Trouble In River City!
I recently discovered that my GF has been cheating on me. She wants me to forgive her but it’s been really hard. Just dealing with the fact that it happened is overwhelming. It feels like I could never forgive her. I don’t know if there’s a solution or not. I know I still love her but the truth is I feel dirty being around her. It also makes me feel stupid for putting up with this and letting it happen in the first place. I feel like a total sap. I’d love any advise you could give me.
Before we turn to chastising your vixen girlfriend for her behavior, let me make a quick observation about you, Paul. You sure are a ball of contradictions, aren’t you, darlin’? How can you say that you love a person who makes you feel dirty and stupid? Simply put, you are deceiving yourself about one or the other of these emotions. And pardon me, but there’s no way that what you describe here can be love. An obsession, heart sick, wounded pride, sour grapes…absolutely. Love? Ahhh, not so much! So stop saying that you love this woman, Paul, it’s just adding to the confusion.
Here’s a tip for us all. Let’s each of us promise, right here and now, to save the “L” word for those feelings that are a little less desperate and debilitating. Ok? Because if we don’t reserve the “L” word for feelings that are uplifting and life-affirming then we will bandy about, like Paul here, that over-used term it to describe any and all our fixations. If what we are experiencing tears us down instead of building us up, then it ain’t love no how. Period!
Ok Paul, I ’m gonna try not read too much into your brief message, but there appears to be some important information here that we should consider. When you say your girlfriend…”has been cheating,” that suggests to me that her indiscretion may have been ongoing. Because you could have said…”she cheated on me.” Which would imply a one-time thing.
And what an interesting word choice “cheat” is in this context. This makes fidelity sound like some kind of sport. I don’t think fidelity is sport, nor do I think it is always a genital issue either. Lots of couples are faithful to one another even though they have open relationships and/or multiple sex partners. But I digress.
Since you can’t supply me with more of the gory details, Paul, I’m gonna go with the first option. I’m gonna assume you’re telling me that the chick’s been doin’ you wrong and it’s not a simple…”whoops, I don’t know what came over me. One minute I was like all normal, and the next there I was with my dress over my head and some guy, other than you honey, was pluggin’ away at me like there was no tomorrow”…sorta thing. Ok?
Since I don’t know how deep or exclusive this relationship with your girlfriend is or was supposed to be, I can hardly advise you on what you ought to do next. I can, however, point out that a secret ongoing affair suggests the trouble with your relationship runs pretty deep. Maybe your girlfriend has you pegged as a sap, and she knows that you will tolerate her indiscretions. Which in turn, gives her permission to do carry on in whatever manner she might like. Maybe she doesn’t think that your relationship with her is all that substantial in the first place. Who knows!
If you’re not a total sap, and you’re serious about reigning in your wayward GF, you’d better come up with a clear, unambiguous message about what you will and will not tolerate in the future. Until you do that there’s no point in even imagining there might be a future.
If, on the other hand, the two of you did agree to live in an exclusive relationship, and she’s still taking her business elsewhere, then I suggest the bond between you is pretty busted. Is there something salvageable here? Your guess is as good as mine. What is perfectly clear is that both you and your girlfriend need to step back and take a sober look at yourselves. There is a reason for her behavior, just like there’s a reason for your behavior. To get to the bottom of all of this each of you will need to invest a good deal of time and energy, most likely with a professional therapist, and hope that the bank of goodwill between you is enough to carry the day.
However, if I had to guess from the tone in your message, I’d say there was precious little goodwill left. If so, why not be a man about it. Just call it quits and move on.
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
I’ve been with my current lover for 5 years and I dearly love him. A couple of years ago he had hemorrhoid surgery and was in the hospital for a month. When he got home he refused to have sex with me but once a month of so. After two years his sexual interest is less and less. We have a wonderful time together, except for the sex. He’s a great guy and I know he loves me. We talk about it, but he tells me that he doesn’t need sex and he wants a platonic relationship. He’s not open to therapy. If he doesn’t want to be physical, I don’t want to force it but I’m masturbating all alone and I’m very frustrated. I don’t what to leave him, but I can’t stand the status quo.
This is a classic lament, Barbara. So many couples struggle with much the same thing. Love, intimacy and sex — three very different things — yet we are socialized into thinking that they should always come to us as a package deal. And anything that doesn’t is less than optimum and often downright bad or sinful. What a tiny little box we’re all supposed to fit in.
