“How often?” Is likely to be your high drive spouse’s biggest question.
Frankly, this question scared me to death. His answer was an eager, ‘Every day,’ and that put up my defenses because I felt extremely pressured.
What made me feel better was this wasn’t a one sided conversation. I had input, too. I honored his feelings and did not dismiss how important he saw sex. However, I also told him that my body needs recovery time. My answer was once every other week.
We compromised with 2-3 times per week.
Remember, there is no winner and no loser in this sex discussion. He is not winning because you are ‘giving in’ to have more sex. He is not losing because you won’t have as much sex as he’d like. This is a win-win for your marriage. This is about outdoing each other in honor.
“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor,” Romans 12:10.
This conversation’s focus is building a path back to harmony not only through lovemaking, but through what you need to build emotional intimacy. (Do you know what you need to build an emotional connection?) Your part is to participate in lovemaking. His part is to participate in developing an emotional connection with you.
How do you make sure each of these happen? Schedule them! Seriously, who can leave this important work to spontaneity?
Building a godly happy marriage is a lot like learning to play golf or the violin. I thought getting along was going to be intuitive. But, after the newlywed bliss wore away, it wasn’t. It takes hours of practice to hone ability into skills. Sometimes your schedule is flexible and you can pop in a practice. But, more often you have to block out a chunk of time because if you don’t, it’ll never happen.
I hear a lot of pushback about scheduling. It’s not romantic and you don’t want his participation if he is going to begrudge it. I thought that, too, at first. Until I witnessed emotions following actions.
I needed two things from Dave; praise and conversation where he shared what was going on with his emotional life. We scheduled these into our life.
Dave scheduled an alarm on his phone every day at 5:30 to remind him to give me positive words. I’ll be honest, at first this was stilted and weird. But, he kept at it and now it is second nature. If I am feeling neglected from his lack of praise, I ask him if he still has his alarm set. I do not mind if he needs an alarm because I have grown to understand men are different from women. Just because he needs an alarm doesn’t mean he isn’t serious about meeting my needs.
Before this work on our marriage, I would have just been hurt that he neglected positive words. Now, I hold him accountable. I’m not nasty, just compassionate and blunt. “Hey, I am needing some praise from you. Can you slip me a good word or two?”
To meet my second need of sincere conversation, we spend 15 minutes having a private conversation in the morning over coffee. When we had kids living at home, we got up before them to do this. We sacrificed sleep because it was that important to both of us. I look at it as a little tithe to God.
Our story is just a jumping off point for your story. Figure out your needs and figure out how to fill them.
Make sexual intimacy intentional, schedule it!! Yes, this also felt weird and stilted, but I’m telling you it saved our marriage. It also tells your high drive spouse that you are serious about meeting his needs, just as he should be serious about meeting yours.
Literally, sit down with your wall calendar and mark sex in with a heart! You commit out loud to following through on this scheduling. As he should for meeting your needs of bonding. “I commit to doing this.”
On the appointed days, your high sex-drive spouse will know sexual fulfillment is definitely happening with you. Sexual interludes should only be rescheduled, never out and out ignored. And they should only be rescheduled for significant illness or an appointment that can’t be helped.
As you get farther down the road on this journey, you may find that you add a sexual interlude here and there.
High drive spouses hound the low-drive spouses about sex because hd never knows when an innuendo will lead to a sexual event. The ld spouse gets very annoyed with the constant pestering. Scheduling your bonding times and your sexual intimacy guarantees each spouse is feeling heard and they are being valued.
Days just for affection
Also, you can schedule days that are just for affection. Affection is touching that will not lead to sex. Many low sex marriages are lacking in touch because the ld spouse is worried any touch will lead the hd to think there will be sex. If Tuesdays and Saturdays are scheduled for sex, make Wednesday your affection day. It can include anything you want. But the hd spouse knows it will not lead to sex and to not try to push the envelope.
15 years down the road
After employing these tools for 15 years, there’s very little stilt and weird. Arguments and hurt feelings are rare but still occur because we’re human. However, the arguments and hurt feelings are usually not over sex. And, we know that all conflict can be resolved through prayer and compassionate action.
The win-win in all of this is that his need for sexual intimacy has brought me more growth than I ever anticipated. My need for emotional bonding has done the same for him. He needed to explore his emotional life and I needed to explore the spiritual, physical and emotional essence of sexual intimacy. Our weaknesses were filled by Christ’s power.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9.
*I confess I did not come up with this catchy title. Please see Dr. Kevin Leman’s, “Chicken’s Guide to Talking Turkey to Your Kids about Sex.”
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