It’s only natural for humans to think about sex. However, when one spouse thinks about sex far more than the other, the resulting differences in sex drives can become a major issue.
I’ve been on both sides of this fence, as have many married folks. There’ve been times when I would hit a wall sexually and have little-to-no interest, and other seasons where I felt more like climbing a wall due to my abundance of interest! There have also been many occasions when Greg was having recurrent cravings for a sexual connection, and others when his brain was driven to distraction to the point that sex simply wasn’t on his radar.
We’ve found that the key to surviving these fluctuating seasons and pendulum swings from one extreme to the other is . . . drum roll, please . . . to not take it personally! If you’re the one feeling the sting of rejection, it’s most likely not about you at all. And if you’re the one experiencing a temporary lull in your libido, it’s not a sign that your relationship is sinking like the Titanic. Most likely, these differences in sexual thought patterns have more to do with hormone production than anything else, and hormone production isn’t always something that we’re able to control.
…the honeymoon isn’t intended to last forever. The “new” wears off eventually, and our long-term reality usually proves different than our short-term fantasies of what marriage would be like. Then throw children into the mix, and it’s easy to observe how a woman’s obsession with her children can put an even bigger damper on her sexual thoughts toward her husband for many years (or decades) to come. Similarly, a man’s obsession with his career can have the same effect. Both husbands and wives must intentionally make room for, and keep mental space available for, fueling the one relationship that is most important to our long-term well-being. Think about it. Kids grow up and leave the nest. Careers evolve and eventually come to an end. Friendships often fade. But our marriage—that’s a “forever” thing, so we may need to adjust our expectations after that euphoric “honeymoon phase” disappears in our rear-view mirror.
The encouraging reality, however, is that even when our brains no longer produce that sexual “high” that we initially enjoy so much, it doesn’t mean that love has to grow cold! It simply means that our bodies aren’t designed to maintain revved up states of passionate love. Our relationships must evolve into more stable, mature states that can be maintained for long periods of time.
When viewed in this light, even this relational evolution can be cause for celebration! Although your heads may not be spinning any longer or nearly as often, neither of you are going to throw in the towel just because mental interest in your sex life levels out. That’s for relational light-weights whose marriages are like rain puddles—sparkly on the surface, but not very deep. Two mature people who are fully committed to one another for life will learn both the art of making love, and the art of making love last.