My Partner Is Acting Out His Erotic Dreams…In His Sleep

Question:

What do you do if you’ve been with the same man for 35-years, and he’s had health issues which mean he’s stopped wanting to have sex? You realize that you can’t arouse him, but he keeps waking you up at night because he’s having dreams about sex, and he’s physically acting them out in the bed beside you. This is the same man who hasn’t had sex with you in almost 3 years, but denies that he’s dreaming about sex even though you’ve sat there and watched him do what he does in his sleep.

He also disrespects you and calls you names on a regular basis, calls you a liar, and keeps telling you that you can leave the relationship whenever you want.

What do you think is going on with a guy like this? Because right now I’m so heartbroken that I can hardly breathe. I can’t get the images of him out of my head, and it hurts to see him doing that every time he’s asleep when he hasn’t touched me in years.

Boon

Answer:

Hi Boon,

Based on the length of time you’ve been with this guy you’re obviously in your mid to late 50s. This is a time in your life when you just want stability, and instead you get called names and treated badly by a man you’ve spent a considerable part of your life with. Did he always treat you like this, or did something happen between you that sparked all of this trouble off? It just seems unusual for things to suddenly go this wrong after such a long time together?

The first problem here is that if your partner has genuine health issues which prevent him from wanting/being able to have sex there really isn’t very much you can do about that. A healthy sex life is obviously an important part of a marriage, but a marriage should be able to survive a short-term lack of sex for one or both partners. Has your partner looked into getting medical treatment for his sex drive issue? If not then it might indicate that his lack of sexual desire might be more than just a health issue.

I do find it strange that he’s acting out sex while he’s asleep, especially for a man his age. This isn’t abnormal, but it is somewhat unusual for it to happen so often. The real problem here is that your husband is in denial of the way he’s behaving, which is going to make it very difficult to talk to him about it.

There’s also the very strong chance that your boyfriend/husband feels deeply embarrassed about not having sex with you – impotence in men can have a devastating effect on their self-confidence, and can often lead to very strange behavior on their part. It might also explain why he keeps telling you that he wants you to “leave the relationship”, because he feels like he’s “failing” at being the man you remember him to be. The only reasons a man will go without sex for years are:

  1. He’s not physically capable of performing in bed
  2. He doesn’t find you attractive

Unfortunately only your partner can answer this question honestly, but it might be a question worth asking him i.e. “Why haven’t we had sex in so long? Do you not find me attractive any more, or…?” If you haven’t asked him straight out what’s wrong with him you might be surprised at just how willing he is to talk about things with you.

In situations like this getting help from a professional relationship counselor is the best way for you both to make any progress. Again you can’t force him to go to counseling with you, and you’re going to need to attend more than one session together.

If he refuses to go to counseling there’s only so far you can take your current relationship with him, because if he’s not willing to get the help he might need then you’ll have to decide whether or not you can stay with him or not. Wanting to be happy is a basic part of human nature, but if he’s not willing to even try sorting things out with you then you’ll have to choose whether or not you want to spend the rest of your life with him. That might seem harsh, but you deserve to feel loved and be loved too – it’s a basic human need.

Marlon

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