How can I best be the "High Drive" spouse I can be?

Low or no sex drive?
Believing49
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How can I best be the "High Drive" spouse I can be?

Postby Believing49 » Thu Jun 09, 2016 1:31 pm

My DW and I have been married for over 11 years, have three amazing kids, and apart from our differences concerning our physical life, have a great marriage. Our physical life, though, has been a challenge from the honeymoon on.

I am a highly sensual person, I need touching ... lots of it. I would like consistent kissing, hugging, experimentation, and messing around ... lots of it. On the "five love languages" tests I'm always (always) a 10 out of 10 on physical touch. Going into marriage I thought my DW would be to a certain extent too - it seemed during our courtship and engagement period that we had a hard time keeping our hands off of each other and when we talked about it, she told me she was "100% certain" that she was going to be into a strong physical life based not on her past experiences (I was the first guys she kissed) but on her past thought life which she says she had a hard time keeping under control.

DW is wonderfully accommodating but as far as I can tell could mostly take it or leave it as far as any kind of passionate touching/kissing/sexual activity goes. We ML about every 2-3 days on a kind of schedule. She'll say, "can we have 'alone time'?" which is our kids-in-the-house code that has seeped into even our vacation and other times. We'll take care of me in mostly the same way every time, and then move on with life until the next time she asks. There are a handful of exceptions to this pattern every year but for the most part I think she has been the gatekeeper that has established this is how it is going to be and she could actually exist pretty happily with less than that. We have sometimes gone months without kissing on the mouth. She would say she's grown a lot and changed a lot in that she's more relaxed if I try to touch her or please her, which is true, but in my mind the changes have taken us from a huge gap in the way we see the world to a less huge gap, but still a major gap.

I've adapted over the years and realized we are just in different worlds and think I'm coming to the point where I need to once and for all give up on ever having what I thought we would have, trying to change the situation, and instead focus on making the best of what we actually have.
The hard part for me is, if I try and love her well .... laying down what I want and desire and instead trying to look past that and focusing only on her wants and needs (I think she'd say I do well at this) which are non-physical almost entirely, doing so stirs up my desire for her even more but still goes un-reciprocated. If I try to be close to her in other ways than physical, it naturally stirs up my desire for more physically. It seems an impossible situation.

So how do I love her well, serving her knowing we are wired differently, without stirring myself up and feeling tortured even more?
How do I be truly content and thankful for what I have, knowing it's better than most couples out there, and let go of what I want more than that?

I'm having a hard time giving up hope completely, but on the other hand, it seems like no matter how much we talk, cry, read books, talk to a counselor, read TMB, etc ... things remain very close to how they are. How do I accept that this is what we have and be thankful for it instead of always wanting something more? How do I sort out my motives thinking if I could just be content how things are that it would somehow help change things, but deep inside I think I've come to believe that just isn't true. How do I give up my desires in a way that she can feel totally accepted by me as she is?

Help!

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Re: How can I best be the "High Drive" spouse I can be?

Postby FoxluvsBunny » Thu Jun 09, 2016 3:39 pm

Hey there Believing :)

Welcome.

I feel weird giving you advice because i have only been married a year, but i had a thought for you; simple but maybe it could help you.

You say your wife isn't that into physical touch. Does she know how much you are into it? If you want to be a better "high drive" spouse focus on speaking her way of experiencing love. If she doesn't through physical touch, maybe it is through another means like words that make her feel super loved. Or even a different kind of touch that isn't sexual. There are days when i have no sex drive (my drive varies quite a bit, but in our marriage there is not a clear HD/LD spouse) and i'll please him sexually and then i'll just want a back rub. I do like physical touch, but i've found i'm primarily a words of affirmation person. When he says nice words to me that touch my heart, it can bring me to tears and make me feel cherished like nothing else. So find how to speak her language and then go out of your way to do that :) I"m working on going out of my way to bless my husband in our marriage, and while selflessness is not "natural" to us as humans, i think it's very important in marriage... study her and see how you can be the best partner to her- you know her best...

And maybe continue trying to let her know of your desire for more physical attention.

blessings to you both!
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Re: How can I best be the "High Drive" spouse I can be?

Postby sunny-dee » Sat Jun 11, 2016 3:30 pm

If you're having sex 2-3 times a week, at least it sounds like your physical needs are being met. So, that's something.

If you're familiar with these boards, then you may have already considered these questions, but....

1. Is it that she doesn't like sex or that she just doesn't seem that into it? Once you start, does she seem to enjoy it? A lot of women don't feel desire until they're aroused, so that could be just a difference in perspective.
2. Is there anything in your past relationship like porn use or infidelity or fighting that could be affecting her attitude toward you or the relationship?

