Last week I wrote on 5 Scriptures to Strengthen Physical Intimacy (click here to read the post) and I promised to write a follow up post for wives who have the opposite challenge.
Today’s post is an adaptation from my book Blues to Bliss: Creating Your Happily Ever After In The Early Years which you can buy here.
Fair warning – the book has been described as “tough-love” in it’s approach and this post is no different.
When he doesn’t want sex
A lot of intimacy advice is geared towards helping wives desire more sex. There’s nothing wrong with that approach as most women need that type of encouragement.
We tend to be “delicate” in a sense and one small thing can throw us out of balance and affect our sex drive.
But there’s another group of women which needs a different kind of encouragement.
Current statistics show that the number of marriages in which the wife has a higher libido at about 30%. That is a large number of wives who feel alone and misunderstood.
There are different causes for low libido in men and these include illness, low testosterone levels, unresolved inner issues like anger or self-worth, past sexual abuse, stress, addictions, pornography or depression.
It could also be the result of a wife who previously rejected her husband for a period of time and he learned to shut down.
Normally a man’s sense of manhood and completeness are closely tied to his performance in the bedroom; he feels good about himself when he’s able to satisfy his wife sexually.
The opposite is true: he feels terrible when he’s unable to perform.
As the higher drive spouse, here are 6 things to remember as work towards restoring health to your sex life.
1. You are not abnormal for wanting sex
The prevailing thought is that wives desire less sex, as a result there is a wealth of advice on how to increase their sexual desire. As the higher drive spouse, you have probably put all that advice into practice only to have it back fire on you.
And as is typical to women, when things are out of sorts, you’ve blamed yourself. You think there’s something wrong with you. You work harder, dress sexier, pursue more.
You build high expectation and hopes, but since you are not the primary “problem”, nothing changes and you crash. And irritate the one with the “problem” because now they feel like a project.
You are caught up in a roller coaster that has not only affected your marriage but has devastated your esteem and confidence as a woman.
I just want you to know that you are not abnormal for desiring a healthy sex life. God made sex; you did not think it up!
But as long as you keep blaming yourself and thinking up all the ways to fix it and make it better, you will not make progress.
Quit approaching your challenges as if you are the problem.
Certainly, you have a responsibility to work together to bring healing to your sex life but you do so with understanding and peace, not with guilt, shame and a false sense of responsibility.
2. Sort yourself before you try to sort him out
Your husband’s sexual challenges, if prolonged, may have left you feeling rejected and unwanted. This is more so if he’s been unwilling (or unable) to talk about it.
You are probably angry and frustrated and want to lash out and to blame.
Instead of acting out your anger, frustrations and fears, ask God to help you live out 1 Corinthians 13:4-8:
“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”
You might not like what I am about to say but it’s true; one of the reasons why you are angry and frustrated is because deep down, you have been expecting your husband to be God.
You look to him to build your worth, make you feel loved and accepted, soothe your fears, give your “rights” as a wife and make you feel whole as a woman.
It is true that God has given you this earthly relationship to meet some of the needs He has hardwired in you but this gift (your husband) is not meant to replace Him.
We were never meant to take our eyes and affection off God. Whether or not your husband is making love to you, you are still complete in God.
Process your emotions from that angle; God loves you and in Him you have everything you need. Go to Him for healing and filling, not to your husband.
You will find that as God fills you to overflowing, you are able to go that extra mile in your marriage, to love your husband as God does.
Since God has met all your needs, you can release your husband from that high responsibility of making you whole.
3. Pursue a higher road
Perhaps you feel that no one understands you; the church circles certainly don’t talk about the sexually unfulfilled wife.
Maybe you tried to share with a close friend, only to be met with a light “I envy you! I wish mine didn’t want it so much!’ It was a joke, you laughed.
But it hurt because it made you feel like the odd one out yet again, and cemented what you secretly think – there’s no hope.
Shake yourself out of this hole of blues and start chasing your happily ever after in the bedroom! Rise above the mindset and perceptions that leave you feeling hopeless and depressed.
No one is exempt from sexual challenges, even couples in the early years of marriage. Do not wait for someone else to fix your marriage for you.
Yes, that’s what you are doing right now, sitting there, waiting for someone to cheer you towards solutions, getting all hopeless and depressed.
Shake yourself and be proactive. Begin to read articles and books on how to deal with sexual challenges in the bedroom.
(I’ve provided links to two blogs at the bottom of this post. Go into those websites and search for articles that address your situation and if you can, pick up their books too)
More than anything else get into the word of God and learn what He says about you, your marriage and your husband.
