Dear Dr. Betty
I have been married for 40 years. I often fantasize about someone else, even women I work with, while making love to my wife -- and sometimes I must in order to climax. What is wrong here and what should I do about it? --D.
Remember the movie "Charade"? In it, Audrey Hepburn confronts Cary Grant with the question, "Do you know what's wrong with you?" He looks at her in a quizzical manner and she answers, "Nothing." There is NOTHING wrong with you for having these fantasies -- they are normal and natural occurrences for many men and women.
We can't always control what we think. The brain circuitry for attachment is not closely linked to that for attraction or lust, so it is possible to be attracted to more than one person. But, do you need to act on your attractions? No!
"I have felt lust in my heart," said former president Jimmy Carter.Even as a grown, mature man he still felt pangs of guilt that he hadbroken a religious and familial rule learned in childhood -- "thinking itis the same as acting on it." Not necessarily so . . .
Remind yourself that there is a major difference between thinking anddoing. Fantasies are imaginings. As an adult, you have values andunderstand the consequences of your actions. And you're very lucky tohave a 40-year marriage.
A word of caution, however. Ifyou're having these fantasies all day long or are poised to act onthem, then you need to look at problems in your relationship or see aprofessional counselor.Benefits of Sexual FantasiesConsider some of the positive aspects of having sexual fantasies: 1.It's often said that the brain is our largest sex organ, and fantasiescan stimulate our anticipation and increase our arousal and response. 2. They are an inexpensive form of entertainment. They can make us feel good and are very safe if not acted on. 3. They allow us to increase our experience without taking any risks. 4. And finally, fantasy is a wonderful stimulant. Let the good feelings it brings carry over into your relationship. Share Fantasies with Your Spouse?If you do, be careful -- youcould get more than you bargained for. In the film "Eyes Wide Shut,"Tom Cruise's character became upset and obsessive when hearing of hiswife's fantasies. Similarly, divulging your thoughts could bethreatening to your wife and cause her to feel hurt and jealous. Maybea better strategy would be for the two of you to create jointfantasies, starring each other. This activity could heighten yourarousal while not being intimidating. Dealing with Boring SexIn long-term, committed relationships, sex can become routine. And whensex is too easily available, the result is often boredom. In fact, thescience of human behavior tells us that unavailability is a real turnon for many. The equation goes like this: UNAVAILABILITY + INTEREST =AROUSAL AND DESIRE. Our fantasies fulfill this equation with no risk!So, stoke the fires of desire in your marriage and keep the passionburning.
Source: Relationships & Love