With that, the first thing I noticed was the same thing that Unfulfilled did -- your wife is completely in control of sex. How does she react if you initiate sex? How does she react if you (say) grab her hand when you're walking or put your hand on her thigh when you're sitting on the couch or kiss her neck when she's doing dishes?

In my own marriage, my husband shuts me down immediately if I try anything, which is why I'm in the pattern of simply never trying. My guess is that that is the reaction that your wife had, which is why you leave all of the initiation to her, but if not -- maybe try intimate-but-nonsexual touching or kissing for awhile and see if she adjusts to it. Or maybe she rejected that in the past but would be open to it now.

I am not saying this is good advice (listen to the more experienced people on the boards!), but for my own self, I just repeat to myself, again and again, that sex is not for me, that my husband doesn't feel that way about me, and I cannot ask something he cannot give. If I have a thought that comes up like, "I want some new lingerie" or "I want to try XYZ act," I picture myself folding the thought up very neatly and putting it in a box and getting rid of it. Like if I were suddenly diagnosed with diabetes and had to forgo carbohydrates forever. It's behavioral therapy. It works fairly well (especially if you give yourself a grieving period first) but warning -- it does change how you feel about your spouse.

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Re: How can I best be the

Postby hifromme67 » Sun Jun 12, 2016 8:53 am

Wow. Just read your response and can totally relate. Have a bag full of lingerie and toys that have sat there for a few years. So disgusted.

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Re: How can I best be the "High Drive" spouse I can be?

Postby OldBear » Sun Jun 12, 2016 1:20 pm

It would be helpful to see your (Believing49) response to various questions posed by others to clarify your situation. I'll add these questions.

How often do you verbally express your love for each other?

Do you know your DW's love language?

Explain these two statements - making love 10 -15 times a month and never kissing on the mouth for months.

Believing49 wrote:
We ML about every 2-3 days on a kind of schedule.

We have sometimes gone months without kissing on the mouth.
Last edited by OldBear on Mon Jun 13, 2016 7:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How can I best be the "High Drive" spouse I can be?

Postby Leah » Sun Jun 12, 2016 8:24 pm

I respond better when people give me a little credit for having a brain and say what they need. Just spit it out. I can make a choice about how to meet the need in pretty short order. The less drama the better. These things go better for me when it is voiced soon, not late. M

Just my $.02. YMMV.
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Re: How can I best be the "High Drive" spouse I can be?

Postby Job29Man » Mon Jun 13, 2016 2:13 am

Howdy Believing49,

Welcome to TMB. Just a note about our forum. We are different than many other fora. On most special-interest fora you start a thread and then go away for a week or two and then come back and check to see if maybe you got one or two responses. But TMB is a very high volume forum. Generally you'll get responses within hours, sometimes a lot of responses. And generally we ask a lot of questions of newcomers so we can get a better perspective and context before we launch into advice.

If you want maximum utility out of us, it makes sense to get into a habit of checking in daily after you start a thread. That keeps the conversation going productively.

I would have sent this by Private Message, but unfortunately it is not possible to PM you until you have reached a certain number of posts. I hope you find the answers you seek here brother. Keep the faith. :D

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Re: How can I best be the "High Drive" spouse I can be?

Postby Job29Man » Mon Jun 13, 2016 2:15 am

So, a few questions.

How many children, what ages (approximately)? Do they go away to school? Or are they homeschooled?
Does she work outside the home?
Is she on hormonal contraception? Since when?
How's her general health?
You mentioned you'd seen a counselor together? Tell us about that.
Wanting to become like Job, as described in the Bible, the book of Job chapter 29. Hence the screen name.

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Re: How can I best be the "High Drive" spouse I can be?

Postby Believing49 » Mon Jun 13, 2016 4:52 am

Hi All - thanks so much for the replies. I apologize for the delay - I'm a pastor of a church plant and weekends in particular are usually pretty crazy ....

I'll try and respond individually to all the questions but have some hesitation in doing so as what I think I'm really looking for is more along the lines of how to cope than how to fix our situation. In some sense I feel like trying to "fix" us has only made things worse. My DW would say the hardest part for her is knowing she will "never be what I need her to be" and now most attempts to communicate lead to her closing off further. Our counselor told me in a private session that she thinks I need to "allow myself to mourn" the loss of what I dreamed of pre-marriage.

I'm happy to supply info but have to admit I feel pretty hopeless as far as any kind of real, lasting change. Any advice on "how to deal" in a way that shows love for my DW would be appreciated. Perhaps the feeling is that holding on to hope IS the best way to love and serve her, but to me, holding on to hope is partially what keeps the whole situation so painful. If I could just let go it seems like things would be easier.

