Friday, July 8, 2011

Fun Friday: I Want It More!

On my Fun Friday post last week, I received a comment asking me to address this question. "What do you do when the wife wants sex more than their husband"? This is actually a topic that is close to my heart because it is something I lived for most of my marriage!

I, like most other women, heard that men always want sex. Once you get married your life would be about nothing but that right? Well that is not always the case, and it was not the case in my marriage. I will be very honest with you, I was hurt, confused and felt very unwanted by my husband. I looked everywhere for advice on how to deal with this subject but never found any. Nobody ever talks about what to do if you sex drive is higher than your husband! So then I started feeling dirty. I felt like there was something wrong with me because girls aren't supposed to want it more. We are supposed to be the ones turning down our husbands and having the "headaches" that often appear with marriage right?

One of the hardest moments for me came after we had been married for, I think, 4 years. I was at a girls only q&a night with our church. We were able to ask anonymous questions, so of course I asked this questions. It ended up being the first question read by the woman in charge and as soon as she read "What do you do if you have a higher sex drive than your husband?" another girl there said "Rejoice!" and everyone in the room started laughing. I felt so embarrassed and at that moment really felt like I had been right, there was something wrong with me. The question never really got answered above the "It is true that some women have a higher sex drive" basic answer and I still left with no answer.

After that I figured I had looked everywhere and talked to everyone except the One I really needed to talk to, the very One who had created me this way. I spent a lot of time praying about it and begging God to take my sex drive away, but He didn't. Instead, He gave me the courage to really talk to my husband about this issue and He gave me the right words to say. See, I think every other time I had talked to him, I ended up just making him feel like there was something wrong with him for not having the high sex drive that he was "supposed" to have. He was left feeling that he was a disappointment and had let me down in our marriage. Well anyone knows that you can not force someones drive to increase. Every single person is created different and unique and I believe that every person has a very unique sex drive as well.

So let me give a few tips to any woman that might be dealing with this issue in her marriage.

1. Pray
Never ever forget that God created you to be uniquely you! I know that at times it can be so discouraging to be in this situation and you feel very alone, but you are not alone. God is always there to cry out to about every area and trust me when I say, your sex life is not off limits with Him. He created sex. He designed sex to give you and your spouse pleasure. Why would it not be ok to talk to Him about problems you are having? I remember one of my most common prayers when dealing with this was "God, please decrease my drive and increase my husbands drive". Always take it to God, He is the only one that can truly fix the problem.

2. Talk to your husband
For quite some time I honestly thought that my husband was simply not attracted to me and that was causing his lack of interest in sex. It took a long time, and almost reaching a point of desperation, to actually take what was in my heart and all of my hurt to him. I explained exactly how it felt to be brushed off regularly and I told him that I really thought he was not attracted to me at all. I know that my husband loves me, so when he was faced with my hurt, a hurt that he had unintentionally caused, he was very upset. Because I hadn't been truly honest with him he didn't have a clue how deep the hurt went and therefore could do nothing to change that. Now I don't want anyone to think that things changed overnight, because that's simply not the case. But he did begin to make an honest effort and worked hard to say yes more often than no. One thing you could try is creating a special code for the two of you, anytime that code is used he knows to not turn you down unless it's a life or death situation. Marriage is about sacrifice and that also goes for your marriage bed. As I said in another post, your bed is not the place to be selfish and that goes for both the husband and the wife!

3. Do your part
I had a really bad habit of letting my husband know that I was in the mood and then leaving it up to him to pursue me. Well when he was tired or had a long day at work, he wasn't in the mood and wanted to go to sleep. Then I would get very hurt that he wasn't pursuing me! What I should have done was let him know I was interested shortly after he got home, that way he knew not to fall asleep as soon as he got into bed, and then pursue him. Now as someone who has been turned down many times before, I do understand being very gun-shy and not wanting to initiate things. But after you have an honest heart to heart with you husband you have to do your best to put that behind you and start fresh. This means you can't hold the 30 times he's turned you down in the last six months against him. You have to let go and start over. Easier said than done I know, but it is the only way to move on.

Those are the top three things I would suggest to someone in this situation. Now, obviously, every person and every situation is different so there may be many more things to suggest in some cases. If you have tried each of these steps and nothing has changed, I would advise you to seek the counsel of a Christian adviser. It is a very hard place to be in but I can say with certainty that you are not alone in this! Never give up hope that your marriage can improve and that goes for your sex life. It does not matter if you have been married five years of thirty-five years, it can always improve!

I love how Paul addressed this issue in 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 (this is from The Message version)...
Sexual drives are strong, but marriage is strong enough to contain them and provide for a balanced and fulfilling sexual life in a world of sexual disorder. The marriage bed must be a place of mutuality—the husband seeking to satisfy his wife, the wife seeking to satisfy her husband. Marriage is not a place to "stand up for your rights." Marriage is a decision to serve the other, whether in bed or out. Abstaining from sex is permissible for a period of time if you both agree to it, and if it's for the purposes of prayer and fasting—but only for such times. Then come back together again. Satan has an ingenious way of tempting us when we least expect it. I'm not, understand, commanding these periods of abstinence—only providing my best counsel if you should choose them.

