We’re continuing our series, “Rekindling and Reclaiming Sex in Marriage,” with another lovely guest blogger, Bonny Logsdon Burns, who brings her incredible insight on sexual intimacy in marriage to this important topic today. I hope you’ll make her feel welcome by commenting and sharing this post to all your favorite spots around the web!
Mismatched sex drives in marriage is a term used when one spouse desires to engage in the bedroom more often than the other spouse. Over time, if a couple doesn’t address this discrepancy, tension and conflict can overtake your relationship.
Recently, I enjoyed a walking Food Tour of downtown Knoxville with 6 other people. I was reminded that the slowest walker controls the pace of the entire group.
When it comes to sex, the spouse with the lower need for sex determines how many stops the love bus makes. It’s important to understand this because it means, in a mismatched marriage, one spouse has more control over something that is really important to the other spouse.
If this is something that exists in your marriage, then here are some …
Things to consider in order to align your mismatched sex drives:
1. It’s OK for your spouse to be different from you.
To be able to understand the difference, it’s important for husband and wife to think outside of their own inner world. Just because you may find sexual experiences to be more important or less important than your spouse, still consider their position with respect and love. Then, go one step further and take their feelings seriously.
2. Talk about it!
Letting sexual discord sit and fester will only lead to gangrene! 😉 Here’s the kicker. You both have to set aside your preconceived notions and really hear what your spouse has to say. The higher drive spouse often feels rejected and the lower drive often feels pressure and anxiety.
Don’t you seek agreement in other areas of our marriage, like how much money to spend on a car, how to discipline your kids, and how your spare time is spent?
Seeking agreement in the sexual arena of your marriage often goes unaddressed because we don’t know how to converse about this delicate subject without high emotions. But, for a mismatched marriage, it is one of the most important areas to address. Here’s how to start the conversation.
3. Learn about your spouse.
If your spouse is the lower drive, read articles and listen to podcasts about lower drive spouses. If your spouse is the higher drive, read articles and listen to podcasts geared toward them. In doing this, you will find compassion.
4. The lower drive spouse builds sexual interest in a different way than the higher drive spouse.
For many years, we’ve been taught that husband and wife should respond sexually in the same 4 steps: arousal (feeling physical desire), plateau (building sexual tension through foreplay/intercourse), orgasm, and resolution. However, the scientific community is finding that this doesn’t necessarily reflect the experience of all wives.
Some women need to be emotionally connected on a deep level to build their “sexual interest.” (I would venture to say that the lower drive spouse, whether the husband or wife, probably needs their emotional tank filled by the higher drive spouse.) To learn more about the female sexual response click here.
5. Schedule some “alone time.”
We make appointments for our teeth, for our cars, and for our hair. Why not make an appointment with your sweetie for some sex?
I hear so many objections to the thought of scheduling sexual intimacy. But, like the old saying goes, “If you always do what you always do, you’ll always get what you always get.” Sometimes, you have to take a leap into something foreign to find the answer.
[bctt tweet=”If you always do what you always do, you’ll always get what you always get. #improveyoursexlife #taketheleap” username=””]
Honestly, this concept transformed the sorrow in our marriage to laughter very quickly. Why? The simple acts of touching, hugging, and kissing release feel-good chemicals into our brains and bodies.
Plus, remember #4 above? The lower drive spouse, typically the wife (not always!), becomes aroused AFTER beginning to engage in foreplay and other methods of arousal. As an added bonus, the moment of climax also floods the brain with great chemicals that help husband and wife bond.
[bctt tweet=”Simple acts of touching, hugging, kissing release feel-good chemicals in our brains and bodies. #sexisgoodforthesoul #marriagebond” username=””]
Yes, it may feel stilted at first, but that doesn’t last very long if you have an open heart. Here’s how to broach the topic of scheduling sexual intimacy: 5 Questions to Create a Sexual Encounter Schedule.
