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When Spouses Have Different Sex Drives Part 2

You are a sexual creature, created by a Holy God. Your sex drive has an ebb and flow. You have unique factors that contribute to the rise and fall of your libido. There’s a peace and confidence in that awareness.

If you’re married, remember the same holds true for your spouse – EXCEPT that their ebb and flow and drive and triggers may be completely different.  It’s no wonder that 1 in every 3 couples struggle with problems associated with different sexual desires.

Couples are made up of two people with two different minds, hearts, and yes, different sexual patterns. Sexual compatibility is such a common issue but we don’t talk about it with the person who matters most. 

Listen in as Josh and Kit carefully set you and your spouse up for a meaningful conversation. They’ll examine the role past wounds, comparison and other factors play in the bedroom.

Learning how to attain full sexual intimacy with your spouse is the goal on this next episode of “Becoming Whole.”

Highlights:

Letting another person see, embrace, touch and feel your body when you feel deep shame about the form of your body can be a deep wound that you have to work through in your marriage

to be sexual between husband and wife is to lower your boundaries the most profound way.

In a marriage, husbands and wives are different sexually. Just like they’re different in so many other areas of life but we don’t want to talk about it.

Homework:

Take some time to examine when and how you first learned about sex. Did it leave you with positive or negative feelings?

If Body Shame is an issue for you (as it is for so many people), try talking to your partner about the shame. “This is something that I’m dealing with…”

Recommendations: Find a good therapist with experience in sexual abuse trauma or maybe seek out Healing Prayer.


Resources/Extras:

GENESIS 2

Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
Adam and Eve
This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, when the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.
Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth[a] and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground, but streams[b] came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground. Then the Lord God formed a man[c] from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
10 A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. 11 The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin[d] and onyx are also there.) 13 The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush.[e] 14 The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Ashur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.
But for Adam[f] no suitable helper was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs[g] and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib[h] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
23 The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
    for she was taken out of man.”
24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
25 Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.

Books by Christopher West

Click for Full Podcast Transcription

Josh 0:02
Welcome back. If you were with us last week, you know that we started a conversation talking about navigating different sexual desires in marriage. So frequently, husbands and wives have different sexual templates, different desires, different cadences and rhythms. And they have to work through that in marriage. If they don’t, marriages can really, really struggle. And we know that from our conversations with people here, region, it’s a common occurrence. And so we want to talk about it. If you didn’t listen, last week, part of what we did is to lay the foundation to how to walk through this as a couple. And specifically, we said that sex at its core, the foundation of a good sex life really has to be love, that if a husband and wife or after just a good sex life, but they’ve segmented it or compartmentalize that part of their life away from what it means to be a loving husband, or a loving wife, or a loving couple, then they’re really, they’re really, they don’t have a solid foundation to stand on. So if you didn’t listen, last week, when I encourage you to listen back, we gave a lot more detail about what that means. And it will make a lot more sense going forward. But this week, we want to talk about two of the other differences between or sorry, to the different causes that can that can stir differences between husbands and wives. One of those is just, frankly, differences. And we’ll get to that in a moment. But the other is the role that past wounds can play in creating differences between husbands and wives that can be really difficult to walk through. So Ken, why don’t you share a little bit from your experience about the role that wounds can play and how that can make intimacy different difficult, and how can kind of especially highlight some of the differences between husbands and wives?

Kit 2:04
Yeah, it’s really a very significant issue. I’ve had, I’ve worked with many clients who had either traumatic sexual experiences, or just experiences at a younger age, outside of marriage, that dramatically impacted them in ways they didn’t anticipate before they got married. And I know for me, there were things that I had to sort out in myself and with my husband, that I that I didn’t know, were going to impact our sex life. And that had to do with, you know, becoming sexually active at a young age and carrying a lot of shame that I really didn’t even though I had, until, you know, we we began this sexual intimacy that was very beautiful and sacred. And so some stuff started to come up for me. And that happens, and it’s okay. It’s, it’s, it’s, you know, it’s important to let it come up, and then be able to seek help, you know, through healing through prayer, either, you know, in your marriage or with someone else outside, you know, a mentor, therapist, spiritual coach. And so it’s an important area that I think people might be a little embarrassed about, but it’s very real for a lot of

