August 11, 2022

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‘My Husband Shames Me For Wanting To Orgasm During Sex’

4 min read
You’re reading Love Stuck, where trained therapists answer your dating, sex and relationship dilemmas. You...

You’re reading Love Stuck, where trained therapists answer your dating, sex and relationship dilemmas. You can submit a question here.

Sex should not feel shameful. The desire to have and enjoy sex is completely normal, so what do you do if your partner makes you feel otherwise?

This week’s reader, Lily, shares her dilemma. “My husband has spent our entire relationship sex-shaming me. He tells me that I’m selfish for wanting to have orgasms during sex, and when we have penetrative sex, he lasts about two minutes before orgasming,” she says.

“I no longer desire sex, and he has had an emotional affair while I was pregnant with our third child, which he informed me of and wanted to continue, but I told him that that would end in divorce for us, so he said that he ended it. Honestly, that affair was nearly three years ago and I’ve contemplated divorce ever since. My life is a living hell. Please, help me.”

Lily’s needs are valid and she should want to experience pleasure during sex. So, what should she do?

Counselling Directory member Hanni St. John is here to help. She says it seems like Lily is all out of steam and out of tools to deal with this anymore.

What would you say to this reader?

She wonders if her husband knows how damaging his attitude towards sex are. St.John thinks it sounds like their sex life has been quite one-sided and that Lily’s voice is not being welcomed or heard in this relationship.

“Is it too toxic to turns things around or are you wanting to start again with your husband?” she asks. “What are the strengths of the relationship? What attracted you to each other in the beginning? What feeling would you like to have instead of ‘my life is a living hell’? What can you do to move towards that feeling?”

How can she communicate her frustrations to her partner?

When it comes to communication, St.John states that it’s helpful to observe a few basic “rules of engagement”. These are designed to help keep things respectful and to give you the best chance at being heard.

“1. Make an appointment! Let your husband know you would like to talk and allow him to name a time that works for him in the next 24hrs or so. This ensures you are both prepared and ready to have a serious talk.

2. Statement of intentionality. Be clear about what you’d like to talk about and stick to just that one topic for this conversation. State your motivation “our marriage is important to me and I am brining this up to help us get to a better place together”.

4. Avoid these: It is unhelpful/ unacceptable to blame, label, mind-read or use absolutes (“you always/never…”) in dialogue with another person.

5. Thank your partner for listening!”

What are some practical tips you would give this couple?

St.John advises Lily to first check in with herself to see what she really wants and whether this relationship is emotionally safe for her anymore. “You say that you have been thinking about divorce for a long time now,” she notes.

She adds that Lily should think about what to do next, but says this is going to require her to be courageous and to have patience in the process.

“You will need your husband to do the same and hopefully your respective choices are in sync,” she says. “If you commit to the relationship then I would urge you both to seek a course of couple’s therapy. I’m a fan of Imago relationship therapy myself, but there are other modalities if your prefer.”

Rebecca Zisser/HuffPost UK

Love Stuck is for those who’ve hit a romantic wall, whether you’re single or have been coupled up for decades. With the help of trained sex and relationship therapists, HuffPost UK will help answer your dilemmas. Submit a question here.

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