Q: My husband of 4 years cheated on me and is still seeing the other woman. We have had many fights over this topic and now we have our first child. Our fights are around our sex life as he says he felt not whole as a man because he couldn't make me orgasm during intercourse. I never complain about this – I didn't care – but this really matters to him. And he told me that he can make the other woman orgasm with no problems. Now I feel broken and small, and I fear that there is something wrong with me. He says he loves me and the baby but he is not sure if he wants to stay with us because he can't make me orgasm and he is not willing to stay and try to work on it.
I'm confused and lost. I think I might have a low sex drive as I find I had a hard time getting aroused even before I found out that he cheated on me. Is there any medication that might help with a low sex drive. Any help will be appreciated. Thank you.
How to rebuild safety and trust
A: First of all, your husband is not giving the other woman an orgasm, she's doing that for herself. Wherever did we get the idea that women are passive receptors, waiting patiently for others to fill us up and give us pleasure, of any kind? Orgasm generally occurs as a result of a combination of physical and emotional wellbeing, when a woman is in a good and happy place in her life. Dealing with misinformation about sex and receiving healing for wounding experiences from our past are important for us to enjoy good sex as adults.
Safety and trust are non-negotiable qualities in a relationship if orgasm is to occur with any regularity. To the degree that he is not supplying those for you, he can indeed take some of the credit for what you are not experiencing in your times of being sexual with him. A partner's infidelity is a major turnoff for a woman who naturally will initially feel broken, small, lost and confused. How could you possibly be relaxed and open to receiving him for mutual pleasure when there are so many really difficult things happening in your relationship?
If, in the future, you are in a safe and mutual relationship and are still experiencing low desire and anorgasmia, or lack of orgasm, you could ask your doctor to check for low testosterone levels, regulate any medications that you are on and investigate any vaginal pain that you may be having. What I'm hearing now though is that you have a major pain in your heart from a lack of respect and decent treatment, which can erode your self esteem and inhibit both your emotional and physical responses. Until that changes it would be very hard for you to relax and give and receive sexual love. If your husband is not willing to speak with you and a counselor or a trustworthy religious leader about these issues which are impacting your marriage then I would encourage you to go to talk with someone on your own. The present and future happiness and wellbeing of you and your child depend on it. You are precious and so worth it.
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Dr. Marion Goertz (mariongoertz.com) is a registered marriage and family therapist and a clinical member of the American and Ontario Associations for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT/OAMFT). Marion maintains a private marriage and family therapy practice in Toronto.