Is it okay to fantasize about your spouse?

Jay Dee

Is it okay to fantasize about your spouse?

Oct 17, 2016

Last week I wrote a post about how fantasizing can be detrimental.  In the comments, MaBeck asked this question: Ok, so what about if I fantasize about me and my husband, is that ok? For some reason, if I fantasize about us having sex in public, I

is-it-okay-to-fantasize-about-your-spouse-300Last week I wrote a post about how fantasizing can be detrimental.  In the comments, MaBeck asked this question:

Ok, so what about if I fantasize about me and my husband, is that ok? For some reason, if I fantasize about us having sex in public, I get very aroused…I do this while he and I make love. I don’t know if this is wrong Biblically, or not?? But, I will say, I think it may have it’s dangers. Recently we were at the movies (which is often where I fantasize us making love) and I became extremely aroused, like when I was a teenager! Of course I did nothing about it, but boy I haven’t been that aroused in years! So am i doing something wrong or not?? – MaBeck

Good question.  Here’s my take on it.

Most of the world will tell you fantasy is good

Most therapists and counselors will tell you to fantasize about whatever arouses you.  Why?  Because they’re symptom focused.  If the question is “How do I become more aroused” then the answer could be “fantasize”.  The problem is that they focus too much on the symptom and not enough on root causes.

Even most Christians therapists will say this is okay, because you’re involving your spouse.  I’ll be honest, that was my gut reaction too.

After considering it for a few more moments, a quote popped into my head.  I’m not sure who said it originally.

What you focus on gets your mind, and what gets your mind gets you.

So, what’s the issue?  I mean you’re focusing in your spouse right?  Well, no.  The issue here is that during sex, you aren’t feeling aroused enough, so you add fantasy.  The context of the theater creates that arousal.  It could be because of the risk, or the “naughtiness”.  Or being back to a consequence free mentality of being a teenager.  So, it’s not your spouse you’re focusing on, rather it’s the context.

Now, whether it’s the risk, or naughtiness, or remembrances of being a teenager, you know it’s not right to actually act on this things.  You said so yourself. “Of course I did nothing about it”. But it does have your mind, an that made me think of this verse:

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. – Philippians 4:8

Your mind is leveraging a sinful activity (the context, not the sex) to supplement arousal with your husband.  To me, that’s dealing with the symptom rather than the real issue.  The real issue being that you aren’t aroused enough by your husband.  I don’t say that to be mean, that’s a real and common issue.

The solution, I believe, is not to sidestep that and achieve that arousal another way.  Rather work to improve your arousal while focusing on your spouse.

If you choose to quit, it will be hard

For one, you’re going to be giving up the “quick fix”, and that’s never fun.  Especially if that shortcut leads to orgasms.  Orgasm is such a strong motivator that it rewires our brains to try and get more.  You’ll find your mind going down that path before you even realize it.

It takes a lot of practice to become mindful of what you’re actually doing during sex.  I think I’ll write a post on that tomorrow.

While you adjust though, it’s going to be a difficult transition.  Sex may be a little more boring as you adjust to dealing with reality.  I remember a friend of mine in college saying “I went to work sober today…it was so long, and boring!”

Your husband may not appreciate you focusing on him more

For most men, a big part of what makes sex good is how responsive our wives are to our … ministrations.

If our wife becomes less aroused, less responsive, less orgasmic, we feel like we’re failing.  Breaking the news to him that you’ve had to use fantasy to get aroused may make it worse.

If you want to say something, perhaps phrase it more like

I’m working on focusing more on you and being more mindful and present during sex. It may take a bit for me to get used to it, but I think it will make me more responsive in the long run.

Is it okay to fantasize about your spouse?

I think it depends. Here are my guidelines:

  1. Am I fantasizing about an immoral act?  Fantasizing about threesomes, public sex, adultery, or sex before marriage is focusing on something sinful, and I think that Bible speaks clearly against that.
  2. Am I fantasizing about my spouse in a realistic fashion?  I could fantasize about someone that looked like my wife, but acted completely differently.  I would argue then I’m not fantasizing about my wife.  Rather I’m fantasizing about a fictional character wearing the body of my wife.  I would count that the same as adultery.
  3. Is my fantasy going to make me dissatisfied with reality?  If your fantasy makes reality look boring, dull, or makes you wish your spouse was something else, then that’s not helpful or beneficial to your marriage.  You’re better off having a conversation about what needs to change instead.
  4. Should I be focusing on my spouse instead of fantasy right now?  If you’re with your spouse but are focusing on fantasy instead of on the reality of them being there, then that is not ideal.  Be present with your spouse.

Those are my thoughts.  I hope that helps.

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