May 05, 2023
Dealing with a Partner's Request for Unwanted Actions
Have you ever had a partner ask you to do something you didn't want to do? It's not uncommon for couples to find themselves in a situation where one partner requests something that the other partner is uncomfortable with or unwilling to do. It could be anything from trying a new sexual position to attending a social event. Whatever the request may be, it can be challenging to navigate these situations without damaging the relationship or causing hurt feelings. In this blog, we'll discuss some strategies for handling a partner's request for something you don't want to do while maintaining respect and open communication in your relationship.
Consider this scenario: You meet someone who you're incredibly attracted to in every way possible. They have all the qualities you look for in a partner: kindness, consideration, generosity, warmth, sensitivity, humor, and intelligence. Maybe you've been married to them for years and have developed a deep emotional connection. But what if they ask you to do something sexually that makes you uncomfortable, or even disgusted or embarrassed? How do you handle this situation when you don't want to compromise your boundaries but also don't want to hurt your partner's feelings?
Some examples might be:
- He or she wants to have anal sex with you
- Your partner wants you to urinate on him or her
- He wants to tie you up
- She wants to see you masturbate
- He wants you to lick his anus
- She wants to make love when she’s menstruating
Have you ever wondered what you would do if your partner asked you to participate in a threesome? Or swing with other couples? Maybe engage in sadomasochistic behavior? Or perhaps your partner wants to dress up in your lingerie while beating their body with olive branches? The point is, your partner asks you to do something that rubs you the wrong way, pardon the pun.
What would be your course of action in such a situation? Would you give in to your partner's wishes even if it makes you uncomfortable, or would you firmly decline, despite knowing that your partner may still crave it? Now all these things I mentioned are not in and of themselves abnormal. Remember there is nothing illegal or immoral if done between consenting adults.
Someone came to seek my advice regarding a sexual request made by her partner that left her feeling uncomfortable and disgusted. She was unsure whether this was a normal request in a relationship. However, what was not normal was the way in which her partner had asked. He had used force, criticism, and insults, even threatening to seek gratification elsewhere if she did not comply. This type of behavior is not acceptable and can be classified as abuse.
First things first, you should never feel pressured to do anything you are uncomfortable with. Sex is to be enjoyed by both parties. One partner is not there only to fulfill the desires of the other. A healthy sexual relationship is built on mutual trust and respect, and if you don't feel safe or respected, it's important to reevaluate the relationship. It's important to approach experimentation in a safe and consensual manner. If your partner is manipulating or pressuring you, it's important to assert your boundaries and communicate that their behavior is unacceptable. The line: “you would do it if you really loved me” doesn’t wash. “If you love me, you should respect my limits” is what you need to reply.”
Effective communication is indeed crucial in any relationship, especially when it comes to matters of sex. When your partner expresses a desire to try something new, it does not necessarily mean that they are dissatisfied with your current sex life–he or she is just expressing a desire.. Therefore, it is essential to avoid letting your insecurities get in the way of an open and honest discussion. Discussing your limits, including hard limits (non-negotiables) and softer limits (possibilities), with your partner is crucial in ensuring that you both feel safe and respected in the relationship.
When we feel safe and respected in our relationship, it is easier to keep your mind open to trying new things. Make it clear to your partner that you have heard them and understand their desires, and if it is a possibility for you, tell them to give you time to process and that you will let them know what you are willing to try. Tell them that the more they pressure you (even subtly), the less likely you are to be open. If your partner in any way becomes abusive because you said No, I recommend you question the health of your relationship and/or get couples counseling to help you both communicate about this.