3 Things Higher Sex Drive Spouses Wish their Spouse Knew

Brad Says…

Kate wrote the, “3 Things you need to know about struggling with low desire” which every higher drive spouse needs to read. I thought I would follow it up with my own perspective letting you into the brain of a higher sex drive spouse.

1. We Are Sherlock Most of the Time

“My dear Watson, do you see the way she is hanging her head, that means that she isn’t interested in you tonight.” That might not be something a higher drive spouse would ever say out loud, but they are absolutely thinking about it. 3 Things Higher Sex Drive Spouses Wish

Most of the time we are looking for every little clue of you are interested or not. In the times when we sense you are “neutral” towards sex we are looking for any sign that we could possibly introduce the idea without creating a conflict.

Sometimes our sleuthing is spot on, but often we will mistake your “wow it was a long day” for “I’m not interested so don’t even try it buster”.

We need to remember this often isn’t fair to our lower sex drive spouses, but we would like you to recognize that we are frequently trying to take your sexual temperature.

2. It’s About Togetherness as Much as Sex

The sex is great, but this isn’t the only reason we are higher drive. We recognize and desire the closeness and intimacy that comes with sex. Have you ever notice how your higher drive spouse wants to have sex right after a conflict? Or maybe even during? This is why.

We don’t want to brush the argument under the carpet, we want to join together, to be united in sexual intimacy as a part of healing.

This can be a great blessing to a relationship but we need to remember that our lower drive spouse often wants to feel connected before the desire for intimacy comes.

At the same time, we would like you to know that a lack of sexual intimacy can feel like there is an emotional distance between us. Sex isn’t the only way to grow that emotional togetherness, but it is a pretty good way sometimes.

3. We Want You To Want Us

We do appreciate your willingness to “show up” once in a while. However, we desire so much more. We will actually pass (sometimes) on the “show up” sex, if we could work with you to find a better time when you will be interested too.

I know that is really hard to understand, but it goes back to #2. If you just show up, it becomes more about sex. When we are together in interest it becomes more about intimacy.

Is this going to happen every time? No probably not, and we are okay with that. However, when it is possible letting us know that you are excited for the intimacy, (even if you aren’t that excited for the sex) is great!

Bonus: We Feel Bad About Pressuring You

We really hate “twisting your arm” in asking for sex. We feel like we are forcing you to do something you don’t want to do. We know that forcing you would be wrong, and we feel yucky because of it.

This is why we take your sexual temperature. This is why we want you to want us.

We feel horrible about being selfish when it comes to sex. The challenge is that we have an innate sexual desire. We get hungry, hungry for you! And because we want to live a Godly life You are the ONLY person who can fill our hunger! So we wrestle between the desire for you, and the desire not to force you.

The wrestling gets ugly sometimes, we get it wrong often.

We can do a lousy job expressing our desire to you, or we can neglect to show it to you at all. If you can understand our struggle we can do a better job together. It really isn’t about giving us all the sex we want, it is about finding togetherness!

What did I miss? Are there other things you need your lower sexual drive spouse to know? (be sure you are reading Kate’s post too)

Low drive spouses, do you have responses? Thoughts? 

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61 Responses to 3 Things Higher Sex Drive Spouses Wish their Spouse Knew

  1. I LOVE that you mentioned that the mutual interest makes sex about intimacy and connecting rather than just the actual physical act of sex. Spouses with the lower drive definitely have a hard time remembering that. But, the way you describe it here says it well. Higher desire doesn’t just mean sex. Sex is just a really great way to get that connection and intimacy.

    • Jessica,
      I totally agree. At the same time I believe that it is really important for us higher drive spouses to remember that it is a way of creating intimacy, not the only way.

      Often lower drive spouses, need to feel connected before their drive kicks in. We frequently miss that part and blame them for not being connected.

      There is things both sides need to learn!

  2. Spot on!!! You would think after 23 years of marriage that I could “read” my wife better in regards to this topic. However, it’s just as confusing now as it was when I was 23 years old. My heart is in a completely different spot, praise God for that! It’s easier to cope because of that but still difficult emotionally and physically. I can’t stand that I allow myself to put distance between us to hide my disappointment or hurt. I think an adverse affect of this is causing me to have a lower driver now.

