Towards being a mature reader

Early in my journey of discovering how God made me as a higher-drive wife, I began to read sex & marriage blogs to try to figure out what was happening in my marriage and what I could do to help. Unfortunately, while I did stumble across some well-written and well-meaning blogs, they didn’t ever speak to where I was at.
At the time, it caused me no end of frustration, but looking back I can see some realities that were present in my life that caused me to have a hard time connecting with the blogs that were out there.

1. The blogs/books were written by lower-drive women encouraging other lower-drive women
This fact alone brought a disconnect. While there was so much good to glean, the difference of viewpoint was sometimes too hard to overcome.

2. They were not written (primarily) to sexually broken marriages
I think this is probably the biggest thing I have realized in hindsight. Most marriage & sex blogs are not written to a sexually broken audience. They are written to a sexually struggling audience, but that is not the same thing. I was in a place where I was incredibly hurt, needing counseling and healing – not advice on how to step up my sex drive or rev up my sexual encounters.

One thing that I wish I had known then was this simple truth. When I encounter a blog or book that isn’t speaking to me, I can choose to (kindly) leave it.

Sometimes I would get offended because the bloggers weren’t speaking to my situation. But the truth is that they really weren’t able to – and often what they were writing was the direct opposite of what I needed to hear. But it wasn’t their fault. Far from it – they were writing a good message that someone else needed to hear. But it wasn’t my message, and I needed to learn that. Instead of growing hurt and angry, I needed to say to myself : that isn’t for me.

You too, dear reader, have that power. You can take what speaks to you and leave the rest. If a blogger you love (or don’t love) writes words that are not what you need, say to yourself “that isn’t for me”, and gracefully leave it. Not one single writer can ever cover the complete gamut of relationship advice, and we have to write out of our own lessons and what the Lord is teaching us.

So be gentle, dear reader. Be wise. Learn to appreciate that the message is being read by someone else and ministering to them. And if you can’t ever seem to find a voice that is speaking to you where you are at, pray about starting your own blog – women (and men) may need to hear what you have to say.

Praying for you today, friends. Praying life into your hearts, and strength into your bones. Praying health over you (I am coming through a bout of sickness & I know that is simply miserable). Praying wisdom as you read this blog and others, as books come your way or you pursue them.
Pray for me too. I am not quite over being sick yet and my back is also hurt from who knows what. I am struggling to recover and need to desperately as I have two small ones to chase and love. Pray that I would also continue to be the wife my husband needs as we are in the middle of several life changes. He needs my ear, my heart and my mind to be present and engaged.

Love you, friends. Hoping you hear my story and my heart today.

10 thoughts on “Towards being a mature reader

  1. I totally relate…for me, though, it was all the marriage books on how a marriage relationship was “supposed” to function…the woman is always perceived as more feelings oriented and emotional and relational, while the man is always portrayed as black and white, get-to-the-point; however in our marriage, my husband is the feeler and is highly relational, wanting us to be really connected, while I tend to be black and white and more matter of fact. I got to the point with marriage books that I’d often just have to sift out much of them because they just weren’t helpful for us. I’ve learned instead to really study my husband, to learn how he is wired and what he needs and wants…and focus there instead of on what I “should” focus on if my marriage were a textbook marriage (which it just isn’t).

  2. As always, great post. When my daughter and son-in-law were in pre-marital counseling with their pastor, they were each given a book to read that basically said that men need sex and women need affection. She came away with the idea that women just have to “grin and bear it.” When I {gently!} told her that women were sexual beings too and that sex within marriage could be wonderful for women as well she looked at me like I had two heads! There is just too much material out there that gives this one-sided view of sexual desire. Your voice is much needed and you always write with so much compassion and comforting thoughts…I just love your writing style. Thanks and God bless.

  3. Feeling in the same boat- getting over sickness, caring for 2 little ones, and trying to support my husband through job stress and change (while our marriage is struggling). Praying for strength and healing and patience and wisdom for you!

  4. Very timely words for me. I am with you totally. I have been so frustrated by advice, albeit even godly advice, that is not at all helpful to me a higher drive wife too! Your thoughts about just setting them aside is wise. I’ve been struggling with how to love my husband his way, when I don’t know anyone else like me. All the common marriage advice is wrong for us. Thanks for the encouragement. I’ll be “kindly” setting aside advice that’s not for me too.

  5. Such wisdom here! I also learned to glean from marriage books (although my issues weren’t sexuality). At first, it’s easy to toss aside a whole book too that says something frustrating on page 16 or 35, but I started to recognize that I could tailor some of those messages to my situation and ignore what didn’t belong. I agree that if a blog or book isn’t speaking to you, gracefully leave it. I also think a single post or page may not speak to you, and that may not mean the whole resource is worthless to you. I rarely read all of a marriage author’s works and agree 100%. But if I can get a nugget of wisdom here and there, I can grow from it. I have been so blessed by the many perspectives I’ve read through the years, including those here of the higher-drive wife. Thanks, Annabel.

  6. Your blog is filling a very great need. And, your thoughts are my thoughts when I’m in tune with mature, godly thinking. What a great post. If we keep digging we can find a blogger that propels us individually toward healing. Thanks for listening to the Lord to write for the sexually and thus emotionally broken.

  7. Thank you for a very timely posting. i just finished reading a Christian marriage book that stated there are only 4 reasons why a husband would have a low sex drive. Age, gettig his needs met outside the marriage(either porn or an affair),low testosterone or the wife is too fat. We have covered all of these points in oir marriage and none is the case. Also, these all indicate that a low sex drive is a problem that needs to be fixed.
    Thank you for giving me “permission” to just let it go and say that is not for me in my situation.
    I really appreciate your blog as I have felt very alone in my situation as a higher drive wife and have felt like there is something wrong with myself or my husband. Maybe this is just how God made us.
    Thank you.

  8. You really hit home with this post Annabel! Many times I been so discouraged by what I read in a marriage book even Christian ones. Sometimes I could reverse the advice by the sexes and that helped. I’m curious to what extent changes in environment, lifestyles, society, chemicals and hormones we are introduced to have affected us as males & females. It seems to me less and less couples fit into those ‘stereotypical’ roles. Just thinking…

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