If there is no sex in the relationship – is it ok to cheat?
“I'm in a sexless marriage. My wife wants no physical contact. If I have sex with others, is it cheating?”
I’ve had a few emails regarding this scenario and thought I’d dedicate a posting to it.
This is a question posted by one of my readers “PW”, but the story to follow is not his story, it’s the story of “Bob from Kansas”
Bob from Kansas City emailed me his story and said I could share it with my readers. Bob has been married for 17 years and has two kids who have all left home for college and work. In the past 10 years, Bob says he has not had sexual intercourse with his wife. He said he stopped trying to have sex with her after eight years of rejection and being starved of sexual intimacy.
Bob says his wife stopped wanting to have sex with him after the birth of their second child. He still finds his wife attractive and she still says that he is attractive but she just flat-out doesn’t want sexual intimacy. The most affection he gets from his wife is a kiss on the cheek every night before going to sleep.
About six months ago Bob met a woman at the local grocery store. It started with an innocent discussion about which type of canned salmon was the best and led to several lunch date, the last one of which was at her place. Anyway, one thing led to another and Bob committed his first ever act of infidelity on his wife. Never in their 17 year marriage had Bob’s lips even been on another woman’s and as a result he is feeling serious guilt as a result. Bob said, “I had honestly forgotten what the feeling was like to have sex with someone and it was wonderfully overdue”. (I bet it was!)
Bob has since cut contact with the grocery store lady for fear that it could lead to something more than sex. He does fear though that now he remembers how enjoyable and satisfying sex can be that he will cheat on his wife again. He said he’d email me an update if he acts on his urges again.
Bob’s question to me was: Is it okay to do what I did given my wife has not wanted to have sex with me for 10 years?
Frankly, I have to say that while Bob did commit infidelity his grounds for doing so were somewhat warranted. Some will say he is selfish but others will say he was within his rights after all he was faithful for 17 years!
If I were in Bob’s situation I would probably have had a word to my partner to say, listen, you are not interested in sex but I am and I have my needs. I still love you but I need to get me some! From there the conversation can go a number of ways (positive and negative) but at least it puts the issue out there to be dealt with.
I don’t care what anyone says, a healthy consistent sexual relationship is a key ingredient to a fulfilling relationship.
What do y’all think?