I’ll be honest: Q&A days are hard. Because oftentimes, a reader’s question hits on a difficult situation. While I write maybe 1000 words to answer the query, the issue here consumes a lot of heartache for the questioner and real-life decisions they have to make. Today’s question is definitely in that realm.
I have been with my husband close to 20 years. I have never been or wanting to be sexual with another man; however, my husband has been pressuring me for many years — wanted to see me in a sexual act with another man. This breaks my heart, makes me feel like he doesn’t love me. I believe practice what you preach. I am a Christian, he is not. Have you heard of this type of thing before? Thank you.
Yes, I’ve heard of this before. It’s called a cuckhold fantasy. The word “cuckhold” refers to the husband of an adulteress and derives from the cuckoo’s habit of laying their eggs in another bird’s nest.
This fantasy has become quite common and is actually one of the top porn searches on the internet. Of course, porn searches don’t necessarily tell you what people would actually do in their sexual relationships, but it is interesting to discover how prevalent this fantasy is.
The first question many are likely asking is why would any husband want this? Surely, we know that adultery damages marriage, right? Why would any spouse invite adultery into their home?
There are a number of potential reasons, ranging from the adrenaline rush a husband might get from a forbidden sexual act, to a belief that he cannot fully satisfy his wife so he wants someone else to do it, to a desire to see his wife treated like a “whore.” Two of the more convincing options I read are:
1. The masculine tendency toward competition means that a man might enjoy seeing his wife as desirable, and even actively sexual, with other men. In turn, he gets aroused that she is so sought after yet she chose him and that he will assert his dominance over the competitors by keeping her when the other man is gone.
Does this sound perverse? Yes, but let’s remember that it’s an extreme version of every love triangle we’ve obsessed over in fiction or the screen (Team Edward vs. Team Jacob, anyone?).
2. The prevalence of pornography has made men into sexual voyeurs. They have been trained to be aroused by watching as much or more than participating. Leon F. Seltzer Ph.D. expressed it well in his article, “What Secret Male Sexual Fantasy Is Surprisingly Common?” in Psychology Today:
It only makes (erotic) sense that if we’re now subject to a porn-centric culture, many men … would be exceptionally turned on by fantasizing their partner as an enticingly provocative porn star, unrestrainedly exhibiting the wildest excitement in expressing her rawest, most provocative sexuality.
Husbands even expressed to one researcher: “My wife is the most beautiful woman in the world to me, I’d rather watch her having sex than some porn actress I don’t know” (David J. Ley Ph.D., “Why would you do that? (Watch your wife with another man),” Psychology Today).
Of course, finding out that a fantasy is widespread and can be explained doesn’t make it right or a good idea. In fact, this is a supremely stupid idea.
Even the secular article by Dr. Seltzer, mentioned above, noted that “experts writing on the subject of cuckold sex have observed that its reality … generally doesn’t begin to live up to the fantasy. Too many other emotions (i.e., other than pure lust) are likely to interfere with its enticement — like embarrassment, jealousy, fear, shame, anger, and resentment.” Fantasies are rather controlled experiences, an ideal of what it would be like, while the reality is often quite different.
In the fantasizer’s mind, he gets to watch his wife have sex with another man, which arouses him as a sexual voyeur and makes him feel more powerful because he possesses this highly erotic woman. But what about what she feels during the act? Either she feels like an object used to turn her husband on or she enjoys the experience, making it a true competition and comparison with the sex she’s had with her husband. And how do either of those promote trust or intimacy in a marriage? Of course they don’t.
Moreover, what happens when all is said and done? Is this a one-off? Does it launch a pattern? Is she now to be whored out to various men to satisfy her husband’s fantasies? Does she begin to conclude that the sex is better with those other men after all? Why stay with the husband who either treats her like a harlot or who can’t sexually satisfy her?
Ultimately, though, adultery is wrong in any context. While I believe that God’s rules protect us from personal harm — thus, my point that sexual cuckholding is a stupid idea — the greater argument is that it’s immoral. Here’s some of what the Bible says about sleeping with someone who isn’t your spouse:
“You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14, Deuteronomy 5:18).
“But a man who commits adultery has no sense; whoever does so destroys himself” (Proverbs 6:32).
“Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral” (Hebrews 13:4).
After King David slept with a married woman, God sent the prophet Nathan to convict David of his sin. David, finally admitting to his adultery, prayed to God, “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge” (v. 4, read the whole psalm here).
Cheating on your spouse, whatever the context, is sinning against God.Cheating on your spouse, whatever the context, is sinning against God. Click To Tweet
Knowing that it would be terrible for your marriage and a sin against your Heavenly Father, what do you do with the request from a husband to fulfill his cuckhold fantasy?
This husband is an unbeliever, which is a difficult situation in and of itself. Let’s see what the Word of God says about that:
“If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband” (1 Corinthians 7:13-14).
“In the same way, wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, even if some disobey the Christian message, they may be won over without a message by the way their wives live when they observe your pure, reverent lives” (1 Peter 3:1).
