SWM 099 – Spouse fell asleep, revealing clothes, public sex, dreams and encouraging your spouse to be healthier

Topics include:
Spouse falls asleep during romantic getaway
Husband wants her to wear revealing clothes
Public sex
Are we responsible for our dreams?
How to encourage your spouse to be healthier

It’s been an exciting few weeks.  We kicked off our Becoming More Sexually Engaged course, and this cohort has been absolutely amazing to work with, and it’s been awesome to see such large changes in their marriages even so soon after starting.  We just finished up our February intimacy challenge on Instagram, and that was pretty awesome to see as well. I got a lot of private messages from people about how much they were enjoying it and the impact it had on their marriages.  All of that is to say, it’s been busy.  But, now things are calming down again and it’s time to get back to our anonymous question backlog.

As always, these are from our anonymous Have A Question page and I post them in our supporters’ forum for discussion.  Today, we’re answering questions submitted in November.

Question 1 – Spouse falls asleep during romantic getaway

If you plan for a romantic getaway weekend: Romantic dinner, fun activities and a nice place for the weekend, talked about it, flirted a little before getting there and before dinner. Mind you they took a nap for a couple of hours before dinner, you get back to the room after dinner and watch a little tv. One is rubbing their feet, leg, upper thigh etc. and they fall asleep, AGAIN. They packed lingerie and you brought silky underwear…The last weekend together, date night and they fell asleep until 1 am on the sofa and no sex though it was discussed at dinner, is the SO that planned and was excited, looking forward to it, have a right to be upset when this is a continual occurrence?

Sure, you can have the right to be upset, and she can have the right to be upset that you’re upset, and you can have the right to be upset that she’s upset that you’re upset.  Arguing about feelings is rarely productive because everyone has the right to feel however they want to feel.

Instead, I think you could have easily pivoted the romantic weekend getaway into a relaxing weekend getaway and probably would have ended up with better sex in the long run.  

If my wife fell asleep and we were planning to have sex on a weekend away, I’d let her sleep as long as she wanted, and then in the morning, when we’re both well-rested and have nothing else going on, then I’d initiate sex.  I guarantee it would go over better than when she’s exhausted, because a well-rested wife with nothing on her to-do list is a lot more sexually fun than a wife who is thinking “let’s get this over with so I can go to sleep”.

Also, I’d probably be a little concerned that every time she has a break, she falls asleep.  To me this indicates that she’s probably chronically exhausted and there’s either something medical going on, or her life is simply too busy.

Question 2 – Husband wants her to wear revealing clothes

Hi Jay! My husband and I have been married for 15 years and we have two children together.  Occasionally we are able to slip off to the beach or mountains without our children.  My husband keeps purchasing smaller bikinis for me to wear with him. Some of them I feel like are too small. I look decent for my age but I’m not a show off. I have worn some pretty small ones when others aren’t around. Sometimes I wear them under my coverup. He says that he would rather be distracted by me at the beach than other women.  He even thinks it is hypocritical to go to the beach and wear my mommy swimsuits, as he calls them, and expect him to hide his eyes or look away every time a woman passes in a skimpy swimsuit.  He often travels for business and goes to South Beach where the women are topless.  He wants me to go with him on a business trip. I have been willing to tan nude in the privacy of our own yard.  I’m just not sure about showing my butt and boobs in public.  I don’t want him looking at other women at the beach either. I know he loves me and prefers me. Should I occasionally do this for him?

This isn’t quite adding up here.  He says he wants you to be less modest so that he can be distracted by you instead of other women.  This makes it sound like he’s asking for help.  But he also goes to topless beaches by himself when you aren’t around, and that completely destroys his stance.  

I don’t think he’s trying to stop being distracted.  I think he’s getting off on watching barely dressed women and finds the idea of other people looking at you in a similar state of dress to be erotic.  In short, it seems like maybe he’s a voyeur and an exhibitionist and is trying to get you to be okay with that.

That’s my guess anyways.

But even if I’m wrong, I think you should stick to your views of modesty.  Continue tanning nude at home, in privacy.  Wear the skimpy bathing suits together, alone. I think you should be completely free to be naked and unashamed with your spouse.  I do not think you should give in to pressure to do the same when others are around.

Question 3 – Public sex

What are the objections to public sex

It depends on what you mean by “public sex”.  If you’re talking about having sex in front of other people, then the primary objection for me is that I believe you should only engage in sexual activities with your spouse, and it should not involve others.  If you want a biblical example of this, I think Queen Vashti in Esther is a good one that one of our forum members brought up.  She refused to even be brought out to be seen as a sexual object for other people’s entertainment, much less have sex in public.

If you’re talking about having sex outside of the home, such as in nature, a “public” space, but with no expectation of (or better yet, an expectation of not) being seen, or otherwise caught, then you can check out SWM 095 where we answered a question about semi-public and outdoors sex.

Question 4 – Are we responsible for our dreams?


