouse may need to work a bit harder to make sexual intimacy a priority, prepare themselves mentally and physically for sex, and choose to engage and even let the pleasurable sensations follow that decision (and not vice versa). But a higher-drive husband has responsibilities as well — namely to treat his lower-drive mate with great care.

From a practical standpoint, I suggest you talk to your husband about frequency of sexual intimacy and how you want to participate more in the experience. Let him know that you want to prioritize sex, but you need input on what that looks like. Sometimes it helps to schedule sex, so that a higher-drive spouse can relax knowing it’s right around the corner and the lower-drive spouse can have a heads-up to prepare their mind and body.

Denying sex once isn’t “depriving” your spouse of sex. I am pleased this wife understands the importance of not shutting off her body to her husband: “I am very mindful that denying my husband of sex can be extremely detrimental to our marriage.” However, I do not buy the line of reasoning that says you can never say no to your spouse when it comes to the marriage bed.

I think many Christians have had 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 used like a cattle brand, searing its harshest interpretation into our brains. The passage says:

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. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

Okay, so we can’t deprive each other. But what does that mean? If I miss a meal, am I literally deprived of food? I don’t think so. I just have to wait. Now if I can’t eat for days, we have a genuine problem. We have absolutely no biblical standing to refuse our spouses over and over the sexual intimacy God intended for them, and us, to have. (Also see Sheila Gregoire’s fabulous article on the meaning of this scripture.)

However, there can be good reasons to delay sexual intimacy, like recovering from a health issue or needing that time to take care of something more urgent (family care?). Notice that I said delay and not deprive. If you say no, which is one option to a spouse’s advances, then be willing to suggest another time. I’ve referred to that as rain check sex. Then, you’re not saying no; you’re saying not now.

It is just fine to say to your husband, “Not this morning,” when he tries to put “his thing” in between your legs and get in. That is not denial. It is requesting greater respect than he’s showing. Because your body is both yours and his, but his body is both his and yours. Right now, he’s acting like both bodies are his possession. And that doesn’t reflect what the Bible says about marriage and intimacy.

Sex is becoming (or has become) a bad experience for you. From your email, I glean that your husband is not giving your feelings and opinions sufficient weight. In fact, his actions are making something God intended to be beautiful and connecting into a harsh and divisive act. You have to speak up about this!

Sweetheart, God wants you to enjoy the sexual experience. He created sex for you too. And having a penis shoved into you with no warning and no lubrication flat out hurts. He may have had erroneous assumptions prior to marriage about sexual frequency, but he apparently also has erroneous assumptions about how your body and his body work together. If he doesn’t know, someone has to teach him — and that someone is you.

Away from the bedroom, talk to him about how your body works and what would help you get in the mood. Explain honestly that he is hurting your body and your heart. He likely doesn’t understand the full consequences of what he’s doing. Indeed, he may have received bad teaching that wives aren’t supposed to ever deprive their husbands but you can’t expect them to enjoy it as much and sex is clearly for the husband. Au contraire! If you read Song of Songs together, you’ll see how mutual the marriage bed can and should be.

Tell him you must have foreplay and lubrication before he can enter. Period. I don’t think that’s negotiable, because without it you’ll likely experience pain, soreness, even abrasions and a greater tendency for infections. Explain that you want to learn to enjoy intercourse with him and you both need time to explore what that looks like. Ask or show him what you would like.

For most husbands, once he experiences how he can use his hands and his body to turn you on, he will experience pleasure that will encourage him to continue that practice. Many husbands report that seeing their wives in ecstasy, especially an orgasm, makes them feel terrific. Your man can be incredibly potent in the bedroom by paying attention to your needs and fulfilling your sexual desires.

Seeing a counselor. If this isn’t resolved quickly, yes, you should see a counselor. Find a Christian counselor who will listen to your concerns. If your husband will go with you, that would be best. If he won’t, go alone and get ideas that will nurture your marriage and resolve the sexual intimacy problems.

Respecting yourself. You asked whether a husband should respect his wife’s body. Yes. But you should respect your own body as well. Embrace that you are more than a tool to meet a man’s sexual needs — you are rather the beautiful wife of your Christian husband who wants to engage in sexual intimacy that provides pleasure and deeper meaning to your relationship.

In moments you’re not sure about your choices, try to consider how God would view what’s happening. Would He approve of a spouse shutting down and refusing their spouse sex all the time? Of course not. But would He condone a husband thrusting himself into his unprepared and weeping wife? Of course not.

You absolutely have a responsibility to pursue sexual intimacy with your husband. But you needn’t ignore your worth before God to do it. Speak up and advocate for the long-term health your marriage. You two need to address this problem, because your sex life does not currently reflect all that God longs for you to have in your marriage.

God can redeem any situation, and your sexual intimacy is just waiting for His redemption.