Putting on your big girl pants (or “what it means to be a higher drive wife”)

Good morning, wonderful women. I am praying for you this morning. Praying that you are finding true life in Christ and praying that life is spilling over into your marriages and families. I am praying for those who are hurting and broken, praying your hearts would find healing and wholeness in God. Praying for a heart of forgiveness and compassion – praying for restoration of things lost, and the repair of things broken. That is who Christ is to us, and I pray for eyes to see Him clearly in your life.

I want to take a minute to preface this post with a really important point. I fully believe in a husband’s headship. Mr. Spice is the head of our home – and my head in Christ. He oversees the home, our family life, our finances. I am honored to walk alongside him as his helper, friend and lover. Our higher and lower drives (and the subsequent realities of what that often means) really has nothing to do with headship or submission. So, with that out of the way…

I have been thinking recently about what it means to be a higher drive wife. For years I remember trying to talk to my husband about sex. Practically begging him to initiate more. I remember the frustration and despair I would feel when night after night would pass and he wouldn’t turn towards me. When mornings would come and go without that act which so intimately connects us. I cried out to God. I raged against the unfairness of it all. I approached my husband again and again. I acted emotionally – Sometimes I would ignore him. Other times I would cry. Sometimes I would tell myself it didn’t really matter, I could do without more sex. Other times I would try to have us make deals “I will initiate once a week if you will…”

Is this a familiar story? If you are a higher drive wife married to a lower drive husband, than it might be. As I reflect on those seasons (and thank God that while it isn’t perfect, it is so much better), I realize that I was missing a crucial piece of the puzzle.

Like it or not, the higher drive spouse in the relationship will be the one (9 times out of 10) to initiate a sexual encounter.

If you are a higher drive spouse the onus of responsibility in initiating is going to be in your court. And can I tell you something? I don’t like it. In fact, I often despise it. I don’t want to be the initiator! I don’t want to be the one who remembers we haven’t had sex and is counting the days. I grew up with the idea that I was going to be the one who was pursued sexually. Marriage books all said that he would be the one to pursue, and that I was made to respond to his advances. But the reality of my marriage is that I am the one who is pursuing sexually. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t mean that once the door is open he isn’t pretty awesome at taking the lead. But getting that door open? Usually me. Why? Because I want it more often. (Even if it’s just asking for him to help me “get there”, as Evie talked about, it’s still initiating).

Now, in a perfect world and perfect marriage Mr. Spice (even though he is the lower drive) would set some sort of alarm to remind him to initiate sex every 72 hours. But this isn’t a perfect world, and we don’t have a perfect marriage. And you know what? It’s okay. My imperfect marriage is making me more like Christ, and for that I am grateful. The reality is that between the shift work Mr. Spice does, the few small ones we have running around, the pressure put on him by his bosses, and the fact that he sometimes simply forgets to desire sex means that I am often needing before he is. And so instead of sitting around despairing his lack of initiation, I have to put on my big girl pants and help him to remember the importance of our marriage bed. Or I have to humble myself to ask him if he is willing to simply help me get release (without any pressure to have intercourse).

I want to ask you a hard question today, ladies. Do you sit around and mope because you aren’t being pursued the way you hoped you would? If you need to, I urge you to really grieve. I strongly suggest you find a good counselor to talk things out with. But perhaps, just maybe, it might be time to grow up. To realize that you are, indeed, the higher drive spouse (maybe not for forever, but for now – and that’s what matters) and therefore it will most often fall to you to initiate. Please hear me – I am not saying this is ideal. I am not saying this is how it would be if all was set right in the world. But I am saying that, for better or worse, this is what it means to go low, to serve your marriage – to honor Christ.

I know I have said it before, but I will say it again. We have to stop keeping score. We have to stop comparing ourselves among ourselves. We have to take an honest look at our own hearts and ask God to grant us the gift of repentance. We have to stop pointing fingers and start doing the work of being followers of Christ. Which is to be sacrificial, patient, kind, and continually humble.
I am compelled to ask you again to hear my heart. I am not negating the possible need for counseling in your marriage. I am not saying that if you are in a sexless or otherwise broken marriage you should just “buck up and keep initiating”. Your challenges may lie far outside the lines of the places I am speaking to in this post. What I am saying is that if you are in a marriage where you are simply waiting for things to come around to an idea of “normal”, you may need to realize that this is your normal. Embrace it. Live in it. Yes, keep talking. Yes, keep praying. Yes, keep hoping for your husband to initiate more.
However, please let that be a yes, and rather than a yes, but…
Yes, and keep pursuing him. Yes, and keep initiating. Yes, and stop keeping score.

