His Masturbating Is Insulting Me

Lex on Sex His Masturbating Is Insulting Me Dear Lex, I’ve been married for six months. In that time I’ve caught my husband masturbating four times. I don’t understand why he needs to do that. It’s insulting. It also makes me feel like he’s cheating on me, but with himself rather than with another woman. […]

Lex on Sex

His Masturbating Is Insulting Me

Dear Lex,

I’ve been married for six months. In that time I’ve caught my husband masturbating four times. I don’t understand why he needs to do that. It’s insulting. It also makes me feel like he’s cheating on me, but with himself rather than with another woman. He swears that he is happy with our sex life and promises to cut out masturbation, but I’m starting to not believe or trust him. What can I do?

– Disappointed

Dear Disappointed,

I, too, am disappointed with your husband. Not because he is masturbating but because he isn’t communicating his very real needs. Many healthy men masturbate.

The typical guy has a much, much higher sex drive than the typical woman. Talking averages and stereotypes, guys think about sex like women want to shop, read about celebrity gossip and eat chocolate, combined. The desire and drive run strong and steady. The problem with guys wanting sex, like we want new shoes, is the great shame that we tend to associate with having a libido. We are taught that sex is dirty and that if we have sexual urges, they are evil. Shame can be as powerful as that sex drive. It makes sex, sexual urges and activities uncomfortable to talk about, even between spouses.

Just for a moment, try to suspend the shame you associate with sex. Imagine that your husband just wants to splurge on something pleasurable. This is what he is doing when he is masturbating. It has nothing to do with you, and it isn’t cheating. He’s just getting off. It’s the same thing you do when you reach for that brownie, or when you find it in your budget to buy that handbag. And you’d rather that he wasn’t standing around watching you do it, right? He is giving himself some harmless pleasure. I mean that: It’s harmless. All those myths of hairy palms and crossed eyes were debunked about 40 years ago.

Truly, if I were to point a finger at what is askew in your marriage, it wouldn’t be at his active sex drive. I worry for you guys because your marriage has created an environment in which your husband is lying to you about what he is doing and what he wants. It’s not one person’s fault or the other’s; it’s something both of you let happen and something both of you need to work on to repair. This repair is totally possible, so get to work on it! Because, for the record, I seriously doubt that your husband is going to stop masturbating. He’s just going to get better at hiding it from you.


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