How masturbation affects my marriage.
Thanks to Eric for "Masturbation is Complex" a piece published on SoloTouch eons ago (link here: http://www.solotouch.com/story/masturbation-is-complex-1763) which prompted me to write this letter.
Several nights ago, I woke up aroused at 3:30am. My wife was snoring away-she had a cold. We had sex the night previous. I went down the hall to the extra bedroom, closed the door, logged on to the internet, and silently masturbated while viewing online porn. While in the past I have had access to privacy fairly readily, that is no longer the case.
As such, I took advantage of the night to have some time alone to masturbate. The next day, she was upset and crying, and my masturbation was the source of this sadness. I am a "veteran" husband. I have been married for more than twenty years. Like many good marriages, there have been great times, and challenging times. One conflict however, remains as unresolved as it ever has been. Masturbation.
My wife is deeply uncomfortable with the fact that I enjoy masturbation. More specifically, she is horrified that I like to view erotica/pornography to enhance my masturbation experience. Her overwhelming dread springs from the idea that I would not want or need to masturbate if she was satisfying my sexual needs. The conclusion she makes is: I masturbate because she is inadequate. I believe she has honestly tried to understand my behavior. Despite these efforts, she does not understand. Her instinctual response is to feel she is a failure as a woman, as a wife. Obviously, when a loved one is upset, one tries to make amends. We have talked, cried about it. She has asked me to abstain---which is a fools errand and only makes me angry.
I have since worked to maintain complete discretion about my desire to masturbate. After countless tearful discussions that ultimately went nowhere, I never bring it up anymore. I don't know how to resolve this conflict. Ever since I have masturbated, pornography has always been present and enjoyed. When I don't masturbate regularly, I feel unbalanced, uncomfortable, sometimes to the point of feeling short of breath. This has been the case for as long as I can remember.
When I have sex with my wife, it is certainly pleasurable and desired. Having sex with my wife does not relieve me of my desire to masturbate while enjoying pornography however. In its essence, the conflict remains: She does not accept an aspect of my sexuality. I feel that masturbation is part of who I am. I feel I should be allowed to live my life--and that includes having privacy to masturbate on occasion. I might add that other aspects of our relationship are solid, and we have a good life together--except the masturbation monster lurking under the bed. I am fairly certain my marriage is not unique in this aspect.
I am curious to learn how others have dealt with this core conflict. I no longer harbor any illusions about changing her attitude, nor do I harbor any illusions about my giving up masturbation.