I’ve always been pretty open about sex. To me, sex and love are different, I can have casual sex with someone and not love them.
My partner (of 4 years) and I have invited a third into the bedroom on occasions. I look at it more of a sex toy than anything. My sex drive and performance isn’t what it’s used to be. I’ve gotten older, rounder and busier so I tend to be tired a lot. My partner has also gotten some hang ups about sex since we started dating. There are certain things he is not willing to do to me. I can live with that, even though it is something I enjoy.
The other day he found a third to come over, and we had an afternoon of fun. We’ve played with thirds before, and it’s never been an issue. What bothered me is that he did a few things to this third that he is no longer willing to do with me, and that got me a bit upset.
I found it a turn on to see him having sex, and to join in whenever I wanted to, but when he started doing things to the third that he does not do with me, that hurt me. After sex was over, he even seemed to be cuddling up to the third. After the third left, I wanted to talk about it and he got all defensive and told me I was being jealous. Am I wrong?
I love my partner very much, and he does have some psychological problems that he gets treatment for, and I’ve come to understand how they affect him, and it doesn’t change how much I love him. Should I be hurt?
A M K,
Just because he’s having treatment for a psychological problem, this should not diminish how you feel, and you shouldn’t cover this up.
Use your feelings to open up communication with your partner. If you were jealous, there is nothing wrong with this, and as you are in a relationship with your partner, you should be able to discuss these feelings.
Use this opportunity to speak and re-align the relationship, perhaps redefining the relationship boundaries surrounding intimacy.
It may be worth working on some couple therapy exercises. The top five exercises I’d recommend are:
1. Have an honesty hour once a week where you and your partner can discuss what’s bothering you without judgement. Agree not to get annoyed or hold a grudge over what is said.
2. Make a list of fun things to do during the week, even something as simple as preparing a new meal from scratch that you’ve never had. Shared experiences make us closer.
3. Have a date night once a week, unplugged from social media, where you can just be together and talk through your week.
4. Set aside some intimacy time, with just the two of you, without it sounding like paint by numbers scenario. Alternate the weeks where you do something to the other partner that is big on the tick list of fantasies.
5. Write a love letter to each other, even when you live together. A little note of appreciation can make a really big impact on how you feel about yourself.
Some couples find bringing a third person into the bedroom can spicen things up and bring new life back into a stale situation. But it is not without its complications, as you have seen. Being honest with your partner, communicating, and taking active steps to reaffirm your feelings for each other can help keep you together.