Josh 3:18
us. So let me let me rewind a little bit and just talk about let’s just talk for a few minutes about what kinds of wounds can really play a part in this because I think you you actually highlighted several there that are very different. But they can all play a part in this, I think, you know, one is just the the reality that husband and wife often, although trying to be exclusive and faithful to one another today, in many cases, they’re they, you know, they’ve had sex with other people or sexual experiences other people in their past. And that is a wound, there’s wounding there that can that can take place, both for the person who was sexual outside of marriage or before marriage. And also kind of it can create some wound like, Well, how do we relate, walk through that together now knowing you’ve been with somebody else, or that you had this experience? Or that or that both husband and wife did? And you don’t know what you don’t know, you know, like, you don’t know that you’ve got this wound. You you kind of oblivious to it, kind of acting out, you know, in some ways, and then suddenly, it’s like, oh, wait, what’s going on? Why am I Why am I struggling here? And so yeah, it’s it’s a, when that happens in a marriage, it’s good to say what’s going on? What what’s what’s going on? What things in my past might be, you know, playing a part here. Yeah. One of the things you mentioned briefly, and or at least you you mentioned, something that sounded like this to me. So I want to highlight this too. I think, for many people entering marriage, I think specifically for people have grown up in in Christian environments, where there was a lot of stigma around sex. As my my co author has pointed, he says, you know, sometimes people get the message, kids get the message. You know, sex is bad. So only do it with somebody you love in marriage, like. So if you kind of grew up with some messages like, you know, sex is bad, it’s dirty, and cut yourself off from sexual desire second, cut yourself off from the reality that as a man or woman you actually designed as a sexual creature designed by a holy God to be a sexual creature. Yeah, that’s that that’s a wound. Yeah, you are by God’s design created, it doesn’t take any, any more than looking at your body to know that your body is designed for the male, female sexual union. And that doesn’t mean that everybody gets married. But it does mean there’s a design there that design, according to Genesis to his airy, good, and it comes with sexual desire and longing and all those things. But if you didn’t know that, or didn’t, don’t have that as a background, you’ve been wounded. And that’s going to come up. I know for me, when my wife and I got married, early on in our marriage, I mean, from our wedding night on there are multiple times where I was like, Wait, did we just sin was this it was the only context I had for for sexual expression was sinning and it took up time to work through that. Yeah. To You know, the loving embrace the faithful embrace my wife to be like, Yo, this is very good.

Kit 6:18
Yeah, we can do a better job in the church. Can’t we going forward to let you know young people know more about this? You know, that’s, I think that’s one of the challenges for us one of the real, you know, calls on our on our, our part in the church to do that.

Josh 6:35
Yes, absolutely. We could actually link a couple resources. You know, Christopher West has written some great things. We’d love to reach them. Shameless plug for my book, which will be added in 2021 2021. on parenting kids in a sexualized culture. Yes. Another another thing, I think that comes up for people that can be a wound is his body shame. Yeah. So even if it wasn’t specifically around sexuality, I think a lot of people, especially in our image obsessed culture, can grew up with some deep, deep insecurity deep, deep wounds about how their body looks. Yes. So you can you can speak to that about women I know, for men, men who worry about, you know, my penis size does not seem to measure up with what I’ve seen in pornography, or, or I’m not strong and big, like, you know, Marvel superheroes, or, yeah, or I don’t have the, you know, this or that. I mean, I’ve talked to guys who, who feel insecure about their height, guys insecure about their, their, their shortness, their weight, their skinniness. And, and so unclosing, letting another person see and embrace, touch and feel your body, when you feel deep shame about about the form of your body can be a deep wound that you have to work through marriage to you want to say anything more about that?

Kit 7:59
Yeah, I hear I hear about that a lot. And I personally have experienced it, you know, I mean, I think, you know, all you have to do is look around at, you know, what is put out there as, you know, this is what women look like, you know, in the in the magazines and the movies, you know, and and, you know, well, most of us don’t look like that. And so it’s, um, it’s very difficult to not have some sense of embarrassment or shame. And so, to be able to, even in will, I guess we’ll be talking about that a little bit more to just be talking about that with your partner to you know, this, this is something that I’m dealing with. And so those things, body shame can be definitely, you know, something that we bring into marriage. And sometimes and that always, that can also come through, you know, another significant area, which is, which is sexual abuse or early sexualization. And this is this is a very serious subject, but very real. And I’ve talked with many, many, many clients who have had that experience, and it’s very, it causes a great deal of injury and wounding, and there is hope, absolutely, that God wants to and can heal those places. And I’ve seen a lot of women heal in some beautiful ways to be able to enter into the fullness of sexual intimacy in their marriages, but it’s a very real, very real issue.

