As a “spicy” wife, my marriage is not often portrayed by Hollywood or (often) Christendom. Of course, that is probably because my marriage is not the typical one – but it is more common than many people think. I have seen statistics showing that as many as 1 in 4 marriages would say that the wife has a stronger sex drive than her husband. Whenever I would read marriage books or blogs (which were all Biblically-based and full of truth), I would feel so alone & strange that I couldn’t relate to their encouragement to “be available” to my husband. I was always available! It was my husband who often wasn’t desiring sex.
As weeks turned into months turned into years and I realized that our sex drives weren’t going to be changing anytime soon, I began to struggle with our reality. I began to ask myself this very hard question – is my husband’s lower drive my fault? Am I not sexually attractive? Am I a bad lover? Am I simply too “horny” for my own good? Am I driving him away by being too sexual?
I wanted to look at one of these questions square in the face today and attempt to answer it. Of course, I am not in your marriage, so please take everything I say with a grain of salt and ask the Lord to filter it through His perspective. On the salt note, please always take what I say with a grain of salt. Or two, or four. Or ten, because I am definitely not perfect…or even close. And my marriage and experience may not be yours, but hopefully you can learn something from it.
So, here is what I would say to the question, “Is my husband’s lower drive my fault” – maybe, yes. How’s that for helpful? I think that there are times where you may be contributing to your husband’s lower drive, and today I want to talk about that. In my next post I will talk about when you are not. Before I begin, however, let me caveat this by saying that a lower sex drive is often made up of several things, so please don’t hone in on one thing and think that if you “fix” it, your husband’s drive will suddenly increase. Also please realize that a lower drive in your husband isn’t necessarily something wrong – and that in many marriages you may be doing everything well and still have mismatched drives – and that is okay. But for many of you there is some room for growth, and I want to speak today to that crowd. So here goes.
You might be contributing to his lower drive if:
1. You don’t have a gentle, quiet spirit
1 Peter 3:4 encourages women to have a gentle, quiet spirit. This, of course, has NOTHING to do with your personality, and everything to do with your heart. If you are easily ruffled, if you are “high-drama”, a wife whose tongue gives your husband verbal lashings – then you might be contributing to his muted sex drive. A woman with a gentle, quiet spirit is like a still lake. Like a beautiful autumn day. You bring peace and life into your marriage. If you are constantly critiquing your husband, putting him down or correcting his faults then you may be driving his heart into a place of protection against you.
Can you hear me in this? Your words have power, amazing women. You literally bring life or death by what you say. And here is the hard truth – it’s not only what you say out loud – it’s what you say in your heart. So ask your Father to reveal to you where your words and attitudes might be driving your husband away (sexually or otherwise).
2. You spend all day belittling his manhood, only to ask him to prove himself to you at night
The enemy of our souls is no fool. He knows how powerful our marriages are. He knows that marriage is the truest picture of Christ and the Church that is present in our worlds today. He is warring against us. And he is crafty…very, very crafty. You may not realize it, but your words will either build up your husband’s manly heart or tear it down. And unlike Hollywood tells you – his manly heart is good. It is God-given. His drive, focus, and provision-centered heart is as it should be. He is not like you on purpose. So when you spend the day making fun of him for his “guy-ish” ways, or fail to be thankful and respectful of how he is made, and then expect him to jump at the prospect of love-making…well, you may be asking for too much.
Sex is vulnerable. And whether or not your husband has a stronger sex drive than you, the marriage bed is one place where he shows his manliness. And he needs you to be his biggest cheerleader. Can you imagine if cheerleaders spent the whole game telling the team how terrible they were doing, criticizing them and making fun of them, only to go into the locker room afterwards wanting a high five or hug? You can imagine those players probably won’t be too excited. If you are not your husband’s biggest cheerleader in public, then realize it might be hard for him to be vulnerable and available in private.
I have SO much I could say on this point, but let me just say one thing more. Hollywood loves the stupid man. Feminist ideas have promoted a skewed view of manliness and it’s place in our culture and homes. We see this ideology in movies, commercials, tv shows. The woman knows best. The man needs her in order to do anything right. Even if he is fully grown his wife still needs to “mother” him and “train” him, because let’s face it – men are complete morons. This message seeps into our hearts whether we know it or not. Be countercultural. Encourage your husband’s manly heart and you might see his sex drive and manly heart revived and renewed.
3. You give him no grace and room to have a lower drive than you
In marriage, there are many reasons that two people may not have the same sex drive. But please hear my heart – in many cases, mismatched sex drives are okay. It’s an area for growth in oneness, not a place to tease or despise. I think that many of us spicy wives can find ourselves belittling our husband’s lower drives in our hearts. Or, if nothing else, wishing that God had made them different. Now, there are many things that may be present in your marriage that are not healthy, or even sinful. And believing, praying and hoping for God to redeem is not wrong. But seeing your husband’s lower drive as abnormal, incorrect or lacking can have a devestating affect on your marriage. So give him the gift of pursual, the gift of believing in him and loving him and desiring him even if he doesn’t match what you originally thought he might be.
Are there other things that you can think of or have experienced where you have affected your husband’s drive? Next time I will talk about scenarios where you are NOT affecting his drive (sin, medical, etc.). But I wanted to start with ways you might be so that you could prayerfully approach the Father and ask Him to show you where you may need to change. One of the joys of marriage is that we always ask God to reveal and cut out the selfishness and sin in our own hearts first. Marriage is created to glorify God and make us more like Christ – which means humbling ourselves, repenting of sinful ways and asking for forgiveness.
One last thought on all of this is that change takes time. If God convicts your heart and you repent, then it is often a journey towards change. It is daily surrendering of your will and tongue and heart to Him. And it may take weeks, or months, before your husband really believes that the change is here to stay. If your words or heart have wounded your husband’s soul, then regaining trust and restoring the cracks will take time. So please don’t expect a quick turnaround – instead commit to changing your heart and attitude no matter the outcome, because it pleases the Father and is right.
I am praying for you today, friends. Praying for you to have eyes to see your own hearts, in truth and no deception. Praying for a spirit of conviction and not condemnation. Praying for the strength to have a quiet and gentle spirit towards your husabnds. Pray for me too. Pray that I would continue to go low when I grow tired. Pray that I would be the support, strength and encouragement in Christ that I am called to be to my husband.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this important topic,