PERHAPS RELEVANT - I was the first guy my wife ever kissed (the night we got engaged.) I have a sexual past with 2 other women. One was a one night encounter but the other was a 2 year relationship where all of this "clicked" and came naturally (late high school, early college.) I think I can say with all honesty that I don't fantasize about those days or think about them directly and I had a 13 year stint between college and marrying my wife that I didn't touch another woman. However, even though I don't fantasize about it, it has left me with the "knowing what it's like" and feeling like that natural, passionate chemistry should come normally between two people who love each other. Maybe life would be easier if it weren't for the mistakes of my youth.

So here goes:

You say your wife isn't that into physical touch. Does she know how much you are into it?

Definitely - she knows, but it is kind of like in the movie White Men Can't Jump when Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson are talking about Jimi Hendrix. Snipes character says white people can't "hear Jimi" - Harrelson replies, "I listen to Jimi" and Snipes says back, "You may listen to Jimi, but you can't hear Jimi." As much as DW has read, listened, and tried, it just doesn't seem like we are on the same planet when it comes to physical stuff. It, much of the time, seems like just that, she is trying. I appreciate her for that, but it leaves me sad and unsatisfied.

If you want to be a better "high drive" spouse focus on speaking her way of experiencing love. If she doesn't through physical touch, maybe it is through another means like words that make her feel super loved.

How often do you verbally express your love for each other?

Do you know your DW's love language?


I put these together because they seem related - my wife is, no question, into quality time and acts of service, which, not to pat myself on the back, she gets a lot of. I think she would say that apart from my known dissatisfaction physically, that she receives almost all of what she needs from me. She's also a very not-so-needy person (she'd say needy people drive her nuts.) I do admit that my attempts to "romanticize" her and go out of my way to be romantic have waned considerably (dropped off), mostly because from my perspective, they accomplished little. She is just not the romantic type, but rather practical, down-to-earth, faithful, etc ... all the romance and extra effort does is stir me up more (what I need to prevent) while doing not much for her. She likes it, but can live without it.

1. Is it that she doesn't like sex or that she just doesn't seem that into it? Once you start, does she seem to enjoy it? A lot of women don't feel desire until they're aroused, so that could be just a difference in perspective. She doesn't mind "doing me" on a semi-regular schedule and I think she'd even say she "enjoys" it, and I think she does. She likes to know that I have had pleasure. If she "concentrates" (her word) she can enjoy a kind of robotic attempt of me to "do her" but in those cases, (maybe a couple times a month) it's like she has to close her eyes, and focus intensely to "get there." I would say this is an area though that we have grown in. When we first got married, if I would attempt to perform OS or MS on her, she would tense up and become stiff, today she is able to better relax and "focus" (also her word) and eventually "get there."

2. Is there anything in your past relationship like porn use or infidelity or fighting that could be affecting her attitude toward you or the relationship?
No on infidelity and fighting except to say our consistent issues in this area have had a cumulative damaging effect on both of us I think. We don't "fight" but I'd say we've both closed off to each other a lot. And I have "run across" (used - some of that self caused) porn a few times in our marriage and, while not in great detail every time, have confessed to her and I'd say I/we do a pretty good job keeping it out of our home. All the blockers on the computer, etc.... On my weakest days it definitely calls to me and I have occasionally allowed it enough to get turned on and MB but I wouldn't say it's been a huge factor in our issues. I would say the temptation to view has been MUCH stronger since marriage than the 31 years I was single. Didn't see that coming. :S We have seen two counselors and the first kind of said, "meh, no need to stress about that" when we talked about it and the second mostly wanted to know how it made DW feel. DW hates that I have ever seen it at all and doesn't seem to understand to a great degree why it would even tempt me.

How does she react if you initiate sex? How does she react if you (say) grab her hand when you're walking or put your hand on her thigh when you're sitting on the couch or kiss her neck when she's doing dishes? She is wonderfully accommodating. I don't try and initiate physically (kissing her neck - which she doesn't much like) etc ... physical touch just doesn't seem to do much for her at all and with uncommon exceptions (there was a period a couple years ago where this improved for a couple months and breast play seemed to do something for her - I think this was hormonal, we were between kids and if I remember correctly she was on medication to help us try and get pregnant. She has a small pituitary tumor that has kept her prolactin levels high and keeps her from menstruating. The meds circumvent that. I'd put more weight on this except that she had a normal cycle for the first 4 years of our marriage and those were the hardest years as far as our physical life.) I have given up trying to "turn her on." I feel confident she could go through life pretty happily with very little non-sexual touching or kissing. So me initiating looks more like me saying, "I have needs" or "I need to get it on." She'll say "sure" or "let me get the kids down for a nap" and then take care of me.

