The Rational Basis® of Happiness Podcast

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My boyfriend fantasizes about other women.
























(this is raw unedited text transcribed directly from the audio)

My boyfriend fantasizes about other women.

Dr. Kenner:      This is a question that I received and may raise some eyebrows. "Dear Dr. Kenner, I've been with my boyfriend for four years. He's now telling me it's okay for him to imagine having sex with other women. Is this true? I thought healthy relationships meant you only think about yourself sexually with your partner. I understand being attracted to other women, but I didn't think it would be okay to think about them in a sexual manner. Thank you, Joanne." Joanne, this is a fascinating question, because the question is, what does it mean to you? You are the partner and you guys have been together for four years so you're not in that infatuation stage where everything is brand new and you just feel like you're the only person that fills each other's awareness, that you're just so turned on, so excited, you can't wait to get together. When you've been together for four years, most people settle into a normal relationship and they need to put in effort to keep that relationship vibrant. I know I'm very lucky, I have a husband that said, what is the saying? What you do to win someone, you have to do to keep somebody. Now, it's not that you have to do it - you want to do it. You want to make your relationship rich and it's very rare that couples can keep the sexual relationship going for many years. 


Let me put it this way - it is totally proper to fanaticize. There is nothing wrong with fanaticizing. If you wanted to fanaticize about Pierce Brosnan or somebody else, a movie star, what is the harm done? Well, if that's all you fanaticized about and if every time you were with your husband you put Pierce Brosnan's picture on his face, that would obviously not be good.


Male:               Are you talking about him again?


Dr. Kenner:      Yes, Pierce Brosnan, my former heartthrob when I saw him on, believe it or not, Mrs. Doubtfire. I just kind of got a little crush on him that lasted for a bit. Anyway, back to this. You've been together for four years. If your partner said to you, if he presented it to you saying, "I love you so much. And occasionally I'll have passing thoughts of a fantasy with somebody else. I don't want to have these fantasies with a coworker or a best friend." I don't recommend that you start developing fantasies around a very close friend because guess what can happen? You may end up being not just friends. That may take on a lift of its own. But if it's a stranger you see or you see a pretty picture or if you see something and you want to fanaticize, there's nothing wrong with that. If you felt totally visible, loved, cherished by your husband, and he said, "I feel like having a fantasy about this," maybe you guys could share the fantasy and then it's not a threat to you. So he needs to put in some effort to help you not experience it as a threat. If it's a threat to you, if you feel your sexual life has kind of dried up a bit or being boring, then sometimes it's a wake up call for both of you to either engage in fantasies together, or maybe even with each other as the main people, or to liven up your sexual life. It may just be a nice wake up call for both of you before things get too out of hand.



What gets in the way of happiness?
What makes it so we don't enjoy our lives?

You want to be able to, the essence of this is you want to be able to feel cherished by one another, and if you don't feel he's cheating on you - this isn't necessarily cheating, this is normal for many people to feel attracted to others - then that shouldn't be a problem at all.


Think of what bothers you when you're driving in the car. What makes you grip that wheel? What makes your stomach churn or makes you shaky in your life? Or what makes you feel good, and how can you get more of that in your life? The goal of living is to live your personal values. What you love, to be with your friends. Tonight I went out with a friend and it was absolutely wonderful. To be with family that you enjoy. To just really cherish your life. To pursue the career that you want, to pursue hobbies you enjoy, and of course romance. What gets in the way of all of this? What makes it so we don't enjoy our lives? Now, sometimes there are accidents, things totally beyond our control or anyone else's. A hurricane hits or a tornado, or some of these acts of nature. But sometimes, many times, it's a person in your life who is undermining your confidence in yourself, your confidence in other people, and your hopes for your own future. And I want to start with a quote, again from my favorite author Ayn Rand. This is from Atlas Shrugged, my favorite book. She writes, "Somewhere in the starting years of your childhood, before you had learned to submit to absorb the terror of unreason and to doubt the value of your mind, you had known a radiant state of existence. You had known the independence of a rational consciousness, facing an open universe. That is the paradise which you have lost, which you seek, which is yours for the taking." 


Rediscover your own confidence, your own mind. Learn how to own your life again. Without stepping on anybody else and without being a doormat. Without letting them step on you.