Open Letter to the Low Desire Spouse

You don't have to feel guilt or shame

So you think all your spouse thinks about is sex? So you feel like your spouse may suffer from sexual perversion because no one can possibly need sex that often? You are not alone! Every marriage on the planet has to struggle through a difference in sex drive among spouses. The degrees of separation will vary, but every marriage has a low desire spouse and a high desire spouse.

It’s likely that you feel like the bad guy or gal as it may be, in your relationship. You are the one preventing relational intimacy in the marriage because of your low desire for physical intimacy. It’s also likely that your high desire spouse has no idea why you have low or even no desire. In that case, I’ve also written an open letter to the high desire spouse. Just a word of advice should you share this article with your high desire spouse – be prepared to talk about it.

Luckily, low desire spouses are not doomed to a life of guilt or shame. Unless your spouse truly suffers from a sexual addiction, which isn’t likely, your high desire spouse’s sex drive can be satisfied. These few principles will allow you pull out of your sexual shell and actually enjoy meeting your spouse’s sexual needs.

Acknowledge Your Responsibility

I worry about bringing up Bible verses here for fear low desire spouses will think I’m Bible thumping you, however, I do so in order that you recognize this isn’t just my opinion but rather truth from the Bible.

“Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. To the unmarried and the widows, I say that it is good for them to remain single, as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” (1 Corinthians 7:1-3,8-9)

Understand that sexual fulfillment is one purpose for marriage. Here in 1 Corinthians 7, Paul says that it’s good if a person remains unmarried in order to pursue service to Jesus without the restrictions of a family. For those that have a sex drive that creates a temptation to sexual immorality, Paul recommends marriage.

“Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” (1 Corinthians 7:5)

Paul additionally warns a married copy against prolonged periods of abstinence as it allows Satan to tempt one or both spouses. While I will never excuse infidelity or divorce, we must recognize that prolonged periods of sexual abstinence sets the stage for both and violates one o the purposes of marriage.

It’s A Need

Low desire spouses find it easy to read the verses from 1 Corinthians that I quoted above and think the high desire spouse simply lacks self-control. “Clearly my spouse just lacks self-control,” you may think to yourself. Paul is pointing out the severity of this temptation more than he is pointing to an individuals lack of control. Other translations of 1 Corinthians 7:2 say, “because sexual immorality is so common.” Paul includes sex outside of marriage in the phrase sexual immorality. Therefore, he recommends marriage rather than fall into sin.

Sexual immorality is so prevalent because sex is a need, not just some perverted desire. When you read Song of Solomon or Proverbs 5, it is clear God created men and women to desire one another. He created in us a need for sex. God created it to be the wonderful thing that it is. He created it to reside inside the commitment of a marriage.

“Let your fountain be blessed,

and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe.

Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight;

be intoxicated always in her love.” (Proverbs 5:18-19)

It’s A Matter Of Desire

Many low desire spouses feel they are relegated to sexual objects that are supposed to just roll over, play dead, and submit to the desire of their spouse. This is actually the last thing your high desire spouse wants or needs. More than the physical act of sex, high desire spouses need their low desire spouse to desire them.

Desiring your spouse doesn’t necessarily mean having some magical chemistry that drives you into a mad craving to have sex with your spouse. Desiring your spouse is intentional attention given to meeting the needs of your high desire spouse. It’s a bigger topic for another article, but this need to be desired is what makes the pornography industry so successful. The pornography industry has tapped into this need to be desired. You will never see a pornographic video where one person begrudgingly performs sex with the other. For your high desire spouse, it isn’t about intercourse – it’s a matter of desire. It’s a matter of how much do you desire your spouse.

So to you, the low desire spouse, I have this simple challenge – desire your spouse. Pay attention to their sexual needs and be intentional to meet them with a sincere heart of service. Acts of service and sacrifice are the purest form of love demonstrated.

“It’s easier to act your way into a new way of thinking, than think your way into a new way of acting.” (Jerry Sternin)

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