DisclaimerMy wife has never made me lima beans. Thank you, Angel.

You may think that the title of this post has to do with sex.  Well, it does and it doesn’t.  It has to do with preferences and how those preferences impact our marriage relationship.

We are all entitled to our preferences.  For example, I’m not a big fan of lima beans but some people like them.  I have no problem with people liking lima beans because they can have their lima beans and I can leave them alone.  However, when we enter marriage these preferences begin to impact, and sometimes clash with, the preferences of the person to whom we are married. Let’s go back to the lima beans example, if my wife likes them that still isn’t a problem unless she finds it odd that I don’t like them and tries to convince me that I do like them or thinks that I should like them.  Now in this example my wife would be high drive for lima beans and I would be low drive for them.

So, let’s say that my wife in an effort to get me to like lima beans decides that once a week that will be our vegetable for supper.  Because I don’t like lima beans I pass on eating any of the lima beans.  Because her goal was to get me to like them, because in her mind lima beans are great, my decision to not eat the lima beans may offend her.  If she were to bring up the fact that I’m not eating any lima beans I’d let her know that I really hate the taste and texture of lima beans and it’s OK if she wants them but I’m not going to eat any.  So she quits making lima beans, which is fine with me because I don’t like them, but it leaves a bad taste in her mouth.

Now in the case of the lima beans which spouse controlled the situation more regarding the lima beans, the low drive spouse or the high drive spouse?  It’s the low drive spouse and it will be the low drive spouse in just about any situation whether that’s saving money or spending time with family.  The low drive spouse will control the when, how long, how much and how often of whatever the desire is.

This becomes more of a problem with things that are mutually exclusive choices unlike eating lima beans.  For example do we spend the money or do we save it.  Even in that there is some room for compromise but the low drive for savings spouse is going to control just how much actually ends up getting saved in most cases.  Where low drive versus high drive really stresses a relationship is in something that is truly mutually exclusive such as sex.  My wife can choose to have lima beans and I can choose to leave them alone, but when it comes to sex we’re either having it together or we’re not having it at all.  Any “substitute” is either sinful (adultery) or not the unifying experience that sex is supposed to be between married couples.  It is true also that the low drive spouse for sex will dictate the when, where, how often, position, etc. of marital sex.

In future posts we’ll take a closer look at the low drive/high drive dichotomy.

NOTE:  The idea of low drive vs. high drive came from Passionate Marriage (affiliate link) and Intimacy and Desire (affiliate link) by Dr. David Schnarch.

This content is published under the Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.