It’s the story line that you see repeated throughout almost every book, movie, and story—all men want sex all the time. From a '70s sitcom to a hot-off-the-press movie, men are seen chasing after their ladies, and the women are usually running away. This belief seems to sneak its way into every part of the media: “Men desire sex. Women put up with it.”
In Christian culture, this stereotype may be even more pervasive. There are books and articles talking to wives and encouraging them to love their husbands through sex, and women who are writing in saying, “I have no desire but my husband wants it every day! What do I do?”
So what do you do when you’re a woman but you’re the one desiring sex? What happens when your husband isn’t as interested as you? I see this question come through Authentic Intimacy’s email box on more than a weekly basis, and it always seems covered in shame and confusion. Women say things like “What is wrong with me? Why do I desire sex more than my husband?” and “How can I fix this? I know as a woman I’m not supposed to have such a strong sex drive, but I do.”
If I’m being completely honest, this is something I have wrestled with personally. In a culture that screams, “Men are the only ones wanting sex!” often women are left wondering if their desires are valid, and what to do with them. While each couple is certainly unique, here are some general tips for handling a difference in sex drive between you and your husband:
Drop the Stereotypes
Believe it or not, it isn’t a rule or biblical mandate that men have to be the ones with the stronger sex drive. It is okay to be the wife and also have the stronger sex drive in your marriage. In fact, that’s exactly what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7:3–4: “The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs. The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife.” Did you notice that he listed the wife’s needs first? Paul doesn’t say “Listen ladies, the men are going to want sex.” Instead he says that both spouses have needs and desires. If you need more proof, crack open and read about the passionate drive the bride had for her husband. She even took her groom outside in the vineyard for a sexual field trip. That sounds like a woman with a sex drive to me! Take a deep breath and realize God’s freedom is for both spouses to have desire within marriage.
Pray About It
We serve a God who cares deeply about our needs, our situation, and certainly our marriages. If this is an area that is causing you to struggle with your spouse, take it to our Lord! Ask him for wisdom about how to deal with this and how to talk with your husband about it. As I have started to pray about the sexual relationship between my husband and me, I am reminded this is another area of my life I can surrender to the Lord.
Tell Your Husband
Many women with a stronger sex drive than their husband have so much shame that they have never bring the issue up with their spouse. One of the best ways to keep your sexual union growing is communication. If you are feeling rejected or confused due to your husband’s lack of desire, talk to him about it. For many men, sexuality is linked to their masculinity and confidence. So prayerfully and carefully share your words. You can start with something like “I just want to talk to you a little bit about our sexual relationship. I really enjoy the intimate times we have together, but I feel as though I desire to have sex more often than we are. What do you think about that?” In conversations I have had with my husband about this area, it has helped us to be more honest and open about my sexual desire and not view it as negative. In fact, many husbands would say having a wife who initiates more often and who is pleased during sex would be a home run!
Cut Down on Rejection
I remember talking to one wife who had a stronger sexual desire than her husband. She said, “The ironic thing is during the first few years of marriage, he was the one who always wanted sex. I talked to him a few weeks ago and expressed how I often feel rejected by him sexually. He said, ‘Now you know how I felt for so many years. I guess I have learned to shut it off.’ I never realized it, but we have just been in a pattern of rejecting each other. Somehow, I am going to break it.” While this wife admitted she hasn’t always handled their sexual relationship in the best way, she is now walking forward in healing. Is there a way you can build intimacy within your marriage without feeling rejected? Consider ways you and your spouse can connect intimately without the pressure of it leading to sex.
For many wives with a strong sexual desire, this is a tough conversation. How might the Lord be using this to teach you more about him? How can you use this difference to build in an intimate friendship with your spouse, instead of allowing it to turn you into enemies?