When one wants a threesome and the other doesn’t

Dear Sex Counselor,
My husband wants a threesome and I don't. I am a happily married woman. My husband wants me to bring a woman into our bedroom, for me to have sex with. I have no burning desire to do this, and I am very uncomfortable with the entire thing. This is a fantasy that he has had for a very long time, and he sometimes asks me to talk him through, step-by-step, what I would do to this woman, and what she would do to me. That's so hard for me to do, I would cry myself to sleep at night, and after we made love, I would throw up because I felt so guilty and ashamed. I love him so much, and I would like for him to be satisfied, but at the same time I feel like I can not satisfy him by myself. I feel like the bedroom is only for us, and bringing someone into it would not only cause great pain, but a divorce, and send me to the psych ward. What should I do? He knows how I feel, I don't want to lose him, and I can't stand the thought of him with someone else. This is driving me crazy. Do you have any suggestions?

This is one of those times when I will encourage you to stick to your gut feelings, and ask your husband to respect you and your boundaries. It's very clear that you don't want to participate in this fantasy, and therefore you should not have to. Any other way would be nonconsensual, which we believe is wrong. So I encourage you to respect yourself, particularly because these requests your husband makes cause so much distress for you.

You are entitled to have your boundaries, and this is one of them. If he doesn't respect this boundary, he is assaulting you. Please be aware that pushing you to perform any sexual activity that makes you this uncomfortable is a form of sexual abuse, and should not happen. The question I have for you is, if he cannot let go of insisting you participate in this fantasy with him, what does this say about your relationship? He may have to leave this fantasy in his head, or be satisfied with watching it acted out in a movie or a book. There's nothing wrong with him having the fantasy, but most fantasies are just as powerful, if not more, if they remain just that - fantasy. So you are in the position of asking him to leave it in the realm of fantasy, since it is clearly unpleasant for you.

If he insists that he has to live it out, regardless of whether you participate or not, then you will need to decide if you can live with that insistence. If that is not okay, and he can't respect your wishes, then the two of you will have to resolve this basic question of trust and respect.

I suspect that this is a deeper issue, and one that would benefit from the help of a counselor for a short period of time. I am concerned that he doesn't care enough about your feelings, and your discomfort, to let go of his fantasy or change how he interacts with it. This can be a serious issue. I want to encourage you to ask your husband to seek help with you, since this is likely to affect your relationship in one way or another.

Please respect yourself and what feels right to you. If your husband won't accept that, then the two of you have some work to do. No partner should ever force you to do something you don't want to do, ever. Respect your boundaries, and ask him to do the same.

I wish you much luck. I hope your husband can understand how repugnant this is to you, and find a way not to force his fantasy on you.

The Sex Counselor

To order or ask a question: 888-621-8880