I love you ladies. Believe me when I say I wrote this post preaching to myself. I dislike the fact that I need to take responsibility for my marriage bed. I can wish things were different. But they are not – God has given me this man and this marriage in His infinite wisdom. And it’s causing me to grow up.
Can you remind me of that fact on another day when I may be a little unfocused?


P.S. On Monday I will be talking about how the lower drive spouse holds the power in the sexual dynamic of a marriage, and what that means for us as higher drive.

P.S.S. As always, I am praying for those of you who are in marriages where you are refused or sexless. I am praying that God would grant you a path to walk into healing and wholeness. I am praying that He would show you what is yours to bear and what is His. I pray that you would take with wisdom these words and know if they are applicable for your life now.

15 thoughts on “Putting on your big girl pants (or “what it means to be a higher drive wife”)

  1. Great post as usual, Annabel, and very timely once again for me. This may sound strange, but Fridays are hard for me.
    See I get real cranky after days or a week without sex with my husband and usually come Friday, it’s been since the previous weekend that we have made love…just like today.
    It wasn’t always that way. When my husband and I married a little over a year ago (second marriage for both…I’m 47 and he’s 57) we made love several times a week. But just in the last several months his desire has dropped so we only make love once or twice. That’s nearly half of what it used to be and now I find myself feeling cranky and impatient with everyone around me when days have gone by. I didn’t used to feel that way when our lovemaking was more frequent.
    So, when these feelings started occurring I didn’t at first realize what was going on, why I was feeling like that. Then it dawned on me that I started feeling this way when our lovemaking dropped in frequency. it obviously was affecting me emotionally and that’s when I realized just how important keeping the sexual intimacy alive in our marriage is.

    I will say though, I hate being the one to have to initiate. I really do. I want to be pursued, I want my husband to show a real desire for me. And I don’t want to put on my big girl pants, at least not all the time.

    And so, here it is, Friday. Last weekend I took the reins and very actively pursued my husband, told him to plan on a wild Saturday night because we had the house to ourselves. He was all in and it was amazing!
    But I’m sitting here this morning trying to ward off those negative thoughts of how unfair it is that I have to be the one to desire more sex and yet he is the one that truly controls whether it will happen or not.
    Sometimes on the weekends when he does reach for me on Saturday morning I just feel like turning over and not responding. I know, that’s horrible, but whenever I’m really in the mood, really turned on, we usually don’t do it. And then when he’s ready for it, we do. .

    And for the record, I have talked with him about my desires and literally cried out how much it hurts not making love very much anymore. He truly loves me and really listened to my words. He said that he needs to make sure he is meeting my needs and I just need to let him know when I’m in the mood for sex. So, it’s back in my court again to have to ask. And the frustrating part of it all is not truly understanding why he does not want to make love more often, especially when it’s amazing when we do.

    But I like what you said…”…if you are in a marriage where you are simply waiting for things to come around to an idea of “normal”, you may need to realize that this is your normal. Embrace it. Live in it”
    One thing I can say, is that I’m trying my hardest to acknowledge my feelings and strive to keep myself in check instead of letting those feelings take over. It isn’t easy, just like this morning where I want to cry and shout how unfair it is, but I will pray for God’s guidance and just keep putting on my big girl pants so that my marriage can thrive.

    • I guess we don’t have a choice if we follow Christ. To be like Him is to serve, to be humble and forgiving and do the right thing whether it is easy or the most difficult task. Life is lived in the journey, becoming who we are meant to be and influencing others positively along the way. I don’t know why it has to hurt so bad sometimes, the pain is certainly real, the but I think it causes us to draw closer to the Lord and that result is a good thing.

      I remembered this passage in 2 Corinthians 12 as I read this post and the comment, v.7 even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.
      8 Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. 9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.
      I wouldn’t claim to be like the Apostle Paul, but I identify with the suffering and asking to have it taken away. Any way, I will keep submitting to God and ‘let the power of Christ work through me’ by loving and pursuing my husband!

  2. Just wanted to say hi. My husband and I are pretty much equal drive-wise; however I still continue to read your blog to look for insight. Today, this statement struck me: “Do you sit around and mope because you aren’t being pursued the way you hoped you would?”

    I have to admit that I have definitely spent years moping. ANd maybe years not knowing what was wrong with me. My husband pursued me sexually, but not in any other way, so I resisted his advances, not knowing WHY they hurt my heart so much. I had an affair…primary reason…another man pursued me.

    It’s such a big deal. To be pursued.

    Now my husband realizes how important it is. But we are a year past that dreadful choice I made and things are starting to sway back to the way things were. They are better, but old habits need you to be intentional, not fall into a rut. So now, when he doesn’t pursue me…what do I do about it? How do I react?