    • Chris,
      Thanks for sharing… I think your statement, “I put distance between us to hide my disappointment or hurt” is another thing that low drive spouses need to know happens.

      Here is the challenge to the high drive spouse, rather then allowing a wall to develop TALK! The risk is greater, but the wall is silently hurting you and your marriage!

  3. Both of these posts were great. I am a woman, the wife, and the higher drive spouse. And it is getting better now, but it has been awful. Imagine reading all the blogs that constantly tell wives why their husbands want them so much, how to deal with it, why men are “that way”, and here you are, feeling like the only woman on earth who isn’t wanted by her husband. It was an incredibly painful experience that almost pushed me into depression.

    Point # 3 – oh how I wanted him to want me again, and I wanted him to understand what I was feeling! I absolutely hate “show up sex” which I call “pity sex.” I would get so offended. Pity sex is absolutely awful. Because as you said, it is about being loved, and together, NOT about just sex. And yes, if I sensed “pity sex” I’d say “no thanks.”

    I found point # 2 interesting, because my husband (even being lower drive) sometimes seemed to want sex after a conflict – when I least wanted it – and I thought that was bizarre. I thought that was just a manipulation technique he was using “act like I want it when I know she doesn’t” so that he wouldn’t be “forced” to “fulfill my desires”. Now I wonder if that was when he actually did desire closeness.

    I accused my husband so often of not loving me, of hating me, and that seemed to bother him – but I really thought that was the issue. I didn’t understand how a man could claim to love his wife so much, and yet not want sex. Especially when so many blogs say sex is all men want. (And there’s no porn problem, which is the “advice” people always want to give. That’s frustrating, too, because there can be issues other than that.)

    To the commenter above, Chris, I concur with a lot of what you say, although I’m the wife. I put a great deal of distance between us because of my hurt and my feelings of complete ugliness and worthlessness (though others find me attractive, I wanted my husband to. He says he is totally attracted to me, but his lack of interest screamed otherwise.) I started praying to lose my drive (I do not advise this) and I started sleeping on the couch. It was too painful to be close to him and be unwanted.

    Through the grace of God, things are slowly improving. I still struggle a LOT. My husband is realizing I do have feelings and they have been battered, and we are working together to rebuild things – so that’s all good. Very hard, but good. My husband wants me to feel beautiful and loved, and I struggle with that a lot.

    Kate and Brad, THANK YOU for using the words “low drive spouse” and “high drive spouse” and NOT “husband” and “wife” – because they are not always the typical roles. Many well meaning bloggers made me feel even worse about myself, even more unworthy – since my husband didn’t have a high drive. So thank you for that and for the great posts!

    • B.
      We wrote Higher Drive / Lower Drive specifically because it is not always gender specific. However, while I say that I wonder if #2 is more gender specific, where men will want to end conflicts with sexual togetherness, and women more likely to want to feel emotionally close before they have sexual togetherness. I’d love any other opinions….

      I’m glad you liked the posts B.

      • That is an interesting thought. Maybe you could do a survey to see if husbands or wives are more likely to want sex after a conflict. Or, maybe the difference isn’t gender as much as it is high desire versus low desire.

        I actually prefer the term “desire discrepancy,” or as another commenter said, “desire difference.” Even the terms low and high indicate some deviation from “average.” Maybe “lower” and “higher” would help couples understand the differences better.

        • Jessica,
          The problem I have with “average” is that seems to indicate that we are comparing based on a standard. That isn’t the case. The ONLY standard is your own marriage. Not the world, not your friends, not some blogger who seems to have sex daily 🙂

          The term desire difference works, but there will always be a high drive and low drive in every marriage. Even if the low’s drive is for daily sex, if their spouse is for 3 times a day there is still a difference. (crazy example but the extremes sometimes helps to show the point).

          Thanks for your comments!

