Is my husband’s lower drive my fault? (Pt. 1)

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,
Annabel

18 thoughts on “Is my husband’s lower drive my fault? (Pt. 1)

  1. I can personally speak on how much our words can affect our husbands! Up until the last 20 months, I was the foolish woman tearing apart her own house by belittling and manipulating my husband. I have seen how choosing to have a quiet and gentle spirit can do amazing things for my husband! I still have a higher drive than he does, but he is more than willing to go along for the ride (pun intended!) than he ever was before! I am so thankful that God has brought us to this point as we are finally starting to openly communicate with each other and experience true intimacy!

  2. I think it is very brave of you to tackle this. You’re so right..when we criticize, nag, and control, we are emasculating our husbands. We must as wives take responsibility for the things we do to leave our husbands feeling disrespected and unmanly. What man is going to want to come to bed and make love to a wife who has just spent an entire day criticizing everything he does?

  3. Very insightful message. My husband and I were ok with our different drives and still are. I hope you will address getting in the mood and something romantic or out of the ordinary. I feel my husband is getting lazy and mundane

  4. A husbands perspective: We define higher drive and lower drive but,I’m going to call a spade a spade. Isn’t it that it the most selfish spouse called the lower drive,wether husband or wife. Paul tells us in 1Corinthians 7 that each spouse has a duty to the other. A GOD given duty and after our relationship with GOD our spouse comes second,ahead of work,children,ministry,ANYTHING. We all will give an account of how we loved the child of GOD that he gave us as a spouse. If selfishness causes our spouse to stumble we will have to answer for that as well,although that does not excuse the spouse. If JESUS said he came to serve not to be served, and it is more blessed to GIVE than to receive isn’t it then just selfishness if there is no medical or health related problems. The bible is all about personal responsibility and living and giving oneself over in obedience to CHRIST. Everything we do we do as to the LORD,and if you live as to the LORD in everything in your marriage regardless of your spouses performance then you are truly living a CHRISTIAN life and your spouse will have to answer for their selfishness.

    • VR,

      Thanks for your perspective. Here are a few of my thoughts.

      First, I don’t think that a husband’s or wife’s lower sexual drive is selfish. As I define it here, I am talking about their actual physical desire to make love. To me it is similar to someone with a small or large appetite. A small appetite for food doesn’t make someone a selfish eater. In the same way I don’t think a lower sexual drive makes someone a selfish lover. It is what either spouse chooses to do with their sex drive, however, that I do believe can be selfishness.
      If the lower drive spouse is refusing to care for their husband or wife, within the bounds of what is reasonable and loving, then yes – I agree – they are being selfish. If a higher drive spouse is approaching sex by making demands, verbally lashing, or making fun of their spouse, then they are being selfish. Either one of the “drives” can fall into selfishness. But neither one of the drives, in and of themselves, are selfish.

      Second, while I agree that a spouse may be very selfish – I also agree with your statement that we will stand before God and give an account. And I can only give an account for one thing – my actions. I cannot say to the Lord, “But Lord, I was rude to my husband and sinful towards him because he withheld sex from me.” Just as you said, I am accountable to be obedient to Christ. If my husband is sexually selfish, that gives me no room or excuse to sin back.

      Since you are writing from a husband’s view, I hope & pray that many husband’s out there will have the same attitude that they are responsible to Christ for how they loved their wives. I pray that they repent and humble themselves before the Lord. But I also pray that the wives who find themselves in these situations choose to “bear their cross” with grace, humility, gentleness and truth. That irregardless of whether or not their spouse ever changes, they continue to look more like Christ.

      Thanks for your thoughts here.
      Annabel

      • Annabel I appreciate your response and the analogy of appetite is spot on. Although I may not be hungry but my spouse is then as Ephesians 5 says I’m to give myself to satisfy,my spouses appetite regardless of my own appetite cause I’m the only GOD approved means of satisfying that need. GOD does not mismatch our spouse,but as iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another. GOD uses marriage to make us HOLY not happy and conform us to the image of CHRIST. Both spouses if their GIVING unselfishly are then truly loving in biblical terms. LOVE as depicted in the Bible is GIVING. Thank you so much for allowing me to comment and to pursue being obedient to our LORD. Great job on your blog. Blessings

        • You are welcome & I agree completely. If we went into our marriage in every area holding tightly to this truth for ourselves and with an open heart of grace towards our spouse, then our marriages would truly reflect Christ & His Church. Thanks again!

      • I would say Annabel is dead on right about drives not being selfish. The real issue is not what we feel or desire, but what we do. Selflessness means we give what we don’t want, and give when we don’t feel desire.

        However, saying that as the spouse who wants more is not overly effective. That message needs to come from others, and especially from the church. We need to teach this not just about sex, but about marraige and life in general.

        Annabel is a very needed voice who speaks for and to women who want more sex than their husbands want. Given this, her making a lot of noise about what the husbands should or should not do is a waste of time and energy that can server no other purpose other than getting already hurting women more upset.

  5. I only recently found your site, but I’m already truly grateful for it. Your words have convicted and encouraged me with every post I read. Thank you for being a spicy wife…and talking about it!! I pray God will use your ministry here to help multitudes.

  6. Thank u for this series! I just wanted to say that if you have a higher libido than your spouse and it is physically driving you crazy as it was for me, St. Johns Wort can help tame the too strong feelings of needing sexual release. It worked for me and now hubby and I are better matched. I still want sex. I can still orgasm, but I don’t have that drive-me-crazy urge all the time.

    • My doctor put me on birth control pills (even though I had a hysterectomy) to help even out my hormones (also because I’m perimenopausal) to help control the drive-me-crazy urge I had all the time. She said it could take up to 6 weeks to be effective, but I’ve been on them for just over a week, and I already see more calmness in my desire.

  7. I am so thankful for your site! I’ve been married for 6 months and am the one with the higher drive in our marriage. I just found your site today! It was much to my surprise, and my husband’s as well, to find that I was the one with the higher drive once married. I’ve struggled with feeling freakish because of it. Thankfully, I have a wonderful, encouraging, supportive husband who assures me that isn’t the case. By God’s grace I’ve been able to work through those feelings. Needless to say, it feels amazing to know that I’m not the only one!

    In one of our conversations, Hubby and I were talking about our differences. He said to me (in a very loving manner), that he thinks one of the reasons that his drive isn’t higher is because I want is so often that his desire doesn’t really have time to “build.” So, in a round about way, his lower drive could definitely be related to my higher drive.

    • Lori,

      Thanks for your thoughts here. I know the feeling of surprise when you find yourself unexpectedly higher drive than your husband…it is so different from everything that we have been taught! I am so, so glad that you and your husband are talking about it!! Communication is central to making the marriage bed work, whatever the makeup of your individual drive is. May God continue to grace you to walk this out…and welcome to the “spicy wives” club.

      Annabel

  8. i have struggled with what to do to about this issue for years! i am so thankful to have a place to read other peoples insight and feelings. thank you for your blog!

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