Explain these two statements - making love 10 -15 times a month and never kissing on the mouth for months.
Unfulfilled described it well though my situation isn't quite to that level. DW just isn't into kissing too much (this might be the hardest part for me - it kind of tears at my soul.) Our ML sessions 90% of the time consist of her giving me OS to get me aroused and then ML in one of 2-3 positions. Open mouth kissing is uncommon and anything with tongue even more so (maybe once a year and then while ML) but even in that situation it seems like she has to "try" with a few exceptions. I think she's open to "trying" kissing more, both throughout the day and while ML but that's pretty unfulfilling and I feel like I'm inconveniencing her. We've had many talks about how much it hurts me that we don't kiss, but no dice. I'm finding of all that I'm writing, this seems to stir the worst negative feelings and sadness in me. I'm the kind that would kiss her at every red light, when I wake up and when I go to bed and 15 other times throughout the day.. The lack of kissing, and thinking about it, leaves me feeling pretty low. This whole exercise does in a sense, I'd rather just keep this stuff buried and try and move on with life.

Let me pause here and say about my DW that all of this would really hurt her feelings I think. I think she goes around, unless I'm visibly upset, thinking "everything is ok" and "things are getting better." She has often expressed when we do communicate that she thinks she has improved a lot and that she will "continue to change" but she has been saying that for years and I'd say she has changed (it's easier for her to relax, she's more aware of my physical needs, and the like) but it's like moving from "not very interested at all" to "happy to try to be interested" and it still leaves me flat. I love her dearly and hate the thought that in some sense she believes she's "ruined my life" because of the differences we have in this area. (That's a comment that comes up when we communicate and I can't figure out how much of that is a way to put a stop to the conversation.)

I respond better when people give me a little credit for having a brain and say what they need. Just spit it out. I can make a choice about how to meet the need in pretty short order. The less drama the better. These things go better for me when it is voiced soon, not late.
My DW would agree I think. She'd much rather me say, "I want OS and I'd like to do it standing next to the bed." Which she's happy to comply. However, there are lines. I've briefly introduced the idea of anal play, deepthroating, and even "I'd like you to wear more eye makeup or buy a sexy bra" but these are all things I've completely given up on. If it's not on her radar as something she is willing to do, she isn't going to do it. And more than that, I can't tell her straightforwardly, "I want you to enjoy kissing me a lot." Or, "I want you to get so into me doing OS on you that you can't help but arch your back and get wild." That's the kind of stuff that can't be contrived it seems.

If you want maximum utility out of us, it makes sense to get into a habit of checking in daily after you start a thread. That keeps the conversation going productively. Going to do my best. Life is pretty wild right now. Thanks for the insight and I'm excited to be a part of this community. I'll try and respond more quickly.

How many children, what ages (approximately)? Do they go away to school? Or are they homeschooled? 3, ages 7, 2, and 3 months. Homeschooled.

Does she work outside the home? She did for the first 8 years of our marriage, now she stays home (her dream.)

Is she on hormonal contraception? Since when? negative

How's her general health? Excellent. Wish I felt as good as her most days.

You mentioned you'd seen a counselor together? Tell us about that. We've seen two, the first just talked for almost two hours, non-stop with few questions for us. He seemed to think the issue was something buried in DWs life, like body image (definitely not), daddy issues (nope) or negative views of sex (most likely a part.) The second was good and I think it showed some mild improvements (during that time was when I mentioned before, DW would respond to breast play and get "turned on" - that period lasted about a month or two and during that time we had a vacation with one of our "memorable" moments on a hotel balcony. :) To quote Bill Murray - "Now THAT was a good day." To this day we can't figure out how the stars aligned just right.

The counselor saw us both together and privately and the whole thing ended when she (the counselor) got pregnant and ended her practice. Up until that point it produced tiny improvements, but for the most part it resulted in me becoming frustrated because at $50 a session, "how does that make you feel?" and "That must be difficult" can only go so far.

Alright - I think that's got me caught up - if nothing else this helps me get my thoughts out on paper. Thanks for that! It means a lot that you would all take an interest in a stranger like this.

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Re: How can I best be the "High Drive" spouse I can be?

Postby Vanna » Tue Jun 14, 2016 9:29 am

When I read your responses, I see a woman who is still learning how to relax and let go, in baby steps. Ladies have a lot going on in their heads and hearts, some of it we have to learn how to shut down (daily junk and stress) and some of it we have to learn to overcome (insecurities, embarrassment, awkwardness, disconnect, fear).

