I've been married for several years, and our sex life is pretty good. But I admit that occasionally I masturbate. Is this something that will damage my relationship with my wife?
Louis: It's clear that masturbation holds some potential dangers to your marriage. The first is if your masturbatory fantasies are adulterous. if you find pleasure in thinking about having sex with another woman, that can erode your erotic feelings toward your wife. And that's a thin-ice situation.
The second danger is in gradually replacing marital sex with self-stimulation. Some men find this a convenient way to avoid marital intimacy.
A third danger is giving your wife a feeling of being inadequate or unappealing. Many women have no inkling of how common masturbation is, and they are astonished when they discover that their husband does that.
On the other hand (no pun intended), masturbation can have some positive effects.
It can relieve sexual tension when a man and his wife have very different sex drives. It can be an alternative way to find pleasure together when intercourse isn't desirable due to advanced pregnancy, recent childbirth or a mild illness. It may also provide a hedge against unfaithfulness when your wife is unavailable and temptation presents itself.
Since you have doubts about the effect masturbation might have on your marriage, it would be good to ask your wife how she feels about it. Her response will tell you a lot.