4 Reasons the Lower Drive Spouse Might Lose Interest In Sex

Why is that when couples differ in drive, we assume the lower drive spouse has the issue? We think the one with the lower drive needs to change, get a new mindset, or understand how important sex is for their spouse.

Maybe it’s not that the lower drive spouse dislikes sex, but that they dislike the sex they are having.

Maybe the higher drive spouse needs to learn to have sex in a way that the lower drive spouse would deem worth having.

Many couples spend years having sex that one spouse doesn’t find particularly exciting or connecting.  Afraid to bring up the uncomfortable topic of sex, they hang onto the status quo. They simply turn out the lights, tune out each other, and go through the motions. Over time, the spouse less driven by hormones become less and less interested in sex.

Without a mutual attitude of both wanting to discover new things, and vulnerably sharing, sex quickly gets reduced to creating a physical release. Sex can become predictable, routine, boring, and at some deep level, painful. If we do not have the courage to share our desires, or to create what we want during sex, we either escape into our own world of fantasy or lull ourselves into numbness. Somehow, we intuitively know that God created us for deeper connection with our spouse. As we go through the motions, without the confidence or tools for change, we just feel stuck. Eventually we would rather not have sex, than have the sex we are having.

Lack of Orgasm

One of the most obvious, blaring reasons women don’t deem sex worth having is because they don’t orgasm on a regular basis. They might brush orgasm off as unimportant or say they just prefer to cuddle, but imagine watching your spouse experience an out of this world experience night after night. Meanwhile, you are left feeling broken, angry and sad. Why would you want to have sex? Mutual satisfaction during sex must always be the goal. If your wife does not orgasm on a regular basis, you must clearly communicate your desire for her pleasure, educate yourself, and commit to whatever you can do to help make orgasm a reality for her.

No Connection

Another reason women don’t feel interested in sex is the lack of connection experienced during love making.  For these women, sex often feels mechanical and lonely.  A husband trying hard to please his wife can feel far away as he frantically strives to perform.Rather than leaning into connection, men do things like “think about Grandma” as a method to delay ejaculation. When lovemaking boils down to getting from point A to point B, we miss out on the joys of discovery.  We might both orgasm, but if we aren’t even aware of our spouse, what is the point?

Pressure Cooker

Some people might avoid sex because the marriage bed just feels like one more place to fail. Rather than a safe to place to grow and discover things about each other, sex has become a pressure cooker. Instead of both husband and wife taking ownership for themselves, one person gets the brunt of the responsibility. A husband gets blamed because he didn’t last long enough, touch her the right, say the right thing or romance her enough. Or a wife didn’t make her husband feel like the best lover in the world because she didn’t react like the movies. Pressure can ruin sex and make you feel like a total failure.  Why show up when you don’t have a chance?

No Creativity

The last reason we might feel disinterested during sex is because it just seems boring. Some of us have limited what we can explore in the marriage bed out of guilt, shame or even purity messages. Others just feel afraid to share the God given creativity that excites them. We haven’t established enough trust, communication, or courage to share our ideas. And some of us have just gotten lazy and settled into a rut. Rather than having fun we settle for vanilla sex that bores us to death.

Final Thoughts

Both spouses have a role in creating a mutually enjoyable sex life, but we can only work on ourselves. Rather than giving up or blaming our spouse, we can take a hard look at ourselves, and decide what we can do, regardless of our spouse to create a sex life that both of us will look forward to. Making changes will require courage, communication, compassion and an understanding of who God created you to be. Join me for the next 4 Mondays as we talk in more detail about how to create a sex life that your spouse would deem worth having.

Comments 8

  1. “Both spouses have a role in creating a mutually enjoyable sex life, but we can only work on ourselves. Rather than giving up or blaming our spouse, we can take a hard look at ourselves, and decide what we can do, regardless of our spouse to create a sex life that both of us will look forward to. ”

    How do you do this if the spouse WON’T, and has absolutely no interest in having sex? We’re talking NO DRIVE, not just low drive.

    • I am sorry for what you are going through. I can only imagine how difficult that is. Praying for break through as you continue to try to tenderly love your wife.

      • Mike is not alone. It is way too common in marriages. We husbands are supposed to live with it and pretend we’re happy. What if the husband stopped talking to his wife? He’d be considered inconsiderate and unloving. ‘But that’s how she feels intimacy’ would likely be the protest. Well?

        In our case, less than 6 times a year. So basically we’re roommates with family, social, and financial entanglements. The frustrating thing is we talked about so much while dating. This isn’t close.

