I love my husband but I keep wanting other men
June 9, 2009 7:48 AM   Subscribe

I love my husband, he is a wonderful, caring, attractive man but for some reason I don't want to have sex with him even though I'm really REALLY interested in sex.

Posted anonymously for obvious reasons. Some background info - I'm a healthy, successful 32 year old woman who works hard to look good, my partner and I have been married for 9 years (no children).

I love my husband, he is a wonderful, caring, attractive man but for some reason I don't want to have sex with him even though I'm really REALLY interested in sex.

It gets worse - I now frequently have sex dreams involving friends / co-workers, but never my husband, and it's starting to affect my everyday life. We were at a party a few weeks ago and I had to purposefully keep myself away from one of my husband's friends who'd been in my dream because I was afraid I'd have one drink too many and be all over him.

And I keep having this recurring dream about a very cute co-worker, it's been going on for months now and I just can't see the guy at work any more without mentally undressing him. I don't know why I'm like this, I've just always had a high sex drive, and the enticement of danger and excitement doesn't help!

I love my husband, I have no desire to hurt him in any way, but whenever I make advances he has an excuse ready 90% of the time and we have sex so infrequently now that when we do it's weird.

He also strongly associates sex with love, whereas for me sex is just an experience, something really fun to do, a life experience to be enjoyed. I tried explaining this to him once but it didn't go down well; he is the jealous type and abhors cheating.

I feel like a horrible terrible person for saying this but if I COULD have sex with other people and he would never find out or be hurt by it in any way, I would. But we're married, and that's cheating. I just don't know what to do... I love him, he loves me, but he never seems to want me even though he *says* he does (actions speak louder than words!), and consequently I finding myself wanting things I shouldn't want.

Can there be a happy outcome to a situation like this? We have a good relationship and a lot of history together but this lack of any and all sex in my life is becoming unmanageable. I'd really appreciate any and all feedback, personal experiences, etc. Thank you in advance.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (21 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
I hate to sound like the perpetual broken metafilter record...but, you should probably go talk to a therapist, it would be a great help.
posted by Ponderance at 7:52 AM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


This may be pointing out the obvious, but if you're getting shot down 90% of the time, that's not helping much. I'd try to address the reasons why the two of you aren't having sex before worrying about all the dreams.
posted by electroboy at 7:55 AM on June 9, 2009 [6 favorites]


You have to try therapy before you do anything else. I'm sure there are good people who specialize in exactly this.
posted by originalname37 at 8:03 AM on June 9, 2009


I'd suggest marriage counseling and if it doesn't work, divorce. That way there is no cheating. You did make a deal and it is important to stick by it until it is clear it won't work. Then get a divorce.

Plus, even if you didn't have emotional connections with others you were having sex on the side with (doubtful), they might, which would probably cause problems.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:05 AM on June 9, 2009


I'm a bit confused -- you first say that you don't want to have sex with him, but then you go on to say that he is the one shooting you down "90% of the time". So it sounds to me more like he is the one who doesn't want to have sex.

But at the end of the day, the fact that anyone is having a change in their sex drive is a sign that something's up that needs talking about. Start with a long, no-pressure talk about things -- if this is a new development, try getting to the bottom of what changed that made him newly reluctant. Try to make it a no-pressure kind of conversation -- not so much "why don't you want me any more???" as much as, "I've noticed this is something has changed with you, can we talk about what it is that may be bothering you? Can I help you figure it out?"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:05 AM on June 9, 2009


Most people would have a little reticence at having sex with someone who turns them down 90 percent of the time. It looks like you two would benefit from couples counseling.
posted by grouse at 8:06 AM on June 9, 2009 [7 favorites]


Ok so at the beginning of your posting you say this:

but for some reason I don't want to have sex with him

but then later on in the post you say this:

but whenever I make advances he has an excuse ready 90% of the time and we have sex so infrequently now that when we do it's weird.


