My husband left me five years ago for another woman after a long marriage and a messy divorce.
I was devastated, and sought counselling. I’ve become very independent and moved on well with my life.
I dated two respectful men, each for a year. Both relationships were ended because both men didn’t want commitment.
For two months, I’ve been dating a gentleman who’s very interested in developing a relationship, but the chemistry isn’t there for me.
He has a lot of health issues, and isn’t financially stable.
I’ve told him that I’m interested in a friendship only, which he’s seemed to accept as we enjoy each other’s company (with hand-holding only).
I still hope that Mr. Right is out there.
Is it okay for me to meet others for coffee and potential dates while I’m still dating my friend?
Or, should I break it off completely before he gets attached to me?
I don’t want to hurt him.
He wants a real relationship, so it’s misleading to carry on with regularly “dating” him.
And it’s hurtful to also scout the field for others while seeing this man.
Tell him that you value his friendship but are seeking a truly mutual relationship.
Take a break from seeing him and from holding hands. In a couple of months, an occasional get-together is fine if he still accepts that you’ll only be friends.
Commentary - My first husband was addicted to porn despite my being an alluring and willing sexual partner.
It destroyed my marriage because I felt neglected, humiliated, and in competition with all those airbrushed woman for his sexual energies.
His refusal to put me first led to my feeling unloved and unwanted, and his addiction led to him acting out and cheating.
Anyone who says porn’s harmless should talk to women who’ve lived my life.
I even tried watching it with him, but it left me feeling like a piece of meat and that porn was the antithesis of what human sexuality is meant to be about.
When the marriage was over, I felt very damaged. Maybe it's a generational thing, but I can't get past the associations I have of porn being something for dirty old men and horny teenage boys.
I can't respect a man who says he loves me but looks at naked women who aren’t me.
Before I got remarried, I told my husband my history and how it had led to trust issues. I told him that if he wanted to have porn in his life, he wasn't going to have me.
I had him take sexy digital photos of myself and we agreed that this material would be his visual outlet when I wasn't around.
We don't have a home computer with the Internet, so the biggest temptation isn't there.
I can't know for sure what he does elsewhere (he insists he doesn't use it), but in my home I feel loved, respected, and desired.
Because of this, after many years together, we’re enjoying a very happy marriage with a lusty sex life.
Loving someone means accommodating their deal-breaking issues to the best of one's abilities.
Ellie – There are two important messages in your story: 1) that addiction to porn is harmful to a relationship. 2) That the spouse of a porn addict inevitably has to decide what can be tolerated and what cannot.
Your current husband understands well the meaning of accommodating to a partner’s needs and limits.
My friend turns to erotic masseuses or other sex workers about twice a month.
He uses these services because he's tired of being friendly with women who look like they're interested, but their actions speak otherwise.
He's tired of seeing women express love for men who seriously mistreat them.
He's tired of getting told he's attractive, but he still hasn't found someone. He also fears being rejected because of his psychiatric history, being unemployed and being poor.
But with sex workers, he doesn't feel left out nor threatened and inferior to women, like he used to.
He's found women who give him a chance to prove his worthiness, who call him attractive.
He's even found women who readily show him affection, express enjoyment with him.
You asked no question, only recounted a sad and hurtful history and positive rationalization for a solution that’s working. It’s nobody else’s business to judge.
Tip of the day:
It’s a basic rule of dating and decency: Don’t mislead someone who cares for you.