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Thursday, December 9, 2010

SL Letter of the Day: Control Issues

Posted by Dan Savage on Thu, Dec 9, 2010 at 10:14 AM

It's 2:00 a.m., I just got done masturbating, while my husband snores away next to me. He declined sex with me tonight because he was "too angry" about my business dinner running an hour and a half later than I had anticipated. We fought, he went to sleep, I stewed angrily for hours, finally jerked off, and now I'm emailing a total stranger for advice. A typical night in suburbia right? Here's the thing...

I've been married and 100% monogamous for 15 years. For the past year, all I can think about is wanting to sleep with other men. I agree there are times when adultery is a reasonable alternative to misery and divorce, but in my case sex is the best part of our marriage. Sex is the only thing my husband is good at. Otherwise he's a pretty lousy husband and father. I am an accomplished career woman who at home gets treated like a child. Tonight, I walked in the door—after a long day at work and a stressful business dinner—only to be reprimanded by my husband for being late (9:30 vs 8:00). He treats me like I am his teenage daughter, who is always out past curfew. This is VERY typical behavior for him. At the time we were married, he was attracted to the strong independent woman in me, yet he's been trying to put a leash on me ever since. For the sake of our two children, I've chosen to endure rather than divorce. Although he sexually satisfies me, Im feeling increasingly suffocated and put down. Seeing another man would be thrilling.

That's what I was longing for in the throws of masturbation tonight, someone else. But, is that justifiable? Sex is about the only thing I can turn to my husband for, so why do I want to get it from someone else?

Desperate Wife

Sent from the Savage Love App for iPhone


My response after the jump...

••••••••••••••

You want to rebel, DW, and you want revenge.

Those are the reasons you wanna get it from someone else. You wanna fuck other guys because however good your husband may be in bed, however strong your sexual connection, you don't like the controlling bastard. And why should you? If your characterization is accurate, DW, you're married to an asshole who treats you like a teenager and makes you miserable.

And while it's possible to hatefuck a one-night-stand or a FWB who's not actually your friend, DW, a person can only hatefuck a spouse for so long before the hate—more intensely felt for a spouse because you're constantly in his presence—kills off the desire to fuck.

Backing way the hell up for a second...

Since you've resigned to stay in this marriage despite your husband being a lousy partner and father, DW, you've probably—consciously or subconsciously—shied away from confronting him about his control issues.

And you know, consciously or subconsciously, that he has no incentive to change so long as you're not prepared to follow through on a threat to walk out on him—walking out is your only real leverage in a situation like this—and you're not prepared to walk. So you don't confront him and things don't improve. In fact, things get exponentially worse as your resentment and his unchecked assholery both continue to grow. (Lest I be accused of blaming the victim: DW shouldn't have to ask her asshole husband to refrain from being an irrational, controlling, patronizing, sex-withholding asshole. But that's what he is and he doesn't have much incentive to change so long as leaving him is off the table.)

And now, DW, after years of being treated like a powerless teenager, you're starting to act like one. You've arrived a point where you're somehow eroticizing your desire rebel against your husband's illegitimate parental authority. Like a teenager might flip her father off behind his back before sneaking out of the house after curfew, you're going to show your husband by fucking someone behind his back.

And I can't say as I blame you.

Sounds like the asshole has it coming. But I would encourage you—a successful businesswoman who can, presumably, take care of herself and her children—to confront the bastard first (not confront him instead). Insist on counseling, demand that he start treating you like an equal and an adult, and refuse to be bullied or patronized anymore.

If after you confront him and counseling helps him ramp the assholery down and you still wake up at 2 AM wanting to fuck other people, well, maybe and it wasn't—or wasn't entirely—the assholery that made you wanna cheat, DW, but the totally natural desire to see someone else, anyone else, naked after 15 years of being 100% monogamous.

And just think of how much easier it will be to get away with cheating on him if he's no longer monitoring your every move.

Not that you should cheat on him, of course, because that would be wrong. Not that I would blame you.

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