        I’ve read that unmet expectations is the biggest problem in marriage. Well, I had reason for the expectations! From her lips! There is much she did not tell me, and much that she’s struggling with from her first marriage. Tried counseling, but she quit showing up.

        So, here we are.

        • I am sorry. There are no easy answers for your situation. Continue to go after counseling, for yourself, even if she won’t go.

  2. Great thoughts! Although I don’t fully agree with them. Maybe it is the challenge I have with being stereotyped. and this article feeling very much like men are the higher desire and are the reason why their wife is not. I understand that it is hard to write about these things and not use a stereotype formula but I wonder sometimes if stereotypes really help or just frustrate more people.
    I realize that in some cases where the husband is a selfish lover with very little consideration for how his wife feels, that these 4 points would apply and that’s a nice stereotype to put the man into to justify her lack of interest. I’m not saying it doesn’t exist, but honestly, the wast majority of husbands would do just about anything to:
    -make sure she has a great orgasm, if she’d be willing to work on it with him or even show some interest in it.
    -have greater connection for that is the biggest reason why men are wanting more and better sex more often
    -make it more fun and be more creative.
    From what I can tell having read these blogs and comments for several years, it’s usually the higher desire spouse that is more interested in being more creative and adventurous. It’s he HD spouse that is reading these blogs to explore ways to improve the whole experience. It is usually the HD spouse that is way more open and willing to try.
    Maybe it’s just hat I don’t see myself fitting this mould as the higher desire spouse, but then again sometimes I feel that I may be becoming the lower desire spouse because of all the reasons you talked about.

    • Sorry, It sounds like you are in a situation that is becoming more and more frustrating.
      I write based on honest feedback of women that open up about what is going on in their sex life. And yes, both spouses have responsibility in all of these areas. But you can only change yourself. If it doesn’t apply, then ignore it.

  3. My situation (my marriage) is becoming less and less frustrating as we are working on ourselves and our relationship and learning to understand each other.
    What frustrates me allot more actually is this idea that the lower desire spouse is not interested because the sex is not that good. I know, this idea has been very much promoted by Corey Allen on Sexy Marriage Radio and I’m not saying that that is never the case, I just don’t believe that it is all that common in lower desire people. I believe that in the vast mayority of struggling marriages were there is a big difference in desire, it has very little to do with the quality of sex, especially as it relates to the higher desire partner.
    Usually the HD spouse is the one more open to exploring and improving the quality. I’m now not talking stereotypical genders, men-high vs women-low.
    There are different reasons why half the population of this globe is lower desire, but the wast majority I believe, just is, because that’s who they are! They can have the greatest sex in the world and feel absolutely satisfied by it for a week or two or ten and not think about it or want it any sooner. I don’t believe the better quality is going to make them want it any more. I think it is mostly a reason to put the blame on someone else. Yet a higher desire spouse will have lousy sex and want it again the next day, because that’s who they are.
    If there is one thing I’d agree with Corey Allen it is that “We do sex the way we do life”.
    And how we do life is determined by so many different things. Personality, world view, motivations and 50 others.
    Until people actually take time to look at them and understand them, they will continuously run up against the same wall in their relationship.
    Two things we’ve just recently become aware of that influence these things greatly in our marriage are:
    1- I am a detailed person, therefore I live much more in the moment. I don’t dwell on the “big picture” all that much. My range is mostly 72hrs past and 72hrs future. Most anything further back or further in the future does not affect me all that much.
    My wife is a big picture person. Details don’t matter to her all that much. She always has the big picture in mind, which to her is the last 10 years and the next 10 years. While she is way smarter and more intelligent then me, There is so much going on in her brain, she always feels like she’s running out of brain space. Therefore she misses out on allot of things in the moment! She loves sex! But rarely thinks of it. There just isn’t space for it.
    2- She operates from a mindset of moderation, I operate from a mindset of abundance. It is like this in all of life for us. It’s like my range is 6 days in total, and there is plenty to go around in everything for 6 days. Her’s is 20 years and she always has to moderate to make sure there will be enough to go around. In 6 days I can easily have sex 3 times, once in the past 3, once now and once in the next 3. Imagine dealing with 20 years?!
    “To much fun” is just not in my vocabulary… to much sex…to much good food… to much vacation… to much money spent… I think you get the picture.
    Her mind: “Is this sustainable in the long run?

    • Thank you for taking the time to share insights into your marriage.
      I guess it makes me think about the different mindset we can have about God. Is He a stingy God that only has so much grace, love or forgiveness? Or is He an extravagant God that has more than we ask for or imagine? Do we serve out of necessity or out of an abundance of life because of His radical love in our life.
      May you love your wife with an abundant, extravagant love, because Christ first loved you that much.

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