Who doesnt want to have sex with who here? because you are anonymous and wont reply.....my short advice is to get a therapist...
posted by The1andonly at 8:07 AM on June 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


Passionate Marriage. All about the type of problem you are experiencing. You have some hard work ahead of you. Good luck.
posted by carpographer at 8:08 AM on June 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


Couples therapy / marriage counseling - people have a tendency to completely brush such suggestions off, but they'd help way more than this website, especially when your situation has progressed this far.

Your question is a bit confusing and inconsistent, as noted above, but there's also little mention of how much talking you've done with your husband. When you mention that the lack of sex is causing you a lot of inner turmoil, what was his reply? What did (or didn't) he do following those conversations? Has the sex decreased for any specific reason? Can you remember when the frequency started fading?

Your only options are to talk this out, either with him alone or, if that doesn't reach a positive conclusion for both of you, a counselor. If sex is a big deal for you but not so much for him, it could be your dealbreaker. And in the scheme of things, that's alright - you're not at fault for wanting it, just as his low sex drive is probably not his fault. Sometimes, these ugly incompatibilities rear their ugly little heads, and the only way to deal with them is to do it together.
posted by Bakuun at 8:16 AM on June 9, 2009


As other people have said, and as is often the case with anonymous AskMes, things don't quite add up perfectly, and the reader is left wondering about what went unsaid.

If you want to stay with your husband, you should consider couples counseling or therapy or something. If you don't want to stay with your husband, you should get a divorce before you start having sex with other people.
posted by box at 8:18 AM on June 9, 2009


n'thing therapist, therapist, therapist.
First, yourself, solo.
Get a handle on this, then bring him in for couples therapy.
posted by willmize at 8:29 AM on June 9, 2009


I feel like a horrible terrible person for saying this but if I COULD have sex with other people and he would never find out or be hurt by it in any way, I would. But we're married, and that's cheating.

Not all married people are monogamous. Open marriages and polyamory don't work for everyone, but they do work for many people.

That said, your post doesn't add up, and I am on the "see a therapist" bandwagon along with everyone else.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:40 AM on June 9, 2009


Is your husband on anti-depressants? They can really crush sex drive.
posted by el-gregorio at 9:17 AM on June 9, 2009


Have you "let yourself go?" Sometimes people get comfortable in relationships and tend to not care for their bodies as much as when they were single and trying to attract a partner. Perhaps your husband is just not physically attracted to you anymore.
posted by torquemaniac at 9:23 AM on June 9, 2009


It's pretty normal to want to eat out if there's nothing in the cupboard at home. Fill the cupboard. You need to work on your sexual relationship with your husband. Talk to him and find out why he's not interested in sex with you. Perhaps there are problems between the two of you that aren't being dealt with, perhaps there's something physically or emotionally wrong with him, but whatever the reason, find out why and figure out how to address that. And once you two do get it going again, have fun exploring and experimenting.
posted by orange swan at 9:30 AM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


> Passionate Marriage

Seconding that book.

Sounds like he has trouble accepting your experience as you define it, as you allude. I have a hunch this could be the stumbling block here. Discuss that, understand each other, accept each other. It doesn't NEED to be a stumbling block. I and my husband also differ in the same way you describe, but that doesn't stop me from being very loving with him at the same time. Each gets what they need, and acceptance that we each have our own experience and there's no requirement or possibility that our perceptions and experiences are precisly in sync at every point.

Anyway, you do need to talk with him about all this stuff you are instead telling us anonymously, whether that's with a therapist or straight up just the two of you.
posted by Listener at 9:36 AM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


He also strongly associates sex with love, whereas for me sex is just an experience, something really fun to do, a life experience to be enjoyed. I tried explaining this to him once but it didn't go down well; he is the jealous type and abhors cheating.