A lot gets made of the phrase “submit yourselves to your own husbands…” with some arguing that it’s the submission that will win over their husbands. I’ve heard of Christian wives going through with problematic or immoral sexual requests from their husbands because they think what matters most is the wife’s submission in marriage.
But these verses are very clear that what wins over a non-believing spouse is that the believer live out their Christianity. You can’t say yes to anything that takes you away from God’s desire that you be holy, pure, and reverent.
You have to say no, and say it firmly.
Sometimes when a spouse realizes their fantasy will never ever ever happen, they drop it and the issue fades away. Through the power of extinction, not rewarding the behavior of thinking/discussing a bad sexual fantasy, the spouse might get over it.
Other times the spouse continues to talk about their desires. And that’s when you have to set boundaries. Things like:
- “If you bring up the subject again, I will leave the room. Because it’s emotionally painful to me for you to suggest me sleeping with anyone but you.”
- “If you can’t let this go, then we need to go see a counselor. Because I want to feel emotionally safe in our marriage, and when you bring up this fantasy over and over, I don’t.”
- “If you ever invite a man over to have sex with me or attempt to force me into this act, I will leave. Marriage should be exclusive, and I will not be a part of adultery.”
Then if your husband does any of those things, you have to follow through.
I know that’s tough. But at the end of the day, we cannot enable sin. Even from our spouses.We cannot enable sin. Even from our spouses. Click To Tweet
Definitely practice what you preach. Be the example of what it means to be a loving spouse, to be a trustworthy wife, to be a holy Christian. Set godly standards and then keep them.
I’m praying for you.
13 thoughts on “Q&A with J: “My Husband Wants to See Me with Another Man””
Exceelent answer to a really difficult question. I don’t know many Christian bloggers who would have handled it nearly so well. I’ve heard of this fantasy too, but I didn’t know it had an actual name, so thanks for educating me. My prayers are with this woman, and her husband.
My husband had this crazy ideal of watching me with a woman. We have issues sexually in our marriage of 9 years.(the reason I stumbled upon this blog one evening) I feel that’s the major reason behind his fantasy. he feels a woman would know more about my needs and wants. Rather then spending the time to please me himself. I to have never been with someone else the thought kind of made me angry and upset when he brought it up. Be honest with your husband and tell him how you feel don’t beat around the bushes. If he loves and respects you that will be the last of the conversation.
I pray for this woman and her husband, who is fully controlled by the flesh. Giving in to this request would be a life altering mistake for them both, and I pray specifically that the husband sees the error of his path and pain it creates, and corrects his way and learns the joy of true intimacy.
J, the previous commenter was dead-on. Well done!
Great answer, J! Really well thought out, full of wise advice, I especially loved the fact you chose a question from a wife with an unbelieving husband.
Excellent answer! Full of well thought out information too (I did not know the name for this!)
And I love your suggestions for what she could say to her husband in this scenario.
Thank you for your nonjudgmental and true answer! Your suggestions for what she should say are perfect! The key is the follow through. It is NOT easy, but you have to stay with your convictions. I am praying for her! I understand this much to well. I lived for 32 years married to a man who forced me to do this. In the beginning it was very often, but I finally got up the nerve to refused after I found God 20 years ago. That fact that was ex-husband was a non believer was a huge factor in his lifestyle. However, his porn addiction got much worse (hours every day) and he NEVER gave up trying to get me into it again. I know he was frequently unfaithful, most likely with women who would entertain this perversion. He became verbally aggressive and abusive in trying to taunt me back into our old ways. I finally left him in 2013 and am married to a wonderful man who God created just for me.
It sounds like you can say with complete honesty that you did everything you could to try to make that former marriage work, but I’m glad you got out. Serial adultery and abuse are definitely breaks in the marriage covenant. Thank God that you now know something so different with your husband. May God bless you!
