Wife’s sex request floors husband
Welcome to Relationship Rehab, news.com.au's weekly column solving all your romantic problems, no holds barred.
This week, our resident sexologist Isiah McKimmie tackles a husband whose wife wants to have a threesome with another man as well as a man who says he has no sexual desire anymore.
HELP! MY WIFE WANTS A THREESOME AND I'M WORRIED
QUESTION: My wife is very intrigued by the idea of a threesome, except she wants the third person to be a male. I have never given the message that I want more in bed, but that's not to say I'm not interested.
I'm just concerned with the message that comes with this idea. She has described that the sex we have is more intimate, whereas she feels her needs for another male is to have a "bull" with a "large number" to give her "a pounding".
I am average in size and I find it hard to just "bang" her without any passion. I'm concerned that I am just not giving her what she actually wants in sex.
ANSWER: I like ice cream. But it doesn't mean I want the same flavour every day. Just because I want to eat honeycomb sometimes, doesn't mean that chocolate isn't still my favourite flavour.
And just because I like different flavours of ice cream doesn't mean I want a relationship with them all.
It sounds like you're feeling insecure about your sexual performance. You're worried about what your wife's sexual desires mean about her sexual satisfaction with you.
There's a chance that it doesn't mean anything negative.
She may really enjoy the sex you have together and still want to try something different.
So you need to have a conversation about it.
This will be better done before you engage in said threesome. It's likely to get messy and emotional if you don't. You'll be dealing with the fallout afterwards.
If you're afraid you're not giving your partner what she wants during sex, talk about it with her. Don't go on guessing about what she does and doesn't enjoy.
Have an in-depth conversation about both of your sexual needs and desires.
Find out what she wants and what it would mean to her to engage in the kind of sex she's described. Find out what she enjoys about sex with you too.
Tell her what you enjoy about sex with her and what is important for you when it comes to sex. Your needs, pleasure and desires around sex are also important.
You may find that some of what you enjoy sexually overlaps. You might find that you also have some different desires. That's OK. It's normal.
There's a process of compromise required on many issues in a relationship - sex is one of them.
She might want more forceful sex sometimes, but it sounds like you still enjoy sex with connection. Talk about how you can meet both your needs.
And then at times, we simply have sexual desires, things we want to explore, fantasies we want to fulfil. This is perfectly okay too. As long as you're both in agreement about it.
Engaging in a threesome can be fun, but also complicated. Make sure you go into it with clear agreements and boundaries as a couple. Keep the communication between you open. Ensure that the third party also knows about any boundaries and agreements relevant to them.
Finally, keep in mind that just because she wants something different in bed, doesn't mean that she doesn't still want to be in a relationship with you.
QUESTION: I have been married for 16 years to a wonderful man. But for the last four years there has been no sex in our marriage. My husband was addicted to ice and speed for over 10 years and he is clean and sober for the last six years.
I only found out about the drugs in the last seven years. I stayed with him as he is a wonderful husband and father away from the drugs. And I wanted to support him to get clean.
In this last four years, I have also put on a huge amount of weight due to my health. I know he says he has no sexual desire anymore.
But I am not sure if I have turned him off due to my weight or if it is from being sober he doesn't want or feel the same way about me anymore. Need some help desperately as I don't know if our marriage will survive this disconnection.
ANSWER: It's difficult for me to give you a definitive answer on why your partner has lost sexual desire or his sexual desire with you without speaking to him.
There may be many reasons.
I've written previously about sexual desire having 'brakes' and 'accelerators'. Increasing desire requires addressing both.
Sometimes a loss of sexual desire is about a partner, but more often it's about something going on within the person themselves. Despite this, we tend to take it personally when a partner isn't interested in sex with us.
Is your partner on any prescription medication now? Particularly SRRI antidepressants? These are known to interfere with sexual desire and function. It may also have to do with how he's coping in life following his addiction and journey to sobriety.
And yes, your changed physical appearance may be a factor for him.
It's true, your marriage will be unlikely to survive this disconnection - unless you're both willing to do something about it.
Sexual intimacy is an important part of most relationships.
But there's more to look at here than the sex itself.
I suspect that you're having challenges communicating together and may be struggling to find meaningful ways to create connection and understanding between you.
If I'm understanding you right, for the first 10 years of your marriage your husband was addicted to ice and speed but you didn't know about it for nine of those years.
His journey of sobriety will have changed the relationship dynamics for both of you. A pattern of addiction also tells me that there's likely to be something in his history that impacts his relationships.
I suggest you get external support and talk this through together with a professional. There's likely a lot more going on here than I'm hearing in your short paragraph.
If you're both committed to making this work for you and your kids, it's worth investing the time and energy into really sorting this out. You'll probably find that you just go around in circles if you're only talking about it with each other.
Originally published as Wife's sex request floors husband