Issues with “Expected Sex” and high drive / low drive
Ok, one of the most common problems for us in TMB is what I term “expected sex”. There are times that *I* (i’m high drive) think it clearly and obviously a time for sex, and my wife (she’s low drive) never thinks that.
Several Examples … I thought for sure that our first anniversary would be celebrated with sex … she did not. I learned my lesson there … sort of … I still WISH that our anniversary was celebrated with sex, but it is HER day too, so we celebrate without sex, which makes her happy.
Once disaster was when we had my parents come stay with us for week for kids school performances, and my parents suggested we take a night and escape and go out to dinner, get an hotel, and sleep in and have big breakfast. I assumed that sex would be part of that. She told me that expecting sex just because I bought her dinner and got an hotel made her feel like a whore. it was a horrible night.
Anyway, 27 years later, I still can’t stop thinking that sometimes sex is to be “expected” and that never ever works out.
Most recent case … my birthday was a about two weeks ago. A few days before that, she said something like “would you like a sexy present” and I said “Absolutely!!”. So we planned, since all the kids are home and the house is full and noisy and THAT NEVER WORKS FOR HER, to go for a drive on the evening of my birthday. So, we had dinner (I cooked it) and then did presents … and after presents she started working on a quilting project. So I figured … evidently not. Maybe a half hour later, she comes to me and says “Did you still want to go for a drive?” and I said “ABSOLUTELY!!” Well i guess I was tooo excited, because she just started crying, and so I held her for hour and she went to bed.
Anyway … Whenever I “expect” sex … like when I come from a business trip, or my birthday, or a lazy Saturday morning when we don’t have some activity for the kids or church coming up early in the morning, or our anniversary, or whatever … whenever it seems like sex is obviously expected … that never works out well, and usually ends in her in tears since I treat her like a whore by expecting sex.
Any one else have similar problem, and what do you do?
Every couple with a high-drive/low-drive mismatch is different, but a common element to solving this problem is making sure there is an understanding on the part of both spouses that sex is a foundational part of marriage. Sex binds the spouses together physically and brings their children into existence. There is not a physical act that is more intimate than sex, and the nature of marriage is such that this physical bond is meant to be provided only from withing the marriage. Hence, each spouse has the obligation to understand the sexual needs of their mate and do their best to fulfill them. Ideally, the man and woman should have this understanding as they are preparing for marriage. There will of course be different preferences regarding frequency, positions, and activities, hence the need for frequent conversations to work out acceptable compromises.
This process is of course not easy and can take awhile to sort through. In the case of my marriage, I have a higher sex drive than my DW, and our solution includes one day a week when sex is expected (usually a weekend morning), and during the week if I am ‘in the mood’, my wife and I will cuddle and she will provide me with an HJ in bed, the shower, the bath tub, etc. On my part, I am working on including more non-sexual touch for my wife (hand holding while we take walks, cuddling on the couch, etc.) Also, we continue having frequent discussions about how we can improve our marriage bed.
One thing that concerns me in your question is you mention that when sex is expected ‘…that never works out well and usually ends in her in tears since I treat her like a whore by expecting sex.’ It goes without saying that a wife should not feel like a whore because her husband desires to have sex with her. It is to be expected that a husband desires to have sex with his wife. If this is really your DW’s attitude toward your sexual desire for her, then the underlying reasons for this need to be addressed.
Sorry to hear of your situation – for 27 years! I heard someone say, no one ever died of a lack of sex. But many marriages have.
It seems that you and your DW need to have a serious talk about what God intended for marriage and for sex. Also, I would say you need to help her inform you of why she isn’t sexually generous to her life partner.
She might argue that she is having sex more often than she wants (not sure what your frequency is). So, have a discussion with her about how much sex you should have it to reach her desired level of frequency. Then ask her if that is truly reasonable and if so why?
Then ask her what it would take for her to be willing to have sex at your desired frequency. And have her explain why her desired frequency needs to be the standard by which you live – even after 27 years?
You definitely need to start digging deeper. Your wife feeling like a whore for you expecting sex is a sign of deeper problems and wrong thinking. It might be the word expect feels like pressure. Have you had the conversation with your wife explaining the emotional aspect of sex for you? Have you explained how it makes you feel loved, wanted, and close to her?
If she can open up to seeing this through your eyes, you can explain why all these times seem to be perfect times to be together, because you feel close to her or you want to feel close to her. I would also ask if sex makes her feel close to you. When their are deeper issues, or a poor sexual experience happening from her perspective it can seem like exactly the wrong thing to do at that time.
Back in my gate keeping days, due to many things, including misbeliefs about sex, sex with my husband made me feel farther away from him and left me with horrible feelings inside. One anniversary we went away for 8 days. The first half we went somewhere I picked and did all the things I wanted to do. I remember feeling so much dread about my husbands upcoming 4 days, because I believed all he would want to do is have sex for 4 days and that sounded like misery. It also sounded like a ripping apart of the closeness I was feeling with him, going and doing fun things during my 4 days.
Yes, you can throw verses at her and tell her she must….but that isn’t get you what you really want, a wife who enjoys sex as much as you do and feels closer to you from sex. The wrong beliefs, lies and potential traumas must be healed first.
This sound like our marriage for the past 14+ years ago f our almost 27 years. One aspect that is different is that my wife did not have the feeling of being a whore.
