Q. I’ve been with my husband for eight years and we have two children. I consider myself to be one of the luckiest people around. My husband is loving and supportive, and he’s always been with me through thick and thin. I’ve never had a sexual relationship with another female, but I’ve always considered myself to be bisexual.
However, more recently, I find myself fantasising about other women. I no longer want sex from my husband and, instead, wait until he is asleep to go downstairs and watch lesbian porn to bring myself to climax. I just don’t know what to think or feel any more. What should I do? Name supplied
A. The fear that I hear behind your words is that, if you are open about your sexual desires, you will lose your husband. For all you know, he could be upstairs dreaming about watching lesbian porn with his wife. The fact that your fantasies are about women is not the central point – if you were in a long-term lesbian relationship, you might be running heterosexual movies in your head, but may not want to act on them.
I’m more interested in the issues around trusting your husband (what is thick and thin if not this?), your own shame (a rape fantasy wouldn’t mean you want it in real life) and what your husband is supposed to do if you have wordlessly decided that your sex life is no longer a source of mutual pleasure. Not having sex, and not being honest about what is going on, is a well-trodden route to divorce.
Author and sex therapist, Esther Perel, writes and speaks about sex as a way to connect, not just a means of reproduction. What happens when our need for safety and stability in a long-term relationship clashes with our need for passion and excitement?
I suggest that you watch a few of Esther’s YouTube videos. The brave thing is not to withdraw from your husband because of these feelings, but to be honest and share them.
Mary Fenwick is a business coach, journalist, fundraiser, mother, divorcée and widow. Follow Mary on Twitter @MJFenwick. Got a question for Mary? Email firstname.lastname@example.org, with ‘MARY’ in the subject line.