Hmm, I don't know if I would have said this to my husband. Were you trying to use this little talk as an excuse to portray sex as an unemotional act? So you could have flings? Were you telling him sex with him is just a "life experience", or were you saying that sex in general is "something really fun to do" with all people? Either way it doesn't sound good. What does jealousy have to do with it? You're his wife. He's probably isn't as naive and realizes that a fling could very well turn into a relationship.

The truth is, sex with your husband is a loving act. Of course it won't be mindblowing every time, but sex is emotional. Sex usually builds closeness because it is such an intimate and emotional act. . You're dismissing the power of monogamous, loving sex like you are some sort of robot. He's probably having a blast just like you are, but he probably feels closeness as well. Why not give yourself the opportunity to feel some closeness and love with your husband as well? If you don't feel love at least some of the time when you are having sex with your husband I would talk to a therapist. You may be denying your feelings and might be afraid of intimacy.

I would also suggest you try to focus on your husband more. Think about something else besides other men. Ask him to take you on a date. And never tell him again that sex is unemotional.

If he really is shooting you down 90 percent of the time this might be a reason you are thinking about other people. It's not about orgasm. You could reach orgasm solo. You're thinking of having sex with other people because you want to feel loved and desired.
posted by Fairchild at 9:41 AM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


3rding Passionate Marriage. You have to both be 110% on board though. Good luck.
posted by headnsouth at 10:30 AM on June 9, 2009


[few comments removed - if you can't answer without eye-rolling at other commenters please wait until you can, thanks.]
posted by jessamyn at 10:36 AM on June 9, 2009


Everyone always recommends therapy, but all you learn in therapy is how to communicate. So save yourself some money and talk to him like a person who loves him. I have no doubt that you would NOT be attracted to him since he is constantly rejecting you. Your situation of a low-sex-drive male and high-sex-drive female is not uncommon, and you simply need to sit him down and explain that sex is really really important to you. Whether it helps establish and maintain your bond with him, to being a release, to just being fun, it is something you need. You should also listen to why he doesn't want to have sex. It could be stress, it could be low testosterone, it could be that he hears you moaning other men's names in your sleep.

Either way, talk to him, seriously and honestly, before you decide to hire a "professional" to solve your problems.
posted by anniek at 4:31 PM on June 10, 2009


You're fixating on others because he's not available for you.
If someone isn't into me, then - I'm going to cool off on them pretty quick smart.

Pull a Dan Savage on him. If he's not feeling like sex, then he should still put some effort into getting you off. If he won't put out, then he's destroying your marriage, and make sure he's aware of it - because you will(do) feel unloved, and will eventually look somewhere else.

In order to not make it 'all about the sex', or broach it in a more diplomatic fashion, try getting him to read the 'Five Love Languages' (that is constantly recommended here), and tell him that one of the ways that you feel loved is when he wants to have sex with you. And that even if you KNOW he does actually love you (because he's displaying it in the ways of his language or languages), that you still feel - unloved when this doesn't happen. Hopefully that should make sense with some context.

Also, make sure you're comfortable masturbating. Get some toys. See if he'll hang out with you while you play with them - ie you get the intimacy of sex, which is what kind of makes it 'sex' rather than 'masturbation'.

Finally, this may sound counterintuitive, but 'apparently' this works -
have scheduled breaks, where you are not *allowed* to have sex. Only do this when the above stuff is working out and you are having sex regularly. But, basically - rather than just 'not having sex' for specific time periods, you're *not allowed too* which can kinda bring the thrill back afterwards, and remove a bit of the familiarity/complacency. You can still be physically affectionate. Reverse psychology in other words.

But yeah, I think the 'explaining sex as a tool by which you 'feel' loved' would be a better tactic.


(Even though - you might not have sex as a love language.
You might well be a person with a high sex drive who just considers sex to be one of the pleasures of life, like good food, and massage - amiright? I'm with you! But then, his unwillingness might then come under unwillingness to 'do stuff for you' etc, so it still makes sense)
posted by Elysum at 11:14 PM on June 10, 2009


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