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Sex Q + A (Part 3)

Sex Q + A (Part 3)

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We did a lot of talking last week about sex and covered topics how:

Now it’s your turn to ask the questions again!

Today is part three of the questions that were asked anonymously by our readers. If you missed Sex Q+A (part one) click here! Sex Q+A (part two) click here!

Sex Question #5: Is it normal for your husband to desire sex more than you? My husband and I have been married for almost 6 years and during our marriage it has become clear that I have a stronger sex drive than he does. This difference has caused fights, stress, tears, and frustration. Society seems to tell us that it is the man who has the higher sex drive and not the woman. It has been a struggle for us through all the years of our marriage, but now we are starting to try for a family and I am very fearful that that our differences in sex drive will become even more overwhelming as we add the pressure of trying to have a baby. How can I keep this next step in our sex life correctly focused, fun, and enjoyable when it already seems overwhelming and stressful?

You are not alone! There are many women (myself included) who know very well the struggles and heartbreak that come along with having such a drastically different sex drive than your husband. We know the emotional roller coaster that the devil seems to be steering as you face insecurity, doubt, temptation, anger, guilt, and more. This can very quickly become more of an emotional issue than a physical one. Where there is no easy answer, I hope to give you some insight I have gained over the years to ease some of your concern.

First of all, do not compare your sex life to what you have been led to believe about everyone else’s. Mel stated it perfectly when she said, “The truth is, the idea that there is a “normal” when it comes to something as personal as this is a lie. Just as each relationship is unique to the two people involved, so is each couple’s sex life”. You will be faced with nothing but disappointment if you are basing your expectations on assumptions that are influenced by a sinful world which has “dirt-ified” this sacred gift and blessing from God. It doesn’t matter if men tend to have a stronger sex drive in general. What matters is how you, your husband, and God can work towards obtaining this blessing as it was intended.

1 Corinthians 10:13

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

Here are a few “practical” thoughts to keep in mind as you struggle to overcome this issue:

Communicate your needs

It’s pretty obvious to say that it is important that your husband knows how you feel. As it turns out, some men struggle with their own insecurity! Not wanting sex as often or being reminded that you aren’t meeting your spouse’s need for intimacy may feel a bit emasculating. Be sensitive to that!

Those talks can be tear-filled, tense, and overall tough. Something that went a long way for removing stress for me was establishing a specific time each week where we would discuss and evaluate our sex life. It meant that the pressure of talking about it was much lower than it had been with the build up of frustration which led to a tense and emotional “we need to talk about this” talks. We had our talks on Sunday mornings as we drove home from church. Our hearts were just refreshed by worship, and we knew “the talk” was coming so the conversation was always calmer. Sometimes we set goals. Sometimes we commiserated on how busy we had been that week. It also reminded my husband of my need. During that time we had pretty good Saturday nights because he knew Sunday morning was coming. It didn’t fix everything, but it helped drastically with the emotional wear.

Respect your husband’s privacy and protect his reputation.

Over the years that I struggled with this issue I found myself “confiding” in far more people than was necessary. People liked to talk about it once it was out there. It’s an exciting topic. I went too far. The more people I told, the more people would ask questions or want updates or would need to be informed of any new developments. I found myself talking about it more than I needed to, which led to me thinking about my frustration more often, which only added to my frustration. It will be very valuable for you to have someone to confide in, but always remember not to slander your husband. A helpful way to keep yourself in check is to always list a few of his strengths before getting into expressing your frustrations.

Where you certainly shouldn’t fill everyone in on this detailed aspect of your life, it can be very beneficial to have a trusted, carefully chosen, Christian confidant who will be an encouragement, but also hold you accountable as well. You could also talk to a pastor or a Christian therapist.

Avoid secular advice.

When going through this in my marriage I got pretty desperate. At one point I googled “what to do when your husband doesn’t want to have sex with you”. I even went to a certified “Sex Therapist”.What the devil has done to warp the blessing of sex in today’s world is bad. What he has done to warp the solution to problems in marriage isn’t any better. God wants to be actively involved in your sex life, and has proved over and over again that He can bring us through anything.

Look for guidance from spiritually sound places. Read Song of Songs with your husband. While you are snickering together trying to imagine hair that looks like a “flock of goats”, you’ll be spending low-pressure time together learning about God’s intention for intimacy.

Song of Songs 4:1

How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes behind your veil are doves. Your hair is like a flock of goats descending from the hills of Gilead.

 

Pray specifically

Pray! Pray hard, pray long. Don’t give up praying. I’m sure I don’t even have to tell you, but I couldn’t leave it off the list.

Don’t just pray for “a better sex life” or for “him to want sex more”, but for understanding and intimacy in every aspect of your relationship. How often do imperfections in other areas of our relationship affect our marriage? Talk to God candidly about your needs. He knows them, but He still wants you to talk to Him about them. Speaking to your Creator about those needs will help you to see more clearly how to align your sex life with the one he has intended for you.