I will agree Olorin and One-woman-man is that there needs to be a discussion about the role of sex in a marriage. A review of what the Bible says and how your bodies are now the other person’s body. In my case we started the discussion and my wife cannot get past the simple concept presented in 1 Corinthians 7:1-7. Maybe this is where your wife has a hang up like my wife. This comes from the previous 18 years of teaching of not letting anyone touch you and purity. On top of that is the sex will happen naturally – you do not have to work at it attitude. It is hard to switch that teaching off the minute a couple days “I Do!” And unfortunately there is not a support of teaching coming from the pulpit to to teach married couples the truth that sex takes some work on both parties, sex is a major reason to get married (why else save sexual relations until marriage other than it is God’s gift to the couple), and the big one of there is no strong teaching from the pulpit of 1 Corinthians 7.
Why is this teaching not coming from the pulpits Sunday morning or in the more intimate setting of Sunday evening services? Well we do not have the evening services. Second, the pastors or elders do not want to offend those at church for various reasons, Third there is so much misunderstanding or bad teaching going on that the man up in the pulpit is confused or uncomfortable because he does not know the truth himself.
You ask if others experience the same issues and why we do? Well some of us do get the same cold response from the days that sex will most likely happen but don’t . Some of us live in sexless marriages, not of our own choosing. We look for good things in the marriage, take the sexy when we do get it (every 4-5 months), and most of all keep praying for more strength in fighting the evil temptations. These temptations are not limited to porn or adulterous affairs, but there is anger, depression, resentment, jealousy, and withdrawal from society. Work on yourself not focusing on the here and now but your future. Keep praying for your marriage and specifically your wife. Pray for growth and for a change of heart. Become the best man you can with God’s help. And flood your wife with love. That is all you can do. She has to make a decision is she going to respond to you or not.
Essentially Xenon the problem is that your wife has a wrong view of marriage and sex, and to some degree you may as well. She doesn’t see it as a responsibility of being a wife. When I hear the comment “I bought her dinner and got an hotel made her feel like a whore.” it makes me think “Do you feel like being a wife?” Perhaps this is a bit brash, but this type of attitude really burns me and it comes from a total lack of proper understanding of what marriage is and isn’t. 1 Cor 7:1-7 is THE teaching that husbands and wives need to align themselves to.
The hard thing here is that you are 27 years into doing it wrong and it has become cemented. That is going to be a challenge to move in the right direction. It is going to take different behavior from you to foster a more Godly attitude and behavior from her. I pray that God reveals strength and direction for you and her.
Many good thoughts shared here, worthy of consideration.
The one word that jumped off the page at me was “expectation.” That is indeed a hand grenade of a word. I understand the less egregious meanings – like; one expects the car to crank, one expects the coffee to be hot, one expects sex within marriage. But it can get foggy and problematic quickly if not careful. Probably the best definition for the word as it pertains to marriage and sex is: Expectations are just planned disappointments. I for one have found this to be true. If I am not vigilant, this will bite me in the rear every time. So just be careful. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Instead seek win/win opportunities.
I want sex more than my wife does. We don’t have the same issue with her feeling like a whore because I do something nice for her. But she has turned down massages, because she thinks I have an ulterior motive. But I told her I want sex all the time, so she shouldn’t see that as an ulterior motive. Massages often turn into sex when they do happen, which isn’t that frequent.
When we first got married, I got sexual release just about every night unless one of us were sick or we were visiting her relatives or something like that. She refused to have sex in her parent’s house once, but gave me a hand job. THe first couple of years, it was intercourse every other night, and release for me the next night, which hand jobs through her period. She was diligent about giving me constant sexual release untli really late in the first pregnancy, when she had a bit of bleeding and we laid off at the doctor’s orders. After a way-too-long past partum wait to restart sex, sexual release has been however many nights per week, if that, and not every night. I don’t have as strong of a need for frequency now that I am in my late 40’s. It takes a day or two without before I start feeling especially needy.
I do try to prime the pump a bit with my wife and tell her I look forward to having sex with her later that night, or something like that. I usually use a less direct way of saying sex, though. She is usually unresponsive, not wanting to commit unless she tells me later she is too tired. It does seem to work to give her a heads up in a flirty way like that.
Last night, she plopped down tired on the bed. I layd down on top of her, spreading her legs a bit, and started kissing her all over her face. That turned into sex. She knew it had been a while since we had had intercourse, and I think she had forgotten about getting me off the night before, too, so I didn’t remind her of that before the deed in case she thought I’d had enough.
Rarely does my wife initiate. She has occasionally, like after she fasted for three and a period on top of that where we have not had sex in a long time, she came out of the shower naked doing a sexy dance for me, and eventually came over and went to work on me, getting on top fairly quickly. I’d like to see that excitement more, but I think she has to have some pent up desire for that to happen, and if I am emptying the desire before it reaches that point, it just doesn’t spill over like that a lot. And I’m not willing to give up the frequency to make her excited.
She also gets ‘drained’ sexually most times we have sex with multiple orgasms, squirting, etc. I’ve tried to talk her into finishing unsatisfied so she will be horny the next day, but that doesn’t appeal to her. She will have orgasm after orgasm until she has a good one that satisfies, and she also likes to have one to expell semen to reduce odors down there, and since we aren’t trying for a baby, after I have mine. I was thinking, though, if I could edge her a dozen times after she has several orgasms, and get her to calm down, would she be grump? Would she be horny the next day and want sex? If she’d go for it, that would be fun. But I don’t want to leave my wife hanging unless she wants to.