      • My husband was the one who would basically abandon me sexually when we argued. Sometimes it would last for days or even weeks. It felt like punishment and it hurt. I wanted intimacy after an argument as reassurance that we were still ‘good’ and it would all be okay. It took several years of marriage, several fights about it, and several attempts on my part to address it. Eventually I made him understand that it made me feel insecure and it felt like manipulation on his part to pout and punish me. He made me understand that it made him feel like he was cheapening sex if he was intimate while we were at odds, and it felt like I was manipulating him by wanting intimacy to make him ‘forget’. This kmowledge sat between us for a few months of me not asking during times of being a odds, which stopped my hurt feelings and further arguments. I prayed for a proper time to push a little further, and finally expressed to him that from my point of view, intimacy during those times didn’t cheapen it, it acted as glue that reminds us that we share something beautiful that no one else is a part of. I also assured him that it didn’t make me feel used if he needed to just relieve stress during these times. Thanks to God, it was like a lightbulb and we no longer struggle with this issue.

        • Homesteading,
          This is so good! Thank you for sharing! Not only did you share an important difference, you talked about how you had to understand his point of view before you were both able to change.

          This is the part that is so often missed in conflicts. We don’t stop to understand the others point of view!

          Thanks for sharing this was really good!

      • After a conflict, I, the wife, definitely want the sexual togetherness. It is the same with my husband. He is the higher sex drive spouse, however, I would never consider myself as a low drive sex drive.

      • Not the same as conflict, but when I had a miscarriage this spring, I really really really wanted to be intimate with my husband to feel close to him. (In a way, to feel close to anything.) It was … very much not that way for him.

    • There is a book entitled: The Sex Starved Wife by Michele Weiner Davis.

      It might help. Also 1 Cor 7 speaks for the equal rights of the wife that the husband has no right to refuse you sex
      any more than the woman should refuse the husband sex.

      John Wilder

      • Throwing that scripture out there without context or explanation just creates guilt and condemnation on top of an already difficult and complicated situation for many couples. Grace is what releases people to feel free to express themselves in whatever situation, and any biblical teaching must always emphasise this.

        • What context? The Bible is all about equal rights for both men and women and gives clear rules about marriage and what is required of us. As a Christian you don’t get to pick and choose which Bible rules you are going to obey.

        • Agreed, S. There is a big difference between “refusing sex” and not saying yes every time one is asked. There can be many reasons for not having sex at any given time. Someone should not feel guilty for that. Sex should be for mutual enjoyment.

        • All through the Bible it states not to add to the Word or to take away from it. You can’t have private interpretations. I was sexually abused by a Catholic priest who explained to me that you don’t have
          to follow the Bible directly. I Cor 7 is very clear and requires no interpretation. Far too many women want to hold men accountable but don’t feel that they have to similarly be held accountable as well

          • John, I think what S was asking for was a little grace. I agree with your reading of 1 Cor. 7, but I have *never* quoted that passage to my lower drive wife as it would not speak love to her. The last think she needs right now is guilt about being, “broken” as Kate put it in her article. Speak the truth in love; season your words with salt. It’s not *just* about the truth; it’s about how we present the truth.

          • I agree and mean no hostility. I am all for grace during the occasional not feeling well. However I am speaking to the lower drive spouse routinely denying their partner sex.

            I am most proud of a review on my book where a marriage counselor actually credits my book with saving his marriage. He was the one with the higher drive and she routinely denied him. After reading my book he talked calmly to her and she agree to stop denying him. They are much better.

            This is the same advice that Michelle Weiner Davis and Dr Laura Schlesinger said, JUST DO IT and it will make your marriage
            better.

            Back in the mid seventies there was a woman name Marabelle Morgan with her national ministry and book entitled the Total Woman. Don Shula had the players wives take the class and he credits this class for them winning back to back Super Bowls and the first ever undefeated season all of which backs up I Cor 7. And guilt is a good thing. It is there for a reason to bring people closer to God

        • S.
          The context needed to understand 1 Corinthians 7, is found in Ephesians 5. (among other places). The Bible doesn’t only promote sex in marriage, it promotes intimacy.

          The intimacy that is built when a Husband listens to Ephesians 5:25 while reading 1 Cor 7. And When a wife listens to Ephesians 5:22 while reading 1 Cor 7.

