I’m 22, my boyfriend’s 23. We’ve lived together for four years.
He had a traumatic accident when we first got together, and I rushed to live with him because he was wheelchair-bound for three months until he could walk again.
Meanwhile, I’ve caught him cheating twice, not physically, but through sexual texts, pictures, and emails.
He’s promised to change, and tried to work through our problems.
But I recently found messages between him and another man.
I hold no prejudice towards different sexual orientations and still love him. I just wish he’d been upfront with his urges.
Now he wants to start swinging with other couples. He says that’s the only way he can stop the email exchanges.
I wouldn’t mind to one day explore my sexuality through swinging with my husband.
But my current concern is that swinging requires monumental trust, which I don’t have in him.
His response: “I can’t change what happened in the past, but this is what I need to move forward.”
Does this sound like an excuse, or is he sincerely looking to elongate our relationship?
Dazed and Confused
He uses manipulations, not excuses.
You’re a loving person who stepped up when he needed you most. But unfortunately, that’s set a pattern of which he has since taken advantage.
He cheats when he can get away with it, and now wants swinging based on his “need” for it.
He’s challenging you to prove your love anew.
He isn’t exploring; he’s playing. And you’re being treated as having to go along with it, or else…
But what comes next? Sex parties with multiple couples?
If you want to explore your sexuality, do it when you feel ready and truly interested for your own sake, not just his.
Meanwhile, consider your need at 23 to think through whether this relationship is everything you want for your future.
My friend's husband takes Viagra. He likes to make penetrating love for hours.
She doesn’t wish to do so as it becomes painful and not as enjoyable as the natural, loving act of sex.
How does she solve this issue?
Your friend and her husband need to get better informed about what Viagra really does.
It’s mainly used to treat erectile dysfunction and does so by increased blood flow to the penis.
When desire is present, a Viagra pill can kick in within a half-hour.
There’s plenty of foreplay time for stroking, kissing, and other lovemaking moves that are part of the “natural, loving act of sex.”
Her husband may be very excited about the renewed erectile prowess the drug’s providing him.
However, if he’s truly having sex for hours he needs a medical check because when an erection lasts for more than four hours (priapism), it can actually damage the penis.
Despite the boost from Viagra, sex is still a shared couple activity, not a one-person performance.
These two now need a shared way to make it work for them.
The wife should certainly see her doctor to check out her pain during sex.
If she’s post-menopausal, it’s common to experience some dryness and thinning of vaginal tissues.
Lubricants can help, as can low-dose-estrogen vaginal creams, and doing Kegel exercises to strengthen pelvic floor muscles.
She should discuss with her husband what she learns and explain why prolonged thrusting is taking the pleasure out of sex for her.
With some understanding on both sides, they could be enjoying this second-chance at having mutually fulfilling sex.
FEEDBACK Regarding the man who’s seeking input about his greedy ex-wife (October 14):
Reader – “You describe your ex as an emotionally insecure money-grabber.
“Presumably you observed similar behaviour in other divorcing couples and concluded this is typical of women in general.
“Not so in my experience. My mother and grandmothers worked to support their families.
“All three divorced and none asked men for money. I did the same. My daughter, step-daughter, daughters-in-law, nieces, etc. will all be solvent in case of divorce.”
Reader #2 – “It's time to move on. I spent 10 years with a woman who could never have enough.
“She chose not to work for most of our years together, and still wouldn't if she had the choice.
“I’ve realized that my freedom and happiness is worth far more than the financial burden I endured during our relationship, and will continue to endure until my kids have graduated university or college.”
Tip of the day:
Responding to a partner’s every “need,” can lead to unreasonable demands.