I have a partner of several decades who needs me, as I am his primary caregiver and he's been going through a prolonged health crisis. But we have been sexless for two decades. There are multiple reasons for that, on both sides, some of which include the fact that I'm just not that physically attracted to him anymore, even if I once was, even if I love him, even if I still feel sexual desire, just not in his direction. I have no interest in renewing our sexual relationship, especially not now, given the condition he's in. I don't even know if he's capable anymore. But I don't want to give up being a sexual being. I also don't think he would be open to opening the relationship and allowing me to get my needs met elsewhere. He's very traditional in that sense, and I'm scared to ask. I think it would break his heart.

Yet, at the same time, he's kind of getting his needs met via porn, which he hides and he’s very reluctant to talk about, although I understand. Not because I watch or enjoy porn, but because I understand he has needs, and I am not fulfilling them. I guess in his mind it's different because he's not engaging in a relationship with someone else, so it’s not cheating. Although I could argue that the amount of hours he spends watching porn and the extreme types he views certainly feels like something close to cheating to me. Not quite sure what I'd call it. I kind of mind when it's bordering on jailbait and/or violent situations, I do find those subjects more problematic, but I'm trying really hard not to judge, even when it's more disturbing to me, because I don't want to add to his shame. These are just fantasies, and he wouldn't act on them. He can't act on them. So, I am trying not to mind, and consider myself grateful that he is getting his needs met somehow, and I'm off the hook.

My question, I guess, is how do I broach the topic that I have needs, too? And maybe get permission to get them met elsewhere without hurting him? I'm not going to leave him. I can't. That would be cruel. But I don't want to spend the rest of our lives (and his might not be that much longer) living like a nun.

Married Or Martyr

So, you don’t wanna meet your husband’s sexual needs, assuming he’s still capable of being sexual...

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