It’s normal in marriage for one spouse to have a lower sex drive than the other. But when one spouse exhibits little to no sex drive, it can be an extremely difficult thing for the marriage.
I know marriage is about more than just sex, but sex can be critical to the health of a marriage. Studies have shown a correlation between sexual satisfaction and marital satisfaction.
And even the Scripture tells us that sex is a basic drive and desire, hardwired into us by God, for enjoyment as well as procreation. You see this throughout the Song of Solomon, as well as in passages like Proverbs 5:19.
So, if your sex drive is nil to none, let’s look at some possible reasons.
Though we think it should be simple, a sex drive is a complicated issue. There are many things that can snuff your sex drive. Here are a few of them:
Hormones and hormonal balance are major players when it comes to sex drive. Sex drive can be affected by the time of the month, low testosterone levels, thyroid problems, and many other hormonal issues. Don’t overlook this.
When you’re not doing well relationally, it will affect your sex drive. This is especially true for wives. If a wife is feeling insecure, unappreciated, emotionally disconnected, or hurt it will greatly suppress her sex drive. The same can be true for husbands, but typically a husband’s sex drive is not as tethered to these things. That’s why most husbands will still be interested in sex, even after having a fight with their wives.
Because sex is very physical, physical problems can interfere with your sex drive. If sex is painful, it can very quickly dampen your sex drive and even prompt you to avoid sex. Erectile dysfunction, breathing issues, heart issues, excessive weight, back pain, joint pain…these can all interfere with sex and your sex drive.
Age can also be a factor. It is not true that we lose our sex drive when we age, but that drive can certainly decrease as we age.
It can be easy to overlook, but certain medications can dampen and interfere with your sex drive. Many anti-depressants, heart medications, prostate medications, and even some over-the-counter medications for heartburn can affect your sex drive.
Whether we like it or not, we carry our history into our present…and into our bedrooms. Past abuses and hurts can greatly affect your sex drive. What you were taught about sex (good or bad) plays into your sex drive. Past sexual experiences can be a factor. And unresolved issues between you and your spouse can dampen a sex drive.
Certainly, if you’re involved with someone else, it will affect your sex drive with your spouse. But if you’re involved in the on-going use of porn or masturbation, chances are you will experience a lowering of your sex drive for your spouse. You’re expending the sex drive you have on someone or something other than your spouse; leaving little to none for them. These are serious issues that will need to be addressed.
On-going emotional issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, and insecurity hit at the heart of a sex drive. Body image issues are another big factor. And trust issues (often stemming from past hurts and abuses) make it difficult to freely open up in sex…thus dampening your sex drive.
We don’t think of this one as much as we do the others, but a lack of intentionality will slowly siphon off your sex drive. Life is busy and demanding. If we’re not intentional about maintaining and improving our sex life, our sex drive can easily wane.
If one or more of the above issues is decreasing your sex drive and hurting your marriage, take heart. There are steps you can take:
- See your physician. Explain your issues with low sex drive and have them do a complete workup. Have them go through all your medications to determine if they may be interfering with your sex drive.
- Nurture the relationship in non-sexual ways. Spend time together. Have fun together. Surprise them. Serve them. Compliment your spouse. Flirt with your spouse. Put in a lot of effort outside the bedroom. Chances are, this will make it easier for you to show interest in the bedroom.
- Get in better shape. Take care of yourself physically. It will help with mobility and stamina and lead you to feel better all the way around.
- Work through past issues. Work with a counselor to dismantle the effects of past abuse, wrong messages, depression, anxiety, or anything else that might be interfering with your sex drive.
- Be intentional. Don’t put sex at the back of the line of things to do. Don’t give it the left-overs of your time and energy. Think about it. Set aside time. Schedule. Plan. Be as intentional about this part of your marriage as you are with other parts.
A WORD TO THE OTHER SPOUSE
All of this has been written for the spouse who has a low sex drive.
But if you’re the one who struggles because your spouse seems to have no sex drive, then you probably feel you have little to no control over whether your spouse actively does something about their low sex drive. It can leave you feeling like you have no options when it comes to your own needs.
In the next post, we’re going to try to address the needs of the spouse who is living with someone who doesn’t seem interested in sex. So stay tuned.