    I have to admit that grieving is not my answer. It could be helpful, but I need more than that. I need him to understand that I need him, and in which ways I need him. He can’t be my “all in all”…that’s God’s place…so I have to be careful not to expect things of my husband that only God can fill. However, if I don’t communicate my needs to my husband in a helpful way, I am also doing him a disservice and making myself vulnerable to the pursuit of, well…gosh…ANYTHING that pursues my heart.

    Sometimes I just like to sit in the quiet and realize how beautiful it is when God pursues me. He sends me things that are heart shaped. A leaf. A drop of water. A piece of fruit. He pursues me. As women, we cannot ignore this desire in our hearts to be pursued.

    Thank you for the thought-provoking and well-written post.

  3. If we understand how importnat regular sex is, to our bodies, or minds, and our marriages, we can see this not as being about getting what we want, but about being sure they, we and our marriage is getting what it needs to be healthy. Really, this is no different than trying to bring about a change in diet or exercise or time use. The one who “gets” the need should do all they can to help their spouse make the change.

  4. I am just so happy to have found this blog. I was searching the Internet for information about husbands having orgasms before wives could have one while having a cry. How delighted I was to find blog for Christian women amidst all of the worldly advice that wasn’t very helpful. I’m so excited because I really don’t have anyone I feel I can talk to freely on this subject without giving them TMI or intruding on their own intimate experiences. I’m crying with relief for finding such helpful information along with Christian views!

    I’ve been married for 10.5 years. My hubby is 36 and I’m 31. Our sex life has always been good, we both have had orgasms pretty regularly and seemed to have the same sex drive but yes, I am the one who initiated sex most of the time….sometimes making my hubby think he started it leaving him feeling very virile which I think it a good thing. I always thought I was different and odd but it’s great knowing there are other women like me who have a higher drive. I am also the one who is more affectionate.

    I feel that after we had our 4th child who will be 2 in May, this past year is when my hubby started having a lower drive and it seemed to take me longer to have an orgasm or just start having one and my hubby was done…pretty much meaning we were done since this is usually how it goes. I think we both did not know what to do and I was left feeling unfulfilled and he was left feeling bad that he was quicker than I was but yet I still felt close to my hubby although a little frustrated and sometimes feeling used. I don’t know if its because after having 4 children, my body to me seems unattractive, he’s getting older(I don’t think he’s old), or if we are just in a rut or all of the above. I’m a little apprehensive to talk to him about how I’ve been feeling. I don’t want to hurt his feelings but I don’t want to feel sad and unloved. I know he loves me but that vulnerable part of me makes me think irrational thoughts at times…unloved and used. I’ve always had a hard time expressing my feelings to people and so it takes me a while to gather courage. You would think after 10 years of marriage it would be easier to talk to my hubby concerning intimacy in our marriage.

    After reading this post and another post, I am feeling hope and remembering that I need to pray for guidance. Also, realizing my hubby and I could really be more affectionate towards each other. So I will put on my big girl pants and stop moping but I do have to say my moping is what got me here. 😀 I’m so grateful to have found all this helpful info and looking forward to reading more, thank you!!!

    • Abi,

      Welcome! I am grateful & humbled that God led you here & pray it ministers life & health to your marriage. You sound like you have a wonderful foundation for your marriage & I pray you get the courage to talk to your husband! The fact that he is sad when you orgasm first is such a positive thing! It means you have a man that loves you. There was a “coffee chat” we had a few weeks ago about orgasms that might continue to speak to you on that subject (found here). You and your husband are much more normal than you think you are, and sex, like all good parts of marriage, is a continual growing and learning place. I think that God uses it to keep us connected to our husbands – both in the actual act of sex, and in the fact that if we want to it to be good, we have to talk about it!

      Thanks for the encouragement about my writing too. While I write unto the Lord, it is also good to know that He uses it to connect to others.
      Welcome to the spicy wives club 🙂


  5. I don’t know anymore what it will be like when we are finally able to live together, but at least one advantage of only seeing each other in person for only 4 weeks in total of our 4 month long marriage so far is that excluding the two and a half week honeymoon, the week we saw each over christmas and then two days now, he has actually initiated. It just seems sad we have to go a month without seeing each other for him to be interested.

    Part of me wonders sometimes wonder if maybe there is a very specific cause to his lack of interest. Ever since he decided he didn’t want to try for kids currently (after telling me before we were married we would) and pushed me into using “precautions”, he’s initiated twice in two days – that’s equal to the number of times he’s initiated in total in the rest of our 4 month marriage.

    Although he did make it clear he only initiated tonight because I leave again tomorrow and won’t see each other for a few weeks again and he did it to try and cheer me up – not really because he wanted to for himself, but because it would normally cheer me up.

    I like he cares enough to try and make me feel better but I wish he truly wanted sex for himself.

