How do I tell my husband I saw him masturbating?

What you need to know:

  • My husband and I have a healthy intimate relationship but recently I found him masturbating. We have not had a discussion about it yet, but I am wondering whether I am not woman enough for him. Should I talk to him about it or is it normal behaviour?

My husband and I have a healthy intimate relationship but recently I found him masturbating. We have not had a discussion about it yet, but I am wondering whether I am not woman enough for him. Should I talk to him about it or is it normal behaviour? Anonymous

Reader advice

Talk to him

Joan Musoke. That depends on a variety of factors you have not told us. If you often say no when he wants sex, this is how he is coping. Bringing it up is likely to get an angry response, especially if you are suggesting he should stop. On the other hand, if you want more sex and he is masturbating, I think he needs to be asked about it.

You both need to talk

Mathew Mukasa. You are married to this man. You must be able to talk to him about anything. Do you believe your husband masturbating is wrong or sinful? Maybe you could ask him why he is masturbating. And at the same time, tell him how knowing he masturbates makes you feel. Open and honest communication is the key to a healthy relationship or marriage. You both need to talk a lot more.

Determine the cause

Moses Ojambo Odwori. This is an addiction, which is hard to break. Do not tell him openly because he will feel guilty and wonder how you saw him. Without blaming him, try to find the cause of his masturbation. He might be watching porn videos or reading pornographic magazines.

Occupy his free time

Drake Tumwine. He might have started masturbating long before you met and, therefore, it is a problem that can be cured by being friendly to him and occupying his free time. It is an addiction and you have to help him out of it with a lot of kindness and understanding.

Find a solution together

Michael Obai. Religious beliefs aside, scientifically, it does not cause any abnormalities. Psychologically, it can reduce one’s longing for a partner for sexual satisfaction which can cause problems in marriage. Talk to your husband and find ways of helping him.

Try counselling

Nante Kisa. Usually, an addiction grows due to the content one allows to get printed on his mind, for example by watching pornography, then one tries to get what he thinks he is not getting at home and it develops into an addiction. Through prayer and counselling, he will be able to change.

Do not doubt yourself

Anthony Muzito. You are a great woman and enough for him. He needs support to get over it. Do not scare him by just coming out to ask. Take your time and find the best place and time to talk to your husband without being judgemental.

Communication is key

Victoria Allen. A marriage without communication is already doomed. This is a question that you should not be asking. You should be free to talk to your husband about anything. Maybe you should first fix this problem.

You are a good wife

John Maswiri. Your husband masturbating does not mean that you have failed him as a wife. Like any other addiction, even when he gets the most satisfying sex from you, he will still want to masturbate.  Seek the services of a counsellor.


Dear Anonymous,

Being married is not a ‘cure’ for masturbation. Historically, masturbation by married people was seen as taking something away from marriage (here, it is called “The secret that ruins great sex”), and often was seen as an indication that something was wrong in the relationship, especially if it involves fantasy about people other than one’s partner. Either the wife was not giving her husband what he “needed” or the husband’s desires were out of proportion for the marriage.

People masturbate for a variety of reasons, including the desire for sexual pleasure, stress release, and to experience private, self-focused sensations without the distraction of a partner. But when people masturbate within the context of an intimate relationship, it can be valuable to understand the motivations behind it.

It sounds like it is time for you and your husband to have a talk about what is important and what you both want from the relationship. Are you interested in having sex more often? Does he want sex more often? Are you “out of sync” with sexual desires? As difficult as sexual problems are, they are often the result of being “out of sync” emotionally. Are you and your husband doing things together? Do you connect emotionally on a regular basis?

Maybe rather than address the sexual issue, you could start by planning a weekly date or time when you can connect with one another - turn off the television, make talk about work and kids off limit - and spend time together. Take time to do things that you did together during the early days of your relationship to remind you of why you are together.

Once you start rebuilding the emotional connection and the times you talk to one another, you can address the sexual issues, the lack of sex, and see where it leads.

However, if you think that there is still something amiss, then talk to your husband about it very honestly. Here, communication is key.

Let him know calmly that you do not like him lying to you. Once that is out of the way, have an open conversation about it. Ask him if there is something from your end that he is not liking or if there is something different that he wants you to do.

This will not only help you understand him better but working on this will also make your sex lives even more satisfying. Give yourself the opportunity to explore each other. The main aspect here is to be as honest as possible with your partner and then working through those things together.

Evelyn Khorono Lufafa is a counselling psychologist with Sermotherapy Counselling Foundation

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