This verse is often said to women but it is very clearly meant for men too. There is no biblical reason for a man to constantly turn his wife down! He is to make a habit of sacrificing himself to meet the needs of his wife. You both gave up the rights to your own body and to calling the shots when you got married. Men who are in this situation need to choose now to lay down themselves and meet the needs of their wives.

Each Friday I tackle the thoughts and questions of my readers. If there is something you would like me to discuss feel free to either leave a comment below or email me at joinmeforcoffeeblog(at)gmail(dot)com.


Kelly Howard said...

We have been married for 28+ years now, and I can honestly say that it has worked both ways for us. Time has a way of shifting our hormones. It is a special connection that makes our relationship connect in a most elemental way, and a very foundational one as well. For me, it was and is never entirely about simply a most basic need, but about being totally feminine, and treasured like a princess, yet powerful in my own right. If married couples put real attention back into their sex lives, there would be far less divorces. Simply making time to cuddle and touch is SO very important, at any age. Life is challenging enough without feeling disconnected in the bedroom, and it takes two people who truly love each other to try and make this most intimate act all that it should be. It doesn't matter whether it is once in a blue moon (agreed mutually) or 5+ times a is a bond in your relationship that can strengthen more than anything else. So, when our lives get CRAZY busy- and they especially do with kids-and we don't get quiet, quality times together: watching tv, going to dinner, just connecting- we can make up this missed time by tuning totally in to each other during sex. That zeroing in time makes all the other times easier to get through, as your life and family changes. The busier I get, the more I need to know that I am not simply all the jobs I do, but a desirable woman who can still charm her husband!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this post. I totally understand how you felt during the Q&A session where the women all laughed and didn't give a real answer. I've often felt like there's something wrong with me or my husband too. But your advice is very helpful and encouraging. Thank you so much for having the courage to talk about this and for speaking up for those of us who feel seem to be ignored.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this series. Glad to see you touch on lots of topics that others will not talk about and lots of people are scared to ask.

Jamie said...

Excellent advice Kelly! Love hearing it from someone who has gone through some of these situations and come out on the other side of it. :)

Anonymous #1- It's so easy to feel like there is something wrong in this situation, but it's simply not true. Never forget that there is nothing wrong with you or with your husband! I will be praying for growth and improvement in this area for you and your husband.

Anonymous #2- I'm so glad you are enjoying this series! I was talking to my husband today about it actually because it has been such a God thing. I am so thankful He has given me the words to write and the courage to actually do it! Oh and please, never hesitate to ask questions on here. I want to write about things that all of you want to read about. :)

SS said...

I followed a link to your blog from another blog, and happened upon this post. Thanks for writing it! I too am one of those women who have a higher sex drive than my husband. We waited until marriage to sleep together, and as you can imagine, I was so anxious for what I thought would happen quite often... and when it didn't, when my new husband refused my advances, it was incredibly confusing and sad. Now, 9 years and 2 kids into it, we've finally had a deep discussion about our sex life, and what it means to both of us. He didn't know how deeply hurt and rejected I've felt, and didn't realize he was in the minority of men who want it less than their wives. He is making a great effort for me, and I'm not taking it so personally when he's just not into it-- because I certainly have those nights too! Thanks again for addressing the subject, and for making me feel less strange ;) (p.s.- I should add that though I love everything about sex, I've never had an orgasm. I feel like we've tried everything, and it just hasn't happened! Is there any way you can make me feel less strange about that? I've heard that some women just don't, but it's not something I can talk to girlfriends about. I'd hate for it to reflect poorly on my husband, and it shouldn't. I've accepted it might never happen for me, but I hate to give up hope entirely! I'm happy after sex, but I'd love to experience that feeling of excitement and release, too.)

Jamie said...

SS- I'm so glad you enjoyed this post! Once this subject is brought up it really can show those of us who have dealt with it that there are others out there. There is not something wrong with us and we're not the only ones who've dealt with it. :o) That's wonderful that you and your husband were able to talk about this subject and work through it!

As for your question about orgasms...I actually wrote a post on orgasms for women which you can find here.

But i'm not sure I fully answered your question so I will add a little here. I am not a dr so this is completely just my opinion!

As far as I know there are a few medical conditions that stop women from reaching orgasm. But I believe that most of the time, when women don't reach orgasm it is not due to a medical reason and has more to do with simply them and their husbands never having figured out their bodies.

As I stated in the above post, 2 out of 3 women can not reach orgasm through intercourse alone. They need the added stimulation through toys or simply by hand. This of course takes time to learn as well as extra time during sex and often times, I think people simply give up. I highly recommend you read the two books I mention in that post! Dr. Leman does a fantastic job of explaining how orgasms work for women as well as gives some great advice on how to reach that point.

