If you have not had sex in 14 years with you partner and you discover (through their DRs) that the partner has developed phobia regression to thinking about sex as a thirteen year old and not likely to get better- is looking out side the relationship for intimacy ok?
I can identify with your situation. My wife has been a diagnosed bipolar for decades. I never saw myself as a caregiver until she was also diagnosed with dementia. The marriage has been over for years. She is now in a memory-care assisted living facility where she will live the rest of her life. After the stress of caring for her and the shock of having to place her, I need to find a partner. But, still being married has. proven to be quite an obstacle. Very few women want anything to do with me. No sex for 15 years and counting. My suggestion, get a divorce! If you want to continue caring for her, at least you're free to meet others.
14 years of loyalty to a spouse in name only may seem heroic but I conclude martyr syndrome.....have the marriage annulled if she wants to avoid loving you for her shrink talk or pills....she is not Terri Schiavo nor comatose....you did not mention children nor if she is functioning in her own career.....can you afford alimony ? It's a long way to Nevada brothels for legal sex....masturbating to pornography in your case is completely safe from any possible STDs or pregnancy with a 3rd party....taking a gay lover is also grounds for her to divorce you....get a good lawyer and solve this problem in open court
I don't believe that sex and intimacy are the same thing, you can have emotional intimacy (empathy and compassion) without physical intimacy (sex).
The answer to your question is that you can look outside your relationship for either no matter what circumstances leave you "needing" something that your primary relationship is unable to provide. However it is only "ok" for you to do so if your partner agrees to allow it. Talk to them, tell them what you need that they cannot give you. If they are not ok with you getting your needs met and are unwilling or unable to provide that to you, then you have a choice. Is your "need* greater than your commitment to your partner? Either they consent to your having sex with someone else or you leave the relationship. There is no scenario where circumstances make it acceptable to cheat. Ever.
The joint session might not have begun in the "beginning:" and surely didn't go far enough. Your question to the group should have more beneficially and efficiently been asked of the doctor. On the other hand, I don't know that there is sufficient facts for this group to even start to think of a possible response - other than to go back to joint counseling.
I don't know if that diagnosis is one where the person can never overcome their phobia with desensitization or trauma based therapies, but it is only okay if you discuss it with them and it becomes an open arrangement. Cheating behind someone's back is the cowardly way and not okay imo.
Agree with UUNJ.
There is a risk of your marriage terminating if you go outside the relationship, whether you are open about it or not. Your question about being "OK" to have another relationship can only be answered by you and your wife, and the two of you may or may not agree.
I recommend you think about all the ways you may go outside your current relationship, for example cheat or not. If you don't cheat, what kind of extramarital relationship do you want, one that is strictly sexual as a hooker or hook-up, or one that involves an emotional connection. Consider the consequences of your options. Consider how your wife would react to each of the options. Before you act, I'd recommend discussing it with your wife, with a professional to guide the discussion, as UUNJ suggested. You should find out how your wife feels about each option (i.e., hooker, hook-up, ... polyamory).
Polyamory means many-loves, but does not imply how. Splitting your time between two women is difficult. Living is two households has its challenges, and living in one has different challenges.
My expectation is your wife is fragile and she will be fearful when you start this conversation. If she really loves you, she will want you to be happy. If you really love her, you need to let her know, and tell her that your seeking another woman does not mean you want to end your marriage.
You should also consider the possibility of falling head over heals for another woman and she with you. Suppose your paramour pressures you to divorce and live with her. What would you do? Be honest with yourself; don't answer here, we do not need to know.
It seems to me you want some happiness that you currently miss, but you don't want to end your marriage. If so, your challenge is to keep two women happy enough to avoid divorce. I wish you luck.
Couples can negotiate anything, including open relationships. If that’s within your moral
compass range, I recommend that you ask a sex therapist with experience in open relationships to facilitate the discussion. Your partner may be challenged when it comes to the ability to give informed consent. I hope she is getting therapy for her psychological issues. I would wonder what triggered her phobia.
Have you discussed this with your partner. Don't go asking us for permission, ask her what she thinks. That is the only opinion that matters. If you don't like her answer, then you have to work that out. And why is the doctor giving you her health information? If the doc did not have her permission to share it that is a violation that could get that office in a bunch of trouble.