Valentine, I have been married for almost four years now and we have a serious problem. My husband has lower sex drive than me. Then when I initiate sex, he acts like I am doing something un-lady like. I think he was taught that men should lead the sex life, not women. When we were dating, we didn’t live together so I didn’t really notice, I would only spend the night a few times a week lakini now it is a real issue. Even our pastor sided with him, like there is something wrong with me. Is there? What can I do?
Oh Susan, I truly sympathise with your situation. Even from your short email I can tell you feel rejected, angry and alone. You also feel unheard and dismissed, even by your pastor, and on such a crucial part of your marriage. I am so sorry.
We like to dismiss sex and act like anyone can have it and have it well. This dismissal makes it hard to discuss even common problems such as your own. Mismatched libido is very common and it is a lazy pastor who dismissed you.
Sex drive changes throughout life and it is affected by everything that affects our view of ourselves in the world — status in society, weight gain, ageing etc and of course hormones and our socialisation as children. A man might, for example, believe that raunchy sex is not something he can engage in with the mother of his children, but rather something he can only do outside the home.
And now to answer your question: first of all understand that when you tell your partner that you are unhappy with your sex life, it might sound like an accusation of poor performance. This ‘accusation’ might lead him to draw all manner of conclusions about his desirability and masculinity. It might also make him defensive and rebellious against any suggestions you might have, and that might be the rejection that you are experiencing.
For the next month or so, leave this subject alone and try to get back to that feeling when things were juicy and sexy between the two of you. Hang out with your man, talk and try to rekindle that ‘dating’ feeling. Also, accept that he might never change. Once you have this sexy feeling and ease in communication, try to initiate sex in more subtle ways. Let him see you naked as you apply lotion on your skin before he leaves for work in the morning. Send sexy text messages. Enjoy a bottle of wine with dinner, or as you cuddle and watch your favourite movies and shows on TV. Create a sensual ambiance so that he can initiate sex and think it is his idea.
While you are out running errands or carrying out some mundane task, you can ask him about his views on women and initiating sex. This non-threatening scenario might get him to open up so you can understand him better.
You are right to ask this question and to look for a solution. Right now you might have the higher libido but that might change with time, children and hormonal changes.