Not always an unsaved husband wanting this. My husband is a good Christian man in every other way, he fills in for preachers who are sick or on holiday, longs to see other work for God being started in our church etc and tries to live to please God honestly in his business dealings, family life etc and is the most hardworking caring man I know but then also has this fantasy!!! I honestly believe he has a separate part of his brain that he keeps it in away from his Christian relationship with God as I don’t understand how he can’t see it’s wrong or isn’t convicted by the Holy Spirit about it. I’ve made it very clear I will NEVER be making his fantasy into a reality. He keeps telling me it’s not adultery if I have his permission. I’ve even found evidence of him googling is it ok for a Christian to do this and of course he has found quack Christian sites that tell him it is!! People can justify anything if they want to. I’ve argued this in every way possible. I’ve reminded him that in my marriage vows to him and God I promised to forsake all others and so did he. I’ve said well fine if you believe it’s not adultery for me because I have your permission but what about the fact you’re still causing the other man involved to sin and to have sex outside of marriage. To which he said you don’t actually have to have sex, he just wants to see me giving the other man pleasure with my hand or him pleasuring me with his hands etc. So I said well if you still think that even that’s ok then you’re also telling me you wouldn’t have a problem being the one joining another married couple and being that other man getting pleasured by his wife with her hand or giving her pleasure. He then put his head down and said he would never dream of doing that and he never thought of it like that and that he would feel like he was cheating on me if he did that and I’m his ultimate fantasy not any other woman. He has no desire to be with another woman. So I thought I’d finally convinced him only for the fantasy to be brought up again by him a few weeks later. This has progressed to where he now has albums full of pornographic images of two men with one woman and he transposes my head into the pics so it looks like I’m the one carrying out the acts. I’ve argued this out with him many times, telling him I’m scared one of our three teenage children will stumble across these pics and who are they going to be horrified at?, not him as it will be their mother they see in them all. I’ve argued this to the stage where he’s practically thrown his phone or tablet at me and said fine delete them all, I’m not having this argument again. He has even begged me to get rid of his phone/ tablet and get him a basic phone so he wont be able to do that. So I’ve sat for more than two hours deleting all these pics, and then several months down the line discovered he had them all backed up to Dropbox and has just downloaded them all again anyway and made more new ones. I struggle to actually get rid of his phone as I feel a married Christian man should be able to have a smartphone and not be doing this and he needs it for other things. Then sometimes I think is this where I’m being really naive?! If it is too much temptation for him should I just get him a basic phone that doesn’t alter pictures and have apps or internet access and maybe that would be an end to it all?
We have been married for 16 years and have always had an amazing regular sex life. I’ve been willing to dress up, role Play etc and have tried many new things that he has suggested. I know how this fantasy entered our marriage approx three years ago. The devil is extremely subtle and knows where we are weak. There was an article in our local paper about how police had arrested people at a park near us which was being used as a local “dogging place”. We weren’t even sure what dogging was so we looked it up and laughed about it together but it seemed to open a door to that kind of thinking in my husbands mind. After a while he would have brought up scenarios to do with dogging where I was the woman in the car and over more time it has progressed to this. I now feel much less of an emotional connection with him when we have sex as I actually feel he can’t get turned on any more just by looking at me or desiring me but only by imagining other men are finding me desirable first. It makes me feel like I’m no longer that desirable to him and this fantasy helps him. I also feel like if he had any respect for me he would get angry and jealous at the thought of me with another man, the way I would if he was to ever touch another woman. When I try to discuss this he now gets so angry and defensive and turns it to where I always have a problem with him. I feel like this is the secret sin I’m constantly covering up and can’t confide in anyone I know as I wouldn’t trust them to keep it confidential. So I’m just constantly praying for him that God will remove this fantasy from him. I’m ultimately worried that he will ruin his testimony and relationship with God eventually with all of this as I don’t believe the two can go together. Sorry if I’ve written too much but really wanted to show that this is not just a “Christian wife/ unsaved husband” scenario.
Yes, that’s true. I dealt with the specific question, but I definitely know that husbands in Christian marriages can request such inappropriate, or really sinful, sexual acts as well.
You say that your husband is the most caring man you know. Well, if he were here, I’d tell him he’s not nearly caring enough. How could he continue to badger you with this fantasy when it’s obviously wrong and upsets you so much? How is that caring? I understand that this is a genuine temptation for him, but he’s letting it become an obsession. You need to tell him to stop, and if he won’t, you need to seek intervention. I’m so sorry to break that bad news. But really, he cannot continue this way with you. And you need to step up and help him to avoid this sin, both in real life and in his mind. I’m praying for you.
(Oh, and anyone else reading this…dogging refers to having public sex while others watch. I wanted to share that so you don’t have to go look it up and possible see something you shouldn’t.)
My husband explained this fantasy to me in a way that makes sense. He says he wants to be able to see me (ALL of me) while having sex, which is not possible, therefore he has this cuckhold fantasy. He realizes that’s not only sinful, but also that that isn’t actually his true desire. Basicaly he realizes he wish he could have an out of body experience while having sex with me, so he can both be having sex with me but being able to see from other angles. So basically, he is smart enough to realize the root desire is actually just to have more of me! So he shuts down that fantasy immediately now. But that was a helpful way to see it instead of being horrified by it. For those who are comfortable with this, perhaps that is where filming might come in. I’m not comfortable with that personally, but I do “get” it, if that makes sense.
I would love to see my wife have sex with another man. I would love to have my children wish they had my best friend for a father instead of me. I would also like to see my biggest rival at work take my job away from me and do it twice as good as I do. I would love to order food at a restaurant and give it to an overweight man in the next table and offer to pay for it and all of the food he’s already ordered. I would love to take my brand new 2017 Lexus RX350 to the used car dealership and trade it straight up for 1966 Rambler with 4 bald tires and a rusted out exterior. And I like hanging out at seedy bars and sitting in front of chain smokers inhaling the second hand smoke so I someday get lung cancer. You see, I’m called a masochist and I am out of my mind.
Ah, sarcasm. It can certainly make a point well. 😉
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