Josh 9:34
Yeah, when you’re when your early sexual experiences have been predatorial where someone has has with disregard, and sometimes even vitriol toward you have have used your your body for their sexual gratification, for their violence to as an expressive way, an outlet for their hatred. Then you enter into marriage as somebody who authentically loves you, and desires you can be hard to separate out. Is this that is what I’m experiencing today that and, and the and the body remembers the body doesn’t necessarily automatically know the difference and this can take real time. Yes. And your care and yeah, yes, we recommend here. Certainly finding a good therapist who’s got some experience with dealing with the trauma of sexual abuse. Also, healing prayer is huge here, Jesus, as you said, kid is, this is not an issue that is beyond his care and is covering, and he can bring tremendous healing memories in this way. Yeah. I had one other thought about past wounds. Oh, I guess it would be safe to say as well, just the reality of any type of other kind of relational wounding, whether it’s emotional attachment, yes. Emotional dependencies. Yes. You know, you know, whatever. I think so. So often, especially when we kind of think that our sex lives are this standalone part of who we are, which we talked about last week is not real. Somebody coming towards us seeking affection and seeking to give affection can feel like a like, there’s just boundary issues there. Because to be sexual between husband and wife is to lower your boundaries in the most profound way. Yeah, so if there are boundary issues from the past, you can feel threatening when someone wants to enter in you know, they come knocking gently, and it can feel like a threat when Yes,

Kit 11:43
I’m glad you brought that up. Because it isn’t just sexual kinds of things. It totally is emotional, relational, those things can definitely interfere. And which is a great segue into the next area, because we need to talk about that stuff.

Josh 11:58
Yeah, so it could lead us into the next area.

Kit 12:01
So you know, in some, in some ways, you know, we want to talk about the fact that in a marriage, husbands and wives are different sexually. They’re just like, they’re different in so many areas, other areas of life, but we don’t want to talk about it. You know, it’s like, we’re different tastes in movies, we have different tastes in books, food, but in sex is supposed to be like, what you’re supposed to be the same. And that’s just not true.

Josh 12:26
You know, so funny about that. Like, could there be anything more obvious? Just look at a man’s body, woman’s body. Yeah, you’re different. You are discipline. You know, personality and the million, you know, it’s the 7 billion different kinds of people on the planet. Like, why would we expect? I think maybe we’re trained by Hollywood or something like, well, we are trained by Hollywood?

Unknown Speaker 12:47
Yeah,

Josh 12:48
definitely, you know, you find the person that’s right for you, and all sudden, everything just flows.

Kit 12:53
Right? Yeah. Yeah. And, you know, experts tell us that the reality is that about one out of every three couples struggle with some problems associated with different sexual desires, you know, commonly we think it’s, it’s the woman, but the fact is that many men also have these kinds of, you know, issues and doubts and challenges. And so, you know, it’s just important that we acknowledge it, it’s a it’s a thing. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. And then the first step is to communicate about it, be honest, talk it through, you know, it’s hard not to take it personally. But it really complicates things. If we do that.

Josh 13:40
You know, it is difficult to talk about it difficult to be honest about I think it can, it can because it gets so it can get so into kind of into those areas of Wait, am I Are you rejecting me? Or am I pushing myself on you and I’m making you uncomfortable, and it’s just, you know, sex by design is so intimate, and is can be so tender. It reaches to tender places, maybe it’s a better way of saying it. And so, when when there are differences, if we don’t talk about that, then, you know, it just kind of is right for four more doubts and suspicion and division, and you’re talking about it. Especially when we kind of keep at the heart, like what we’re trying to do here is to grow our ability to love each other. Yes. The sexual love. Yes. And as we just kind of walking through the things we talked about last week, then then it can actually become something that we can be on the same team about, as opposed to like, You’re way over there. And I’m way over here like we were trying to learn to love each other to give ourselves to one another. So Kim, I mean, let me let’s get practically talking about it. Like it skips some words like, how do you broach this topic with a husband or with a wife?