          There must be a balance. Sex is designed as something to bring us together. To be a glue in marriage. To bind us against the “devil’s schemes”. It is important, just as emotional intimacy is important too!

        • 1 Corinthians 7:2-5 is about the only place where husbands and wives have equal rights. Just about the rest of the commands on marriage are about leadership of the husband and gender roles of the spouses.

          Having regular sex in marriage is so important to marriage that both spouses have the marital right to expect it and demand it.

      • Your right but the men or women should also have respect for the other one not to push them when they don’t feel up to it this is hard because I was the high driven one

      • John,
        I agree the book, “The Sex Starved Wife: What to do when he’s lost desire” can be helpful in those situations.

        I also recommend Michelle Weiner Davis’s book “The Sex Starved Marriage: Boosting your Marriage Libido” A Couple’s Guide” for a more even approach when both are working toward that goal.

        One of the things that both Kate and I recommend is that we look at ALL of the verses about being a wife and / or husband. The verses in 1 Corinthians 7 are very important, but need to be taken in context of the rest of the verses about how we are to treat our spouses.

        I’ve seen men attack their wives with 1 Cor 7, while totally ignoring Ephesians 5:25

    • Love this article so, so ,much!
      B, your comments made me cry because I am in almost the exact same situation and there is so very little support for higher drive wives. The feelings of hurt, not being loved and ugliness are sadly familiar to me. I did sink into a depression but am now crawling out thanks to a God who never gives up on me, a best friend who offers Godly wisdom, a husband willing to keep trying, and who really does love me. It is not easy, but with God’s help we press on!

      • H
        I appreciate your courage! Yes, keep pressing on! At the same time I encourage you to keep looking how God is encouraging you to grow as a wife.

        Go and check out some of Kate’s posts on how to love and respect husbands. Figure out how to go above and beyond in meeting your husband’s needs. See how that may impact your ability to ask for change in the area of sexual intimacy.

        Keep praying! Blessings to you!

    • Thank you so much for sharing your experience. now i dont feel so alone or silly for being affected by it. We’ve only been married for a few months and this is happening. He told me that he was struggling with it mentally and asked me to be patient which i am persevering to do..but it hurts. I tried to initiate and he rejected me which really knocked my confidence. I’m really glad you mentioned praying for your desire to go as i have been tempted to do this. I thought it would make things easier at least but i cant be ignorant of satans devices even in this. the pleasure is one thing but it really is the closeness that I miss and because we are so early on into our marriage i’m wondering if it will just remain like this . But i trust the Lord makes things beautiful in His own time and He would be pleased to display His glory even in that area of our marriage. Really grateful for this post and your comment

      • Nicky,
        I really encourage you and your new husband to keep talking about this! It is not unusual that our pasts can dramatically impact our sexual desire. I don’t know if this is happening for him, but it is possible.

        As you are still new, keep talking! Get some help because what feels like a disappointment now can grow into a crippling loss in time. Feel free to Contact Us with questions or ideas to get help.

    • B- I swear I could have written your entire comment personally. Straight down to the praying for God to take away my sex drive and sleeping elsewhere. I even went to see about getting a hysterectomy as have heard that will squash the desire pretty well. I am the wife. 16 years into our marriage. Things have improved, but no where near where it doesn’t still affect me on an almost daily basis.

    • I am a high drive spouse (female) and my husband is the low drive spouse. I agree with everything you said B. And it makes me feel completely ugly when my spouse is not reaching for me to make love. I have experienced so much rejection that I cannot even ask for it. And I don’t want to ask for it! I feel completely at the mercy of my low drive spouse.

    • You are not alone! I too am the wife and the high sex drive spouse. I could have written all of your comment myself. Not getting better here yet 🙁

    • I too am the wife, and the higher drive spouse. I also call it pity sex, lol! I too have felt unwanted and unworthy, etc! I think the post was great, as were your insightful comments!

      For the polling purposes, I do not want sex after a fight, ever!

    • B
      I am a “higher drive” wife too. I experienced to much shock and disappointment during the first few years of my marriage. I felt ugly, undesirable, and foolish. I felt a lot of shame for having a “high drive” as if the drive itself were somehow wrong. I, too prayed for my desire to leave because of the conflict it caused. Thank you for sharing your experience. I’m glad that God is bringing good of it. May he continue to grow you both in Him.

