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  • jocrharris

"I have no sex drive and my husband is mad!"

Here in Northwest Arkansas there are a lot of couples of faith. I've seen Seventh Day Adventists, Latter Day Saints, Evangelicals, and Catholic clients.

I'm going to describe a particular dynamic I see. Of course there are other variations on this dynamic, and this isn't all relationships. And there are tons of nuances which change the dynamics. Still I think it's an important one to acknowledge and speak to.

In these couples of faith, not always but often, the husband wants sex more than the wife.

In a previous post we talked about how painful this is for husbands. They consistently feel rejected by their wives.

In this post I want to talk to the wives.

Sex shouldn't be an obligation.

Sex should always be something you choose.

One of the common themes I see is that wives feel they ought to have sex with their husbands, largely because of the church.

This sense of obligation is burdensome for many women. And it puts a lot of pressure and guilt on them.

Women shouldn't be pressured into having sex. It should be a choice.

It's as simple as that.

It makes sense you don't want sex.

The other side of the coin is many women who've grown up in faith communities don't know how to engage their sexuality. There are a number of reasons.

  • Often times there's anxiety around doing something that they were told was wrong.

  • Often times there's shame around not knowing basic anatomy.

  • Often times there's the trauma of unresolved sexual abuse or assult.

  • Often times there's embarrassment when trying to learn what they like sexually.

Add the feelings of obligation from the church and it makes sense that sex is something these women want to avoid. Faith communities haven't exactly excelled in sex education.

The Vicious Cycle

Couples who struggle with this come into my office stuck in a vicious cycle.

  • Wives don't know how to engage their sexuality, so they avoid sex.

  • Husbands want sex and pressure their wives.

  • Wives give in because the church says they ought to have sex, but they don't enjoy it.

  • Husbands get angry because they feel their wife is "holding out."

  • The wife is uncomfortable with the husband's anger, and therefor avoids sex.

What to do?

Usually the first step is for husbands to back off and go without sex, at least for a time. The way forward can't be to pressure your wife into sex.

The wives, then, have to make a choice. Do they want to engage their sexuality? It's a choice they have to make for themselves. Usually, since I do the couples work, these wives are referred to a individual therapists to answer those questions.

A gift for you.

You probably know someone in this situation. If so, there are a couple of resources which can help.

One of my favorite is Come As You Are. It's a gentle and funny introduction to female sexuality.

If you'd like a FREE copy fill out the form below.

This offer ends midnight 12/10/22. While supplies last.

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