I got married in Jan of 2021.
While we were dating, I was quick to tell him my relationship “stuff.” We covered everything from sexual needs, dealbreakers, childhood traumas, his failed marriage, our potential future kids, finances, etc. I thought we had it pretty much covered.
I was very clear about anal being a dealbreaker for me. I’ve tried it. It was painful, and not at all pleasurable. He enjoyed it in past relationships but assured me that my desire to not have it wasn’t a dealbreaker for him to marry me.
Now six months into our marriage, it’s a huge source of stress and arguments for us. When it comes up, which has become more frequently, he says something like “since I am your husband, I should get more than they did. I feel slighted because you gave them more and aren’t willing to even try with me. I deserve to experience all of you, they didn’t. How is this fair?” This has been a constant fight or argument on and off since we got married…with no end in sight.
My man is very much into his primal self and has said I am emasculating his caveman. He also gets easily triggered with anything sex-related because his ex-wife didn’t see the importance of sex in the 18 years they were together. As a result of his sensitivity to all things sex-based, I always do my best to go beyond my current desires/needs to make sure he is sexually satisfied.
How do I win in this? I don’t want to emasculate him, but I also don’t see why he bothered marrying me when I was 100% honest from the start. I have also told him that anything sexual that does not involve pain is on the table for us to explore. It doesn’t seem to be enough and my attempt to find a compromise is leaving me feel extremely frustrated, disregarded, and under-appreciated. Help please!
I’m so sorry to hear that this is your story.
When I read through your question, I honestly wanted to look your husband in the eyes and say, “You go first, motherf*cker, and Nicki gets to pick the dildo.” Not exactly kind or diplomatic, but his behavior made me that angry.
Girlfriend to girlfriend, I’m going to be as gentle but as direct as I can be with you.
Let’s interrogate this problem, shall we?
So, you say you were clear about anal being a dealbreaker for you. You tried it, it was painful, and that makes it a “no” henceforth. Now, after he’s already heard and (theoretically) understood you on this point, he’s saying how unfair it is that other men have had “all of you” but he hasn’t.
If this is all true and accurate, I think there still might be time for an annulment.
I’m not kidding.
I see so many red flags, and not just because this hot summer weather here in California’s got me worried about fire season.
This is manipulative behavior from him.
It’s bait-and-switch-y. It’s dishonest. It’s disrespectful.
He’s using your urge to please and accommodate as an excuse to try and cross your clearly stated boundaries.
He says his “caveman is being emasculated”?
I’d also like to say this to his face: You’re not a caveman, mister, you’re a supposedly grown-ass modern man. We all have innate compulsions. We get activated. We deal with them. And you are not demonstrating your ability to do that within the context of partnership.
Your Personal History
Next topic: Your sexual life prior to you crazy kids meeting is 100% none of his business. He is not in competition with other men, no matter what his lizard brain is telling him. Let’s take a giant leap of faith and say he’s better than that. Then he can acknowledge the impulse silently to himself and rise above it. He needs to be the man we’re all counting on him to be right now.
He may feel that the publication of this column is emasculating. Here’s the thing, though: There’s a really big difference between you making him feel bad on purpose and you (ahem, all of us) requesting he be the man he should be. He needs to step up: Honor his wife’s boundaries, love and respect her for what she provides, and remind her how lucky he is to get to be with a woman who takes such good care of him — especially sexually.
Your Marital Sex Life
Open to anything that isn’t painful? You’re offering up a broad menu here. This is not too much to ask and is actually considered “good, giving, and game (GGG),” a term used in advanced, open, sex-positive communities. In other words, you’re doing way above average here.
Nicki, here’s the part you don’t want to hear. Your husband loves anal. It’s an itch. One he said he could go the rest of his life without scratching. But I think you can see the writing on the wall here. What do we do with itches, Nicki?
Being a jerk to you and pushing you on the subject is him trying to scratch that itch. And it’s not going to stop. This is the way he thinks he can take care of that itch within the context of this (very new) marriage.
What Are Y’all Gonna Do About It?
So this leaves us with the big question: What are y’all gonna do about it? Are you going to deny him this forever and deal with the fallout of resentment between you both — him for being denied what he wants and you for his duplicitousness?
Are things so great in every other area that it’s worth giving him an itch-scratching pass to get his needs met somewhere outside of the marriage?
If not, are you willing to call it quits so that you two can find other partners who are more in line with your individual needs and desires?
What are you two going to do about it?
(Please do something, because this for the rest of your life will be torture.)
I recommend you set a specific time to talk, like at your Full Moon Ritual. You’re a fan of mine so I am assuming you do that, yes? Here’s the link.
When it’s time to talk, come together as two people who mean well, who love each other, and who are both recognizing there are conflicting needs here — needs on both sides that have to be worked out.
Try not to point fingers or attack each other.
Simply plop those conflicting needs on the table, sit side by side, and work out the details of said problems together as a team, not as opponents on opposite sides.
P.S. Saying “no” to anal is not you intentionally emasculating your husband. That is, frankly, a crock of shit. He literally knew what he was getting into (and it wasn’t your backside)! Even though I do recommend approaching this problem on equal footing with each other for the sake of sanity and kindness all around, he’s the one who’s ultimately in the wrong.
. . .
Wendy Newman is the author of 121 First Dates. She’s a dating, sex, and relationship expert who’s led hundreds of workshops and revolutionized the lives of over 70,000+ women internationally.
You can send a question to the column via email: Wendy@WendySpeaks.com