  4. Another thing a higher drive spouse wishes their partner would know, is that “We feel rejected” personally. Saying no to intimacy is like saying no to ME. While this may not be the lower drive spouse’s intention… it’s very hard not to feel a bit insecure about the relationship when intimacy is lacking. Reconciling “You are a great man, a great father, and a great husband.” with “I’m just not into having sex right now” is a challenge.

    On one hand… a husband does need to check himself to make sure he’s not desiring his wive for selfish reasons or out of neediness. But if his intentions are pure and he’s seeking the emotional and physical connection, to re-unite with his wife… then he should lead her to determine why her drive is low.

    • I agree David, it is important for the lower drive spouse to recognize that the higher drive spouse might be feeling rejected. At the same time, it is really important that the higher drive spouse recognizes that is not the intent. Saying no to sex, is not saying know to you.

      • Well, yes and no…while I agree that any given “no” is not a personal rejection of the higher drive spouse, a long term pattern of no with no real intention of doing anything about it is a bit of a personal rejection. It may be passive in the sense that it is not an overt, conscious and purposeful rejection, but sometimes a low drive spouse can adopt a a non-productive attitude toward the sexual relationship that screams “I don’t even want to try and understand what you are about”.

        I agree that high drive spouses need to try and take a “no” as gracefully as they can, I just hope that low drive spouses realize the hurt that can build up with a long term pattern of refusal.

        • Big Guy,
          I don’t totally disagree with you, long term sexual rejection can feel like a personal rejection. It is just important for us high drives to remember that long term emotional rejection also feels like rejection.

          The real truth here is that we can create the feeling of rejection in our spouse without intending to. It is really important for both spouses to combat that!

          • I think you’re using “emotional rejection” in the sense of a man not connecting to his wife emotionally. But, another thing here is when the high drive spouse is the wife. Ahem, me. I have never — literally, never — had my husband respond when I attempted to initiate sex. Or schedule sex in advance. He just says he can’t “force” himself to have sex, and if he’s not in the mood, it’s not going to happen. And the list of reasons why he’s not in the mood is really long.

            There could be an emotional reason why he has no sexual interest in me. But I almost never argue, I apologize quickly if I’m wrong, I never nag, I never ask him to do anything. I try to be supportive and find little ways to show him I love him (like buying his favorite snack or doing some little chore). I am trying. I am so far from perfect, but I am trying.

            Part of the intensity for the rejection I feel sexually / physically is also that he doesn’t seem to want to spend a lot of time with me, period, or talk to me very much. I’m not getting that connection anywhere. It all feels like a rejection of me, as a person.

      • I remember reading in “For Men Only: A Straightforward Guide to the Inner Lives of Women by Shaunti Feldhahn,” the chapter entitled, “When it Comes to Sex, Her ‘No’ Doesn’t Mean You.” The point of the chapter was that her lack of sexual desire is not a reflection on our attractiveness as husbands. While it was intended to reassure us, it always bothered me because I felt more helpless. After all, if her “no” isn’t about me, then there’s little I can do about it (although the chapter went on to explain what we husbands can do to improve things, which tells me that her “no” really *is* about me.) I feel wonderful about myself when my wife desires me, as if she is responding to something desirable within me, but now I wonder if that feeling is justified if her lack of desire has no connection to who I am. It seems to me we have to accept both sides of the equation. If I’m going to take some credit for my wife’s “yes,” then it follows that I should also be willing to accept some blame for her “no.” Otherwise, it all becomes nothing more than the the presence, or absence, of raging hormones.

    • “On one hand… a husband does need to check himself to make sure he’s not desiring his wive for selfish reasons or out of neediness”. My dear brother, I have to totally disagree. There are sexual encounters that are truly intimate and based on love and all of the “good stuff” that our heavenly father intends. However, there are also times that a physiological “need” is present as well. This in no way renders one outside of the love nor grace of God. There are physiological releases, (needs), that have to be met. Sometimes my wife wants to get aggressive, who am I to question whether her motives are pure. Let her drive and primal nature take over. And the same in the other direction. I will never encourage anyone to “question” their motives for wanting to have sex with their spouse.

