In most marriages, there is a “higher drive spouse” (HDS) and a “lower drive spouse” (LDS). If this doesn’t apply to your marriage, you can safely disregard this post.
In most cases, the Husband is the HDS, and the wife is the LDS, but this is becoming more and more not the case. A great resource for wives who are the HDS, is “Spice & Love – A Higher Drive Wife”. Because of this, I’m going to avoid addressing the issue as just one applying to husbands, and address it in general.
In our marriage, we were pretty typical; for the first year or so, our sex drives were pretty well matched. Most times I initiated, and she was more often than not, very willing to go along.
Then came the kids, and all the “distractions” that come with both pregnancy, and taking care of the little life that is now your responsibility to feed, clothe, and diaper. It was during the 2nd and 3rd year of our marriage, when the bedroom started to be much more of a place to fall into bed and sleep, then a place to have fun together sexually. It took a lot of give on both sides, and keeping the lines of communication open, to get back to where we are today.
But knowing how it feels doesn’t do anybody any good, unless we use that knowledge to help our LDS (husband or wife) understand. That’s what it took in our marriage, to turn things around. My wife had no clue what sex meant to me, and how it was so much more than “just the act” to me, until I sat her down, and lovingly explained how I felt, and poured out my heart to her about the hurt I was feeling from her constant rejection sexually.
So that’s what I want to do with this post. I want to offer the LDS a peak inside the mind of their HDS spouse, without even having to get off the couch (or computer, or whatever you’re reading this thing on). 😉
Five things your “high drive spouse” may never tell you –
- It’s part of who we are – As a HDS we need sex and lots of physical touch to feel loved. What does this mean to you? Well, let’s say you do EVERYTHING you can think of for us, that YOU would think shows us that you love us (cooking meals, cleaning the house, working on the lawn, caring for the house, etc, etc, etc) – we will still not feel loved without you being sexually open to us. It just doesn’t work. It’s like trying to put everything BUT gas in a car to make it run. It’s not going to work. We CRAVE the sexual relationship with our spouse, and without it, we feel unloved, un-cared for, and un-important.
- We can’t just “turn it off” – I know as the LDS, it’s hard to understand this, but for us HD spouses, it’s a constant thing on our mind. It may not always be on the front burner, but it’s always there somewhere. Even if we just had sex, within a few hours, the thoughts like “I wonder when he/she’s going to want me again”, or “how long until I can convince him/her to love me like this again”, start to creep into our heads. We start to wonder if we’re “freaks” or if there is something wrong with us, because you seem to not (or very rarely) ever NEED it like we do. That’s why we get so frustrated when you exclaim things like “that’s all you ever think about” or “just turn it off!”, because we don’t know how, and it makes us angry that we can’t.
- The pain of “NO” becomes too hard to hear after a while – When a HDS asks their spouse for sex, it’s a HUGE thing to us. We usually have thought about asking, and what would be the best way, or what would go over the best, or what kind of mood you’re in, or how you may react – for a long time before we ask. It may have also taken us a while to get up the nerve to finally ask. So when we finally do, and you either brush it off, or roll your eyes, or give us a “oh come on, really?”, it hits us pretty deep. We of course don’t admit this most times, and try to make a half-hearted attempt at turning it into a “oh, it’s ok hon, if you’re not into it right now, don’t worry about it”, or something like that, but it hurts. We feel like we just put a very intimate part of ourselves out there, and you stomped on it. After a long period of “not tonight” responses, we tend to stop asking. Not because we don’t long to be with you, but because the pain of being rejected – yet again – hurts too much. To us it’s like burning your finger on a hot pan, and then going back the next day, and doing it again. After a while, it’s just worth it.
- We don’t expect you to be us, we just want you to be “naked and smiling” – We understand you don’t have the drive that we do. We understand you’re not going to be raring to go at all hours of the day and night. We get that, and we’re fine with it! What we’re trying to ask for, and most times do a lousy time explaining, is we just want you to ACCEPT us for who we are. We already feel like there’s something “wrong with us” for wanting to have it 3 or 4 times a week, and you constantly telling us to “go take a cold shower”, or rolling your eyes like “are you kidding me?” makes us feel that way even more. There was a time where I started to hate my sex drive. I even looked for ways to get rid of it. I thought “if I can just get rid of this, we’d never argue about anything!”. But what we found out is that God created ME to have that drive, and have the not-so-fun-job of being the one that makes sure we don’t go to long without sex, a that we keep that connection, that the LDS doesn’t realize they want/need as much/bad as the HDS, but just don’t have the feelings to do so, without a little “un-burying” of those thoughts from the pile of other things that may still be on your mind from the rest of the day. That’s why if you as the LDS could just make enough effort at the start, to be “naked and smiling”, even if you may not even feel like sex at the moment, you’re showing us that you care about us, and love us enough as our wife/husband to say “I don’t really need it right now, but I realize that you do, and I’m the only one that can legitimately meet this need for you, and so I’m not going to only do it, but smile while I do.” There’s nothing that drives a HDS more batty, and hurts him/her more, then when you are perfectly able (not sick, pregnant, headache, flu, etc) to meet our need, but refuse to do so for no reason. It feels like you are just dangling a treat in front of our nose, and then putting it back in the drawer and saying “nope, maybe tomorrow”. Ouch! And did I mention super frustrating to a HDS? We just need you to be ok with who we are. We need you to love who we are. We’re ok with you saying “honey, I love you and I’ll do whatever you need, but I just can’t get crazy into it tonight”. That still says “I love and accept you”. What hurts is the refusal to love us for who we are.
- Meeting a sexual need, doesn’t always mean intercourse – Please don’t misunderstand us here, if we’re asking for you to connect sexually with us, it doesn’t always have to mean full-blown intercourse. It can be as simple as rolling over with a smile on your face and saying “sounds like you need something taken care of” and helping us manually, or something to that effect. That does a TON for the HDS, when he/she is wanting to be intimate, but time/desire/energy just isn’t there at the time from the LDS. Don’t expect it to lessen the desire the next day to “fully connect” with you, but it goes a HUGE way in the heart of the HDS in showing him/her you love her, and understand his/her need – and while giving you some time to fully wrap your head around sex the next day.
Hey, you made it all the way to the end alive! Hopefully you’re not thinking you’re married to a complete wierdo after this, but instead have some sort of idea where your HDS is coming from.
What say you?