It can be things like our ever-changing body image, embarrassed awkwardness at trying new things and looking silly, stress of trying to shutdown concerns and fears and thoughts enough to focus on reaching orgasm- especially if hubby is one of those guys who feels he has failed if she can't get there so it becomes a hoop she has to get through.

We don't "arrive" in marriage in a fully realized state of intimacy freedom. It is a gradual process of learning to relax, learning to work together, learning to trust, learning to step out and try despite the insecurities or fears.

The part where she closes her eyes and concentrates to get there- totally normal for many ladies, including myself. I have to block out everything else and get my mind completely into the sensations and mental imagery to get there. It isn't a passive process of simply "feeling" then reaching it- like a ball rolled down a hill or a fuse lit that will effortlessly reach destination.

It actually work to reach orgasm when my hormones don't cooperate because the sensations and build become more elusive. Sure the release is nice, but sometimes it's hardly worth the work. And it's disconcerting having someone basically staring at you while you try to "align your stars" and get an orgasm going. Then I had to fight the mental flood of- "this is taking forever", "he's going soft, he must be bored waiting", "argh, gone AGAIN- I wish he wouldn't keep moving so much- it's messing with the rhythm..."

Now that orgasm isn't always a certainty for hubby with the ED stuff that pops up from time to time, I know he understands that sometimes getting there is a battle and having a patient, loving, understanding spouse willing to do whatever it takes to smooth out the difficulties is worth their weight in gold.

She may never be the sex starved bride who spontaneously grabs you and ties you up, etc. but she is slowly growing and opening, and you can encourage that by enjoying each little thing that she does and making her feel like she has made you so happy just by being willing to go there with you.

Affirmation goes a long way to helping melt any hidden insecurities, fears, and embarrassment. Give her a safe place where she learns to open up and become more relaxed and experiment a little. Make it fun, make it loving.

Introduce new variations on the positions that she enjoys. There are many variations on missionary that are nice, with great visuals for guys. Experiment a bit with those.

Instead of waiting for her to sex up her bed clothes and buy lipstick... You do it. Surprise her with a hot bath, put a nice CD on loop, rub her down, slip a new (tasteful, silky) nightie on her, and put lipstick on her as part of the look, then dance with her like it's your wedding day, pick her up like you are carrying her over the threshold, put her in bed and explore her again- like it's the very first time.

She's not totally unwilling, she is just blooming slowly into who she is intimately. It takes time and lots of encouragement and little steps that add up.
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Re: How can I best be the "High Drive" spouse I can be?

Postby poetess » Tue Jun 14, 2016 10:11 am

Also, currently with a two-year-old and a three-month-old, it may be pretty hard for her to feel sexy or rested, to want much more in the way of touch or expectations, etc.
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Re: How can I best be the "High Drive" spouse I can be?

Postby Believing49 » Wed Jun 22, 2016 5:35 am

Vanna - thanks for your entire post and I'm actually intending to let DW read it to get her thoughts. I'm going to post an update in a second that will bring up some questions that your post brings up. I'd like to hear more from you.

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Re: How can I best be the "High Drive" spouse I can be?

Postby Believing49 » Wed Jun 22, 2016 5:40 am

poetess wrote:Also, currently with a two-year-old and a three-month-old, it may be pretty hard for her to feel sexy or rested, to want much more in the way of touch or expectations, etc.


Yeah, I totally get that and this whole thing is constantly a mix of feelings of passion, disappointment, confusion, and feeling like a jerk. Part of me wants to respond, "Yeah, that would be true if this hadn't been kind of the pattern since we got married." And another part of me thinks I'm one of the most blessed guys in the world because my wife is so accommodating even during times like pre and post birth. (Our frequency remains the same except for the 6-week no fly zone post birth and even then she does a good job of making sure I am not totally out to dry - a fact most of my guy friends find amazing and are jealous of.)

My follow up post will offer a little more clarity maybe.

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Re: How can I best be the "High Drive" spouse I can be?

Postby Believing49 » Wed Jun 22, 2016 6:30 am

An update:

We have seen what I would call some exciting developments and in one sense it has made things in my mind a little more complicated but gives me clarity on what kind of help I could use from the community.

I have been thinking lately about how much our old patterns weren't making much progress, so I'm trying to think in a lot of situations, "What would I normally do in this situation?" And then I try to do something other than whatever that answer would be. (The definition of insanity is true.)