6. Create space for non-sexual touch.
In retrospect, during our years of mismatch, I craved non-sexual touch. For so long, every little brush was seen as an overture. I didn’t want any overtures, I just wanted a hug. He felt hurt at my avoidance.
So, we made an agreement that on certain days, when sex wasn’t on the table (because it was scheduled for the next day), all touch was non-sexual and would not lead to the bedroom. Knowing this took the pressure off of me because he didn’t push the envelope. Knowing that day would be non-sexual, led me to be more flirty. It helped lighten the atmosphere of our marriage.
Sexual intimacy, in proportion to the rest of your marriage, is a very small part. However, it is a small part that has a huge impact.
As the low drive half of a formerly mismatched and miserable marriage, I can tell you that tending to this part of our relationship was one of the best things I ever did. When I took my higher drive spouse’s needs seriously, the tides of our discord changed into smooth, fun, and connected sailing.
We still ran into storms of conflict and arguments, but they were much easier to navigate. (And for the record, he began to give more attention to my needs, too. But, that’s a whole other post!)
Sometimes, sexual problems are just the symptom of much deeper issues between you and your spouse. If this is the case, this little article might not address the true problems. Please, seek professional Christian counseling.
[bctt tweet=”Sexual intimacy is a small part with a huge impact on your marriage! #sexualintimacyinmarriage #bewise” username=””]
Bonny Logsdon Burns writes to encourage the low drive wife at OysterBed7 because she struggles with sexual intimacy. She is currently finishing her counseling degree through Liberty University. She and her husband, Dave, have been married over 30 years and are currently in the midst of relocating from south Florida to Knoxville, TN. They have three sons, two daughter-in-loves, and one grandblessing.
Once the arguments about sex were resolved in their marriage, they found they had much more in common than they knew—loving laughter, serving like Jesus, live music, good food, and hiring professional lawn care.
Bonny can also be found at the virtual kitchen table with three other bloggers podcasting about Christian sexuality for wives (Sex Chat for Christian Wives). You can also connect with Bonny on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
I (Beth) hope you’ll hop over to Jim Burn’s Homeword site, where a post of mine is featured – “How to Handle the Perfectionistic Spouse.” While you’re there, I hope you’ll check out all the other resources and articles on marriage and parenting from Jim and so many other Christian writers and authors. Jim is such an incredible champion of marriage and parenting! I’m certain you’ll see what I’m talking about once you’ve visited his place.
Also, be sure to join me next week when my guest blogger will be Debi Walter of The Romantic Vineyard, who’ll be sharing ideas on how to romance your husband in the way he loves most! To read more posts in this series, click on “Rekindling and Reclaiming Sex in Marriage.”
Which one of the ways, that Bonny suggested above, do you want to focus on more with your mate?
How have you navigated any sexual differences that have cropped up in your marriage?
Before you go, consider this …
Starting the week of March 25, 2018, I (Beth) will be offering a 6-week, private Facebook Bible Study opportunity—studying the last three chapters of Hebrews 11 through 13. Each week, I will give you five days worth of devotional readings that will inspire you and can help you to discover how to glean the gems hidden in Scripture for yourself.
This Bible study method will also help you to remember and put a thought/action into practice each day, as well as giving you ways to pray about your insights from your reading.
If you’re interested, let me know in the comments, or by emailing me at email@example.com, or by friending me at Beth Oster Steffaniak and then requesting to be added. Remember, this is a free, no-obligation opportunity. So I hope you’ll join me in pursuing the peace we can only find in our times with God!
Here are some lovely linkups I join – Inspire Me Monday, Literary Musing Mondays, Dream Together Linkup, Jennifer Dukes Lee, Glimpses Linkup, Break Through Homeschooling Linkup, Coffee for Your Heart, Sitting Among Friends, Grace and Truth, Grace Moments Linkup, Tune in Thursday, Moments of Hope, Faith and Friends, Fresh Market Friday, and DanceWithJesusFriday
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