Kit 14:52
Well, you know, it’s funny, I love that you You said you know, let’s not let’s talk about this We’re learning to love each other, this isn’t about performance, this isn’t about, you know, you know, doing doing certain things to perform this is about a love relationship that includes, you know, sexual intimacy. So as a person who is a sexual person, emotional, personal relational person, and we start to have some problems, like, let’s talk about it, let’s, let’s pay attention to what we discover about our about ourselves and each other. So one thing might be that, you know, a woman, the husband says, Oh, you know, I’m looking forward, let’s, let’s go ahead, let’s go ahead and make love and, and the, for that person, this would be true of me. There hasn’t been much affection or communication all week. And so, you know, one of the things that I’ve discovered, you know, and Greg and I have talked about, and he knows this, and this is no secret is that I really appreciate some affection through the week, some communication through the week, you know, so that there’s some building up to it’s not just like, I’m ignoring all of that. I’m busy, distracted, but let’s like, try to work some things in and talk about how we work some things into our week, so that we’re more ready, when the time comes.

Josh 16:17
The great I mean, this, you know, under the heading of communication, what a great thing to share. Just, it’s it’s practical, it’s respectful, it’s, that it’s, and it’s also letting, letting your spouse kind of into a little bit more about your own heart. And under the category of love, it’s saying, here’s, here’s what you can do to help me feel more loved. Yeah. Yeah. And then there’s practical. Go ahead. I was gonna say, I think for me, one of those areas that I’ve had to talk to my wife about, we just process things differently. And so if we watch a movie or a show, before going to sleep, for into bed, I should say, if that show is has an intensity to it, or a depth to it, and emotional depth to it. It can I mean, it’s it goes into me in a way, and in a way that’s different than my wife. And so I can’t just switch gears like, Yeah, no, it’s, I’m still in that, in that headspace. And I need to unpack a little bit before, before I’m ready to Yeah, to move into, into that sexual intimacy, that loving it to see with,

Kit 17:19
with my wife. And isn’t that just, it’s just such a great opportunity to be able to know each other. But you know, over the years, Greg, and I comment on how, you know how hard it is, but how great it is to know each other so well. And it takes time. And, you know, so to be able to communicate about all these things like you know, and practical things like time of the day. And like you said, what happens right before sex. Like, just to be able to talk about that and seek and seek like, oh, tell me about that for you. And it’s this isn’t about who’s right or wrong. It’s not about being intimidated or threatened. It’s more just like, Huh, that’s interesting. Tell me more about that, you know, and just to have it be a, you know, more of an ease of communication, rather than it being threatening.

Josh 18:11
So, so maybe, let’s, let’s give our listeners just a break here and say, Hey, here’s, here’s the reality, like, we are giving you an assignment if you’re married, assignment is go to your spouse, and say, Hey, sometime this week, can we sit down and talk about some of the ways we feel about when we feel most Mrs. When we feel most like we want to have sex when we feel like we don’t when we feel like we need something more? Can we just talk about what some of those things are? So we can be more on the same page? And

Kit 18:44
that,

Josh 18:45
so you can blame us, you could say? And then likewise, the other things coming up for me as you’re talking kid, like sometimes I don’t know what’s going on. And so yes, this journey is like self discovery. It’s like, wow, how am I going to tell you as my spouse what I need if I had no idea myself, and that’s going to be yes, no growth point for for some,

Kit 19:09
yes, it’d be important. Well, that’s another podcast, I think, seriously, though, going deeper into some of those deeper things, like I don’t know what’s going on. And then that’s been true for us. And I’m not sure what’s going on, and there’s had to be a different kind of communication. So maybe that’s a that’s something we can dive into another day.

Josh 19:28
What you have here in your notes for today, that I gotta jump into is, is this idea the comparison is a killer, you know, don’t compare. What do you mean by that? Like, so we’re talking about sexual intimacy between husband and wife? Mm hmm. How does comparison come in? What does that do and how does not doing it help?

Kit 19:48
Oh, gosh, you know, I just think a culture is just totally overwhelmed by comparison, whether it’s movies or Facebook or magazines or you know, the latest article on this or that, you know, you just, it’s just So easy to get caught up in comparison. And every marriage is unique. And so it’s so important. This is true across the board in life, just the danger of comparison. And in here, it’s just, it’s really important. Like, don’t think about what other people are doing, what you know, how frequent how you know, all that just like, what’s good for you. And what’s good for you, you guys can create your marriage and your sexual intimacy yourselves, and feel free. For what that looks like. I just think it’s keeps it so much less, it gets less complicated if you can do that, you know, and there’s guidelines, sometimes if you’re in in trouble, and you’re, you know, you’re trying to search out some things, that’s another thing, but the comparison thing can keep you coming and going.