I would also consider talking to your dr to just see if there may be a medical reason for you having never reached that point. Simply knowing that could do a lot to help you.

SS said...

Jamie, thanks so much for your response. I read the post you had written, and will definitely check out those two books. I did ask my gynecologist about the orgasm issue last time I was in, and there is no physical reason for it not to happen. Your encouragement is so helpful, and knowing that 2 out of 3 women need some extra help reaching orgasm makes me feel more normal. So we'll try some new things and try some more! :) Thanks again!!

J said...

I wholeheartedly agree with your recommendations! And women are often labeled as having something wrong with them if they desire sex more than their hubbies. It simply isn't true. Varying sex drives give spouses an opportunity to consider the other and work on physical intimacy together. I hope that's what people will do.

Jamie said...

J, thank you for visiting and for the recommendation on your blog and twitter!!! Your blog is actually what gave me the courage to write as freely as I did about sex on my blog so thank you so much for that.

I completely agree that this is an opportunity for spouses to work together and consider each other. Marriage is all about give and take in every other area as well as this one!

R. said...

Thank you so much for sharing the link to this post on another blog. I really needed this. I have been married for less than a year and have experienced wanting sex more than my husband for most of that time. The issue has only gotten worse after going through some stressful situations in the last few months. We are both in our late 20's and had discussed how much we both were looking forward to sex in marriage during our engagement. I never thought this would be an issue for us, and definitely not so soon after the wedding. I have felt like something is wrong with me and my husband, especially after attending marriage workshops and events at church. I have prayed and talked to my husband, and I know he has made some effort, but it hasn't gotten much better. What I really needed was Step 3. I am feeling very gun-shy after moving from subtle hints to being more direct and STILL being rejected or feeling like he is having sex out of obligation. Reading Step 3 gave me the encouragement I needed to continue to pursue my husband, through the fear of rejection. We are scheduled to go in for counseling at church in 2 weeks, but I have felt like I'm not going to make it until then! I am so grateful God has allowed me to live in a time when I can get access to the help I need through blogs and other online resources. Again, thank you!

Jamie said...

R. i'm so glad you found encouragement in this post!! I think it is wonderful that the two of you are going in for counselling for this issue. It is very hard to live in this situation but if both of you will work on it, it can be overcome. I'll be praying for a break through in this area for you as well as wisdom from your counselor.


Anonymous said...

The grass always does look greener on the other side and I have wished countless times that my wife was hornier than I am. I am a man in sexual depression. We get to do it on average 3 times a month while I wish we did it at least 3 times a week. We've discussed this as a couple and in addition I've done my best to do all the nice lovely things that ladies appreciate. I call and text her in the course of the day just to let her know I love her and I am thinking iof her; I leave small surprise gifts under her pillow; I help her around the house and with the kids amongst other things. How do I get my wife to appreciate that we need to get more sexually intimate more often?

Jamie said...

Anonymous, i'm sorry you're in this situation. I think a lot of women are trained through media and those around them that they aren't supposed to want sex often and it's ok to always turn their husbands down, and it's not! For a man in this situation there's a couple of things I would suggest.

First of all, put into practice the things I suggested in my post. Praying about this situation and talking to your wife are the first things you need to do. I don't think the spouse doing the turning down ever fully understand how it feels unless they themselves have been turned down. So she really may not know how much it hurts you. Really talk to her about it without being accusatory, mean or demeaning.

Also I asked my husband what his advice would be and this one comes straight from him. He said, you have to make sure she enjoys it. For girls, sex can not be a "Wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am" experience. It is so much more about the emotions than anything so you have to see it that way. But you also have to meet her physical needs in order for her to be interested. I'm not saying this is the case in your relationship because I honestly don't know but, if sex is all about you and meeting your needs it wouldn't be surprising for her to have no interest in it. Does that make sense?

I suggest reading the other two posts I wrote about this issue and having your wife read them as well.

I hope I answered your question, but if not please let me know and i'll see if I have any other information that may be of use. :o)


Anonymous said...

Thanks for that feedback Jamie. I do my best to ensure that the sexual experience is fulfilling to the 2 of us (e.g The last time, she had 2 orgasms and I had 1). That said, I'll continue to pray for us and engage her more as I trust that this should get us to the next step. Thanks again.

Jamie said...

Well I will continue to pray for you and your wife in this part of your relationship. I would strongly suggest seeking the advice of a Christian counselor for help in this area. It makes up such a huge part of your marriage and can cause many problems if the two of you are not on the same page. If you wife is unwilling to seek counsel, I do suggest you getting counsel on your own.

Also look into the books "Sheet Music" and "Turn Up The Heat" both by Dr Kevin Leman. He does a wonderful job discussing sex in marriage and could help both of you tremendously.

As I said, I will continue praying for improvement in this area of your marriage.