Should I have an affair?

While George’s love life is satisfactory, he can’t stop thinking about having sex with someone else, so relationship expert Jo Lamble helps him address the issue.

Q. George

After being with my wife for 20 years I find myself thinking more and more about having sex with someone other than her. Our sex life has always been satisfactory, though not setting the sheets on fire. I’ve broached the subject of trying something new and have even lightheartedly mentioned having an open relationship but she just looked at me as though I had two horns! I don’t want to do anything that will break up my marriage but I do feel I’m becoming a little obsessive about the idea – I’ve even started to flick through Tinder. Should I just accept the sex life that I have or take the chance and hope my wife doesn’t find out?

A. It’s very normal to fantasise about sex with someone new. It would be rare for a couple in a 20-plus year relationship to be regularly setting the sheets on fire. An open relationship involving other sexual partners, and in which only one person is happy, is not going to last. You could take the chance and meet up with other women behind your wife’s back, but make sure your eyes are wide open. These days, more people get caught cheating because of mobile phones and computers, and those who don’t get caught often find it difficult to live with the guilt. Think about what you’re putting at risk. If you love your wife and want to stay in your marriage, isn’t it worth thinking of other ways to address the issue?

When tackling mismatched libidos or differing sexual tastes, it’s important not to lay blame on one person. In other words, don’t make your wife feel like she has a problem. Rather, ask her what turns her on and invite suggestions as to what you could do for her. Be warned that she might instead ask for help around the house or watching TV together or something else that has nothing to do with sex. Ask her what turns her off and try not to take anything she says personally. The idea is that you keep sex and intimacy on the agenda by having lots of lighthearted but open conversations about how to stay physically connected. If your wife doesn’t feel judged or criticised, you might discover a lot more about her, which should benefit you both.

Related articles:
Spotting relationship warning signs
Is my marriage doomed?
Five ways to keep the love alive

Written by Jo Lamble

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