For many women, the “men always want more sex” stereotype has been fed to them for so many years that they assume their husband will always be initiating and constantly in the mood. When he isn’t, they sit silently and make a list of all the things that must be wrong with them. STOP!
Practically every couple has difficulties to overcome in their sexual relationship. Each husband and wife have a unique set of strengths, weaknesses, and areas of incompatibility. If this is something you’re struggling with, please don’t add to it by assuming there must be something wrong with you.
Despite what you might have picked up in Christian circles, there is nothing in the Bible that says a husband should or does have a higher sex drive than his wife. In fact, the Bible assumes that both the husband and wife have sexual needs (1 Corinthians 7).
Despite what you might have picked up in Christian circles, there is nothing in the Bible that says a husband should or does have a higher sex drive than his wife.
Start With a Conversation
Have you and your husband talked about this issue? Many couples only address sexual differences when they are fighting. Instead of talking, they settle into patterns that lead to rejection and frustration. You initiate or hint toward intimacy and he turns you down. You get angry and lash out or avoid him This kind of pattern becomes ingrained until even the mention of sex becomes a powder keg. Both husband and wife feel misunderstood and marginalized. You will never solve the problem until you learn to talk about it with the goal of understanding each other and getting on the same team.
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What if My Husband Never Wants Sex?
If you tend to be the one to initiate sex, but your husband is eager and responsive, I wouldn’t worry about it. While men typically think about sex more often than their wives, this is not always the case. There are some men who are more comfortable expressing love verbally or by enjoying activities with their wives. Other men avoid initiating sexually because they are afraid of rejection, but are eager to engage when their wife initiates.
While men and woman have various sexual appetites, it’s not normal for a man never to want sex with his wife. If your husband is simply not interested in sex, it’s important for both of you to address what is getting in the way of his desire for and enjoyment of sex. Sometimes the problem is a physical roadblock, like thyroid disease, low testosterone levels, medications that interfere with sex drive or performance, obesity, or exhaustion. Stress, grief, and depression can also lower sex drive
One question I’d encourage you to ask yourself: Do you think your husband feels dominated or overpowered by you? In some marriages in which a husband isn’t sexually aggressive, he is also passive in other areas of the relationship. When a wife is bossy or critical, sometimes this impacts a man’s confidence and results in sexual passivity. Use your power as a wife to build up your husband in every area, including sexually
Your husband could also be dealing with an emotional trauma like childhood sexual abuse. As difficult as it is for a woman to talk about molestation, it is infinitely more uncomfortable for men.
Sadly, some men have other sexual outlets that keep them from desiring sex with their wives. An extramarital affair, habitual masturbation, a sexual fetish he is too ashamed to admit, or pornography use could all come between you two.
As you might imagine, it is very difficult for a husband to admit to his wife that he is engaged with porn or some other form of immorality. Instead, he makes excuses and often continues secretly with porn, masturbation or other sexual outlet that will keep up with the demand.
The encouraging news is that we can rewire our brains to learn a healthy sexual response. As porn impacts more and more marriages, God is raising up men and women to minister in this area of redeeming male and female sexuality.
What About My Needs?
The truth is that while marriage is intended to fulfill our sexual needs and desires, millions of married men and women are sexually unsatisfied. Many who bail on marriage do so because of their sexual disappointment and frustration.
I encourage couples to do everything they can to meet each other’s sexual needs. If sexual intercourse isn’t possible, find other ways to enjoy sexual intimacy together.
Don’t allow this issue to be swept under the carpet. Even the Bible says that sex is an important part of marriage that should not be neglected. If your needs are vastly different than your husband’s needs, work together to find the right balance or compromise for mutual sexual fulfillment.
You may have a spouse who is unwilling or unable to sexually satisfy you. While sex is an important part of marriage, remember that is it not the most important part. Marriages ultimately don’t die because people stop having sex; they die when people stop keeping their promises.
God cares deeply about the covenant you and your husband make with each other. He also understands the limitations and longing of these bodies of ours. Because sex seems like such an earthy part of life, we often don’t bring our sexual concerns and frustrations to God. I encourage you to pour out your heart to the Lord. Ask God to bless your sex life but also ask him to use the difficulties and frustrations to help you become more like him.
Excerpted from 25 Questions You’re Afraid to ask About Love, Sex, and Intimacy by Dr. Juli Slattery. Copyright © by Juli Slattery. Used with the permission of Moody Publishers.