    • BW,

      You are indeed in a challenging situation with being apart! Thankfully God knew this would be the case, and I pray He gives you specific wisdom for your situation. Sex is a gift, joy and command of marriage. I agree with your prayer that your husband would see all of this & God would increase his desire for it. I wrote earlier (sorry if I already linked to it) about some reasons that your husband’s lower drive might be happening. Here is how you might be contributing, and here is when you are not. As always, I pray you read them with the Holy Spirit to help you discern what is truth for your specific situation.

      So glad you are a part of our community. A

  6. in am a full participant in all that you stated in your blog. if i can only get rid of the counting!!!!! why oh why is that so important to us? are we lacking in another area? are we believing in Him or do we “believe” Him? Know what i mean? The best part of all of this high drive design is that i have deepend my relationship to my Holy Father. I am the daughter of the King! Daddy i want more intimacy with my mate, you can make it happen…..right? Believe Him my sisters in Christ. Remain faithful, pray for patience, pray for God to bestow desire on your husband….start there and wait…..and wait…..
    Yesterday ladies, my husband had desire – in my office in our house. I was full of emotion, the time together was so intimate. My husband was so patient with me as it took 3 times before pleasure arrived. I got past the female EJ with his reassurance that all was ok. I cried out to God for the climax to happen on the third try, not for me, but for my husband to have the confidence that he can give me pleasure. It has been over a decade that he has done this for me. I broke down and cried in my husbands arms. It was beautiful, it was worth waiting for, it was worth praying for, it was worth being faithful when i didn’t feel like it. Stay strong and believe HIM!!!
    annabel, thanks. what wonderful work God is doing in you to help us all in this delicate but oh so important issue. What an example of a good and faithful servant you are for Christ.

    • Debbie –

      REJOICING with you!!!!! I am so, so, so glad you came to share your story here. And I LOVE the encouragement you are giving all of us that God has used your higher-drive to pull you closer into His heart. What a beautiful truth, and one I pray that each of us grasp.

      I love being your friend across the Internet miles, and it’s my joy to serve you in some small way. Please know that your stories serve me too.

  7. I am commenting again on this post because it seems to be getting a lot of responses and I have a question for you ladies. I had a vaginal surgery a year and half ago and since then it seems my orgasms are not as strong. (I’ve always only been able to have vaginal orgasms from intercourse.) Is that possible that scar tissue or something could cause that and what can I do about it? The surgeon never warned me of this possible side effect. It may seem minor, but my sexuality is such an important part of my identity. I have shared this with my husband and he is sometimes disappointed too, feeling like he is not satisfying me. Would you ladies pursue this? I see a family physician and I haven’t been to ob-gyn since my youngest was born 4 yrs ago. Just not sure what to do about it, if anything….

    • RA,

      I wanted to encourage you to check out the marriage bed forums (http://www.boards.themarriagebed.com/). You will need to create a name but it would be another wonderful place to ask this question. There are thousands of members there, some may even be medical personnel that could help. Just another thoughts.
      I can definitely imagine your surgery affecting your orgasms. I would encourage you to call your surgeon’s office & talk to a nurse or something about it. While that might seem a little embarrassing, I am sure your surgeon is used to all sorts of questions & he/she might have some really useful information for you. There is my 2cents 🙂

  8. Thank you so so much for this blog and these blog posts. I never realized how common this problem is with married women, I always thought I was the only one suffering. I always thought guys wanted sex all the time and would be constantly initiating it. I’ve been married for over two years and the problems I have had with our sex lives began a few months after we got married. Our honeymoon was great, at the beginning of our it really seemed like my husband was into and we would have sex several times a week. But as the months went by it became more infrequent, and it would always be me initiating. This paragraph:
    ” For years I remember trying to talk to my husband about sex. Practically begging him to initiate more. I remember the frustration and despair I would feel when night after night would pass and he wouldn’t turn towards me. When mornings would come and go without that act which so intimately connects us. I cried out to God. I raged against the unfairness of it all. I approached my husband again and again. I acted emotionally – Sometimes I would ignore him. Other times I would cry. Sometimes I would tell myself it didn’t really matter, I could do without more sex. Other times I would try to have us make deals “I will initiate once a week if you will…” ” I felt like you took the words right out of my mouth… This is exactly how it’s been for the past year. I know he loves me and finds me attractive, but it’s always been an issue where he never consistently pursues me ever or initiates. I’ve cried, I’ve begged and argued with him and he keeps apologizing, telling me he will try harder, and it will get better, but it hasn’t. I’m so tired of being the one who initiates it, and the one who wants it. He is a good man and a wonderful husband in so many other ways, but in this aspect I just don’t know what to do… I feel so helpless.

    • Also, I love how this is a blog filled with fellow Christian wives as well, it’s so refreshing to see the compassion, honesty and vulnerability of everyone here.

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