Why do I have to beg and plead with my wife any time I want to enjoy sex with her? I have a very high sex drive, and she has a very low sex drive. Time and time again she tells me, "I'm not in the mood tonight." I respond that there are all kinds of things I do for her when I'm "not in the mood" - go to work, wash the dishes, help with the housework. How is her "not in the mood" different from my "not in the mood?"
Whether you want to hear it or not, discomfort with sex is very different from discomfort with a job or some other unpleasant but necessary aspect of life. This is especially true for women.
Marital sex is not a mere "chore" or a mechanical act carried out to satisfy one or both partners' bodily needs. At least it shouldn't be. From a Christian perspective, sex is the ultimate expression of physical, emotional, and spiritual unity between a husband and wife. It's a wondrous, beautiful, holy, self-transcendent, and sacramental experience. It's a picture of the mystery of Christ's relationship with the church (Ephesians 5:31).
Hold that biblical image in your mind for a moment. Then ask yourself the following question: do I seriously want to compare my wife's feelings about sex with my own attitude toward taking out the garbage? The answer should be obvious.
If you really want to understand your wife, remember this: for a woman, sex requires a willingness to be vulnerable, transparent, and open to her husband's advances. It involves an ability to trust. This is an ability which will need special nurturing if she's had a history of childhood abuse, date rape, or mistreatment by men. If she feels used, or if she's uncomfortable for any reason with any aspect of the sexual act, she won't be able to relax and enjoy the moment.
If you're pushing your wife into doing things she'd rather not do, you're squelching her openness and vulnerability. You're destroying her ability to trust. You're forcing her into a corner where she has no choice except to adopt a defensive attitude. That spells death to genuinely meaningful intimacy. And that means that the sexual relationship is less than fulfilling for both of you.
Professional therapy can also be a big help to couples in your situation. You can get the process started by speaking with one of our counselors over the phone. They are available to speak with you at this number. If you're interested, our Counseling staff can provide you with referrals to trained therapists in your area. Our goal is to help you find the best Christian care available.
Gary Smalley offers some ideas for husbands who want to re-ignite the sexual feelings of their wives.
No More Headaches: Enjoying Sex and Intimacy in Marriage (book)
Embracing God's Design for Marital Intimacy (broadcast)
Understanding God's Sacred Design for Sex (broadcast)
Pursuing Passion in Your Marriage (broadcast)
Passionate Commitment - An organization directed by Dr. Clifford and Joyce Penner that offers resources and seminars to educate couples and guide them toward the goal of achieving healthy sexuality.