  5. I am a recovering low-drive spouse, married for twenty years. I want to be careful here because I know each couple and each spouse is unique and different. I prefer to think of high or low libido as more of a syncing issue than a desire issue. We often think in a marriage that the perceived higher drive spouse, because she or he doesn’t have to work at becoming sexually aroused, isn’t ultimately responsible for any lack of sexual intimacy and/or frequency of sex in a marriage. After all, the higher drive spouse would have sex all the time if they could, right? While that is sort of true, it’s also sort of not. As the lower drive spouse, I rely on (and frequently remind) my higher drive spouse to slow down enough to warm me up, so we can begin to move in sync together, at the same speed and with mutual desire. We do this better now largely because I have learned how to have regular and very intense orgasms which, when frequent, keep me in a pretty constant state of physical arousal and desire towards my husband. But it wasn’t always that way. If I was not relaxed for any number of reasons (exhaustion, stress, kids, work, conflict, anxiety), I was not able to let go during sex enough to experience pleasure and deep intimacy. For my husband with the perceived higher drive, this was not the case. We were both often more than willing to take a short cut (pleasure for him, and getting it over with and snuggling for me). But for whatever reason, I have figured out, with the patience and adventuresomeness of a loving husband, that I actually really love sex and am not really a low drive spouse, but a slow drive spouse. So much so that I am now very committed to staying aroused pretty much daily so I don’t slow down to a screeching halt. I am motivated for sex and have a much higher sex drive, often higher even than my husband! But I still from time to time need to be warmed up. And I still from time to time really need to work hard at letting myself go. It’s not uncommon for us now to retire to bed early, not to watch television, but to make love for a good hour or longer before falling asleep. That coming from a supposedly low drive spouse who now can’t wait to be in bed with her high drive husband who sometimes has a hard time keeping up with me now!

    So for you lower drive spouses out there I say — it’s well worth the effort to get yourself to relax so you can get to that pleasure place — it will actually help you in your marriage and in your whole disposition in more ways than you can imagine. And for you higher drive spouses out there I say — slow down and let your lower drive spouse get in sync with you. Give your love all the time it needs to blossom into amazingness.

      • Mindfulness is huge. Closing my eyes and imagining deep pleasure. Reminding myself to trust my husband. Communicating when it is too fast, or too slow, or too whatever and not shutting down too quickly. It’s a little bit like meditation or contemplative prayer at first. And then just keeping it fun and letting sex be an adventure in mutual exploration and enjoyment. It’s transformed our lovemaking into less about something we do and more about something we revel in. And when I’m patient with my body, it responds.

    • slowdrive,
      Thank you for your comment. I really appreciate you sharing your journey.

      I wanted to make one point of caution here for all of the higher libido spouses reading this (especially men). I know many of us feel that if we give our wives awesome orgasams then they will automatically become more sexually interested. We will work really hard for that “brass ring”. But this is not what SlowDrive is saying here.

      The key wasn’t an awesome orgasm, the key was a husband who was willing to slow down enough to care about making sure his wife was in sync. It takes time, communicating, understanding and mutual affection.

      Thanks for your comment!

      • Yes, Brad, absolutely true! Excellent point and thank you for that caution. It’s actually funny you should say that because my husband for a long time had that perspective — if/when he could pleasure me then I would have more frequent desire for sex. But any focus on pleasure/orgasm for either of us as an end in itself is not what has increased my desire or our intimacy. Trust gives way to intimacy which is what increases desire. And for us cautious, “slow drive” spouses, trust is very hard. We don’t like the feeling of risk or exposure. So it was definitely a combination of my husband’s patience and my willingness to take some risk and communication, communication, communication that has been the key to our syncing. And it’s not just sexually but it’s really a mystical, spiritual and very profound intimacy that I believe all married couples can and are made by God to know and experience. Sex and pleasure are really, really important in the whole process, but they are not the only piece.

