My Husband Pees with the Door Open. How Do I Get Him to Stop?

husband pees with door open

“My husband has started to pee with the door open over the past six months and I’m starting to lose attraction to him as a result. He’s a good-looking guy and a good husband, but this is a huge turnoff and a sign he’s become way too comfortable in this relationship. I want him to be comfortable, of course. When I joke that he’s taken up this disturbing habit, he says, ‘Well, you’ve seen me naked for years, so what does it matter?’ How do I tell him this is an issue for me without hurting him?” 

Last summer, the bathroom door in my Airbnb at the beach broke, and my boyfriend and I ended up having to use the restroom in front of each other for three days straight. Let’s just say that deflated the romance in a hurry. But I’m going to make a leap and say this: I don’t think it’s about your husband's peeing, per se.

Here, in your situation, it’s about what the peeing represents—allowing the romance to run out on your relationship. Peeing with the door open is a sign that your husband is very comfortable with you, which is great. But all this intimacy has stifled the lust in your relationship.

As Esther Perel so acutely points out in her book Mating in Captivity, “Love enjoys knowing everything about you; desire needs mystery. Love likes to shrink the distance that exists between me and you, while desire is energized by it.” It’s clear you and your husband have high levels of intimacy and love. Constantly using the bathroom in front of your partner has got to be the ultimate form of “knowing everything about you,” right? 

It is the opposite of mystery. And you, perhaps, miss that feeling more than you know. Early in dating, the connection is so fun and you don’t know what you’re going to learn next. The thrill of the unknown is intoxicating; it leads to some wild sex and incredible date weekends. But that feeling wasn’t built to last the length of your marriage, unless you actively chose an on-and-off roller coaster relationship that’s high on unpredictability. (And I’m guessing that isn’t the reason you married your husband.)

When you approach your husband about the peeing, I think you need to come at it from a place of what you miss: mystery, excitement, lust. The next time the peeing happens, I’d pose it like this: 

“Honey, I’m so glad you feel comfortable around me and that you feel you can be your full self. But I’m starting to realize that I miss some of the mystery we had early on. Would you mind keeping the door shut when you’re using the bathroom? I’d also really like to try X, Y and Z.”

Sandwich the criticism in between two positives: You love the intimacy, and you know how to fix the issue. The fix should involve enhancing your relationship’s novelty, excitement, spontaneity, mystery, fun. Whatever you want more of, tell him directly, and then make efforts to increase the romance.

If you miss the novelty, go ice-skating. If you miss the excitement, try a new sex position. If you miss the spontaneity, book a surprise getaway. If you miss the mystery, start probing deeper. There’s always more to your relationship that you haven’t explored.

I have a hunch that if you feel excited by your relationship again, the peeing won’t bother you as much. After you bring it up very directly and then focus on adding more mystery back into your lives, he also may stop doing it without any reminders from you. Just make sure you’re tackling the root of the problem. It’s an easy (and very fun) fix. Start right away.

Jenna Birch is a journalist and the author of The Love Gap: A Radical Plan to Win in Life and Love, a relationship-building guide for modern women. To ask her a question, which she may answer in a forthcoming PureWow column, email her at

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