Josh 20:55
You know, I think I can imagine that listeners are having different reactions to that internally, some might feel that’s really a freeing thought, like, Oh, thank you, you know, like, I, I felt pressure, because of, you know, the movies we watch, or because, you know, my, my friends talk about their intimacy with their husbands or their wives. And it seems like, you know, they’re doing so much better. It’s never helpful, by the way to compare your outside your insides, yes, another person’s outside. But the I think I imagined that some others might hear that and think, well, but, you know, I’m not trying to compare. But I also, you know, I’ve heard of things or seeing things in movies or shows, and I’ve been curious about that, or my friend talks about, you know, this, you know, their frequency. And that sounds good to me, we’re not talking about in a healthy way, we’re not talking about your own your own desires, kind of stuffing those but we are, you know, your, your your friends, good mentors, like they, they are different people too. And, as we talked about last week, I think this is a part of some business we got to do with God around this, that when a husband and wife say to each other, I forsake all others, and I choose you, they are embarking on a journey. That means both discovering what’s going to be unique, what’s the unique beauty of this relationship? And where can this go? But there is also the reality of letting some things go, because you’ve chosen this person. Yeah. And there’s a tension there. So we’re not trying to say settle here. We’re not trying to say anything like that. But at the same time, like, you didn’t, you didn’t marry that person. You didn’t get married that like this is your spouse and yeah, and so it goes back to that the larger covering umbrella here is, is that is love. And so how do we together grow in love and move towards each other? To help help each other in this regard? Yeah, and you may need help with that. You may need just help navigating that because it can get sensitive. But yeah. But that’s an important part of this, too. So yeah.

Kit 22:59
And And remember, too, that there are seasons in a marriage? You know, there are seasons in the sexual life as well. And that’s okay. It’s not going to look the same every season of your life over, you know, 50 years. Right. So, expect it, pay attention to it, what’s going on? What do we what do we want to need now in our marriage? How do we, how do we again, talk it through? So it’s not Don’t be disappointed? Shocked? You know, just be like, oh, okay, it’s things are changing up. What? How does this how do we want to accommodate that?

Josh 23:37
Yeah, I think I think you have to hold on. I mean, as our larger goal is love it. The reason why that is, is not because of some kind of rigidity from God, but because God actually has our best in mind. And so really, what the trajectory that God has, for all of us is more joy, more, more love more life. And so as we walk through different seasons, as we walk through, you know, whether it’s childbearing or menopause, or an illness or season of stress that makes things more difficult or recovery from past wounds, or anything other things we’ve talked about, yeah, that there is, you know, today may be difficult today may be joyful. Tomorrow is going to be a new adventure. And let’s stay on this journey of, of, of this larger journey of learning to love like Christ, love and learning to be loved with the love of God through each other. Yeah, the trajectory is good. The guy has as good in store in one form or another. We’ll get anything else you’d say as we wrap up the series. I know there’s always more to say. But I think we’ve covered some good ground. I

Kit 24:40
I do too. I think I think that this is a very important part of life and marriage. And I just hope that people are encouraged to be honest, be real, be unique in their own marriage and feel encouraged. You know, I just hope that that’s the To resolve the

Josh 25:01
press and press in, it’s worth it. It really is such an important part of your marriage relationship and, and where you need help. And if we can help, let us know. Let a good Christian therapist or good mentor know this there are safe places to work through this stuff so, so Lord Jesus, I want to just come back to this truth we talked about earlier that you God created sex. You created marriage and you created sex to be a part of your loving plan for us. And so Lord for the married couples listening for the husbands for the wives, you know, their concerns, their wounds, their struggles, oh Lord, would you open doors, open windows for them, or just pray about this, even this this two part series that are there’d be nothing oppressive, nothing legalistic that would come through, or rather that this would just open doors and windows for people that have fresh, a fresh inflowing of your Holy Spirit, your goodness would come in, or that more and more husbands and wives could love each other with a self giving love in all aspects of their aspects of the relationship including Lord in their sexual relationship. And learn for any singles listening whether their long term singles or singles looking toward marriage one day, we pray, especially that you bless and keep them and help them to steward their sexuality or we bless their sexuality, because it’s a good gift from you. Or we pray all these things now neighbor, the father, always.

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Original music by Shannon Smith. Audio engineering by Gabriel @ DelMar Sound Recording.

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