        My husband still sometimes feels like he’s in a dream and is going to wake up and I’m going to be uninterested in sex again. But it is a real and truly lasting transformation that God has done in both of us, and we are very thankful that we didn’t give up. So don’t any of you give up on God sexually in your marriages!! Surrender to him instead and he will do an amazing thing.

  6. I think I am not HD or LD, just DD. Different desire. I have responsive desire. That means different things to different women. For some women, that means they need physical arousal before they can experience psychological arousal. In my case, it’s different. My desire is responsive to his desire.

    The “nice guy” effect can leave a husband who is always tentatively checking his wife’s temperature, trying to please her, asking politely for sex, but is so afraid of feeling rejected that he won’t ACT like he’s interested. He’s afraid to do the very thing that he wants from her, but that’s what she might need in order to be able to give him what he wants. And maybe it’s even what she wants, too.

    Some people would argue that a wife should take equal responsibility for creating the sparks. I am not saying that a wife should never initiate or show interest. I am not saying that a wife shouldn’t participate enthusiastically. I AM saying that God didn’t design me to play the role of primary pursuer.

    BTW – Asking “do you wanna” is NOT pursuing. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable by SHOWING your desire, that is pursuing. Hungry eyes, not goo goo eyes. “I wanna do you,” not “pretty please would you do me if it’s not too much trouble.”

    I am not saying that this is applicable to all marriages. I think every situation is unique. Certainly this doesn’t fit the “wife as the HD” scenario, nor the “wife has baggage and refuses to allow herself to be responsive to the husband who DOES show desire” scenario. Just sharing one perspective.

  7. B and every other high drive wife who posted, thank you.
    I am in the same boat and I always thought I was alone.
    Thank you.

  8. The part where the higher drive spouse wants sex during conflict to heal or end the conflict bothers me. I feel like that is just a manipulation to end conflict, get what they want and not address the problem being discussed…sweep it under the rug until next time…I would be totally pissed off if my spouse tried that with me during an argument.

    • Robin,
      While this is really important for higher drive spouses to understand, it is equally important that you understand it is not intended as manipulation. Maybe if you understand that, your reaction will change.

      You could simply answer a higher drive’s advances with “I really want to feel connected to, can we keep talking about this a bit more so I can get there too.”

      Understanding can lead to a dramatically different outcome.

      Brad

      • I’ve tried that… There is often a change for a short time then its back to “normal” just learning to cope with my lot in life at this point.

  9. I also see comments about how the higher drive spouse feels rejected when the lower drive says no….think of how the lower drive spouse feels when they are only treated as “interesting” when they are desired physically….hard to ask a person who is neglected most of the time to get in the pleasure mood and act pleased about it. I understand this may not be the case for everybody, but I think it often is the big issue. For me personally it makes me feel like a whore because to be a not so terrible wife my best is “showing up” when I’m only interesting at sex time I feel dirty…and I want it less and less.

    • Hi Robin,

      You are absolutely right. If a wife has a husband who is needy, pouty, whiny, manipulative, and even passive-aggressive, she’s not going to feel good about giving him what he wants… and in fact she will RESIST intimacy with him.

      A husband who ignores his wife all day, who dismisses her, who attempts to control her, but then wants sex at night is not going to inspire his wife to bring her “A” game. To make matters worse, he confronts her about her lack of desire, he complains about the lack of sex, and he threatens to leave her if she doesn’t “step up”.

      What he doesn’t realize is that he is the reason why she’s shutting down. He doesn’t get it and likely never will unless a MAJOR reason to change hits him square in the face. This usually happens with his wife leaving him abruptly and/or cheating on him.

      Even then, some husbands don’t change, but some DO… I was one.

      The first 13 years of my marriage I was like the man I described above, and then my wife took steps to move away from me. I changed and learned QUICK how to actually be the husband I should have been from the start. As a result, our marriage is better today (now 20 years) than it was in our first year.

      • Unfortunately even the nicest guys on the planet neglect their wives perhaps without even realizing it….I can’t say my husband is passive agressive or even controlling but as his partner in life I feel very distant from him because I am only interesting when it fulfills his needs any other time I am just there. I have learned to hate touch because it only means he wants something from me. I do despise the guilt trip I’m made to feel though when I don’t “feel like it” makes me angry and resentful.

