Question: “I’m a 30 year old LDS mother of three (4,3,1)and have been married to my husband(35 year-old) for 10 years. From when we got married and we started being intimate I got the feeling that my sex drive was a lot higher than my husband’s. I wanted to be intimate with him all the time and he didn’t seem as interested as me. I’m always the one asking my husband to be with me and sometimes I’m in luck but the other times I end up feeling rejected and feeling bad about myself. I’ve tried not to focus on that too much so I’ve been more focused on my kids, work and home. We have gone as long as 10 months without intimacy just because I didn’t say anything. He also very rarely kisses me on the lips. He thinks he only needs to kiss me when we actually get intimate, but sometimes all I want is a kiss and nothing else. I’m silently desperate for intimacy and romance from my husband. Is there something wrong with me or him. I’ve tried talking to him about it and he changes the conversation and says I’m being silly. Help!!”
Answer: I appreciate your writing in. It is normal for couples when they first marry to be semi-unaware of the physical and emotional needs connected to sexual intimacy. Many couples marry and engage in a disproportionate amount of sexual intimacy due to the newness and excitement found in sexual connection. In time, most couples have a slow down, or period in which things become stable and consistent pattern of frequency come into play for how they connect sexually.
From your post it sounds like you are more sexually cued up that he is. I mean that your sexual energy and libido as it is called, is larger than his. This is not abnormal as I have worked with scores and scores of couples and no two partners typically have the exact same sexual frequency. In the literature they call it high-desire or low-desire. Again, neither is bad nor good as it is not a moral issue but it just is. The catch for couples, is that they learn to get into a pattern of what works for both partners and leaves the couple feeling enriched and bonded following the sexual connecting. It sounds as if you are approaching him for connection and he is less interested, which I’d frame as lower-desire. You may be interpreting it as less interested as in he is not ‘into’ you. I’d caution you on that. It may be that he is, but more than likely his sexual frequency is lower and thus his needs are different. Have you spoken to him about your feeling rejected or hurt when you’ve felt he is not interested in you sexually? I’d highly suggest speaking about it, or writing him a letter about it and then following it up with a conversation. He can’t understand you if you want him to simply figure out what you want by guessing. Most couples on average have sexual interaction at least weekly. According to research, couples that have sex 3x per week or more are considered high-desire and couples that are 1x every other week are low desire. Marriages with sex less than 1x in three months, are considered non-sexual marriages.
Intimacy is something that runs far deeper than sexual intercourse. Intimacy is clearly about union, closeness, and passion in the heat of a relationship. I feel your husband needs to re-evaluate his desires or lack thereof for intimacy and I don’t mean sex either. I am talking about his connection to you. For you, I’d recommend speaking to him about your needs and hopes from your heart. You mentioned talking to him about it and him responding you’re silly. I’d instead look deeper at how you are presenting yourself. You will teach him how to treat you by what you tolerate and put up with. I’d suggest approaching him in a different way in a way that will help him hear your heart not merely the words that he can avoid and minimize as silly. Also, affection and closeness with hugs, touch, and small kisses are part of a healthy marriage not just precursors and foreplay before sexual connection.
Clearly your talking about it together will provide the solutions for frequency and preferences. Good luck in your journey.