Red Responds: His Medication and Their Sex Life

Becky in Ogden writes:

I have been married for almost 13 years and have four kids. A few years ago my husband was put on a prescription to help him manage his stress. This in turn has really affected our intimacy. We have talked about it a great deal and he wants me to go find someone to fulfill my desires with, since he just isn’t able to. He doesn’t want a seperation or divorce just for me to go find someone to be initimate with. I have actually found someone that I am interested in and believe that this man is interested too, but I am still hesitant. I don’t know how this would really affect my husband or my marriage.

He keeps urging me to do this, but I’m so nervous. I truly love my husband and don’t want to lose him, but he keeps saying if I do this it will draw us closer because he won’t feel like he’s letting me down, and that he would be as understanding towards me as I have been with him.

Dear Becky,

While the theory of a surrogate lover seems like it would be a good idea on the surface, following through with this course of action won’t be without its fair share of consequences.

Your husband feels responsible for the lack of intimate relations, but because he loves you and your life together, he truly does want all of your needs to be met. While bringing a third party into your marriage isn’t the most conventional solution, he views it as the most loving and giving solution he has to offer you. It’s a good theory, but the reality of handling such a situation can be quite complicated.

Your husband believes that he could “handle” another man with you, even though he doesn’t necessarily like the idea. I don’t believe he is prepared to handle the reality. Your husband is looking at it as if the only intimacy you would share with another man would be limited to the physical plane. The reality is, you aren’t a swinger – sex for sex really isn’t your style. You need to feel a level of attraction and trust with anyone you would become intimately involved with. Even though you love your husband, falling in love with your surrogate lover isn’t out of the question – and that could end the marriage you and your husband have worked so diligently to keep intact.

Furthermore, your husband would want details of your time with this other man, raising unintended feelings of jealousy. After all, this is something he encourages you to do, so he can’t quite feel justified about his feeling jealous and betrayed, should you exercise the opportunity. For you to have to relay intimate details of the moments shared with another man to your husband won’t make you feel very comfortable, and allowing your husband to participate in your sexual encounters feels equally as awkward for you, because you would be so self-conscious that you couldn’t fully benefit from the experience.

Bringing a third party into your marriage is a huge and life-altering decision. If you and your husband agree that this is something you both want, and feel that it would ultimately enhance your relationship, I would strongly suggest that before you act on your decision you jointly participate in sessions with a marriage counselor who specializes in sex therapy. A qualified counselor can prepare you both for the mental and emotional challenges and benefits you are likely to encounter with such an endeavor, and also evaluate each of you and your marriage to ascertain if this is indeed a viable solution to your problems.

For some, an open arrangement keeps love and life exciting and fresh, even enhancing romance and unity within the marriage. Not everyone is mentally or emotionally equipped to handle the changes and challenges of such a relationship, though. I have a great deal of concern over the regret and guilt each of you are likely to experience, but not share – in hopes of protecting the other. While it is healthy and normal to have a particular itch scratched, it would be best to talk with a professional first to make sure that scratching that particular itch in this manner won’t result in a gaping wound that never heals, but continues to bleed.

Good luck,
Ext. 9226

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