For example, I've learned over the years that if I go 48 hours without "release" I tend to get grumpy, sad, and bitter. This makes me feel conflicted because I recognize that's a pretty high standard and there are tons (tons!) of guys out there that would say, "poor baby" to me. "Suck it up!" But the point is, usually if we go 48 hours without it, I tend to become withdrawn and feel wounded. So, since that is my typical reaction, I've decided to respond differently. Instead, I have been trying to approach her and let her know plainly, "I have needs. Let's take care of them." She is happy to accommodate, and usually pretty quickly. So now, instead of letting 48 hours pass, I'm communicating my need prior to that and it's helping. We had a conversation this week about me doing this and what that will look like for our frequency because I feel like I am going to let my needs be known more often, but I also have the conflicted state of not wanting to "inconvenience" her. Her response was that she doesn't know the exact answer but that she hopes we will land somewhere in the middle but leaning more toward my side of the equation, a great answer that brings up a couple more questions for later in this post.

In addition, I've communicated a long-standing, semi-hidden desire of mine clearly to her in the past week or so. Not sure where the boundaries are w TMI, but basically, I've always had an interest (understatement) in deepthroating. I've communicated this to her before and asked her if she wouldn't mind reading up on the topic on TMB to learn how to do it and she said she would, but there was never any change and I gave up. So this week I was laying in bed next to her and decided that what I would normally do would be to lay in silence and assume any communication would go nowhere. With my new mentality, I decided to go for it. I started, "I'd like to talk about sex and something that's important to me." I explained to her that it was something I really thought about a lot and desired a ton, but went further by talking about exactly what I was talking about. ("I'd like your lips to touch the base of my penis" and further explicit descriptions of what I meant when I said DT) She said that she had read about it on TMB and thought she had "tried it a couple times" but I think we just weren't on the same page as to what it is. But the result was ::alarm ::alarm ::alarm ::alarm :P - I mean, for a first attempt, she did a pretty dang good job. After we did that, she asked me, "Want to do [breast sex]?" - something she'd initiated before, and that same night she had FE - we weren't trying anything new - normal clitoral stimulation- this has only happened maybe twice before in our marriage.

We communicated the next day about the experience and the communication was really good. I don't think she would say she was really excited about any of it, but, as the norm, she was "wonderfully accommodating."

So,Unfulfilled, I've been praying for you and it seems if you're doing the same for me that God is responding. Thanks! Good things are happening.

So - here's the questions it brings up. All of these improvements have a tendency to fire me up even more. (Even writing about this has me ready to jump in the sack with her. I'd like to experience her new "skills" a lot more often and see if I can develop mine. :D ) So, even more so, how do I handle being the high drive spouse? In some sense all of these developments are encouraging and exciting, but they come with the trade-off of me being more revved up than before. Something I've always thought is that I'm better off trying to keep myself "off" than "on."

How does a high drive spouse find the balance between "going for it" and trying not to inconvenience the low drive spouse? And how do I deal with the fear (honestly, expectation) that this is just a high point for us and that life will return to "normal" again soon? We've seen that pattern many times. When the high points aren't high enough, how can a loving husband be a loving husband? How do I deal with the negative thoughts that even with the improvements it still seems like she could take it or leave it? How do I deal with the lack of regular kissing?

If it was up to me, we'd mess around a couple times a day (even if it didn't result in either of us "finishing") and I'd be thrilled to make out a little bit in between. In my mind that is NEVER going to be the state of our marriage. So, it seems regardless of all the improvements, it creates a tough situation for me to be actually content. How can I learn to be content? I'm thankful for what I have but in a sense, what I have just makes me want more. Am I a jerk? Unrealistic? How do I become realistic?

I don't want to be overbearing, unrealistic, inconvenient, or unthankful. I LOVE the progress but it makes me want more - and it all still seems like "mechanical" progress. And these thoughts make me feel like a jerk. I'd love the day to come where the two of us just actually LOVE being together and exploring and enjoying each other instead of "doing me."

Yeah, so, this is too long already. (This place is my outlet.)

Thoughts?
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Re: How can I best be the "High Drive" spouse I can be?

Postby Unfulfilled » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:57 am

Yes I have prayed some for you.

Thank you for your prayers and keep them coming. Still a struggle for me but something happened the other night that may or may not be a small positive step. Time will tell.

All of your fears and worries about a positive step only seeming to result in wanting more.m also your thought of a positive step which seems like progress only after a short time reverting back to the same old same old.

I also relate 100% with the genuine desire to want sex to be true togetherness and intimacy, rather than "mechanical" and a force of will obligation or duty. That is the single worst thing I think about my situation and the fear (which has been 26 years a reality) that this true wanting to be together on her part will ever become a reality.

Other than sex and a quick hug after work and her grabbing my hand during the memorial service for a family member. My DW has literally not touched me. Even after sex she will get up and clean up and go back to bed and not even touch me. Often even turning her back in her sleep position immediately after getting back into bed. I'm not sure how long it has been. But since I took specific notice of this lack of touching it will be 2 weeks tomorrow. In that two weeks I remember only 2 hugs after she got back from work. It a single kiss other than perhaps a millisecond peck good he on the way out the door.

I have no answers for how to "deal" with all your questions. As I struggle with every single one of the issues you raised.

As for OS. DW used to do this for me frequently. And it and she knows it is very important to me. But it has been over 1 year, approaching I think 18 months since OS. Giving and receiving. And Daw has clearly and absolutely taken OS completely off the table. I have mentioned it on several occasions and when I try to go down ther, she physically stops me.

As it is very important to me it is very upsetting. But DW is also trying (or so she says, I've seen VERY little evidence of it) working on sex and working to get more sex positive. So this last year plus I have pretty much left OS alone. Only recently bringing it very delicately up verbally. To which she COMPLETELY ignores me to the extent that she acts like she never even heard the words. Which is why I'm so sure she has completely taken OS "off the table".

I am quickly reaching the point that I simply have to "settle" for the fact that this is as good as it gets, and that I will probably never change my alias name. And that thought is absolutely depressing. But I see almost no reason to not reach that conclusion or believe it has a snow balls chance in Hades that I will ever have a fulfilling sex life. The sad part is, neither will DW. But I honestly don't think she cares. What we have now is more than she wants already it seems.

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Re: How can I best be the "High Drive" spouse I can be?

Postby Vanna » Wed Jun 22, 2016 5:50 pm

Congratulations on the progress, and on breaking out of the old communication cycle. That's wonderful. :)

First thing I want to encourage you to do is to pray that God will renew your mind, heart, and soul, healing any thoughts or patterns in your intimacy that might be out of balance or not of Him. Ask Him to give you the grace to be the husband He wants you to be to His daughter each day in every area. Ask Him to convict you if you get off track.

Once you've surrendered to Him, He will help you know if you start leaning out of the realm of healthy intimacy and into the realm of fixation, etc.

When hubby and I first started getting our intimacy communication on track and began discussing new things, I found that it helped to just introduce a couple at a time and work them into our time together here and there. After a month or so of playing with the new things, we'd try a couple other things. That way he didn't get overwhelmed and withdraw.

For me, I found that as we tried new things, we gradually figured out what we liked, what we didn't, and what lost its novelty. Also, over time, the intensity of my interest in trying things leveled out some, it became less about that goal of finding new things to try and more about the overall journey and intimacy.

So, all that to basically say that: things level out a bit (in a good way) after time. You'll find what you really enjoy, learn a lot about each other, and learn to relax and enjoy a healthy intimacy.

You've got a gem of a wife there, just kept letting her know how much her willingness to try new things means to you, how wonderful and beautiful she is, and how thankful you are that God put her in your life. ::wed
After 28 years and six kids, through the good and bad, by the grace of God, things keep getting better and better. ::wed

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Re: How can I best be the "High Drive" spouse I can be?

Postby Believing49 » Mon Jun 27, 2016 7:45 am

Having a particularly rough few days here and feeling depressed, hopeless, and angry so figured it might be better to get on here and vent rather then sulk or explode. (Can't say that's ever happened, but today feeling like I want to lash out.)

Since my last post, things have pretty much returned to "standard" for us and I'm just struck today with the thought that "I never dreamed my marriage would be like this." This morning my wife was gone for an hour and a half and I got a workout in and then spent about 45 minutes deep cleaning the kitchen, feeling internally that I want to please her. I was having a good day, listening to a podcast and then music, etc ... But when she got home I realized my tension and stress levels went through the roof. She was thankful I worked on the kitchen (one of the items on her to do list that I knocked out for her) but I noticed from the time she entered the room I felt pretty awful. It's not always like this. Some days I am able to cope better but days like today it gets really bad. I don't know if I have "triggers" but today there have been several situations (like being together in a close bathroom and the like) that it would be totally natural to touch each other, stop, kiss, embrace ... and in all of those situations we didn't touch at all. And I'm struck with the fact that if we hardly ever touched she would be just fine with that - because, well, we don't touch much and ... she's just fine with that. It seems like for all my communicating and explaining how much I need in this area, and as much as we've had counseling and she's read tons of books, it seems like she could at least up the effort to have some romantic touching throughout the day ... even if she has to force it ... I don't see a world where it ever comes naturally and that's just flat painful.