I believe there is a fundamental difference between love, sex and intimacy, but so many people confuse or conflate these very different needs to their detriment. Some go so far as to destroy an otherwise good and vibrant relationship just because it doesn’t conform to what we perceive as the norm…ya know the big package deal I just mentioned.
I don’t know how we got it into our head that the only legitimate or wholesome sex is the sex that happens in a loving relationship, or that if there is no sex in a loving relationship, then that relationship is somehow defective. That’s simply not the case.
The way I see it, passionate sex is dependent on a good deal of sexual tension. Ya know, like the grips of hot monkey love that happens at the beginning of a relationship. In time this sexual tension dissipates. I might add that it takes a great deal of work to keep that kind of tension alive. Most couples don’t invest that kind of energy, even though they may pay lip service to the desire for it.
Intimacy, on the other hand, is dependent on domestic tranquility, in other words, the elimination of tension in the relationship, including sexual tension. And since most couples desire intimacy over sex they choose (either consciously or not) the domestic tranquility option. But the result is the kind of sexual frustration you report.
Those who wish to have both sex and intimacy need to be creative in solving both issues. Not just imagining that loving someone is enough to make it happen.
That being said, Barbara, if your partner refuses to join you in any effort to find a solution to the problems that plague your relationship, he is telling you your concerns are unimportant to him. My counsel is always the same under these circumstances. If your sexual needs are as pressing as you say they are, then confront him in no uncertain terms. No beating around the bush, darlin’, it’s ultimatum time. Tell your partner that dragging his feet, or obstructing all together your efforts to solve your relationship problems signals to you that the relationship, at least as it is currently configured, is in desperate trouble.
As I’ve suggested earlier, you can tell him that there are several ways of keeping the relationship going without expecting he fulfill all of your sex and/or intimacy needs. But living without sex in your life is a deal breaker. He needs to know that you are serious about the crisis that exists. Of course, if you do this you will have to follow through on the ultimatum. To do otherwise would tell him that you don’t believe your concerns are all that important either.
If you ask me, life is too short to be living with all that sexual frustration. Don’t tolerate the frustration make it work for you. Your sexual frustration could be the very thing that motivates you to create better your situation for yourself and possibly your old man too.
I have a boyfriend that I love very much. We have been together for over 6 years and we care for one another very much. The problem is that we never have sex. The last time was probably two years ago and that time he just took care of me and that was it. I haven’t seen him climax in years. I asked him if there’s a problem with me and he says no. I know he still has a sex drive because I’ve caught him masturbating once. When I bring up the subject he says he knows we need to work on it but that’s as far as it goes. I know he’s not cheating, but I can’t say the same about myself. Should I feel guilty for seeking sex outside our relationship without his permission? In the past I’ve felt horrible about this, but my frustration is overriding my guilt. But it still bothers me because I am not being the moral person I was raised to be. I’ve asked him about opening our relationship, but he doesn’t like that idea either. What am I supposed to do?
Sad to say there’s not much a couple can do to either beef up a sex drive or cool one down, when there’s no will on the part of one or the other partners to do so. And I would say that if you guys have been living successfully like this for four years, there’s little chance of turning this around. Besides, why would you want to fix something that’s not really broken?
If, as you say, you are feeling guilty about going outside your relationship to find the sexual satisfaction you need and want, then it is time for you to have a chat with your lover. The tension you are experiencing between your sexual desires and your moral compass is a real good thing. It ought not be denied. But like I always say, these are often very difficult negotiations to hammer out. However, not to try to make these accommodations is, I believe, a form of sexual abuse.
Finally, regardless on how you approach the subject, there’s no need to sink to the lowest common denominator, bubby. Could it be the sex you have with your partner is just boring? And you’re misinterpreting his boredom as disinterest? You say he masturbates. What’s in his mind (or on the computer) when he does? Would you even know? Ever thought of asking? Maybe he’s just too self-conscious to come right out with it and ask for what he wants from you. Is there any way you could entice him back to bed with a little spice? Would he respond to some porn, or toys, or even a three-way?
Maybe it’s just as well there’s no sex in your relationship, you seem to be getting along very well otherwise. But only a frank and open discussion with your man is gonna shed the necessary light on this situation.
See Dave, you have lots of options. It’s time to be creative, like the fabulous homo you are.
Good Luck darling!