Spend time in prayer and worship. Immerse yourself in God and allow Him to transform and empower you.
Whatever you do, don’t sit there and hold a pity party! God and you are a majority. You might be young in marriage but your God is not! He’s been around for a long time and He knows how to make things work!
4. Learn to draw him out.
As much as you believe you understand what’s going on with your husband, you really have no clue. You cannot comprehend the depths of his frustration, fear and anxiety.
I am talking about husbands who actually feel bad about the situation, not someone who has intentionally turned away and is no longer interested in pleasing his wife.
A man who wants to please his wife will feel bad when he can’t. To have this happen in the early years of marriage is devastating.
That’s why as his wife you want to turn to his Creator because you cannot do it alone. You cannot hold your husband and make him feel better. You can’t be sexy enough to make him want you.
Like I pointed out earlier, sometimes the more you try, the more frustrating it is for both of you. Do not assume you know what he is going through.
And do not joke or make light of it because things are heavy in his world.
Proverbs 31:26 has this to say about the wife of noble character;
“She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”
Wisdom will open doors that pain and devastation have shut. Wisdom is gentle and quiet, it will not demand its way and refuses to be self-seeking.
Marriage has its gifts and blessings, but a wise woman will easily relinquish those, even temporarily, for the good of her marriage.
James 1:5 says “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
When talking with your husband, temper your words. Be patient and seek to understand, as opposed to drilling your point home.
Do not go on a diatribe about the whole problem – no one wants to discuss their weakness and challenges the whole night. Be sensitive and know when he has had enough, pick up that conversation at a later time.
As you talk, approach it from the angle of love – seek to reassure him and coat your words with love.
5. Cultivate friendship
It is easy to ignore the rest of your marriage as you let yourselves get bogged down by sexual issues. However, there is no challenge a couple cannot overcome when they focus on building a friendship.
Cultivating friendship means deciding that you and your husband are a team. That whatever comes against one of you comes against both of you.
You stop thinking of challenges as “his” problem and start approaching it as “our” problem.
Friends look out for each other, they are not in it for what they can get out of the relationship. Rise above your issues.
Laugh with him, play together, go out on dates, make his favorite meal, do the things he likes and make your life more than the bedroom.
As you do, you will begin to realize that it’s easier to discuss things with a friend because friends don’t keep scores and put up fences and heavy doors.
When you are not feeling judged, but accepted, it’s easier to open up. The opposite is true- when there is a dark ominous cloud in the form of an angry, resentful wife, you want to close up and hide.
6. It will take time
Anything worth having in marriage is worth fighting for. Understand that it will take time to restore this area of your life.
Even if it’s something that can be fixed medically, it might still take time to heal the mind and heart. Especially yours.
Do not allow pride and fear to keep you from seeking outside help. Talk to your mentors, seek professional help.
But also understand that at the end of the day, you have to go back home and work it through with your man.
As you walk through all this, remember that God honors His word. He said that if we ask we shall receive. It might take time, but it doesn’t mean it will never come to pass.
Keep your hopes and dreams at the feet of Jesus (Psalm 55:22) and leave them there. Don’t pick up what you gave to Him.
Put to practice what you learn, keep obeying the steps He opens up to you.
One final thing.
Imbalanced/mismatched libido is not all that uncommon in most marriage. Most couples go through seasons when one spouse has a higher drive than the other.
Unfortunately and when you are in such a season, the enemy wants you to believe that you are the only one, that your marriage is broken and you’ll never have a healthy sex life.
But that’s not true and you need to kick him out!
2 Timothy 1:7 says “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind”
You need to realize that your marriage cannot rise above what you think and believe. Believe God. Be proactive and call your marriage what God calls it, not what it seems.
Remember, problems don’t come to stay and a couple who are invested in each other, not just parts of each other, will overcome great odds.
Your turn – What tips and Bible verses can you share to encourage a couples love life? What has helped you most in marriage? Click over to the blog to share your thoughts!
*Marriage and Intimacy blogs
To Love Honor and Vacuum Sheila Gregoire blogs about healthy marriage and sexuality.
Hot Holy Humorous, J Parker writes about sex and marriage by God’s design.
Most couples walk into marriage expecting bliss. The work it takes to create the bliss? Not so much. In my book “Blues to Bliss”, you will learn how to intentionally create the marriage of your dreams and overcome mindsets and habits that stop you from enjoying marriage as God intended! Click here to learn more.