  10. I am a wife and I am the higher sex drive partner in my marriage. My husband tells me I make it hard for him to want to have sex more. His drive used to be the higher one in the relationship and throughout the years it has decreased dramatically. I have tried to communicate with him that it’s not just the sexual aspect of it that I want but I desire the closeness and intimacy we used to have. Although I am the higher sex drive in the relationship, I do like to take it slow so we are able to fully appreciate one another, and although I have tried to communicate this to my husband he still don’t do it. At first when it first started I began to have the feelings of not being desired, feeling ugly, and ashamed that my husband did not want me. Through out the years I still had those feelings but it turned into anger and telling my husband I don’t feel like he loves me and he hates me. I have had feelings of bitterness that had built up. Part of the reasons that bitterness had built up was not just because he would reject me regularly, but also because when we were sexually active it was very short and I was left feeling unsatisfied and without release as well as he never seemed/seems to want to cuddle afterwards. He just cleans up puts his clothes on and when I’m left wanting he apologizes but I feel as if it’s an empty apology. I have tried to take into perspective his point of view but it is so hard and a struggle of mine, I think because of the lack of intimacy although I have communicated with him what I need and I want when I am seeking sexual pleasure it’s also for the closeness as well. I also give him many different idea that he can try to help with that. He has tried a few of them but not very often if that much. My husband is not good at communicating and it’s something I have encouraged him to work on. I know it is hard and it takes time but it’s a struggle just to get him to try. I also feel as if he puts me at the bottom of the list like everything else and other people come first before he will give me any attention and it’s not always the type of attention that shows he wants to be close with me it feels as if I’m a possession of his and a toy to play with from time to time. His wa of giving me attention is playing with my boobs every so often or smacking my behind. I have tried to explain to him that type of attention doesn’t make me feel beautiful or wanted in the way they I want and need and in return he tells me I am over thinking things and look at it too deep. He has recently started working offshore and he is on his 4th hitch gone. The times he has been home his sex drive has still been really low and I have felt more and more undesired and not wanted. Being he is now gone half the time and the times when he is home I feel neglected emotionally, physically and mentally. I have found myself seeking emotional connections else where and when I have realized what I was doing and have tried refraining from doing any further. It scares me because the only person I really want and desire is my husband and I feel like a horrible wife for having those feelings. I have tried to communicate to my husband about those feelings and that it scared me and I didn’t want to stray away and make a mistake that would ruin our marriage and possibly rip our family apart. He didn’t take it as I was trying to reach out to him but that I was threatening to cheat on him. I’m so ashamed to even admit I have had those feelings at all and I feel I will be judged or looked at like I just want to cheat on my husband when truthfully that is so far from the truth. He recently has asked about trying some very strange things involving sex toys on me and I don’t know how I feel about that especially since it’s him and his closeness I desire and there are things that he could do that doesn’t involve something that was man made but things that involve what god gave him that I have asked for him to do and he only apologizes and doesn’t. I am lost on what to do or how to help. I know I should pray more and give it to god but sometimes I feel when I’m seeking him on what to do and have tried to read his word I don’t feel like I understand what he is trying to tell me. Please any advice or prayers on my matter would be highly and greatly appreciated. Me

  11. This article described me to a “T”. I have been married 23 years.Early in our relationship, our sex lives were much better. Over the last few years, I have grown tired of being pushed away. After the 4th time in a row of being pushed away in a 2 month period I have determined to not get hurt that way again. Now my fear is much greater than desire. I know that sexual connection is VERY important in our marriage. I feel distant and rejected by my wife. What do I do now? We have a VERY hard time discussing sex.

  12. This article, particularly the “Bonus” paragraph hit me like a ton of bricks. Long story short, newlyweds, I’m the higher-drive spouse and my wife is fine with about once a month. She’s said on multiple occasions that I’ll “calm down” as time goes on. I HATE feeling like I’m pressuring her. My wife deserves all the love and respect I can give her and I’m never entirely certain if she’s actually enjoying sex or just putting up with it.

  13. I know in my mind that my wife loves me. But since it is so hard to have sex with her due to constant rejection, my heart does not feel that she loves me.