It’s beneficial for wives to know that this is a pretty common issue. They are not alone. In my research, my understanding is that for 40% of couples, the wife has the higher sex drive. Of course, this dynamic changes even in an individual marriage over time. Men tend to reach their sexual peak in their early twenties. Women tend to reach their sexual peak in their later thirties or forties. And everyone has his/her own unique issues going on, as well. So most couples will rarely have identical sexual appetites. And, in my experience, if a wife tends to have a stronger personality and a husband tends to have a more passive personality, this issue may crop up even more often. So this topic is something we all can seek to learn to handle with grace.
Today, I am primarily talking to wives whose husbands are physically fairly healthy and who do not have medical issues causing low testosterone, ED, or low sex drive. I am also not talking about situations involving active infidelity or severe alcohol, drug, or porn addictions. I’m also assuming that your husband is home fairly often and not out of town for extended periods of time. Obviously, he can’t initiate sex if he isn’t there.
If you are feeling frustrated and hurt, I do understand that this is very painful. It hurts deeply to feel rejected sexually by your own spouse – whether he knows how much you are hurting or not, and whether he intends for you to hurt or not. There are so many emotions attached to this issue. It can be an extremely sensitive subject – for both spouses. If things are extremely painful, it may be helpful to meet with a godly, biblical counselor or trusted godly wife mentor.
Today I am talking about situations where the husband is willing to have sex, but maybe the wife usually tends to initiate intimacy most and the wife tends to desire sex more often than her husband seems to.
Just a head’s-up: What I am going to share is going to feel very counter-intuitive. It is going to seem like the opposite of what your feelings are clamoring for you to do. But I think this approach is going to be very much worth a try. <3
Things that won’t work:
- Verbal pressure (Prov. 21:9):
- Directives or demands.
- You have to…
- You should…
- You better…
- If you were a real man you would…
- You must be gay if you don’t want sex with me.
- Something has to be wrong with you.
- If you don’t do this, I’ll…
- Interrogation (questions with an angry, irritated, resentful tone):
- You don’t love me anymore, do you?
- How could you possibly not be attracted to me now?
- Throwing things.
- Hitting him, trying to physically hurt him.
- Directives or demands.
- Flirt with other men to try to make him jealous.
- Complain to him or to others. (Phil. 2:14-16)
- Argue with him. (Phil. 2:14-16)
- Be needy and clingy. (1 Cor. 13:4-6)
- Express lots of negative emotions/crying.(Prov. 25:28)
- Give him icy silence, the “cold shoulder,” bitterness, and resentment. (Heb. 12:15)
Love does no harm to a neighbor. Rom. 13:10
Things that tend to help:
- Refrain from talking about sex at all temporarily (at least for a month or two, possibly longer, as God leads).
- Pray and invite God to bring healing into your sexual union with your husband for His glory.
- Rest in God’s love for you, be content in Christ, focus on growing in your faith and finding your security in Christ.
- Give your husband some time and space to feel his desire for you. If you initiate every day or every other day, he may feel like he doesn’t get the opportunity to initiate, himself.
- Take your thoughts captive for Christ, don’t allow the enemy to direct your thoughts.
- Face this trial with joy, allowing God to use it to help you grow spiritually.
- Get rid of any negative approach, words, resentment, bitterness, or unforgiveness.
- Focus on the good things (Phil. 4:8) about your husband/ marriage and on being thankful for the things he does.
- Be friendly, positive, soft, warm, inviting, and welcoming.
- Respond in the power of the fruit of the Holy Spirit with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Gal. 5:22-23)
- Enjoy cuddling with your husband if he is open to that.
- Be loyal, trustworthy, and completely dependable – only doing good to him, never harm. (Prov. 31:10-31)
- Extend patience, understanding, and compassion to him when he is exhausted, sick, injured, grieving over a loss in his life, or overworked.
- Respond with dignity, poise, self-respect, respect for your husband, and self-control when things don’t work out the way you had hoped. (Gal. 5:22-23)
- Be available but waiting for him to initiate (this may take a few weeks, even a month or more, depending on the situation.)
- Don’t measure his love for you or your security in the marriage by how many times per week you have sex or how many times per month he initiates. It is not an accurate measure, necessarily, and it probably makes you feel like you need to pressure him too much.
- Enjoy whatever time, attention, and affection he gives you.
- Respond positively when he flirts or is affectionate.
- Let him know how much you love his attention and desire for you when he does shower you with these things.
- Use the time you have for yourself to focus on spiritual oneness with the Lord and on growing in your faith.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Cor. 13:4-7
Yes, the Lord calls us as spouses to be voluntarily willing and cooperative when our spouse desires sex. (1 Cor. 7:3-5) Each spouse is responsible for himself/herself to seek to be generous and available to his/her spouse. We are not given a command that we can force ourselves or take what we want from our spouse. (I have 2 video on this. Video 1, Video 2)
Let’s Talk about Sex – This post has links to every post I have written on the subject of sex. There are many posts related to wives who desire sex more than their husbands, wives who don’t want sex as much as their husbands do, as well as numerous other issues.
Bitterness of Soul – I Want to Be His FIRST Priority! – by A Fellow Wife
If God has shown you things about how to approach your husband wisely and in productive ways regarding this issue and you would like to share anonymously in a future (rated G) post, please send me a message on my Contact page.
I actually have a post with links to every article I have written related to sex here if you need some additional resources about a wide variety of issues.