We all have different interests. That also includes what we like in our relationships and, well, in the bedroom.
Or perhaps in the bathroom?
Whatever, or wherever, our interests lie, it’s important to be clear about our likes, our dislikes, and our boundaries in our relationships.
Even if they come up mid-relationship.
One woman explained in the “Relationship Advice” subReddit just how important communication actually is to her with her husband when she began to suspect he was hiding something from her.
More specifically a fetish, the off-put Redditor Throwranothankyou emphasized.
Unsure what to do next, the Original Poster (OP) reached out to the sub, stating:
“I think my husband has some kind of ‘bathroom’ fetish, and he’s refusing to talk to me about it.”
The OP has been happily married for five years.
“I’m not at all a good story teller and English isn’t my first language, so go easy on me. I’m trying my best.”
“My (31[Female]) husband (36[Male]) has suddenly been acting weird and saying some things that I consider mildly disturbing in regards to anything either of us do in the bathroom.”
“We’ve been married a bit over 5 years. He’s a great man, kind, smart, funny. I’ve never had any reason to not trust him, and I’ve never before been under the impression that he has any fetish.”
But recently, the OP became suspicious of a secret.
“It started in mid-December in 2019.”
“I walked out of the bathroom and he was standing on the other side of the door. I thought he was just trying to startle me as a joke so I didn’t even address it at the time.”
“A day or two after that, I’m in the bathroom and I hear someone lean against the door. I call out ‘I’ll be out in a sec’, [and] he replied, ‘oh, you can hear me?’ I laughed it off because I genuinely thought he was trying to prank me again.”
The “pranks” only seemed to worsen after that.
“Near Christmas time, I got some mild food poisoning. It hit me in the middle of the day. I clenched my stomach, told him my stomach is messed up and limped into the bathroom.”
“He followed me into the bathroom. I told him to leave. He just stood there. I was seconds away from exploding all over the place so I lost my temper a bit and just said to get the f out.”
“He obliged but was very upset. I thought he was upset because I yelled at him.”
The situation has only become more strange to the OP since then.
“After that incident he’s been consistently leaving the bathroom door open when he goes #2. Our apartment is a bit small so the smell quickly gets around if you don’t have the fan on.”
“I’ve told him multiple to close the dang door and leave the fan on, but he just does not.”
Then the OP’s concerns reached a new level.
“There’s been probably 50 more similar incidents similar to the ones above but something [recently] has changed my opinion of him.”
“I had come out of the bathroom to see him sitting in his computer chair in the hallway outside the bathroom. He pulled the chair up to the door.”
“I was about to ask him what the heck he was doing but he just goes ‘why do you always leave the fan on in the bathroom?'”
“I gave him the should-be obvious reason. He responded, ‘I can’t hear you with the fan on.'”
“What??? Why is he listening? Why hasn’t this come up before?”
“I kind of went off and started grilling him on why he needs to hear me when I’m on the toilet but he got embarrassed and snapped at me to drop it.”
After trying to talk to her husband, the OP is wondering what to do next.
“This is not okay with me.”
“He might love the smell of poop and want to listen to all the sounds of me using the toilet. That’s what it seems like to me.”
“But he won’t talk to me. What do I do?”
“TL;DR- I’m pretty sure my husband has some type of bathroom related fetish. I don’t want anything to do with it. This has never come up before when we were dating. He won’t talk to me about it. What the heck do I do?”
After receiving a lot of comments, the OP tried to talk to her husband again.
“Edit: Some of these comments are really horrible. I don’t understand why a relationship advice sub would be so quick to jump on the divorce train.”
“I love my husband. I’m not angry at him. I’m not mad at all. I just wanted advice on where to go from here.”
“I tried talking to him again. [It] didn’t go that well. All I said was I love him and I’m worried about our future and just wanted to open a line of communication.”
“He shut me down and asked me to drop it. ‘It’s not a big deal'”
“It’s not the end of the world but it’s crossing a boundary for me.”
“I didn’t bring up the boundaries yet because it’s still apparently not a good time. I’m going to try again but if he shuts me down I’m going to insist on couples therapy.”
The OP has also since clarified a few points.
“To address a common comment: I don’t think this is a jealousy or trust thing. I leave the door unlocked when I shower and change. He could spy on me then, but I haven’t heard him do it.”
“I also leave my phone in the bedroom when I shower, so that’s another opportunity to snoop. We both have the passcodes to each other’s phones.”
“Edit again: Thank [you] those that offered helpful advice. I’m not going to be posting an update or responding to any more comments.”
“At this point the only solutions would be: getting him to talk about it, going to therapy, or separating. It’s killing me on the inside to think about the last part. I want to make it work. I don’t know what else to say.”
Fellow Redditors replied to the OP’s concerns, advising her on what to do next.
Some suggested trying to talk to her husband again or reaching out to a therapist.
