going to say up front that I know I am a complete and total
I have been with my current boyfriend for about three years
and we are living together. About a year ago, our relationship
started to go bad when I found out I was pregnant and ended
up having an abortion. Every time I look at him, all I see
is this baby I didn’t have and I feel horrible to the point
where now I don’t like him to even touch me anymore. I don’t
want to hurt him. I just don’t see how I can carry on in this
Compounding all of that, an old flame from Europe is back
in my life, and I am still in love with him and I know he
still loves me. This guy was my knight in shining armor in
college but he had to return to the UK, so we couldn’t really
have anything. But now the possibility is there because our
lives are at a stage where we could move and make it work.
I have no idea how to deal with any of this. The old flame
looks better and better all the time and I am doing so badly
here, but I don’t want to hurt anyone. I don’t see any route
at this point that won’t end with at least one person in tears.
Out Of My Depth
there was a good reason why you decided against having a child
with the boyfriend. Perhaps you told yourselves that it wasn’t
the right time, DOOMD, but it seems more than likely you realized,
consciously or subconsciously, that he wasn’t the right person:
He wasn’t the man with whom you wanted to have children. Or
perhaps the boyfriend was so strongly opposed to becoming
a father that you decided to have an abortion—an abortion
you instantly regretted and resent him for.
Either way, DOOMD, I don’t see how your current relationship
And we haven’t even addressed the existence of the Euro. You
still have strong feelings for your old college flame—clearly—and
if you stay with the boyfriend for the rest of your life
just to spare his feelings, DOOMD, your resentments will metastasize.
Again, I don’t see how this relationship survives.
But none of that answers your question, does it? You’ve asked
me to identify a way out—a route out—that spares everyone’s
feelings. Sorry, DOOMD, but I can’t help you. If you pass
on the Euro because you can’t stand the thought of hurting
the boyfriend, you’ll be miserable. And if you stay with the
boyfriend, you’re only postponing his misery. Your resentments
will grow and spread, like so many tumors, until they ultimately
kill this relationship. If the Euro has moved on by that point,
then all three of you will wind up miserable and alone.
I’ve been married for 12 years. Six months ago, I separated
from my wife, and during that time I had an affair. Ultimately,
I figured out that I couldn’t make a long-term relationship
work with this “other woman,” and I am now working to reconcile
with my wife. But the sex with the affair partner was incredible—not
just because she was new, but because we were highly compatible
sexually. The sex was energetic and adventurous in ways that
it never was with my wife.
So now I’m worried that though I think my wife and I can rebuild
all the other parts of our marriage, I’ll always unfavorably
be comparing my wife to this other partner. (I should say
that I fantasize often about the affair partner.) Sex for
my wife and me was OK but not great before our separation,
but I know we both want it to be a rewarding part of our marriage
going forward. Any thoughts? Will the memories of my affair
partner fade with time? Can I somehow use my affair experience
to build a better sex life with my wife?
Shake The Other Woman
you and the wife just aren’t as sexually compatible as you
and this other woman, and never will be. Maybe the only thing
you can do, CSTOW, is focus on the other things the wife brings
to the table, the emotional if not sexual satisfactions.
Or . . .
Sometimes we feel freer sexually when we’re with people we
care about less. When we’re with someone we’re never
going to see again (a one-night stand) or someone we probably
shouldn’t see again (another woman), we’re not as concerned
about scaring that person off. When we’re with someone who
has “potential”—someone with long-term prospects—we tend to
be a little more cautious. The stakes feel higher, and that
can be inhibiting. We’re less willing to take risks, we’re
less open, we’re less likely to act on our fantasies.
So it’s possible that your problem with the wife isn’t sexual
incompatibility, CSTOW, but sexual inhibition. Have you tried
fucking the wife like you fucked the other woman? Have you
ever risked fucking the wife like you’ve fucked women who
you’re never going to see again?
Sixteen months is way too soon to be discussing marriage?
Really. Really?? How long are we supposed to drag out the
courtship, Dan? While I agree with you that three months is
much too soon, I’d argue my own personal case: My wife and
I married almost a year to the day of our first date, and
that was 26 years ago. So while your advice to Lady In A Relationship
was sound, your blanket assessment of the relationship landscape
overlooks those of us who have a brain. Jussayin’ . . .
thing I give advice for a living, MR, and don’t do binding
arbitration. People are free to disregard my rants if they
think I got it wrong and make up their own minds. And maybe
I went a little overboard: Depending on the couple, 16 months
could be the right time, or a right time, to start discussing
marriage. Still, a long engagement is always a good idea,
regardless of how long you’ve been dating. If you’re positive
he or she is “the one” at three months—or eight months, or
sixteen months—he or she will still be the one at three years.
My fiancé and I—we’re a straight couple—are getting
married in July. We’ve lived together for four years, and
as such we don’t need any more then we already have. We’re
asking friends and family to make donations to nonprofits
that are dear to us in lieu of traditional gifts. We’re both
grade-school teachers, so the bulk of our requests are related
to the needs of our students. (Shameless plug: Refugee Women’s
Alliance and New Futures are two amazing programs that specifically
serve students where we live.) We’re including Planned Parenthood
on our list, and we would like to include a nonprofit that
advocates for marriage equality. Which one would you suggest?
To Be Married
for thinking of us, STBM, which is more than President Obama
is willing to do: I would recommend that you put Lambda Legal
(they’re lawyers, they sue) and Freedom to Marry (they’re
advocates, they woo) on your list. Unlike most national gay
organizations, Lambda Legal and Freedom to Marry do good work
and get results. Thanks and congratulations!
a new Savage Love podcast every Tuesday at www.thestranger.com/savage.