I found out in August of this year that my wife of 13 years had been having an emotional affair with a co-worker. It started as a friendship around January of this year and in May crossed the line from a work friendship to intentional flirting and actively omitting that fact that she was married and had a family. He worked remotely and lived hundreds of miles away. The relationship was limited to txt, pictures being sent, (mainly selfies and one standing in a dressing room wearing a new dress) and phone calls. There was a lot of fishing for emotional support and compliments.

We had many talks in the beginning of our relationship and set boundaries for many different things. Friendships with people of the opposite sex was one of these boundaries. As we both believed it was a potential road to infidelity and that it was best to avoid the very appearance of evil.

During our talks, I asked if there had ever been any sexual thoughts or discussions. She answered no but came to me a week ago (3 months) after I found her deleted txt and at least 2 months after I had the talks with her about it ever crossing the line to become sexual in any way. To say that she did have a dream where she was masterbating and thinking of him.

Matthew 5:28 says

but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart

I have two questions here.

  1. I know that dreams are the unconscious mind but dreams also manifest from conscious thoughts and feelings. This I believe was a manifestation of her heart and feelings in that time. Is that sinful and an act of adultery?
  2. In a marriage where there seems to be no infidelity are sexual dreams with someone known or unknown sinful? Do they represent a place of desire outside of the marriage in person heart and mind? My wife believes these dreams are unconscious and uncontrollable therefore not a sin. They require no discussion, no confession, and there is no guilt associated with them.

Thanks again for all you do!!

God Bless

If you’re asking if you can divorce someone because of their dreams, then I think you’re looking at your marriage with the wrong attitude.  I don’t think anyone should be asking “can I exit this and it be their fault”?  I think once you’ve gotten to that point, you’ve violated the core principles of the marriage yourself.  If that’s not what you’re asking, then I’ve missed the entire premise of the pre-amble.

The questions I’d be asking myself in that situation are:

What led my spouse to be tempted? What’s going on in my marriage that makes it susceptible to this sort of attack?  How can I help them avoid it in the future?  Do they want to still be married?  Do I want to still be married?

Ideally, I think you both come to the table and say “Yeah, we want to stay married, fix this and make it amazing for both of us, because we love each other, and ourselves.”

Ultimately, dreams are far too complicated for anyone to agree on what they mean or don’t mean.  I don’t think we have a clue exactly what they are.  We have a lot of theories that range from past life experiences (not one I hold to) to expressions of the heart (like you suggest) or simply a re-organizing of the mind (I think I probably agree with this one the most).  I’ve had dreams where I’ve killed people in my sleep that I had no desire to harm, dreams where I couldn’t get my vehicle to stop, dreams where the house burnt down, where I married my sister-in-law, and a host of other very unpleasant things that when I awoke I was terrified it was reality until I finally realized it was a dream.

I never felt any need or cause to apologize, repent or otherwise confess any actions I took in a dream, nor have I ever felt the need for any such thing from my wife.  To me, they’re simply dreams.  You can’t control them, so why would you be responsible for them?

Now, if you go to bed thinking about someone romantically, and then dream about it them – well, that’s a different story.  But you don’t know if that’s what happened.

I think you two need to get on the same page about your relationship, because this is not healthy.  You can’t go the rest of your life wondering if they’re cheating on you while they sleep.  It’s not good for you, them, or anyone else impacted by your relationship, like children, friends, family, church, etc..

Question 5 – How to encourage your spouse to be healthier

Topics include:
Spouse falls asleep during romantic getaway
Husband wants her to wear revealing clothes
Public sex
Are we responsible for our dreams?
How to encourage your spouse to be healthier

Hi Jay,

How can I encourage my husband to be healthy?

My husband is an incredibly hard worker, but he puts his health at the bottom of the priority list. He doesn’t enjoy exercise, he doesn’t sleep well, and doesn’t eat the healthiest foods. I want us to have a long marriage, but I am worried that over time his health will shorten his life. We have talked about it but he finds it very difficult to take care of himself.  Any suggestions?


I think one of our forum members had a good idea – make health part of the culture of the house rather than something you are targeting with your spouse.  

So, don’t be a family that buys junk food.  Be a family that goes for walks.  Don’t be a family that stays up late.  Be a family that spends more time outdoors and so is ready for bed when it’s dark.  

In short, find ways to integrate holistic healthy living into all aspects of life rather than just trying to focus on him being more healthy.  It’s slower to change, but changes like that are far easier to maintain, especially if you can make them enjoyable.  Invite him for walks with you as a start.  Then talk about something he’s interested in while you walk.  Maybe download our 37 Questions for spouses to ask each other about sex and ask one each walk if sex is a topic he’d be interested in.

That’s it for today’s questions.  If you have a question of your own, you can ask it on our anonymous Have A Question page, or contact me here.  As always, thank you to our supporters for helping with the brainstorming and discussions on the questions.  If you’re interested in joining in on the conversation, check out our support page to get access to the private forum.

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