“Not a professional, but this sounds like something he needs to talk about with a therapist. Maybe couples counseling later, but he’s going to have to get this out in the open first and deal with it. So sorry this is hurting your marriage, and I hope it can be resolved in a good way.” – techsinger
“In case this is a fetish, you’re going to want to be very careful about choosing a counselor. There are kink-positive counselors out there who are going to be best-equipped to help both of you navigate this.”
“That’s not to say they will encourage his behavior (they won’t, because consent, boundaries, and communication are critical components of the fetish/kink community), but what you don’t need is a stranger saying ‘eww, he’s a deviant; divorce him!’ like some of these comments. I suspect that shame is a big part of the problem here.”
“All that said, you deserve privacy and your involvement in anything like this HAS to be consensual.”
“You have a very real right to be angry and firm, but I think you are going to get more information if you come at this from an empathetic standpoint. ‘I love you, and there’s nothing you could tell me about yourself that I wouldn’t want to know.'” – snarky24
Others made a point of mentioning that the goal here is not to shame the OP’s husband for his interests.
“Yeah not my thing, but I agree OP’s husband shouldn’t be shamed for his kink. What he should be is respectful of his partner and their boundaries. Consent is key and if he respects OP and their partnership he needs to learn how to ask for it.”
“OP, if you love your husband (and it’s sounds like you do), think through your approach and try to avoid accusations if you want him to actually open up.”
“If it is a kink, he’s likely doing it because he finds you beautiful, even at your less than beautiful moments, and if he gets the impression you believe his love is ‘wrong’ it might make him withdraw and make emotionally connecting with him harder in the long run.” – FlyingGingerMonkee
“Huh. So you have 5 years of marriage with a man you trust and love – awesome! My first questions would be:”
“1. Is this a kink?”
“2. Is this a control issue or is he worried about you texting/calling someone in the bathroom? This is probably a stretch given what you’ve described but it’s something to consider.”
“3. Why hasn’t he been communicative about this? Is he even aware of his fetish if it is one?”
“If this truly is a healthy and loving relationship in all other ways, I would sit him down and with NO JUDGEMENT tell him you have started to become a little curious about some of his behaviors.”
“If he becomes angry or defensive or just straight denies it, I would let him know that this is a serious issue for you now.”
“You seem extremely nonjudgmental and more confused, so I truly think couples therapy (one that specializes in sex would probably work best here) may really help both of you. A lot of people are extremely shameful about their desires and kinks – especially if it’s something taboo like fluid/bathroom related activities.”
“A lot of these comments seem really weird and dramatic. I think this is something you guys need to discuss and can work out. Just make sure (if this is his kink, and even if it totally grosses you out) to not make judgment statements on it.”
“You can say ‘I personally am not into this, but it’s okay that you are’ and not ‘What the hell! That is so gross!’ It can be hard to not have a knee-jerk reaction to kinks that don’t agree with you, but when it’s someone you trust and love – you still want to use supportive language.” – luthervellan
A few also wanted the OP to understand that her comfort matters, too.
“Yikes. This is bad. He is forcing his fetish on you without discussion or consent. This is actually a huge violation and maybe you should look for some fetish subs for advice, because none of what he is doing is in any way acceptable.” – wereallgonnadieman
“It sounds like you really care for him and find him great. The thing about fetishes and kinks is both parties really should be consenting, so I totally get why you feel uncomfortable. Also not knowing something like this about your husband of course feels bad because it is a trust and understanding thing.”
“That being said I do feel a bit frustrated about a lot of the kink shaming some commenters are doing here. It is not my thing but nothing is wrong with his kink if that is what it is, what is wrong is his approach.”
“I would just sit down with him and say something like ‘hey I have noticed you really seem to linger near while I am in the bathroom. I want to understand that’. Leave it open at first so he can have the option of opening up.”
“If he does not maybe you could say something like ‘I have been wondering if you have a fetish for it’ [and] then let him talk.”
“If he denies it I would say something like ‘ok then, I want us to be open. But because you say you don’t, I am going to trust that and let you know that this feels controlling and I need privacy, so these are my boundaries’. Then tell him. Lay them out, you are allowed to have boundaries.”
“If he does come clean and it is a kink I would say ‘ok thank you for sharing that with me. Consent is key and I really wish you would have let me in on this sooner. I am not mad, this is just not my thing. I am ok with you getting this need met in ____ way’ it could be porn or what have you.”
“I would not make him feel gross for it, his kink is fine. The issue is how he is going about it.”
“I totally get why you feel he crossed a line, things like this should be discussed. You two have the chance to discuss it now though and to come to an understanding together” – PillowPie_
It’s okay to like whatever you’re going to like in the bedroom, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone, and as long as your partner is mutually okay with it.
It’s unclear what the OP will do from here, but based on the comments, she and her husband have some talking to do, sooner rather than later.