I don't know what I should do on days like today that I consider the lowest days. Despite how much of a gem she is, (Vanna, you're right about that)there are just some days when feeling lousy seems to take over and I just want to give up, move in to the basement, and lash out ... I feel so tired of feeling unwanted, frustrated, and bitter. Not every day is like this, but some are. And even posting this makes me feel like a dissatisfied, discontent, jerk. I still recognize I have it better than many, and that makes me feel awful too. Contentment comes easy in every other area of life.

Vanna, you said, "First thing I want to encourage you to do is to pray that God will renew your mind, heart, and soul, healing any thoughts or patterns in your intimacy that might be out of balance or not of Him. Ask Him to give you the grace to be the husband He wants you to be to His daughter each day in every area. Ask Him to convict you if you get off track." And I'm taking that seriously ... just today feeling particularly awful.

So, great community, what do I do on the lowest of days. These kind of days make it hard to concentrate on much of anything important. :(

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Vanna
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Re: How can I best be the "High Drive" spouse I can be?

Postby Vanna » Mon Jun 27, 2016 8:58 am

The hard days suck. :( Two steps forward, one step back sucks too. My heart goes out to you.

It wasn't that many months ago I was posting on an issue that I'd begun to doubt would ever change, but, by the grace of God, we have finally gotten a real breakthrough.

What I know, for my personal journey, is that there is "how I want to react in the flesh", and then there is "the opposite response". Whenever I surrender to God and do and say the opposite of what my flesh wants, I seem to get much more progress, breakthrough, and victory. I believe it is because it flies in the face of the traps the enemy sets in my life- there is how he expects me to react as a human, which he readily anticipates from my old game tapes, and then there is the unexpected- me surrendering and letting Christ be my example.

So, it's safe to say that her primary love language isn't touch, and yours clearly is. If touch was Chinese, she certainly would need an English-Chinese dictionary to get around in China.

Have you considered letting her know that you understand that the language of touch isn't her most comfortable way of expressing her love for you, and that it occurred to you that it might be helpful to give her some ideas to make it easier. Perhaps a half dozen, or so, easy suggestions of ways she can fill your love cup. Maybe begin it with- I would very much love: if you surprised me with a hug each day. If you snuggled beside me whenever we watch TV. If you would sneak into the shower with me and help me scrub up. (Etc.)

Let her know that you'd love it if she would share things she would like you to do for her love languages too, that your hearts desire is that you and she have the kind of marriage that is full of love, where you are best friends and madly in love at your 75th anniversary, that you never want to lose sight of the amazing experience of sharing this life with her.

Maybe if she sees the future through your heart and eyes, it could give her something to think about- a gentle reminder of the bigger picture and why she picked you to share this journey with?

For the record, there are "bigger guns" that you could mobilize, lines that you can draw in the sand- but my advice tends to be that it is more fruitful if you do all you can to enlist them to battle with you for a closer, more loving marriage, rather than it becoming a situation of battling each other.

That said, there can come a time where the situation is such that you have no choice but to pull out bigger guns and draw a line in the sand. Once you've done that though, it often becomes a very Cold War. It either shocks them into change (willing or reluctant), or it becomes a battle of wills where there don't seem to be very many victories.

Ultimately, I say pray for wisdom on what approach God wants you take. Pray that He give you peace and understanding and long suffering in the storm, whatever route He has you take.
After 28 years and six kids, through the good and bad, by the grace of God, things keep getting better and better. ::wed

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Re: How can I best be the "High Drive" spouse I can be?

Postby MayDayGirl » Mon Jun 27, 2016 12:07 pm

Vanna wrote:What I know, for my personal journey, is that there is "how I want to react in the flesh", and then there is "the opposite response". Whenever I surrender to God and do and say the opposite of what my flesh wants, I seem to get much more progress, breakthrough, and victory. I believe it is because it flies in the face of the traps the enemy sets in my life- there is how he expects me to react as a human, which he readily anticipates from my old game tapes, and then there is the unexpected- me surrendering and letting Christ be my example.

This is so true. When I finally realized that the only thing I can control in my relationships is my own response, life just got easier and less stressful. Seriously!

Another thing that helped me, when I had negative thoughts about my spouse, was to realize that things he did or didn't do was NOT done to hurt me. Once I got over the fact that his actions were not purposefully aimed at hurting me, I was able to accept what I deemed as 'faults' as personality 'quirks' and I got over thinking that everything was about me.

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Re: How can I best be the "High Drive" spouse I can be?

Postby Hiswifeagain » Mon Jun 27, 2016 12:48 pm

I find it helpful to recognize that often my disappointment is related to my unspoken expectations that haven't been met. It's easier to let it go when I accept responsibility for my feelings and remember that others can't read my mind.


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