Let go of selfish limitations

I’m practically hypocritical in writing this point, because here is where I got stuck. I had tried a thousand things and shed a thousand tears in an effort to enhance my sex life with my husband. However, I didn’t try everything. I drew lines and refused to cross them until he changed his behavior. In my case, I did just about everything a woman could try to prompt her husband into desiring her, but I refused to initiate sex myself. I wanted to feel desired. I wanted him to want to do it. The moment I let go of this selfish limitation was the day everything changed. The tension in this area of our marriage melted away far more quickly than I ever imagined it could.

Set reasonable expectations

God has wonderful plans for your marriage and sex life, but, much like His plans for the rest of our lives, they don’t always align perfectly with our picture of things. Stop watching romantic comedies and Disney movies for a while. Take an indefinite break from romance novels. Don’t set your husband up for failure by surrounding yourself with fictional men who make your husband compete for your affections.

Sometimes it is a medical issue. Start lovingly encouraging your husband to exercise, and prepare him (and yourself!) healthier meals. You may find that if he starts to feel better about his own body, he may be more inclined to use it the way you and God want him to in your marriage!

1 Corinthians 7:3-5

The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband.The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

This is an all around sensitive issue. When approaching it, incorporate each of the fruits of the spirit. We are all sinful and, flawed children of God. Your husband is a blessing to you, so even when you struggle in areas of your relationship, make every effort to be a blessing to him too.

Galatians 5:22-23

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

If you are a woman who is reading this who has the opposite problem and grows frustrated with your husbands higher sex drive, please keep in mind that his need is a God-given one, and read this again to better understand your spouse’s needs. Though his needs are the opposite of yours, they are still genuine.

** Two book recommendations I received from a wonderful Christian counselor are “Red Hot Monogamy” by Bill & Pam Farrel and “Intended for Pleasure” by Ed & Gaye Wheat.

    

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Sex Question #6: I am a married, 30-something, Christian mother of two who struggles with the sin of masturbation. I have never, EVER heard another Christian woman discuss this, which makes me feel shameful, dirty, freakish, awful, etc. I know it's sinful, I feel terribly guilty after the fact, I pray for help, and have tried to "give it up" several times with only short-term success. My husband does not know I struggle with this, my friends do not know, my Pastor does not know, and I feel hopelessly alone in my problem. I think there MUST be another woman or two struggling with this out there, and would like for them to not feel as isolated as I do. But how does one simply bring it up in conversation...? 

Thank you so much for your honesty.

You too, are not alone. This is such a very difficult topic. Truthfully, I don’t know that I feel totally capable of responding to this myself, but I can certainly not ignore such a real issue. Even if other readers see that it was asked could be an encouragement. It is a comfort to know when we are not alone in our struggle.

You have described a cycle that you have tried to break and have not been able to. In most addictive cycles of behavior there is usually an underlying wound from a relationship or the past that is ultimately at the bottom of the addiction. Digging deep and being honest with yourself about any potential wounds can be painful to remember but healing in the process. How have you been hurt by others? Has the conflict been resolved? Do you need to hear someone say they are sorry? Ask them. Do you need to forgive someone? Pray for strength to do so in view of God's grace for us and tell them that they are forgiven. If the wound is unable to be reconciled with the person who hurt you I would highly recommend seeking help from a Christian counselor to help guide you from pain to restoration.

Again I would like to point you to Corinthians:

1 Corinthians 10:13

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

God is faithful. Christ died that we may have forgiveness, including forgiveness for those secret and recurring struggles that we find ourselves bringing to Him again and again. Be reminded of that forgiveness.

A wonderful Christian counselor advised me to read “Intended for Pleasure” by Ed & Gaye Wheat (which I mentioned earlier). The topic of masturbation is covered in this book (but I can’t tell you exactly what it says about it because I haven’t gotten that far...sorry).

I would encourage you to find a confidante. Who can you trust? Confide in someone who has a strong faith who will be encouraging to you, but also hold you accountable. When I confided my struggle with this to someone they immediately confessed they were struggling with the exact same thing. It is far more common of a struggle than one would realize considering how rarely it is discussed. Do not discount the power of prayer.

James 5:16

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

God has created such a sacred and amazing thing in his gift of sex in marriage. I would encourage you to put even more effort into building your sexual relationship with your husband as God intended it. Send flirtatious texts or e-mails to let the idea of sex with your husband build the anticipation throughout the day. Rather than feeling guilty for sexual thoughts that have taken a turn toward temptation, incorporate them in a positive way to your sexual relationship with your husband.

I’m sorry that I don’t have a clearer answer  for you. You are not alone. There are countless men and women who share in your struggle. More importantly, God is always with you and not only knows every detail of your life, but cares for you deeply.

1 Peter 5:7

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

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Read more from our Sex+God series below:

Sex Q+A (Part One) - - Sex just hasn't been the same for me since having a baby. Any tips? - My husband has struggled with an addiction to pornography for most of his teen and adult years. How can I get past that?  Sex Q&A (Part Two) - How did your religious education affect your view of sex? - What did your mom tell you or what do you wish she would have told you about your wedding night?

 

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