I'm in a long-distance relationship with a man I love, and I think he loves me.
I’ve always disliked porn, and have self-esteem and jealousy issues. Initially, he said porn didn't work for him as effectively anymore, because the thought of being with someone he cared about was more stimulating.
When we met in Japan for a vacation, I found porn on his phone. I felt betrayed, because in the months leading up to us meeting in person, he no longer wanted to engage in sex-ting or Skype sex.
But he was still watching porn. I explained my dislike for porn: If he’s enough for me, why can't I be enough for him?
He said he used to watch porn with his ex'es so I'm an exception to the rule.
This made me feel as if I'm defective because I don't accept the "all men watch porn" excuse.
Later, he said he wouldn’t watch porn (I doubt it). His doing this for me makes me seem like a jealous monster.
He's never asked me to watch it with him, yet I feel like a subpar partner because I can't engage in something that he's enjoyed with other women.
Friends say I'm being unreasonable because MOST men and many women watch porn.
Porn is the surface problem, but the underlying one is your lack of self-esteem. It keeps you from believing him, and from making compromises because of the long-distance situation.
Not that he’s blameless. He needs to explain why he gave up on sext-ing and other ways of staying sexual with each other whenever possible.
But why beat up on yourself as a monster, or worry what his ex’es did or didn’t do? He’s not asking you to watch porn, yet you’re the one feeling “subpar.”
Without confronting your own insecurities, on your own or with help, you may not be able to sustain a long-distance relationship.
There’ll always be something to feel unsure about – like, does he make contact often enough?
I recommend personal counselling to boost your self-esteem, whether for this relationship or any other.
FEEDBACK Regarding the man who’s deciding to move in with, and care for, his aging mother (Feb 26):
Reader – “That could’ve been me, 20 years ago. I was an only child, single and gay, but still living at home on our farm. Dad had died in 1995.
“Mom was then able and in control. I’d decided to stay and care for her myself till the end, when she died at 98, and I was 69.
“She became confused gradually from age 92, and I was there for her 24/7 from then on. My greatest, most satisfying accomplishment was taking care of her in her own home, till she went into hospice for her last three days.
“In the end she had dementia, but not the Alzheimer variety. Much of the time I felt very alone during that period, and had no one to guide me or warn me of problems ahead. I had to learn everything myself along the way.
“I would’ve loved to see a letter like this, just to encourage me that somebody else was doing this most natural and reasonable thing to do, which yet seems to happen so rarely.
“I suggest that this caring son follow through with his plan and that it is entirely possible. But I suggest asking for community services help soon.
“It provided an enormous help, both for personal care, and later in nursing.”
My daughter, 16, bounces from boyfriend to boyfriend, each week. She'll date someone, get bored, and repeat the cycle.
It’s like she's looking for attention, gets it, and then moves on to more.
My wife and I tried to address this with her but she thinks it’s a joke. I think it’s a cycle she needs to stop, because she cannot act this way as an adult.
I understand that she’s a teenager but it’s gotten out of control.
Set some boundaries. “Attention” can be provided in other ways.
Encourage and insist that she be involved in some individual or team activities beyond school – music, sports, science, whatever.
Show her your attention and stay involved with her progress.
Then lay down some dating rules e.g. one boy at a time, no one-week stands.
Set some standards together: e.g. after a break-up, she needs a month off dating (or whatever time agreed). Once decided, make this non-negotiable.
Tip of the day:
A long-distance relationship requires mutual self-confidence and open communication.