Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Sex Therapist for Couples on iVillage
I have been married for nearly three years, and my husband and I have had some problems with his lack of desire for sex. Admittedly, I am an exceptionally sexual person, but my sex drive has been suffocated to almost nothing because I am trying to be understanding and compassionate about the situation. The problem is, I have become severely unsatisfied, and I have found myself seriously considering sleeping with other men. I do not love my husband any less than when I first married him, but there is a physical aspect that I feel I need to satisfy, and I feel like I need to go outside of our marriage to do so. I cannot even fantasize about him anymore.Question:
Sex is an important component of a relationship, no doubt about it, but it is certainly possible to keep a marriage going in spite of any sexual incompatibility, providing the other factors outweigh the sexual issues. But while you may need to get sexual satisfaction in addition to that provided by your husband, having an affair is not the way to go. What I would recommend is that you try masturbating. If you can have the additional orgasms you need this way, then your relationship could definitely survive.
If masturbation does not work for you, if you absolutely need to have a man to get the satisfaction you need, then my advice is to end the relationship and look for someone who can keep you sexually satisfied. One reason I advise this is because there is almost no doubt that if you start having affairs, the relationship is going to collapse eventually anyway. But if your marriage falls apart because you were cheating on your husband, that is going to cause a lot of acrimony, and you are going to look like the bad guy. There is also the risk that you might catch some sexually transmitted disease and then give it to your husband. That is not a risk under which he should be placed. So if masturbation is not a workable solution, be mature about this and end the marriage rather than try to get around the problem by having an affair.Answer: